Help Overstocked, Help!

hannah662parker

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Hello,

I’ve had my 10 gallon tank for almost 3 months now. I have a betta, 5 neon tetras, 5 amano shrimp, 2 ghost shrimp, and two nertrite snails. I didn’t know the snails would produce as much waste as they do. I’m thinking about removing them, because as I added the shrimp my nitrates have went from 0 to 40 and today they’re 80. I’m doing an emergency water change and am planning on returning my two snails to petsmart. Do you think removing the snails will fix my nitrate problems, and allow me to keep my 7 shrimp?? Thank you!!

Also, my pH is 7.8 and ammonia and nitrites at 0.
 

skar

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I don't think the snails are going to have that large of an impact on nitrates.

In a small tank 10gals organic matter builds up fast.
You seemingly have quite a bit of stock for a smaller tank.
Parameter swing quickly in a smaller volume of water.
 
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hannah662parker

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I don't think the snails are going to have that large of an impact on nitrates.

In a small tank 10gals organic matter builds up fast.
You seemingly have quite a bit of stock for a smaller tank.
Parameter swing quickly in a smaller volume of water.
That makes sense, yes I have been having to do water changes weekly because of the amount of animals I have. I can visually see that the snails pop a lot more than anyone in there, is that true in your experience of snails or no??
 
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hannah662parker

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Hi, how much (GPH / LPH) & what type of filtration are you running.
I wish I could tell you this is my first aquarium and I got it as a starter kit from petsmart. The filter came with the 10 gallon. It’s a filter that hangs on the back of the tank and I keep the current pretty low for my betta.
 

skar

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That makes sense, yes I have been having to do water changes weekly because of the amount of animals I have. I can visually see that the snails pop a lot more than anyone in there, is that true in your experience of snails or no??
Tbh ... I really don't notice the snails pooping in my tank. I'm not even sure what their poop looks like in comparison.
 

DIYhack

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Just do an extra water change. Every 3-4 days 50% water. Every month a 90% and you’re good to overstock.
 

Melmoth666

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I agree with the above. More water changes and add live plants. If 50% is too drastic you can do 10% every day. I did that with my smaller tanks. Just kept a 1 gallon pitcher by the tank and every day take a gallon out, and put a gallon in. Kept the parameters level and dind;t stress me or the fish out too badly.
 

clovervalley

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If you stick some floating Anacharis or hornwort or something it will use a lot of the nitrates from the water to put out new growth. You’ll still have to do water changes but they will help.
 

Charlie’s Dad

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I personally run two filters on the tanks we have. If you can do this it will double the BB. Water changes and live plants will obviously help as well. I do not know your budget but even a second HOB filter will make a difference.

Keep us posted.....
 

scarface

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That makes sense, yes I have been having to do water changes weekly because of the amount of animals I have. I can visually see that the snails pop a lot more than anyone in there, is that true in your experience of snails or no??
Nerites do poop a lot, but having two in a 10g is nothing. They eat biofilm and algae growing on walls and other surfaces, so their bioload is actually negligible compared to fish feeding on protein rich flake and pellet food.

I wouldn't call your tank overstocked. Far from it, actually. Maybe improperly stocked, depending on who you ask. The important thing is to have proper filtration and to not overfeed.
 

RHONDA PIMENTEL

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I have nerite snails and they poop tremendously because they are constantly cleaning up, yin and yang of things. I just use a turkey baster to suck it up and get a good filter on there and your fine.
 

greengoddess

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I don't think you're horribly overstocked, though you may consider getting another tank for your shrimp and neons - take advantage of Petco's $1 per gallon sale! I've got a male betta and two nerites in one of my 10 gal tanks (I think nerites are the best snails.) Shrimp with both my male betta and in my sorority tank have either ended up as dinner, or have jumped ship to avoid the fate of their brethren (I've got neons in with my ladies and have had no issues.) I've hacked all my small hob filters with biohome media and various sponges. Super easy to do, and saves $$$ on replacement filters. I keep spare bags of it in a couple of my tanks so I always have extra should I need it on the fly - maybe get some and plop it into your tank so it'll be ready in a few weeks? And yes on the hornwort - you'll only ever need one. That stuff flourishes plenty.
 
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hannah662parker

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If you stick some floating Anacharis or hornwort or something it will use a lot of the nitrates from the water to put out new growth. You’ll still have to do water changes but they will help.
I will definitely invest in some hornwort, I’ve been wanting some anyways!!

Nerites do poop a lot, but having two in a 10g is nothing. They eat biofilm and algae growing on walls and other surfaces, so their bioload is actually negligible compared to fish feeding on protein rich flake and pellet food.

I wouldn't call your tank overstocked. Far from it, actually. Maybe improperly stocked, depending on who you ask. The important thing is to have proper filtration and to not overfeed.
I think overfeeding was initially my issue and I’m still suffering for it. I did end up rehoming my snails still, maybe I’ll get some more in the future once I get the water straightened out! Adding the driftwood and making a feeding schedule is helping, it’s slowly getting better
 
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Fish0n

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I think overfeeding was initially my issue and I’m still suffering for it. I did end up rehoming my snails still, maybe I’ll get some more in the future once I get the water straightened out! Adding the driftwood and making a feeding schedule is helping, it’s slowly getting better
Since it is a relatively new tank did you test your water before the spike? Your cycle could have caught up with you will small amounts of ammonia and nitrite making it appear to be cycled but maybe there wasn't enough bacteria to keep up with the stocking additions initially. That could contribute to your spike.
When I was new to fish I was an enthusiastic overfeeder as well. I used a small scooper till I got myself in check.
 
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hannah662parker

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Since it is a relatively new tank did you test your water before the spike? Your cycle could have caught up with you will small amounts of ammonia and nitrite making it appear to be cycled but maybe there wasn't enough bacteria to keep up with the stocking additions initially. That could contribute to your spike.
When I was new to fish I was an enthusiastic overfeeder as well. I used a small scooper till I got myself in check.
I do test about every week, and as far as I could tell it finished cycling 2 months ago, and I’ve had it for about 3 months. 2 weeks ago was when my nitrates went from being around 20 to 40, then last week to 80, then this week back to 40. I’m pretty sure it was overfeeding, because I put an algae water in way too often for 2 snails and some shrimp and fed my fish a lot twice a day. I’ve since went to feeding my fish once an day and doing half an algae water once a week. I’ve just recently fixed this and have been sticking rigidly to the new feeding schedule so I hope my nitrates will continue to go down!
 

Fish0n

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I do test about every week, and as far as I could tell it finished cycling 2 months ago, and I’ve had it for about 3 months. 2 weeks ago was when my nitrates went from being around 20 to 40, then last week to 80, then this week back to 40. I’m pretty sure it was overfeeding, because I put an algae water in way too often for 2 snails and some shrimp and fed my fish a lot twice a day. I’ve since went to feeding my fish once an day and doing half an algae water once a week. I’ve just recently fixed this and have been sticking rigidly to the new feeding schedule so I hope my nitrates will continue to go down!
I'm glad you found something that is working better for you! With sinking food like algae wafers you can also use a rock or dish to set the food on then later siphon or use a turkey baster to remove the leftovers
 

greengoddess

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I feed my big male bettas two pellets in the morning, and usually the tiniest pinch of freeze dried bloodworms or other such treat when I get home (like seriously, two teeny bloodworms.) My sorority tank is a whole other thing... a couple of my girls got SO FAT because they'd chase the sinking pellets I was giving my school of corys; meanwhile, the neons were chowing down on the betta pellets... Nowadays, it's like a ballet: I first swish around a small amount of flake for the neons so they're distracted, then I carefully dose each betta with a couple of pellets; every few days, I'll drop a broken up wafer for the corys (or a few sinking pellets, but only if the bettas aren't paying attention!) If the girls play nice so I don't feel like they're overfeeding, I'll supplement with a small evening snack. The whole thing is somewhat comical - or at least my commitment to it is I call the morning feeding routine "Battle Royale." My koi female routinely catches air in her attempts to steal food!
 
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