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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! :giggle: I've had my tank for a little under 4 months now and it has already gone through so many changes as I have been getting it established. I've made plenty of newbie mistakes, but somehow have managed to keep all my fish alive (if not all my plants)!

I started off not doing anything at all about CO₂ for my plants, which was stupid I guess, because that's how I lost my first three. Now I dose it daily with API CO₂ Booster as well as API Leaf Zone on a weekly basis. In my defense, at first I had a 60/40 ratio of live to fake plants, and now all but one of my plants are living :D the goal of course being eventually to have everything be 100% alive and natural.
Most of my plants are, to my understanding, beginner-friendly (even the ones that I killed with my negligence), except for one: I recklessly bought a dragon's tongue because it was just so pretty I couldn't help it! I looked up the care when I got home and found out it's not a true aquatic. So I understand every few months I may need to take it out and plant it outside the tank for a few days? I got it 2 weeks ago and it looks like it's doing fine as of right now.

The fish in my tank are:
1x m dwarf gourami (named Gorlami)
6x pygmy corydoras (Fus, Ro, Dah, Su, Grah, and Dun)
and as of yesterday, 3x molly, 2f and 1m (Spirit, Specter, and Ghost)

I understand that now with my new mollies I am a wee bit overstocked. I checked on AqAdvisor and it said I'm at 113%, which to my understanding is still manageable as long as I keep up with regular maintenance? Does anybody have any advice in regards to maintaining a slightly overstocked tank?

Also, (and this is the most newbie question I could possibly ask), can somebody go over how water changes work? I haven't done one yet as I was told my new tank needs to be established first, but I know I will be needing to do it soon and I'm so afraid I'm going to mess it up and kill something/everything! I have a small substrate vacuum which I only used once before I ever put anything in my tank. Do I need to take everything out? Where do I put my fish in the meantime? Or is it ok to do it while they're in there? What about the plants: won't it loosen them from the substrate and make a mess? How do I keep from completely uprooting them? Or, again, do I need to remove them and replant them after?

Here's my tank!
1031920


Sorry about the weird angle, it's the best way to get a picture without glares in the glass.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

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heterandria formosa, cherry shrimp, nerite snail
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Water changes do not mean empty the whole thing and scrub everything out. The gravel vac only extracts mulm from the surface level of your gravel (not all the way down to the bottom). Don't be too vigorous around the plants and they won't uproot. You definitely don't want to uproot them or remove the fish. Only change 25 to 50% of your water, fish and plants stay put.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Water changes do not mean empty the whole thing and scrub everything out. The gravel vac only extracts mulm from the surface level of your gravel (not all the way down to the bottom). Don't be too vigorous around the plants and they won't uproot. You definitely don't want to uproot them or remove the fish. Only change 25 to 50% of your water, fish and plants stay put.
Thank you so much :)
 

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75g, 33L, 2g and play tanks
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You're gonna want to do those 25-50% water changes once a week. If you can, get the API test kit. It will help you figure out where you want to be exactly. I am sure there are threads on this forum that explain how those work. But that will help to let you know where you stand with water changes. For the most part though if you do weekly changes you'll be doing pretty good. This is because once it's cycled properly the two types of bacteria should be keeping the ammonia and nitrites in check. Nitrates are the least dangerous, but still want to keep them low aseventually they too will be come a fish killer. Do you know that much about the nitrogen cycle? If any of that went over your head that's totally normal. But look into it. That cycle is a main thing that needs to watched in this hobby.
 
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