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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   Wed Oct 01, 2014 7:57 am

Guys,

I appreciate all of the advice and encouragement tremendously. I have read and researched so many things with these little fish my head spins and your comments help me weed out the info as well as rein me back in. As for chems/meds the only ones i have are SeaChem Prime, API water conditioner, aquarium salt and activated charcoal(which my wife was very excited to have around the house for some reason) and a water test kit. As to adding to many fish at once now i know not to add more than 2 or 3 at a time not 5 and to wait to add any more per what the water readings say. I have a notebook/excel file with my blunders/successes in it. When i have some successes they will go in as well. The air stone setup i was planning on getting at some point anyway for a Q-tank setup. it was 8 bucks total.

As for the tank this morning. everyone in the tank seems to be happy. i did another 25% water change last night since the ammonia was around .25 again.  i will check the water levels again tonight. I've noticed that when i did a 50% water change earlier the fish freaky out a little more than with the 25%.

So please keep plucking me in the forehead and reining me back in so i don't get too sideways in this learning curve.

Chris
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:17 am

You are doing great! Getting the tank cycled is a pain. If you can, wait until you have no Ammonia,or Nitrite, and just nitrate before adding any more. I know its hard when you want some new fish! Keep up the good work!
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Thu Oct 02, 2014 4:23 pm

@cholt wrote:
Guys,

I appreciate all of the advice and encouragement tremendously. I have read and researched so many things with these little fish my head spins and your comments help me weed out the info as well as rein me back in. As for chems/meds the only ones i have are SeaChem Prime, API water conditioner, aquarium salt and activated charcoal(which my wife was very excited to have around the house for some reason) and a water test kit. As to adding to many fish at once now i know not to add more than 2 or 3 at a time not 5 and to wait to add any more per what the water readings say. I have a notebook/excel file with my blunders/successes in it. When i have some successes they will go in as well. The air stone setup i was planning on getting at some point anyway for a Q-tank setup. it was 8 bucks total.

As for the tank this morning. everyone in the tank seems to be happy. i did another 25% water change last night since the ammonia was around .25 again.  i will check the water levels again tonight. I've noticed that when i did a 50% water change earlier the fish freaky out a little more than with the 25%.

So please keep plucking me in the forehead and reining me back in so i don't get too sideways in this learning curve.

Chris

Hey Chris,
I'm happy to hear things are starting to mellow out a bit for you... Cool
I use an Excel file to track my tanks maintenance and water chemistry too. I find it valuable and it adds to my enjoyment. I love to know what's going on. Air stones help keep the water moving on the surface which aids in oxygen absorption and I find the bubbles in the water column attractive too. I think it's a good addition to most tanks.

I hope I don't come off too heavy handed in my suggestions. I have just been trying to help. I love the hobby and love to see others share the same joy...Smile
There are many niches in this hobby and there is one just right for you. Enjoy...Hello

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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Fri Oct 03, 2014 12:32 pm

Just a update since Wednesday. I did a WC on Wed evening and have left well enough alone since. I will check the water levels again tonight an see where things are(kinda fell asleep myself putting the 14 month old to bed last night). But right now everyone in the tank seems to be happy go lucky. Well as of this morning before i left for work. The other funny thing i noticed is since bumping the temp to 78 from 76, adding the aquarium salt, activated charcoal, and airstone setup the plants have going crazy. i have tons of new shoots on the java ferns and the red ludwigia has bolder color as well as new shoots.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Fri Oct 03, 2014 2:37 pm

Once you get a good layer of fish poop down in the gravel and your nitrates get elevated to 20+ppm, then the plants will really start to thrive!

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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:10 pm

@cholt wrote:
Just a update since Wednesday. I did a WC on Wed evening and have left well enough alone since. I will check the water levels again tonight an see where things are(kinda fell asleep myself putting the 14 month old to bed last night). But right now everyone in the tank seems to be happy go lucky. Well as of this morning before i left for work. The other funny thing i noticed is since bumping the temp to 78 from 76, adding the aquarium salt, activated charcoal, and airstone setup the plants have going crazy. i have tons of new shoots on the java ferns and the red ludwigia has bolder color as well as new shoots.

It's performing the small tweaks to our tanks that get results. Fish are cold blooded. Raising the temperature a couple of degrees raises their metabolism. In turn their immune system gets cranked  up and so do the fish. It's so much easier to keep fish healthy and a lot more fun than putting out fires...Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Mon Oct 06, 2014 9:29 pm

Well here is my latest update on the tank. The tank seems to be running normally. pH@7-7.2, Ammonia@0, Nitrites@0, and Nitrates@10. But now it looks as if one of the Guppies has Ich. So I have the temp bumped back up to around 79-80 and running some aquarium salt to combat the issue. it looks to only be one of the guppies having a issue so far. I'm hoping that it stays that way. I did a 25% water change yesterday morning. anyone have other suggestions for the ich issue? if the ammonia holds out for a couple more days i will think about adding some cory cats into the mix. As well as getting the ich issue straightened out. I have my eye on some peppered cories at one of the LPS.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:35 am

Looks like you are getting back to a cycled tank.
Ich needs to be fully cured about a week or longer before adding any more fish. The raised temp and salt is a good way to cure but make sure no more issues before adding any fish. By the way, like many diseases, Ich is not a by product of stress, but often a result from stress as fish immune systems are weakened by it and leads to many types of possible illnesses. Stress can be caused many ways; bullying, rapid water changes, water temperature changes (fluctuations), fluctuation of Ph., loud noises, kids or adults thumping/knocking on glass, lighting, no place to hide, and on and on. IMO, smaller tanks are or can be harder to take care of due to their small volume, they are more susceptible to temp changes, bio load fluctuations, water fluctuation, and etc. Also can be difficult with some fish who are known to be territorial or those that become territorial as there is little or no room to escape from the bully. But they are great less expensive ways to begin the hobby and learn from, besides the fact all aquariums big or small are beautiful and satisfying to watch.
You really have been doing a pretty good job, but don't rush. Very hard not to do so, but save yourself a lot of heartache and money by going slowly.
Ich is as mentioned not necessarily a result of stress however, rather a very unpleasant and dangerous parasite that can live in your aquarium a long time before you ever see it affecting your fish. Here is a great article that you should read and understand to prevent as well as keep from reoccurring. http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=16+2160&aid=2421
The thread I posted a couple days ago about diagnosing fish disorders also has good info on curing Ich. http://cvas.forumotion.com/t1717-great-site-for-diagnosing-fish-disorders#14832
Good luck, and keep at it, but proceed when you know you have under control.

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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:54 am

I agree with Ron. Stress is usually not the killer and stress comes in many forms. It opens the door to opportunistic diseases like ick. While I'm at it, high Nitrates seldom kill fish. It stresses fish and it opens the door to opportunistic diseases... Neutral

BTW Chris, Your Nitrates look great. It looks like your tank is settling in for the long run. Congrats!!! clapping

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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Tue Oct 07, 2014 6:59 am

Chris, are you on municipal water through Lynchburg? If so, have you ever tested it? I would love to have nitrates on my cycled tanks that low.

I am on a well and my water comes out with a low level Nitrate reading somewhere between 5 -10 ppm. I never get that yellow color on the API nitrate test. Never any issues with chlorine however.

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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Tue Oct 07, 2014 7:23 am

thanks once again for the info/support everyone. I checked the tank this morning while getting ready for work and all but 1 of the guppies are just hanging out at the top of the tank in a corner together. Yall have any ideas on this? I wasn't able to check the water levels this morning so im not sure where they are at the moment.

Nick_B I am on Bedford county water(resold from Lynchburg). Last time I checked it came out with pH around 7, Ammonia at 0, Nitrites at 0, and Nitrates at 0. I have to use Seachem Prime to remove the chlorine(which is fun measuring the right quantity for such a small tank).
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Tue Oct 07, 2014 10:33 am

Your Nitrates being zero, IMO, is a warning sign that something isnt right. Since Nitrate is a by product of beneficial bacteria doing its job, then having zero reading would cause me to lift an eyebrow. Any ideas on this anyone?

As far as huddling goes. I have had fish do this plenty of times. Schooling is a normal repsponse if they are stressed. Do you have adequate cover for your fish? Try turning your light off for 30 min and see if that has an effect. If your lighting is too bright, could also cause this behavior.

In a small tank I have seen people install lights that were 10,000K to 18,000K in their spectrum and that is too much! You typically need a 5,000K to 7,500K light for a small tank. Provding cover in the form of plants or ornaments also helps.


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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Tue Oct 07, 2014 10:44 am

The nitrates are at 0 in my water from the city at the tap not whats in my tank. the nitrates in the water are at 10. The light is the stock Marineland LED hood light that comes with the aquarium kit i got from the big box pet store in town. there are numerous plants in the tank as well. None of the plants are huge but have been good up till this point.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:10 pm

Once the plant growth really gets strong, you may get NO3 readings close to zero again, because the plants are absorbing nearly all of the ammonia and nitrate as soon as it is produced (depending on fish load vs plant load). This does NOT mean you need to add nitrate for your plants. If they're growing OK, they may be getting all the N they need even though it doesn't show up in measurable amounts in the water.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Tue Oct 07, 2014 6:01 pm

@cholt wrote:
thanks once again for the info/support everyone. I checked the tank this morning while getting ready for work and all but 1 of the guppies are just hanging out at the top of the tank in a corner together. Yall have any ideas on this? I wasn't able to check the water levels this morning so im not sure where they are at the moment.

While I can not say for sure, the hanging out at the top may be the Ich. The parasite does effect the gills and internal organs. It also causes fish to be lethargic, and loss of apetite may also occur. Keep up with the treatments. Sounds like your water quality is on track and not the issue. Ich as mentioned sometimes a nasty problem, very contagious and not always a fast cure. Death rate if not caught early sometimes high.

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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:05 pm

@cholt wrote:
thanks once again for the info/support everyone. I checked the tank this morning while getting ready for work and all but 1 of the guppies are just hanging out at the top of the tank in a corner together. Yall have any ideas on this? I wasn't able to check the water levels this morning so im not sure where they are at the moment.

Nick_B I am on Bedford county water(resold from Lynchburg). Last time I checked it came out with pH around 7, Ammonia at 0, Nitrites at 0, and Nitrates at 0. I have to use Seachem Prime to remove the chlorine(which is fun measuring the right quantity for such a small tank).

I don't have a clue Chris. I need more info before I can even start to guess why your Guppies are hanging out in the corner. I hope it was just temporary and they are swimming normally now. When do you add the Prime? Do you add it to the bucket before adding the water to the tank. Do you put the Prime in the tank before or after adding tap water? I'm just curious...shrug

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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:50 pm

JohnnyAMH, they seem to be moving about a bit more but still not as much as they were. I add the prime to the bucket before i fill it.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:17 am

This may sounds a bit crazy but it made a big different in my tank.

When I first got fish, they were very happy in the tank. But I got some new ornaments in and changed the lay out of the tank. When I did this, the whole tank seemed very unhappy and stressed and chaotic. I re-modeled a second time and this seemed to pacify everyone.

I dont know if its Feng shui, or if they are aesthetically picky, or if it didnt model enough of the natural environment, but if you continously have fish that are huddled in a corner or seem stressed, try a re-model. Nothing to lose right?

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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Wed Oct 08, 2014 1:15 pm

@cholt wrote:
JohnnyAMH, they seem to be moving about a bit more but still not as much as they were. I add the prime to the bucket before i fill it.
Cool!!! Cool

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30 gal. Bare Bottom Adult Angelfish Tank
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Wed Oct 08, 2014 8:29 pm

After re-reading all the pages of this thread, I wanted to comment on a couple of things.      

@cholt wrote:
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.  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.
No, do not, in any circumstance, add a Betta to a tank with SA community fish.  Even in a tank of bolder Asian fish, it's a bad idea - unless you add them as babies.  Bettas and community fish are a bad mix.  

And besides you have a very nice community planned, as is.  No need to add a fat fish like a Betta, with a large bio-mass.    
 
@cholt wrote:
My plan is to have the following community fish in the tank once all the fish are introduced.
10-15 Neon Tetras
7 Cory Cats more than likely Julii's or Green's
5 male Guppies
2 Otocinclus catfish
When it comes time to add more fish, IMO you should add one third of the total number of tetras.  A week later, if all is well, add another third.  And so on until all tetras are added.  Do not add the corys until the tank is well-established, and add the Otos LAST.  

As of 9/30 there were 2 Danios, and 3 male guppies in your 20 high (if I've read correctly.)  Is this still the case?    
Are any of these fish obviously sick?  That is, do they have any tiny white dots on them, or a slimy appearance?  Any cauliflower-like growths, or any signs of tiny worms hanging out of any orifice?  

You had mentioned one of the guppies had ich.  Did you ever confirm this diagnosis?  There are many photos of fish with ich on the web.  Did you compare your fish to those pictures?  Ich presents as tiny white dots, one or two to start with, and then more.  The dots are cysts, or protective cases, for the parasite's young.  When the cyst bursts open, the young are free-swimming, and will parasitically attack your fish.  It is in the free-swimming stage ONLY that the parasite can be killed - usually with high heat, or high heat and one of the OTC ich cures, like Quick Cure.  That's why you need to let the life cycle of the parasite run its course, and why you need to wait for at least a week after you have seen the last cyst before assuming your tank is free of this parasite.  

However, I wouldn't resort to chemicals unless you need to.  If you didn't have a case of ich, after all, then you need to do nothing but carry on as you have been.  

Your water parameters seem to be fine.  Your aquarium maintenance seems to be careful and consistent.  I don't read much here to argue with.  

Just FYI, the API kits are far more accurate than test strips, so everyone says.  Use the test kit.

How are your remaining fish doing today?

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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:11 pm

Deb,
I have been treating for ick since yesterday. But the fish that presented with small white spots has larger dots that are white smokey appearance now and its tail has started to get holes in it. I tried taking some pictures but couldn't get any clear ones. One of the other guppies has a torn tail as well as of this evening. So I'm not sure what is going on. The 2 Danios seem to be happy go lucky. As of right now all I'm able to do is scratch my head and hope I'm doing the right treatment.
Chris
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Thu Oct 09, 2014 7:24 am

Deb,

I just saw your question about the number of fish in the tank. As of this morning I'm back down to 3 guppies and 2 danios. I lost 2 guppies last night. The one that presented what i thought was ick(not sure anymore) and the second one i mentioned had started to look a little ragged last night(that one has a open cut on its back this morning that it didn't have last night). i had added 2 back into the tank after about 4 days after that last post you mentioned the number of fish in since everything/one in the tank seemed to look happy and healthy. I may alter what goes in this tank i dont think im going to be getting any more guppies for a while. hell at this rate i think i might just try my luck at plants.

Chris
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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:10 am

Chris, do not worry about the guppies.  You may lose them all, but that is not a failure in itself.  It could be that they were not right for this tank from the start.  Or not a good mix with the Danios.  Just write them off; do the best you can for them but do not add chemicals to the tank at this point.  

Ich presents as tiny white dots, as if your fish has been sprinkled with salt.  The dots are tiny, crisp-looking with distinct edges, and a true opaque white.  If you saw something else, it was not ich.  

If it was ich, and progressed from the cysts to the parasites overwhelming your fish, then, yes, the fish will present a shreddy, ragged, appearance with loss of color, maybe white patches, and a whole host of other bad-looking signs.  There will not be much you can do.  

During this stage, no matter what the problem is, vacuum the substrate as often as you can.  Do about a 10% pwc each time, but not much more.  If you have had ich in your tank, the substrate is where the cysts will be.  The tiny white cysts fall off the fish and land in the substrate.  There, the immature parasites develop in the cyst until it bursts and now your tank has thousands of free-swimming baby ich parasites (called tomites, at this stage.)  The point is, the more you gravel-vac, the more of these intact cysts you will remove.  it's very important.  

Keep up with your other maintenance as usual. Very Happy  Concentrate on the Danios.  When this unfortunate interlude with the guppies is over, you'll be able to move on to the next phase of this tank's life.

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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Fri Oct 10, 2014 9:46 am

I suspect the potential of fin rot:

Taken from Wiki
"Fin rot is a symptom of disease or the actual disease in fish. This is a disease which is most often observed in aquaria and aquaculture, but can also occur in natural populations.

Fin rot can be the result of a bacterial infection (Pseudomonas fluorescens, which causes a ragged rotting of the fin), or as a fungal infection (which rots the fin more evenly and is more likely to produce a white 'edge'). Sometimes, both types of infection are seen together. Infection is commonly brought on by bad water conditions, injury, poor diet, or as a secondary infection in a fish which is already stressed by other disease.

Fin rot starts at the edge of the fins, and destroys more and more tissue until it reaches the fin base. If it does reach the fin base, the fish will never be able to regenerate the lost tissue. At this point, the disease may attack the fish's body directly."

That being said, I assume that there is some kind of infection that the guppies have in your tank.  

At this point I think its important to let the disease runs its course in your tank before adding anything else.  Once you have a week or two of stabalized conditions in your tank, no fish death and consistent water quality, then do a big water change and wait 24 hours then add new fish.

This approach has proven successful in my tanks.

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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   Fri Oct 10, 2014 11:59 am

Good info David

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PostSubject: Re: Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup   

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Fish suggestions for my first 20g setup

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