on-going struggle with old tank syndrome: are rosy barbs "dirty" fish?


Another 80% water change 3 days after the last 1 in my continued struggle with old-tank syndrome. Someone told me once that barbs can produce a lot of waste as they're such omnivores. My guys are incredible pigs. Could they be part of the problem?
45-gal, Aquaclear 55 power filter, planted with anubias and anacharis
4 rosy barbs
2 gold barbs
1 albino cory
(they used to have proper sized shoals, but they're aging out, and I'm not replenishing as I plan to dedicate this tank to Endler's later on)


Mine were absolute pigs (brother finally took them away today) and when I cleaned the tank, so much crud came up from the gravel.... ew. It was gross. It also needs to be done again like 5 times, so I'm doing some serious gravel vac every time I change water in that tank. Have you considered removing your gravel (or other substrate) and starting with something new? Or cleaning and boiling again if it's gravel?


I hadn't thought of taking out the substrate before... I've been deep vacuuming, so there's not much crud these days. At any rate, I can't say I'm up to boiling some 90 lbs of gravel


I suspect I had a problem with that when I bought a group of corys and they all died. I think mine was caused by having a serious attack of cyanobacteria which I didn't bother to clean up very well at the time because there were no fish in there, just plants. The dead sheets of the cyanobacteria fell a apart and mixed with the substrate. I did daily water changes for 2 weeks, mostly about 25% but a few massive ones, especially the last one. Each time I vigorously stirred up the substrate first with my hand. WIhen I stopped seeing much debris come out of the substrate I figured I was good. I then stocked the tank successful only losing a few neon tetras, but they tend to die anyway as I discussed in another thread with you. Your problem may not be in the substrate, but mine was and I seem to have solved it.

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