20g planted Tankman Dan 20 Gallon Tank 

Tankmandan

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This is my first heavily planted tank and I would like to post pictures and updates on its progress. Started about a month ago

Since I started the tank I have added some more rocks around the back and placed some more spiky moss on them. I also added a bridge decoration as I thought the front was very bare. I had lots of melt of the Monte Carlo almost 75% of it died and unrooted. What is left has started growing and is propagating. Currently amano shrimp, cherry shrimp, assassin snails and fish fry call this tank home. Not sure if the fry are guppies or platties.

Updated picture. The fry are getting big and the shrimp are very active.
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Tank is always dirty cause I didn’t properly rinse the seachem substrate. Starting to get signs of algae. Carpet plants always seem to uproot due to tank inhabitants. Here’s an updated pic. Thanks for viewing.
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Tankmandan

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Thanks. I wish I knew about washing the seachem substrate out prior to using it. The dirt it is causing has been a headache. I’m learning through mistakes whic is the best way.
 
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Tankmandan

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Still battling dirty substrate but it’s improving. Lfs got a good shipment of Otto cats so they are already helping with the algae build up. I add a new plant in the mid ground hottonia should add a nice green with the red plant in the back ground. Thanks for viewing.
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Anthony1976

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Tankmandan said:
Still battling dirty substrate but it’s improving. Lfs got a good shipment of Otto cats so they are already helping with the algae build up. I add a new plant in the mid ground hottonia should add a nice green with the red plant in the back ground. Thanks for viewing. View attachment 635146
Are you sure the dirty substrate isn’t a coating of diatoms (brown algae) because if it is it’s quite normal for this to happen in a new dirted aquarium. After a while when the tank has properly cycled after a month or two you will start to get signs of green algae and it will start to compete with the diatoms for the available nutrients and it will starve it and you won’t see it again and all you will be left with is green algae which is much easier to control especially with a school of otos like you have. I think what you are seeing are diatoms not dirty substrate. The exact same thing happened with my dirted tank but as soon as you start to get green algae the diatoms will vanish quickly.
 
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Tankmandan

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I never thought of it being diatoms which is something I am learning about now. The reason I believe its still the substrate is that the sponge filters on the intake and in my hang on back filter are constantly getting plugged with something that is brown which is the colour of my substrate. I used the Seachem Flourish Brown substrate. I also get a build up of what looks like dust on the inside of the glass. We also have a lot of Guppy and Platy fry in the tank right now so there's lots of food being feed which is causing the tank to be dirty as well. I need to look into this Brown algae idea. The tank seems to be very cloudy as well.
 

Anthony1976

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Tankmandan said:
I never thought of it being diatoms which is something I am learning about now. The reason I believe its still the substrate is that the sponge filters on the intake and in my hang on back filter are constantly getting plugged with something that is brown which is the colour of my substrate. I used the Seachem Flourish Brown substrate. I also get a build up of what looks like dust on the inside of the glass. We also have a lot of Guppy and Platy fry in the tank right now so there's lots of food being feed which is causing the tank to be dirty as well. I need to look into this Brown algae idea. The tank seems to be very cloudy as well.
Yeah your filter pads will be brown from diatoms when it takes them in for sure mine where.
 
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Tankmandan

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Thanks man. I need to look into this issue more now. Im just starting to learn about all the different types of algae and this is a new one. I'v been blaming the substrate cause this issue has been occurring since the setup of the tank. I have 8 Otto cats, 6 Amano Shrimp and 6 cherry shrimps in there now cleaning up. Im wondering if I need to add some nerites snails.
 

Anthony1976

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Tankmandan said:
Thanks man. I need to look into this issue more now. Im just starting to learn about all the different types of algae and this is a new one. I'v been blaming the substrate cause this issue has been occurring since the setup of the tank. I have 8 Otto cats, 6 Amano Shrimp and 6 cherry shrimps in there now cleaning up. Im wondering if I need to add some nerites snails.
That’s ok mate, I personally think it is diatoms which are normal in the early stages of a new tank but I could be wrong be good to get someone else’s opinion on it though . Cheers
 
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