Angela S. of North Carolina purchased a ML-10 Micro-Utopia in November 2008 and wrote to request recommendations for cleaning the tank walls. The water was clear and normally just using the Q-tips should be suitable.  But wanting to do a full clean-up, I recommended:


      First pour out ALL OF THE WATER INCLUDING MICRO-LOBSTERS, GRAVEL ROCKS, ETC.  Get a large clean bowl or dish pan and steadily up-end and dump out everything in one continuous motion ending up with the unit completely up-side-down.  There is less of a chance of killing the Micro-Lobsters when doing it this way.   Pour about 1 inch of water back into the tank as some Micro-Lobsters may be hiding in the rock.  If nothing swims out in a minute or so, pour the clean water back into the bowl with the other water.


      Tape several regular size Q-tips to a pencil and use it to gently scrub off all algae,  rinse with distilled water and check as itís easy to miss some spots.  When you have all clean, use a tongs or chopstick and place all gravel pieces between the central landscape and one side to try to get the gravel piled up high in one location with the rest of the front clear. Then pour back the water and Micro-Lobsters. 

     From the photos she sent, the cleaning was successful.  Tanks develop algae when units are in bright light and when generously fed.  There's a fine balannce.  Angela reported she still had 5 Micro-Lobsters and no reproduction yet. 

    Other customers have obtained nerite snails from their local pet/fish store.  There are many varieties but a single smallest size is enough for a Micro-utopia unit.

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