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Hi all,

This is my first post, so hello!!! I'm Ollie. 22 and living in London, I work in the film industry and recently decided to get my first tank.

As mentioned, I'm relatively new to both aqua scaping and fish keeping. I purchased a 6 gal Fluval edge back in February and introduced 6 Male Guppies 2 weeks ago as my LFS deemed my water safe and my Nitrogen cycle present.

I've been struggling with maintenance on the edge since a couple of weeks in but got a good deal on the price and really liked the design of the tank and I do feel it suits my flat. I didn't find much before buying to say it was a difficult one to maintain and was also told it was a good beginner tank with various internet posts saying the same thing.

I have attached photos of my tank and as you can see the plants are far from ideal. I've been dosing "Easy Life Pro Fito" weekly and adding 'Easy Life Easy Carbo' daily for the last week.

My concerns are first, have I got the wrong substrate? I have a base layer for the plant nutrients and then river sand on top. This was advised by the LFS. I'm reading more and more to suggest I may be better off ditching the sand in a planted tank but understand that to remove the sand will be a lengthy process due to the gasses and bacteria it holds that are important in the tank and also if I were to remove too much at once it may poison the fish? Is the sand the issue?

The second issue is my plants seem to be dying slowly and have stringy black/brown algae growing (Photo attached) on them which are very hard to remove and is most sharp to the touch? See the pictures I have attached of my plants. My roots seem to all be going black as well which I read is that they are dying? I'm unsure as to what plants I was sold though and so this may be an incorrect plant issue.

If I've chosen the wrong plants then please do suggest some that would suit my lighting setup currently (if I don't remove the top**). The current setup is the stock Fluval edge lighting and then a "6W 28cm Aquarium Fish Tank Over-Head Lamp 36SMD LED Light " If I go ahead and remove the top then I will be running the single external LED light (6W 28cm Aquarium Fish Tank Over-Head Lamp 36SMD LED Light) and would love plant advice for that.

I'm at a point of considering the removal of the top. I'm more than happy with the process and very comfortable with silicon and removal of it but before I go ahead I'd like to ask the users of the sites point of view and maybe get some pointers to convince me to work out the niggles and keep the top on. Also, I am under the impression that the silicon supporting the unit once the top is removed shall be fine as silicon works better under load and from what I understand the top of the edge is not structural. I want to make the tank easier to maintain and this seems to be the only logical way I can see how?

I'm looking to have a healthy planted tank with a lot of greenery. I'd like to add some red shrimp soon (4/5) to keep the algae down and add some more visual interest but I'm aware I need to get the plants right first.

I currently would appreciate any advice or help I can get as I'm really lost on where I am going wrong.

Thanks for your help

Ollie
 

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