An aquarium is a place where you would not want to create chaos. Fish are sensitive creatures and even the slightest change in water quality, pH, temperature, etc. can startle them and at times or even kill them. So why take the risk of losing them by leaving their excrement unattended?
How to get rid of fish poop in the tank? Fish poop can be cleared by simply scooping them out of the fish tank. Fish excrement will naturally perish thanks to the Nitrogen cycle which breaks it down into ammonium and nitrate. However, relying on this fact or just scooping it will not solve the poop problem in your fish tank. A scheduled weekly cleaning routine is the key.
However, as we know just scooping it regularly will not solve the problem as there is a lot more to worry about afterward.
What is the difference between fish poop and other waste materials in tank water?
Two types of waste materials are usually found in fish tanks; organic ones and inorganic ones. Fish poop belongs to the organic category.
Organic waste materials are naturally perishable most of the time. They do not require manual labor to be cleared if they are in an environment within which, they can decompose and mix with the soil or in some cases, water.
Inorganic waste materials, on the other hand, are not able to decompose by themselves. Outside stimuli or interference is needed to decompose these types of substances. Under normal conditions, they will not mix with the soil or water. Even if they do, they will not fully break down or decompose, which will negatively influence the ecosystem of the environment they are in.
Being organic in nature, the fish excrement can easily dissolve into the soil of the fish tank. The poop goes through a Nitrogen cycle which breaks it down into ammonium and nitrate.
Apart from fish poop, uneaten and leftover fish food pellets are also treated as organic waste materials inside the fish tank. But unlike fish excrements, the food pellets do not undergo any natural organic cycle that dissolves them into the soil or water of the tank.
Besides, there might be other organic waste materials that fall into an open fish tank like pollen, dust particles, small insects, etc.
Inorganic wastes are also found in tank water. They mainly enter the tank from outside. Such wastes may include everything from small pieces of paper to even large Ping-Pong balls. This type of waste will not perish naturally.
Plastic, for instance, will not decompose. They will outlast you and your fish. Hence, such waste substances need to be dealt with separately.
In order to prevent your fish tank from becoming a waste dump, be sure to clean it at regular intervals. Schedule weekly cleanups, your best tip for today.
Is it okay for your fish to eat poop? The pros and cons
Eating feces, or coprophagy, is a natural behavior for some species of fish, such as plecos, catfish, and loaches. These fish may eat feces as part of their diet in order to obtain nutrients and energy.
- PROS: One potential benefit of coprophagy in a fish tank is that it can help to keep the tank clean by removing organic matter, such as uneaten food and fish feces, which can break down and release nutrients back into the water. This can help to reduce the build-up of excess nutrients in the tank and improve the overall water quality.
- CONS: However, there are also potential drawbacks to coprophagy in a fish tank. If the feces contain parasites or diseases, the fish that eats them may become infected. In addition, if the feces are not fully digested, they may release excess nutrients back into the water, leading to a potential excess of nutrients in the tank. This can lead to a bacterial bloom, which can be harmful or even deadly to fish if it becomes excessive.
It is important to monitor the levels of feces and other organic matter in your fish tank and take steps to maintain a healthy balance. This may include performing regular water changes and using a filter to remove excess nutrients. If you are concerned about the health of your fish or the cleanliness of your tank, you should consult a veterinarian or a professional aquarist for advice.
What aquarium fish love to eat poop?
There are a few species of fish that are known to eat feces as part of their natural diet. These include some species of plecos, catfish, and loaches.
- Plecos, also known as suckermouth catfish, are a popular choice for aquariums because of their ability to help keep the tank clean. They have a natural tendency to scavenge for food, including eating algae and other organic matter, such as fish feces.
- Catfish and loaches are also known to eat feces as part of their diet. These fish are bottom dwellers and are often found in the wild feeding on organic matter that has fallen to the bottom of a river or stream. In an aquarium, they may also eat feces and other organic matter that settles to the bottom of the tank.
It is important to note that while these fish may eat feces as part of their diet, they should not be relied upon as the sole means of waste management in an aquarium. Proper filtration and regular water changes are still important for maintaining a healthy and clean environment for your fish.
How much poop is OK and what is a lot of fish poop in the tank?
Excrements released by the fish inside the aquarium release ammonia into the water over time which, if not kept under control, has the ability to destroy the ecosystem inside the tank.
The natural Nitrogen cycle helps avoid such a situation. However, if the nitrate and ammonia levels get too high, the natural cycle will not be enough to keep the situation under control.
Hence, it is in your best interest to maintain the tank with proper cleaning mechanisms such that excessive poop does not accumulate inside the tank.
How many times a day does a goldfish poop?
On average and under suitable conditions (environment, water, temperature, quality of food), a goldfish can produce poop 8 times in a single day. Sometimes, this number can vary from five to eight.
It is not, however, possible to calculate the exact number of how many times a goldfish defecates each day. This is because of the digestive system of the goldfish.
Goldfish tend to defecate a lot as they have no stomachs. No stomach means no muscular movement to break down complex food substances into absorbable matter. Thus, no process of assimilation is seen. This results in their habit of producing waste more frequently than any other fish.
The more food, the more waste fish can produce.
The amount of poop is greatly dependent on the amount of food they consume. The more their consumption of food, the more waste they can produce. Size, water temperature, pH levels, etc. also affect the goldfish’s food intake.
They process the food very quickly as they consume it. A goldfish requires feeding 3 times per day the volume of one of its eyes.
What happens to fish poop in the aquarium?
Fish poop within your aquarium will take some time to settle down. Prior to this, they are most likely to float around inside the tank.
You will often find your fish nibbling at the poop floating inside the tank. Fishes have the tendency to eat up whatever is floating around them but at the same time, they also spit out any non-food items back into the water.
Fish poop breaks down over time into ammonia and then into nitrate. The aquatic plants inside your fish tank can consume both ammonia as well as nitrate. The Nitrogen cycle that takes place inside your tank is what makes all this possible.
If left unattended in a tank where there is no soil/gravel substrate for the poop to mix itself with, the excrements will simply be sediment at the tank bottom. Over time, the poop will create a pungent and rather toxic smell inside your tank.
This results in a rise in temperature and a change in pH levels, thus, destroying the harmony that exists within your tank’s ecosystem. Suggested testing fish tank water regularly.
What color is fish poop?
Under natural circumstances, the color of your fish’s poop depends on its species and the diet it is consuming. The color pigments from the food can often dissolve within the fish intestine and the excrements of your fish will be found to have a color similar to the color of the food it is being fed.
Healthy fish poop is usually the color of the food it is being fed or slightly brownish, like sand. Thin, white-colored poop is a sign of internal infection.
If you observe such whitish excrement from your fish, you should be slightly worried and if possible, get your fish checked or bring alterations in its diet.
Diarrhea in fish can be identified as a brownish tinge in the tank water. Low-quality food with high amounts of toxins is usually responsible for diarrhea.
Is fish poop good for aquarium plants?
No, fish poop is not good for aquarium plants.
Common sense might suggest that like other excrements, such as manure, the excrements of your fish are also good for the plants growing inside your fish tank. But no, it is in fact just a rough belief.
Our body throws out whatever it is it cannot digest or absorb into the body itself. The case is the same for almost every other animal. Fish is no different to this phenomenon. Like humans and other living organisms, fishes produce waste as well.
Nitrogen is a waste product most animals produce, including fish. Now nitrogen in itself is helpful for plants as it helps plants to grow. In fact, urea fertilizers are mostly nitrogen. But the nitrogen being produced by your fish poop is not reaching the plants directly.
Inside the tank water, there is the possibility that nitrogen will manage hydrogen molecules to bond with it and then produce ammonia, which is dangerous for your aquatic plants and fishes.
Ammonia can mess up the respiration process. This, in turn, will shift the ecosystem inside your fish tank upside down.
Besides, the fish poop cannot even reach the soil substrate in your fish tank if there is a thick layer of pebbles or gravel inside the tank, overlaying on top of the soil substrate. Apart from a few species of aquatic plants, most of them grow on the soil and not on the hard surface of pebbles. Thus, the poop may not be able to reach the roots of the plants to nourish them.
What Are Cleaning Techniques, Methods, and Secrets In Poop Reducing And Removing From Fish Tanks?
Prior to cleaning the tank, the first and most important task at hand is to relocate your fish to a temporary location as you prepare to clean their home.
This can be easily achieved by storing your fish in polythene bags or another fish or glass tank. While doing so, make sure that the water your fishes are going into is coming from their aquarium, the one you are about to clean. Otherwise, if fishes are exposed to water of different quality (such as varying in temperature or pH levels), they might fall sick or even die.
Next, remove the decoration props inside the aquarium one by one and clean them individually. Use disinfectants as required but be sure to rinse them with adequate water afterward.
To clean the poop, you can just drain the tank with a fish tank pump, see this miracle tool available on amazon or scoop away the excrement. Afterward, remove the gravel or pebble layer and wash it with soap or detergent, followed by proper rinsing with sufficient water.
For keeping the number of fish excrements under control naturally, you can opt for a planted aquarium with a soil base, layered off with a gravel or pebble top. Make sure the gravel layer has small holes in between them for the poop to settle down into the soil.
Naturally, this should allow the poop inside the fish tank to mix up with the soil. However, it is still a good idea to scoop away the gravel surface from time to time to remove the excess poop. Otherwise, the tank water might smell and take up a faded color.
Do algae eaters eat fish waste from the bottom of the tank?
No living creature eats excrement, at least not willingly. Algae eaters are no exception to this habit.
Some eaters do, however, consume fish poop inside the tank, but spit it out instantly the moment their senses can identify the substance as non-consumable matter. Algae eaters will be able to keep the tank clean from algae only.
An algae eater often referred to as Algivore, is a common name for many bottom-dwelling, algae-eating aquatic species that feed on algae. Some of the common and most popular freshwater algae eaters in aquariums include small fishes, shrimps, crabs, and snails.
Before deciding on whether you want to have algae eaters in your fish tank, there are a few things you need to consider.
Select such an eater that it will be compatible with the other fishes and organisms in your fish tank. Also, take the size of your fish tank into a note. That will allow you to decide the number of eaters you would need inside the tank.
And so, as you can see, having fish inside an aquarium is no easy hobby, especially when you need to consider cleaning their excrement. Not only is it a tedious job, but it also requires quite precision.
Clearing excrement that came out of fish is by all means, not rocket science. However, if you really want to be involved with this hobby and are willing to take good care of your fish, you might as well understand the points mentioned above and try to practice accordingly. There is nothing called being too careful.