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I am new to aquaria and planted tanks. I currently have a 20G High tank
with the following setup:
3" natural colored gravel
eheim cannister filter
ebo-jager heater (tank is at 74F)
2 20W 24" cool white fluorescents
1 20W 24" Coralife Colormax fluorescent
(Lights are on a timer, 13 hrs/day)
-some variety of giant hygro
-a plant which may be a bacopa or ludwigia. It sprouts
dime-sized spade-shaped leaves. They are slightly red underneath.
-a melon sword (verified)
6 zebra danios
4 red serpae tetras
2 kuhli loaches
The substrate originally had laterite in it, and genius that I am, I
rinsed most of it out. :-(
Question 1: This evening I put some "Redneck Laterite" in the
substrate. I used to live in Huntsville, AL and had a friend send me up
a couple of lbs of the reddest clay rich dirt he could find. I smushed
them into 1" balls and tucked them in the substrate near the base of my
plants. Will this help my plants? I refuse to believe that Laterite is
the only way to go.
Question 2: As a newcomer, I made many mistakes, the worst of which was
buying a "food cube" while I was out of state on a business trip. When I
returned, I had several kinds of algae and cyanobacteria. There are two
A) A type of hair algae. This was on my plants, but the otos have
taken care of it. It still grows along the corners of my tank, along the
sealants mating the glass.
B) Disc algae? Small round green spots. Sometimes, there appear to
be small hairs growing out of them. Perhaps they are the same algae as "A"
and the small disc is merely an attachment point to the glass? This stuff
is held pretty tenaciously to the glass.
How do I get rid of this? The otos do wonders with my plants, but do
not seem to remove the stuff growing on my glass (although they appear
to try to munch on it often.)