20 gallon tank..
Hello, I'm new to the hobby so...
I'm planning to get a 20 gallon fish tank, I'm also wanting to set up a community freshwater tank. These are fishes I'm planning to keep:
8x (Neon) tetras
6x Red cherry shrimp
3x (Livebearer but which one will be compatible?)
1x Dwarf Gourami
According to aqadvisor:
The temperature, ph and hardness range are all suitable
Stocking level = 61%
Water change = 22% per week
According to AqAdvisor, my 20 gallon fish tank is 61%.
1. Is it highly overstocked? As in very hard to maintain.
2. Which of the livebearer, mollies guppies or platies?
3. As a beginner should I use artificial or live plants?
The tank will be filtered with a decent filter and will also get an air pump too. Tank will also have a water change every week.
Does it all seem fine?
Tips are very much appreciated,
Many times, fish will have overlapping temperature, PH, and hardness requirements; however, that doesn't mean that the conditions are equally good for all of the fish. Tetras typically prefer softer, acid water to thrive and live bearers need harder water with a base PH to be at their best. They might be able to tolerate other conditions but, it isn't really good for them. It is best to aim for a community that shares, as closely as possible, a similar middle range. With live bearers, unless you get all males, you could become overrun with babies before you know it and then your tank is over stocked. Take a look at the fish profiles provided here on the site. They are very good.
I would also suggest taking a look at the tank cycling articles here. That might help you decide whether you want artificial or natural plants.
What is your tap water's ph, gh, and kh? This can help ascertain what fish may do best in your water.
I also agree with fishmonger, livebearers do prefer a harder water, while tetras (neons in particular) prefer acidic water. Depending on your source water you would do better to go with one or the other.
Also, you may want to be wary of the dwarf gourami iridovirus, which is an incurable wasting disease that unfortunately affects a considerable number of this species.
Make sure to provide lots of hiding places for your shrimp (you'll soon have many more than 6, they breed like rabbits, lol), as the gourami may try to snack on them.
Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.:wave:
I concur with the previous members, but just wanted to say "hi".
I missed the part about live vs artificial plants. Personally I love live plants, and the benefits they give your fish are amazing in terms of water quality. If you decide to go with live plants you may have to alter a few pieces of equipment (what type of lighting do you have?) and obtain fertilizer (many here use Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Plant Supplement), but if you have lots of plants (fast growing ones especially) they render the cycling process null. If you do decide to go with live plants, check out the Plants section of the forum, there is a lot of good advice there. It's all your decision though, and what you're comfortable with :) Plants really aren't hard to maintain, although I know at the beginning it may seem like it! :)
I also personally do water changes of 50%, no matter the stocking in my tanks. Water changes have a lot of benefits for fish, and honestly the larger the better IMO, but it's what you're comfortable/able to do. I use a 15ft piece of tubing to drain the water from my tank into the bathtub, and it has an attachment on the end that lets me be able to fill the tank straight form the tap. This enables me to do water changes as frequent and large as I'd like.
EDIT: Also, just as a random bit of advice, think very carefully about what substrate you intend to have (gravel or sand/color/etc). Speaking from experience, it's kind of a pain to remove it and put something else in, lol :)
Welcome to the forum and the hobby! A 20 gal is a great started tropical community size. It's not too big and not too small. A neat little trick about this forum is if you see a fish or plant name highlighted, then you can click on that to read more about it. Like glowlight tetra, Betta splendens, and amazon sword! Try them out!
Others have already covered the points I'd make about the fish. I just wanted to add that an alternative to the dwarf gourami is the honey gourami. They are slightly smaller and come with a greatly reduce risk of the wasting disease dwarf gourami iridovirus as Jen mentioned. I have one, and he is just full of personality!
I would say a definitive YES to starting out with live plants. Looking back years ago I wish I had, and now that I have found them I will never go back. You will probably have to upgrade your lighting to a plant-friendly bulb and buy fertilizer, but they are a drop in the bucket compared to the benefits that plants bring. As Jen mentioned they will help with establishing your nitrogen cycle and help keep the water cleaner, but they won't eliminate the need for weekly water changes. Plus, the ambiance they bring to a tank. You can really make a little jungle in your room with them! If you're worried about how to arrange them try looking online for aquascapes. You'll see the artwork that some can create with planted tanks!
Also: Jen isn't kidding about the substrate swaps. I've done 4 of them and they a HUGE pain.
Any recommendations on substrates?
What could I replace the live bearers with that could be compatible with
8x Cardinal tetreas
6x Red cherry shrimp
1x Honey Gourami
Changed my list due to your help, thanks.
You could add a substrate fish, like cory catfish, but you'll find that a large number of small tropical fish do best in schools of at least 6 in number, but larger is better.
So look into maybe 6 dwarf cory's, make them all the same species.
For substrate, especially if you go with cory's, I would use sand. Go with a natural brown color, or black.
have you bought the tank yet? If not, go for a 20 gallon long rather than tall.
8x Cardinal Tetra
6x Dwarf Cory's
6x Cherry Shrimp's
1x Honey Gourami
Even though supported by a decent filter and an air pump, isn't that a bit overstocked?
I'm still quite confused on what substrate to choose from factors such as live plants.
With corys, sand is best substrate.
You still have not told us the GH and pH of your tap water.
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