Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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KurtLoach 11-22-2010 07:02 PM

First Legit Aquarium
 
Hey all! First off, let me say I have some experience when it comes to taking care of fish, both in ponds and aquariums. I know a few things about them, but I'm essentially a beginner.

I have a 20 gallon tank lying around (30" long x 12" deep x 12" wide) and I plan to buy some fish. I have all the necessary equipment, too. I just need the fish. I want some cool fish to watch.

I currently plan to buy the following fish (although I want your advice and opinions, too):

Tank Temperature: 75 F.
Tank pH: 7.5 (What's the cheapest way to measure alkalinity?)
Tank filled 9" so the frogs don't jump out.

For the bottom of the tank:
3 Kuhli Loaches
1 Golden Weather Loach
2 or 3 3" or so shrimp (I saw some at petsmart but I don't remember the type. It deifnitely wasn't ghost shrimp)
OR half a dozen or so ghost shrimp (it's okay if they're food)

2 African Dwarf Frogs. I plan to have a middle platform that makes both a cave for the loaches underneath, and an easy resting spot for the frogs on top. This will be about 8" long.

3-4 Golden Apple Snails. I want them to reproduce, since the young will provide food for the loaches. Right?

For the living space near the top:
5-6 Zebra and Leopard Danios and Glo Fish.

I am also looking for another schooling fish (3-5 fish) that will not mix with the danios, and instead form a second school in the tank.

I also plan to have many live plants around the sides and at the back, a sort of partial ecosystem. How will plants affect the pH? A shift towards acidity or alkalinity?

I plan to use a smaller 1-2 gallon tank to breed water fleas in. I also hope to make a safe spot for water fleas in the main aquarium so that they can breed in there and provide food for everyone. I doubt they would reproduce fast enough to supply 100% of the food (right?) but it's better than nothing. I will also feed them goldfish flake food.

How does that sound? It might be a little crowded, but I figure the loaches will stay on the bottom 2" of water, leaving the rest essentially free.

danifacetastic 11-22-2010 07:34 PM

I'm not sure about the crowding in the tank although it might sound a bit crowded on the bottom but can you not get some regular tropical fish food instead of goldfish food? The goldfish food is tailored to the nutritional needs of goldfish.

DarthGuppy 11-22-2010 09:53 PM

Goldfish food is bad for other fish? I feed my guppys goldfish disks. Maybe that's why I'm having such a hard time with my water clarity?

danifacetastic 11-22-2010 10:16 PM

I don't know if it's BAD for other fish but it's tailored to the needs of goldfish. Tropical Food fish is about the same price if not cheaper than goldfish food. You can buy little containers of flakes or pellets for cheap and even a bigger container with pellets, flakes and baby shrimp but the tropical fish food can be fed to any type of tropical fish.

PRichs87 11-23-2010 10:36 AM

That's way overcrowded, don't get a weather loach as they can grow to about 8 inches, minimum tank should be about 55 gallons for these guys. I've had them and they prefer to be in a group of 3 at minimum and are quite active, not always staying on the bottom. They come up for air frequently and are very active so they require space, especially when they mature.

Check out aqadvisor.com it will give stock percentages. Snails also have a decent bio-load as they produce a lot of poop.

Even though you plan out places for your fish to be like your log for the frogs doesn't mean they will choose that spot. I have dwarf cichlids that chose the oddest spot in my aquarium to be their territory.

I would say stay away from a second school and get a centerpiece fish such as a gourami. Most schooling fish should have a minimum of 6 in the school, keep that in mind. Do one big school instead of 2 small schools.

Plants won't affect your pH just reduce your ammonia and nitrate counts as they use it for food. Read up on the cycling process, nitrogen cycle and any other sticky for beginners, they'll pay off in the long run. Patience is an aquarist bestfriend.

KurtLoach 11-23-2010 12:03 PM

Well noted.

I really like the long look. I originally wanted an eel, but I also really want the frogs, and they'd become food. You think a full grown loach is too big for the tank? I mean, it's a pretty long tank.

I would say the most attractive feature about eels is their long fins waving back and forth. It's so cool. What other kind of fish does something like that?

Aqadvisor doesn't recommend the weather loach for my tank. However, it's at a 66% bioload, and recommends a 25% water change a week without it. Which I know enough live plants can easily take care of.

Adding it in, bioload is at 99%

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KurtLoach 11-23-2010 07:41 PM

Can you only edit posts once? If so, that's balls. If not, what am I doing wrong?

I realize a weather loach is probably not good. I like the wave of fins, like this:

Peacock eels don't look so harmful. Would they get along with the other fish, or would they mostly just eat them?

I kind of like some knifefish, but they're nocturnal. I don't know, I'm at a loss. I don't like the look of carp or carp related fish. Other than that, help me out! I like streamlined fish way more. Maybe I should just go to a pet store and make an impulsive decision? I'd much rather plan it out, though.

PRichs87 11-23-2010 10:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KurtLoach (Post 519248)
Can you only edit posts once? If so, that's balls. If not, what am I doing wrong?

I realize a weather loach is probably not good. I like the wave of fins, like this:

Peacock eels don't look so harmful. Would they get along with the other fish, or would they mostly just eat them?

I kind of like some knifefish, but they're nocturnal. I don't know, I'm at a loss. I don't like the look of carp or carp related fish. Other than that, help me out! I like streamlined fish way more. Maybe I should just go to a pet store and make an impulsive decision? I'd much rather plan it out, though.

Don't go the impulsive route, you'll come home with something that isn't suitable for your tank.

Your tank is just too small for a weather loach, sorry. They have much more personality when in a group too. Trust me, hold out til you can get a bigger tank, then get the loaches, you'll be happy and they will too.:lol:

Overstocking will cause lots of problems in the long run with your tank, even though it says 99% i wouldn't push it that far.

KurtLoach 11-23-2010 11:09 PM

Fair enough. I can always add something later if I find something I like.

The internet tells me peacock eels may munch on my little frogs. Is this true?

Also, I found out that my hood doesn't have a bulb in it. It needs a 24" fluorescent, and the hood is labelled as "TYPE A". It takes the two prong connection, so I'm assuming it's a T5. Is this a correct assumption?

PRichs87 11-25-2010 01:12 PM

I don't know about eels, I would do more research.

The bulb would be right, just get a "full-spectrum" bulb around bulb strength around 6500k or so. It is close to natural sunlight, they sell them at any hardware store for around 7 - 10 bucks. Cheaper than a pet/ lfs.


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