20 Gallon tank...uninspired! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 09-11-2009, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
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20 Gallon tank...uninspired!

I'm having a hard time figuring out what to do with my 20g. I'm using pool filter sand as the substrate but I'm COMPLETELY unispired with this tank. Right now the only things in the tank are the sand substrate, some rocks and a couple of plants that are struggling. I have no idea what direction to go in with this tank. Being it's only 20g, I feel limited as to the type of fish that I could put in there. To make matters more difficult, the ph is around 8.4 ppm. I wouldn't mind doing cichlids, but all of the cichlids that like a high ph get very large and will outgrow the 20g. If I can decide what fish to put in there I think I'll have a better direction to go in...or maybe not . Any suggestions? I could really use some inspiration right about now. Thank you for your help!
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post #2 of 11 Old 09-11-2009, 12:29 PM
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Perhaps the Brichardi Cichlids would interest you? They would do well in the water you have and are fairly easy to care for.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #3 of 11 Old 09-11-2009, 01:33 PM
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a few of the african shell dweller african cichlids could be an option for you......1077 gave you a good example of one of the kinds that would work, but their are others.........
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post #4 of 11 Old 09-11-2009, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you both for your suggestions! The Brichardi Cichlids would be a very nice consideration except I read that the minimum tank size is 30 gallons (my tank is 20 gallons). This has been a part of my problem. I feel as though most of the african cichlids would do well with my ph, but 20 gallons is too small. I can't start another larger tank...hubby will throw a fit! Is it true that I need a minimum 30 gallons, or can I get away with 20? I don't know much about african cichlids.
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post #5 of 11 Old 09-11-2009, 02:11 PM
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what about convicts? a pair would be nice.

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Vancouver, B.C. Canada
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post #6 of 11 Old 09-11-2009, 02:16 PM
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While it is recommended to keep brichardi cichlids in a 30 gallon tank, they are very small fishes that only grow to about 4" in length. The only issue I could see is one of territory, but the brichardi is a schooling cichlid, so following the 1-inch to 1-gallon rule may work in this case. To be safe, I wouldn't get more than 3-4 so they have a little more room to breathe. Also, they are diggers, and if your plants are already struggling, they will most likely not last through these.
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post #7 of 11 Old 09-11-2009, 02:27 PM
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I keep 5 Neolamprologus multifasciatus, "multies," in a 10 gallon aquarium. These are small, shell-dwelling cichlids with fascinating behavior. They're do fine in a 10 gallon. In fact, mine spawned about a week ago. =) Species like brevis, similis, and ocellatus would also work in a smallish tank.

ShellDwellers.com - Index has a ton of good info on shellies and some very knowledgable members.
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post #8 of 11 Old 09-11-2009, 03:21 PM
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would you not consider using the tank for something else perhaps ?
land hermit crabs,reptile,spider ?dwarf puffers ?
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post #9 of 11 Old 09-12-2009, 07:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for your advice and inspiration!!! After researching some of the cichlids mentioned, I have to say that I'm definitely going with cichlids, probably Neolamprologus Multifasciatus. After reading about the personalities of cichlids in general, they sound like amazing fun. Thank you for giving me some direction to go in. And I know the plants probably won't survive, but I don't really care. They're not doing well anyway. Also mischieviouscat thank you for the link. I'll spend some time there so that I can find out what would be a good tank setup. Again, I have no idea what type of rocks would be good (lace, lava, texas holey rock, river rock...etc) or setup in general. Never ever had cichlids before.

And Willow, thank you for the suggestion but I can't go with hermit crabs or reptiles. The tank is in our home office (which hubby & I share) and I can convice him that the tank should stay if there's fish in it. If there was anything else, the tank would have to go.

Last edited by artgalnj; 09-12-2009 at 07:53 AM.
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post #10 of 11 Old 09-12-2009, 06:07 PM
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good luck with it.
show pictures if you can. :)
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