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Old 05-21-2022, 08:10 PM   #1
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Is my tank overcrowded and/or should i change substrate

Iíve had this tank running for almost 2 months now. i feel that my plants are dying and i believe it might be my substrate. i just have black sand in there. also is it overcrowded? i have about 15 black neon tetras, 3 bolivian rams, and a pleco. this is a 20 tall with one sponge filter and a regular 10-50 gallon filter inside. i know thereís a plant floating, i have to place it back in the sand.
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Old 05-22-2022, 04:27 AM   #2
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Remove the pleco and i wouldnt say you are overcrowded. Add the pleco into the mix and it depends on what kind of pleco it is. A common pleco for instance can get 2 feet long and will outgrow your tank.

Do you know what type of pleco you have?

Your plants are probably just transitioning from emersed to submerged growth. They will have been cultivated partially out of water with easy access to CO2 from the atmoshere. Now they are underwater that CO2 is cut off and the leaf structure needs to adjust to its new environment. It does this by growing new leafs more tolerant of being underwater, and old growth may die off completely. It doesnt look like the plants you have are high demand, and a sand substrate will be fine. You may want to dose some all in one liquid fertiliser and add some root tabs into the substrate.
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Old 05-22-2022, 08:37 AM   #3
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The plant that is floating looks to be an anubias and they should be ties to a rock or driftwood. You donít want to bury the rhizome it can rot
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Old 05-22-2022, 07:53 PM   #4
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i’m pretty sure it’s a small pleco, one like the ones you get at petco.
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Old 05-23-2022, 12:39 AM   #5
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Your average common pleco is sold at a very small size when they are babies. If yours just looks like a plain Ole brown pleco, it is probably a common pleco, and it will become absolutely way too large for that tank. The smaller pleco breeds are all pretty distinct. For example the bristlenose or queen arabesque.

Do you know what plant species you have? Different plants require different care. Like someone already mentioned certain plants shouldn't be planted in substrate at all. If you have a non nutrient rich/meant for planting substrate or plants not planted in substrate at all then you should be adding fertilizer regularly to the water for the plants. Are you doing this?

Also what are your water parameters? PH? Ammonia? Plants don't like high ammonia levels either. Mine got brown and crunchy when my ammonia levels spiked to 8 during my cycling process.
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Old 05-23-2022, 03:52 AM   #6
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Photo of a "true" common pleco.



Note that around 2/3 plecos sold as commons arent true commons and are in fact a couple of other similar species that get just as big.
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Old 05-26-2022, 10:52 AM   #7
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water parameters are all good so far. ammonia at 0. nitrite at 0. but my nitrates are extremely high right now. doing a water change and placing the root tabs for the plants.
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Old 06-20-2022, 08:20 AM   #8
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Doesn’t look like it’s overcrowded to me. Filtration appears satisfactory. I’m far from an expert but I wouldn’t put a pleco in a planted tank.
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