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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   Fri Sep 26, 2014 12:32 am

cholt wrote:
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.

Congrats!!! You did it the old school way with fish too.... cheers
Oh, I suggest Bristled Nose Pleos at the first sign of algae. The are cool and won't bother your Guppies. Corys won't bother them  either...Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Fri Sep 26, 2014 8:22 am

Got another question. My son saw the wall of Betta fish at the LFS the other day and has asked if we could put a Betta into the tank. My plan is to have the following community fish in the tank once all the fish are introduced. Will the Betta get along with the other fish. I know you shouldn't get more than 1 of them. Just not sure if they will get along with other species of fish.

10-15 Neon Tetras
7 Cory Cats more than likely Julii's or Green's
5 male Guppies
2 Otocinclus catfish
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Sat Sep 27, 2014 7:58 pm

Cool Cool, but what? I didn't see any females... good one!
Don't worry they won't get out of control but you and yours might... good one!

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30 gal. Bare Bottom Adult Angelfish Tank
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Mon Sep 29, 2014 7:21 am

well the Guppies are doing so hot. I have tested the water and the only thing i have seen is the Ammonia move up to something between 0 and .25. Lost one yesterday and i woke up this morning to 2 more looking sad. the color in their tails seems to be nearly gone/fading and one looks like its tails has been a snack for one of the fish or the filter intake. Could this be stress or something else like ich?
So once again any help would be greatly appreciated.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:56 am

I'm so sorry to hear that the Guppies are not doing well...Sad
I hope the shop you got them from will work with you and replace them for free. Some shops don't. Any detectable amount of Ammonia can be lethal. It's hard to get around it. Also the acclimation process must be considered. Too quickly or too slowly can stress and weaken newly introduced fish. What concerns me the most is the presence of detectable Ammonia. Something seems to be fueling your Ammonia spikes but what?

Please don't be discouraged. There is a learning curve that all of us experience. Many times I have contributed my successes to just dumb luck but over time I learned from research and experience. This is a hobby. Enjoy the ride. Wait until you see the babies. You will be amazed... Laughing

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30 gal. Bare Bottom Adult Angelfish Tank
20 gal. Bare Bottom Angelfish Breeder Tank
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Mon Sep 29, 2014 9:02 am

Very sorry to hear about your loss and issues.
Adding 5 fish at one time is quite a shock to the bio load in a 20 gallon. A few things come to mind that possibly could have caused the issue. IMO it's never a good idea to pour the water from the bag your new fish came in into your aquarium. Does a couple things...it contains ammonia from the fish waste while transporting, as well as possible contaminates/diseases/bacteria and etc. from the tank(s) you purchased the fish from. I doubt seriously Ich was the culprit unless they had prior to your purchasing, and there are normally visual signs of disease before you see deaths. More on that subject can be seen in some of our earlier threads if you search back. Sounds a little more to me that it could be shock. This can occur several ways; By not properly acclimating, adding too many fish to the aquarium at one time, radical Ph changes, to long of a time in the bag(s) from transport, the aquarium shop not properly catching and bagging, already sick fish upon purchasing, the LFS just receiving a new shipment and selling right away (this often result in non acclimated fish who are weakened and then moved again) over feeding, bully tank mates(s), quick temperature changes in your aquarium, and the list can go on and on.
Try not feeding for a couple days, make sure your water maintains as close to possible 78 to 80 degrees, do a 25% water change, add a little aquarium salt as directed on the container and hope for the best. Really watch for spikes in ammonia and or nitrites, both are killers and does not take much. Ammonia. Good luck.

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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Mon Sep 29, 2014 9:20 am

Thanks Ron. I do have a couple danios in the tank as well. 3 to be exact which could be a bullying issue as i just was just reading about. but i haven't really seen any of that when i have been looking at the tank. could need to add a couple more to calm them down but that would freak out the bio-load thing even more. I will pick up some aquarium salt today after work to have on hand. I have read so many different things i not sure which way is up right now.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Mon Sep 29, 2014 11:55 am

Just came across an article that displayed some interesting facts on Mysterious fish death.

Top 20 Suspects in Mysterious Deaths:

1.Incompatibility - fish could harass each other to death
2.Lack of oxygen - asphyxiation is just one of its many complications
3.Overfeeding - leads to pollution, obesity, and other problems
4.Decaying food and debris - raises the level of toxic chemicals
5.Décor accidents - fish bruised, crushed, snagged, or punctured for art's sake
6.Toxic or unsafe décor - unwashed, metallic, or contaminated
7.Medication - read the fine print for the side effects
8.Contamination - from sick fish, polluted water, infected tanks, or rotten food
9.Chlorine poisoning - attacks the gills, and gags the fish
10.Ammonia poisoning - like swimming in a pool of pee
11.Nitrite poisoning - breathing in an alien atmosphere
12.Copper poisoning - nobody survives a diet of metals
13.Toxic fumes - they dissolve in the water
14.Improper or inept handling - can injure externally and internally
15.Sudden changes - not for the faint of heart
16.Equipment failure - like pulling the plug on a life support system
17.Loud vibrations - killing softly with loud songs
18.Poor nutrition - a form of torture
19.Constipation - can distress a fish to death
20.Electric shock - just one zap and it’s all over




- See more at: http://www.oursimplejoys.com/freshwateraquaria/solving-mysterious-deaths.html#sthash.KD5HQoce.dpuf

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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:02 pm

. Could this be stress or something else like ich?
So once again any help would be greatly appreciated.[/quote]

Again I doubt Ich the culprit. Here's a good article on Ich that is useful if or when this ugly little parasite develops.
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/ich.php

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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:14 pm

Is aquarium salt compatible with the plants in the aquarium?

right now the tank has 5 guppies and 2-3 danios. there will be some cory cats, Otos, and some neon tetras once all the fish are added.

I have approx 10-20 small plants in it right now. java fern (8-10 small plants), ludwigia (8-10 small plants), and wisteria(1 small plant). Do you think i need to add more oxygen to the tank. Do i need air stone setup?
the filter is a Marineland penguin 150. is this sufficient for a filter.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:36 pm

cholt wrote:
Is aquarium salt compatible with the plants in the aquarium?

right now the tank has 5 guppies and 2-3 danios. there will be some cory cats, Otos, and some neon tetras once all the fish are added.

I have approx 10-20 small plants in it right now. java fern (8-10 small plants), ludwigia (8-10 small plants), and wisteria(1 small plant). Do you think i need to add more oxygen to the tank. Do i need air stone setup?
the filter is a Marineland penguin 150. is this sufficient for a filter.

Thanks Cholt for checking back and your questions. Ron has been giving you some good advice. I can tell that you are willing to do all you can to get your tank running smoothly, so that you can relax and enjoy it. I have been keeping up with your thread and noticed that you have been building your Bioload rather quickly. They must love you at the pet store... Smile

I have a few questions. They deal basic husbandry. How much, what and how often are you feeding your fish? What is the temperature of your tank water? I know you have done several water changes since setting up your tank. What are the procedures that you have been following when performing water changes and tank cleaning?

Ick is very common in stressed fish and is pretty easy to diagnose. Usually one will see white spots on the body of the suspect fish. Lost of color can occur for many reasons and they all are not bad. It may just be temporary. Please don't rush out and buy a bunch of meds until you have a confirmed diagnoses. Often we do too much too quickly.

As for adding salt to your tank? I'm pretty neutral about that. I have trace amounts of salt in most of my tanks because I feed live baby Brine Shrimp daily. It does not a negative effect my plants. In fifty years of fish keeping, I have tried salt as a treatment only once. I think that it did help but it took what I consider to be a lot of salt. It's not something I'm comfortable recommending although I know some hobbyist add it routinely...Neutral

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30 gal. Bare Bottom Adult Angelfish Tank
20 gal. Bare Bottom Angelfish Breeder Tank
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Mon Sep 29, 2014 3:09 pm

JohnnyAMH,

I feed a very small pinch(maybe 1-3 large flakes) of food twice a day.
Temp is set to 76F
I siphon and vac first 5g and then pull another 5g on a 50% then add 5g checking the temp of the water to get within approx 1 degree of temp adding prime for 5g of water then repeating for a second 5g of water.
for 1 25% i only siphon/vac the 1 5g and same for the refilling.

right now the fish load is the 3 original Danios from cycling and once i was seeing the Ammonia at 0 for 2 days and the Nitrates between 5-10 at the same time I added the 5 guppies.
Chris
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Mon Sep 29, 2014 3:21 pm

cholt wrote:
Is aquarium salt compatible with the plants in the aquarium?

right now the tank has 5 guppies and 2-3 danios. there will be some cory cats, Otos, and some neon tetras once all the fish are added.

I have approx 10-20 small plants in it right now. java fern (8-10 small plants), ludwigia (8-10 small plants), and wisteria(1 small plant). Do you think i need to add more oxygen to the tank. Do i need air stone setup?
the filter is a Marineland penguin 150. is this sufficient for a filter.

Aquarium salt will not hurt your plants if used as directed. I know there is controversy on whether or not needed in your tank. By turning up temperature in slow increments and adding salt has been proven therapeuticwith fish in some iinstances.  Not a cure all but won't hurt either. Cory and some other catfish do not tolerate well but your other fish should be okay.  I was simply trying to help you not suffer more losses and perhaps a rescue measure.
As to airstone it may or may.not help. These too are a source of definitely should have vs no need other than decoration. If you see your fish at top gasping may be a sign of oxygen but could also be parasite, disease, gill damage and so on. Believe it or not you can also over oxygenated which can also kill fish.

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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Mon Sep 29, 2014 4:26 pm

I just got home and a quick look and there are 2 Guppies that have lost all color in their back halves. I will post more info later.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Mon Sep 29, 2014 5:09 pm

Ron,
No worries. Right now the only fish in the tank are the 2 Danios and 5 Guppies. Lost a Danio sometime today. The others are future tank mates. Im getting ready to do a 25% water change and add the aquarium salt per instructions. With closer inspection one of the 2 Guppies that had lost all color in its back half looks like his tail is only strings now. I dont know what the heck I have done to this tank but i seem to have buggered it up fairly good.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Mon Sep 29, 2014 6:22 pm

Doubt it was you. Again, very well could have been the fish already ill or stressed from the LFS. I have bought fish in the past that looked active and healthy only to find within 1 or 2 days fish deaths both from established stock as well as the new additions. Another reason that supports having a quarantine tank to make sure okay for 2 weeks before adding to their new home. Your fish could have a number of things wrong per your description. Here is a great site that I just found describing symptoms and possible cures that may help you. http://nationalfishpharm.com/
As JohnnyAMH stated earlier, don't get discouraged, these things have happened and do happen to all of us. Just do the best you can giving the best environ to your fish, and the rest is kind of up to them and nature.

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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:48 pm

I just checked my water level after the 25% water change. pH is at 7-7.2, ammonia back to 0, nitrites 0, nitrates somewhere between 0 & 5. I checked out the web page mentioned above. I have 1 guppie that acts like the pH is to low and 1 that acts like its to high. the other 2 seem to be ok for now. the 2 danios seem to be ok as well. the site mentions more aeration in the water and activated charcoal in the filter as possible solutions as well as getting the pH back in order. I think I wonder over to walmart and see if they have any activated charcoal, some pH test strips, and the other stuff.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:57 pm

cholt wrote:
I just checked my water level after the 25% water change. pH is at 7-7.2, ammonia back to 0, nitrites 0, nitrates somewhere between 0 & 5. I checked out the web page mentioned above.

Checking water parameters right after a WC is always going to give you false readings. Especially with ammonia, the chemicals you add render it harmless and shows zero in testing but it is still present. Always best to check 24-48 hours after for truer readings.

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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Mon Sep 29, 2014 9:00 pm

Thanks. That's good to know. I waited a couple hours before I checked.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Mon Sep 29, 2014 11:24 pm

I picked up a container of activated charcoal and a air stone and pump to try and help. Will see how it goes.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Tue Sep 30, 2014 7:51 am

I checked the tank this morning. Lost the little blue guppie. he had lost all color in his back half and looked like his tail had frayed(not sure about spelling). Also looked like a smokey film had started to form on that area. The rest of the guppies and danios look to be ok. I added a small bag of activated charcoal to the filter in case of toxins in the water and a small air stone setup to add more oxygen into the water. I don't think i will be keeping the air stone setup in the tank on a permanent basis. I did pickup some pH strips as well. I'm getting a completely different reading on it than my API test kit. Strips say 6.8 and the API says 7-7.2 So I don't know which to believe.
As i have stated before thanks to everyone who has sent advice and support my way. Its extremely appreciated.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Tue Sep 30, 2014 8:12 am

I have never had much luck with Guppies. So do not feel to discouraged. The fish I have had luck with are Tetras, Gourami, Cory's,Danios,and African Cichlids.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Tue Sep 30, 2014 8:16 am

My wife was saying last night she didn't want to get any more guppies and asked me what other fish we could put into the tank with danios, neon tetras, corys and otos. Any suggestions? She likes the look of the cory cats, neon tetras.

As of this morning we have 3 guppies and 2 danios in the tank.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Tue Sep 30, 2014 11:49 am

Chris I am concerned you maybe over doing it. Again I emphasize that my views are not always popular in the fish community, but I find it valuable to share my perspective anyway.

You can spend tremendous amout of time, effort, money, and stress trying to save these $2 fish, when there isnt really a problem. I have had a number of fish in and out of my 55 gallon tank at home, and it is a huge mystery to me for why some fish live and die.

I place a large amount of blame on the hobby at large. Most of these fish are raised and held in "less than ideal" conditions. They could have issues long before they ever made it to your tank. In addition to that, some fish are more hardy and handle transition better than others. I have put a school of fish in my tank where 30% of them died in a week and the rest of them have lived for over 2 years, and there was never any rationale for why it happened. Water quality was fine, they werent being harassed, they were just weak fish. I have played with Aquarium Salt and medications, charcoal and filters and waters changes, and looking back at it all, the only thing that was ever effective was getting rid of Ich with Salt and Tank Temperature.

I have had a school of 12 tiger barbs that killed a corydoras but not the cory that was next to him. That same school of Tiger Barbs left the tetras alone for 6-8 months and then ripped the bellies out of most of them to get to eggs. There have been territorial disputes between Rainbow sharks and gouramis and Tiger barbs, that turned my tank to chaos.

Bottom line, these fish are wild animals and there isnt always going to be an explination to why things go wrong. Dont stress yourself or your wallet out to the point that you lose interest in the hobbby. Accept that some fish are not going to make it, not matter what actions you take or how good your water is.

Just do your best, find your rhythm with the tank, and keep testing different fish until you find some survivors that you can enjoy long term.


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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Wed Oct 01, 2014 1:20 am

I'm comfortable with DDavis comments and agree that it has become common practice to over do it. Fish are not like dogs and cats. They don't rub on your leg, lick your face or go to sleep in your lap. Ornamental fish are disposable. I may pile my hopes and dreams on a certain set of genes for my current breeding project but they are just fish. I'm not trying to save a species from extinction. I'm a fish keeper. I have to cull a lot of fish to get the results I'm seeking. It comes with my personal niche in the hobby.

Case in point, there's not anything wrong with using $2.00 fish to cycle a tank. The only benefit to fishless cycling is to save a trip to the store. Cycling with fish allows another way to gauge the progress of the cycling process. If one gets too involved with fish store sales people, they may end up buying a bunch of expensive meds and gadgets to save a $2.00 fish. It's not worth the cost or headache. It's not about the pills and chemicals. It's all about good clean water.

Many new hobbyist are encouraged to be in a hurry to own that dream tank. IMO, it is best to build slowly. This allows time for the tank water to adapt so that it can support life. A fish tank is a closed aquatic eco-system. It takes time to build. I personally, have a hard time discouraging Newbies from seeking their goal for a beautiful tank. That's why they entered the hobby. I do try to encourage them to learn by research, observation and experience the importance of good water quality. Most of us when new to the hobby focus on the tank we want to own and not staring a new hobby. As with any new hobby there is a learning curve.

That being said, I also want to point out that there are many ways of doing things. There's also a lot of bad advice given to new folk. What works for one person may or may not work for anyone else. True there are some general practices that most of us share in common but the most important practice is observation. Every fish may not be for everybody but certain fish are great for getting your feet wet in the hobby. BTW: I often hear people being told not to keep a certain fish because they will over run your tank. The truth is that one has to learn how to keep fish alive first.

Many of us focus on how we want our tanks to be in the future. I think it's good to try to enjoy what is happening today and the journey...Smile

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30 gal. Bare Bottom Adult Angelfish Tank
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