Starting 2nd Aquarium - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 7 Old 04-11-2008, 07:09 AM Thread Starter
Starting 2nd Aquarium

So I currently have a 30 gallon tank up and running. It's a bit crowded with 5 zebra danios, 5 cherry barbs, 3 gold gourammis and 2 angelfish. I have a 20 gal I've been buying parts from as I go. I'm almost ready to start it up; just need the light and hood.

So I wanted to transfer some of the fish from the 30 gal to the 20 gal. I was thinking of doing the 2 angelfish, which are pretty small and slow swimming, as my main fish. From there I want to stratospise (or whatever) my 20 gal, which is reasonably tall and wide from front to back. So I was thinking of adding the zebra danios, maybe 6, as top swimmers. I like neon tetras and was thinking of getting a school (8 or so) to add as middle swimmers. Then about 2, maybe 3, bottom swimmers who would clean leftover food from the bottom. The setup would be gravel bottom, lightly planted, with some small rock formation as a centerpiece. This would be my non agressive community as the angelfish seem really laid back and haven't caused any problems with other fish.

The 30 gal would stay a tropical low/semi-agressive community with the 3 gourammis, 1 rainbow shark that sits under a rock all day, a small pleco and 5 cherry barbs. I thuoght, after transferring the small fish, about maybe getting 2 dwarf gourammis and a couple more low-active bottom cleaners.

I think I'm still well within the 1" fish per gallon rule of thumb for both tanks; and I am aware that's a most very basic rule that varies greatly with fish type, activity and such. My main concern is putting two angelfish in the smaller 20 gallon tank. The guide I gout (A Simple Guide to Freshwater Aquariums) suggests one setup with 4 angels in a 30 gal, so with a smaller tank and the angels being the biggest fish, do you think the 2 angels will be ok in a 20 gal?

I do my research outside this forum and think I picked a good combination of fish. I've lost a couple probably due to a late filter change and stirring up a bunch of crap last time I vacuumed the gravel. But none of the fish seem to fight or get in each others' way 'cept feeding time. I just think the 30 gal is just a bit too crowded as is, and the two tanks will be a tad empty if I don't add at least one more type of fish to each.

I'm pretty new at this. But I love my pets and know I'm responsible enough to take care of both tanks once started. My fish all seem pretty healthy, display their bright colors and all that good stuff. So any advice on which fish to move or combine or add later would be much appreciated. And what's the best way to transfer from the 30 gal to the 20 gal? I figure the plastic bag method sitting in the new tank for 30 minutes before release into the new tank. Any other suggestions?

I'll post pics later. Right now I'm working at replacing the artificial decor my roomie left me with for natural materials. This post is getting a bit long and I know long posts are not frequently read or replied so I'll let you guys go now.


IntelligentDesigner is offline  
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post #2 of 7 Old 04-11-2008, 11:12 AM
i'm not an expert but i think angelfish need to be in at least a 55 gallon tank so i'm not sure
stephenmontero is offline  
post #3 of 7 Old 04-11-2008, 02:31 PM
I think the longer the trauma of changing the environment for the fish is actually worse than
the quick shock. Get the tank up and running, catch those suckers and pop them in before they
even know what's happening.
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post #4 of 7 Old 04-11-2008, 04:43 PM
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The angelfish are happier in bigger tanks. They can't turn around so well in smaller ones, and most people outside of the silly petstore employees tend to consider the 1 inch-1 gallon rule null and void because it doesn't take into account personalities either i.e. danios like to swim like idiots. So, what if you put two of them in a 5 gallon? Sheer chaos.

And do not just "pop" them into the tank. Seriously....*rolls eyes*

This is the song that never ends...
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post #5 of 7 Old 04-11-2008, 04:50 PM
Angels will reach 6" long and 10" tall, and both a 30G tank and 20G tank are not suited for them, unless the height is bigger than the length. (Height be AT LEAST 24" tall; bare minimum).

I would personally rehome the Angels. Then, you could get more fish in the 30G and have a whole list of possibilities for the 20G.
Cody is offline  
post #6 of 7 Old 04-11-2008, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
Originally Posted by Cody
Angels will reach 6" long and 10" tall, and both a 30G tank and 20G tank are not suited for them, unless the height is bigger than the length. (Height be AT LEAST 24" tall; bare minimum).
My angels are currently pretty small. I did read they grow bigger though. They are also really calm fish. They mostly just float in the middle of the tank, or to one end of it. I rarely if ever see them as not having enough room at their current size and activity levels. But since you mention it, I do suppose they might be a bit happier with some more headroom.

Don't get me wrong. I do respect and provide for my animals' needs within the best of my abilities. I consulted my aquarium guide and a couple pet store employees before buying them. And I greatly appreciate any input from the people here, especially you bringing to my attention that, since angels are middle swimmers, they need the large middle area provided by a 24" tall tank.

I'm just starting out with the two aquariums I've had sitting to the side for years. I've moved them from house to house without ever using them until very recently, so I plan to get my use out of these 30 and 20 gal tanks for now (I'm not being a smartass, just saying). I make plenty of money in my line of work to upgrade to a 55, 75, or maybe even 125 gallon tank as my experience, devotion, and fish all grow into a larger setup. I might even build my chameleon a wire cage with tree in the corner, leaving my 75 gallon tank vacant for whatever are my biggest/most demanding fish.

So let's just say that the angels aren't all that picky about tank length since I hardly ever see them sprinting across the entire tank length. They do want height though, as they grow. The 20 and 30 gals are the same height; what the 20 lacks in side to side length, it sort of compensates with an extra inch from front to back. The 30 gal is a larger tank with a slightly more agressive [so to speak] community. If I put the angels in the 20 gal, they will be the largest, most dominant fish, over the tetras and ghost catfish (just for example, still gotta do a bit more research on the compatibility of the ghosts w/ tetras and angels. but I do want some ghost cats somewhere). So there's my stock of fish and active tanks, in a large nutshell.

I've never seen any of my fish fight between species. I may see a barb chasing another barb, or a gourammi after another gourammi; but never gourammis fighting with the danios or anything like that. But nevertheless, gourammis, barbs, and my rainbow shark are all labeled as semi agressive. They are all comparable in size enough to do damage to each other if they did fight (i think gourammis would win). So...accounting the apparent low activity of the angels, do you think they would be happier in a smaller but wider tank with no other agressive fish, or in a larger tank with the rest of the semiagressive fish?

Well, I hope all that made sense. I'm pretty tired and starting to ramble. I'll letcha move on before you get tired of me, if you're not already. Thanks for the insight and I'll be looking out for an affordable larger tank.


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post #7 of 7 Old 04-12-2008, 05:26 AM
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Just continue to scour Craigslist. The "they are small now" isn't a very good excuse as you well know, and next time before you buy your fish get online and look them up. Some LFS employees have the intelligence of the crickets they sell.

This is the song that never ends...
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