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Old 05-18-2015, 02:23 PM   #1
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First time aquarist

Hello,

My husband and I are in the process of setting up our first aquarium for our daughter. Her 2nd birthday is the end of June and she loves fish! As her birthday present, we bought a 20 gallon setup. We have been trying to do our research to make this as successful as possible. We are going to try to get the tank up and running for a fishless cycle this weekend. If anyone can provide any advice or direction, we would greatly appreciate it! Also, any suggestions in terms of what equipment is a must have and what equipment can or should be avoided. There is so much information out there to sort through that it is slightly overwhelming! Thanks!

Additionally, if anyone has suggestions in terms of fish that would be appropriate for a 20 gallon tank, I would appreciate it! We are going to be going with tropical freshwater.
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Old 05-18-2015, 04:05 PM   #2
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Hi and welcome to AA Firstly you are doing the right thing by doing some research. {Well done}If you could let us know exactly what you have got then we can advice accordingly. Do you have a light? Heater? Filter? If so do you know what type?
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Old 05-18-2015, 07:54 PM   #3
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We actually purchased the tank as a complete set up, so the light, heater and filter all came with it. It is all Top Fin brand. We also already got the Seachem dechlorinator and the API master test kit should be here on Wednesday. I know buying a complete setup isn't always recommended, but I'm hoping that the filter will work well enough because we got a great deal and we are trying to stay within budget.
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Old 05-18-2015, 10:13 PM   #4
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Budget is always good. That's great you have most of the basics covered.


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Old 05-18-2015, 10:18 PM   #5
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For fish. Since its for your daughter I'm guess you want colorful and flashy.

Platys, guppies, corydoras, Kuhli loaches, neon tetras... Etc..

All easy to take care of and active and/or colorful.

Many people don't like loaches but they are some of the funniest little guys you can own and Kuhli are great starter ones.

Maybe one day you could look at bigger ones.

My 7 inch adult dojo/weather loach:
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Also!! Do sand. I'm biased to sand. Gravel is just so hard to keep clean even with vacuuming. Fish also like sand Better in most cases because it's smooth to the touch rather than sharp gravel.


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Old 05-18-2015, 10:22 PM   #6
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Thanks so much for the fish suggestions!

So is sand easier to maintain? We got gravel already, but it's not opened yet. I'm definitely not opposed to returning it and getting sand instead. I'm just completely unfamiliar with how the sand would work
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Old 05-18-2015, 11:04 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by DejaloLove View Post
Thanks so much for the fish suggestions!

So is sand easier to maintain? We got gravel already, but it's not opened yet. I'm definitely not opposed to returning it and getting sand instead. I'm just completely unfamiliar with how the sand would work

When having gravel, detritus waste can slip down into it and might Not always get sucked up when you vacuum. With sand, the waste sits on top making it easy to pick up. It's tricky at first but you will get the hang on hovering the vacuum right above the sand and it will pick it up.


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Old 05-19-2015, 06:55 AM   #8
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Okay, great. Thank you so much!
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Old 05-19-2015, 07:09 AM   #9
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Sure thing! Any other questions feel free to ask.


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Old 05-19-2015, 08:24 AM   #10
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I prefer pool filter sand

It's inexpensive, and heavier than many of the colored sands (or resins) sold at many of the chain pet stores. Wash it really well before putting it in the tank and let it sit before you turn on the filter.

Do you have a siphon to clean the bottom of the tank? They aren't expensive and are very important in doing weekly water changes. Sand will get sucked up into the siphon but if you tip it at an angle the sand falls down to the bottom.

Another low cost item I would recommend is a thermometer so you can monitor tank temp.
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