I've had a single SAE for almost 3 years now and it is 4". I've never had black beard algae but I did have green and he ate it. I have read that they do school but my single seems to be doing just fine in a 55 gallon. He tends to "school" with the gold barbs.
If you haven't yet started with cycling, you can fill the new filter with seeded media from your 20gal and right away add your betta and shrimp at the same time. The seeded media gives you an instant cycle.
You can't leave the seeded media in an empty tank for more than about 6 hours or the BB...
When I was trying to get rid of my snails that came in on the plants, I would check just above the water line in the morning, squish them and drop them in the tank - my fish went crazy for them and ate every one I dropped.
Yes. I'll have to start trimming it to keep it on the top of the tank. I've had pothos before all over my bedroom wall - it will literally root itself right to the wall and it's hard to get off if you leave it.
My pH is around 7.5 and my pothos that I put in on June 6, 2015 has doubled in size! Haven't done a WC in 2 weeks, 34 fish in 55gal and just tested NO3 - 30.
This pothos has saved me a lot of bucket lugging!
This photo is from day 1.
Seachem Replenish may not be necessary unless you have a softener. Well water is great for your fish and it doesn't have chlorine (unless you are in an area where it occurs naturally in ground water) so doesn't need conditioner.
I rarely change my filter media and if I do I only change one of...
I'm not sure. I don't use it.
Also, FYI, from reading some of your posts in other threads (ie raw meat) I'm concerned you are overfeeding your fish. I have 34 (67") fish in my 55gal and I feed 6 shrimp pellets and 1/4 teaspoon crushed flakes each day, bloodworms maybe once every two weeks...
Marimo moss balls are technically algae but they don't encourage other types of algae, and my clean-up crew does not eat the moss balls at all.
They add a dark velvetty texture to the tank. I have even cut some up to make a carpet around the base of my larger rocks.
Your filter media is where most of the BB is. Be sure to put the old media over in the 36 with the fish. And I would try to clean it rather than replace it to keep that BB.
If you do end up replacing the media once you put things back in the 55 make sure to add Stability as you may have a mini...
I have tried neons 3 times in my tank, all after cycling and have "0" left.
A total of 44 bought - nice schools. I will not be trying them ever again.
As Dadio has stated, it's more likely you'll get a weak batch than a good one. And if they are weak they may bring disease into your tank.