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I think I need a Pleco in my 20G (high)


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Hello~

Okay current stocking guppies, (15ish) all very young (small) 3 albino cory, 2 pepper cory, 1 mystery snail, 2 shrimp and 3 otto's. 

want to add a pleco to clean up the wood and rocks, because the otto's are eating some of it.. but I think they might need some help. I was thinking of adding a Pleco, but was worried if it would be too small a tank for him/her? 

I have a clown pleco and a super red long fin in the 40G and as much as I like the clown, I NEVER see it. The super red long fin.. is out all the time. So I am hoping to get either a yellow or super red but the short fin variety. 

What is everyone's thoughts? 

 

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Pleco are huge waste producers and mine do not tolerate nitrates very well at 40 their poo becomes long ropes. You will definitely be increasing your tanks maintenance needs.  I would leave the algae for your current stock and work out what’s causing your excess algae. Adding stock to a tank that is not balanced only increases the imbalance in my experience.

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On 9/13/2021 at 12:12 PM, Guppysnail said:

Pleco are huge waste producers and mine do not tolerate nitrates very well at 40 their poo becomes long ropes. You will definitely be increasing your tanks maintenance needs.  I would leave the algae for your current stock and work out what’s causing your excess algae. Adding stock to a tank that is not balanced only increases the imbalance in my experience.

Agree 100%.  Dont get me wrong....I love BNP and have them in almost every tank but because I enjoy them not for "maintenance" purposes.  I have a tank with 8 babies and you want to say POOP factory😳😱

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Thanks everyone for your feedback. I have no issue with the algae growing on the wood and can live with it.. it does look nice when its cleaned by someone though 🙂

As for the cause... I have no idea.. this aquarium is going on a year old. I feed the fish every 2nd day, water changes every 2 weeks (which water parameter wise, I don't even have to do but.. who doesn't like a bit of fresh water), I cut down on easy green to every 2 weeks and decreased the amount to 1 pump. Lights are on for 8 hrs. There is a large sponge filter, Tidal 35 HOB and an air stone. 

Plants have some hair algae, but I just trim it off.. because it won't go away NO MATTER what I do.. so I am just living with it for now. All new growth has no algae on it.. 

I just have to live with the 20G as it is.. and the 40G looking perfect LOL.. its fine.. 

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You said you cut back on the Easy green.  That could be a reason for the algae. What is your nitrate amount in that tank? 

I know it sounds counter intuitive but an imbalance of light, nutrients, and co2 is what causes algae.  If you dont have enough nutrients for the plants to use algae will start to take over.

I try to keep my Nitrates between 15-25.  and my lights are on 12 hours a day.

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@ARMYVET my nitrates are at 20ppm.  As for CO2, I don't run CO2, so I have no idea what the level would be 😞. I guess I could increase my easy green. I do add root tabs as well every month. Guess its still not enough. 

 below is a picture of the tank (its in my home office). by the window. I have wide shutters that I use to control the early morning light. I actually don't get much light in this room. The sun rises in the front of the house, but does not really hit this corner so the tank does not get direct sun light. But I do take it into consideration so that is why I decreased the light in the tank.. thinking maybe even the little bit had an impact.  

as for the lights @Tihshho they are not fancy. but they are on a timer that is scheduled as follows:

On: 09-11 am (off from 11-4)

On: 4pm 1030 pm

I am sure the problem is me.. but I am not sure what I am doing wrong. 

See a picture of the tank now (its currently 2:10 EST)

 

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On 9/13/2021 at 2:14 PM, Sandra the fish rookie said:

On: 09-11 am (off from 11-4)

On: 4pm 1030 pm

I see the problem. You've got a long photo period plus you're in front of a window getting direct sunlight. You're going to want to cut the lights off in the morning to maybe an hour at most. The 6.5 hours later should be enough to keep the plants happy and reduce the added light promoting algae growth. The bigger issue is the location of the tank and how it's getting direct sunlight, I'd highly recommend closing the one shutter directly in front of the tank if possible. I know it's going to mess up your whole fengshui and open plans for lighting the room, but direct sunlight is more than likely the culprit. You're not getting the bad nuisance algae which is good, the stuff you're getting is more so just from the life cycle of the tank, so IMO your params are in check. I hope this helps.

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I would add that to me .... and this is just my opinion but I would be surprised if others didnt agree.... I feel you need more plants. To me that is a very lightly planted tank.  Your adding root tabs once a month and you dont have many root feeders at all.  

Increase the amount of plants you have....maybe some wisteria, water sprite, hornwort....fast growing plants that do not require CO2 and dose with Easy Green and Watch how they take off.

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I am confused 😕

How is it there is a lot of natural light when the tank is dark...? even with the blinds open, the tank is dark.. I can cut out the light in the morning and have the light on from 4-1030pm. Sad I am not in my office to enjoy it. (I used to be, but changed positions for work life balance).  

As for the plants, I have wisteria and water sprite, as well as hornwort (I think that is what it is) anubias (different types) and Val in there.. the issue is THAT WOOD! If I had to do it again, it would have been smaller, and I would have chosen different rocks as well. 

It was the first tank I ever set up and made a lot of mistakes with it.. the wood has a piece of slate under it and it has a big footprint, so trying to add plants near it is a pain because its not deep enough.. That is why the 40 gallon is much better.. not as fancy but a better balance of wood/rock and deeper substrate so plants do really well in it.. and it too is beside a window (I have an open concept house 😬. BUT the windows are tinted so it helps .. 

As for the otto's I already learned from that mistake, there were 7 and I only have 3 so lesson learned. I don't clean the back wall to keep algae in there for them to eat. I also supplemental feed them as well. I don't over clean it either.. that has taken a lot of discipline.. the natural verse pretty war that goes on in my head.. 

See additional pictures of the 20.. 

First one is the side closest to the window

Second close up of the wood

Third the other side

If I could re do this tank.. I would.. but they are happy and healthy.. so it will stay as it it.. 

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On 9/13/2021 at 4:41 PM, ARMYVET said:

I feel you need more plants. To me that is a very lightly planted tank. 

@ARMYVET I just ordered some bacopa and pogostemon stellatus octopus from ACO to add to this tank and the 40G. They should arrive any day now. I tried floating plants and they died..

Oh and I have a Crinum Calamistratum (that I received by mistake..) in each tank.. that will probably take FOREVER to grow.. 

Just have to keep at it I guess.. and add more easy green... but I am afraid to cause a nitrate spike or more algae 😞 

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@ARMYVET red root floaters and then I tried water lettuce 😞. I thought it might be because of the flow in the tank.. 

How do I know how much to add without making things worse? I know there are charts out there but there are not enough test kits to test EVERYTHING.. I have a phosphate test, copper test kit, and of course the standard API test kit , and GH/KH kits.. 

What else do I need to determine the plants are balanced???? I don't want to get rid of all the algae or my Otto's will die  😢

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