Should I get a shrimp or snail? Or both?
I'm slowly starting to get my tank in order. I've got an all planted tank now with driftwood for my clown pleco. The other inhabitants are 3x emerald cory catfish, 5x black widow tetra, and 4x serpae tetra. I might be adding more of the tetras because I know they do better in higher numbers. I've noticed my java moss is not doing well and either has brown algae on it or it's dying (I can't really tell). The moss is about 4 weeks old. (More info is in profile.)
As for feeding, I feed the tetras flake (every night) and the occasional micro pellets (which I might return, they never seem to go for them; almost as if they can't see them. Unless I maybe get some top fish), occasional bloodworms, and algae wafers (every night). I try not to overfeed: I crumble some of the flake food in a cup of tank water and slowly add a little of that mix to the tank at a time (I saw this as a way to help the flake sink...any thoughts on if this is a good technique?) The reason I don't just add the flake where it floats at the top is because I think the BW crowd out the serpae--the serpae don't come up to grab it at the top, where if it sinks I see them actually eating it.
As for the wafers, I put 3 into the tank via a piece of pvc so I can angle it to their favorite areas. I try to do this a few minutes before or after lights go out for the night. (The other feeding is right before). Even though the tetras have been fed flake, they seem to wait around and find the wafers even if I add them after lights out, so hopefully my bottom feeders are getting enough. I occasionally get a somewhat cloudy tank, but not too often.
So with the feeding and the thing with my java moss, as well as maintaining the tank in general, should I consider getting a snail (for algae and/or food debris) and/or shrimp?
Sounds like you are feeding a lot. Do you notice if your fish have swollen belly's?
As for Shrimp or Snail my vote is for shrimp. They are way more entertaining and will eat everything from flakes to pellets to poop. If you are having issues with cloudiness id say slack off a little on the food maybe just tail off the wafers. I know all my fish seem to be so fixated on them that they eat until they are swollen so i need to break them in half.
One thing to note about a snail is that they have a lot of waste if you just wanting something to clean the glass you should look into a Chinese Algae Eater (Gyrinocheilus aymonieri). They will take care of the glass.
Thank you for all the replies. The tank itself doesn't seem to have a lot of algae, I just couldn't identify what was up with my Java Moss, but I think Brownmane cleared it up for me.
I read the profile on the CAE and agree that it probably wouldn't be the best for my tank. One of the reasons I was considering a snail was because of the bits of leaves and stuff or pieces of the moss that have fallen to the bottom of the tank. I do water changes and try to get most of it, but sometimes just moving the hose around the plants breaks more off so there's more leaves on the bottom AFTER I do the wc lol.
Which shrimp would do well in this community tank with tetras, cories, and the pleco?
Snails are immensely helpful in aquaria. Not only do they eat stuff nothing else (including the shrimp) will, they eat some algae [not sufficient to rid a tank, but that is another matter], but primarily they are a major contributor to the health of the aquarium by breaking down larger organic substances into smaller bits that the bacteria xcan more readily handle. Especial;ly in the substrate, where Malaysian Livebearing snails are a miracle of sorts.
I would remove larger bits of plants that break off. While eventually this will not have much impact, at the beginning (before the tank is well established) it is best not to overload the system with organics.
During the water change, leave the substrate alone as you have plants.
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