About To Put An Axe Through This Piece Of Garbage.

HunterChampion

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Sometimes the hobby of an aquarist is a rewarding journey in which you benefit from your labors. Or if youre me, you just get over and over again, everything that can go wrong does. My fishtank is a death trap. Nothing does well. My plants, my fish. Nothing. I just want to crawl up inside the wall and die. Everything is always covered in one form of algae or another. My equipment breaks regardless of how well I take care of it. $150 regulator? Leaks out of every joint, socket, and thread. with my tank for six months, then stops working. Oh nice $30 bazooka diffuser? Says to clean with bleach...so it can melt the glue, ceramic membrane, and leave me sitting there with $90 missing because it happened 3 times. Oh joy how about a dual sponge filter? Well once again we can thank the Chinese for a sinister item that is not only does not do its job properly, but also starts disintegrating/polluting the water it sits in. Buddy of mine wants to test the hydrolysis of my water. Turns out he wasn't my buddy and put a contaminated instrument used to measure waste water into my aquarium. $68 of Driftwood and moss? 2 days in the tank and it's already got Cyanobacteria on it. Eco complete gravel? Went dead 3 months after purchase. this hobby. I never have clear water, my tank never looks nice, and it's just a money pit.

Want a picture? This tank.

Another thing: why does everyone else have a beautiful setup that looks good but when I do the same thing it's garbage?
 

Crafty Cichlid

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I hear you. I haven't given up but recently decided my driftwood can live anywhere else, it always has fungus. Plants come and go. Do you want any ideas, or just to be ****. I want to full support your ****-ness if that's the route you want, haha. Otherwise, give us some info, and troubleshoot with us.

Another thing: why does everyone else have a beautiful setup that looks good but when I do the same thing it's garbage?
Oh, we only take pictures after cleaning it for five hours, trimming the dead leaves, and replacing all the dead fish. Then we photoshop it.
 

kallililly1973

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Sorry your having tough luck with your tank and equipment. It can all be resolved by taking it slow and sometimes less is more. Go back to the basics of making sure your tank is cycled. Set your light to a strict timer no more than 6-8 hours. Be religious about good size water changes. 50-75% sometimes is necessary. Then everything will start to come together. Everyone in this hobby has bumps in the road. It's never just fill a tank plug in a filter and plop fish in. Everyone on this site is amazingly helpful in one aspect or another. Take a deep breath and don't let it get to you. You will be glad you did ultimately!!
 
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HunterChampion

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This tank is 5 years old. This has been going on for 5 years. $159 dollar regulator. Local fish store giving me a hard time when their products dies. I don't need a pep talk. I want solutions. Guy on the phone just said "Oh I have the best luck with those. But there's not much we can do for you."

Oh great. Here's an idea--throw yourself down on some train tracks, and lie there.
 

Crafty Cichlid

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Be religious about good size water changes. 50-75% sometimes is necessary. Then everything will start to come together. Everyone in this hobby has bumps in the road. It's never just fill a tank plug in a filter and plop fish in. Everyone on this site is amazingly helpful in one aspect or another.
^ those two things (my helpfulness is that I try to keep it fun, and will join any axing of tanks - strongly recommend eye protection for this)

I do find that keeping my filter clean and massive water changes keep everything happy. When that fails - snails, and plastic everything else. Pro tip: the good plastic plants look better than real ones, and cichlids won't eat them as fast.

Actually cichlids could be a set up for you. They'll get rid of those pesky neons you have infesting your tank, they actually like algae as a food, and will arrange move anything thing they can for you. It really takes the guess work out of decorating and layout.
 

coralbandit

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Get a real filter ,ditch the CO2 since you only have low light plants and change water ..
Can't say it doesn't work till you try it !
If you know the filter is junk get a better one ? I have 60 tanks and everyone has a sponge filter running them ...I buy them from American stores ...
I also use Aquaclear HOBs for filters .Your tank is big enough to benefit from one .
What is the benefit co2 reg on low light plants ? It is a tool that can be of no help since it is not applicable ???
Without failure success would never taste so sweet !
Don't end on a low note …..
 

Crafty Cichlid

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This tank is 5 years old. This has been going on for 5 years. $159 dollar regulator. Local fish store giving me a hard time when their products dies. I don't need a pep talk. I want solutions. Guy on the phone just said "Oh I have the best luck with those. But there's not much we can do for you."

Oh great. Here's an idea--throw yourself down on some train tracks, and lie there.
If you're serious about getting the tank in order, get us some stats

is that sponge filter the only thing cylcing water, or are those power heads with an undergravel in the corners? temperature, what were the results with the last run of your test kit? Bioload?

And your crypts look great, some of them are just not super green, that could be a good thing.

also regulator - as in CO2? the bubble filter is gasing off the CO2, and there are some good threads for what to do about cod leaks in setups, but I can't help beyond that, I'm not a co2 guy.
 
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HunterChampion

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is that sponge filter the only thing cylcing water, or are those power heads with an undergravel in the corners? temperature
And your crypts look great, some of them are just not super green, that could be a good thing.
I have a stupidly low bioload, only 6 fish and 7 shrimp live in the tank. Need to improve on that

Thanks for telling me my Crypts are doing well, Im still a beginner and don't know my species as well. The filter is the only source of circulation. I plan on getting a powerhead that can suction cup to the back of the tank and hooking up an ATI sponge filter to it (preferably a sponge filter that can fit in the space between the powerhead intake, I think the Hydro Sponge III pro is my best bet.) The increased flow should help with algae, and clarity, right?

Also, if my LFS doesn't replace my CO² regulator, that's $150 Id have to save up. Would it be a smarter decision and more beneficial to swap out the substrate with ADA aquasoil, or should I stick with the dead Eco-Complete? I plan on having at least 1/3 of the plant mass being Anubias, Buce, Hygro Kompakt, and downoi. Would $150 of soil be a better purchase than a regulator considering most of these plants a rhizome-based anyways?
 

jjohnwm

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Maybe you are biting off a bit too much of the hobby to start out with? Regulators? I know squat about the use of CO2 but it sounds like some other members who are into this don't think that piece of equipment will benefit you at all. A Bazooka diffuser? What is that...a $30 airstone? Instead of trying to bleach/clean that, why not just buy about 50 regular airstones and just replace as necessary?

And what exactly is "testing the hydrolysis" of water? And how does it relate to fishkeeping? I'm about 50 years into this hobby and I still don't think I'm ready for that....whatever it is...

Every one of these gadgets is just another thing to break down, screw up or do something that doesn't need to be done. How about simplifying your approach to aquarium-keeping, at least at first. Success will be much more attainable, and as you gain experience, knowledge and confidence you will be better able to decide what advances and improvements you should begin to use...and which you shouldn't.
 

kallililly1973

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I have a stupidly low bioload, only 6 fish and 7 shrimp live in the tank. Need to improve on that

Thanks for telling me my Crypts are doing well, Im still a beginner and don't know my species as well. The filter is the only source of circulation. I plan on getting a powerhead that can suction cup to the back of the tank and hooking up an ATI sponge filter to it (preferably a sponge filter that can fit in the space between the powerhead intake, I think the Hydro Sponge III pro is my best bet.) The increased flow should help with algae, and clarity, right?

Also, if my LFS doesn't replace my CO² regulator, that's $150 Id have to save up. Would it be a smarter decision and more beneficial to swap out the substrate with ADA aquasoil, or should I stick with the dead Eco-Complete? I plan on having at least 1/3 of the plant mass being Anubias, Buce, Hygro Kompakt, and downoi. Would $150 of soil be a better purchase than a regulator considering most of these plants a rhizome-based anyways?
You can do sand with rhizome plants as they will feed off the water column. As far as the root feeders just drop a couple root tabs beside each of them with the sand substrate. Lose all the other regulators reactors and other gadgets . Keep it simple then down the road when you really see some great results from this tank and set up another tank then you can experiment with co2. Put the Ax back in the shed. This site will get you the tank your looking for but it doesn't happen overnight.
 

Brian Knowles

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I personally don't think you tank looks near as bad as you perceive it. My thoughts would be you just simply have two much on your plate, and trying to correct to many things at one time. If it were me, I'd cut my losses for now, put the CO2 on a short vacation, get your water and fish right, use some liquid ferts, and root tabs, and sit back and let things settle down. If you loose some plants so be it, put your energy to your fish and water for now. When all that settles and it feels rewarding, move on to the plants. The axe is a bad idea LOL!!!!!!!!!
 

scarface

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This tank is 5 years old. This has been going on for 5 years. $159 dollar regulator. Local fish store giving me a hard time when their products dies. I don't need a pep talk. I want solutions. Guy on the phone just said "Oh I have the best luck with those. But there's not much we can do for you."

Oh great. Here's an idea--throw yourself down on some train tracks, and lie there.
Since this has been going on for 5 years, has it ever occured to you that you don't know what you're doing, and you need to do better research? Why did you buy a $150 regulator? Why are you using CO2? Stop throwing your hard-earned money into a firepit!
 

Fahn

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The reason you don't have a "beautiful" tank is because you're not achieving a balance. I've gone over your tank in another thread and my opinion is that you're trying too hard without really thinking about WHY things aren't working.

I'm sorry you're having awful luck with your equipment, but there is a lot of user error going on in this tank as well.
 

Cognac82

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There's a reason why I never post pics!!! Too much algae, too many dead leaves floating around and at least one of my plants always looks ratty.
My approach to plants is to buy them, move them around my tank to where I like them, fertilize when I remember and remove them if they die. Many die. For the ones that live I go back to the LFS and buy more of that kind. So now I have mostly easy low light plants. Some vals, anubias of every size, anacharis and hornwort, swords,Java ferns, and some Monte Carlo that seems to stay alive for now....some other randos that seem to keep living are temple, dwarf sag that looks ratty, tiger lotus, pennywort and blue hygro. Who knows when they'll succumb to my lack of knowledge, lack of lighting and lack of adequate fertilizer?
I keep trying, and I keep buying plants. I definitely don't have patience for co2 and all that jazz.
Just buy some easy plants and destress. Lots of low light low tech tanks look great without all the complicated equipment.
Save yourself the flood and the cuts and put the axe down!
 

Fahn

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I have a stupidly low bioload, only 6 fish and 7 shrimp live in the tank. Need to improve on that

Thanks for telling me my Crypts are doing well, Im still a beginner and don't know my species as well. The filter is the only source of circulation. I plan on getting a powerhead that can suction cup to the back of the tank and hooking up an ATI sponge filter to it (preferably a sponge filter that can fit in the space between the powerhead intake, I think the Hydro Sponge III pro is my best bet.) The increased flow should help with algae, and clarity, right?

Also, if my LFS doesn't replace my CO² regulator, that's $150 Id have to save up. Would it be a smarter decision and more beneficial to swap out the substrate with ADA aquasoil, or should I stick with the dead Eco-Complete? I plan on having at least 1/3 of the plant mass being Anubias, Buce, Hygro Kompakt, and downoi. Would $150 of soil be a better purchase than a regulator considering most of these plants a rhizome-based anyways?
Let's address these one at a time.

A sponge filter is not optimal at all in a CO2 setup because it is constantly gassing off the CO2 you're trying to inject. With CO2 you ideally want slight turbulence/ripples on the surface so that there is some gas exchange but not too much. A canister with an outflow would be your best bet for better circulation AND for CO2 distribution. If you're going to spend money on more hardware, be smart about your purchases. Again, if your sponge filter is causing problems I have no idea why you wouldn't replace it.

My regulators are $40 and work perfectly fine. They have built in bubble counters and solenoids. I bought them on Amazon. Also, if that diffuser melted from bleach, why did you buy it two more times?? Go with a glass one (I routinely bleach mine no issue) and mine are less than $15 (except my Aquario Neo, which was $20 and is acrylic).

EcoComplete is garbage. A nutrient rich substrate would be much better but keep in mind a lot of them, ADA included, leech ammonia for several weeks. This is to cycle your tank for you before you add fish and shrimp. Some like Controsoil aren't quite as nutrient dense but do not leech ammonia (I use Controsoil in all my tanks). If I were you, I'd do the soil route and ditch the CO2 altogether until you're more experienced with balancing a planted tank. It will definitely help your plants out a lot more.

Half your plant choices are slow-growing rhizome plants, which are prone to algae. You need to go with more fast growing stem plants such as the Hygro and also Rotala indica, Bacopa caroliniana, Mayaca fluitans, and Ludwigia repens. These absorb nutrients at a much quicker rate and as such are able to keep your water quality better and algae at bay. I would not do the downoi as it is considered a more advanced plant that requires CO2. We want to keep this as painless and simple as possible. If you want to do a lot of rhizome plants you need to keep your lighting in mind.

You need to plant HEAVY if you go the CO2 route. Me, personally, I don't like to use CO2 unless I have literally every square inch of my tank planted. You also need to be on a dosing regiment that includes macros such as KH2PO4 and K2SO4 as well as trace elements.
 

HenryC

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I read somewhere that you gotta keep it real simple, it's not as hard as it seems. If you open your aquarium supply pantry and you find yourself browsing thru countless bottles, reagents, chemicals, medicines, instruction manuals, etc, you're doing it wrong. An aquarium is kind of a closed ecosystem working in harmony and in synergy between the different inhabitants in it. Each organism does its part (even algae, it feeds your plecos/shrimp).

I am no expert on the subject, but with my first tank I seem to be doing pretty well for a beginner. I am almost done with my cycling and will probably have fish in a week or two! We will see how I fare then, but now I can say I'm doing good.

This is what I've been doing, based on countless questions I've done in the aquariums subreddit, plus watching youtubers like aquarium co-op, and subscribing to the Aquarium Hobbyist magazine:

Bought a 40 gal aquarium.
For my substrate I have used CaribSea Super Naturals torpedo beach. It is kind of between sand and gravel. The granules are close to 1-2mm and looks real good. It is not a nutritive substrate so I also bought Seachem Flourish tabs and Solution.

Aquarium Hobbyist magazine suggested Anubias, Amazon Swords and Cryptocorines, as these are super low maintenance, slow growing plants, ideal for a beginner. They also require minimum light. You don't even need CO2 for these. I use the seachem tabs and buried some in the substrate for the Amazon swords (since they're rooted), then I used Seachem Flourish in solution form for the rhyzome plants (crypto and anubias). They are doing very good and I can clearly appreciate an improvement on their colors ever since I got the from PetCo. Even a tiny piece of rhyzome that I accidentally detached to the main plant is blooming! Check it on the pics. https://imgur.com/a/j19dBV3

Must be obvious but remember that you need a API water test quit. I test my water every other day right now, as I'm cycling.

My light is turned on for just 3-5 hours a day now, after I started to develop a little hair algae. I reduced the light hours and after a water change, I have very little hair algae. These plants don't need much light anyway!

I boiled my manzanita driftwood piece, as well as my dragonstones. The driftwood started to to get hair algae but when I did a water change, I detached almost everything with my hands, with my siphon close to it so it could be disposed of easily.

I got a hagen fluval 406 canister filter. It has very good ratings and looks like it is recommended everywhere. Even though I don't have fish yet, I haven';t had no problems with it. No leaks, noise or anything. Super easy to set up and clean!

The driftwood released heavy tanins that made my water brown, I popped seachem purigen pads on my canister filter and now it keeps it crystal clear. (remember, no fish yet, but still!).

I also got a hydor koralia circulation pump that keeps water circulating, ensuring all my rhyzome plants get the nutrients, plus avoiding dead spots. I got it poiting to my filter intake.

If I were you, I would put my animals safely in another tank, then start again. Try a neutral, quality substrate (looks like caribsea is good), a REALLY good filter that is rated at least twice of your current gallons (my tank is 40gal but my fluval 406 is rated for 100g), beginner plants, seachem flourish, seachem prime and recycle with your old media!


I really could be talking too optimistically for this being my first tank only set up for roughly a month and no fish, but it really doesn't look that hard! Don't give up! Go back to basics, a neutral substrate, hardy, beginner plants, a regular fertilizer, minimal light and that's it! Water change every week and a good filter/media is key.
 

Kwig

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I'm so sorry you're having a hard time. I know it's frustrating when everything should work in theory and you feel like you've spent hours researching. But I'll agree, reel it back. Fish keeping is supposed to be relaxing with only the occasional drama to spice things up. Get everything healthy and looking good and then slowly transition into a more high tech set up. Cut yourself some slack!
 

eustoma01

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Maybe you should give us the specs of your tank so we can help you better. Things like algae and cyanobacteria are things a lot of other people encounter, heck I'm battling algae myself at the moment and had my canister filter start leaking on me the past week. Not to mention this weird white film keeps growing from my CO2 diffuser. The more I do with this hobby the more problems I run into but I know once I get rid of those things my tank will look nice and my fish doesn't seem to mind the algae too much.
 

taramare

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My LFS sold me 2 oto cats for my algae problem. Now I can barely keep them fed, I’m actually running the lights longer now. I’ve begun removing algae covered plastic plants from my 20 gal and moving to their 10 gal so they have something to eat. I don’t have a pic of that hot mess yet... I managed to kill off the hornwort in a week.
Also, my tanks look crappy too. The castle was brand new in this pic. The 10 gal is still in limbo while I try to figure out what to do.
Apparently oto cats should be in schools of 6. Thanks LFS for not telling me that. I think I have an amazon sword in there, but I don’t know how to plant it so for 2 weeks it’s been floating on the top.
I’ve always got a background - in this tank I opted to spray paint the back black (on the outside) which, even when it looks crazy on the inside, at least hides tubes and wires hanging down the back.
Oh. In my 20g I have a nerite snail. I have to clean the glass, but he does a pretty good job cleaning algae on the decor.
I know. Other than the fish suggestion, this isn’t really an answer, but maybe you can see you’re not alone!
 
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