Originally Posted by AyalaCookiejar
Assuming that you don't sleep for 12 hours a day, you're leaving the lights on too long. 8-12 hours is max for how long the lights should be on. You will definitely grow algae if there's more than that and the fish probably aren't getting enough rest.
I didn't recommend shrimp or snails because of the size of the tanks. 5 is usually minimum for a shrimp or snail tankmate... However if the tanks are super heavily planted with nothing but thriving, fast growing plants, it may work (or if you do extra water changes). I just don't recommend it, since there are other ways to combat algae that don't add to the bio-load.
Edit: also, I'd go to a hardware store with a huge lighting section. I have the hardest time finding bulbs that will not only fit my light fixtures, but are also 6500k... Most are like 3100k, even the ones that are special "plant and aquarium" bulbs. Don't assume that they are 6500k if they say that! Many of them don't have a k temp on the box, which is also annoying, and probably means that they aren't near 6500 (IME).
I'll start turning the lights off around 8 pm. Would it be okay if I keep the lights on while I'm in the room, but say I leave for class and turn them off for about 4 hours, and turn them on again when I get back? If not, I'll just turn them off at 8, but I like having the lights on while I'm in the room. If I can turn them off and let them rest while I'm not home or at class, that would be best.
Okay. I just figured it might help, but I don't really want to add any shrimp or snails anyway. My girl is really territorial and had the last shrimp I gave her as a snack instead of a cleaning buddy.
I'll try to find some. I have until August to find lights and plants, though I'd like to have it all set up before I have to go to college. I could just lower the water level, put my fish in their cups in my cupholders, and but the lowered water level tanks in my trunk. It's only a 2 hour drive, and it's in the summer, so I'm sure they'll stay plenty warm back there. Then when I get there, I can set them up and acclimate my fish into the tanks.
I would like some more recommendations on fast growing, low maintenance plants for beginners. My tanks are 3 gallon KKs. I'd definitely like something that's easy to keep, so my fish will be able to actually keep the plants in their tanks so I don't have to revert back to silk plants.
Also, how much would you recommend I do water changes? It would be a 3 gallon unfiltered, heated KK with just the fish and live plants. I'm sure if the plants suck up all the debris from the fish, I won't need to siphon anymore, but I'm sure I would still need to do water changes to get rid of the ammonia as it builds up. How often and how much should I change the water?