Oh yes I remember looking at your photo site a while back Sam.. beautiful!
I got off my duff and cleaned up my aquarium yesterday... long overdue.
My year old aquarium (which i do periodic water changes and maintenance on)... eventually became overrun with beautiful Java moss and Christmas moss... lovely, and the fish love it, but it was harder and harder to see any fish or rocks or branches... just masses of moss. Under the moss was accumulated brown muck, so just cutting back the moss didn't make things nice again. There was a lot of sediment and algae that needed me to roll up my sleeves to deal with.
Yesterday I spent about 5 hours completely tearing apart the tank to do a major cleanup. I netted out the fish to keep them safe in three gallons of the clean top water that I siphoned into a bucket and put aside. I removed all the plants and rinsed them, trimmed them and removed dead leaves, detangled them into neat groupings. Cleaned all the glass with a razor blade. Took the whole filter apart and cleaned all the parts. Scrubbed the heater clean. I emptied the dirty water from the tank and stirred/rinsed the gravel, rocks, and driftwood. So much sludgy muck!
Finally got the tank half filled with fresh water, rearranged all the cleaned rocks, driftwood, and plants, and got the filter working to clear things up. A couple hours later things looked good so I finally added back in the bucket of (clean) aged water, and the fish. By last night the filter had cleared everything pretty nicely, so I rinsed the filter sponges again and went to bed.
Amazingly, all the 17 fish seem very perky and happy this morning, eating well and swimming actively in their fresh new crystal clean world, exploring all the new nooks and crannies. Frankly I'm amazed that I didn't lose a single fish during this huge upheaval.
Now it's fun to watch my aquarium in my office again... wheee!
Here's the result (not a great photo but you get the general idea):
Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
updated by @strumelia: 10/13/17 06:59:30PM