20 gl long set up questions

Reema

So I'm fed up with my long standing 10 gl tank and I'm gonna upgrade to a 20 gl long in the near future, for more stocking options and less finicky water fluctuations. I'll be buying components in stages over a period of several months, as I don't have the budget to dish out $ all at once. That being said, I also want to make sure I get what I need for my planned set up, without going into overkill. I'm not a pro and I don't plan on high tech tank. I don't want the guys at the fish store to sell me a "lamborghini" when I only need a "toyota".
My new tank is gonna be moderately planted with some easy care low tech plants, so no need for CO2 stuff or crazy lighting kits. My questions are:
1. What filter (internal) would be most appropriate ?
2. What kind of lighting, for decent plant growth and overall esthetic of the tank ?
3. Do I need a bubbler ?
4. Would a 150 W heater (already have one) be sufficient for this size tank ?

Thank you for any feedback and advice.
 

KingJamal2

So I'm fed up with my long standing 10 gl tank and I'm gonna upgrade to a 20 gl long in the near future, for more stocking options and less finicky water fluctuations. I'll be buying components in stages over a period of several months, as I don't have the budget to dish out $ all at once. That being said, I also want to make sure I get what I need for my planned set up, without going into overkill. I'm not a pro and I don't plan on high tech tank. I don't want the guys at the fish store to sell me a "lamborghini" when I only need a "toyota".
My new tank is gonna be moderately planted with some easy care low tech plants, so no need for CO2 stuff or crazy lighting kits. My questions are:
1. What filter (internal) would be most appropriate ?
2. What kind of lighting, for decent plant growth and overall esthetic of the tank ?
3. Do I need a bubbler ?
4. Would a 150 W heater (already have one) be sufficient for this size tank ?

Thank you for any feedback and advice.
I can’t answer all of your questions, but I can answer some.

I would do a sponge filter. That way, you’re getting bubbles and filtering the water at the same time. They’re also really cheap too.

As far as lighting goes, I personally love fluval lights. They can be slightly expensive, but I really like them.

For the heater, I’m afraid I cannot help with that. I have never used a heater on any of my tanks.
 
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juniperlea

KingJamal2 - That's fascinating - how do you go without a heater? I'm wondering, in case I ever have an outage or lose a heater. Does it depend on the type of fish or where you live? Just curious.
 
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Dewclaw83

1. What filter (internal) would be most appropriate ?
2. What kind of lighting, for decent plant growth and overall esthetic of the tank ?
3. Do I need a bubbler ?
4. Would a 150 W heater (already have one) be sufficient for this size tank ?

1. Like was mentioned, sponge filters are great. But if you want an internal HOB, my favorite is the aqueon quietflow internal. Some people have bad reviews for this, but I have 3 and love them. For additional circulation I often do the internal filter at one end, and a sponge filter (often I only do a sponge filter for 10 gallons because it’s smaller and it’s not the sole filtration device) at the opposite end. This makes a nice flow, and seeds the sponge if I ever need to cycle another tank quickly

2. I am the worst person to ask about lighting, I just buy the cheapest I can find lol

3. bubblers are helpful, but not ncessary, especially because a 20 long is not very deep. A sponge filter will often double as a bubbler

4. Not an expert on heaters either, but I’m pretty sure a 150 W would be perfect. If you do buy a new one though, I recommend finding something adjustable so that you have more future options (Or if you need to treat ich or something)

(I included some links to items I mentioned)
 
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Reema

So I gather I'll have to invest in a new filter to carry the load of a 20 gl, since my existing 10 gl Aqueon won't do the job I assume. The addition of a sponge filter/bubbler sounds great. I think I saw some nice corner ones on line.
My most dire need for advice seems to be the lighting. I prefer LED bar even if I have to allow for some spending on this one.
 
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StarGirl

I would use your 10 gallon HOB and a sponge filter along with it. You could buy a sponge now and get it seeded. It takes about a month. Then you don't have to worry about cycling. Throw your HOB on and sponge in and boom!

Heater will for fine for a 20.

I have a Fluval Aquasky from Petsmart and I love it.

KingJamal2 how do you run without heaters in Indiana?
 
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Reema

I would use your 10 gallon HOB and a sponge filter along with it. You could buy a sponge now and get it seeded. It takes about a month. Then you don't have to worry about cycling. Throw your HOB on and sponge in and boom!

Heater will for fine for a 20.

I have a Fluval Aquasky from Petsmart and I love it.

KingJamal2 how do you run without heaters in Indiana?
I was wondering if I could get away with using my existing 10 gl HOB with a sponge filter in addition, but then later on I guess it would be a question of stocking. I never overstock my tank. I plan to keep the new tank stocked within reason for a 20 gl.
As far as lights, I'm gonna have to scour on my local listings to find a used one. Retail prices are nuts.
 
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Dennis57

I would use your HOB with a sponge filter ( there cheap )

For the lighting check out Vivagrow on eBay very good lights for a cheap price. (they just don't have all the extra perks)

As far as the heater goes, yes that will work in a 20 gallon tank.

Good Luck, and once set up send over some pictures
 
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Reema

One more important matter you guys. My existing 10 gl, is established (been running it for about 2 years) but as of now there is no fish in it anymore. Just the plants. I was planning to keep it running for my plants, until I get the new tank and also for the filters and the rest of the stuff that has beneficial bacteria already on it, so I can transfer everything in the new tank.
Will the tank stay cycled with no more fish in it or will the eco system collapse and if so, what do I do to mantain it ?
I guess what I'm asking is...will I have to cycle my new tank from scratch ?
 
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ProudPapa

One more important matter you guys. My existing 10 gl, is established (been running it for about 2 years) but as of now there is no fish in it anymore. Just the plants. I was planning to keep it running for my plants, until I get the new tank and also for the filters and the rest of the stuff that has beneficial bacteria already on it, so I can transfer everything in the new tank.
Will the tank stay cycled with no more fish in it or will the eco system collapse and if so, what do I do to mantain it ?
I guess what I'm asking is...will I have to cycle my new tank from scratch ?

I'm replying mostly so I'll be notified of further answers, because I'm also curious. If there were fish in the existing tank I'd say that moving the filter over would be an "instant cycle," but without fish I don't know if you have any beneficial bacteria, since presumably it hasn't had an ammonia source. How long has it been since you removed the fish?
 
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Reema

I'm replying mostly so I'll be notified of further answers, because I'm also curious. If there were fish in the existing tank I'd say that moving the filter over would be an "instant cycle," but without fish I don't know if you have any beneficial bacteria, since presumably it hasn't had an ammonia source. How long has it been since you removed the fish?
About 2 days since the tank is fishless. I'm not setting up the new tank just yet. Maybe in a month or so, but I have to keep the existing tank running because of all my live plants.
I'm suspecting that without any fish, my currently cycled tank won't be cycled anymore in a month time. Right ?
Then I'll have to cycle the new one from scratch.
 
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ProudPapa

About 2 days since the tank is fishless. I'm not setting up the new tank just yet. Maybe in a month or so, but I have to keep the existing tank running because of all my live plants.
I'm suspecting that without any fish, my currently cycled tank won't be cycled anymore in a month time. Right ?
Then I'll have to cycle the new one from scratch.

I've only been keeping fish since last September, but I believe the bacteria will die out without an ammonia source. However, I don't think it has to be fish. You could add straight ammonia if it's available to you, or small amounts of organic material that would give off ammonia as it decomposes. Some people use fish food or pieces of raw shrimp to cycle a new tank. I don't see why that wouldn't work for keeping bacteria alive in a tank without fish. At least that way you wouldn't be starting over.
 
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StarGirl

I've only been keeping fish since last September, but I believe the bacteria will die out without an ammonia source. However, I don't think it has to be fish. You could add straight ammonia if it's available to you, or small amounts of organic material that would give off ammonia as it decomposes. Some people use fish food or pieces of raw shrimp to cycle a new tank. I don't see why that wouldn't work for keeping bacteria alive in a tank without fish. At least that way you wouldn't be starting over.
mattgirl do you think this would work?
 
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mattgirl

mattgirl do you think this would work?
It should. I would continue feeding the tank just like I would if the fish were still in there. I might even over feed to assure there will be enough bacteria to handle the bio-load if the new 20 will have more fish than the 10 did. Using pure ammonia wouldn't be as messy though. With fish food there will be a buildup over time since there will be nothing in there to eat it.

If you continue to feed this tank it should be a simple matter of moving the cycle from the 10 over to the 20 by moving everything from the 10 over to the 20. Even the water. by moving the water your plants shouldn't go into shock from the move. There may still be some melting but hopefully not as much as there would be if you didn't keep some of the water they are used to.

I would think a 150 watt heater should be sufficient. I run a 200 watt in my 55 gallon tank and it holds the temp right where it needs to be even though I allow my house to get pretty cold over night.
 
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Reema

I've only been keeping fish since last September, but I believe the bacteria will die out without an ammonia source. However, I don't think it has to be fish. You could add straight ammonia if it's available to you, or small amounts of organic material that would give off ammonia as it decomposes. Some people use fish food or pieces of raw shrimp to cycle a new tank. I don't see why that wouldn't work for keeping bacteria alive in a tank without fish. At least that way you wouldn't be starting over.
So basically same process as cycling a new tank without fish. Only in my case I'll be maintaining an established tank without fish, by adding some fish food as to supply the bacteria. Makes sense. Thanks.
 
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peddidle

I had to keep a cycle going for a couple of months while I decided on fish and then waited for them to come in. I dosed ammonia. I bought ammonia at Ace hardware, which is the easiest place to get it if you happen to live close to one. Other places might be through Amazon or a janitorial supply store. At first I dosed too heavily (4 every day), which I’m sure built up really good bacteria but also seemed to burn my plants, so I scaled back (I think I was doing 2 every other day, but I would have to dig up my old records to be sure). It was still perfectly cycled when I added my fish—no minI cycle or anything. Just don’t add too many fish at once, and since you’ll be changing tanks, I would suggest keeping your cycle going with ammonia for at least a few days after switching to the other tank before adding fish, just to be sure everything is continuing to cycle smoothly.
 
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Reema

So you guys reccomend dosing with ammonia straight, rather then using fish food to generate it ?
 
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StarGirl

I would use fish food personally. It will decompose a little slower and feed the bacteria longer I would think.
 
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ProudPapa

So you guys reccomend dosing with ammonia straight, rather then using fish food to generate it ?

I've never done a fishless cycle, but that seems to be the consensus. It's easier to control how much ammonia is being introduced, and less messy.
 
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peddidle

So you guys reccomend dosing with ammonia straight, rather then using fish food to generate it ?
I like using ammonia because it isn’t messy and I can control the amount.
 
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KingJamal2

Since several people have asked, I won’t individually reply to each person.

My house stays at a consistent 73 degrees year round. When we go on vacation, we leave the heater/air conditioner running. (I requested that my parents do this)

I personally have never felt very comfortable with heaters, as I have heard MANY stories of them malfunctioning and killing all of the fish. I am setting up a Pygmy Cory breeding tank though, and I would like to add a heater to it. What heater would you recommend for a 10 gallon.

So, long story short, I don’t feel comfortable with heaters, and I tend to stock cold-ish water fish.

I do have some tropical fishes in unheated tanks though.
 
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