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 Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup

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cholt
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PostSubject: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:18 pm

First topic message reminder :

Hello,

I'm trying to figure out what kind of fish to put into my first 20g setup. Right now the tank has 3 zebra danios in it while the tank cycles(still in the first week). this tank has about 20 small plants in it that will grow to be a nice planted tank i hope. i have read so many different things I'm not sure what to put in the tank or how many of each. any suggestions would be great. i like the look of neon tetras or similar. I was thinking of getting a julii, green, and maybe a bumblebee cory for the bottom of the tank. do think they would school together? Other than that I'm just not sure.

thanks
Chris
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Thu Oct 30, 2014 8:31 am

i was going to use one of my old filters from my main tank to seed the new filter with. I also thought i would use the old water from WCs to keep the Q-tank running with no fish in it to give the filter bacteria something to feed on. or is that a bad idea?
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:50 am

Hmm that may work. But if not fish are in it that would be a waste of money for you. Of course I am a tightwad so please forgive.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Thu Oct 30, 2014 2:33 pm

@cholt wrote:
I have a quarantine tank question. Does anyone keep this tank running all the time or is it a tank that is only running when its needed. To me I would think it would be a tank that stays running but may not have anything fish in it unless they are new fish or sick fish. Is my assumptions correct? I'm gathering parts slowly to build one. As of right now i have a 5g tank, small sponge filter, air pump for filter, and a air stone. the only things i have left i think is a heater and hood/light. Should there be gravel and/or plants in it or have nothing in it.

I would keep the tank busy... hee hee!
Most of my tanks are multipurpose. I'm constantly sorting, moving fish from one tank to another and reassigning most of my tank use. I'm not trying to be a poster child for MTS but I do have five tanks. All of them have been up about 20 years. My thing is to maximize my enjoyment by getting the most out of my few tanks. The last thing I want is an idle tank.

More than half of my tanks are bare bottom tanks. They are just plain old fashioned easy to maintain. When I need a quarantine tank, I use a small bare bottom tank, heater and sponge filter. If I need a hospital tank (I can't remember the last time), I remove the filter and place it in another active tank for storage and standby. Most meds will kill a cycled filter so I remove it to protect it. When I need a fry tank, I use the filter. I also use this same tank to hold replacement water when using a hatching container as an incubator. Whew, another use is when I need sorting space for size, waiting for the expression of traits, sex or for sale. There are plenty of uses for a second tank or two without keeping one idle...Laughing

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     ~~~ My Aquariums ~~~
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30 gal. Bare Bottom Angelfish Growout Tank
20 gal. Bare Bottom Angelfish Breeder Tank
10 gal. Bare Bottom  Angelfish Growout Tank
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Mon Nov 03, 2014 1:09 pm

I moved some plants around in the tank and added some more purple cabomba. also did some seperating new growth plants from the java ferns. the first picture is were i had moved all the ludwigia out of the cabomba. I also changed out the airstone i had for a bubble curtain.
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this second picture is of all the new java ferns "planted". AKA roots stuck under stones and the brown roots stuck in the sand.

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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Tue Nov 04, 2014 7:35 am

the tank is looking good
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:27 am

That's one good looking tank. Many newbies go for the Jetsons school of tank decorating look but you have taken a very mature approach. I have noticed that you do your research and ask the right questions. It shows in this tank... Cool

Outstanding...cheers

BTW: Have you started your "Fish List" post?

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     ~~~ My Aquariums ~~~
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30 gal. Bare Bottom Angelfish Growout Tank
20 gal. Bare Bottom Angelfish Breeder Tank
10 gal. Bare Bottom  Angelfish Growout Tank
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Tue Nov 04, 2014 2:16 pm

Thanks guys. I have not created a fish list yet. I will once i have the tank populated.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:06 pm

well i was looking at the neons tonight an it looks like a couple of them have little white spots on them. So I'm guessing I'm going to be dealing with Ich again..... my tanks temp is sitting at 78-80 degrees now. I might be able to add a little salt into the tank but im not sure i can bump the temp up very much. Do yall recommend any meds other than temp and salt. I have some Kordon Ick Attack i could use. I just want to make sure I'm heading in the correct direction again
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:23 am

new update. Fish are happy and healthy. i was able to recognize the signs for ich very early on this time and get it under control quickly. I also learned a very unfortunate lesson about cleaning the filter intake with the pump on. I had pulled the intake end off to clean the plant waste off of it and as soon as i pulled it off one of my cories decided to see what was up the pipe. so I now only have 6 peppered cories.Crying or Very sad  

i do have a 2 questions.
1. I'm getting what looks to be a olive brown film on all my plants from what i can tell. is this a form of algae that Oto cats would be able to take care of for me or will i need to do something else to remove this from the tank. i plan on getting 2 Oto cats sometime soon from the LFS. They are out of stock as of yesterday afternoon.
2. Is there a filter cartridge for the Penguin 150 that doesn't have the carbon in it for when you need to use meds for ich and such? Or would a filter upgrade be a good idea. something like a aquaclear that can have that portion of the filtration be removed while other parts stay in place. I figured they most be a good filter if that is what the LFS uses on 90+% of there freshwater tanks. and if i was to upgrade what size aquaclear would yall recommend for a 20g tall tank. the 150 i have is good for up to a 30g tank.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Tue Nov 11, 2014 11:53 am

The brown algae is common. Just cut back a bit on your feeding, maybe reduce the amount of light time, and after a couple water changes you will see this disappear. Oto's are cool little guys and a good algae eater but not an end all solution. Just fun to watch them.
The Penguin and Emperor filters very good filters. I would not necessarily switch unless your having problems. As to the charcoal, simply take a razor blade and carefully slice the bottom of the cartridge and shake out the charcoal. Easier to do with a clean dry one.
I have both Aquaclears and Emperors and can't really say one better than the other. IMO the Emperor clears water a bit faster but negligible and seems to move more water. I also feel the motor on the Aquaclear sometimes does not start when I plug in after cleaning. I have to disassemble sometimes and reassemble to get it to go but intermittent and I do like the filter. At any rate the filter is not your algae issue and it will clear up as mentioned above.

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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:39 pm

All algae is not a bad thing. Controlled algae growth is desirable. Otos would not be my first choice to help control algae. I prefer Bristled Nose Plecos. I keep them in every tank because they have made maintenance so much easier.

I seldom use prefilled filter cartridges  that contain carbon in my HOB filters. I have found it worthwhile to avoid them when possible and I have a box of high quality carbon packets to prove it. When I do have to use prefilled filter cartridges I replace them early before they start leaching back. I am not very brand conscious. I use two Top Fin 75's on my 55 gallon tank... Neutral

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     ~~~ My Aquariums ~~~
55 gal. Planted Angelfish Show Tank
(Angelfish, Guppies, Neons and Bristled Nose Plecos)
30 gal. Bare Bottom Angelfish Growout Tank
20 gal. Bare Bottom Angelfish Breeder Tank
10 gal. Bare Bottom  Angelfish Growout Tank
10 gal. Planted Bristled Nose Plecos and Guppy Show Tank
(Guppies, Bristled Nose Plecos and kuhli Loaches)
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:50 am

The tank is looking great, Chris! ThumbsUp  You have a natural talent for placing the rocks and plants.  Nice!  

So, how many neons did you add in this first round?  
   
@cholt wrote:
well i was looking at the neons tonight an it looks like a couple of them have little white spots on them. So I'm guessing I'm going to be dealing with Ich again..... my tanks temp is sitting at 78-80 degrees now. I might be able to add a little salt into the tank but im not sure i can bump the temp up very much. Do yall recommend any meds other than temp and salt. I have some Kordon Ick Attack i could use. I just want to make sure I'm heading in the correct direction again
 
Did you use Ich-Attack?  
Kordon Ich-Attack is 100% organic and works on the principle of humics creating an unfriendly environment for parasites.  This is the idea behind blackwater water supplements and the use of organic materials in aquariums, such as leaf litter, bark, etc.  I have a bottle of Ich-Attack and have used it in the past for treating bristlenose catfish that came in with a sort of body fungus.  I recommend Ich-Attack but it may take a while to see results.  Aggressive treatment is the key.  Don't forget to vacuum the substrate to remove free-swimming parasites BUT do not do a big pwc!  Less than 10% water removal during the treatment time is best.  
I guess I'm a little late on this one, but threw in my 2c about ich-Attack anyway. *lol*

@cholt wrote:
1. I'm getting what looks to be a olive brown film on all my plants from what i can tell. is this a form of algae that Oto cats would be able to take care of for me or will i need to do something else to remove this from the tank. i plan on getting 2 Oto cats sometime soon from the LFS.

Brown films of diatomaceous "algae" are exactly what Otos eat, whenever they can get it.  It's their preferred food in the aquarium.  A couple of Otos can clear a ten gallon tank of this pest over a weekend.  I've seen it and folks on the plant forums swear by the little oto catfish.  

That said, once they clear the brown film, they have to have something else to eat.  Otos should only be added to a tank that has a well-established group of plants and films.  Some of the films will be invisible to you but in an established planted tank, they are always renewing.  

If this were my tank and knowing what I now know about Otocinclus, I would not add any otos until the tank settles down again, and you have a couple of weeks of smooth sailing and ich-free fish.  Yes, the brown films may proliferate during this time, or they may die back, due to the tank getting balanced.  In the meantime, this kind of brown film is fairly easy to brush off carefully with your fingers - especially from the broad-leaf plants.

What is your exact bioload atm?

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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:29 am

i added 6 neons the first round and then added 5 i think a week later and then added the last 4 about a week later for a total of 15 neons. the ich came in on the last round of neons and i was able to get rid of it very fast luckily. I did use ick-attack to treat with a slight temp bump. the algae is just becoming noticeable in the tank so my guess is i have a little while before i will really need the Otos. I talked to the LFS Monday and they wont have any Otos until atleast next week so i have some time for the tank to settle down and for them to get stock in an for said stock to settle down from being shipped.
my bio-load is below not counting plants.
15 Neons
2 Guppies
6 Peppered Cories
1 Zebra Danio
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:44 am

I'm also thinking of upgrading my filter to a aquaclear 50 or 70 at some point in the coming monthes. I like the filter setup better than the single filter cartridge setup in the P150 i have now.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Sat Nov 15, 2014 1:29 pm

@cholt wrote:
... I talked to the LFS Monday and they wont have any Otos until atleast next week so i have some time for the tank to settle down and for them to get stock in an for said stock to settle down from being shipped.
That's a good point, about giving the Otos a chance to settle down from being shipped.  In the past, when I had this option, I'd only buy Otos that had been in the LFS problem-free for three weeks.  The last time I saw really GOOD-looking, well-fed Otocinclus was at PAW last June.

I shared your photo above on the CVAC facebook page, and verbal shared it with Potomac Valley Aquarium Society (PVAS) facebook.  I hope folks thinking of starting up an aquarium will follow the link here and read your journal.

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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:39 pm

Haven't been on here a lot the past month because of a home project. I moved our laundry room from our basement to the main level of the house. which involved framing, plumbing, electrical, tile, and painting.

Latest update. Just after my last post the 2 adult Guppies i had kicked the bucket. I have come to the conclusion its the Zebra Danio that has been my issue with the Guppies being stressed leading to other issue and death. But before the female Guppy passed she gave birth to about 10-12 fry. I found the Danio attaching her one night when I got up to get something to drink late after the lights in the tank were out. He will be moved to his own 5g tank tonight when I do a water change in my main tank. From my last count of the fry I have about 6-8 fry left(Danio seems to think they're tasty) and once I know what gender they are I have new homes from the ones I don't want to keep. Other than that the tank has been steady and happy happy joy joy. I will go check the Otos at the LFS in a few days to see what their stock looks like and then decide whether to add a couple Otos to the tank or not. The only other issue I have had is I cant seem to keep the cabomba in the tank. I'm thinking it's my light source not putting enough light out on the edges of the tank for it. But all my other plants are doing good.

I'm still asking for suggestions on which aquaclear to get for my 20g tank. I'm looking at the 50 and 70. I'm leaning more towards the 50 over the 70 since it will be a little overkill for a 20g. But I don't know if I will upgrade my tank at some point either.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving..
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:34 pm

If it was a borderline situation, I'd say go with the 70.  However, for your set-up the 50 seems like it will be fine and then some.  Be sure to get the exact measurements of the filter and make sure it will fit on the aquarium where you want it.  

If this were my tank - and again this is just IMO - I would not replace the Danio with any other Danio species or any other Asian fish.  Maybe I have said this before but in my opinion Asian fish do not mix well with fish from the Americas.  Either in looks or behavior; it's somehow jarring.  

Now that the Danio is out of the tank, do not be surprised if the guppies become the next pest.  If you do let a couple of them grow up in that tank be aware that they may bother the Otos, if and when you get them.  As well, guppies can be annoying pests to Corydoras, I've seen it a million times.  The whiskers of the catfish somehow attract or aggravate the guppies.  The gupps may think the whiskers are food or maybe they are just "annoyed" by the incessant, jerky motion of the corys.  Whatever it is, I've seen guppies and their relatives, Endler's livebearers, pester corys to no end.    

IMO you should take out all the guppies.  Let the tank run with the neons and the corys for a while, and get really established.  When the time is right, add one Oto for every five gallons of water.  

Later on, maybe you can add another tetra of a different color, that swims at a different level in the water column than the neons.  

Can you move the Cabomba to a location in the tank where the light is the most direct?  If lighting is the issue, moving the plant might help.  The thing with Cabomba is that it will grow to the surface of the water, and then keep growing along the surface, blocking the light from the other plants.  Cabomba can be high maintenance, requiring frequent trimming and replanting.

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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:52 pm

It's good to see you back. It sounds like you have been busy. I'm happy to see you are still enjoying your tanks and they are doing well. I over filtrate all my tanks. So I understand your considering a filter rated higher than your tank size. Either size filter will work. I use the flow controls to restrict water movement at those times I need less current... Neutral

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     ~~~ My Aquariums ~~~
55 gal. Planted Angelfish Show Tank
(Angelfish, Guppies, Neons and Bristled Nose Plecos)
30 gal. Bare Bottom Angelfish Growout Tank
20 gal. Bare Bottom Angelfish Breeder Tank
10 gal. Bare Bottom  Angelfish Growout Tank
10 gal. Planted Bristled Nose Plecos and Guppy Show Tank
(Guppies, Bristled Nose Plecos and kuhli Loaches)
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Sun Dec 07, 2014 10:13 am

OK I have a plant question now.. I need a tall background plant for my tank(20g not a 20g long). The Cabomba doesn't seem to work well in my tank setup with the lighting i have. The Anacharis seems to be doing OK but not getting tall. only about 6-8" then breaks off. I would like something that will get at least 10-12" or even 15" tall. I'm also not using CO2 or fertilizer. should I be? My substrate is floramax with general purpose sand over it. Well it seems to be mixing as I clean the tank over time. At some point I want to build a true stand and hood with more lighting for my tank but that involves to two things I dont have a lot of extra of these days. Time and money LOL.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Sun Dec 07, 2014 11:31 am

I am not a plant man. But I am a cheap one! Check lowes out for cheap lights. I have been experimenting with the 48" shop lights with Fluorescent bulbs on my tanks. Under 20 bucks for the fixture and bulbs.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Sun Dec 07, 2014 5:47 pm

@cholt wrote:
OK I have a plant question now.. I need a tall background plant for my tank(20g not a 20g long). The Cabomba doesn't seem to work well in my tank setup with the lighting i have. The Anacharis seems to be doing OK but not getting tall. only about 6-8" then breaks off. I would like something that will get at least 10-12" or even 15" tall. I'm also not using CO2 or fertilizer. should I be? My substrate is  floramax with general purpose sand over it. Well it seems to be mixing as I clean the tank over time. At some point I want to build a true stand and hood with more lighting for my tank but that involves to two things I dont have a lot of extra of  these days. Time and money LOL.

I don't think you have quite enough lighting for tall plants that  won't grow and break off. You can supplement CO2 with liquid form like Flourish Excel but I don't think CO2 quite your issue. Cabomba does require more light than you have and also as Deb mentioned earlier it is high maintenance. Most Vals grow easily but also require a lot of pruning, but they too like medium to high light. You may look at Hygrophelia's. Stay away from the red ones unless you plan on increasing light too, but strong lighting can also deplete the CO2 and then you have issues also. Liquid ferts and root tabs are loved by some and never used by others. I have mixed feelings with them myself.
Hygro's are fast growers and need pruning when they just reach the top but you can stick the cutting in the substrate and before long you can have a tank full. Don't throw away as there are a lot of folks who would like some cuttings. Pretty plants. They can do well with medium to high light. Sounds like your substrate good for plants so work with your lighting a bit.

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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Mon Dec 08, 2014 2:04 pm

Vallisneria (American, Jungle, Italian, ...) does well for me in deep-ish tanks (16-18" with regular fluorescent lights. I have some in a 55g soft-water tank (tetras, barbs), where it stays slim, and the same plant in a 30g hard-water tank (Tanganyikan cichlids) where it grows much beefier (and slightly reddish-tinged). Fish poop is the only fert they get.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Mon Dec 08, 2014 5:55 pm

I like to use Water Sprite to provide height and as a background plant in my 55 gallon planted show tank. I think it is about as tall as your twenty. I use one standard sized florescent tube  that fits my hood. Water Sprite does well in low light and is most often used as a floating plant but I have always used it floating and submerged. It does want to float and I have use weights to hold it down until enough roots develop to hold it on the bottom. I don't cover the plant crown of when planting. It's a lacy looking plant when grown submerged and can reach the tank top easily. It grows pretty quickly and I have to trim it back periodically. I float the trimmings when I need more plants and then have the option to plant them after they develop roots. The only fertilizer I ever use is plant tabs...keyboarding!

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     ~~~ My Aquariums ~~~
55 gal. Planted Angelfish Show Tank
(Angelfish, Guppies, Neons and Bristled Nose Plecos)
30 gal. Bare Bottom Angelfish Growout Tank
20 gal. Bare Bottom Angelfish Breeder Tank
10 gal. Bare Bottom  Angelfish Growout Tank
10 gal. Planted Bristled Nose Plecos and Guppy Show Tank
(Guppies, Bristled Nose Plecos and kuhli Loaches)


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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:19 am

thanks for the suggestions everyone. i will see what my LFS has in stock.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:41 am

Tank update. I added 1 large Jungle Vail and a 3 small corkscrew Vails to my tank . Couldn't find any water sprite locally. All seem to be doing well with my setup and growing nicely so far. I will add a new photo in a week or so once they have had time to grow a little bit. I was able to find Otos at LFS finally but they were not in very good shape from there travels and the weather changes during shipment from what i could tell. I did find a few at one of the big box stores in town that looked to be pretty fat and happy. I have also figured out what type of new light I'm going to add to my setup after Christmas. See link below. I will be able to add this to my current setup cheaper(on amazon) than building a new hood and light setup. I will also add a photo of the new lighting once i have that installed as well.

http://www.marineland.com/Products/aquarium-lighting/LED-Aquarium-Lighting/freshwater-saltwater-reef-aquarium-led-lighting-system.aspx
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Central Virginia Aquarium Support :: Freshwater :: General Freshwater-