Advise Please
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Advise Please

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Old 11-11-2007, 10:41 AM   #1
 
Advise Please

Hi:

I am new to the aquarium world and realize there is much to learn. I have been researching some of the fish and aquarium sizes and I am wondering if you could advise me on my plans.

I am looking to buy a 20 gal starter kit. It will be glass and rectangular. I think the size is approximately 24 long x 13 wide x 16 high. (I have to go back and look what equipment comes with the tank).

I do know I cant have any angel fish but will this size accommodate 6 neon tetra, 2 panda cories, 2 female guppies and 1 male guppy? All three species seem to have similar needs as far as pH, water hardness, temperature and food is concerned.

I also hope to add java moss to cover the caves (made from clay flower pots), some brazil pennywort and cabomba carolina for any guppy fry that might be born. What still puzzles me a bit is what kind of gravel/sand (colorwise) would make them most comfortable and show off their colors to the max.

I know it will take a while before I can introduce any of the fish as the tank has to be cycled first but I am looking at what I might be able to put in to make it look and feel comfortable for the fish.

Any help and advice would be much appreciated.

Grey
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Old 11-11-2007, 11:02 AM   #2
 
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hello ,and welcome,good to have you here. :)
sounds like a nice little tank,and i think the stock
will be ok.(i'm pants at stocking someone else please advise)
plants will be nice,and i don't see a problem with
you using a small pea size gravel. :)
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Old 11-11-2007, 04:29 PM   #3
 
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Your stocking plan sounds good as far as having compatible fish and is composed of fairly easy care fish. I'm no plant expert so can't say how that part looks but I like it whenever there are plants in an aquarium.
Your stocking could maybe use a third corydoras catfish just to make a nice little school. I would expect to see you running neutral to slightly high pH, say 7.0 to 7.6, and about 75 to 78F on temperature. In most places that will mean you need a heater.
The dimensions of a 20 gallon tank vary quite a bit because they come as a 20 long or a 20 high. The 20H takes up less floor space and is great for small fish. It is the one that is 24 x 12 1/2 x 16 high. The 20L gives more swimming distance so you can get away with slightly larger fish and it has the advantage of a larger surface area so it can hold slightly more without being too crowded. It runs 30 inches long. It does look a little short and squatty if you are used to the modern tank proportions. Its really a question of which one you prefer.
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Old 11-11-2007, 05:39 PM   #4
 
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Re: Advise Please

Quote:
Originally Posted by grey
I also hope to add java moss to cover the caves (made from clay flower pots), some brazil pennywort and cabomba carolina for any guppy fry that might be born. What still puzzles me a bit is what kind of gravel/sand (colorwise) would make them most comfortable and show off their colors to the max.
Black or brown substrate will do. White can make too much glare for the fish. I would simply add fert tablets by burying them near plant roots and some liquid ferts for the Java moss.:)

Welcome to Fishforum.com, grey.
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Old 11-11-2007, 06:48 PM   #5
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghreed
Your stocking plan sounds good as far as having compatible fish and is composed of fairly easy care fish. I'm no plant expert so can't say how that part looks but I like it whenever there are plants in an aquarium.
Your stocking could maybe use a third corydoras catfish just to make a nice little school. I would expect to see you running neutral to slightly high pH, say 7.0 to 7.6, and about 75 to 78F on temperature. In most places that will mean you need a heater.
The dimensions of a 20 gallon tank vary quite a bit because they come as a 20 long or a 20 high. The 20H takes up less floor space and is great for small fish. It is the one that is 24 x 12 1/2 x 16 high. The 20L gives more swimming distance so you can get away with slightly larger fish and it has the advantage of a larger surface area so it can hold slightly more without being too crowded. It runs 30 inches long. It does look a little short and squatty if you are used to the modern tank proportions. Its really a question of which one you prefer.
Thanks everyone for the good advice:

ghreed:

I wasnt sure if I would be overstocking if i had said more then 2 cories. I went by the addage of 1 inch per gallon and took the max size the fish would get.
I'll be going tomorrow to check out the exact dimensions and what is included in the kit in regards to lighting and heater, etc. I may most likely have to change some stuff to better quality.
Since I live in an apartment I am not sure exactly what will be the best option for me in regards to the tank shape..I will need to look into that a bit further.
As for the plants, I do know the moss will be a handful to manage but I like the challenge of keeping it in check.

Lupin:

Thanks for your input on the color of the substrate...I figured it might be something along the deeper color and I hope my little cories wont fade into it. I was worried about their whiskers being damaged as well if i use too coarse a material. Would it be advisable to have coarse pebbles (pea size) as the bottom layer, then a finer layer where I can root the plants in and finally a top dark layer to show off the colors of the fish?

grey
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Old 11-11-2007, 06:53 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grey
Lupin:

Thanks for your input on the color of the substrate...I figured it might be something along the deeper color and I hope my little cories wont fade into it. I was worried about their whiskers being damaged as well if i use too coarse a material. Would it be advisable to have coarse pebbles (pea size) as the bottom layer, then a finer layer where I can root the plants in and finally a top dark layer to show off the colors of the fish?

grey
You can use the sand straight away and which you must frequently disturb to prevent it from getting compact.:) I would stick with 2-3 inches deep of substrate for the plants' benefit.
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Old 11-11-2007, 09:40 PM   #7
 
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Sounds good so far. I would add 5-6 panda cories rather than just 2. They prefer to be in groups and as long as you don't slcak on maintanence I see no bioload issue. :)
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Old 11-11-2007, 09:55 PM   #8
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Falina
Sounds good so far. I would add 5-6 panda cories rather than just 2. They prefer to be in groups and as long as you don't slcak on maintanence I see no bioload issue. :)
Wouldnt the cories fight over the caves if I have that many in one tank?

When I fist started looking at how to stock my aquarium I had thought I would use 6 neons, 6 cories and 6 guppies but I did a little math and figured that would overstock and would stress the fish out. My general idea was colour and using all 3 levels of the aquarium.

Its a lot to take in all at once and I may change my mind on the stocking yet but the cories are a definite.
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Old 11-11-2007, 10:00 PM   #9
 
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Nope they would not. :)

Cories are a very peaceful fish and ther minimum number I would reccomend keeping is 6. They often will not even hide if they are in a larger number. They tend only to hide when they are kept in small numbers because they don't feel secure. In any case they won't squabble over any hiding place as they enjoy hanging about together while resting.
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Old 11-11-2007, 10:15 PM   #10
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Falina
Nope they would not. :)

Cories are a very peaceful fish and ther minimum number I would reccomend keeping is 6. They often will not even hide if they are in a larger number. They tend only to hide when they are kept in small numbers because they don't feel secure. In any case they won't squabble over any hiding place as they enjoy hanging about together while resting.
Oh good :)

Ok here is another question that is really bugging me. How do you determine the harness of your water?
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