Mega Tank Help

Abesapien

Hi! We upgraded our betta to a 10gal tank to give him some tank buddies about 6 months ago now. Firstly we added 5 neon tetras, 2 ghost shrimp, and a snail in addition to the betta. (we tried a plant too but it died very quickly) The neons very quickly were reduced to only 2, one was sucked into the filter(which we replaced) so it may have been sickness. The ghost shrimp lasted about 2 months before they died(they were also both pregnant when we got them but nothing came of that). The snail also died quickly, and we replaced him, but the replacement died as well so we didn't purchase another. We decided after the snails and shrimp to purchase 2 cory catfish. The Betta, 2 neons, and 2 corys have been thriving together for months. That was until we purchased some algae tablets for bottom feeders because I was worried they weren't getting enough to eat. We feed our fish every other day because I didn't want our betta to bloat so we started adding the tablets along with the food. Big Mistake. The catfish couldn't eat the tablets in time and hence started an algae bloom(I think, pics included) that we have been trying to get rid of for at least a month. We tried scrubbing but it got so bad algae was peeling off of the wall and ornaments. SO we did a 70% water change, replaced the filter cartridge, scrubbed the tank and ornaments, and rinse the stones(which i'm now realizing was probably a very bad idea but we didn't know what else to do.) Within a week of this we lost a neon and a cory, and the algae came back anyway. Now I love my neons and corys too but the betta is my baby and I would be devastated if anything ever happened to him so that's why i've decided to ask for help. I want to get rid of the algae,(does it harm the fish?) but I believe that correcting the water parameters may help with that, I just don't know where to start or what to purchase, I'm really at a loss.
Temp - 25C
Filter - Topfin Internal Filter 10
Nitrates(No3) - 20-40
Nitrites (No2) - 0
ph - 8.5
gh - 180
kh - 180
We fill our tank with well water and use water conditioner as well. The algae also seems to grow under the light more than anything so we have started leaving it off until it gets darker out. The tank gets some sunlight in the morning and just mild daylight throughout the day. I want to do what's best for the fish, but I want to make sure i'm buying the proper products to do so. Thank you so much!

20191129_133022.jpg
Of course Abe(betta) had to steal the spotlight of the picture, lol.
 

AGAqua

Try more water changes and scrape the algae off, either with a magnet or a tooth brush. Also your ph is very high so the higher the ph is the more toxic ammonia is.
 
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Abesapien

Try more water changes and scrape the algae off, either with a magnet or a tooth brush. Also your ph is very high so the higher the ph is the more toxic ammonia is.
Awesome ty! I was looking up solutions for the ph. I was thinking of adding driftwood or almond leaves. Is one better than the other? Or a peat moss supplement?
 
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Fishymom64

I’d put the betta and other fish into temporary tanks and then go all in for your Maine tank. I had the same issue but ten times worse than that pic. Hope this works for you too at least is something to try out
 
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AGAqua

Also adding in some live plants will make your tank a lot healthier, maybe some java ferns cause they are hardy and may be able to handle your ph better. It'll help with ammonia too
 
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Abesapien

Also adding in some live plants will make your tank a lot healthier, maybe some java ferns cause they are hardy and may be able to handle your ph better. It'll help with ammonia too
The last java fern we had in the tank started to smell and died very quickly. We do have a moss ball in the tank, but i'm wary of the live plants since out last experience, they almost seem like more work than the fish themselves.

I’d put the betta and other fish into temporary tanks and then go all in for your Maine tank. I had the same issue but ten times worse than that pic. Hope this works for you too at least is something to try out
Go all in as in a super cleaning? We tried that and it came back unfortunately. It almost feels like we just need to toss everything in there out and get new stones and decor but i'd prefer not to do that.
 
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DoraCory

You say that the tank gets some sunlight, how close is it to the window?

You might find that moving the tank away from that light source could solve or improve your algae issues.
 
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Abesapien

You say that the tank gets some sunlight, how close is it to the window?

You might find that moving the tank away from that light source could solve or improve your algae issues.
It's not too far from the window but it isn't on the wall opposite the window so no light shines directly at it. Unfortunately there's not really anywhere else we can put it since it can only go in this one room.
 
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MissNoodle

Id switch gravel to sand since you have cories... and most cories are not temperature compatible with bettas. 10 gallon is also too small for cories and neons (neons need more room to school properly).

Id work on going for a 20 gallon for these guys, you can keep the betta in the 10g. Most cories need temps below 78 unless you have sterbaI corydoras or bronze corydoras who could go over 80... bettas need 80F.
Also up neons and cories to 6.

Your pH is great for snails... try a nirite snail for your algae. Acclimate them very, very slowly.
 
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Abesapien

Id switch gravel to sand since you have cories... and most cories are not temperature compatible with bettas. 10 gallon is also too small for cories and neons (neons need more room to school properly).

Id work on going for a 20 gallon for these guys, you can keep the betta in the 10g. Most cories need temps below 78 unless you have sterbaI corydoras or bronze corydoras who could go over 80... bettas need 80F.
Also up neons and cories to 6.

Your pH is great for snails... try a nirite snail for your algae. Acclimate them very, very slowly.
We currently aren't looking to go any bigger with our tank, we just wanted a few tank mates for our betta. We have a peppered cory and I read they did best in pairs, which is what we had until one passed just recently. I'm not going to up the count of the corys and neons without getting a bigger tank. My plan so far based off of everyones advice is to get a driftwood log, java fern or moss, and now maybe some nitrite snails. I'm not going to remove and scrub everything again, but I am going to remove some affected decorations to make room for the log and plant.

On a side note, in the picture my betta has a little bump above his eye, and one exactly the same on the otherside of his head. Should I be concerned or is it just a part of how he looks or aging?
 
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saltwater60

I’d venture a guess that you were way over feeding and you had an ammonia spike that killed your fish.
 
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MissNoodle

Peppered cories are especially not compatible with bettas. They need much colder water to live long. And no, they need a group of 6 and grow too big for a 10g. These fish get over 3 inches, especially females.

Most bettas are fine alone and don't need tank mates, but if one chooses to get tank mates, care should be taken to make sure the tank and temperature are suitable for the fish, and the temperature is suitable as well. Keeping fish in the wrong temperature affects their health in the long run.

I suspect the additions of larger fish unsuitable for the tank size and biocapacity caused an ammonia spike upon introduction... which many new fish succomb to.
 
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Abesapien

Peppered cories are especially not compatible with bettas. They need much colder water to live long. And no, they need a group of 6 and grow too big for a 10g. These fish get over 3 inches, especially females.

Most bettas are fine alone and don't need tank mates, but if one chooses to get tank mates, care should be taken to make sure the tank and temperature are suitable for the fish, and the temperature is suitable as well. Keeping fish in the wrong temperature affects their health in the long run.

I suspect the additions of larger fish unsuitable for the tank size and biocapacity caused an ammonia spike upon introduction... which many new fish succomb to.
I did do my research before purchasing my fish and everything I read said they would be compatible in a tank with a betta. I read from multiple sources. Maybe there's just a lot of misinformation out there? I've had them for months and they haven't grown at all, and the description at the store said up to 1 inch. I'm very confused. I've had the betta, 2 corys, and 2 neons in one tank together for months beforehand so there wasn't an increase in biocapacity that caused an ammonia spike when I readded them to the tank because I didn't add any new fish. I suppose overfeeding could be possible but I feed them every other day, and it didnt seem like much to me, but anythings possible.
 
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MissNoodle

DoubleDutch is good for cory info
 
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Abesapien

DoubleDutch is good for cory info
Thank you! and thank you for all your help! I've decided to take my neon and my cory to a locally run sanctuary so they can live in the proper conditions and be happy
 
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ProudPapa

This won't address your algae problem, but why do you add conditioner if you have well water?
 
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Abesapien

This won't address your algae problem, but why do you add conditioner if you have well water?
I didn't know it was well water at first to be honest. We just kind of add it occasionally now to be safe even if it isn't necessary.
 
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altwitch

Vote violently in favor of sand over gravel with the corydoras. Also, everything I have read and researched agrees that sunlight must be minimized for a successful tank or .... algae! Some things to check are whether you can cover or paper the back of the tank that faces the window. If you have blinds of any sort, can close out most of the light. Both my 120 and 30 are near windows, but I'm pretty religious about keeping the wood blind shut in an upward direction to shield them from sun (until my wife our daughter get a wild hair) I also have had some problems with algae in various forms and would suggest temporarily swapping to 2x short periods of light during the day and perhaps lowering intensity or raising the light higher above the top of the tank.

I always advocate strongly for plants, as they compete with the algae for nutrients and can essentially 'starve' out the algae under the right circumstances. I just went back to reverify tank conditions and caught that you're rehoming fish. Since I've typed this all out will leave it here in case it's helpful to others our if you have another go at it.
 
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Abesapien

Vote violently in favor of sand over gravel with the corydoras. Also, everything I have read and researched agrees that sunlight must be minimized for a successful tank or .... algae! Some things to check are whether you can cover or paper the back of the tank that faces the window. If you have blinds of any sort, can close out most of the light. Both my 120 and 30 are near windows, but I'm pretty religious about keeping the wood blind shut in an upward direction to shield them from sun (until my wife our daughter get a wild hair) I also have had some problems with algae in various forms and would suggest temporarily swapping to 2x short periods of light during the day and perhaps lowering intensity or raising the light higher above the top of the tank.

I always advocate strongly for plants, as they compete with the algae for nutrients and can essentially 'starve' out the algae under the right circumstances. I just went back to reverify tank conditions and caught that you're rehoming fish. Since I've typed this all out will leave it here in case it's helpful to others our if you have another go at it.
This is still very helpful as I'm only rehoming my schooling fish but not my Betta! He will remain in the tank! Should sunlight still be avoided even if I add plants? Do you also suggest Java Fern? I think my last Fern may have died because I buried the roots under the gravel? I read that is maybe not the best thing to do.
 
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MissNoodle

Id get some crypts with root tabs, and an Amazon sword with root tabs. Both of these are very very sturdy plants. They should do good in your pH. I have pH8 in my 20 gallon and my sword and crypt do soooo very well. The sword needs to be placed in good light, but its a nutrient monster too so it should compete well against algae. Id look for a smaller sword species, because some can get huge (mine is growing a runner out of my 20 gallon lol). Crypt wendtiI is a good common crypt. Adapts well, though may melt at first. Even if it totally melts, leave it be--it should bounce back. Theyre not a plant that likes to be moved around either.

And nirite snails are fantastic for quick algae control. Your pH is great for snails. I have an apple snail whose shell was covered in hard green algae. Within one night my dime sized hornes nirite cleaned it all off.
 
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Leilio

I second MissNoodle's opinion to try a nerite snail. it took mine a week to get everything clean and now it grazes over my driftwood for food with leaf supplementation because the glass is too clean.
 
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altwitch

Ah, gotcha, my mistake. Generally I avoid sunlight as it a variable that you can't control closely. Sunny vs. cloudy days make a big difference and can cause spikes in ambient light which influences unwanted growth.

I do have Java ferns and they look great until they start to reproduce and are somewhat high maintenance. They grow smaller versions of the main plant at the leaf terminations including roots, so when they're in a reproduction cycle they go from pretty to ugly for a while. If in it for the aesthetics maybe not; if in it for the growth potential I think I added about 15 baby ferns to my main tank. You can manage it a bit with plant orientation and all mine are planted in the ecocomplete and seem to be thriving nicely. Planting depth may be a factor; packing to move to FL and sadly already put my best reference in a box so hopefully others weigh in.
 
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Madshot

Also cories don't eat algae wafers. They eat whatever hits the bottom of the tank the other fish don't eat. I have tried the bottom feeder pellets and cory wafers and they ignore them. They rather have flake or whatever I feed at the perticular time that makes it past the other fish. They are very good at keeping the bottom clean. Also they should be in schools of atleast 4.
 
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Abesapien

Awesome thank you guys! I'm off to get some plants, root tabs, driftwood, and nerites!
 
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MicG

something you did was very wrong. you need to find it out by yourself.
Betta needs low and neutral pH. Let me tell you this. I had two male betta lives in 10 gallon (separate times) with Cory, shrimp, snail, lots of plants, some female betta, they all live well. I never tested my water but never had any issue, nor any smell, nor any dead fish or plant. The key is to think about the logic of your tank and allow them to adapt to the living consition, instead of just searching for some information that varied from person to person. you have been through many fish now so your knowledge should be good enough to solve them. Remember the most important things are water and bacteria. So create that balance and keep it.

Also cories don't eat algae wafers. They eat whatever hits the bottom of the tank the other fish don't eat. I have tried the bottom feeder pellets and cory wafers and they ignore them. They rather have flake or whatever I feed at the perticular time that makes it past the other fish. They are very good at keeping the bottom clean. Also they should be in schools of atleast 4.
Cory eats the algae wafer. They don’t stick to it like mystery snail or other algae eater, they eventually swim back to enjoy.
 
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Abesapien

something you did was very wrong. you need to find it out by yourself.
Betta needs low and neutral pH. Let me tell you this. I had two male betta lives in 10 gallon (separate times) with Cory, shrimp, snail, lots of plants, some female betta, they all live well. I never tested my water but never had any issue, nor any smell, nor any dead fish or plant. The key is to think about the logic of your tank and allow them to adapt to the living consition, instead of just searching for some information that varied from person to person. you have been through many fish now so your knowledge should be good enough to solve them. Remember the most important things are water and bacteria. So create that balance and keep it.


Cory eats the algae wafer. They don’t stick to it like mystery snail or other algae eater, they eventually swim back to enjoy.
Um. I'm glad your fish are doing well? I'm a novice at this and I know I did something wrong hence why I'm asking more experienced people for help and to share their knowledge so I may broaden my own and not let this happen again? I thought this forum was for sharing knowledge? I know that no one is going to have an exact answer for my problem and I need to see what works for my tank on my own, but there is absolutely nothing wrong in asking for help. I know my tank is in a bad way and I came to ask for help to make it better not to be shamed for my mistakes. I want to learn from them and that's what I'm trying to do here.
 
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Derek2408

Idk if anyone already said it. But among other things I’d def get the tank away from windows where it’s getting sunlight
 
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MissNoodle

You should not be shamed. Everyone has things to learn.

I think your problem stems down to a combination of tank placed by a window and an imbalance of nutrients--probably caused by an ammonia spike at some point. Without plants, algae took advantage of these nutrients.

I don't think its something you did "wrong" on purpose at all, nor should you feel sorry for it. Just work your way forward
 
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The_fishy

If you can’t move the tank, maybe consider putting a blocker in the window or the room to create more of a shadow over it
 
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MicG

I have no idea what I said earlier, but I could be toxic at that moment. Please don’t take anyone’s words seriously but only follow what you think is right after careful thought-through.

people are facing different situationsthat’s why the answers are all different.But when it comes down to the basics, it’s all about the water eco system. If you have a good eco system I. Your tank, either through continuous tank development or some bacteria starter kit product, as long as you have them and good filtration system plus the correct temperature, nothing else is important.

Fish is tough please remember that, so as long as you realize something going wrong, it’s always not late to remedyit. I am breeding betta recently for the first time and I made a lot mistakes because I was being too careful. I took the male out too early, I turned the water t empathy Ute too low and didn’t realize until one day later, I merge the tank with a newly setup tank which was not recommended by all. Today I saw my fry were doing great. What I meant was you think what is the key factors in your tank, know how it works, then you will know what you are doing. Even if they are not what people say online, they are correct movements.
 
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Thunder_o_b

You may not like what I am going to say.

Never put neons in with a betta. Neons are compulsive fin nippers. The betta gets tired of this and takes the neons out. Also they have different water temp requirements. Bettas also are known to kill snails. If you wish to keep corys they do best in schools, most people will tell you 6 is the min.

I do not keep bettas with other fish. Generaly a 10 gallon is what I keep one betta in.

Best wishes.
 
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SaraCooper

Awesome ty! I was looking up solutions for the ph. I was thinking of adding driftwood or almond leaves. Is one better than the other? Or a peat moss supplement?
Almond leaves! I had an Alien, And you could tell just by his color whether or not the acidity of the water was high enough. He was paling in the central body areas-using almond leaves, in 24 hours he was just fine-and you could tell just by his color whether or not the acidity of the water was high enough- I do strongly recommend a top or some type on your tank, because that is of all sorts are athletic jumpers...
 
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