New tank problems- plants dying, filter too strong, snail infestation :(
I am so frustrated. After months of wanting a new tank and 2 months of planning a new one, I got a second one up and running, and I hate it so far. I absolutely love my old tank, and did from the start. This one is different, and I have put a ton of money and effort into it, and I don't know what to do.
Here's some info on the tank:
-T5HO 48 watt light
-Internal filter, but I don't know what brand
-Substrate: Eco Complete
-Fish: 2 small honey gouramis
-Plants: many high light plants, but some are dying and they don't look vibrant
Problem: Snail infestation
I went away for two days only to come home to snails in the tank. I have no idea what to do about that. I took them out, but then there were more today. I don't want snails in there.
Problem: New filter too strong
I got a new filter that is supposed to be good for keeping CO2 in the water because it is internal. It is making ripples on the water and my two fish are staying at the bottom of the tank the majority of the time. I tried to turn it down, but it isn't working.
Problem: Plants dying, CO2 level low
I am supplementing with CO2 from a canister, put the plants are still dying. I am using fertilizer. I just received better fertilizer in the mail that I will start tomorrow or Wednesday. But, the tank doesn't look very good.
I feel kind of crushed, because my last tank is so great, and this one is just making me sad when I see all the dying plants and the snails. I would appreciate any help you have, because this is seriously disappointing me, and I love fish.
Not sure about your filter, but I would put a breaker bar at the surface as close to the filter out-let without spillover. You can use a piece of plexiglass or split PVC. That should stop the ripples and the fish should settle down. As for the plants, too much fertilizer is a bad thing and if your tank is not cycled completely you can blow the readings off the charts. You may wish to do a few water changes like 10% twice daily for a day or two. That is what I got.
There are a few ideas on this thread that might help with breaking the flow - similar to what Henning recommended above. As bubble-nesters, Honey Gourami come from areas dense with plants and not much water movement, so I can see how the increased circulation would be stressful for them. . .
As for the snails, the only way I know of to get rid of them without dumping chemicals into your tank is to manually remove them. It'll take a little while, but it can be done. The easiest way is to put a piece of cucumber, or a leafy green veggie, into the tank at 'bedtime.' After the lights have been out for an hour or three, scoop it back out - along with all the snails who are happily nomming on a midnight snack! It might take a few rounds, and then again as the eggs that are in the tank now hatch, but you'll get them all with a little bit of patience.
I'm not going to be much of a help with regards to high light stemmies and Co2, but how long have these plants been in the tank? I know that my stems always go through an adjustment period when I bring them home, and I've found that I've had better luck with them if I let them float until I see some new growth before planting them - but my tanks are all very low light, low tech, so I'm not sure if it applies.
I'm sorry to hear you sounding so frustrated, but chin up! We all hit bumps in the road, sometimes sooner, sometimes later, but we figure it out, learn from our mistakes, and fix things until they're right! Finding the balance in a new tank can be tricky (though sometimes we get lucky from the start) Be patient, and please don't give up hope! You're on your way to a beautiful and thriving tank!
I sympathize with you but I can promise you it does get easier. As to your plans going I don't add a lot of chemicals for my plants and some do well some don't do well. My advice is to buy cheap plants and replace as necessary.
As for the snaiks get an assassin snail. I got 4 and they did such a good job that I had to buy more snails to feed them. Not everybody has a good luck with assassin snails but I have and it is better for the fish then adding chemicals to kill the snails.
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When the gouramis are settled, they should eat some of the snails. You could also add Yoyo loaches or Clown loaches if you don't like the idea of Assassin snails. Keep hangin' in there!
I agree with Dandries. Get some assassin snails. Baiting and removing pest snails can keep the numbers down, but will never get rid of them. I had an infestation and tried bait and remove weeks on end and it would slow them down but never get them all.
I'd like to offer a different opinion on your snail infestation. I keep snails in all my tanks and I love them dearly. They are fantastic scavengers. If I ever overfeed or let a family member/etc. care for my tanks I can definitely tell that the population explodes with overfeeding. As your tank is new (cycled but not mature) your population is probably still growing to its comfortable level. And since you have no other bottom feeders, any food that makes it to the bottom is probably contributing to the snail problem. In all my tanks I purposefully introduce snails to add diversity and never have trouble with the population getting out of hand.
Maybe this just doesn't apply to your tank though, only you know how much you feed, what your gouramis eat, etc. It sounds to me though that the snail problem is a symptom of a new tank that is not yet in balance, NOT the root cause of the problems. I would get the plants in order and the rest of the tank calmed down before worrying too much about a huge snail population.
Uh oh! Clown oaches DO enjoy snacking on tasty snails, but they get huge - your tank is too small for these beautiful animals - please don't bring them home! Assassin snails may be a good idea, though! I hope things are looking up for you over there!
assassin is where its at dude. i had a horrible population of ramshorn snails. now i have yeah maybe 15 20 i can see all the time but those two assasins worked over the population. i have two in my 55. just be careful tho if you do use the snails and they wipe out the infestation of other snails you will have to feed them. thats why i dont mind the small snails they feed my badass little buddies and is still under control
Thank you all so much for your advice! I have really appreciated reading it, but I got busy with work and didn't have energy to respond sooner.
The snail problem DID begin with overfeeding... When I went away for two days, I put in a weekend feeder, and I came back to snails on/in that plus on the sides of the tank. I probably should have not put it in with only two small fish.
I did try the cucumber thing, but it didn't sink to the bottom of the tank, so it didn't have any snails on it in the morning. I will try again though. Loaches creep me out (because they look like snakes, which I am afraid of), so I wouldn't get any even if I had a bigger tank.
I liked the idea of floating the plants for awhile when I first get them, which someone suggested. I might do that next time.
My gouramis are getting to be more adventurous in the tank, which I am glad about. It is nice to see them swimming around more, though they often still don't that much. I need to get some floating plants for the little guys to hide under for shade if they want.
I am starting to see hope again of this being a great tank. I did some pruning of some of the plants, so those ones are very small now but much prettier. I am going to keep posting here, though, because things still aren't great. At least it's getting better, though!
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