Need some general help...

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by bettamars, Jun 25, 2016.

  1. bettamarsValued MemberMember

    I'm going to recap the past of my tanks for y'all (long read, sorry, I would recommend just skimming the first couple paragraphs)

    So I had 1 honey gourami, 8 harlequin rasboras, and 1 Bolivian ram since last June until the ram and one rasbora succumbed to store illnesses shortly after I got them, leaving me with the honey and 7 rasboras until a couple months ago when I switched from artificial plants to live. I bought a finnex planted+ 24/7 light, Eco-complete substrate, driftwood, and plants for the tank. It was a quick switch over so I moved all of the fish to a 5 gal bucket and drained the tank to get all of the poop and gravel out and then put the new substrate in and refilled. I added the plants after washing them, boiled the driftwood, and returned the fish. Everything was fine for a week, but then algae started to grows everywhere uncontrollably and my fish started dying left and right. I don't know if the stress of the switch caused them to get sick was it, but my water parameters were all good (I use API master kit) so I have no clue what it actually was. Long story short, I'm down to one harlequin rasbora ruling my 20 gallon tall by himself (no clue how he's still alive) and my tank is an algae infested wreck. Some of plants are just so covered in algae that I want to throw them away even though they're still alive. I try to rub the algae off without damaging the plant, but by the next time I look, it's all back on there. I need to get some snails, but bring 16 with busy parents, it's hard to find a time to go to the store since I can't buy fish/inverts by myself until I'm 18.

    In addition, I have a 5.5 gallon that has never had any animals in it since it's intended for shrimp, but again, can't buy them by myself. It has Eco-complete, driftwood, and a finnex stingray clip-on light. It has some algae problems that are not quite as bad as the other tank, but I am really confused because some of my plants in both tanks are dying that are supposed to be the easiest to have. So here's a list of my plants and their condition:

    Java moss: came to me browning already and just continued to brown and look gross in my tank so I threw it out (5.5 gallon)
    Marimo moss balls: the ones in my 5.5 gallon are fine, but for some reason the ones in my 20 are browning and falling apart
    Java fern: needs to be retied down so the roots are exposed and covered in algae, but the leaves have had brown spots since I got it (20 gal)
    Anubias coffeefolia: it had been doing pretty well but it just always gets covered in algae and a coupe of the leaves are decaying
    Dwarf sag: it originally had some parts die off but I'm seeing some new sprouts, so there's hope (20 gal)
    Moneywort: always covered in algae and doesn't really grow as fast as I expected based on what people said about it, but it's still alive and green (both)
    Pennywort: it died off immediately, but it came to me in pretty poor condition, it made a mess of the tank right off the bat with all of the decaying stems (both)
    Amazon frogbit: I got a large mama frogbit from the person who sent me plants that was very brown looking and it stayed alive and even produced some baby frogbits, but they eventually all died off (20 gal)
    Red ludwigia: it originally shed a lot of it's leaves, but it's still alive and has about the same thing as moneywort (20 gal)
    Dwarf lily: this one has been thriving because I got it as a small sprout and it has grown some huge leaves and has sent about 3 shoots that are floating at the top of the water in the 20 gal (I know I should cut them, but I don't have the heart since it's my only thriving plant)
    Riccia: I had this and it came to me all yellowish, but I tied it to the terra cotta pot in my 20 gal but it just got everywhere and didn't improve so I threw that away like the Java moss
    Anubias nana petite: I actually bought one and got two of them and they're doing about as well as the coffeefolia, except these ones are in the 5.5 gal
    Mystery plant: I bought it and it was labeled as water wisteria, but I'm fairly certain it's not and it's just been covered in algae and gross looking. I might just throw that one out as well because leaves are falling off and browning

    If you've braved it and have made it all the way down hear whether you read it or skimmed it, I'm done being frustrated with my tanks, and I want to restock and turn it around, and I need some help/opinions. Now the first step is that I for sure need some nerite snails and mystery snails in each tank, and then I need some new plants, so I think I will head to my LFS and check out their plants and get some that I can actually see the health of before I buy them. I'm think maybe getting an Amazon sword and some root tabs since I only have seachem flourish, but I haven't really done that a whole lot because of the algae and maybe some other low-medium light green and healthy plants that can make the tank look better and greener (cause most of the algae is a gross brown). After that, I need to restock/just stock my 5.5 for the first time. So here's some ideas, let me know:

    20: snails with a betta being the only fish in the tank and possibly trying some other fish with him/her (if it didn't work out, I could always put the betta in the 5.5 even if it would eat a couple shrimp)

    5.5: snails and red cherry shrimp (was going to have blue, but they're too expensive and there's too much risk in them dying at $8 a piece)


    20: snails, red cherry shrimp, some small fish that are not big enough to eat the shrimp (suggestions?)

    5.5: snails and a betta


    20: Snails and small fish

    5.5: snails and shrimp

    I'm open to other suggestions! Plant suggestions would help too!

    Any help is appreciated in trying to figure out the mysteries and other ways to fix the issues of my tanks. Thanks in advance!

  2. AtomicMudkipValued MemberMember

    In the 20, if it is heated, you could do some killifish. I'm not sure on how many but I would think 5-7 in a 20 gallon. They wouldn't eat the bigger shrimp but I'm not sure whether they would eat the babies.
  3. FallenOwlWell Known MemberMember

    I'm not sure if this is true with all Dwarf gouramis, but mine doesn't eat my shrimp (small ghost shrimp). He does occasionally stalk them, but never tries to eat them. So maybe a DG? With a small school of fish? *(Option 2)*
  4. bettamarsValued MemberMember

    Ooh that's interesting! I'll research them and see if I can get them easily. Thanks! Do you happen to know what they eat?
  5. bettamarsValued MemberMember

    I had thought about dwarf gouramis and I did have my honey, but I think I'm going to stay away from gouramis in general. I may see about small schools of fish, but I'm not sure I want to go that route yet. Thanks!
  6. AtomicMudkipValued MemberMember

    I'm not too sure but I suppose they would eat the normal:
    Occasional bloodworms, daphnia, brineshrimp etc.
    a staple food such as a tropical pellet or flake food and maybe some veggies like cucumber or lettuce.
    They come in some beautiful colourations and variations and if you can find some interesting ones, be sure to post pictures! Make sure to ask whether or not they are 'annual' killifish who only last a year, or non-annual who, you guessed it, last longer than a year XD
    Good luck!
  7. trawrs97New MemberMember

    I would say that before you even consider restocking I would get your algae situation under control or you will continue to have the same problems in the tank.

    Algae blooms as a result of excess nutrients in the water. It's possible that the bloom came as a result of the excess nutrients put in the tank for all the live plants coming up from the substrate. Furthermore just adding snails/shrimp/catfish/your cleanup crew is like putting a band-aid on a broken arm. In all actuality you need to confront the issue head on. There are steps that you can look into in order to diagnose the actual cause of you algae problem. (e.g. Is my tank in direct sunlight? yes/no? How long am I leaving the light on? is that too long?) From there it's a matter of fixing the algae issue before even considering putting more fish in the tank. Beyond that, in a newly planted tank it is expected for there to be some melting on live plants. New water/minerals, the move from one area to another, sometimes even the change between living above the water and below the water will all cause die back on aquatic plants in an aquarium... just give them time to regrow and do your research to understand what is really happening in the aquarium before you count them out. It might be that your plants were not healthy enough at the start to grow like they are meant to and thus they weren't using all the nutrients that was just dropped into the water and it may take some time for the plants to start taking up enough nutrients to fight off the algae.

    In the mean time I would do consistent PWC's and try to keep the algae off of the leaves as best you can to ensure they get the nutrients they need. Getting a clean up crew is not a bad idea, snails are an important part of the ecosystem but they will not fix all your problems and I would make sure that I have a healthy and growing ecosystem in my tank before I started adding fish again.

    Just my two cents, If anyone can correct me or give me help that's awesome I'm always looking to learn more that I might have missed.
  8. bettamarsValued MemberMember

    Thanks for all the great info! It's been about 3 months or so since I've gotten all the plants and whatnot and I for sure won't get any more fish for a little while to see if I can fix this problem. My tank is not in direct sunlight, but my light is a 24/7 light so it's always on, just not the same light all the time. It has a natural sunrise, daytime, sunset, and nighttime that all ramps up and down as the day goes on and starts all over again. It's very pretty and I love the light a lot, I think that it may be causing my algae issues, but I don't plan on getting a different light, so I think I'll try a black out for maybe a day or more and do some PWCs. I'll try cleaning off the leaves as much as I can without damaging the plants (I have accidentally ripped off leaves trying to rub the algae off them) I might even try taking out all of the plants/decor and washing them off in the dirty WC water (to make sure the algae on them stays out of my tanks) and revamping the tank. I've tried that a couple times before, but it still comes back. Hopefully the blackout helps some. Well thank you for your advice, I will try to figure out what's going on and how I can fix it!
  9. bettamarsValued MemberMember

    I've taken a look at some of the options out there to see if it's possible to have a pair of a couple of different species, but I'll have to do some heavy duty research to find out the compatibility and all of that, but hopefully I find something. Thank you!

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