PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – At one time or another, chances are good your child will come to you and ask you if they can have a pet fish.
They’re fun to watch, but it can be a real pain to clean the tank.
The makers of My Fun Fish Tank say their system can make it much easier. In fact, it claims to be a self-cleaning tank.
The commercial shows an easy to use system. You pour clean water in and force dirty water out. It says it uses gravity instead of electricity to filter the water and keep it oxygenated.
KDKA-TV news anchor/Does it Really Do That reporter Jennifer Antkowiak has a sister who’s a lead Aquarist at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium.
Katy Wozniak takes care of the penguins, and other water-loving creatures in huge tanks.
Jen went to Katy to help us test the My Fun Fish Tank, to see if it really provides the clean, healthy environment it claims.
The tank looks different than most. It looks like a pitcher with a spout near the top on the side.
The kit also comes with a plastic tube grate, lid, rocks, an artificial plant, and a little white LED light.
The tank is easy to set up, and the instructions advise a trial run before adding the fish. Katy used a few drops of water conditioner (not included with the kit) to instantly remove any chemicals that could be harmful to the fish.
Then, she poured the water into the top. Katy and Jen watched as water was pushed from the bottom up through the tube and out of the tank.
The self-cleaning system seems to be working, so Katy and Jen finished the setup.
Next, the instructions say, “add fish and enjoy!”
However, Katy says there’s more to it than that. For example, she pointed out that it’s very important to condition the water every time. She also said to keep an even water temperature to avoid shock to the fish, and to place the tank away from direct sunlight to prevent algae growth.
“You have to remember this is a living thing and this is its environment. This is its home. Just like we try to keep our environment, and water, and oxygen clean, we want to make sure this is the right environment for this fish,” Katy said.
With a little bit of work with a small net (not included in the kit), Jen was able to transfer a beta fish to the My Fun Fish Tank.
While the fish got used to his new home, Katy showed Jen how the cleaning system in that little tank is a smaller scale of siphoning systems they use at the zoo to keep the tanks clean and healthy.
They watched as a zoo worker cleaned a seahorse tank, and Katy showed the huge behind-the-scenes system that takes care of the 20,000 gallon tank in the penguins’ exhibit.
“In the exhibit, there’s a bottom drain. It pulls it up, goes into these filters, in these filters there’s sand and gravel which the water gets filtered through, and only clean water will exit back out into the penguin exhibit,” she said.
Katy agreed to keep an eye on our little half gallon tank for a week.
A week later, Jen returned to find the tank definitely needed a cleaning.
“The water is getting a little bit cloudy. You see a little bit of the water scum line on the top, and some debris on the bottom,” Katy said.
Will that gravity-activated cleaning system get the job done?
Katy poured conditioned, clean water in, and, they see dirty water flush out. A second flush removed even more debris.
So, My Fun Fish Tank, does it really do that?
Katy gives it a thumbs up.
“I would say it really does that. I think it really does do that,” she said.
However Katy did leave us with some important fish-care tips: She recommended more frequent cleanings – every other day would be great she said.
She also advised paying attention to keeping an even water temperature, not over-feeding the fish, keeping the tank away from direct sunlight to prevent algae growth, and making sure to condition the water, every time.
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