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post #1 of 4 Old 06-02-2010, 03:04 AM Thread Starter
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20 gallon?

Hello I am going to pick up a 20 gallon tomorrow and have a few questions. I have a little experience with fish but not much. I have kept a male betta, with an african dwarf frog in a 5.5 gallon successfully for several months and would like to expand to other types of fish. If you could give me opinions on fish combinations and number of these fish i could keep I will consider everyones input. As I said I am somewhat a beginner, but am also willing to put time and effort into keepings something that may be a bit harder if I like how it sounds. Thanks!
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post #2 of 4 Old 06-02-2010, 05:34 AM
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Two questions for you:

Is the tank a 20g high, or a 20g long? Also, what's the pH and hardness of your tap water?

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post #3 of 4 Old 06-02-2010, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Well i have not got it yet so i could go with either long or tall! what would the difference mean for types of fish? And with the PH and hardness I had it tested at the store after i cycled my tank i have now but honestly cant remember the numbers..... I can try and figure this out.
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post #4 of 4 Old 06-02-2010, 06:30 PM
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The surface area is significant as is the length. For instance, shoaling fish like tetras, rasbora, danios, etc need swimming room (some more than others) so a 20 long works better. The surface area is also greater with a long than a high, and this affects the gas exchange (oxygen in, CO2 out). Some fish have certain needs with respect to water flow and oxygen exchange. As you have the option of either, I would suggest deciding first on the type of fish then buy the appropriate tank for them.

Which brings us to: The water parameters matter because not all fish can live in the same water, as I expect you know. It is easier and less problematic to acquire fish that are compatible with you water rather than having to adjust the water to suit certain fish. This is sometimes easy, sometimes not and can be quite expensive long-term. But again, depending upon what you have out of the tap (which is usually the cheapest source considering regular water changes) and what fish you might like, there may be several options.

Once you/we know the water parameters, then you can narrow down possible fish; and the type of fish you decide on will determine if the long or high is best.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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