Just getting started - Looking for suggestions/opinions - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 02-12-2012, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Just getting started - Looking for suggestions/opinions

I'm looking into getting into the world of aquarium fish keeping as a hobby that my son and I can do together. He goes absolutely looney whenever he sees fish, and this is also something I've always wanted to do.

I have yet to purchase a tank and have been going back and forth between a 20 gallon and 29 gallon kits w/LED lighting. I'm leaning towards the 20 gallon as I don't want anything too small, but I also don't want something too big for a beginner.

I've been looking primarily at what I would like to stock a 20 gallon tank with and here's one of my ideas and I could really use some input here:

6-12 Zebra Danios
2 Dwarf Gouramis
1 Siamese Algae Eater
6 Dwarf Cory Catfish (i.e. Leopard, Peppered, Panda)

I would start with the 6 Zebra Danios for cycling and then add a few more (and up to 6 more) once cycling is complete. Then eventually add the others over time.

Any thoughts on this particular set-up? Too many fish for 20 Gallons? Compatability issues?

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post #2 of 11 Old 02-12-2012, 01:24 PM
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Looks pretty good, but id be cautious with the d.gouramis, its luck of the draw with them as some can be docile, others agresive like no other. Id also be carefull with the algae eater, as its a 20, it wont have much to eat, and they get huge, (ive got one in my 55 cichlid tank, and its about 6 inches long, its bigger than most of the cichlids)
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post #3 of 11 Old 02-12-2012, 01:59 PM
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I was also going to say that your tank was too small for the SAE.
How about a bristlenose pleco instead?

There are lots of great species profiles if you look near the upper left part of the forum you can do a search.

Have you done any water parameter testing of your tap - i.e. the pH and hardness? That can help, too.
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post #4 of 11 Old 02-12-2012, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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thanks, that's kind of what I was thinking in RE to the SAE. Still need to test my tap water.......

I've also heard the Dwarf Gouramis are hit or miss.....I'm hoping for a hit. I really like them and think a couple would be excellent as the "show piece". Is one Dwarf Gouramis better?

In RE to the Cory Cats, I've heard mixed things.....a lot of people say no less than 6 and others have told me 3 or 4 is fine?

I'll have to get used to the acronyms so I can type less,
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post #5 of 11 Old 02-12-2012, 02:23 PM
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well see, i love dwarf gouramis, but i dont want to take that risk, so i went with a pearl, gourgous fish
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post #6 of 11 Old 02-12-2012, 08:38 PM
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Another good, more docile alternative to the dwarf gourami is the honey gourami. They also come in a "sunset" variety for more color.

Generally with stocking a small tank you want a substrate fish (corydoras), middle swimmer (all levels), and top swimming fish (gourami). A 20 gal tank isn't really that large. In this hobby: when in doubt go larger.

I would get rid of the zebra danio and go with some a little more sedated for small tank like a 20 gal (they also like cooler temps than the gourami). They like a lot of room to swim. I think some of the more calm tetra would be a better idea. Especially if you want a gourami; they don't like a lot of movement.

Gourami and corydoras like soft, acidic water. If you can get us your water parameters we can tell you whether or not these fish would be ideal for your setup.


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post #7 of 11 Old 02-12-2012, 10:40 PM
Hi and welcome to TFK! and the hobby! :) I just noticed you mentioned using danios for cycling?
I would not recomment cycling with fish as it will be stressfull for the fish if not deadly
I understand that danios are tough fish and will probably survive the cycle but there are alternate methods like fish-less cycling, shown here, http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...m-cycle-38617/
you also mentioned not wanting something too big for a beginner, I would suggest the opposite I am not talking about a 200 gallon tank or anything but a 50 or 90 gallon tank with live plants and medium stoking would be easier to maintain as far as water parameters and it also offers you a wider possiblity as for stoking and landscaping specially in plants! Smaller aquariums tend to have faster changes in water temperature and if you overfeed it tends to go nasty pretty quick. I'm only a beginner myself in the hobby but these are a few things I would do diffidently for sure , because like you I got myself a 26 gallon and cycled it with danios I did not know of TFK so the store clerk told me to do it with them... so if id be you if would be a 50 gallon with fishless cycle , then I would stock it with 15-20 black ruby barbs :D or tiger barbs!
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post #8 of 11 Old 02-12-2012, 10:59 PM
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First, welcome. This will be a great hobby for you and your son, especially if you plan ahead and Listen to the advice from the great people on this site(and not your local sales people) to avoid future issues and unnecessary deaths.

Second, a bigger tank is usually always better. As more water means more stable water parameters and larger stocking options. I personally think a 29 would be better to start with(that's what I did.)

Third. Cycling a tank with fish is very stressful and harmful to the fish, so we would recromend against that. You can cycle different ways( live plants, food, seeding etc.) that do not involve fish. Plus you should not need to buy fish that will not work for your tank, or ones you may not like, just to cycle.

Fourth, invest in the API master freshwater kit, test your parameters from the tap, and find your hardness from your local water provider. Post the results here when you have them. Getting fish that match your parameters is essential to have a happy healthy tank.

Fifth, we have fish profiles on this site which you can get to on the top navigation bar. Check out the fish you mentioned, and see if there is anything else you like. You should make sure the fish you want fit your water parameters and are compatible with the tank size and other fish you want to keep.

This may seem like alot of work, and you also need to be patient to cycle properly, but it's worth it. The more research you put in from the start, the more you will enjoy your tank in the long run!
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**edit. Sorry for the typos and misspellings. It's late and I'm sleepy :)

Last edited by bigehugedome; 02-12-2012 at 11:02 PM.
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post #9 of 11 Old 02-13-2012, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Gazak79 View Post
New set up

hi there i have recently bought a 48l tank and need advise. ive bought a fluval edge and it comes with pump and filter and have bought a internal heater. ive set it up as the instructions have said and added some additives that help with cycle process but i dont know how long i should leave it till introducing fish??, and then what fish to introduce.... ive read quite a bit and have realised that 48 liters is not that big and that i could only get 10-12 small-medium fish in there, but could i have just 2-3 bigger fish that wont out grow the tank ??

Hi there I'm just replying to your post as you seem to know what your on about, could I get some advise on cycling and a few other bits?, I have just bought a 48 litre tank with heater ext from fluval and have followed the instructions on set up, washed gravel and ornaments b4 putting them in the tank and then used the supplements provided by fluval to get the cycle process going, but I am unsure how long to leave it b4 adding fish and if I'm missing anything out( Ive read dropping 1 flake of food in the tank a day helps ?),
Hey Gazak -

If you start your own thread you'll get more responses and they won't get lost in this thread. Just copy/paste and create a new topic. :)

Edit by Byron: I moved the posts to start a new thread, here: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...w-setup-93249/

Last edited by Byron; 02-13-2012 at 11:59 AM.
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post #10 of 11 Old 02-13-2012, 12:05 PM
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I second the recommendations to get the larger tank. And I agree with the comments on the issues with some of the proposed fish. Also the cycling, and on this, I would strongly recommend some live plants. They are not difficult, and even some simple floating plants can make a big difference to the water quality and fish health.

And, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.


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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