A few questions, starting over - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 07-21-2014, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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A few questions, starting over

Last February we got a 20 gal fish tank and unknowingly did a fish in cycle. We started with about a dozen fish. Of them all, one platy survived until yesterday. We just moved into a new place and we were supposed to move him over today, only to discover he has passed. :( So instead of moving over the tank and decor as is, I rinsed everything off with water only. So, my first question, because I did that, I need to recycle, correct? My second question, what would be a good group to put in there once it is cycled? I believe my daughter wants angel fish, do they need a bigger tank than 20 gal? What about an algae eater? There are no local fish stores here (unless you count Wal-Mart 50 miles away), so I would likely have to order or travel long distances.
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post #2 of 11 Old 07-21-2014, 02:40 PM
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Did you keep the filter media submerged after you rinsed it or did it dry out? If it dried out you need to re-cycle. Honestly, I would re-cycle anyways. Go ahead and pick up some pure ammonia (no other ingredients) and an API Master Liquid Test Kit. You are going to want to dose your ammonia at 4ppm according to the test kit and wait. When the ammonia begins going down, constantly get it back up to 4ppm. Once you start showing no ammonia, no nitrites and nitrates, you are almost done! Dose the ammonia to 4ppm for three days. If it returns to 0 in 24 hours and you are ONLY showing nitrates each of these three days, your cycle is complete and you are ready for fish! Continue dosing the ammonia until they arrive to feed the cycle, then do as large of a water change as possible to remove the nitrates when they arrive and add the fish!

You can do a single angel and nothing else if it is a tall 20 gallon rather than a 20 gallon long. Otherwise, here is what I would stock -

1 Dwarf Gourami (powder blue, honey, sunset, ect.)
10 harlequin rasboras
6 cories (just not emeralds and make sure they are all the same species)
1 Bristlenose Pleco
2 Mystery Snails
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post #3 of 11 Old 07-23-2014, 03:50 AM
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Flint went over cycling, I'm more of a do it the natural way person, but her method will get the tank cycled more quickly.

You never said what type of filter you're using and that makes all the difference in the world in the long run. I would suggest a small canister-expensive- HOB that cycles 20 gal water at least 3 x per hour and no matter what get an air driven sponge filter. The sponge will take a month or so to get up to speed, enough bacteria, and will keep your water stable unless you do something extreme.

Stocking: No Angels the tank is too small.

Botton, 5-6 Panda Corys and a bristlenose pleco.If you want to go with something more exotic do 12 Red Cherry Shrimp or a dwarf crayfish, I'd suggest a CPO. Mid-range, 6 Cherry Barbs 1/2 albino or or 6-8 Celestrial Danios. Top Guppys, Endlers and a pair of pigmy gouramis such as Sparkling or Croaking. You could also do one male betta or 2-3 female bettas of different colors.

Where to get fish? Save yourself a lot of time, money and heartach and buy them on the net. P.M. me for a list of reputible breeders. BEST OF LUCK AND KEEP US POSTED.
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post #4 of 11 Old 07-23-2014, 08:03 AM
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You can keep a single angel or a breeding pair alone in a 20H, henningc, it's quite common practice. I wouldn't put barbs in a 20H, though, not enough horizontal swimming space IME. As far as the pygmy gourami, you have to have either 5+ or one to be successful, IME. I'm anxious to know what you decide!
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post #5 of 11 Old 07-23-2014, 08:25 AM
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Ya im with henningc. A 20g is to small for angelfish (if you want them happy). Cherry barbs would do great, they are one of the smaller barbs and dont move around as much as their cousins (almost every other barb).
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post #6 of 11 Old 07-23-2014, 08:29 AM
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I agree with Flint, 20H isn't too small for angels and cherry barbs are REALLY active fish, just like all of the other barbs.

Goose
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post #7 of 11 Old 07-23-2014, 08:37 AM
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Well I guess if you get an angelfish that will not grow to its full size or stunted, than ya its great. Cherry barbs arent SUPER active, like tigers and odessas.
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post #8 of 11 Old 07-23-2014, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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Everything is dried out now. Filter is a Whisper 10-30i. The tanks is 24" long and about 16.5" high.

We did have a bristlenose pleco in our original grouping, but after he passed (probably due to cycling) I was told they don't generally do good with hard water. We had very hard water at our previous residence, and since we've only moved a few blocks, I doubt that's changed any. I would hate to get one and have him pass as well. Would this make snails the better choice, or could I have both?

Can I stock the tank in groups, or would it be better to get them all at once? I know with shipping it would be cheaper to get them all at once, but that's beside the point.

She would probably be okay with a male beta vs the angelfish (I think she likes how fancy they look), and I know I love betas. I used to keep them in high school and college in the tiny bowls (I know better now). However, I know their temperament can affect what they can live with and everyone be happy. If I went with a male beta, what would make good companions? I'm not worried about having a full tank, as for over a year we have just had one platy. Although I did feel sorry for him being so lonely. :(
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post #9 of 11 Old 07-23-2014, 02:18 PM
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Hard water should not effect a BN, it likely died from other causes. I keep soft water fish in my hard water with no issues. I would just swap the gourami from my original stocking list, editing it to this -

1 Betta
10 harlequin rasboras
6 cories (just not emeralds and make sure they are all the same species)
1 Bristlenose Pleco
2 Mystery Snails

If you cycle according to my instructions in my first post, you can add all the fish at once no problem.
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post #10 of 11 Old 07-23-2014, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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I know I could stock all at once (after cycling of course), but (again, after cycling) could I add the betta and snails, then later on add a school? Is a 20 gal too big for a betta and a couple snails? I just want to do this right, but I know I won't be able to order a ton of fish in one go.
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