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Johnnyonthespot

Tank is a Wreck...

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I've finally had enough with my tank to get to the point where I need to fix it. I'm going to list my problems and explain anything necessary. It's a 29 gallon with two small telescopes and two filters (Aquatech 15 and Biowheel 150). I have two plants in it, an air tube, crushed coral and a coral rock. Problems:

-The one small plant and the air tube are covered in hair algea. I started doing 50% daily for a few weeks, kept it in a bucket for a week, nothing got rid of it. It stopped spreading to my other plant but I can't clean it.

-The bigger plant is an Amazon Sword or whatever they're called. I planted it in a glass vase in crushed coral with two root tabs. It won't stop dying, I clipped like 10 leaves that became transparent and were decaying, and it's worsening everyday with more leaves entering the great beyond. No clue what I did here.

-My biggest gripe is with the filters. Every time they turn off and back on, they just fill my tank with crap. The small one creates like a dust cloud upon being turned on, the big one just pumps what looks like dust bunnies into the tank. I've cleaned them completely, changed the filters, and nothing fixes it.

-New one is what appears to be red algae. I have no clue where it's coming from, but I found some in my fish poop so I'm assuming they're eating it.

I just can't keep it clean and make it run smoothly, and I'm really frustrated. I'm willing to do/buy anything to alleviate the problems. I treat the tap water with ProAmmonia Detox. I was cleaning the tank about 65% every 2-3 days, but now I'm doing 5 gallons a night with a 65% change on Saturday since I've started working. Let me know what more info you need and thanks in advance!

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What are you doing when you clean the filters(step x step)? Where is the tank located?Near a window?What sort of lighting do you have? Also-what are your water params?

Edited by kukana

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Why not pitch the plants and get new ones? They don't cost much. You could get anubias and java fern in the tubes at Petsmart and stick them on a rock. Or get some floating plants like hornwort or anacharis to suck up excess nutrients. Fertilizing can help too. Swords are iffy, in my experience.

About the filters, I don't turn mine off unless I'm taking them out of the tank for cleaning. When I do a water change, there's enough water in the filter for it to run without burning up. It makes a God-awful noise during the WC, but I don't have to mess with restarting them. Also, you could upgrade to AquaClear filters. I can't say enough good things about them.

Also, algae isn't "not clean," imo. It might not be super attractive, but it's just another something growing in your tank. You could try a nerite snail -- they chow on algae, but not all kinds. I know they won't eat the hair, but I don't know about the red.

Edited by ShawneeRiver

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Are you rinsing the media in a bucket? You need to squeeze it out several times and not just swish it.

Toss the plant with the hair algae. It is a real PITA to get rid of.

How long have you had the sword plant? Sometimes they melt off before they grow back again.

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As far the the hair algae goes, in my experience nothing really gets rid of it. When I went on my trip to Ireland and came back (my dad was doing W/C's for me but not scrubbing the tank) my anubias were covered in the stuff. I scraped it off and it came back. I dipped them in a bleach solution, it came back. I ended up discarding the plants and starting over.

To address your issue with the amazon sword...the only thing I can suggest is practically cutting off all the leaves. A plant will continue to put energy into healing a dying or diseased part of itself. Removing everything and even trimming of apparently healthy leaves will give it a chance to recuperate. Once you do that start adding whats called Flourish once a week for a few weeks and liquid every other day for a few weeks. Once you see significant regrowth I would scale back to Flourish once every few weeks and carbon once every few days.

With the filters...I certain amount of gunk will come out of them everytime they are turned off and then on again. I believe its just a natural part of the aquarium hobby. However, what you are talking about I believe may be an excess build up somewhere in the tubing or and the motor of your filter. I would suggest purchasing a flexible twin head brush from your LFS to clear out any gunk in the tubing and then take your filter totally apart and clean out what you can from the motor. It looks something like this:

http://www.petco.com/product/6611/Petco-Flexible-Twin-Head-Brush.aspx?CoreCat=MM_FishSupplies_Maintenance

Also, what type of filters do you have? It may be the type of filter?

I have no idea what the red algae could be resulting from and I have no experience with it. I do believe that it may be harmful to the fish over extended periods though.

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Stop cleaning so much. My tank was horrible work when i cleaned it every time. 2 or 3 times a week. now I have 3 small filters, only one pad gets changed every other week. The rest of the time the pads get rinsed lightly in a bucket with tank water once a week. I vacume the gravel super good once a week, while doing a 75 percent water change. I removed all live plants and replaced with 3 long bamboo that reach high enough the leaves are out of the water. I check the all filters are runing right, some times I need tto remove materia from the propellers. Wipe down the lid, sides, front glass, rinse all fake plants and bubble wand. Put evry thing back and refill with proper water (I have well water so I only match temp by hand and add backing soda to raise ph). Water is clear with in a couple of hours and stays that way. All my paramiters are good, I do a water change to clean the poop out. This ragim seems easyest and most rewarding.Infact my fish just spawned agin, twice now. I am slightly over stocked, feed on the heavy side with omega one sinking pellets , with othe store bought foods. I do check the water often, when others help feed i may rarly get a nitrate reading and do an extra 50 percent water change. Not sure if it will work for you but less care seemed to help my fish. good luck.

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Alright, thanks for the responses everyone, going to answer as best as I can.

I was cleaning my filter pads bi-weekly by putting them in the bucket of water, swishing them and kind of scrubbing them with my fingers in the bucket. I would clean the filters when they get really bad, and I would just take them a part and wash them as best as I could. The tank is in my bedroom, about 10' from a window. Lighting, I mean just a normal long bulb in my hood. My water's good, I can give you any results you want but don't know what you want, nitrates are typically hovering around 10 or under.

Shawnee River, I just like the one plant, I've had it forever. But I'd definitely consider investing in some new ones if you tell me which ones you think would do well in my tank. I only get them for my fish to eat and to suck up nitrates. I have to turn my off because there's not enough water, else I would. That's why I've been doing the 1 buck changes every night to prevent it. I would gladly upgrade, do you think I should? I'm not looking to get a snail, I know it's not dirty per se, just the red algae freaks me out since I have no clue where it's from. I would love some info on the red.

Ashlee I've answered your other questions above but I don't squeeze the bad, but I will. And I've had the sword plant for around a month or two.

Vwashbur, thanks for the good info. Your questions are answered in this post or the OP. I am interested in the treatment of the plants, is that harmful to my fish/cycle in anyway? I'd definitely consider it if you recommend.

Neecee2 I would love to cut back but when I did, my nitrates went through the roof, so I'm working on keeping that down.

Thanks everyone for the advice so far!

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Johnny, as long as the impeller housing is full of water, you could leave the filters running. The intakes don't have to be under water -- they don't have to be sucking in water from the bottom. Mine -- different brand too -- hold enough water in them to keep them plugged in and running, even though they aren't filtering anything. As I said, it will make a noisy slurping sound, but that is the sound of air being sucked through that bit of remaining water. I have been leaving my filters running during WCs for at least 6 months now in four tanks with no harm to the filters. I'm not saying to run the filters dry -- I just keep them on as I'm draining the tank, and enough water stays in them to keep them from running dry.

When I refill the tanks, I don't have to prime the filters. When the water covers the intake, they automatically start running again because the little bit of water in them is enough to prime them.

As for upgrading to AquaClears, I did it when my Penguins died, and I have not regretted it. They work great, are easy to clean and they are less likely to spit out crud. If you are interested, try replacing your smaller filter and see if you like it. They cost a little more, but they are cheap to run because you rarely have to replace the media.

As for plants, goldfish don't usually eat swords. I don't know what your other plant is. Are they really eating it? I like plants because they help with the filtration and provide hiding places for the fish. I see my fish hide in them when they feel the need to, and I believe that giving fish plants can reduce stress.

If you want to try something new and easy, I recommend java fern and/or anubias attached to a rock or driftwood. They are available at chain stores and LFSs. You could try anacharis too -- it can float, and some people say they goldfish eat it. Mine don't.

Algae tends to come from a lack of balance in the tank. But that is such a big and complicated topic -- the more I read, the less I know! But some basics are to make sure you aren't getting too much light and that you have adequate nutrients for plant growth. Sometimes fertilizers and Excel can help boost plant growth and reduce algae growth.

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Thanks for the advice on the filters, I'll try that I'll probably upgrade soon.

My goldfish peck at both plants, but they ruthlessly chew and attack the one I have covered in hair algae, have since I got it, which is why I love it so much. They don't mess with the sword but they'll peck at it. I also wanted it for the hiding spots.

I'll definitely look into some of those plants you mentioned, thanks! Is there any place online that sells them where I won't have to do the bleach cycle and that can be trusted?

Any specific things you can recommend that will help my tank? I know it's unbalanced and I've been trying my hardest to fix that. I typically put koi clay in there but haven't been the past few weeks because I'm neurotic and was treating a pretty serious illness.

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