Originally Posted by Dovie
Thank you all for your advice, I have taken note.
However I decided to take a plunge this afternoon and have put all my fish in a small 20 ltr tank for now, with some existing plants, gravel and filter media from the old tank and hopefully this will keep the fish happy.
I did have more neon tetra but the fantail had a couple before I took him to the shop. I will add a few more when the aquarium is up and running.
I have been wanting to clean the tank for a while and the guy in the shop got me motivated I guess. As I mentioned I have had problems with Blue beard algae and it keeps coming back. Also my plants don't last very long, probably because there was no plant sub strait!
I'm not sure what other fish to add, this is where I need a bit of advise. Fish that get on with the Neon tetra's would be a good idea. I am open to suggestions.
If you keep the filter wet and just rinse the substrate with treated water (or just not chlorinated water) you shouldn't have to do the whole cycle over again, unless you want to. If you choose not to then add the fish and monitor the water for a while to be sure everything is working as it was.
Keep in mind that cleaning the tank, even full sterilization, won't keep the algae from re-appearing. Controlling it through balanced fertilization and lighting are needed. Starting out with a fresh tank can make you feel good about it but the balance still needs to be maintained or it will return, even if it was sterilized.
What sort of lighting do you have? How long do you run the lights each day? Do you fertilize now?
You don't need a plant substrate, some here have tried them compared to just sand and found no difference. I have just sand and LED lighting with 13 different species of plants and they are all doing well. I also have no noticeable algae other than a tiny bit of hair algae that shows up on my filter output every once in a while... but I just leave it alone.
The link in my signature is to my planted tank thread and it outlines what I have done with plant lists and whatnot if you are interested.
As far as fish, check out the corys in the profiles, there are something like 20 varieties to choose from but watch the water temperatures as some are cooler water fish. They work with most other fish as they are shoaling bottom dwellers.