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Clean your tank, Don't cliean your tank! Help me Obi Wan.


Little Guys
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I have a wonderful 7 gallon planted tank with tetras, Ramshorn snails, cherry shrimp, Corys and Oto.  I have had big time snail outbreaks and algea on my plants.    I have been told that at one time I over fed leading to the snail bloom.  I was also told to vaccum the substrate.  I now have Green Spot Algea and have lowered the light and fertilized the plants.  Along the way of discussions re: the algea I have received conflicting advice regarding the cleanliness of the substrate and schedule of cleaning the tank.  My prior cleaning schedule was only when the filter (back tank filter with bio balls and a sponge) needed to be cleaned (brown water cycling through it).  

Thoughts?

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I doubt you will get unanimity in responses to this query…. There seems to be all sorts of opinions from aquarists…

I have had the best experience keeping algae under control with keeping a clean tank, clean substrate, manual removal of as much algae as possible to include pruning away infested leaves followed by a deep water change followed by significant fertilization and ensuring gh, kh, fertilizer levels, lighting stay pretty stable and consistent..

 

Healthy vibrant plants defend themselves well against algae, struggling plants do not…

 

But there are all sorts of differing opinions, and I followed differing advice earlier and did not get the results I was looking for…

I follow the rule of looking at the tanks of people who give advice and follow the advice given by people who have tanks I like the look of…

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Well I have to figure out what is right for me, and I need some help doing so.  In the last month I have lost 2 shrimp.  Could have been natural but I am not sure.  One of them turned completely black and that is how I found it on the bottom of my tank (I have red cherry shrimp).  Everyone seems to be eatin well.  I feed twice a week with Shrimpee, nano balls and fish flake ground to powder.  I give a good feed on Wednesday and a smaller feed on Sat or Sun.  Today when I fed the powder it fell slowly and looked like it was suspended.  As I looked around it I could see whispy cloudy forms, they are not big so I think this has just begun.  It is not distinct enough to take a picture.   What I am really getting at is that after months and months of no issues the environment seems to be changing.  I want to figure this out and get ahead of it if this is not a good change.  If it is not a harmful change, I want to understand it.  I have learned a ton in the last 9 months however I am still only 8 months a newbie.

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Based on your first post, it sounds like you mostly fixed your problems already.

It's kinda hard to tell what you mean by "whispy cloudy forms". I'm assuming the tank has at least some water circulation from the filter. 

A 7 gallon tank is pretty tiny volume-wise. If it was just a shrimp tank, I'd say leave it. But with the fish in there too, I'd say do a small water change and see if that helps.

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This is a topic that’s touchy. What works for me might not work for you. But I can say from my experience. I’ve never cleaned any of my tanks. The most I do is top up water due to evaporation. And I also welcome all the pest snails. To be honest I ran my 20 gallon and never cleaned a thing. I didn’t even change the filter in the HOB filter. But it’s like I said. What works for me might not work for you. I run all my tanks the same way. Once your plants are established with plenty of plants from what I can see they kind of take care of there self’s. 

IMG_4070.jpeg

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I  have a fishless tank with a small snail population and a few plants.  No fish means no fish food.  An over abundance of snails caused by overfeeding is probably the most consistent advice you will ever get.  Overfeeding snails includes decaying plant matter and other detritus as well as fish food.  Unless there is a chemical explanation, the "whispy cloud forms" are likely a bacterial formation.

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