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So my daughter's birthday tank and fish set up was a fail. We are down to 1 fish, a small male platy, and a red/brown algae that keeps coming back. I'm considering snails for the algae, to at least tone it down hopefully, and a beta.

Right now our 20 gal tank has gravel and fake plants and decoration. I'm considering adding sand and possibly real plants. I've cared for beta before with no issue (in very poor circumstances before I knew better), but I have no idea about snails or planted tanks.
 

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I haven't had snails before, but it sounds like they are pretty easy to take care of. Often you can just plop them in and leave them to their own devices but a supplement of food. I've heard they love a little cube of apple or a bit of carrot. Snails will also eat certain plants.
As far as the plants go, it depends upon how much light your tank has and the amount of care you are willing to provide.
 

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There are very few snails that eat plants, although they will eat dead plant material. I have Malaysian Trumpet, tiger, pond and ramshorn snails. I don't feed them, they just munch on stuff in the tank.

Jeff
 

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I believe there are a couple. However I am no where near an expert. Perhaps others can supply a list of plants that would survive and any supplements or what not that they would need.
 

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I wouldn't know aquatic plant care. I have led lights...can plants even grow with those?
It depends on the LED lights. I have LEDs with plants and they do great but the stock "starter kit" typically just has lights for seeing the fish and won't work for live plants. What is the brand and model of the fixture/kit?

Jeff
 

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I don't remember the name of it, but I bought it at Walmart and it had a bunch of tetra food samples and a Tetra filter.
 

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low light plants would be good, a betta would be very happy in 20 gallons, you might even be able to do some otos or small cories in there for the bottom swimmers. The catfish do better with sand, and personally, i just prefer the look and ease of sand in general. doesn't trap as much debris.
 

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Yah, betta in a 20 is lots of room. They like floatimg plants so you might try some of those. If the kit came with all tetra stuff then the light will not likely be "plant freindly". Any lightning should be in the 5,000K to 7,000Kelvin range. Depending on your budget you can look at some low light LEDs (8watts would be a good start for low light plants) as they are cheaper long term but flouescents are still common.

Other fish, corys are a good second, a shoal of 6 - 8, whiptail catfish are cool, 2 - 4. These depend, somewhat, on your water parameters but pepper corys are fine in water that suits a betta, as are the whiptails.

Id suggest upgrading the food, New Life Spectrum make a good product, Omega also, less wheat and non-fish products in them and a good assortment of floating and sinking food.

Jeff
 

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SNAILS: You might consider Neritina natalensis commonly referred to as Nerite snails.

- They are beautiful having different colors and patterns

- They do not eat plants

- They are kind to all other living aquatic creatures

- They do not reproduce in freshwater

- They eat algae

- They will lay eggs, sometimes a lot

Overall a great snail.....
 

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I have a "Bettadora" and a nice crew of corydoras in a 20g. Very pretty tank. I used sand and have tons of plants mostly on one side and some stem plants on the other side to give the corydoras plenty of sand sifting room. But they love climbing the plants and resting on the leaves too. I have a t8 in there and still the plants are doing well so I bet with a nice LED it would be even better.
 
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