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Hello!

I am new to keeping piranha, and I am having some problems that I was hoping I could get some help on. I have six RBPs (about 3.5-4" in length) in a 55 gallon tank. I am using a Fluval 304, and an AquaClear 300 for filtering. Up until last night their tank has been perfect, no problems at all. However, I checked the amonia level and it was insanely high (the tank is already cycled). The only thing I can think of that caused this was the Fluval cleaning two weeks before. I took the sponges out, cleaned them off (will be replacing from now on, too dirty), and placed the baskets (ceramic) in a bucket of tank water while I cleaned the fluval itself. I noticed little black string-like things floating from the baskets soon after I placed it in the bucket, was this bad? Did I clean the Fluval properly? I am worried that all the bacteria floated out of the Fluval (string-like stuff).

My second concern is with cleaning the gravel. I noticed that each week I need to replaced 30-50 percent of the water just to get the gravel clean. What's the best way to clean gravel quickly and efficiently? I figure it's getting so darn dirty because there is six of them in the tank, but I want to wait until they are at least about six inches before I get a 150 gallon for them. Any help would be greatly appreciated!


~ShySymon
 

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joey'd is da man
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your gravel is gunna get dirty, you can use less gravel to ease the problem, or even go without.

I doubt that your ammonia problem is your filter, I suggest you do a water change
 

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how often do you do water chages?

syphon out about 25% to 30% when you do whatever changes. i just use a regulat syhpon that i got at my lfs...its nothing fancy.

if u do 25-30% water changes once a week then your tank should not get too dirty, but if u feel u need to clean the gravel more try doing 2 changes a week at 25-30% instead of 30-50%..

just placing the filter media in a bucket of water should be fine to keep the beneficial bacteria alive. the black stringy stuff was probably just crap & uneaten food that got stuck in the filter along with algae and slime.
 
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