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was I just ripped off by a crafty plant salesman??

This is a discussion on was I just ripped off by a crafty plant salesman?? within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> I'm glad to hear you stood your ground about not buying some of those fish. One time I had a pet store worker tell ...

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was I just ripped off by a crafty plant salesman??
Old 07-25-2010, 12:27 AM   #21
 
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I'm glad to hear you stood your ground about not buying some of those fish. One time I had a pet store worker tell me that the Blue Goumari was a peaceful community fish. I brought one home and it proceeded to attack and kill my Silver Dollar before going after almost everything else in the tank. That put a real damper on the hobby for me, but I am back many years later and proceeding with caution.
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Old 07-25-2010, 07:23 AM   #22
 
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Brandelion,two things from your last few posts.

Otos will only eat common green and brown (diatom) algae. They will not touch brush algae, hair algae, or other types. Snails are useful at algae though of course they eat very little but every little bit counts. I have Malaysian livebearer snails in my tanks, they are probably the best snail. They burrow through the substrate, eat waste and all sorts of stuff, plus some algae. I also have pond snails or bladder snails. I personally think snails in an aquarium is a bonus.

On the pleco. First, there are hundreds of species; some stay smallish (3-4 inches, or 4-5 inches) others grow large (18+ inches). Some but certainly not all will eat algae. Many are carnivorous, not vegetarian. You need to know what you are getting to know if it will even eat algae, and how large it will be. And as for algae, here again they do not eat brush or hair algae. So that is a loss all round.

As for potentially large fish in small tanks when they are juvenile, absolutely no. I do not recommend this. Fish grow all their lives, and some grow quite fast; if the aquarium is not sufficient to handle the needs of the fish (not only space but also water conditions come into this) the fish will not form properly inside (the organs) and may be "stunted" which means disease-prone, deformities, and almost certain premature death. The comparison to having a puppy or a kitten in a cage is not apt because dogs and cats are mammals and grow differently than fish which are bound by their water enclosure and everything in it. Puppies and kittens have the whole world of air to breathe, regardless of a cage; not so with fish. It is a real mistake to buy a potentially large fish for a 15g or 20g since the damage will occur very quickly.

Byron.
see I have 2 chain stores and 2 independent guys I can go to... in the chains I'm dealing with 18 year olds who were working in the dog food section yesterday

in the independents (store #1 and store #3) I'm dealing with guys who have been working with/selling fish for years if not decades - store #1 is the one that sold me these kooky plants and wanted to sell me the CAE and gouramis (in addition to the 7 black neon tetras I was already buying) all in one day
and store #3 is the one who was telling me to get a 'common pleco' and he would let me trade it in when it gets to be 4 or 5 inches
what brought this up with him was me pointing out to my husband a pleco this guy had that was well over a foot long and explaining to him that THIS was why I didn't want to put one in my little tank

I do NOT want to stunt it's growth!!

so you see why I don't trust ANY of these local stores I'm dealing with

as for algae - as long as it's not gunking up my glass and it's not harmful to the fish I'm mostly ok with it

if a snail or two or three (or however many is ok in my tank) will keep my glass clean I'm all for that!!

I'd rather not have a pleco OR otos, as I'd rather keep my cory in this tank and get him some friends

but like I said before, I don't want to wind up with a tankful of snails either... won't a hermaphroditic snail eventually overpopulate?
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Old 07-25-2010, 07:32 AM   #23
 
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Apple snails (mystery snails) need a male and female to produce babies. If you have one snail you won't have to worry about babies. The hermaphrodite snails might cause some grief, but not a single apple snail. They are really nice, regardless of their clean-up abilities.
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Old 07-25-2010, 10:37 AM   #24
 
I love having snails in my tank. They do a great job controlling the algae problem. I find that as long as you dont over feed they tend to be fine and I actually rarely see them in my tank unless im looking. As for mystery snails, they do mutiply but they lay their eggs on the hood of the tank. They wont hatch unless you let them drop into the water. If you dont want a bunch of baby mystery snails jsut scrape the eggs off and throw them away.
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Old 07-26-2010, 01:17 AM   #25
 
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With the right balance of nutrients, light, and CO2, there will be minimal algae. (Byron missed your algae question, so I'm trying to talk like him )

IT's true. Every tank has some algae, but your glass won't be green with it. (You might have a speck here or there on driftwood and stuff)

CO2 supplementation is not mandatory.

If you're thinking about buying online, check out sweetaquatics.com
They also have a pretty sweet biotope design service too, if you decide to go that route.
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Old 07-26-2010, 06:36 AM   #26
 
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ok cool I'll definitely do some more looking into snails =)

redchigh ~ I'm having an issue with green algae and some kind of dot looking algae (looks like water spots on an improperly dried glass) taking over my glass at the moment AND some kinda green hair looking algae as well - but that is on a silk plant I plan on removing today so hopefully that will eliminate that problem

this is why I've been looking for something to eat algae - but I AM hoping to be able to eliminate the issue by replacing the fake junk with lots of good live stuff and yeah finding anything decent or a reliable, trustworthy place to get anything around here is proving to be pretty much impossible so I will definitely check out that place =) thanks!
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Old 07-26-2010, 03:03 PM   #27
 
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Only this morning I was reading yet another article that mentioned not buying so-called "algae eating fish" to solve algae problems but resolve the cause. Very good advice, as extra fish use up valuable space and limit other fish, and may not be so "useful" anyway.

Light and nutrients cause algae, nothing else; and without live plants there is plenty of nutrients and the algae use it. With live plants the nutrients are usually taken up by the plants and then you balance the light so it is not more than the available nutrients. Algae won't have much of a chance. It is always there, that is natural, but not overpowering.

All aquaria have algae on the glass, as part of regular weekly maintenance during the water change the glass (at least the front) should always be cleaned with a sponge scraper even if it doesn't "look" like it needs it. Minute spots of algae can be there waiting for the opportunity.
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Old 07-26-2010, 04:02 PM   #28
 
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Only this morning I was reading yet another article that mentioned not buying so-called "algae eating fish" to solve algae problems but resolve the cause. Very good advice, as extra fish use up valuable space and limit other fish, and may not be so "useful" anyway..
Awwww, but I love my little Oto's. Actually, none of my fish are "useful" they just give me pleasure watching them and that includes the little busy, Oto's.
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Old 07-26-2010, 04:37 PM   #29
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Only this morning I was reading yet another article that mentioned not buying so-called "algae eating fish" to solve algae problems but resolve the cause. Very good advice, as extra fish use up valuable space and limit other fish, and may not be so "useful" anyway.

Light and nutrients cause algae, nothing else; and without live plants there is plenty of nutrients and the algae use it. With live plants the nutrients are usually taken up by the plants and then you balance the light so it is not more than the available nutrients. Algae won't have much of a chance. It is always there, that is natural, but not overpowering.

All aquaria have algae on the glass, as part of regular weekly maintenance during the water change the glass (at least the front) should always be cleaned with a sponge scraper even if it doesn't "look" like it needs it. Minute spots of algae can be there waiting for the opportunity.
the main issue I'm having - with the green algae anyway is on the right hand side there is a window to the right (the window and tank are on the same wall the tank is to the left of the window) and I'm guessing that is the culprit as the most algae is in the area where light sneaks in the gap between the curtain and the window frame... particularly bright morning sun that lasts a couple of hours...

my game plan is to not turn the tank light on until after the sun passes over that part of the house

I scrubbed the daylights out of the tank (especially that wall) today and when I was all done and the new water was added and the lid put back and light turned on I could see I didn't get it all!!

it's really hard to see what I'm doing in there without a light...

this spot looking algae (I assume it's algae anyway because it multiplies) is really hard to scrub off... it takes some serious elbow grease... I'm afraid I'm gonna scratch the glass (I was using the 'abrasive' side of the aquarium scrubber sponge thingy) - I definitely didn't get all of that either

anyway...

I also took out two plastic plants and rinsed the filter cartridge (in water I had just removed from the tank) - after the fact it occurred to me that this combined with all that wall scrubbing may have been too much cleaning for one day

hopefully it all goes well though...

it's definitely looking clearer for now at least

but just so you know - I'm 99.9% off of the idea of getting a fish to deal with the algae

my focus now is on plants... I don't suppose you can tell me about how much I need in the way of live plants in this 20 gallon tank - I don't want it so full that I can't see the fish... but I do want enough to be as beneficial as possible
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Old 07-26-2010, 04:49 PM   #30
 
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I always hesitate to suggest fish or plants because it should be what you want in your aquarium, not what I want. I do feel obligated though to comment when I see probable trouble in this or that fish or plant, because I want you to be happy with your aquarium, and stressed out fish is not going to lead to that if you are forever working to combat health issues.

I like substrate-rooted plants and those that root on rock and wood over stem plants. The reason is, they basically stay as you plant them (they grow larger of course) without constant regular trimming and pruning. In a 20g you could have swords, Vallisneria, Sagittaria for substrate-rooted plants; Anubias and Java Fern attach to rock or wood. And floating plants are always good for forest fish as they provide shade from direct light that these fish prefer. It calms them to have a "roof" over them.

Of the swords and Vallisneria, there are large-growing species but several smaller ones that would work. Echinodorus tenellus, the pygmy chain sword, E. parviflorus "Tropica" the dwarf sword, both are in our plant profiles. One E.bleherae would work, it will grow to the tank basically but it is a lovely plant. Vallisneria "corkscrew" tends to remain smaller.
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