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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m new to the hobby about 4 months. I have a 20 gallon tank with gravel, driftwood, and some plants. (I’m about to do another cleaning, damn hornwort plant is shedding and leaving a mess) I have in the tank: 1 betta, 1 clown pleco, 3 peppered Cory catfish and 3 albino Cory catfish. I do 20% water changes every week. One of the small albino Cory catfish is floating at the top, will swim barrel rolls, or lay sideways on the gravel out of the blue. All the rest are okay. I tested the water with API vials and it showed: ammonia: 0%, nitrites: 0%, nitrates:0%, and pH level is 7.8. I’m so confused what’s killing the little guy. I feed the betta 3 small little betta pellet balls about the size of his eyeball once a day, drop a algae wafer at night once a day for the pleco, and about 6-7 sinking pellets once a day for cories which they leave nothing behind. Please give me some advice, I hate to be a fish killer, thank you.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi,

In my opinion, I'd say the problem is the PH (too high) and the kind of gravel doesn't help a lot too. They prefer more sand to small rounded pebbles.

All the rest you're doing well....but could be a bad luck too with this lil guy.
Thank you Andy 🙏 Any advice will do, I have thought about the gravel lately. I just don’t know how to change out all the gravel with all the stuff already set in place. I’m assuming it’s going to be a big mess. Also, I added the driftwood recently in hopes of it lowering the pH naturally but I don’t think it’s working.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I’m using Top Fin filter and I also placed “Searchem Purigen” in the filter compartment as well. I did noticed the water became cloudy after I began using “API Leaf Zone” once a week for the plants which I also add “API C02 booster” every day the recommended amount in the instruction bottle. The pleco I have is a “clown pleco”. I used to break the wafers in half and drop in at night but then I saw the cories are eating the wafers too so I worried that they are eating all of it. So I started leaving the whole wafer intact and every morning the whole wafer is gone.
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Honestly, I think I saw him nibbling at it once, but no, I don’t see him often because I’ll drop the water at bedtime and go to sleep. Unfortunately, yesterday the poor little guy passed. All the other cories are healthy and behaving normally so maybe he ate too much? I’ll post the food I give the pleco. I also forgot to mention along with the “API Leaf Zone” and “API C02 booster”, I’m also been putting “Searchem Flourish tabs” in the gravel as well.
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
i wanted to respond a while back but my phone died. i feel bad when people ask for advice and people end up confusing the person. i will say keeping things simple helps alot. my first thought is filtration and turns out you posted a filter that is pretty much the least favorite on most lists. tons of filtration options but ive found one with a sponge and lots of media is what you want. units with cartridges are not the best. a cheap aquaclear would be far sup.
i wanted to respond a while back but my phone died. i feel bad when people ask for advice and people end up confusing the person. i will say keeping things simple helps alot. my first thought is filtration and turns out you posted a filter that is pretty much the least favorite on most lists. tons of filtration options but ive found one with a sponge and lots of media is what you want. units with cartridges are not the best. a cheap aquaclear would be far superior in my opinion.
Actually, by chance I was wondering if the filtration was not good enough and cheap. Maybe you’re right, I’ll take a look at the “Aqua clear” system. Any other brands you suggest? I’ll probably have to buy a better brand one than Top Fin but one that has a flow adjustment so I can turn it down for the less water movement so it doesn’t stress the Betta too much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I don’t remember any big changes to the fish tank except that I added the plants near the same time. I recall the hornwort plant shedding and that’s why I decided to add some fertilizer and CO2 with the tabs to help it, the Anubis fern, Java fern, and the Christmas moss. As for the food, I know the cories tear up the sinking pellets and they leave small pieces all of the gravel which I try to suck up with the gravel cleaner during the weekly water changes and add bacterial after to make sure ammonia and nitrates level don’t spike up. I changed the filter just last week after I noticed the cloudy water but I rinsed the new filter in the fish water and left the old filter in the tank for week so the bacterial would move over just in case. I also assumed the Searchem Puregeon would help with nitrate levels.
So far, the things I should do is replace the filtration system, break and give less of the algae wafers, and find something better than the API Leaf Zone?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I was reading up on hornwort. losing leaves may be part of the transition. I haven't kept them in over 20 years. You can watch them for a bit longer to see if they will recover.
Thank you Edge, I appreciate the help. It’s frustrating sometimes to lose a fish or to see plants not flourishing. I don’t want to give up, I try my best to learn.
 
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