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Old 08-05-2009, 03:20 PM   #1
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2 tanks, 2 different issues..help

I have two twenty gallon tanks. My oldest tank, tank 1 has live plant friendly gravel & at one time i was running a cheap Co2 thingy for my plants. The other tank,tank 2, approx 4-5 months younger has a sandy gravel and has had no Co2 thing set up ever. All fish in both tanks are doing very well. These include, cory's, plecos, tetras, rainbow fish, a platy and a guarami. Tank one is over grown in plants (even though the co2 hasn't been running in months). I mean my java fern and some other plant that was 4" tall are both HUGE...BUT...here's the thing. I have an overgroweth of this black soft fuzzy algae. I tried to clean it off the wood and stones I have in there but it survived and is everywhere. As I said all the fish are fine, have grown etc. BUT my apple snails are not growing or thriving well. In fact some have gotten thin, peeling shells and have died. On the other hand, tank 2 has the same brothers and sister apple snails as from tank 1 (we actually had their parents) and they are HUGE and very very healthy...and the plants are the same scrawny things i put in there 3 months ago...and I am also overrun with those little nuisance snails in that tank. Fish are great in tank 2 also. Can anyone explain this to me? I am wanting to downsize to just one tank. Which should I keep? I even contemplated combining them (water) but tank 1 has the black algea i don't like and tank 2 has the little snails i don't like and also tank 1 has some problem that obviously hurts my apple snails and i don't want to hurt my healthy ones on tank 2. I have 2 tanks and am not happy. Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 08-05-2009, 04:06 PM   #2
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How often do you do water changes? What are the test results for the water?
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Old 08-05-2009, 07:13 PM   #3
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the black soft fuzzy algae is most likely black beard algae. i just use excel and that kills it off. the other tank the pest snails only breed if they have food. i would try cutting back on your food.

the apple snails needs calcium in their diet. maybe they are not getting the amount they need in that tank.
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Old 08-05-2009, 07:42 PM   #4
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2 tanks, 2 problems

thanks 4 quick replys...excel is a product, i asssume. will it hurt my fish or snails? Or plecos. I don't think they eat that kind of algea but will it hurt em? And how can i add calcium to my tank 4 the apple snails/ Is it a bad idea to mix their waters? give some water from one tank to the other and visa versa? I was doing water changes weekly but have slacked which is why i am thinking of going down to one tank...not as much time to invest as before. The question is, which one? the algea infested one is prettiest because the plants are bigh and nice. If Excel will kill the black beard algea then that's the tank i'll keep. Thanks to all who answered. Any more ideas?
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Old 08-05-2009, 07:44 PM   #5
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Java ferns really don't need high light nor CO2, so it is not surprising that it continued to grown and thrive. My guess is your other plant does not require high light either.

Neither problem you have is very bad. You can dose you tank with Excel as gamer suggested to cope with the algae. And given that you are combining tanks, you invariably will need to deal with the snail issue anyways. It will be nearly impossible to move plants and other fixtures into another tank without bringing along snail eggs.

So my suggestion would be to pick a tank and set it up as you wish. Trap the snails every night by blanching some spinach or romain lettuce. You can weigh the spinach or lettuce leaf down with a stone or tieing it to a cotton ball and sinking in. Do this every night before lights out and remove the leaf with the snails in the morning before turning the lights on. This was you can pick off the snails you want and place them back in the tank while removing the others.

As an aside, spinach is rich in calcium and will be good for your apple snails anyways. If they munch on the snail trap it can be like a little treat for them.
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Old 08-05-2009, 07:49 PM   #6
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Real quick, what type of Pleco do you have in a 20?
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Old 08-05-2009, 08:25 PM   #7
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excel is a plant product that puts carbon into your water. liquid form of co2. it wont hurt your fish unless you od way too much with out oxygenation the water. many ways to get calcium into the water. you can feed veggies with high amounts of calcium. people make snail jello for them with it in there also.

how are you water changing now? i use a python makes it quick and simple for a water change.
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Old 08-05-2009, 09:35 PM   #8
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I would be very wary of using Excel. I did only 2 doses that were actually half the recommended dose and it melted half my plants! There are certain plants that cannot handle it. It melted my Vals, Crypts, Anubis's and a couple others I can't remember. The only ones not effected was my Amazon swords and Mellon swords.

For the black fuzz algae I will give my plants a bleach dip. You use 1 part bleach to 20 parts water. Just enough to smell it. Dip the leaves in it, up to 2 minutes for big hardy plants like Swords, and 30 sec to a minute for more delicate plants. Then rinse them off and soak them in a bucket of water with 4 times the amount of Prime (I use 4 capfuls) to get rid of any left over bleach. I have done this numerous times and the algae just rubs right off and it does not harm the plants, as long as you don't leave them in too long. It may also help kill off snail eggs too.
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Old 08-05-2009, 09:45 PM   #9
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it effects vals and anacharis. my 120 is nothing but crypts and anubias i been adding the max dose every day since my co2 went out and i got some bba. day 5 with out a single melted crypt or anubias. used a few times with out problems also. H2O2 also works.
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Old 08-05-2009, 09:47 PM   #10
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You mentioned algae being on your wood. Submerged wood tends to soften water by adsorbing calcium, and also tends to drop the tank toward a significantly acidic pH. If you have a large amount of wood in tank 1 this could by itself be a significant part of the problem with the apple snails. I'm not saying snails can't be kept with driftwood, but attention should be paid to GH, which is frequently low to begin with in municipal tap water. I have added crushed coral and/or oyster shell (available at farm supply stores for about $.20/lb as a dietary supplement for chickens) to most of my tanks to try to improve my snails' growth rates, and it has helped with the soft shell issue you described.

I don't have any great advice about the algae. Hydrogen Peroxide works just as well as the bleach treatment suggested in the post above mine, but is quite safe to apply directly in your tank, so there's much less risk to the fish. You can target problem areas with an eye dropper. More likely the root cause is a fertilization issue though, and just killing the algae will not be a long term solution. Peroxide is known to melt Ceratophyllum (hornwort) and Anacharis.
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Old 08-09-2009, 12:15 AM   #11
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I am slacking because i'm getting bored & frustrated. I did 10% water changes weekly until this last month...and i don't know my water stats.
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