"Starting Over" with my aquarium... what do I do with my fish?

I had two platties. Then I had more platties. Platties do that. Now I have lots of platties and I DO NOT WANT PLATTIES ANY MORE!

Plus I have an algae problem that is not going away so I really want to just take the thing down to its bare bones, clean it, and set it up from scratch. AND NO MORE PLATTIES!

But what do I do with the fish I have?

Please Note: I will not kill them/flush them/feed-them-to-other-beings etc. This is not an option, so don’t even suggest it. You’re talkin’ to one of those bleeding heart vegetarian animal rights freakoids.

Call several pet stores and see if they want them. If they recently sold all of theirs, they might want yours.

Sell them, for almost nothing, to the local pet store. Most of them will tell you that they won’t buy them, but at least one store near where i live always takes my excess fish off my hands.

Give them to a local pet store…


Contact your nearest Zoo. I know my zoo keeps tropical and salt water fish displays - they may be interested…


Contact your nearest elementry or Junior High - they often have Science rooms that feature critters, such as fish (I know mine did.)

Depending upon the size of the fry, you may be able to sell them to a pet store. I’d go with a store that isn’t a chain, more of a Mom and Pop, since they’d probably be more likely to not sell them as feeders as you asked. My best suggestion would be to ask if you could put up a sign in their store, “free to a good home”, and that way you’d have a bit more control over what happens to the fish. A lot of stores have a bulletin board for this purpose.

As far as the algae bloom, depending on what is causing it, it could make it worse to start all over. I’d test my water first, and go from there. If you don’t have a testing kit, most pet stores will test your water free of charge or for a pretty small fee. With all of the babies, it may have caused a spike in the ammonia/nitrates and the tank hasn’t had a chance cyclically to catch up. There are so many potential causes and types of algae, I’d still try other things first, before breaking the entire tank down. This site gives a basic description of types of algae: http://www.vectrapoint.com/main/manual/bm36.html and may be a good starting point to help you narrow down the cause. Good luck Opal.

I don’t have a lot of babies–I have a lot of adults. I got a betta in there to take care of birth control and he seems to be doing a good job of that. I haven’t noticed any new beebs in a while.

The algae can not possibly be worse. The water is opaque. You can see about 2 inches into it and then nothing. I have been doing about a 20% water change every week and I’ve put some liquid stuff in there that is supposed to deal with algae… and it’s been this way since august! There isn’t algae on the glass or anything… well ok not true there is a LITTLE but not much at all. It’s just the water is flouorescent, opaque green. It was a little hazy when we went on vacation this summer… we put vacation feeders in the tank and had someone drop by a few times while we were out of town… and when we got back we had… this.

Anyway, I really want to start over. The tank has just gotten SO cruddy since the algae made it hard to see that it’s just nasty. Also… I want to keep the betta but I don’t want any of the other fish… so since the system is totally fucked to begin with I don’t see any reason to try to “fix” it (impossible is my bet) rather than just starting over.

I’ve given up testing the water, actually. I’ll start again when I get it redone. (Yes I have the testing kits for the various things and all the different chemicals to adjust stuff…) The testing kits don’t work right now because the water is green so you can’t tell any of the levels because it doesn’t turn the proper colors anymore.

I’ve talked to PetsMart and they have a policy against accepting (even free) fish from anyone but their supplier. I can try to find some mom-n-pop places… I hadn’t thought of the school thing. I should ask at Dominic’s school…

Algae is usually a light problem. Do you have lights on this? Turn your lights off immediately. NO lights!!! Anytime I hae an algae problem I scrape the sides, do a half water change keep the lights off (is it in a really lighted room?) and drop in a couple of algae eaters…should take care o f even a bad bloom. Good bacteria is better than fresh, no fish water actually. But yeah, donate the platys to a school or a pet store.

you *could[I/] release the platys into the wild… [runs for cover]

  1. Get rid of the fish.
  2. Drain the tank.
  3. Scrape the algae off the glass and other flat surfaces with a glass scraper. Discard blade.
  4. Scrub all interior surfaces with wet sea salt., rinse out tank and scrub a second time with fresh wet sea salt.
  5. Fill tank with water, adding a bit of photographer’s hypo, (sodium thiosulphate) to kill the chlorine if any. Age the water a couple of days add new fish, and enjoy.

I’m not concerned about getting rid of the algae once the tank is empty. I know how to do that. (I always scrub my various decorations with sea salt when I clean the aquarium to keep the algae levels on those down, too.) And to condition the water I usually use filtered water and then use aquarium specific water treatment rather than some photography thing, but that’s just my own paranoia.
I’m just concerned with what to do with the fish.

mipiace - turning off the lights for a few weeks had no effect. We have a snail… but since the algae is not actually on the surfaces but rather is just cloudiness in the water, it’s probably not something an algae eater or snail can fix.

Please let us know how things work out with finding new homes for your fish. I didn’t mean to give you unsolicited advice, I just thought breaking down a tank to start over if you have NTS going on (New Tank Syndrome) from too much of a bio-load, might cause the same thing to happen again. i.e. cleaning everything, and possibly killing off the good bacteria in your tank. It sounds like you know what you’re doing though, so nevermind, eh? :slight_smile:

That was terrible, but funny advice Matchka. heh

1.) Travel to a place where the climate and water type matches the type your fish like. Return them to their natural state.

2.) Put your fishies in a smaller aquarium where they can live out the remainder of their fishy lives while you restore your present aquarium to its former glory.

3.) Hi Opal! >^,^<

Check the net or pet stores for a local aquarium club and donate the fish to them, or to a pet shop. Don’t bother trying to make any kind of real money on them - you won’t. DO NOT release the fish to the wild… I’m sure you know that though (even though a couple people suggest it; they are joking, right?).

People or stores will almost always take free fish.

Oh hell I wouldn’t release them into the wild even if it were a good idea. It’s NOVEMBER! They’re TROPICAL fish! heh.

And… I am not stupid enough to think that anyone would buy them from me… they’re platys! They’re half a fin more exotic than goldfish. They’re like $1 each at the pet store where you get a 7 day guarantee with them! It would be kinda like saying “I don’t want to finish this bag of Oreos… anyone know where I can sell the rest?”

The tank is well established… well, it was doing great until this summer… I’ve considered the smaller tank scenario but I don’t have room for a smaller tank. I have a small, plastic ‘hospital tank’ that I use for sick fish or for when I’m doing chaotic furniture rearranging in the tank… but that would be a suck-ass home for the fish to live out their little fishy lives. Plus, they reproduce like tiny, soggy, scaly bunnies! I think the betta is keeping that under control… but I want to keep the betta in the big tank [well, when I say ‘big’ I mean 30 gallon. Not really BIG. But still.] … anyway I think that my best bet right now is finding a school or a small pet store to donate them to.
…anyone here own a school or small pet store in northern Virginia?

Until I read the last sentence in the OP, I was going to say:

“Got tartar sauce?..”

Good luck relocating the fish.

Don’t generally people use a plecostomus in fresh water tanks? We have to leave the light on for long periods just to supply it with enough algae.

In fact, that’s all we’re down to. Anybody want one? Not too big (yet).

Opal–I agree with cichlidiot.

But you’ll have a better balanced tank in the future if you manage the algae naturally. Right now, your tank’s out of balance. Think of it as its own little ecosystem. If you dump everything out and scrub it and start over, it’ll be just as imbalanced, only in the other direction.

Leave the fish in for now; they help the balance. You can get rid of them once the tank has cleared.

Do a 25%-30% water change every day for a week or more. Make sure you draw the water out of the tank through a siphon that pulls detritus out of the gravel bed. There are several different kinds. The best one is called a Python, but it might be too expensive for your purposes. Look at one, though, to see how they work, and then buy one of the cheaper smaller versions.

During this time, feed your fish only once or twice a week. And feed only about ONE FLAKE PER FISH PER PORTION. You can give them two or three portions per feeding, but make sure you feed small enough portions that none of the food falls to the bottom. Do NOT grind the flakes up in your fingers as you feed. Tap a little into the cap and then from the cap into the tank, without touching it.

Put in some live plants, and feed them with a plant mineral supplement. Dupla is the best, but expensive; your petstore will have cheaper brands. The minerals–and the water changes–stimulate the plants to grow. THey will metabolize the nutrients in the water, and outcompete the algae.

If you do it this way, you’ll bring your tank back into balance, rather than just starting from zero balance and possibly having the same problems again down the line.

The algae is there because one of the fish has jammed a piece of coloured gravel into the filter pump; they are planning to escape!

I don’t grind the food up in my fingers and of course I have a siphon! How do you keep an aquarium clean without one? I refuse to put in live plants, and I’m not going to “naturally” get rid of the algae. It would take another 6 months and it just isn’t going to happen. I’m not one of those aquarium owners who devotes 50% of their free time to maintaining a fish tank. Setting up a fresh tank is something that people do all the time, and something that I did when I got the tank, and something I did with the tank I had before that, etc. I’ll keep the biowheel and so on in my filter so I’ll still have some of the good bacteria happening, and the water will settle in a few weeks. Frankly I’d sooner set the whole thing on fire than continue to try to clear it “naturally” especially when at the end of this I want to have a grand total population of one snail and 2 or 3 fish representing about a $10 investment from PetsMart.

All. I. Need. To. Know. Is. What. To. Do. With. My. Current. Fish.

Which I’ve gotten recommendations on, so I think this thread is finished. I’m not trying to be rude here… I know that in the Perfect Scheme of the World it’s probably better to try to repair the tank than start over… but it isn’t what I’m going to do. I don’t have the time or the interest in making the time for a project like that. Governments will not topple because I started my fish tank over. My sanity, on the other hand, could well topple if I have to deal with this #(&@#& algae for much longer. :eek: Similarly, it would probably be better in the Perfect Scheme of the World if I were to grow all of my own vegetables, make my own dog food, etc. Fortunately for me, the other options are still acceptable.