About To Put An Axe Through This Piece Of Garbage.

BullRider

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Just a couple of observations...

I have used those air-driven twin sponge filters before but find that they are sensitive to the configuration and, like you, have seen them push bubbles out of the sponge puking debris back into the environment. I had the best results when the main tube was extended fully and the output just above the water line, that is until the air flow changes... I still like them and they have their place but I definitely understand your pain!

FWIW, my ultimate solution was to move to an HOB filter (Fluval) but to protect the fry, I modified the intake of the filter via a short piece of tubing to use the twin sponges as occupant protection and mechanical filtration with the HOB configured for pure biological filtration. This combination has worked super well for me.

On the other hand, I had a few of the same plants you have. Had was the operative word. One day, they just melted away. I have no clue why. Normally plants do well for me but that one didn't.

We all fight battles. Hang in there. There has been some good input here. You will find the right balance of everything that will make this hobby a pleasure again!

Cheerios!

Oh, one more thing. My tanks are never perfect and pristine. I rarely even clean the front glass and only remove dead fish and excess dead leaves. Besides, they're pretty simple; you'd see mostly jungle val that has turned the tanks into well, a jungle.
 

pagoda

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I feel your pain and yes fishkeeping is not an easy hobby to get into and yes you will get to the end of your teather, pull out all your hair and learn some new expletives along the way too....however....be persistent, be patient and eventually you will get there

My aquarium has been a nightmare from the start thanks to nuclear powered snails that defeated pretty much all attempts to murder over the space of the last 4 weeks......after three more days of heavy Gastropex dosing and a new use for sandwich bags (squishing the damned things) I am finally down to my last dozen or so snails (from well over 100 per day). Seriously I was looking to clearing the aquarium out and starting again or just launching the whole thing out the closest window

My plants didn't grow and the fish hated the LED so I contacted my aquatics supplier and he sent me the new light, ultra-violet & pink....and my goodness...plants are growing literally at a rate of 2cm per day and the fish are bounding around the aquarium like greyhounds on steroids....even the two hooligans Vettel & Hamilton (psycho Kissing Gourami) have perked up which might be a bigger issue but will be sorted once my second aquarium comes in a few weeks time (the new light keeps the algae at bay too)

Alot of fishkeeping is down to basic patience and persistance and trial & error too. Start small and uncomplicated and gradually grow is how I have always done it

I do understand your frustrations...my initial fish supplier sent out dead, dying and fish that were far too young to be away from the nursery. I changed supplier and all is now well with fish who are lively, healthy and full of bounce

Keep at it, be positive and you will win the war in the end and then can look back on all the troubles and quietly laugh whilst cursing under your breath that fishkeeping is meant to soothe the nerves, not make them even more frazzled....good luck, be positive
 

Guppygirl88

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I have been reading all the great advice here and would like to chime in. I think you should go back to the very basics tank,hood,basic gravel,basic filter,heater, add water then read the fish forum guide for cycling your tank because I think you really like gadgets and things and in this hobby there are lots of toys and shiny things that promise to solve all your problems and make your dreams come true but there is only one solution -you have to do the work you can't buy a healthy tank you are gonna hafta get in there and get some water on the floor. We all did and theres alot of satisfaction in it
 

Wraithen

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If they wont replace the regulator then I feel for you. I went through 2 cheap Ebay industrial regulators that were blown. Add in shipping and each one was about 50 bucks. I have a good post body kit completely setup sitting on one of the busted regulators. It's a beautiful piece of kit, just sitting on the floor because it's useless. I ended up "borrowing" a carbondoser from the lfs. They said I can use it until they decide how much to charge since it's used. If I dont like the price, I can bring it back. Even if I dont like the price, I can get a new one at cost through them (part of the offer).

If they wonr exchange the regulator, I'd be hard pressed to shop there anymore. They'd be out more than 150 from me, especially since they know I'm getting a bearded dragon setup for my daughter in a couple of months. That alone is worth over 150 in net profit to them.

So, everyone keeps saying low light plants dont benefit from co2. While I agree that the anubias and some others may not get much more growth, they will be happier. Happier plants keep algae at bay.

Java moss... I have some. I remove it from my tank every other month. I get a baseball sized chunk every 2 months from wherever it hides when I remove it. It collects debris so I never have it look good. My shrimp like to dig in it so I dont HATE it, I just remove as much as I can periodically. All this to say, most plants do benefit from co2. Some show it better than others.

I haven't heard good things about that soil. I like my fluval stratum, but ada doesn't really steer anyone wrong except for bank accounts.

You seem to be hyper critical of your tank. This is fine if you intend to be a good aquascape but you have to understand it's a process. Constantly tweaking fertilizing levels and co2 and lighting. You have to tweak these things to reduce algae. Algae isn't bad generally, but when it piles onto plant leaves, you start a chain reaction that may not end well. If you're going to be hyper critical, you require co2, and knowledgeable fertilizer dosing.

Know that a lot of the low light easy plants actually make life harder sometimes. Once you add co2, you are limited mostly by lighting and ferts. Dont let ferts be your limiting factor, or you will see leaves with holes, or turn yellow or brown, or new leaves will come out deformed.
 
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HunterChampion

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scarface said:
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!
I'm sorry. When I said 'this' has been going on for 5 years, I was referring to the bad luck with my equipment. At many a time the tank actually looked nice and was healthy, but this is my first 5 years in the hobby and there are many mistakes to be made. I do my research, but one conflicting pieces of advice can undermine a genuine one...which is how most of my mess-ups happen.
For instance, I was told by someone with years of experience that Java Loaches can be kept with Neocaridina Davidii. Turns out that not only is that NOT true, but the Loach actually loves to eat shrimp.
Another example: Buying plants after getting a CO² setup. I was told that extra iron, root tabs bright light and easy green would be sufficient enough to fertilize it and that it was an "easy plant for beginners." Fishlore informed me otherwise. I'm okay with making mistakes. It's when stuff starts to break for no real reason I start to get upset.
 

Wraithen

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HunterChampion said:
I'm sorry. When I said 'this' has been going on for 5 years, I was referring to the bad luck with my equipment. At many a time the tank actually looked nice and was healthy, but this is my first 5 years in the hobby and there are many mistakes to be made. I do my research, but one conflicting pieces of advice can undermine a genuine one...which is how most of my mess-ups happen.
For instance, I was told by someone with years of experience that Java Loaches can be kept with Neocaridina Davidii. Turns out that not only is that NOT true, but the Loach actually loves to eat shrimp.
Another example: Buying plants after getting a CO² setup. I was told that extra iron, root tabs bright light and easy green would be sufficient enough to fertilize it and that it was an "easy plant for beginners." Fishlore informed me otherwise. I'm okay with making mistakes. It's when stuff starts to break for no real reason I start to get upset.
Best bet in the long run with co2 dosing is dry fertilizers. I dont recommend most all in ones with a high tech tank. The plants use it up too fast and you're mostly paying for water. I know this last part because I have tried to make super potent pre mixes for my large tank. I would go through half a liter of micros and half a liter of macros in a few weeks. With dry, I go through a set of bags in a few months. Dry is far more economical, and not much harder, especially with dosing spoons. I grab the bags, grab the spoons, and dump in a spoonful from both bags. (I dont dose nitrate because my tank makes plenty, and my micro kit is just csm+b and iron, since I have plenty of magnesium and calcium in my source water.)
 

Leilio

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I agree with other people's points, buy more aquatic plant/mosses for your tank. If your eco complete is dead, just purchase rhizome plant or mosses that can be glued to wood and don't need soil to survive. To help with water clarity, why not add duckweed/water lettuce. For fertilizer, try aquarium co-op liquid fertilizer. Nerite snails also help with soft algae on glasses and plants.
 

Cltguy

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Go HOB for filtration, much easier....why CO2 as other asked? KISS....Keep It Simple Stupid! Good water changes and the right filtration is the way to go....also Amazon for parts if your LFS is giving you trouble. Nerites are Awesome algae eaters BTW!
 

Wraithen

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Cltguy said:
Go HOB for filtration, much easier....why CO2 as other asked? KISS....Keep It Simple Stupid! Good water changes and the right filtration is the way to go....also Amazon for parts if your LFS is giving you trouble. Nerites are Awesome algae eaters BTW!
Because co2 actually is keeping it simple. People get caught up on the technical side of how to inject it, but co2 simplifies life for those of us that dont have the best water.
 

RHONDA PIMENTEL

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Cognac82 said:
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!
I couldn't agree more with what you said! Thats exactly what I've been doing for yrs. I try to do my research first, try certain plants and repurchase what works, and dont on what doesn't! Its just a process of simplest way to do "what works". But, and this is a big one...patience is key. And if it gives you no pleasure in learning in the hobby everyday? Just try something else you may like better? In this hobby, it's little victories that add up to success.
 

GlennO

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taramare said:
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 have the same issue with not enough green algae for my Oto's. Slightly blanch a zucchini slice and anchor it or suspend it near where they hang out and they will soon be feeding on it. You can also try other green veggies or algae wafers. Mine prefer the zucchini.
 

Wraithen

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GlennO said:
I have the same issue with not enough green algae for my Oto's. Slightly blanch a zucchini slice and anchor it or suspend it near where they hang out and they will soon be feeding on it. You can also try other green veggies or algae wafers. Mine prefer the zucchini.
This is why you shouldn't put otos in tanks that are too small. Even a well oiled machine of a 40 gallon will always have enough algae to feed them. They will eat what you cant even see. I dont use mine to keep the tank clean, they just bridge the gap when my parameters are slightly out of balance. When it's in balance, food is still plentiful.
 

david1978

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I enjoy smashing equipment here and there. It makes me feel better. A few tanks met the same fate. I feel like galligar.
 

GlennO

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Wraithen said:
This is why you shouldn't put otos in tanks that are too small. Even a well oiled machine of a 40 gallon will always have enough algae to feed them. They will eat what you cant even see. I dont use mine to keep the tank clean, they just bridge the gap when my parameters are slightly out of balance. When it's in balance, food is still plentiful.
I think that's correct if you are referring to a well established tank. Mine are in a 6 months old 64 gallons but they struggle without supplementary feed. Until now I've mostly just had nuisance algae like GSA & BBA which Oto's won't touch. But those problems are resolving and with balanced nutrients I expect more beneficial algae to be available to them.
 

Wraithen

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GlennO said:
I think that's correct if you are referring to a well established tank. Mine are in a 6 months old 64 gallons but they struggle without supplementary feed. Until now I've mostly just had nuisance algae like GSA & BBA which Oto's won't touch. But those problems are resolving and with balanced nutrients I expect more beneficial algae to be available to them.
They will feast on dead bba!
 

GlennO

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Wraithen said:
They will feast on dead bba!
Yes I heard that. I never managed to kill BBA outright.
 

Wraithen

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I feel your pain. a friend gave me the tank and substrate- her mother didn't want her tank anymore. I attacked it with gusto- first, I thought it was a 40 gallon and got a cannister filter for that - it is a 65 gallon. Then, didn't wait to cycle before adding fish- they all died. Then, finding the filter too small, added another one to equal what was recommended. Then I replaced with a few fish. Then I got brown algae, followed by ICH. Started over from the basics, cured the ICH, the brown algae is under control- I have decreased the lighting. Got test strips (I know, a lot of people don't like strips, but hey, I bought them, I'm using them. When they get gone, I will get test tubes) I worried about the temp of the water, bought a heater with a temp gauge. Found out my water is 79-81 degrees (I keep the house warm to keep the electric bill down). So I guess I won't need the heater til winter ( I keep the house 68 then). I worried about the poor fish getting oxygen all the way at the bottom, bought air stones which I haven't put in yet. Of course the pump needs to be above the water level so there is no backflow- so I bought a shelf which I have not yet installed. I think I have finally cycled- the strips are looking good, the few fish are thriving. One of my snails (Big Mama) climbed out of the tank and I found her on the floor behind the stand - dead of course. But, I think I may be over the hump. No unfortunate incidents or deaths in a week now. Once you get onto smooth ground, it is actually very fun and interesting, so don't give up.
 

Jack B Nimble

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What size is that tank ? I have a 46 gallon bowfront that I feel is cursed as well.
 

Crafty Cichlid

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I'd go HOB or cannister for the filter. get one rated for at least 10 gallon more than your tank size. (so 30 gallon, go for 45-50 gallon. 50 gallon go for 75 gallon, etc.)

Ferts: Thrive-S. You have invertibrates, ferts have copper; bad mix. root tabs work pretty good for me. If you ditch the shrimpies, check before you buy, that it's the low-tech solution, I have one with bio-available carbon, and I augment with CO2 tabs, but I'm pretty sure they're not really doing anything.

All of my substrate is inert. So sand. In one tank, playground sand, to be specific. And it's more like pebbles and crunched up shels in another. The plants are happy enough, and are mostly alive, most of the time. Changing substrates is a pain in the junk though. Whatever is in there. Leave it. Unless you really hate it, then get rid of it. I like my playground sand the most, it's light and easy to work with. It does grow algae though, so I have to stir it up from time to time. I usually use a pipette for that.

Bonus, if you buy some 5ml pipettes, you can use them for dosing dechlorinators and other stuff AND for "dusting" off your plants and sand. Bonus to the bonus, you'll feel like a super-smart science person

Instead of replacing the regulator, see if your LFS will trade for an appropriate filter?

Bioload. You have the bare minimum for neon tetras. Get like 9 more. No joke. You'll be super happy seeing them school around. and if you get something a little bigger, but more or less peaceful, it'll encourage the schooling.

Add a centerpeice. Get a big rock or something that'll come up to at least half the height of your tank. Put it a little to the left or right of center, and glue an anubias on it maybe. I'm partial to dragonstone, becuase sometimes you can wedge a plant in a crevice and not worry if it's too much glue, or whatever.

Ignore your tank for at least half the time you're home during the day, then ignore it a little more. The more you f*ck with it, the more p*ssed you're going to be at it. *Sorry fishlore community, I know we generally avoid harsh *****s, but sometimes they're an effective way to communicate.
 
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