Cleaning the aquarium properly: This is how it's done - Triops Galaxy

Cleaning the aquarium properly: How to clean the aquarium properly

With a Triops farm, you can bring a piece of prehistory and earth history into your own four walls. Triops and prehistoric crabs fascinate young and old alike and children in particular take great pleasure in the little “dinosaurs of the present”, which were also still in space. But breeding prehistoric crayfish is not only exciting and beautiful, it also means work. As a breeder, you should clean your aquarium properly, which is not always a pleasant job. Nevertheless, this work must be done if you want to create a healthy living environment for your Triops. Often Triops skins after moulting or dead plant leaves lie at the bottom of the aquarium. To prevent the water from becoming contaminated and nitrite and nitrate from becoming a danger for the Triops, you have to clean the aquarium properly. In this blog post I explain how to proceed when cleaning the Triops aquarium and what you have to keep in mind.

Cleaning the aquarium properly: This is how impurities occur

After the Triops have reached the age of about two weeks, they should be moved to a larger tank or aquarium. The reason for this is that the small rearing tank does not offer enough freedom of movement and the water values rapidly deteriorate in the confined space and can lead to the Triops suffocating. Before moving the Triops, the aquarium must be run in properly. This is necessary because an aquarium is a complex ecosystem and needs to establish itself. At this stage you don’t need to worry about cleaning the aquarium properly. However, both the ammonium peak and the nitrite peak are a danger for an aquarium that has not been fully run in.

→ More information can be found in the main article: Running in an aquarium

After the Triops aquarium has been run in and the first inhabitants have moved in, you should think about when and how to clean the aquarium properly.

Contamination in the aquarium is mainly caused by the following factors:

  • Rotting food remains
  • Triops excretions
  • Rejected Triops skins
  • Dead animals
  • Reduced filter performance
  • Rotting plants

Clean the aquarium properly: This is why you need to clean the aquarium properly

Below we look at the main causes of contamination in the Triops aquarium and what consequences this can have.

Rotting food remains

Beginners in Triops breeding tend to feed too much due to lack of experience. You mean well and don’t want the Triops to starve. The problem is that excess food is not eaten by the Triops and starts to rot very quickly. The rotting food degrades the water quality enormously and the nitrite levels shoot up. The result: the Triops die within a few hours. To prevent this, you should generally feed the Triops appropriately. In general, you should feed less rather than more.

→ More information can be found in the main article: Feeding triops

Excess food should also be removed within a reasonable time. The following rule of thumb can be used as a guide: If the food is not eaten within an hour, it should be removed and the aquarium cleaned properly.

Tip: You can give your Triops a diet day, they won’t die from it at all. Try it out and you will see that you don’t have to overfeed.

Triops excretions

Triops leave behind a lot of excrement, which contaminates the water and increases the nitrite level. The water values can quickly tip over and become life-threatening for the inhabitants of the aquarium. The only solution is to clean the aquarium properly.

Rejected Triops skins

We know that our Triops moult relatively often. In the growth phase, i.e. in the first two to three weeks, they moult almost every day, later on in adulthood every few days. To prevent the skins lying around freely on the bottom from contaminating the aquarium and clogging the filter, you should clean the aquarium properly.

Dead Triops

When a Triops dies, its dead body is, as banal as it sounds, a valuable source of protein for the rest of its mates and is quickly eaten. Triops are known for their cannibalism. However, a dead Triops or even several should not lie on the ground for days and should be disposed of.

Dead plants

Plants in the aquarium are essential and promote a healthy ecosystem. The Triops like to nibble on the plants until they eventually die. When foliage rots, mulm forms at the bottom of the aquarium. Too much of it affects the water values, so as a breeder you should clean the aquarium properly.

Water change

A large water change should be carried out once a week. This involves changing about 30 percent of the water in the aquarium. Fresh water brings oxygen into the aquarium and promotes water quality. When changing the water, the Triops do not have to be moved, but the change should of course be carried out carefully and gently for the animals. It is important not to change more than 50 percent or even all of the water, otherwise the biological balance will be upset. An aquarium is always a small piece of nature.

→ More information is available in the main article: The right water and optimal water values

How to clean the aquarium properly

How should you clean the aquarium properly? Since our Triops are very sensitive creatures, cleaning the Triops aquarium must be done carefully. A careless movement in the aquarium can quickly lead to a Triops being crushed and dying. We want to avoid that at all costs.

Before cleaning the aquarium, check whether and to what extent the filter is dirty. If the flow rate is reduced due to contamination of the filter, it should be cleaned. Since bacteria have settled in the filter cartridges and tubes and are important for the biological balance in the aquarium, it should never be cleaned completely.

To clean the aquarium properly and gently, you can use rubber gloves and a kitchen sponge. No metal or copper sponge should be used so as not to scratch the aquarium glass. The sponge must not contain any chemicals and should be washed thoroughly with tap water beforehand, just like the gloves. If you want to clean the aquarium properly, you must not use any chemical cleaning agents. It is cleaned completely without chemicals, otherwise the sensitive Triops are threatened with death. An even gentler way is to use a cleaning magnet. The use of commercially available kitchen paper in the aquarium is problem-free.

To remove dead skin and faeces from the substrate, a bottom cleaner such as a mulm vacuum cleaner or also called a mulm bell is used.

When cleaning the bottom with the mulm vacuum cleaner, you should not suck up too much of the sand, otherwise there is a risk that Triops eggs deposited in the sand will also be sucked up.

Cleaning the aquarium properly: Conclusion

As you can see, cleaning a Triops aquarium is not complicated. Cleaning is certainly not always one of the most pleasant tasks in breeding, but it is necessary in order to provide the Triops with a nice home. As long as you clean the aquarium gently and without chemicals, you can’t do much wrong. A regular water change is also necessary, although you should not change more than half of the water in order not to endanger the biological balance in the aquarium. If you want to clean the aquarium properly, it is helpful to use a landing net and a mulch bell.

Sladjan Lazic

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