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Old 06-21-2013, 01:38 PM   #1
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Getting my 20 gallon running properly again. Advice?

So, I've been taking some really intense college classes recently and I've been neglecting my tanks but I am determined to get them back on track and starting routine maintenance again. I have 3 tanks running currently. Two 10 gallons and my 20 gallon. I have finally got my 10 gallon tanks all set up and now I'm left with my 20 gallon. I am going to start cleaning it later today and once I get it cleaned and the water parameters in check again I need to do something with my fish. Several of my fish have sadly passed away in the last couple of months and I have refused to get new ones until I get the tank clean again. I have a few questions regarding cleaning my tank and a few regarding my fish. Any advice would be wonderful.

Questions:
There is some green algae growing on the side of the tank that won't come off when I use my algae scrubber. How else can I get rid of it?

I am going to be scrubbing and vacuuming the tank quite a bit. Should I try to remove my fish and put them In a separate tank while I clean or would that be too stressful for them (and me)?

My current stock is 1 Bolivian Ram, 2 Neon Tetras, 3 Green Cories, 1 Albino Cory, some ghost shrimp, and 2 small Albino BN Plecos. Before you go posting something about why I should not have the Plecos, please finish reading this. I do not intend to keep both Plecos (Long story). I know I shouldn't have them both in a 20 gallon tank so I plan to give one of them to a friend who has a big tank that he will be very happy in.

My question with stock is, when I get my tank all clean and running smoothly again, what fish should I look into getting to add to my current stock (minus one of the Plecos)? I know I should probably get some more Neons but what else would you suggest?

Thank you in advance!
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Old 06-21-2013, 03:26 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Pawtrekker View Post
So, I've been taking some really intense college classes recently and I've been neglecting my tanks but I am determined to get them back on track and starting routine maintenance again. I have 3 tanks running currently. Two 10 gallons and my 20 gallon. I have finally got my 10 gallon tanks all set up and now I'm left with my 20 gallon. I am going to start cleaning it later today and once I get it cleaned and the water parameters in check again I need to do something with my fish. Several of my fish have sadly passed away in the last couple of months and I have refused to get new ones until I get the tank clean again. I have a few questions regarding cleaning my tank and a few regarding my fish. Any advice would be wonderful.

Questions:
There is some green algae growing on the side of the tank that won't come off when I use my algae scrubber. How else can I get rid of it?

I am going to be scrubbing and vacuuming the tank quite a bit. Should I try to remove my fish and put them In a separate tank while I clean or would that be too stressful for them (and me)?

My current stock is 1 Bolivian Ram, 2 Neon Tetras, 3 Green Cories, 1 Albino Cory, some ghost shrimp, and 2 small Albino BN Plecos. Before you go posting something about why I should not have the Plecos, please finish reading this. I do not intend to keep both Plecos (Long story). I know I shouldn't have them both in a 20 gallon tank so I plan to give one of them to a friend who has a big tank that he will be very happy in.

My question with stock is, when I get my tank all clean and running smoothly again, what fish should I look into getting to add to my current stock (minus one of the Plecos)? I know I should probably get some more Neons but what else would you suggest?

Thank you in advance!
To answer your questions in order.

1) There are several types of algae. The algae you describe can be very difficult to get rid of, but not impossible. Get in your tank with a lint free cloth and scrub any areas with the tiny dots of algae. It may seem fruitless at first, but you'll eventually get it all off this way.

2) If you want to net your fish and segregate from the main tank you can, but in most cases it can be aggravating for yourself to keep on trying to net that last pesky neon that doesn't want to be netted. And if you're like me, I find being chased around the backyard with some dude with a huge net trying to catch me very stressful.

3) What size of tank are all those fish in? The bigest tank size you mention if a 20gal, and I do not reccommend that many fish in a 20gal tank. That being said, if your fish are still juvenilles, than your stock plan may be doable- for now. Both cories and neons do much better in groups upwards of five or more, but even at juvenille sizes, I wouldn't cram that many fish in there.

If you're looking at planning out for one of your other tanks, there are a lot of good posts around the site, but for a 10gal, I'd personally like to see a minimalist design with a Black Crowntail betta.
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Old 06-21-2013, 05:16 PM   #3
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An old credit card works wonders on tough algae.
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Old 06-21-2013, 05:37 PM   #4
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I would leave your stock as is for now. Just bump up your school of neons. Then you'd have: 4 Cory cats, a Bolivian ram, shrimp, neons and a bnp. is/will your tank be planted?
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:48 PM   #5
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A single edge razor blade will also easily remove hard algae.

If the tank is in bad shape I strongly suggest leaving the fish in and do several small cleanups. This will cause a lot less stress for the fish and you... lol.

I agree that you need to increase your tetra school. If all goes well you might be able to add one fish like a dwarf gourami or honey gourami also.
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:51 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by insecurity View Post

To answer your questions in order.

1) There are several types of algae. The algae you describe can be very difficult to get rid of, but not impossible. Get in your tank with a lint free cloth and scrub any areas with the tiny dots of algae. It may seem fruitless at first, but you'll eventually get it all off this way.

2) If you want to net your fish and segregate from the main tank you can, but in most cases it can be aggravating for yourself to keep on trying to net that last pesky neon that doesn't want to be netted. And if you're like me, I find being chased around the backyard with some dude with a huge net trying to catch me very stressful.

3) What size of tank are all those fish in? The bigest tank size you mention if a 20gal, and I do not reccommend that many fish in a 20gal tank. That being said, if your fish are still juvenilles, than your stock plan may be doable- for now. Both cories and neons do much better in groups upwards of five or more, but even at juvenille sizes, I wouldn't cram that many fish in there.

If you're looking at planning out for one of your other tanks, there are a lot of good posts around the site, but for a 10gal, I'd personally like to see a minimalist design with a Black Crowntail betta.
Thanks for the cloth idea, I'll try that. All the fish I mentioned are in the 20 gal. I already have a Betta in one of my 10 gallon tanks and the other one is empty at the moment. Like I said, I am giving one of the BN Plecos to a friend. I did a lot of research before I got my fish and, aside from the Plecos, I thought I was doing good on stock. For future reference, what would you suggest for a 20 gal tank? Anyway, I'll probably leave my fish in there while I clean, thanks.
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:59 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Rivercats View Post
A single edge razor blade will also easily remove hard algae.

If the tank is in bad shape I strongly suggest leaving the fish in and do several small cleanups. This will cause a lot less stress for the fish and you... lol.

I agree that you need to increase your tetra school. If all goes well you might be able to add one fish like a dwarf gourami or honey gourami also.
I actually had more tetras to begin with but I made the mistake of getting them at my local Petsmart and they all had a fungal infection and died shorty after I bought them. The only reason there are 2 still alive is because I bought them at a different LFS and they were actually healthy when I bought them. I also used to have a DG but sadly he got sick and passed away a few months ago. I never really figured out why he got sick because my water parameters were okay at the time. I may get another but I haven't decided. I kinda like sparkling gourami too. Thanks, if all else fails, I'll try the razor blade.
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:04 PM   #8
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I would leave your stock as is for now. Just bump up your school of neons. Then you'd have: 4 Cory cats, a Bolivian ram, shrimp, neons and a bnp. is/will your tank be planted?
Yes, I have a few plants in the tank, mostly just small Java fern and I think I still have some sort of crypt left in there. I've recently discovered how to properly plant my tanks so maybe I'll put some more in there. Aside from the plants, all that is in there is a large stump cave decoration that all my fish love. I do have some driftwood but tannis is still coming out of it so I haven't put it in there yet.
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:48 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Pawtrekker View Post
Thanks for the cloth idea, I'll try that. All the fish I mentioned are in the 20 gal. I already have a Betta in one of my 10 gallon tanks and the other one is empty at the moment. Like I said, I am giving one of the BN Plecos to a friend. I did a lot of research before I got my fish and, aside from the Plecos, I thought I was doing good on stock. For future reference, what would you suggest for a 20 gal tank? Anyway, I'll probably leave my fish in there while I clean, thanks.
A lot of people will say 20gal isn't much space to go with colorful or interesting fish- I disagree. I've installed & maintained some 20gals in doctors offices in my area, and everyone is pleased with them.

At a one doctor's office, the doctor specifically wanted female fish only. I went with a 20gal tank, with 3-4 female bettas. Again, with bettas, I think a minimalist design, in regards to decorations really lets the fish swim around, and show off their colouration nicely.

At a used car dealership, they wanted something to match their granite tiled floors, so I actually got some of the same tiles, broke them up, and went with eight differently colored cories.
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:49 PM   #10
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A lot of people will say 20gal isn't much space to go with colorful or interesting fish- I disagree. I've installed & maintained some 20gals in doctors offices in my area, and everyone is pleased with them.

At a one doctor's office, the doctor specifically wanted female fish only. I went with a 20gal tank, with 3-4 female bettas. Again, with bettas, I think a minimalist design, in regards to decorations really lets the fish swim around, and show off their colouration nicely.

At a used car dealership, they wanted something to match their granite tiled floors, so I actually got some of the same tiles, broke them up, and went with eight differently colored cories.
I have been researching a Betta sorority and I would like to try it sometime. I originally thought about it for one of my 10 gallons but decided that wasn't a good idea. I may try it in my 20 gallon sometime.
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:48 PM   #11
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An old credit card works wonders on tough algae.
Thank for this idea, it's working great! Still going through the long and very tedious task of scraping it all off.

Note to self: Never never NEVER get lazy on doing water changes AGAIN!

Thanks for your help guys, I'll post a picture when I get done cleaning and re-scaping.
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Old 06-30-2013, 01:06 AM   #12
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Well, here is what came of all my hard work.

Before. (Actually, after I scraped off most of the algae)

Click image for larger version

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And after.


Click image for larger version

Name:	image-2432582442.jpg
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Size:	147.8 KB
ID:	183453
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Old 06-30-2013, 08:57 AM   #13
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Looks better with the addition of the dw? On the right.
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Old 06-30-2013, 10:20 AM   #14
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The tank does look better with the additional DW.
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Old 06-30-2013, 11:56 AM   #15
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Thanks, I may get some Java moss and put it in there too.
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