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Nick's quite right with the instructions.

Allow the nitrates to run under 40 but not under 10. Under 10 risks the growth of BGA(blue-green algae) which can be difficult to remove.
kevilknc said:
Also, and totally unrelated, when can I get an algae eater/bottom feeder? Does the tank need to be fully cycled before I can get one?
Go with otocinclus. As they are quite delicate, you have to wait until the tank is established for around 3 months. Make sure your tank is fully cycled.
Water changes really depends on how heavily stocked your tank is. With the current stocks, weekly water changes is fine as Nick had said.

Kevil, pls avoid this fish.
Chinese Algae Eater(CAE)

They grow to 25 cm thus outgrowing your tank. Not a community fish anyway as they developed a taste for mucous membrane or slime coat of the fish.

My advice: Before buying a fish, do a research. Don't buy a fish on impulse without knowing its requirements.
 

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There are smaller plecs like the clown plecs and bristlenose but they'll need a 15 gallons minimum. Only one will fit in it of course to reduce chances of overcrowding.:)
 

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Cold water=suitable environment for ich.

While life cycle may be slowly, they thrive better in a cold temp. It has been known that 32 degrees can kill the ich although it's more on speeding up the life cycle just to make them go into free-swimming stage where meds and salt will destroy them easily.
Hence the warm temp adjustment is recommended during ich treatment.:)
 
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