someone is eating my plants
I have a small aquarium if 40 ltrs with 15 neons, 4 sterbai cory, 2 clown loaches (to control snails) , 2 miniature algae eaters, and 5 cherry shrimps. My aquarium used to be very nicely planted (good light, fertilizer, Co2,etc) I did not change anything in particular but lately I have noticed that something has been skeletoning most of the plants, tearing small pieces leaving only the stem. Many small pieces of leaves can be seen flowing too. I never notice any fish nibbling the leaves and yet most plants keep on disappearing fast. Could there be any parasites? Or are the fish eating the plants? But who? This has happened all of a sudden whilst the aquarium has been running perfectly for more than 4 months. Please help. I will try to upload a photo too. Changes affected lately consist of: reduced some plants to make for more swimming room, 5 amano shrimps disappeared, introduced the clown loaches more than 2 months. Could it be bad water quality?
we'll need pictures.
it could be eating of the plants, or the plants having a deficiency.
but you have an issue with your stocking: you have a 10gallon tank and you are overstocked. so because of that, you will have bad water quality too.
cloan loaches do not belong in anything less than a 5ft 90+gallon tank.
and what are the "mini algae eaters"?
here is what your clown loaches look like full grown: http://www.loaches.com/species-index...G/image_medium
it is bigger than your current tank :(
Last edited by mizzoutank; 03-08-2013 at 07:09 PM.
You do know this tank is massivly overstocked?
I'd bet on the otocats, these tend to be starved and will resort to anything edible.
For sure it's overstocked! Your tank is large enough for the neons and the shrimp and that's all. I would guess a deficiency and perhaps due to the lights or the substrate. If all you have are hood lights that come with the tank, then it would be lights.
Remove the clowns and cories, one of those is eating the plants. It is too small for them also. As long as the algea eaters are under 2" and the tank is around 18" length, they may feel comfortable. I don't know much about algea eaters or plecos, I just put mine in my 200g pond that algea thrives in when they get too big, and they love it.
I would just get 2 or 4 assassins, and maybe replace the cherries with Amanos, then the algea shouldn't be a problem.
Sorry but you are obviously very wrong.
1. Those clowns need to go, the adult length is a foot! Yes, 12 inches at the very least
2. Cories do not eat plants and they lack the hardware to take nibbles out of a live one
3. Cherries eat algae as well as any dead stuff on the bottom.
The fact that you know little about "plecos" is apparent by the fact that you lump them all together and that you keep multiple in a 200 gallon. Your "common" pleco also gets to be more than a foot long and then 200 gallon isn't much.
What usually happens with beginners is something like this.....
1. Cram 15 neons in a small tank
2. Add some cories for "cleanup crew"
3. hmmm.. some snails hitch a ride. And the owner is overfeeding so the reproduce quickly. Off to the shop. Shop owner wants to shift clown loaches, after all that may mean a bigger tank sale later on and they are so easy to order compared to assasins.
we're now at 200% of what would be wise in an 10 gallon tank.
4. The filter was already struggling. Maybe it can't cope, maybe the water changing is insufficient but we got so many nutrients in the water from all the fish that the plants can't deal with it all and we get algae. So, to the shop again for a pair of Otocinclus vittatus. (the other common small algae eater is the "hong-kong plec" or Beaufortia sp. but those hardly ever survive longer than a few months)
Now 3 things can happen
- the otocats are so stressed out by not being in a school that they hardly eat
- the otocats find a tank with a load of yummy algae and start stuffing their faces.
- the kind of algae here is the kind they don't really eat like diatomes from a "let's follow the manufacturer's instructions and change ALL the filter media" action.
So... in the latter two cases we get hungry otocats sooner or later and these guys do have the hardware to take nibbles out of a live plant.
I'll admit I'm guessing here but this is a fairly typical pattern for a newbie with some skill or talent (after all it's not a tank crash story) who is going by bad shop advice.
Now, what I think marza needs to do is;
- rehome the clowns ASAP!
- Do a good long hard think if an upgrade to a 70-80 liter tank can be done within the next 6 weeks or so
- if not then rehome the sterbai as well, it's a big corie, much too big for the average 40 liter with it's limited floor space
- identify the algae eaters to us by posting a pic
- get us some pictures showing the tank and the plant damage
Thank you all for your kind feedback. Sorry for delay but had a problem with pc or website was down.
I am aware that it is overstocked and I know that clown loaches need much much bigger space but I needed something against the snails(apart that i love clowns :). I had tried with Pakistani loach but where chasing the other fish all day long. I dont have plecos. The miniature algae eater are Otocinclus.
i have tried to attach photo i cant manage. If you gently send me your email addresses i will send you the photos through an email.
I must stress that for over 3 months it was going excellent and plants where growing very nicely until this phenemonon happened which i cannot explain !!! The light is good and i add CO2 + fertilizer too. I know what i am doing... except for the overstocking. Aquarium is home made. I managed to find this post ...what you think? http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...ting-them.html
Some plants literally seem to have been eaten by a caterpillars !!! could it be some kind of parasite? larva?
New to the hobby, but that my friend is your plant slowly dying. Much like our bodies due when we lack nutrients, plants tend to break themselves down to try and survive. Something is not right in the tank itself, could be completely wrong but that's what it looks like to me
I would say it is the clown loaches eating your plants. They will eat non tough leaf plants when they arent getting their veggies. Another good reason to look into rehoming them.