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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

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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
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:48 pm

Cloudy-looking skin might be a reaction to ammonia, but it might also be some type of skin parasite (like trichodina, chilodonella, velvet, etc) or bacterial infection.

@cholt wrote:
... only one of the 3 Danios seemed to want to eat. I was looking at the other 2 of them and they both seem to almost have a greyness to them on their back halves. One of them more than the other. Any ideas?
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:56 pm

i just did another 50% water change but the water is still sitting at .25 ammonia. i will keep an eye on them tonight and the morning before work to see if they perk up. Hopefully once i get the filter from my coworker this wont be as big of a issue once the system is cycled and the good bacteria has been established.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Wed Sep 17, 2014 1:46 pm

Recovering from a big ammonia spike is not always smooth. It is very possible your danios are reacting to the big water change, and the grayness is simply a temporary loss of color. Feed very lightly for the next few days until you see a resolution, one way or the other.
If they have a skin parasite or infection, that will become more obvious over the next day or so.

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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Wed Sep 17, 2014 2:08 pm

I'm going to be taking a water sample into my lfs (PAW) after work to have them look at it. They should be able to run more tests than i can on it. I fed very lightly this morning and last night but they showed no interest in the food either time.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Wed Sep 17, 2014 2:56 pm

I bet they will have some brown soupy bacteria filled something to help cycle your tank to!
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Wed Sep 17, 2014 5:35 pm

Took the water to lfs (PAW) and they said everything looked good with the water and suggested to just keep an eye on the fish for another day or so. They seemed to think it was stress from the over feeding they got this weekend, ammonia spike and then the 50% water change. Should hopefully be getting the filter from my coworker tonight to kick start the cycling process. Thanks for all the knowledge sharing everyone.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:14 pm

Detectable Ammonia is often lethal. Your Danios being stressed is unpleasant but expected. The seller of the fish should have advised you of that when selling them to you for tank cycling. Your Ammonia levels would likely be more severe without the water change. When a tank is cycling it is risky to replace removed water with water that has chlorine present. It may interrupt cycling. Be sure to use dechlorinated water until your tank cycles. IMO, it's unlikely your changing some polluted water with fresh dechlorinated caused a problem.

Beneficial bacteria develop at a rate that corresponds to the amount of Ammonia and then Nitrite available. Once you start detecting Nitrate your tank has cycled. I urge you not to become stressed about the outcome of the Danios. Avoiding stressed fish during cycling is almost impossible because of the Ammonia and Nitrite spikes that are part of the process. For that reason, cheap fish are most often recommended when cycling a new tank. It's not likely that you need to jump start the cycling process at this point. It's very likely that it is already well underway...Neutral

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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:26 pm

OK need some more advice please. i just tested my water since I added the filter from my coworkers tank on Wed. The pH is about 7.5(6.8 on Wed), Ammonia .5(.25 on Wed), Nitrites 0(0 on Wed), and the Nitrates 5(0 on Wed). Should i do anything to the water for now or let it ride for now. I'm leaning towards a water change to bring the Ammonia down but not sure what to do. The 3 Danios haven't eaten in nearly a week now. For the pH level this will be a community tank with more than likely the following fish Neon Tetras, male Guppies, Cory Cats, and Otocinclus catfish
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:20 pm

Looking good. First comes ammonia then Nitrites then nitrates. Once you see Nitrates you are golden.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Fri Sep 19, 2014 10:20 pm

So I think I may have figured out the issue with the one Danio. She was laying eggs. And that would be my guess as to why the others aren't hungry. I just found a frye in my tank. I'm guessing there was some "brown chicken brown cowing" going on in the tank. So what do y'all think of my theory. I googled Zebra Danio frye and it looked exactly like what was sitting on the side of the tank.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:02 am

Wow! Take a picture.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:10 am

I will as soon as I find the little bugger again. It was about the size of a mosquito larvae. But in the process of looking for it I noticed all my plants are sprouting new little plants as well.


Last edited by cholt on Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:45 pm

the ammonia was up to .5 again today so i did a 30-40% wc. after that i waited for a few hours and tested the water again. pH is still up around 7.5, Ammonia is down to .25, Nitrites at 0 and the Nitrates looked to be somewhere between 0 and 5. I was looking at what the pH should be for a community tropical tank and it suggest 7.0 for the pH. Does anyone have any good suggestions for getting that number back down to 7.0 from 7.5
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Sun Sep 21, 2014 3:23 pm

Seachem makes Neutral Regulator Powder @ LFS, it states on bottle what PH level it will maintain, might want to check it out, works very well for me.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Sun Sep 21, 2014 11:30 pm

@cholt wrote:
the ammonia was up to .5 again today so i did a 30-40% wc. after that i waited for a few hours and tested the water again. pH is still up around 7.5, Ammonia is down to .25, Nitrites at 0 and the Nitrates looked to be somewhere between 0 and 5. I was looking at what the pH should be for a community tropical tank and it suggest 7.0 for the pH. Does anyone have any good suggestions for getting that number back down to 7.0 from 7.5

It sounds like you still have some Ammonia even in the presence of Nitrates. It shows that your tank is near cycled. At a reading of .25 I would wait a day and test tomorrow to see if the Ammonia is consumed. You have come so far but don't add any new fish and go easy on the feeding. How are the Danios doing? It's exceptional that they are about survive cycling.

On the issue of pH I suggest you do nothing. Adjusting pH is not worth it most of the time. Usually, it will shift back to its normal. A steady pH is better than a pH that is textbook perfect but unstable. Most fish will adapt to a steady pH. My personal goal is to have my pH match my water source, which is municipal water. I reads 7.5 from the tap and the same in my tanks. There are some fish that have special pH requirements. Most Ornamental fish don't...Cool

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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Mon Sep 22, 2014 7:33 am

Thanks for the info once again guys. I will be testing the water again tonight to see where it is. I don't plan on adding any more fish till the ammonia drops to 0. The Danios seem to be doing pretty well and their color is slowly coming back. They are eating a little bit now. I don't know if yall saw in a earlier post but i did have a few frye in the tank(this was a bit crazy to see). I'm sure they are long gone by now(aka lunch). And my plants seem to be going crazy.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:09 am

One thing to be aware of for water changes in aquariums....

Most local water sources no longer treat water with just chlorine, but a compound called chrloromine (NH2Cl). Chlorine will eventually evaporate out of water on its own given a few days. Chloromine will not. The great thing about Seachem PRIME is that it will break up the chloromine molecules and de-chlorinate the water. It will also bond with the NH2 and form Ammonium (NH4) which is much less toxic for the fish. However, this transformation is only good for about 24-hours, which gives the beneficial bacteria (BB) time to consume the ammonium. However your ammonia (NH3) test kit will also test positive for NH4.

Long story short, your ammonia level can be 0 when you do a water change, and can be between 1.0 and 0.5 after the water change due to the ammonia that is coming through in the tap water. However, if you are using a good water treatment like prime, that level of ammonium in the water will not harm your fish and within 24-48 hours your BB should consume it all and you should be back at 0 for ammonia.

Give it try and see how it goes. Also test the water coming right out the tap and see what kind of ammonia reading you get.

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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:18 am

I'm using API tap water conditioner. I will check the tap water as well this evening.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:24 pm

pH was back down to 7.2 , ammonia was at .25, nitrites were at 0, nitrates some where between 0 and 5. The tap waters ammonia was at 0 and its pH was at 7.2 as well.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Wed Sep 24, 2014 7:38 am

Looks like the tank is getting there. Ammonia is somewhere between 0 and .25 and the Nitrates were up to 5 last night. The 3 Danios seem to be very happy once again.

So my next question is going to be which fish should I add next once I get the tank cycled. Which maybe sometime this weekend(kids are really hoping this is true) but the numbers will tell that story. I really like the pairing Deb suggested so I think we will start with some of those.

@Deb wrote:

10-15 small tetras
5 male guppies
7 small to medium Corydoras catfish  
2 Otocinclus catfish
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:24 am

I am not sure you plan for adding fish, but obviously if you add all of them at once, you will have spikes and issues in water quality.

Here is my recommendation (others feel free to weigh in on suggestions):
Week 1 - Add Corydoras
Week 2 - Add Guppies
Week 3 - Add Otos
Week 5 (yes I skipped a week) - Add Tetras

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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:59 am

I wasn't planning on adding them all at once. That bio-load would completely spike the levels as well as stress all the fish. I just wasn't sure about which ones to add first and how many of them at a time.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Thu Sep 25, 2014 4:52 pm

I took my water to LFS to get tested to make sure what I was seeing was correct. The readings of my water was as followed. pH was between 7--7.2, ammonia was at 0, nitrites at 0 and nitrates were around 5. I'm calling it cycled as well as the guys at LFS gave the water a thumbs up. The bad news was their tank of Cory's was empty. Sad  So I stopped at one of the Big Box places and their fish were way over priced and didn't look very good. Looks like I'll be waiting for a new shipment next week. So my question is do I add a different fish to the tank first or wait for the Corys to come in to add them to the tank first.. I have a couple other questions but dont have time to type them out right now. As well as look for the answers before I ask a redundant one.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Thu Sep 25, 2014 6:19 pm

It should not matter too much which order. The Cory's scavenge a bit food that falls to the bottom but your tank can do well without them also. If there is another fish you wanted in the meantime, "go for it". Just follow your plan of slowly increasing the fish you want and you should be fine. Keep us posted and don't forget pics. We love pics. Good Luck!

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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Thu Sep 25, 2014 6:29 pm

I'm thinking I'm going to add the Guppies first since there were a few nice looking ones at the LFS as well as one of the Big Box store here in town. going to try and get different colors for each
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