Dear Tropical Fish Keeping,
Before I begin, I have a 29 gallon aquarium.
I'm experiencing a little bit of trouble with my fish tank. For starters, I have been using a table for a fish-tank stand for several years, and it appears to be buckling. This seems to be the easiest to fix, I'll buy a proper stand.
I'm a little unsure how to fix the algae and gavel problems however.
Over the last few months I've noticed there is a lot more algae in my aquarium. My biggest concern with it is that it covers my live plants (crypts, watersprite, and some hornwort.) which I've heard can "suffocate" them. I have the lights on an 11 hour schedule, and preform a 30% water change every other weekend (the nitrates never get above 40 ppm.) I'm not quite sure how to fix this, though I know the tank is near a sky light
and I need to replace the lights soon.
Finally, I think I may need to get different gravel for my aquarium, but I'm unsure what the consequences of this may be. Years ago I got this gravel out of a creek bed, and so it seems to be bigger and more jagged than is suggested for aquariums. What's more, there seems to be a soil or something beneath the gravel. I'm not sure what it's composed of, but when I try to plant something it gets stirred up. Should I replace this with more traditional gravel?
At any rate, thanks for taking time to read this. Any help is greatly appreciated. I'll post some images below for further clarification.