Help... (my tank needs some TLC)

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AC Members
Dec 1, 2020
Real Name
The picture explains it all, I need to make my tank look nice it is cloudy because of debris being kicked up when I removed Hardscape and caught fish from it. I currently have the following fish listed below, I want to get new fish and new plants and make my tank look nice and clean. My current plants are in a dark area right now to help fight algae, the tank is half empty because I’m waiting for my bucket to fill so I can water change. I am trying to lay out a plan to make my tank nice. I need help guys (I can’t remove any fish away from the tank until I get my 20 long set up) the tank is 40 gallons
1 half banded spiny eel (similar to a peacock eel but they are smaller.)
1 bristlenose plec
7 rainbow fish (mixed species)
6 corydoryas palateus
4 Siamese algae eater
2 pearl gourami
1. make my tank look presentable and enjoyable to look at
2. Create a healthy community of fish such as larger gouramis, angelfish, rainbow fish and others I want my fish to have healthy colors too.
3. getting new plants and starting a good dosing regimine and light time and or intensity
4. Low maintenance, I have to go to this unusual and cruel hell called school which means I have no time on my hands
5. Cheap, I have 70 dollars to spend here. I can Get more over time but I don’t want to spend more than 100-150
current specs:
1 110-150 gallon filter
1 Eheim jager 300W heater
1 nicrew skyled (around 80 par I believe)
it’s on from 8 am to 10 pm (I think that’s too much but I’m not sure
nilocg thrive c every other day 8 pumps

Now that you know some stuff about my tank, please help



AC Members
Dec 11, 2011
Blairstown, New Jersey
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IPhone 12 Pro Max
The debris should settle down after a day or so. I would cut lights down to 8am to 6pm, to much light can cause access algae growth. The filter will also filter out the dirt and clear the tank, but still takes time.


AC Members
Dec 1, 2020
Real Name
I can’t find any but like 1 big piece that’s made of smaller peices but flows like 1 big piece and im thinking like doing an arch shape so I don’t have to fill it all in


Fish Wrangler
Oct 16, 2008
Wonderful Windy Wyoming
Real Name
NoahLikesFish NoahLikesFish

Stop. I'm going to offer some help as long as you don't argue, but just stop with the multiple posts. Take your time, think about everything you want to say, and post all of it at once in a single post. I actually like kids and I like helping them learn, but you can't continue to act the way you do and expect people to want to help you.

I run my planted tanks on 10 hours of light from 11AM to 9PM, on a timer. However, there is no natural light in the fishroom and that is based on when I spend the most time in the fishroom, so you can't do what I do successfully. You will want to adjust your lighting schedule to reflect the amount of time your tank receives natural light, even if that light is indirect. If you want more help on setting up a lighting schedule, then estimate how much natural light your tank gets per day, whether that light source is shining directly on the tank or not and what kind of plants you are going to have then post that information here. Your lighting needs will be different from anyone else's here because of so many variables.

If you don't have any plants in there now, then leave the lights off unless you're viewing the tank. There's no benefit to having the lights on now and you won't have to worry about algae growth due to excess nutrients that plants aren't using.I use flourescent bulbs and the old watts/gallon rules as guidelines. I can't help you with the lighting you have and tell you what you should have in PAR.

Hardscape is a matter of taste. I never make hardscape into a single piece for use. I use multiple pieces of wood and rocks and will rearrange them to fit my needs for the fish I'm keeping in that tank, which is usually cichlids in my case. In non-cichlid tanks, I may spend a week or more playing with hardscape until I'm sure it's the way I want, but then I never touch it again. Make sure you have it just the way you want it from the start because plants don't do well if they're constantly being moved around, and if you're moving hardscape you're going to move plants.

I suggest you fill the tank and then do 50% water changes daily until the tank is clear, gently vacuuming everything that accumulates on the bottom each day. You already know your tank is a mess. If you want it looking top notch, don't do anything until the water is cleared up. Cloudy water distorts the way landscaping looks and floating sediment will land on any plants you add right now, to the detriment of the plants.

Finally, BE PATIENT! I'm not a patient person, but this hobby will teach you that quality. If you're patient now, the end result will be exactly to your liking and you'll enjoy it more in the end.