new tank set-up 20g long planted - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 33 Old 02-24-2012, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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new tank set-up 20g long planted

first, id like to say THANKS to whoever began this awsome site. second, thanks to those many members who maintain its awesomeness! ive learned a lot about fishkeeping just by reading the threads and comments of the more experienced members and my betta loves you all for it

now onto my new tank: it will be a 20g long. im hoping to plant ~2/3 with easy to maintain(as im still a noob) species.

so my equipment so far is:

- aquaclear20 power filter
- an aqueon 50watt heater
- an aqueon full hood with a 24" 17watt 8000k full spectrum bulb(though i plan to replace the bulb with one more "plant friendly"
- for substate i was looking into the "fluval" substrate for planted aquariums, mainly because its the only one at my LFS that has the look im going for (the non coloured gravel look)

my tap water:

ammonia:0
nitrite:0
nitrate:0
PH:7.6

for stocking i was thinking:

- 1 bristlenose pleco
- 8 cardinal tetra
- 2 pepper corydoras
- 2 panda corydoras (one of which i already have in my 5gallon betta tank who needs a new home ASAP)
- 6 platys
- 1 sailfin molly or 2 dwarf gouramis



for plants, i wanted all easy to grow, hence i was thinking:

- anubias (one in my 5g atm)
- java moss
- water sprie
- moneywort (in my 5g atm)
- duckweed - im hoping to devise a way to keep it contained to 1/3 of the tank??? ( some in my 5g atm)

so, on to the questions:

I want to cycle the tank WITH fish. first, which fish out of my list would be best? second would it be ok to put my panda cory in at the beginning or should he stay with the betta till the 20g is cycled?

my next question is about cycling. i plan to put all the plants into the tank from the beginning. from what i understand this helps and hinders the cycle. helps because it gets rid of ammonia. hinders cause it leave none for the beneficial bacteria . i this correct??? what do you recommend i do?

i was going to move the filter from my 5 gallon to kick-start my 20g and replace it with a topfin power filter 10 or equivalent (suggestions?). is this a good plan? will it harm the 5g much?

so thats what ive got. comment and critiques are more than welcome

thanks
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post #2 of 33 Old 02-25-2012, 09:57 AM
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As im still a noob myself I think you would be overstocking your tank with that many fish. I would either go with the tetra or platys but not both. Im not sure how big the platys get though so they might not even be an option for you but that's just my 2 cents for what its worth. Other than that good luck and welcome.
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post #3 of 33 Old 02-25-2012, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the reply! im probably going to drop the platy's as the tetra's are so much kooler imho :) i was also leaning more toward the gourami's as well. they look awesome and my lfs buys them from a local breeder so less chance of the "dwarf gourami iridovirus" (score).

anybody else care to comment on my newbishness?
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post #4 of 33 Old 02-25-2012, 09:50 PM
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Welcome to the forum and the hobby! You're starting off great with adding live plants. I wish I had known about the benefits when I first began.

I'll tackle your stocking plan and let others take a look at the other questions. If you plan to have substrate fish like corydoras, the best substrate you can have is sand. Anything with sharp edges will damage their delicate barbels. Black sand is a great choice as fish colors look best when against a black background.
Cardinal tetra need softer, acidic water to be at their best, and livebearers like mollys and platys need harder, alkaline water. You could keep them around a pH of 7, but their won't be at their best. It is a good idea to go with all hard-water or all soft-water fish.
Dwarf gourami are like betta. The males will fight. If you want to get more than one, get all females or get a male and two females so he doesn't harass one too much.
Corydoras school with their own species; you really should bump up the number of corys to 3 per species. Ideally they should be in groups of 6 or more of the same species. With corys it's the more the merrier!

If you want to play around with stocking ideas, this is a neat tool that is great for beginners. AqAdvisor

Before I suggest a final stocking plan, I'd like to know your local water hardness (KH and GH). PH isn't as indicative of stocking as you would think. You can usually find it through your local water treatment plant.

Oopps! Forgot to add that you can click on the shaded names of plants and fish to see their profiles (compiled mostly by the wonderful Byron). Or if you look at the blue bar, you can find the profiles tab and search for a particular species by name. The profiles will give you a better idea of what each fish needs.

---Izzy

Sitting by the koi pond

writings on fish and fishkeeping


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post #5 of 33 Old 02-25-2012, 10:17 PM
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Corydoras as far as I know like being in groups, so I'd keep 4 of the same species instead. Also: 8000 kelvin is incredibly good, i have never seen such a "cold" bulb, don't waste your money for an other one. That will make your plants grow I bet.
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post #6 of 33 Old 02-25-2012, 11:13 PM
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Your plants, especially the easy ones the OP listed, will grow under that light, but you get the best growth with a bulb rated between 5000k and 7000k. The stock lighting just doesn't have the right stuff to get fast plant growth. Growing plants are what remove the most waste from the water.

If you want a little more reading on low-tec planted setups, check out the series of articles in the plants section: 1, 2, 3, 4. These articles helped get my plants in tip-top condition. Now I can't imagine a tank without plants.

---Izzy

Sitting by the koi pond

writings on fish and fishkeeping


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post #7 of 33 Old 02-25-2012, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by thekoimaiden View Post
but you get the best growth with a bulb rated between 5000k and 7000k.
I learned something new. well I'm just waiting for my 6500K bulbs.:D
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post #8 of 33 Old 02-26-2012, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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I'll tackle your stocking plan and let others take a look at the other questions. If you plan to have substrate fish like corydoras, the best substrate you can have is sand. Anything with sharp edges will damage their delicate barbels. Black sand is a great choice as fish colors look best when against a black background.
i was hoping to avoid sand as i read it has a higher chance of compacting than other substrates. is there a way to avoid this if i go with sand?

Quote:
Before I suggest a final stocking plan, I'd like to know your local water hardness (KH and GH). PH isn't as indicative of stocking as you would think. You can usually find it through your local water treatment plant.
ill get the info soon:)

Quote:
Dwarf gourami are like betta. The males will fight. If you want to get more than one, get all females or get a male and two females so he doesn't harass one too much.
i read that. if i was to only get one would he still be happy like a betta would be?

Quote:
If you want to play around with stocking ideas, this is a neat tool that is great for beginners. AqAdvisor
ive used it but am i missing the option for planted tanks or does it not have one?

Quote:
Corydoras school with their own species; you really should bump up the number of corys to 3 per species. Ideally they should be in groups of 6 or more of the same species. With corys it's the more the merrier!
that was a question i forgot to ask in my original post whether peppers and panda would shoal together or not. guess i have my answer :)

thanks guys
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post #9 of 33 Old 02-26-2012, 03:45 PM
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First off as other have said, more then one Gourami CAN be an issue. Having One Male to 2 Female may work. In a 20 gallon, 1 dwarf male might be enough. That said, IF you are going with Tetra's that might be a problem. They may not get along wit all the fin nipping.

Your plant list is wonderful. You also might wish to add a crypt or smaller sword as they can do quite well in low light as long as you have a bit of fertilizer given 1 time a week. Seachems Flourish comprehensive fertilizer is a good option.

First let's get a look at your water parameters before we say more about what fish to stock as they will be dependent on your water.

Had to add with Cories, you can do a small gravel as long as it isn't real rough. Something like this would be great. > Freshwater Aquarium Substrate: CaribSea Instant Aquarium Tropical Aquarium Substrate
They also like to be in groups of at least 3-4. If you get dark colored substrate I recommend the Albino Cories, they seem to be less shy and fun to watch and they show up really well against the dark substrate. Again, these will be dependent on your water.

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” Mahatma Gandhi
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post #10 of 33 Old 02-26-2012, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuppyGrabber View Post
i was hoping to avoid sand as i read it has a higher chance of compacting than other substrates. is there a way to avoid this if i go with sand?

Cories will dig around in it, but they won't get all the way to the bottom. You can add Malaysian trumpet snails (conical snails that most people call pests) as they are burrowers and do a great job aerating the substrate. Having rooted plants like crypts as Inga suggested is another good way to aerate the substrate.

ill get the info soon:)

Awesome. Stocking is so much fun ^-^

i read that. if i was to only get one would he still be happy like a betta would be?

Yes. One dwarf or honey gourami is a very happy fish as long as his tankmates are as sedative as he is. In a 20 long I would go with just one.

ive used it but am i missing the option for planted tanks or does it not have one?

Eh. It doesn't take into account plants. But really plants only help if you have a whole heaping ton of them and they're giving you good growth. Just having plants in an aquarium doesn't help clean it; growing plants use the most nutrients and help keep it nice and clean.

that was a question i forgot to ask in my original post whether peppers and panda would shoal together or not. guess i have my answer :)

thanks guys
You are very welcome. We're here to help! My answers in blue.

---Izzy

Sitting by the koi pond

writings on fish and fishkeeping


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