20 Gallon setup.

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Nitemelodies, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. Nitemelodies

    Nitemelodies Valued Member Member


    I was thinking of setting up a new 20 Gallon tank. I really want panda cory's! I heard since they are not really all that hardy and cycling with fish is mean... I should try to do it fishless.

    Now Can I cycle with plants in my tank? I cant remember if I read if it helps cycle tanks. I have the microbe lift, set of three kit that has something that helps start the cycle a stress reliever/ water dechlorinater, and something called niteout II....

    I have an amonia tester by Api but i need a nitrate and nitrite one too. Since I want my tank to be planted do I add it before or after starting the cycle?

    I used the AQadvisor to see what i can put in a 20Gal Long tank. Do you think this is Accurate? I want my fish to be able to shoal and not stress out!

    5x panda cory
    5x neon tetra
    2x dwarf gourami
    5x silvertip

    You have plenty of aquarium filtration capacity.

    Your aquarium filtration capacity for above selected species is141%. 
    Recommended water change schedule: 29% per week.
    Your aquarium stocking level is 73%.[SIZE=-1]  [/SIZE] 

    any advice or tips would be great... I have neon glofish... not goldfish if i setuo the tank should i use them to cycle it o.o
  2. Adam55

    Adam55 Well Known Member Member

    Hello and welcome to FL.

    Yes, you can cycle a tank with plants in it. Plants will actually use the ammonia in the tank as a food source. And cycling a tank with fish in it can be done, but you have to add a bacteria supplement to the filter to jumpstart your cycle. We can give you detailed steps on cycling with fish if you decide you want to try it. Lots of people do. You just have to slowly add stock, and I would not start with the neons in the tank first. They're too sensitive.
    As far as the stock list you have, it looks good. My only suggestion is to keep it to one gourami. Two males will fight each other. A male and a female will breed and then fight with everyone else.
  3. SW5

    SW5 Well Known Member Member

    One thing, may I ask what filter you are using? In my experience aqadvisor's filtration capacity deal can be wonky, and rather inaccurate.

    And welcome to fishlore! ;D

  4. ricmcc

    ricmcc Well Known Member Member

    Or the male DG will drive off the female DG when the kids are due, that being that principle difference between them and humans:)-------rick
  5. OP

    Nitemelodies Valued Member Member

    Thank you everyone for the welcomes^^

    I think I might get the tetra whisper 40i unless someone suggests something better... though im trying to keep things low budget.

    I read panda cory's are sensative to water parameters, so i didnt think it would be good to cycle with them... and dont they need shoals o.o

    oh and only one gourami? they dont get lonely o.o

    could i get another fish instead or will it be too much for them... though I do have 3 glofish named Stitch(blue) , Pleakley(green) , and Leeroy (red)... maybe i can add them to the tank...

    though do danios school with regular danios? I always wondered if glofish danios could school with others....

    plecos are cute but i heard they outgrow tanks fast T.T and panda corys are so adorable^^

    oh oh now im worrying about order of adding them... o.o what order do i add the fish in o.o
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2014
  6. ricmcc

    ricmcc Well Known Member Member

    I do think that your Panda corys would be much happier in a shoal, where a DG can be quite sort of ok on his own, not being schooling fish.
    All fish are sensitive to water conditions, so perhaps the best advise that I can give is to make your water suitable for the most sensitive fish.
    Danios, glo or not, will school with anything that can keep up to them--no worry there.
    I would avoid plecs just as the cheapest ones grow to an enormous size, pleczilla, sort of, and produce a great deal of waste. Hope that this helps, and welcome, rick
  7. AquaticBrandon

    AquaticBrandon Well Known Member Member

    You can get a smaller species of a pleco. Such as a Bristle Nose pleco or a Rubber Lip Pleco . They don't grow that big

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  8. OP

    Nitemelodies Valued Member Member

    is 5 panda cory's enough for a shoal? I kinda want to get them when they are little so I can watch them grow...

    I read DG's are pretty hardy fish to cycle withh... if I go that route.

    Btw -rick thanks for the welcome and my condolences, It gets better I promise...
  9. AquaticBrandon

    AquaticBrandon Well Known Member Member

    Yes I think 5 corydoras are okay for them to shoal. Others might suggest 6 but I think 5 is okay.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  10. OP

    Nitemelodies Valued Member Member

    maybe ill get 6 or 7 bc they are so cute and was advised not to get two DG's though would it be too much?
  11. ricmcc

    ricmcc Well Known Member Member

    It sort of depends on the size of your tank; two DG will do well if one is able to escape if attacked, but really, unless you intend to breed them, one will do well on it's own quite well.
    Any sort of cory loves to school, and they are most entertaining, I believe that you will luv 'em--------rick.--------
  12. SW5

    SW5 Well Known Member Member

    A 40i would certainly work, but if you can manage I would attempt to get an aquaclear 30, or 50 if I were you. That's just me though, I've turned into a filter snob lately..... Either way you do it, it'll certainly be perfectly fine.
  13. AquaticBrandon

    AquaticBrandon Well Known Member Member

    Aqua clears have more space for extra media which is good

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  14. Delaneyw

    Delaneyw Well Known Member Member

    My ultimate goal is a shoal of pandy corys. I had been researching them and then actually saw them in a lps a town away. I literally stopped and 'Awwwwww-ed' out loud! I've heard it can be hard to find them very young but that would be between you an your fish store or breeder.

    It's not uncommon to cycle with danios, as they tend to be very hardy. Most folks here will tell you it's not a favored practice, but there are safer ways to do it., with products like TSS.

    When you get your first pandas in awhile, please share pictures!

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app

    Petsmart has had some really decent sales on aqua clears here lately.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2014
  15. OP

    Nitemelodies Valued Member Member

    yeah sure though i think they will be the last things i add to the tank unless im impatient....

    oh couple more questions.

    This tank will be planted! Will the fish I want like driftwood and like rocks? If so do those effect the cycle?

    If I do fish in cycle should I do it with a DG? which of the fish do you reccomend and how many?
    do I cycle with Tetra Safe Start?

    If fishless... just setup tank and by like a fishless cycling kit?

    Sorry any tips do help!
  16. Adam55

    Adam55 Well Known Member Member

    The neons and silver tips will appreciate both the driftwood and the rocks. Also, the DG will really like the plants you're adding.

    Adding driftwood does lower the pH of your water, and a pH under 6.0 will stall your cycle, but you'd have to have a pretty low pH out of your tap for that to be an issue. Still, you might want to measure your pH before getting everything started.

    Yes, you cycle with TSS. Do a water change, treat with Prime, add TSS and fish 24 hours later, and let the tank work for two weeks. And I would cycle with the corys. The other fish are just too sensitive. Ideally, danios would be used to cycle because they're tough, but corys are pretty hardy also.
  17. Phishphin

    Phishphin Well Known Member Member

    I, personally, would not recommend doing the fish in cycle with the dwarf gourami. I have not had success with this in the past.

    I would recommend a single dwarf gourami, even if it is heavily planted 20 gallon. I don't like feeling that one of my fish has to hide while the other one feels the need to defend open territory. Too much stress, imho. I'm not sure if you intend on having a planted tank, but if so, your dwarf gourami would appreciate any type of floating plant (e.g. water lettuce).You would just need to make sure the surface wasn't overgrown as DG need to be able to access it to breath properly.

    The panda cories sound great though!
  18. OP

    Nitemelodies Valued Member Member

    Well panda cories I heard are sensative to water parameters so I don't want to risk them by cycling.

    I was thinking only cycling with one DG though if I did get a second do they have to be added simultaneously?
    Sand substrate is okay? Or will my plants need more?
    In my current little tank I have African sword and Java fern...
    Maybe I should transplant them into the new tank?
    If I cycle with fish though how many can be in at once o.o

    I'm sorry for all the questions I just want to do this right.

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  19. Adam55

    Adam55 Well Known Member Member

    would definitely only keep one gourami, and I would be reluctant to cycle with it. They're a little delicate. Not bad, but a cycle might be an issue for them.

    The sand is great, especially if you have cories in there. But you will need to supplement a little for optimal plant growth. I have sand and use micro ferts, macro ferts and root tabs. This is what it looks like:

    planted tank 2.jpg

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014
  20. OP

    Nitemelodies Valued Member Member

    oh its pretty! Adam55
    and Phishphin I was told having two DG can be problematic so i decided to get one more Panda Cory and Silvertip... Unless I just get 2 panda cories bc they are soo cute^^ I just dont want to overstock my tank....

    So can I cycle with neon tetras? or Silvertips? If I did either should I not get them in a school just get a few and then buy the rest of them? Unless I can cycle with a school... But i dont want my tank not to be able to cycle if the bioload is too much... Though its is a 20 gallon tank... so maybe its not too much? I hate being so new to the hobby haha

    Ah so much thinking is overwhelming...

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