5 Gallon Tank Nano tank healthy cycle help

Chewbroccoli

So I am really enjoying getting back into the fish hobby and I am kinda regretting my nano tank choice lol.

Trying to find balance in tank has been a huge tank that I have yet to accomplish.

I currently have to do large water changes and large amounts of tank maintenance.

I have 1× guppy now and 7× Shrimp...plus the population of snails :/

I don't dose the tank but have fert tabs.

I use a tooth brush to clean the inside of the tank and vacuum the tank every week.

The issue I have is I have lost 3 guppies and now just have 1 and feeding is actually a bit of a hassle as I am trying so hard not to overfeed. I think the extra food is actually killing any chance of a good natural cycle in the tank.

Testing results are always the same. Nitrate and Nitrite are both good and ammonia swings between 0.0 to 0.5.

Any one who loves nano tanks have any helpful suggestions to combat the brown algae. I am just after a healthy tank with solid plant growth or at least healthy plants.

The pictures attached are just showing what happened before I added fish and after.



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Dunk2

How long has the tank been running?
What exactly are the nitrite and nitrate levels?
Have you tested your source water for ammonia?

The brown algae is likely diatoms that aren’t uncommon in new tanks. They typically go away in time as your tank stabilizes.
 

awilkinson871

I would suggest to quit cleaning the glass so frequently. I only clean the front when needed and leave the rest so the beneficial bacteria stays intact. If you have any ammonia that means the tank is not cycled yet or you are disturbing the cycle by removing too much BB. You say nitrites and nitrates are OK but what are the actual numbers? Nano tanks are much harder to keep balanced because there is such little water so any changes are dramatic. Make sure you are not changing your filter media either. Rinsing it in the dirty tank water is fine, but do not replace it or rinse with tap water. You want to keep the BB growing.
The green spot algae is usually due to too much light- either it is too bright, on for too long, or both.
 

ruud

Tooth brushes....vacuum cleaning.... you are making things only harder.

If you want solid plant growth, while starting with limited plant mass under bright light, you are taking the hard route. It is doable, but it would require serious fertilisation (without nitrates and phosphates, because you use active soil so it seems) and preferably a CO2 system. Especially, if you want to have a nice carpeting plant.

I would, however, take the easier route, which is to start off with much more plant mass from the beginning. You could even temporarily add a big mother plant of java fern, that takes well over half of the space in your tank (just place it inside your tank; no need to attach it to hardscape), to help you going, and once growth of your favourite plants takes off, you can remove parts of the java fern, until your tank is dominated by your plants, and you take out the complete fern. (Place it in a vase, add some water, place it in front of a window, and you have a nice display).

I would forget about the carpeting plant though. Hair grass might work, but, is it Monte Carlo?, requires special attention.
 

Chewbroccoli

How long has the tank been running?
What exactly are the nitrite and nitrate levels?
Have you tested your source water for ammonia?

The brown algae is likely diatoms that aren’t uncommon in new tanks. They typically go away in time as your tank stabilizes.
Tanks has been up and running for 2 months now. The testing is:
Nitrate: 0.0
Nitrite: 0.0
Ammonia: fluctuates between 0.0-0.5
Tooth brushes....vacuum cleaning.... you are making things only harder.

If you want solid plant growth, while starting with limited plant mass under bright light, you are taking the hard route. It is doable, but it would require serious fertilisation (without nitrates and phosphates, because you use active soil so it seems) and preferably a CO2 system. Especially, if you want to have a nice carpeting plant.

I would, however, take the easier route, which is to start off with much more plant mass from the beginning. You could even temporarily add a big mother plant of java fern, that takes well over half of the space in your tank (just place it inside your tank; no need to attach it to hardscape), to help you going, and once growth of your favourite plants takes off, you can remove parts of the java fern, until your tank is dominated by your plants, and you take out the complete fern. (Place it in a vase, add some water, place it in front of a window, and you have a nice display).

I would forget about the carpeting plant though. Hair grass might work, but, is it Monte Carlo?, requires special attention.
Yeah I was thinking of adding in something larger actually and faster growing to swing the balance. This is a good idea.
 

Dunk2

Tanks has been up and running for 2 months now. The testing is:
Nitrate: 0.0
Nitrite: 0.0
Ammonia: fluctuates between 0.0-0.5

Yeah I was thinking of adding in something larger actually and faster growing to swing the balance. This is a good idea.
I had asked whether you tested your source water for ammonia?
 

Chewbroccoli

I would suggest to quit cleaning the glass so frequently. I only clean the front when needed and leave the rest so the beneficial bacteria stays intact. If you have any ammonia that means the tank is not cycled yet or you are disturbing the cycle by removing too much BB. You say nitrites and nitrates are OK but what are the actual numbers? Nano tanks are much harder to keep balanced because there is such little water so any changes are dramatic. Make sure you are not changing your filter media either. Rinsing it in the dirty tank water is fine, but do not replace it or rinse with tap water. You want to keep the BB growing.
The green spot algae is usually due to too much light- either it is too bright, on for too long, or both.
Yeah I am so use to larger tanks so finding the smaller one much harder to find the balance. Enjoying it though.
I had asked whether you tested your source water for ammonia?
Actually no I have not, I might check that now. Good pick up.
 

PAcanis

Nice scape. I like it's looks.
Hope you get it dialed in.
 

JavaMossMan

Is the tank high light or low light? How many hours do you have the light on? How much do you feed the fish? Is the fish an adult or juvenile?

It doesn't look like you have any fast growing plants. What kind of plants are you using in the tank?
 

Chewbroccoli

Is the tank high light or low light? How many hours do you have the light on? How much do you feed the fish? Is the fish an adult or juvenile?

It doesn't look like you have any fast growing plants. What kind of plants are you using in the tank?
It's a 4w duel led that comes with the Dymax Q7. It's quite bright for a smaller tank. I put the light on when I wake up and switch it when I get home from work so from 7am to 5pm.

None of the plants are fast growing. This is one of the solutions I am thinking for the short term. Something fast growing.

The guppy is a juvenile.
 

JavaMossMan

There are a few things you can do here. First you need to get a fast growing plant to protect your slow growing plants from algae. You can try water sprite and float it. This will do two things. It will absorb all your excess nutrients and as it grows big in the tank it will block the lighting reducing the light levels in your tank.

You can also try the siesta method if your not using CO2. I do this for my tanks. Turn the light on for 4-5 hours then turn off 4-6 hours then turn on 4-5 hours. When CO2 levels get depleted algae can get the upper hand. CO2 builds back up again during 4-6 hour off period which will help with the algae issue. You need a timer for this.

A nerite snail will eat brown and green spot algae. You won't need a toothbrush. However they mainly clean the glass and they are not consistent in cleaning the plants from my experience. You will always have some algae on the glass so might be a good idea to have a nerite snail in there anyway.
 

Chewbroccoli

Just an update on this one. I added some floating plants and some cherry shrimp and it had an impact pretty quickly. The tank has good balance now and showing good growth.

Thanks for all your help guys.
 

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