pehcao Posted December 30, 2020 Share Posted December 30, 2020 (edited) 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) Edited December 30, 2020 by pehcao Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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