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Old 06-30-2012, 10:50 PM   #1
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Hey, I have a TOPFIN 20 gallon tank with a TOPFIN 30 gallon filter. I also have Fluval biological filter media and filter fiber in it. The tank has been running for a week and a half and I used stability to cycle the tank. Levels of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate have tested 0 consistently. The pH hovers around 7.4-7.8. I do have an air pump and the temperature is usually around 80 degrees F.

Currently I have 2 Panda Corys and 2 Julii Corys which seem to school together and enjoy each others company. I also have 5 Harlequin Rasbora which school in the middle area of the tank. Lastly I have an upsidedown catfish which I don't see much during the day but swims around at night (is this normal, not 100% sure if they're nocturnal).

I am looking to get another schooling fish, preferably for the top. I was thinking about Galaxy Rasboras (Celestrial Pearl Danios) because I like the look of them.

I then wanted to add a few dwarf cichlids. I was thinking 1 German Blue Ram and 2 Cockatoos. Not sure if this is the right number of each I should have, so any suggestions are appreciated.

If there are any other types of top schooling fish, please feel free to suggest any.

Thanks.
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Old 07-01-2012, 01:01 PM   #2
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What size tank, 20 gal? With the tank still cycling I wouldn't add anything yet. It can take 4-8 weeks for a tank to cycle and without nitrates you're nowhere near finished. What test kit are you using? If you're using strips they can be inaccurate and I'd highly recommend a liquid test kit like the API master. With fish like that in an uncycled 20 gal I'd bet you should have some ammonia by now unless you're doing large daily water changes.

CPDs are mid-lower level fish (I have them) so they wouldn't stay near the top. Dwarf Cichlids wouldn't work in a 20. You could try one ram maybe. A better centerpiece fish would be a dwarf gourami. Again though I wouldn't add anything else until you're fully cycled.
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Old 07-01-2012, 01:17 PM   #3
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I am using the API master test kit. I used Seachem Stability for 8 days straight because I could not wait to put the fish in. I upgraded from a 10 gallon and didn't have anywhere to put the fish. That is why everything has been testing 0, I am going to test the water again today without adding Stability last night. When will I know my tank has cycled? And if it hasn't yet cycled, how come all of the fish in there are thriving?
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Old 07-01-2012, 01:20 PM   #4
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I agree with library girl, you probably aren't even close to cycled. The occurrence of nitrates is a sign you are "in the final stretch".

Rams are pretty sensitive fish. If you are set on having 1 then add it last, once the tank is fully cycled(having 0 ammonia and nitrites and nitrAte around 20 for about a week). I doubt it would survive a cycle. They also like to stick with the bottom area.

As librarygirl mentioned gourami are a good option. Lots of color, good activity and like the top. Or a few female bettas. In my experience they like the top and can add some nice color to the tank.

Cardinals tend to stay higher up or a nice school of white cloud mountain minnows(or golden white cloud minnows)
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Old 07-01-2012, 01:26 PM   #5
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For the nitrate test, you want to shake and bang both bottles for 30 seconds (there's a reagent powder in the second bottle that can get clumped and cause false readings) and then shake the tube vigourously for 60 seconds and wait 5 minutes for a result. Then see if there are any nitrates. In a cycled tank you want 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and some nitrate. Temp at 80 is a bit high, especially for the Pandas who like cooler water, I'd try to drop it down to 76-77.
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Old 07-01-2012, 01:38 PM   #6
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Listen to the experts and be more patient with this process It will pay off in the end.
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Old 07-01-2012, 01:47 PM   #7
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sounds good, ill wait till i see some nitrates
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