New 20 gallon tank setup help - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 15 Old 08-20-2008, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
New 20 gallon tank setup help

Hey guys/gals totally new to the whole aquarium scene lol. But i just started my first tank.

So far i have:

A Freshwater Teacup Stingray
3 Catfish
3 Gouramis
A Black ghost knife fish
An Angel fish
and 3 of this gold striped fish that i can't remember the name of. hahaha

Also i have a few fake plants in the tank, 4 to be exact. and a small japanese esque decor. The bottom of my tank is sand (cuz of the ray). The PH stays at about neutral and i constantly have the filter/heater running. the water temp is about 78-82 degrees F. I feed my fish twice a day of 1 cube of bloodworms and a pinch of tropical fish flakes.

I was just wondering if everything seemed cool with my tank, like if there were any things you could spot out that were wrong with my setup from my description.

Also i was wondering if it was necessary to get a light for over the tank. From what i see they are a bit pricey... =/

Any input at all would be GREATLY appreciated, so thanks ahead of time.


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post #2 of 15 Old 08-20-2008, 09:07 PM
willow's Avatar
hello there and welcome.
how long has the tank been up and running for ?
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post #3 of 15 Old 08-20-2008, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
It will be One week tomorrow. Well thats when i put the ray in. He was my first.

The tank has been on a filter and a heater for a week and 4 days.
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post #4 of 15 Old 08-21-2008, 12:11 AM
If you want any of your fish to survive, I would return them to the store until you're tank has cycled. Before going any further, I'd read up on cycling. Take those fish back and choose smaller fish once the tank is cycled. Not only is the tank overstocked, but many of the fish you've chosen will become much too large for the 20 gallon.

I don't mean to sound harsh, or to be the one with bad news.... but those fish just won't work in that tank. I'd imagine the ray cost a good deal, so it would probably be a tough loss if he dies. You may want to try to return him and get a refund. I'd give quite the lecture to whoever sold you those fish for a 20 gallon aquarium.
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post #5 of 15 Old 08-21-2008, 01:12 AM
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Actually, I didn't see a tank size listed. How big is the tank, exactly?

Just so you know, there is no such thing as a "teacup stingray." All of these are just juvenile freshwater stingrays. The most commonly sold freshwater ray, the Motoro ray, eventually gets to be 22" in size so a tank 30" wide will eventually be needed. Even a 180 gallon tank is only 24" inches wide, so you get the idea: this fish needs a *very* big tank eventually. Also, rays have a big appetite and won't eat prepared foods, so you can look forward to big food bills.

The catfish, depending on what species they are, will probably also get very large.

The gouramis might also get quite large depending on species, and many types are aggressive towards one another and might not get along.

Black ghost knives get up to 20" in length, so I wouldn't want to keep an adult in a tank narrower than that.

Angelfish need a tank at least 18" tall since they grow to be a very tall fish.

I'm sure this sounds quite negative, but understand that some of your fish (and possibly a lot of them) grow very large and will eventually need a very large aquarium.

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post #6 of 15 Old 08-21-2008, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
I was planning on getting a larger tank very soon. Like within the month, so the 20 gallon is just temp.

Prolly a 150 gallon or so, depending on what i can find one for.

And thanks for the input i appreciate it.
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post #7 of 15 Old 08-21-2008, 08:00 PM
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Eventually, you're going to need a larger tank than that, as your ray will likely reach 2 feet across and a 150 gallon tank is only 18" wide. Also, depending on what type of catfish they are, you might need an even larger tank as many commonly sold catfish (like iridescent sharks) reach huge lengths (three feet or so) so I'm not sure 150 gallons will be enough.

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post #8 of 15 Old 08-21-2008, 08:16 PM
I do agree that you'll need a large tank, but many of these "teacup stingrays" only reach 12-18 inches. They aren't completely impossible to keep if you're diligent, dedicated and well educated. Your #1 priority right now if you decide to keep it should be to ID what kind of ray it is. Also, be aware that they are venomous.

A custom tank that is shallow and wide is best. You don't need *so* much water volume as much as you need floor area for your ray to swim. Also, time to think about tankmate compatibility. It's likely he's gonna eat some of the fish you have him with right now...
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post #9 of 15 Old 08-21-2008, 11:40 PM
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The one thing that boggles my mind is the pet stores. You would think that you might need some basic knowledge of the animal your selling..

Client : "Umm excuse me sir. Will these two fish be ok together in the same tank?"

Store cleck : "Yes of course they will mam. Snakeheads and Oscars get along just fine"

Client "ohh that's wonderful, my little girl will be so happy when I put them in with snuggles her favotite little goldfish. Thank you very much!"

Store Clerk " Your welcome mam, ohh and just to let you know we're having a sale on feeder fi... I mean goldfish this week. Have a nice day"

I might have digressed a wee bit...

I am another soul happily lost to the aquarium addiction..

150gal freshwater
7 Angels (2 marble, 1 blue diamond, 1 leopard, 1 not too sure & 2 Koi)
10 Serpae Longfin Tetras
6 Congo Tetras
2 Clown Loachs
2 Gold Gouramis
1 Dwarf Blood Gouramis
1 Blue Gourami
1 Moonlight Gourami
2 Baby Hypostomus plecostomus
1 Grey Bichir (4 1/2" - 5 ")
1 Crab
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post #10 of 15 Old 08-22-2008, 02:44 PM
willow's Avatar
while there is money to be made,
they will continue doing what they will,i think the only way
to over come this sort of thing is to look up the fish you want to keep.
(i am not having a dig at you Dox. :) )we have all i've no doubt bought on impulse at least once ,i know i have,
and not just fish.
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