Rescape advice needed
Hi all. It's been a while since I posted on here asking for anything, but I am today. It's regarding my 20 gallon high tank, which is home to four giant female bettas. It has been set up for about 15 months, and frankly it was not done well. It was a mix of too little gravel and floramax, planted with java ferns, java moss, rotala, hygrophila, and salvinia minima. Two sponge filters were used, lighting is LED for plants...prolly about medium light. I dosed weakly, weekly with flourish comp. there was a monstrous piece of driftwood in there too, and lots of rocks.
My problem with this set up is that it is FILTHY. I made the mistake of putting a dwarf water lily in there, which was a mess. Every time I clean it it seems like I've overstocked it, but obviously it is not overstocked at all. There was a lot of BGA in there until about a month ago, and now there's green hair algae all over. Gross.
This needs a change. There is obviously some imbalance. here's my ideas thus far:
1. add more floramax to a depth of about 3 inches.
2. replace one sponge filter with a small HOB for physical filtration, baffled if necessary
3. clean plants well and put back in. I will be adding new rotala and hygro since I have tons of that in my other tanks.
4. try to add some snails and hope they don't become betta breakfast
The driftwood (which is actually that Mopani wood), is my big question: should I ditch it? It seems like it's always covered with something gross and it smells SO BAD when I remove it to clean it. I expect some rot, but it's overwhelming. It's also very large and heavy, and even though the fish like to hide near it, it's difficult to remove and clean. If I up the plants and add some rocks for hiding spots, do you think it'd be OK?
Thanks for any input. I just want this tank to look as good as my others do, and honestly, I have no idea what's out of balance so I'm just redoing it. TIA!
1 - 55 gallon planted community
3 - 10 to 20 gallon planted betta tanks
My advice: slow down, think, and be willing to learn. Then you'll be fine, no matter what.