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Old 12-22-2018, 04:26 PM   #1
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Considering tank upgrade

Currently have a low-light, low tech 29g. For fish I have mostly second and third generation livebearers (platies plus a couple mollies) born and raised in this tank. I have one senior citizen platy left from my original stock as well. I am at near-max capacity with about 20 fish.

I am considering getting a new, larger tank. Something in the 45-65G range, and transferring the fish and plants to it, then add more.

My plants now consist of two logs with moss and ferns on them. Like this.

Current setup is very low light. Just the single-tune fluorescent that came with the hood.

I already have a problem with algae - the brownish diatoms (although that has diminished significantly over the last year), this greenish black fuzzy stuff, and this green stuff on the glass and surfaces that is MUCH harder to scrape off.

1. What is a good setup for medium light? As far as good, light, etc?
2. Will algae get even worse?
3. What are good taller growing plants that would work?
4. Currently have a HOB filter. If I switch to a canister, is cycling the same? How do you clean them?
5. To cycle the new tank (before moving fish), what is the best way to “seed” it? Throw a bag of substrate from the old tank, or a spent charcoal filter in there?
6. I have a snail problem in my existing tank. They seemed to hitch a ride on the plants when I bought them. I have heard you can “bleach” the plants to kill them. Any info on that?
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Old 12-22-2018, 09:05 PM   #2
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A new, larger tank will require new lights and another filter (assuming you transfer the existing one).
1. There are many decent LED fixtures available. I only have used Finnex brands though I’ve heard decent reviews with the Beamswork models. They are not expensive so you might consider getting a pair of 36” fixtures over a 40g breeder tank.
2. Algae grows when excess light is present. But that is a simple and incomplete answer. There are other factors involved. Lower nutrients to starve the algae? Sure, but plants will suffer, especially those that rely on water column fertilizers (versus heavy substrate root feeding plants).
3. Valisneria, Bacopa species
4/5. You could run the current HOB filter and add a canister or another HOB either permanently or at minimum several weeks to help get the bacteria growth in the new filter. Or move some of the old filter media to the new filters to jump start the seeding/cycle. You could monitor the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate at this time to see if the nitrogen cycle gets interrupted during the transfer. Cleaning a canister requires disconnecting the tubing, removing the top, and rinsing/replacing the mechanical filter media. Leave the biological media alone. Filter interval may vary. I have used canister filters in the past but current the tanks I have are on the smaller size and I find HOB filters easier maintenance wise.
6. There are procedures for using a bleach solution or hydrogen peroxide as a plant dip for snail control. However, this may not kill the gel covered eggs attached to the plants. I don’t find snails a problem. They tend to get out of control when too much food is present.
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Old 12-28-2018, 10:21 AM   #3
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To add to #6, I’d recommend that you think about getting some Assassin Snails. They are great at reducing snail populations to almost zero in my experience.
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