I have multiple sets of questions but they are for my RCSs. So I figured that I should ask them all in here.
Its a 20G high tech tank. It has red and bunch of other high demanding plants. I am injecting about 1BPS co2 at the moment. Lights are on for about 7 hours a day. So far, the tank is doing very good. I used dirt, capped with blasting sand. It has the followings -
About 8/10 Cherry shrimp. Now, I am not sure about the number. I started off with 10 shrimp. I may have more, may not. But the other day, I did see a very tiny brown shrimp that I know for a fact that I did not put in there. This HAS to be a baby shrimp that was born here. (YAY!!!!) I am sure If I keep looking, there will be more. But no need for that.
It also has about 8 Rummynose Tetras
3 Siamese Algae Eater. The SAE will be relocated to my 72G when they grow bigger. Right now, they are in there to help with algea issue.
1 Bristlenose Pleco
Some Dwarf Corydoras
These being said, I have some questions -
1 - Now that the colder weather is coming in, I have changed my water changing schedule. I just take a cup and remove about 3/4 cups of water everyday and then fill it back up about 5/6 cups. I figured that the amount of water is not enough to make much of a change in the temperature. Instead of doing 10/15% change in a week, I am doing this almost everyday. I dont really match the temperature accurately, just use my hand to kind of eyeball it.
Yay or nay on this system? is it a good approach or am I doing something wrong? Anyway to make this system better? Its important to note here that I cant afford to use RO/DI water. Its not an option for me.
2 - My tank is pretty low, its only 9 inches from the substrate to my light. It has some Anubias Nana, Chrismas Moss, and Fissidens glued on spiderwood. They are all about 4/5 inches from the light. Now, Fissidens are doing fine. They are growing pretty well. But the other two, there are nasty, bushy amount of string algae over them. The algae issue is so serious that at first, I thought they were actual plants. When I examined closely, I can see that they are growing over my moss and anubias.
That being said, is Excel an option for me to control that algae? They are not present anywhere else in the tank. Just over those moss and anubias. Will Excel harm my shrimp?
3 - The tank also has Bladder snail. Normally, I dont mind them, but I am afraid they attack my plant. I have had a nice Pothos plant that were growing from the side of the tank. Recently, I noticed that those snails are always on the root area of my plant and that root is rotting. Finally I had to take the pothos out, cut off the rotting part, then stick it in my 72G tank.
So the question is, am I right? Are they bad for plants? If they are bad, is there anyway to get rid of them without harming my RCS?
Hey there! I think I can provide some answers on this one. I'm going to address your points as numbered:
1. Your water change system should be fine for cherry shrimp. They are pretty hardy about temperature fluctuations, I almost never match the temp of the water I use for water changes (I have a python so it comes right from the tap and I usually just use full tap cold to avoid any water heater residue) and my cherry shrimp have been happily breeding for 3 years now despite being moved to 2 different houses, countless tank moves, and me constantly harvesting from their colonies to sell. They have still kept right along with only a few obvious deaths so I would not stress too much about your water changes harming them. Congratulations on the shrimplet! Unless it was a hitchhiker on plants then there should be more in there.
2. I would not use excel on moss, and especially not as a direct treatment for algae. It almost certainly will die along with the algae. Good news is you say you are injecting co2! I would just increase the co2 by a bit, and then manually remove as much algae as possible. When I do this I try to get all the algae out, even if that means removing some affected moss with it. If it continues to grow back, I would consider moving the moss farther from the light.
3. In my opinion bladder snails are perfectly fine to have. They wont eat healthy plants and likely that pothos root was a terrestrial root that was rotting as it transitioned to aquatic roots (the same thing happens if you take a pothos with aquatic roots and plant it in soil, those roots rot away) and the snail was opportunistically grazing on it. If you want to remove the bladder snails without harming anything else there are 2 ways I suggest. The easiest way is to just add another more aggressive type of snail. In my tanks, ramshorm and trumpet snails easily outcompete physsa/ bladder snails at getting to the food and reproducing. All tanks with bladder snails that I introduced another snail to, eventually had no bladder snails left after a few months. You can supplement this by manual removal but do not kill the snails in the tank, I see people who say "I smash any snails I see, why do I have so many snails?!" And it's because you are just feeding them with their dead brothers! Take them out and humanely destroy them (freezer works), or give them to someone with a snail eating fish. But personally, I find snails to be a good sign that my tanks biological activity is working and they are a useful barometer to know if you are overfeeding. Plus they technically will eat some algae (though you'd be a fool to rely on this as your only algae removal system)
Anyway I hope that helped. Sounds like youre on the right track and are just overthinking some things. Would be cool to see a pic of your setup!