Should I Just Restart?!

Bry

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I was given a 37 gallon, filter, gravel, whole shebang.
This is the fourth addition to the home, and I was raised with tanks my whole life, and it's been a massive pain. From the get go it's had:
1. A huge algae problem!
2. Nothing can stay alive in it
3. Live plants die within days
4. Problem snails!! I buy my live plants from the same shop that's in all of my tanks, but somehow this tank magically has pest snails. The flat spiral kind and the long pointy.

Should I just strip this tank? I'm to the point of just draining and redoing. Scrub it top to bottom, put new filter in it, go through the nitrogen cycle, get new gravel, new plants. Whole thing! If someone else has a less labor intensive idea, I'm all ears.
I asked the previous owner and he apparently had zero problems. So I have no idea what happened with me.
 

Jenoli42

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sorry if i've missed your other posts... if you've had any. what do you mean nothing stays alive? it sounds like you've been given a cycled tank so i assume your parameters are fine and things still die? if that's the case, i suspect something with nutrients we can't test for that's also contributing to your algae problem (unless you've got the tank in direct sunlight or with lights on too long?) or possibly some secret chemical killer?

if you've ruled out the obvious ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, chlorine, then perhaps a bleach clean and fresh start like you say... but that's a drastic move and you want to absolutely rule out the other stuff before that giant pain?
 
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Bry

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The only other thread I've had regarding this tank was just what to do with it. Fish-wise.
Everything else, I've just attempted to fix myself. I've had tanks since I was about four, so I've made many mistakes to (usually) know how to fix them.
By nothing staying alive, I mean that I've spent at least $70 on fish for this tank and the longest has lasted a week. Other than the mystery snail which has been in there about a month.
The tank has been cycled, the previous owner did leave me the "old" media. Along with restarting it with about 10 gallons of established water from my other tanks. Even to be sure I had some SafeStart lying around so I added about half of what I should have. I've tested the tanks myself, and everything looked perfect. Then I even took a sample to my local shop to test and even they said it was great. So it isn't a (testable) chemical issue.
Oddly enough my living room has no windows, and it's in the living room. So the sun isn't my algae issue. I did test a few different timings for how long the lights were on. Since I still had *some* live plants. I gave up and left the lights off for two full days and still my water is light green/yellow and every inch of glass is coated in algae.
It's just really frustrating because I drained and restarted my mom's old 55 gallon back in August with *ZERO* problems. And that was with new media, new filter, and maybe five gallons of established water. I had no casualties and none of these issues. So it's annoying that I'm having so much difficulty with this tank.
Side Note: I recently stripped my 20 gallon, new gravel, media, scrubbed clean, started with 5 gallons of established water. And had no issues. So I don't think it was me.
 
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