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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
h*H2 I am trying to maintain a 10 gal freshwater tank running win the Aqueon filter that cam with it. The tank houses a pleco, frog and 5 other fish (I don't remrmber what kind, and I know that is bad). I am sure that the fish are freshwater and not gold fish. I also have a plant that seems to be struggling. I am doing full tank cleaning every 3 wks because my water turns green and cloudy. I know I should have to keep doing this. What I am I doing wrong?
 

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Your gonna need to give us some more info. But here is what I will guess is going on.
First off your tank is over stocked. 1 pleco is going to be too much for a 10 gallon and with 5 other fish you have too many. Second you need to study up on the nitrogen cycle. The short version is: in an established tank there is bacteria that converts ammonia (fish waste, un eaten food etc) into nitrites. Ammonia and nitrites are very bad for fish. The bacteria then converts the nitrites to nitrates which fish can live with. (Certain levels). So in a new tank when you just put fish in there is no bacteria and the waste will build up and kill the fish. It will also cause the cloudy water.

The other problem is that the beneficial bacteria lives in your filter and on hard surfaces. So even if you are beginning to get some bacteria when you totally clean the tank every three weeks you are probably killing the bacteria and making things worse. If for some reason you have to clean your filter media (which you typically shouldn't do in brand new tank) you need to drain a little water from your tank into a bucket and then swish the filter around in the old tank water. This will ensure that the bacteria in your filter does not die.

Not knowing this type of info is what happens to most new aquarium owners. There are many different ways to cycle the tank. The best way is to do it with no fish so if you have another place to put the fish or if you can return them to were you bought them then you can get the tank cycled and then add some fish back. It can be cycled with fish in it but not all fish can live through this process so you need to verity what type of fish you have and we can then make recommendations.

The green water problem is likely an algae bloom which can be from a number of things. Most common is too much light. Is there any direct sunlight that hits the tank? What kind of lights do you have and how long do you leave them on?
Post some pictures of your fish and tank, that would be a good place to start.

Last but not least is you need to learn that you CAN NOT trust 99% of what you are told at pet stores. There is the occaisional good one out there but for the most part they just want to make money. So the best thing to do is to do your own research and then go by the products/stock that you want and don't listen to what you are told at the pet store.
Good luck and welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am trying to post pics now. I have discovered that I can't listen to those people. They seem like they have no idea what they are talking about. I have been going to petco.
 

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I am not sure how hardy the platys and barbs are when it comes to a cycling tank, but if the have made it this far they must be OK. If it were my tank I would get rid of the pleco (they are huge waste producers) and they will frown to close to 18 inches long. It will outgrow that tank very quickly. There are other types of algae eaters you can use.
Do you use city water,well water, or what?
Also you need to get a good test kit. The API master test kit is the most used and recommended kit around. The test strip kits are just not accurate. The API kit is expensive but it will last you a very long time and it is accurate.
You should also consider a good water conditioner like Prime or Amquel. Especially if you use chlorinated water. But even in well water this will help detox the ammonia and nitrites and help the chances your fish survive.
Once you get a test kit start testing for ammonia and whenever the ammonia gets above .25 I would do a partiall water change with your Prime or Amquel. This will do to things. It will help keep the water from getting green and it will help keep the fish alive. THe ammonia and nitrites do damage to the fish even if the don't kill them so just because your fish are surviving right now doesn't meen that they will live a long healthy life.
After several weeks you should see that the ammonia and nitrites in your tank will go to zero and the nitrates will rise. This meens your tank is cycled and then you will only have to do water changes every couple weeks. If you don't think you can keep up on the constant water changes and work of a fish in cycle then you will need to remove the fish and do it fishless. There are several ways to do this. The easiest is to put a piece of raw shrimp in the tank and it will start producing ammonia which will begin to help establish the bacteria you need.
This cycling process is what causes problems for most new fish keepers. They don't realize how much work it is and they get frustrated. But once you get the tank cycled it will be much easier to maintain in the long run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I got the tank in Aug 2009. It ran for a month and a half with nothing in it. I was never told to put anything in it other than the water. I recently read i should have put a shrimp in it. IDK .. Anyway, the fish I have now, one of the barbs and the pleco are original fish they are bearing with me. The frog, 2 barbs and platys have been around for about 2 months. The fish seem happy but the tank just keeps turning green. I feed once a day. I turn on the light when the sun goes down for about 6 hours. My house doesn't get much natural light and they are far from the window and receive no direct sunlight. It is a tropical tank, the light is fluorescent. After I clean the tank and change the water, I put 10ml of stress coat and 10ml of stress zyme on the 1st, 7th and 14th day.
 

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Kill you lights and the water will clear up.

Stop adding the chemicals.

finally to keep it clear I would put 4 or more bunches of anacharis in the tank. So the anacharis (plants) consume the nutrients not the green in the water.

my .02
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So, what do I do? Clean the tank and start all over? Change the amount of time the lights are on? Chemicals or no chemicals? I will buy a kit tomorrow, I use tap water but I let it sit overnight before putting in tank.
 

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Nope...don't change a thing. Based on what you provided, you're on the right track. And actually, your photo period is a little short but with only one plant in the tank, it won't matter.

I would like to see some test results though. Namely NitrAte with the amount of fishies you have in there.

Like Bob mentioned, keep the lights off for 3 days. Get a large towel and cover the tank as well.
 

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I didn't know the tank had been running that long. It is most likely cycled and depending on how you clean it (when you say you clean it every three weeks), you might be having mini cycels. Like the others said it looks like you have an algae bloom. How many watts are the lights you have?
I still think I would swap out the pleco for some ottos or something.
 

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I had a similar problem, and what I did was blind the tank with some black trash bags for 3 days, and then put plants in it to compete with any algae for the nutrients. It worked really, very well for me, and I never had the problem after I did it....
 

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Again, I am knew to this as well but it sounds like I have the exact set up as you. My water was really green. I wouldn't listen to Petco either. I go to a pet store but it has a room filled with fresh water and salt water aquariums, and I do believe they know more. But I also researched online. I started cleaning 25% water every week, purchased something that goes in my filter to help with algae (don't know what it was though-almost looks like a tea bag and I replace it every 2 months). The algae bloom stuff killed a couple of my fish so I didn't try that again. I think what finally did it was turning off the light. I only have it on for about 8 hours a day now and my tank is beautiful. It looks just like the ones in the stores.
 
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