NEW AT THIS. IN NEED OF ADVICE
I recently bought a 20 gallon tank from a friend. It came with the hood, lighting, an Aquaclear 200 filter, first step freshwater conditioner, and some aquarium salt. I'm looking to start a small freshwater community. (Interested in oscars, texas cihlids, green terrors, plecos, suckermouth cats, and freshwater sharks. Is it possible to have this kind of setup in a 20 gall. What do i need to make this happen. Supplies that I'm thinking of getting are : Jäger TS Automatic Heaters 75 watt, Coralife digital thermometer, Test Strips Quick Dip Complete Water Quality Test Kit, Deep river natural gravel for the substrate, some fake plants, driftwood, resin rock, smooth bark tree stump. What else do i need? As for the filter media for the AC200, how should i go about it in terms of what media to use? i've heard from this forum that it's a must when it comes to the biological and mechanical needs. what about chemical in this case? what are the essential steps i need to take with the filter when starting from scratch? Help is highly appreciated
Oscars and Texas Cics both get too large for a 29G to handle. Oscars can reach 14"+, and Texas Cics can grow to at least 10".
Plecos can work, but I would only get one, and make sure it is a smaller specie (Clown and Bristlenosed are favorites). All others get way too large. The Common pleco gets up to 18"!
Suckermouth Cats, as in Ottos, CAE's, SAE's? Which one?
Most FW sharks get too large for a 20G aquarium to house long term. They need a good amount of swimming space as well, and a place for them to have at territory. Most will also get too aggresive for a 20G. Red tails reach 5-6", sometimes more, and Rainbows usually reach 6"+. Balas can get over 14" in length, and need to be in groups.
For your filter, look at this: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...10&pcatid=3610 . Your filter takes sponge inserts, occasional carbon bag if needed, and bio-media. You can find the biomedia at most LFS that sell the AC's. Just get one to fit your model.
The quick strip test kit is junk. Test strips are often very unreliable. Invest in a good liquid test kit. API is a favorite.
For a heater, you need to have 5 watts per gallon, so a 100W heater will be ideal.
The Coralife Digital thermometer has known to be way off in most cases. A simple stick-on one for the inside on the tank is much more reliable. Cheaper too. SKAustin showed me a good link about that.
I was told that if i get a fish when it's at 1 1/2 inches, raise it in a 20 gallon tank, that it won't grow to it's maximum size of let's say 1 foot. Is this true? If not, what fish should I look into( inverts included.) Not really a big fan of tiny fish. I would've looked into a 70 gal but not enough room. I heard the Otto suckermouths come in handy with algae. I'd like to have atmost 4 decent sized fish in the 20. No can do?
As for the filter, what media is best to use? I was thinking of getting foam inserts, media bags, and bio modules to stuff in them. do i need carbon?
I have the same digital thermometer. I've started to do some searching and am turning up quite a few people with problems with it, but many that don't. I'm going to check mine tonight vs. ice water. I haven't given it much thought because I have two heaters in my tank and expected a bit of fiddling to get things in hand. The temp swung quite a bit during the day initially but after some monkeying with the heaters I got things to settle down to a constant 80.2 to 80.8 during the day and about 79.5 at night. Given the tanks location I figured that was acceptable.
I guess my attitude towards this would be "how do you screw up a freaking thermometer?"
Be careful with Ottos, though. Some will only live off of algea, so you need to make sure you have a decent amount in your tank. Soem are very delicate, some are very hardy. Those need groups of at least 3, preferably 4+ as well.
I beleive media bags and bio modules are the same thing. You only need one of those. And, carbon is not needed. Some people dont use it in any tanks. It sure does help when you are medicating a fish/ the tank, though. It only lasts 2-4 weeks, too, so it needs to be replaced often.
As for fish, I'm not the best to reccomend larger fish. The first thing that came to mind you would be like a breeding pair of Kribensis, with some target fish (these being fish who would try to eat the fry). Other members will have better options.
Media bags and bio-modules are not the same thing. Media bags are use to place buffers, like crushed coral, to raise pH, peat, to acidify the water, charcoal and zeolite to purify the water, and other gravel or "earthy" type materials that would make a mess of your tank.
As far as fish, that is your choice. I would advise to research compatible species. Here is a link, http://www.ratemyfishtank.com/freshw...lity_chart.php .
It should be very useful.
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