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Tear down or save?

1017 Views 12 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  jbrady33
I have this 10gal tank that I've fallen out of love with. It was my first planted tank, and has been going almost 3 years. My fish have all died off, my plants got way too big and I passed them on, and now I'm down to a piece of driftwood, some grassy type plants (sorry, don't know what it is), and less then a dozen shrimp (and a thousand malaysian trumpet snails, mixed with a dozen assassins).

I am planning/preparing to get a new 29gal tank. Start from scratch, have a little more room to play with. More stocking options.

But as I'm preparing to just tear down the 10gal, a bit of nostalgia wants me to keep this one going too. But I'm not sure its worth it. I've fallen out of love and let it go. Is it worth the energy/time/money to set it up again?

What I don't like...

-hair algae. This started when I got rid of the other plants, added the driftwood and the fish died off. I haven't been actively fighting it, although am now more diligent about manually removing it, and reducing lighting. I'm also going to pick up a few oto's and amano's (that I want in the new tank anyways), so maybe they'll help too. Not sure how hard a battle this will be to get it under control/eradicate it.

-water colour. When I added the new driftwood, I had soaked it/boiled it for weeks hoping to get rid of the tannins. No luck, and my tank has this yellowish tinge to it still. I do water changes, and its still there. Is there anyway to clear this up?

-substrate. Sand. I've used root tabs in the past, and the underlayer that you can see through this glass is black. I've heard the root tabs can cause this. I don't *hate* the sand, but it definitely needs a freshing up somehow.

-plants. While my last ones got out of control (anubias and moss), at least there was something. Its so barren now. That's an easy fix.

-lights. It has a stock hood, and the fixtures make it tricky to find decent bulbs for. When I first got it, the best I could find was 7w 2700k bulbs. Maybe its still the tannins, but its never had the bright, clear look I see with other tanks. I haven't scoured eBay or international shipping for other bulbs, but this is probably not a huge problem to solve if I put some time into the search.

-too many snails. The assassins cleared out the pond snail population in no time, but don't seem to touch the mts. I'm thinking of putting on ad on the local aquarium site to give away as many as I can catch. Or maybe the fish store would take them, I know they sell them sometimes. Fairly easy fix.

What I do like...

-I have my first berried shrimp. I've had shrimp for a couple years, with zero reproduction. I did have a betta before, so I always chalked it up to him, but I'd really like to see a batch survive. Tearing down the tank and moving the shrimp I'm sure I would lose the babies.

-I do like the small size. I find it peaceful and not overwhelming. I like that it doesn't take much to fill it (plant and fish wise). I love small, mini things.

-I hate having something and not using it. I would feel this tank was being 'wasted' if I didn't have it set up. If I save it, it would probably go into my sons room with some guppies or something.

So now I've listed the problems, here are the specs. I haven't changed anything since I first got it, so maybe a few small changes would be worth it. Or maybe I should just say screw it and focus on a new tank. The new tank is happening, and I have the time/energy/money to tweak this one and make it better, just not sure I want to tear it down completely and start it from scratch again right now.

Size - 10gal
Hood/light - stock with 2 x 7w 2700k bulbs
Filter - Marina Slim 10
Heater - Tetra 50w
Substrate - sand
Ferts - root tabs in the past, nothing for probably the last 6mth-1yr

anubias clippings I saved from the big plant (sorry, not sure exactly what kind, bartari I think)
grasses (sorry, don't remember what this is either)

7-10 cherry shrimp
1 amano shrimp
assassin snails
malaysian trumpet snails

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I would redo that tank. All things come to an end, and if you are thinking about redoing it, and no longer really enjoying it, redo.

Get things ready ahead of time, save the shrimp in something that will allow you to keep the filter running, and tear it down. Some shrimp are pretty picky about their water, so I would save enough water so the net water change is less than 50%, unless you know your tap water is a very close match for the water the shrimp are in now.

No, there is no way to stop a branch from leaching more tannins. The boiling you have already done is the right thing, but it does not always get rid of all the tannins.
Increase the water change frequency and add Purigen or Activated Carbon to the filter.
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