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Looks Awesome! hey have you noticed any holes in your plant leaves? or missing leaves? Tiger barbs are known plant eaters, just wondering if you have any issues? i toss Anachris clippings in my tiger barb tank they go nuts!
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
the algae is just a green side algae, the diatoms seem to be getting cleaned up, Just recently I had some weird brown stuff start growing on my Taiwan Moss it looks like it could be brown hair algae.... The algae has just been terrible lately.......... It's hard cuz now I am back at school, and can only work on my tank 2 days a week when i'm at home...

The plants are doing well, I will post pics soon, moved my guppies and hatchet-fish to my 5 gal that turned from local biotope, to calm zen aquatic garden
 

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Do you have a local aquatic plant club? You can put a bunch more plants in the tank and that will help the algae by soaking up excess nutrients from the fish and food waste. At our local plant club meetings, we give away tons of plants for free. Not only are they better than what you'll find in stores, they're more unusual. Do you know what your water hardness is? Are you fertilizing the plants at all? I see a CO2 reactor in the back, are you running it?

Michael
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
The tiger barbs and loach haven't grown any in the past few months, part of the size of a fish is dictated by how large their environment is.

the CO2 is diy, and yes it is running I have a fertilizer I use every now and then , but I have been letting the plants take care of it.

the plants I have are:

Dwarf Sagittaria – Sagittaria subulata
Taiwan Moss – Taxiphyllum alternans

A crypt of some sort, and something in the back that I have yet to look up properly, I also have some duckweed in there to try and suck up any excess nutrients...
1-Golden Dojo Loach – Misgurnis anguillicauditis
3-Tiger Barb – Puntius tetrazona
3-Long-finned Zebra Danio – Brachydanio rerio
1-Otocinclus - Otocinclus vestitus
2-Corydoras
everybody seems happy :)
I will post some pics later to try and show you what is going on...
 

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First, it's a myth that fish only grow to their environment. There are lots of fish sold in stores that shouldn't be. For instance, the red tailed shark can grow to 4 feet, but stores rarely warn people of it and they can end up in tanks much too small for them. Loaches are pretty slow growing, I have clown loaches that have grown quite a bit, but it's been years. Unless they are fry, noticing fish growth isn't very common. One day in the future you'll say "wow, they've grown a lot" but won't really remember it happening. It's a bit like our hair.

The fertilizer is for the plants. With a good regular fertilization scheme, consistent CO2, and good lighting, plants can grow extremely fast. It's harder in a small tank such as yours but not impossible.

The counter intuitive thing is that small tanks are actually harder to keep than larger tanks (up to a point of course.) In a large tank, things that influence water chemistry will have a faster and greater impact in a smaller amount of water than in a larger amount. What filter do you have on the tank? I see it's a hang on the back type, a very good type. What type of media does it have? A sponge and carbon? bio media? You definitely want the sponge and the bio media (light colored course rock usually) and for now it is probably not bad to have carbon in there but once you have a heavily planted tank you can take it out. The bio media and ideally the sponge should never be rinsed with chlorinated tap water. Siphon tank water into a bucket and squeeze the sponge well in the water to clean it out and swish the bio media around for the same. Then put it back in the filter. The reason is that both will grow beneficial bacteria that is important to the tank. The bacteria breaks down ammonia that is produced by decomposing fish and food waste. It then becomes nitrites, which a different bacteria then convert into nitrates. In a heavily planted tank, we want to stop there, but otherwise a bacteria can break that down as well. In heavily stocked tanks or new tanks or tanks without many plants, this is helped by frequent water changes to keep those levels low. In general, you can't do too many water changes and your tank will look better for it.

I recommend removing the duck weed and any future pieces that appear. It's not a plant you really want in your tank. It multiplies like crazy and is very difficult to get rid of. Once you have real plants in there it will cover the surface and prevent light from getting to the plants below.

Right now, the best thing you can do is perform frequent water changes and manually remove the algae where possible. Whether by removing rocks/wood and washing it off, or by using a paper towel or razor blade on the glass. Most of the algaes you're getting point to low water quality, particularly the staghorn which according to this site is a sign of high ammonia, which would be consistent with a high fish load and a probable cause of your recent fish deaths.

Michael
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
thanks for the reply! I will reply to your PM in just a second...
The fish growing to the size of environment isn't a complete myth, (have had fish all my life, and I am currently a Ecology major and have taken classes on morphology) it isn't fact, but I did keep an eye on these fish. :)

I truly understand the small tank = big problems, it's all about ratios and such, I try not to fertilize too much, I feel like the nitrogen cycles and other natural cycles are the way I want to go.
I have been manually removing the algae for awhile with a nice scraper, and by the good ol' hand :)
the duck weed i moved from my large pond outside to my 5 gal that is doing okay to overwinter :) I thought putting the duckweed in there might be a good temporary "sponge" for excess nitrates as duckweed is a remarkable water purifier.

and the recent fish deaths occurred because of a naughty cat in my house that has reached his angsty kitten years and got into my room without my knowledge... >.< but I love him lol
and now to your PM :)
 

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, the red tailed shark can grow to 4 feet,
Michael
i did not know this all the research i have done on them says they get no bigger than six to eight inches i have had a red tailed shark in my twenty gallon for five years and hes no bigger than 6 and a half inches can you show me were you red this or were you got the info on how big this fish can get or a picture of one
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
.... sooo.... I have done a complete rescape, MacFan has been extremely generous and sent me a box of plants which look lovely, and will be very welcome additions to my not-so-great tank. I have repositioned my driftwood and I really like the shapes I have in my tank now....

The biomass list:
1 oto
2 pygmy cories
1 chocolate albino pleco
3 zebra danios
5 fancy guppies
20 glass shrimp

Valisneria
Hygro
Baby tears
Java moss
Java fern
Blyxa Japonica
Something Mac Aquired
Something Mac thinks is Hygro "Bold"
Water sprite
Dwarf Sag
amazon sword
crypt of some kind
a Spirally plant
Taiwan moss (a lot of this was taken out due to the terrible algae rampage)

I will post pictures of this when the water clears

thanks for hanging in there
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Pictures! Sorry for the terrible quality, will get my tripod out tomorrow ;-)

Here is the full tank (kinda blurry, sorry!) \/



The driftwood arch with my chocolate albino pleco below and a pygmy cory to the lower left and a couple of MTS \/


Verrrry blurry left side with driftwood "tree" used to have a gorgeous mound of Taiwan Moss, but the algae ate it all.... \/



The right side of my tank \/



One of my glass shrimp saying hello! \/

 
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