Looking for advice on my 20 gallon tank
I set up a tank just I guess 6-8 months ago. The tank is 20 gallons with florescent lighting 100 watt heater and an old fluval 2 plus filter. It is decorated with driftwood, plants (anubias, java fern, crypts and hygrophila), clay flowerpots and a sand substrate. It houses a bristlenose, 3 platies (1m2f) and 2 kribensis (1m1f). I feed once to twice a day a variety of foods: Omega one flakes, shrimp pellets,veggie rounds, frozen brine shrimp and bloodworms and blanched zucchini (not all at once i mix it up and someday its flakes and pellets other days its bloodworms and zucchini etc)There are a few things that are not exactly as I expected and I have the following questions. Thank you for any assistance you can provide. I will attach pictures for reference.
The sand accumulates debris and even the same day as I clean the tank with a siphon the debris will be back. I believe it is from the driftwood and plants. Does anyone have any tips for keeping the sand clean? I use an air hose and suck it out by hand then vacuum.
The male platy is attacking a single pregnant female and ignoring the other. This began after both females gave birth in the tank for the first time. Has anyone seen this before?
A very course 'hairy' algae is growing in one spot on the wood I don't really mind it but also if anyone has seen this before I would be interested in knowing how to control it and keep it from spreading. Pleco won't eat it (not that i had expected him to).
Kribs will dig out the flowerpots and make their cave more private. I have seen the female and male both in the cave and the female will do her mating shake dance but still no eggs. I added the pair about 1- 2 months ago. They seam to be exhibiting breading behavior on a regular basis.
Hygrophila started to die back once I first added it and now I have a few palm tree looking pieces left. Every time I have ever tried to add java fern to a tank it dies back then new little plantlets form and are very slow growing. How do people get those beautiful java fer bushes? Am I just inpatient?
I feed the pleco veggie rounds and blanched zucchini but I very rarely actually see him eat it. How can I be sure he is getting enough food?
I want to add maybe a few tall hardy plants to hide the filter and heater. Any suggestions? Also looking to add a small school of fish? Can I do this without overstocking? If so any suggestions on what kind would be best?
Any other suggestions and tips are more than welcome.
Forgot the Kribs. Kribs are one of my favorites. It sound like they are setting up to breed as you suspected. If they are younger they are still figuring it out. One thing to watch, make sure the pleco is not eating the eggs. Plecos do that and love caves, see the issue? Once the Krobs start breeding, they will do so like clock work every 6-8 weeks.
platys can be mean ! i've seen it with the ones i kept years ago.
kind of put me off having them again.
i'm not any help with stock numbers for your tank so a suggestion of getting
more females,may not be any good,might help keep him busy !
Elodea,Horn wort,Cabomba,vallis are a couple of tall growing plants,that i can think of,and they are easy to grow,(they must be coz i manage :-) )
The sand you are using looks great but it being white or off white, it will show vegetation debris much more other than a natural color or black. It will always be there if you have live plants. The plants will feed off of this as well as the poo, in return it will provide clean water.
Platy's need to be stocked properly three females per one male, if there is more males then females, the females could get harassed then die.
The "hairy" algae is hair algae. It is caused by over feeding and very difficult to control or eliminate. Once it starts it will continue all over everything except your sand. Remove the piece of wood and use a 20:1 water: vinegar mix. soak for 20 minutes, use steal wool to scrap off the wood, wash thoroughly. You do not want to add that piece of wood until you are sure there is no more in the main tank. If there is just a hair in the main tank it will come back. Amano shrimp, American flag fish I know do eat it.
Can't help with the kribs, I have never owned them.
Mostly all aquarium plants are grown above water, in open ponds. When we add them to an aquarium the pond plant dies off and the new aquarium plant starts. Take water lettuce for example the pond version is 6" wide but the aquarium version is only 1". There are many types of Valis which is an underwater grass type plant. I bought one and it totally died off then came back with a vengeance. Be patient.
Pleco's you never have to worry about them, they will eat any uneaten food, algae, drift wood, algae tabs, sinking shrimp pellets, veggies, bloodworms, and dead plant matter. Most of these items are found around the tank at all times. You can almost just forget about it and they will do excellent. You never want to over feed a pleco due to them excreting alot of waste.
Tall plants that do great are Jungle Val, straight Val, ludwigia repens, water wisteria. You can try to add more fish but with only a 20 gallon I would not risk it. The platies will continue to breed and you will soon have a tank full of fish.
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