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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 20 gallon long that is about 75% planted that finished cycling earlier this month. My last check on the water parameters was 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and 5 nitrates. PH is around 7.4 and water temp is 76. I dose equilibrium, phosphate and phosphorus once a week, skipping the last week of the month. My substrate is MGOCPM with an inch cap of black diamond blasting sand.

Current tank inhabitants are 3 rummy nose tetras and 4 harlequin raspoboras. I plan on adding another 6 or so rummy nose and 5 or so raspboras. I also have some small pond snails that found their way in on some plants.

I do not have any issues with algae yet, but I am increasing my lighting schedule from 6 hours a day to 8 slowly (30 min each week). I do not run co2.

I would like a varied clean up crew that could help with any potential algae outbreaks, are pretty hardy and do not require much additional maintenance. I also would like to avoid anything that would uproot the plants. I do not mind feeding some algae wafers/flakes occasionally. I am thinking of trying some red cherry shrimp, but really have not looked into how much work that would add and have not measured alkalinity/calcium, etc. Would love to hear what has worked well for others and any suggestions.
 

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Remember for a low tech tank doing less is sometimes more. I would back off on your ferts especially the phosphorus( there will be enough in your fishes foods. I like the fact that your are increasing your light cycle slowly. But to answer your question, a good clean up crew in a balanced tank would include but is not limited to nerite snails, amano shrimp, SAE, , Oto cats - these all typically will not harm the plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
How many nerites would be appropriate?

Also, I will cut back on the phosphorus and phosphate to half the recommend dosage unless anyone has a better suggestion for the amount. Appreciate all the help so far and looking forward to some other suggestions.
 
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