Starting new 20 gallon freshwater aquarium - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 29 Old 04-30-2009, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Starting new 20 gallon freshwater aquarium

Hello,

I am a relative newbie to aquariums, though I had one when I was younger, I don't think I did it very well. I want to have another aquarium now and do everything right, so I have come to you, the fish forum community to help me out!

A friend has offered to give me a 20 gallon aquarium with a stand, I have accepted, and started shopping around for components. I have also done a great deal of research on cycling, and I think I understand it.

Specifically, I want to get some expert advice on the equipment I purchase and compatibility issues on the types of fish I plan to get.

First off the equipment I plan to order from #1 Big Al's Aquarium Supplies: Fish Tanks, Stands, Decorations, Filters, Lighting (I am Canadian, this website had the best prices I could find):

*Aquarium Pharmaceuticals (AP) Master test kit: $39.99 CAD
* Marineland Penguin 100B Power Filter, bio wheel: $21.99
*Big Als 50 watt heater: $10
* Tetra Whisper 40 Air Pump: $23.99

Of course I will also be getting gravel, decorations etc.

The fish I am thinking about getting are:
*Guppies
*Angelfish (not sure if they will be compatible)
*Neon tetras
*Mollies

Overall I am looking ot have an interesting and active tank. Thanks in advance for all your help!

Last edited by pillar; 04-30-2009 at 04:26 PM. Reason: Add mollies to list
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post #2 of 29 Old 04-30-2009, 08:00 PM
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What is the air pump for? The pump can run quite a big airstone, and is probably too big for most air driven decorations.

As for your stocklist, all the fish are compatible. I would only suggest one angelfish, and depending on how many of the other types of fish you get, you may have to end up moving it out of that tank. This is a standard 20 gallon correct? An angelfish will not work in a 20 long.

My wife rolls her eyes when I talk about getting another tank
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post #3 of 29 Old 04-30-2009, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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That pump was only $2 more than the Whisper 40...so I decided to go for it. Would it be too much for a bubble curtain? I like the look of those.

Something I read indicated that angelfish and guppies sometimes do not get along...is this true?
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post #4 of 29 Old 04-30-2009, 09:47 PM
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Oh...ok then...go for the bigger one!! You can always get an adjustment valve for a buck or two if you need to turn it down(but I think all the whispers come with one anyway).

As for guppies and angels, it will depend on your angel. Mine get along fine with the guppies that I have in there, but angels are cichlids and one thing we know about cichlids is that their personalities are not able to be chosen! You may get one that works with guppies(which I think most will), but you may also get one that doesn't. Your LFS will almost always take an angel that is not working in your tank, and probably give you a couple bucks for it too.

My wife rolls her eyes when I talk about getting another tank
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post #5 of 29 Old 05-01-2009, 07:13 AM Thread Starter
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As for decorations, I really like the natural looking things like logs and rocks, though I had problems with my last tank because the rock i choose altered the water chemistry. I like the rocks in your 10 gallon tank, would they work for me?

By the way, your tanks look spectacular!
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post #6 of 29 Old 05-01-2009, 07:19 AM Thread Starter
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Also, I notice that you like to use 2 filters. Is this something I should consider?
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post #7 of 29 Old 05-01-2009, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pillar View Post
Hello,

I am a relative newbie to aquariums, though I had one when I was younger, I don't think I did it very well. I want to have another aquarium now and do everything right, so I have come to you, the fish forum community to help me out!

A friend has offered to give me a 20 gallon aquarium with a stand, I have accepted, and started shopping around for components. I have also done a great deal of research on cycling, and I think I understand it.

Specifically, I want to get some expert advice on the equipment I purchase and compatibility issues on the types of fish I plan to get.

First off the equipment I plan to order from #1 Big Al's Aquarium Supplies: Fish Tanks, Stands, Decorations, Filters, Lighting (I am Canadian, this website had the best prices I could find):

*Aquarium Pharmaceuticals (AP) Master test kit: $39.99 CAD
* Marineland Penguin 100B Power Filter, bio wheel: $21.99
*Big Als 50 watt heater: $10
* Tetra Whisper 40 Air Pump: $23.99

Of course I will also be getting gravel, decorations etc.

The fish I am thinking about getting are:
*Guppies
*Angelfish (not sure if they will be compatible)
*Neon tetras
*Mollies

Overall I am looking ot have an interesting and active tank. Thanks in advance for all your help!
Personally I would not include angelfish in this setup. They are fairly sedate fish and do not appreciate active fish in their environment. They also prefer warmer temperatures than neons (significantly so). They will also when grown eat (or attempt to eat) smaller fish. Other lively fish sometimes nip their fins. And while angels can tolerate alkaline water, they prefer slightly acidic which would not suit guppies and certainly not mollies. Some aquarists add aquarium salt for mollies; this should never be done with angels. Internal problems can easily result from inadequate water. And lastly, angels should be kept in groups, they shoal in nature; and a 20g is not sufficient size for angels, imho.

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 youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre 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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post #8 of 29 Old 05-01-2009, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your input! I am leaning towards not including angels, as I want this setup to be as 'by the book' as possible, and even the risk of them not being well suited it enough for me.

Do you think I need more filtration?
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post #9 of 29 Old 05-01-2009, 10:54 AM
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its just my opinion, but i would go for a more wattage heater...........Probably a 100 watts instead of the 50.........Heater wont have to work as hard to mantain a constant temp
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post #10 of 29 Old 05-01-2009, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Fishin Pole View Post
its just my opinion, but i would go for a more wattage heater...........Probably a 100 watts instead of the 50.........Heater wont have to work as hard to mantain a constant temp
Good point FP. Also, buy the best you can--they are more reliable and there is nothing much worse than losing a tank of fish because it overheats during one night or cools down.

I have no direct knowledge/experience with the filter you mention pillar, but I am a fan of less rather than more water movement. If you intend to have live plants, definitely you don't want strong currents. And the majority of fish prefer less water disturbance, except of course for those fish from fast flowing rivers and streams. Guppies originate from slow water in Central America, and mollys from brackish water (influenced by tidal variations) which also means not strong currents like a river. Mollys can tolerate some aquarium salt in their water, some keeps say this is mandatory, others not. No characin (excpet a rare few like the Pristella) can tolerate salt over the long term. I mention all of this because it is important to consider the needs of various fish before getting them, so you can design the aquarium to suit them (keeping them happy and healthy) and make sure you will not create trouble down the road.

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 youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre 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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