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Old 05-23-2013, 02:54 PM   #1
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My first 20 gallon freshwater!

Hi all, I'm new to this world of aquariums, but got involved because my six year old wanted a betta. I've learned so much about cycling, about bioloads, about inverts and clean up crews, and I decided to start reading in these forums to learn more.

well, I got a new-to-me 20 gallon regular (not long) tank. I re-homed the pleco and the goldfish (both monsters! previous owner was given wrong information by their LFS). Anyway, I cleaned the tank (no soap just vinegar and water solution), got a new filter (Fluval 50), put down flourite (I think, can't remember) substrate for the plants - I knew I wanted a planted tank. I did fishless cycling, seeded my tank with the betta filter (squished it in the new tank and poof! big cloud of white diffused throughout). I kept an eye on my water parameters (learned to buy the API Master test kit), put in plants and a raw shrimp (in a media bag) to kick it off. 3 weeks into it, my cycle was done - 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 20 nitrates. I took my water to the LFS (actually two, to make sure) and both of them said it was cycled.

I didn't want to lose the bacteria, so I have put in 6 male guppys (turquoise and lyre tailed - 3 each) and two male red platys. I also have a small rubber nosed pleco, but I have since found out the LFS was incorrect, and it will grow to over 7 inches - which I DO not want).

What I'd like to ask is, can someone help me in deciding what else to stock? I'd like a mid to bottom dwelling schooling fish, and maybe some cory cats or the like. Also, I have black aquarium sand over the substrate and a piece of driftwood which I soaked forever in hot water before I put it in.

Thanks so much from an enthused newbie!!
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:39 PM   #2
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Maybe a school of rummy nose tetras? They are one of my favourite fish at the moment with their white seethroughish body, striped tail and red faces. I'm quite new to the hobby too tho so I'm not quite sure if they stay at the mid to bottom of the tank but mine seem too.
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Old 05-23-2013, 10:13 PM   #3
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Smile

Thanks for the great suggestion. I will check them out!

I also thought of one bigger fish, or else a few pretty shrimp. I'd like a stand out "feature"!
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Old 05-23-2013, 10:32 PM   #4
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Two fish I love r bosemani rainbow fish and Cory catfish. The rainbows can live in groups or by themselves. Cory's need to be in groups of 3 or more. Cory's r so fun to watch cuz they never stop moving. they r bottom dwellers and need sand substrate so u r good. Rainbow fish r mid dwellers and r very colorful, especially the bosemani ones.
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Old 05-23-2013, 11:50 PM   #5
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+1 to the cory cats. I would also suggest harlequin rasboras, they are mid to high fish that stay in a tight school and are very active.
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:42 AM   #6
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+1 to the cory cats. I would also suggest harlequin rasboras, they are mid to high fish that stay in a tight school and are very active.
If u keep harlequin rasboras in a large group ( 4+ ) they will look really cool. Just there patterns on there sides is cool and a large group will make that pattern pop.
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:09 AM   #7
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Thanks! I actually wanted some cory cats, but the LFS said that they wouldn't do well in the aquarium because it was too hard. Then at another LFS, they said that the cories wouldn't like sand, which contradicted everything I had read. And yet another LFS did not recommend fishless cycling (they seemed disapproving). I ignored that advice! I didn't want to accidentally kill fish just for cycling's sake.

My parameters (last night) were: 0 ammonia, 0 nitrates, 30 nitrates (it was between the 20 and 40 colors), 7.8 pH, 8.2 hard pH. I did a 20% (4 gallon) water change last night and the nitrates went down to 20.

Everyone still seems happy, but the guppies aren't schooling. Should they be? Should I get a couple more? How about the red wag platys? Should they be in a school (right now I have two). And I'm not sure about the pleco - rubber nosed or rubber lipped - I can't tell which one I have. Should I take it back and trade it in, or just wait for it to get bigger, and then trade it in? My LFS will take trade-ins, or returns (within 14 days).

I'm going to get me my cory cats tonight. I like cory cats so I am going to follow my instinct and get what I wanted the first time!
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:13 AM   #8
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Also, my lighting: it's a T8, 120V, 15 watt (I think; I'll double check tonight), Aqueon Colormax florescent (18"). should I get a new light (it's original to the tank)?
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SassyMiss View Post
Thanks! I actually wanted some cory cats, but the LFS said that they wouldn't do well in the aquarium because it was too hard. Then at another LFS, they said that the cories wouldn't like sand, which contradicted everything I had read. And yet another LFS did not recommend fishless cycling (they seemed disapproving). I ignored that advice! I didn't want to accidentally kill fish just for cycling's sake.

My parameters (last night) were: 0 ammonia, 0 nitrates, 30 nitrates (it was between the 20 and 40 colors), 7.8 pH, 8.2 hard pH. I did a 20% (4 gallon) water change last night and the nitrates went down to 20.

Everyone still seems happy, but the guppies aren't schooling. Should they be? Should I get a couple more? How about the red wag platys? Should they be in a school (right now I have two). And I'm not sure about the pleco - rubber nosed or rubber lipped - I can't tell which one I have. Should I take it back and trade it in, or just wait for it to get bigger, and then trade it in? My LFS will take trade-ins, or returns (within 14 days).

I'm going to get me my cory cats tonight. I like cory cats so I am going to follow my instinct and get what I wanted the first time!
OMG, all of ur lfs r wrong. "Cory's don't like sand"!!!! That is terrible advice!! Gravel will hurt the bottom of their belly and cause infection. Lol!! No fishless cycle! Really? Even beginners know to do fishless cycles. If u don't want the Pleco getting to big, trade it back in for a clown pleco. Clowns stay under 5" usually. Most schooling fish won't school unless they r in a bigger group ( 4+ ) and they feel threatened by other fish. There r exceptions like the harlequin rasbora. When getting the Cory's, get at least 3. What type of Cory r u getting?
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:50 AM   #10
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To be fair, the guy I usually talk to (that helped me with figuring out the betta tank) is out with a new baby, so I'll reserve judgment on that store - it's a national chain store (the other employee was the one who told me cories don't do well in sand). But the other store, the locally owned one, that seems professional and knowledgeable, were the ones who told me they don't recommend fishless cycling! So I'm wary of their advice now.

I don't know what kind of cory yet; I'm not sure about the albino ones - they would stand out on the black sand though. Either those or the bronze ones - I have a limited selection from which to pick. I think I'm going to get three of them, and three more male guppies - I have 6 now, but they don't school.

Do red wag platys need to school? I have two males right now.
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:30 PM   #11
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Sorry about the bad advice but horribly a lot of fish stores aren't too morally based and will give bad advice.. the more fish you kill, the more you buy and the more they make.

Panda corys are currently my favorite

Guppies aren't really schooling fish.. they spend a lot of time going crazy all over the tank.

The only time you really need to worry about lighting is when you have live plants. Over time you will notice your bulb getting dimmer and its up to you if you want to change it or not. The fish don't really care.
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Old 05-24-2013, 02:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SassyMiss View Post
To be fair, the guy I usually talk to (that helped me with figuring out the betta tank) is out with a new baby, so I'll reserve judgment on that store - it's a national chain store (the other employee was the one who told me cories don't do well in sand). But the other store, the locally owned one, that seems professional and knowledgeable, were the ones who told me they don't recommend fishless cycling! So I'm wary of their advice now.

I don't know what kind of cory yet; I'm not sure about the albino ones - they would stand out on the black sand though. Either those or the bronze ones - I have a limited selection from which to pick. I think I'm going to get three of them, and three more male guppies - I have 6 now, but they don't school.

Do red wag platys need to school? I have two males right now.
Sometimes platys will school but most of the time, they just swim around the tank as carefree as ever. I love both types of cories but since u have black sand, I would get the albino ones as they will pop out at u. Guppies don't usually school either.
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:00 PM   #13
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Oh, I didn't realize that about the guppies. My son wanted them so I thought, why not. I'll be happy with my 6 guppies. I think I will end up with:

6 male guppies (have right now)
2 red wag platys (have right now)
2 mickey mouse platys
1 rubber nose pleco (for now)
6-8 tetras (of some kind)
3 cory cats
1 nerite snail
3 red cherry shrimp

Am I overstocked with this plan? does anyone see any future headaches with this combination of fish?

I have a 20 gallon regular, with a fluval 50 filter and one 6 inch bubble wall. Several live plants.

thanks so much!!
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:06 PM   #14
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Picture!

I finally took a picture of my tank.

Also, my son named one of the red platys. His name is now Toto. Actually, he picked Toto out at the store and could tell exactly which one out of the 10 was "his" fish.
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SassyMiss View Post
Oh, I didn't realize that about the guppies. My son wanted them so I thought, why not. I'll be happy with my 6 guppies. I think I will end up with:

6 male guppies (have right now)
2 red wag platys (have right now)
2 mickey mouse platys
1 rubber nose pleco (for now)
6-8 tetras (of some kind)
3 cory cats
1 nerite snail
3 red cherry shrimp

Am I overstocked with this plan? does anyone see any future headaches with this combination of fish?

I have a 20 gallon regular, with a fluval 50 filter and one 6 inch bubble wall. Several live plants.

thanks so much!!
If I were u, don't get the Mickey Mouse platy or minus the amount of tetras to 4-5. I would get neons as they get only 1" max. Most others will grow bigger than 1.5". Does ur lfs actually sell rcs?
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:44 PM   #16
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Gold fish have a bit bioload and space requirements if I'm not mistaken
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:56 PM   #17
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Gold fish have a bit bioload and space requirements if I'm not mistaken
She is gonna get gold fish? I don't see that in her list of things to get unless I'm going blind already. Lol
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:59 PM   #18
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She is gonna get gold fish? I don't see that in her list of things to get unless I'm going blind already. Lol
Here


"


I got a new-to-me 20 gallon regular (not long) tank. I re-homed the pleco and the goldfish (both monsters! previous owner was given wrong information by their LFS).

"
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:00 PM   #19
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Never mind I thought she meant she kept the gold fish and that she was the re homed . But I realize now she may have meant she gave it to someone else .
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:06 PM   #20
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Never mind I thought she meant she kept the gold fish and that she was the re homed . But I realize now she may have meant she gave it to someone else .
Oh. She meant she gave it away.
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