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Re: [APD] Reviving a neglected tank

On 26/11/2011 21:14, Bob Baron wrote:
I haven't posted much since The Great Unpleasantness a few years ago.
I have a 20 gallon tall cold-water aquarium that I'm trying to bring
back to life. It has been neglected for about a year; no fish, no water
changes, no CO2, but lots of light (what could get thru the algae on
top.) The bottom is sand.

I scraped all the algae off the glass and skimmed it off the top and
vacuumed the bottom (doing about a 50% water change in the process) and
topped it up. Then waited for it to settle so I could see what I had.
There's maybe 4 or 5 small anubias, some of them very small, and quite a
bit of java fern (all of it has turned loose from the rocks) and some
kind of narrow-leaf Vallisneria that I don't really like.

Now that the light can get through and with the water changes, the
plants have started growing and the algae film is sloughing off the
leaves and I continue to clean it out, and I've hooked up a small
hang-on-the-back filter. Soon it might be ready for some fish.
Surprisingly, I haven't had an attack of green water yet (the city
injects phosphate into the water supply.)

That's because it needs nitrogen to grow not phosphate. :)

1. The java fern and the anub's need to be anchored, but not actually
have their rhizomes under the sand, right? In the past I've just
tied them to small rocks with string or used Super Glue to keep
them on the bottom.


2. Is there a way to get the vals to grow into nice-sized bunches
rather than use all their energy running?

It's what it does...

I remember that the
stuff totally takes over if you let it, but it never really fills
out. I would rip it all out, but I need something fast-growing to
act as a nutrient sponge for a while.

Your substrate will be laced with bad bacteria and once you stirred it up it'll be all over the tank. Best add a waste control bacteria bottle. That'll remove any leftover poo and fish food to lower ammonia levels and kill off any bad bacteria that may infect your fish.
(Lowers aquarium maintenance too.)


3. Would rosy barbs be a good choice for an attractive hardy fish
that will help control algae at least a little? I'd like to keep
the water temperature in the mid to upper 60's in the winter and
low 70's in summer.

When you want to add fish, buy a bottle of nitrifying bacteria like One and Only or SafeStart, Stability. Put it it. Then add your fish the same day. That'll get your tank cycled in less than 5 days.

If you want fish to eat any algae, don't feed them a couple of days a week. :)

Stuart Halliday
200 Million years in the making...
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