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  1. Hello guys, I've been using the Azoo No3 test lately following the instructions in the box resulting in very low No3 tests almost every time on my planted 20gal aquarium. However, I've noticed that if I leave the tested water lying around in the test tube for long periods of time (hours), it changes color to a much deeper purple indicating a whole other range of results. What should I do in this case? Should I listen to the immediate result, or to the later result?
  2. I keep it at 80°, 7 hour photoperiod on a finnex stingray 2.
  3. Hello guys, I've been an aquarist for about 8 months now, I have a small 10 gallon tank with lots of plants (mainly valisneria because all others die) and several different fish and shrimp. The fish and the shrimp are all doing great, I just put in plants because they look very nice and they help having healthier fish (as far as I've read) but my main focus has always been having healthy animals. Ever since I started the tank i've battled with algae, i've read up a lot on the different common types of algae and how to balance the nutrients but the algae don't ever go away, and in many cases they infest the plants and kill them (I assume?). Finally, I went to my local fish shop and showed them a few images (attached) and they said that I've been struggling a lot because it's Cladophora algae, that there's no way to get rid of it without restarting my tank and buying EVERYTHING new (kind of suspicious). I wanted to write here because I'd like more opinions on the matter and any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. My tank's usual parameters are as follows (before my weekly water change, and I also manually pull out algae as much as I can): PH - 8.1 - 8.3 Nitrate - 10 - 20 ppm (these days I need to supplement nitrogen as the tank naturally consumes it) gh - 8-10 kh - 4-5 Ammonia - 0 - 0.1 Nitrite - 0 Phosphate - 0 - 0.5 (also supplemented since I also read and heard that phosphate deficiencies can produce algae, but the aquarium naturally goes to 0) . It's also worth noting that I put in several seachem tabs for some amazon swords and other plants, but only the amazon swords live as of now, but they're also starting to get infested and the other plants died. The algae has also sort of replaced my moss, and is also consuming my small anubia. Strangely enough the valisnerias are doing great, they reproduce like crazy and I need to keep pulling out runners to prevent them going to places I don't want them to go. I hope this is enough information complementing the attached images, any comments would be greatly appreciated.
  4. Thank you everyone for your comments! The only issue that still worries me is the snail one, I've been manually removing any and all egg sacs I see and throwing them in a tupperware just to see how many come out and it's already swarming. I've been removing 2-4 egg sacs per day, my hope is they will eventually start dying off, I'll vaccuum the gravel a lot more often especially now that I have a new hitchhiker species in it, discovered today and it scared the living sh... out of me as I first saw it, thought it was some sort of spider out to get my fish (see attached image). My very own Damselfly nymph (I managed to take it out and throw it in the same snail tupperware just to see if there's anything that can be learned from it) and just like with snails I don't expect it to be the only or last one. Clearly there's too much food in my aquarium despite my efforts not to overfeed, so I guess my only option is to gravel vaccuum a lot more often. ¿What do you guys think?
  5. Hello Everyone, I just have a quick question: In my new tank there's been a boom of snails lately, I don't mind them being there since there seems to be a consensus that they are beneficial to the ecosystem, however I'm just a little bit concerned regarding my 3 otocinclus, if the snails get out of control is there a chance they might out-compete the otos for food? If so, what can I do to ensure my otos don't starve.
  6. Thank you very much for your reply! 1. Yeah I might have dosed too high, I think i put in about 20 - 25ml. A warning on how much is too much would have ben nice lol. 2. Great, I try not to overfeed at all since I've read it's one of the most common beginner mistakes (I feed the fish very lightly twice a day). They don't really bother me as long as they don't eat healthy plants nor bother the fish, I'll just let them level off and see how it goes. 3. Excellent, I'll just keep the tank as stable as possible then! 4. I was thinking more along "not overstocking the tank" lines, i've read 1 gal/fish is sort of a good rule of thumb in which case it's already overstocked (17 fish in total), but I really wanted to explore the possibility of adding a single apisto.
  7. Hello everyone, decided to register and post here because I finally had it with being misled by my local fish stores with almost disastrous consequences for my new tank, and I was hoping to be enlightened regarding a couple of issues. First of all I honestly didn't read up enough before setting up the tank, I didn't imagine the complexity involved, which was a very pleasant surprise but one for which I was not at all ready. Wouldn't want to go over the whole story because it's kind of long and frustrating, but finally after being advised to treat algae with H2O2 under the impression that "it's not harmful for fish" (and not triple checking first) and watching ALL my fish glass surf for 1 straight hour until I decided to do a massive water change, I'm hoping I can straighten my course and do as best as I can for my tank in the future. I currently have a 15 Gal tank with inert substrate, it's heavily planted with a lot of valisneria, 2 amazon swords, some java moss, a single anubia on a piece of driftwood, and a couple other species I don't really know. As for fish I got 11 rasboras, 3 kuhli loaches, and 3 otocinclus. I setup the tank on November 13th, and I didn't really cycle it properly (now I know after researching more on the topic), and I do regular water changes of 20%-30% 2 times a week. I have a HOB filter with ceramic rings which I started gradually replacing with Seachem Matrix last week, my plan is to replace a few every week until Matrix is all that's left. As to not make this any longer the things that concern me are the following: 1. I've been struggling with algae growing on my plants, ranging from green hair to red algae in some cases, I've been told it's to be expected as the tank cycles but these are the same people that told me to treat with H2O2 and nearly killing all my fish. Any advice on dealing with it would be greatly appreciated. 2. Around 4-5 snails suddenly showed up, and I thought it was cool and that they'd help control algae, but this week i've found around 6-7 snail egg baggies (I removed them maually) and a lot more snails are starting to show up. Should I be concerned or should I just let them eat out all the decomposing matter and algae they can and die off naturally? 3. I've been keeping tabs on my water parameters using a 2 different test strips, the first are some 6 in 1 Test strips from Zhance, and the second are JBL Pro Scan. I started testing about a month ago and the parameters were inconsistent but "normal" especially PH, the first strips showed ~7.3, and the JBL Pro scan showed ~6.8. Finally I decided it's time to stop wasting money and getting the appropriate equipment and got an API Master test kit, but now I'm really alarmed because it shows a pH of ~8.3 (the others still show the same results) I then tested my tap water and it showed ~7.5. Should I be alarmed? If so, what can I do to improve my water conditions? 4. Finally, I was wondering if adding a single apistogramma to this tank would be a bad idea, I absolutely love how they look and I'd like to add one to my tank, but if it's not gonna be healthy and happy I'd rather just keep it the way it is. I'm sorry if this is a long post, I really appreciate the time you take in reading it, and i'm pretty sure there must be other issues that I'm not seeing, but any knowledge you guys could share would be greatly appreciated. Attached please find an image of my current setup, the rasboras love hanging in the back under the plant with the big leaves (I don't really know what species it is)
  8. Thank you, this has been really helpful. I guess I was too overeager to get this going but it will just harm the animals, i'll cycle it properly with plants for a couple of months before starting to add more life to the tank.
  9. Thanks for your response! What would be a good tank size for that sort of setup? It's only 23 fish in total so I thought 15 gallon would suffice.
  10. Hey guys, I recently set my eye on starting the aquarium hobby, the panemic has us all indoors and limiting our activities so I thought it would be a great hobby both because it's 100% indoors and it can be a challenging and cool hobby. So I did a little digging, went to my local petstore and I came up with a beginner's aquarium idea and I'd like to see what you guys think about it: So my idea is to basically get a 16 gallon aquarium, and startup with the following fish: 6 Rasboras, 8 Zebras, 3 bolivian rams, 3 kuli loaches, 2 chinese algae eaters, and a single angel fish. I'm also thinking about getting a couple of live plants to go with it, and knowing some beginner friendly plants would be great as well. Do you guys feel this idea is adequate? Or what would be some improvements I could make to the plan before I actually go ahead and buy it. Thank you.
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