20g "beach" Progression

aosuna11
  • #1
Edit to title: Was "20 gal build, Need help!"

Hey everyone, after acquiring Multiple Tank Syndrome, I decided to get a 20 gal (standard) aquarium. Since I've only had a few fish that were suited for smaller tanks, so I need advice, and even some suggestions.

My setup would look similar to this island aquascape that I found through google-

For stocking, which is where I need the most help, was initially going to be a pair of apistos. agassiziI or caucatoides, and a small school of 7 or 8 dwarf neon rainbowfish. It looks like both of these types of fish are no where to be found here around where I live. The apistos occasionally appear in a store a bit away from me, so I might be able to get ahold of those, but not the rainbowfish. To replace the rainbows, would a school of 15 black neon tetras work well with apistos?

Another thing I thought of were bolivian rams, or a single jewel cichlid? I really am not sure what would work, but I want something like 1-3 small cichlids, and a single type of schooling fish.

I have plenty of time to work with, the tank isn't even set up yet. Thanks for the help everyone
 

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Tougheryeti6
  • #2
Black neons will work perfectly fine with apistos, though I think 15 might be too much but that's just my opinion.

Bolivian rams would work fine as well, but some people would think that they will need a bigger tank because they are a tad bigger than your everyday GBR. But at the end of the day its up to you.

I wouldn't recommend a jewel cichlid because they can get quite aggressive, and a 20 gallon does not give much breathing space for other fish in the tank.
 
aosuna11
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Black neons will work perfectly fine with apistos, though I think 15 might be too much but that's just my opinion.

Bolivian rams would work fine as well, but some people would think that they will need a bigger tank because they are a tad bigger than your everyday GBR. But at the end of the day its up to you.

I wouldn't recommend a jewel cichlid because they can get quite aggressive, and a 20 gallon does not give much breathing space for other fish in the tank.

Fish load wouldn't be too much of an issue, I do 50% water changes a week, and the plant load would help out too.

Do you think the jewel would work if I changed the scape to be filled with plants?
 
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Tougheryeti6
  • #4
That might work. I would introduce the jewel last so that it would not try to establish territory and get aggressive with the other fish.
 
Platylover
  • #5
I saw via your profile post that you are still looking for fish ideas? So I’m assuming your still using this thread?

Let me start that I absolutely would not suggest a jewel. Got started I believe they need a larger tank(40g) and secondly I tried something similar with jewel in a 65, it was an utter disaster. The jewel was the most jerk like fish I’ve ever had, being aggressive to other and I’m fairly certain he ate a few serpeas. Which are a fair deal bigger than neons. I’d definitely opt for a dwarf and not a jewel.

I’ve had Bolivians and they were great, never bothered anyone. If you could get a cockatoo cichlid that’d be wonderful as well because they’re quite beautiful.

It seems like you have a limited fish available to you? What kind of fish are typically available? Also, have you considered ordering online?
 
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aosuna11
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
I saw via your profile post that you are still looking for fish ideas? So I’m assuming your still using this thread?

Let me start that I absolutely would not suggest a jewel. Got started I believe they need a larger tank(40g) and secondly I tried something similar with jewel in a 65, it was an utter disaster. The jewel was the most jerk like fish I’ve ever had, being aggressive to other and I’m fairly certain he ate a few serpeas. Which are a fair deal bigger than neons. I’d definitely opt for a dwarf and not a jewel.

I’ve had Bolivians and they were great, never bothered anyone. If you could get a cockatoo cichlid that’d be wonderful as well because they’re quite beautiful.

It seems like you have a limited fish available to you? What kind of fish are typically available? Also, have you considered ordering online?
Thanks for helping out! A little while after I posted the last reply, I looked into more of the jewels and decided to no go with them. I really would love a pair of Apistos, with Rams coming in second place if I couldn't get the Apistos.
I don't really have many options locally, except a store about an hour away which had the first Apisto. agassiziI I'd seen. I talked to Mark,(the owner) and gave him my number to call me if he would get any in stock.
Online I don't really trust, I feel it puts a lit of stress on the little guys and might kill them, but I've never done it so I don't know.
I think my best option is to ask around more stores to see if I can get some through a special order
 
Platylover
  • #7
Thanks for helping out! A little while after I posted the last reply, I looked into more of the jewels and decided to no go with them. I really would love a pair of Apistos, with Rams coming in second place if I couldn't get the Apistos.
I don't really have many options locally, except a store about an hour away which had the first Apisto. agassiziI I'd seen. I talked to Mark,(the owner) and gave him my number to call me if he would get any in stock.
Online I don't really trust, I feel it puts a lit of stress on the little guys and might kill them, but I've never done it so I don't know.
I think my best option is to ask around more stores to see if I can get some through a special order

Apistos really are beautiful, I hope you’ll be able to get some in! You’ll have to let us know what you end up getting.

I do understand your concerns about shipping and don’t do anything you aren’t comfortable, but the fish will be shipped either way regardless on whether you order online or not. Stores have to have most if not all the fish shipped to their facility. If you go with an online place the shipping isn’t that different. If anything I could see it being less stressful, considering they don't go into a tank that’s overstocked and constantly having people look and mess with them. Of course this is if you purchase from a trustworthy place.

If you do decide to think about online, I can give you a few places that are commonly used here and a place where I purchased fish from and was very pleased with.
 
aosuna11
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Apistos really are beautiful, I hope you’ll be able to get some in! You’ll have to let us know what you end up getting.

I do understand your concerns about shipping and don’t do anything you aren’t comfortable, but the fish will be shipped either way regardless on whether you order online or not. Stores have to have most if not all the fish shipped to their facility. If you go with an online place the shipping isn’t that different. If anything I could see it being less stressful, considering they don't go into a tank that’s overstocked and constantly having people look and mess with them. Of course this is if you purchase from a trustworthy place.

If you do decide to think about online, I can give you a few places that are commonly used here and a place where I purchased fish from and was very pleased with.
Sure I'd love to get some websites! It's still going to be a while before I even set up the tank so I have lots of time to work with.
 
Platylover
  • #9
Sure I'd love to get some websites! It's still going to be a while before I even set up the tank so I have lots of time to work with.

I ordered from WetSpot and they were absolutely wonderful, certainly would order again. They had excenellent customer service, got back to me quickly and answered any questions I had. Something I really like about them is the fact you can talk to someone and start putting together an order months before you actually purchase. For example, you could say “I want this number of that fish along with this number of another fish shipped priority or overnigt(priority is only available during certain times of the year). What would the estimate be?” If you tell them you’ll plan on ordering in a few months they’ll email you when those few months are up and ask you if your still interested. That was something I found pretty unique and I liked about them, they didn’t forget about their customers and really do have the best customer service I’ve seen in a business for a long time.

Now the rest I haven’t ordered from but they have very good reviews around here.

Aquatic arts is a place that I’ve only heasitsted to purchase from because of the shipping price. Beyond that they seem like a great place with good quality products. Not to mention I love the fact you can get a $50 off gift card if you adopt an animal and give proof that you did so. They seem to truly care about their fish there.

Manzanitadriftwood. Com now, I have purchased from them but no fish, just driftwood. I would not hesitate to purchase fish from there though, he also has good customer service and I’ve never had any problems when ordering from him. I’ve also heard a few others talk about their fish orders and said it was very good I believe.
 
aosuna11
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
I ordered from WetSpot and they were absolutely wonderful, certainly would order again. They had excenellent customer service, got back to me quickly and answered any questions I had. Something I really like about them is the fact you can talk to someone and start putting together an order months before you actually purchase. For example, you could say “I want this number of that fish along with this number of another fish shipped priority or overnigt(priority is only available during certain times of the year). What would the estimate be?” If you tell them you’ll plan on ordering in a few months they’ll email you when those few months are up and ask you if your still interested. That was something I found pretty unique and I liked about them, they didn’t forget about their customers and really do have the best customer service I’ve seen in a business for a long time.

Now the rest I haven’t ordered from but they have very good reviews around here.

Aquatic arts is a place that I’ve only heasitsted to purchase from because of the shipping price. Beyond that they seem like a great place with good quality products. Not to mention I love the fact you can get a $50 off gift card if you adopt an animal and give proof that you did so. They seem to truly care about their fish there.

Manzanitadriftwood. Com now, I have purchased from them but no fish, just driftwood. I would not hesitate to purchase fish from there though, he also has good customer service and I’ve never had any problems when ordering from him. I’ve also heard a few others talk about their fish orders and said it was very good I believe.
I'll check them out, but I'll still see if my LFS's can get ahold of one, not too worried atm though.

I really wanted apistos because I heard they breed pretty easily, and the fry are usually successful, so I could sell them to my LFS's and maybe to other people here in SoCal. It would be helpful to those who would want some but don't know where to get them.
 
aosuna11
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Platylover I checked out the wetspot, it seems they have both the Apistos I'm looking for, and the dwarf neon rainbowfish!

So- going back to the original post, would the Dwarf neons work with the apistos? My findings show that they can go up to 82F and be fine, and I would probably keep the tank at a solid 79-80F. It seems fine for both no? I can always go with the Black Neon Tetras if the Rainbows don't work.
 
Platylover
  • #12
They should work together well, but I would try and keep the temp right at 80F if possible. The overlap of temp is there and it is enough, but it’s still a small-ish margin on the best temp to keep them both in.

Isn’t it crazy how many fish WetSpot has? I’d really love to visit the actual store and see how big it is!
 
aosuna11
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
They should work together well, but I would try and keep the temp right at 80F if possible. The overlap of temp is there and it is enough, but it’s still a small-ish margin on the best temp to keep them both in.

Isn’t it crazy how many fish WetSpot has? I’d really love to visit the actual store and see how big it is!
Yeah the selection is really varied, emailed them a while ago to get a quote before my classes start, hopefully they respond later today.

My houses temp is usually about 76-77. That might affect the tank since it is on the smaller side, but nothing more than than 2 degrees from 80 (which I'm sure the fish can tolerate more than comfortably)
 
Platylover
  • #14
Yeah the selection is really varied, emailed them a while ago to get a quote before my classes start, hopefully they respond later today.

My houses temp is usually about 76-77. That might affect the tank since it is on the smaller side, but nothing more than than 2 degrees from 80 (which I'm sure the fish can tolerate more than comfortably)
Do you have a heater? With an enough wattage heater you should be able to easily get that right to 80F since its just a few degrees below.
 
aosuna11
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Do you have a heater? With an enough wattage heater you should be able to easily get that right to 80F since its just a few degrees below.
Oh yes I'll be getting a heater, still not completely done shopping, have to look for one that fits the bill
 
Platylover
  • #16
Ok yeah it should heat up that high, just make sure you get an adjustable heater(I suggest the aqeun pro, have one in all my tanks and they work great).
 
aosuna11
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
Alright it seems I've come to a pretty agreeable set of choices to go with

I can try to order through a LFS here

I can wait for Mark to bring in Apistos, and get the Black neons elsewhere

I can order the Apistos and the praecox rainbows from The Wet Spot

I have a few questions about ordering online fish though, since I don't want to start another thread-
When I do order the fish, they'll obviously be stressed, and a stressed fish is susceptible to diseases. Do you think I should buy meds for the fish in case they do get sick after arrival? If so Is there a list I can get? It'll be a lot of money I'd be investing so I want to make sure they don't die shortly after getting them-I know fish can be unpredictable at times

Also one last thing, I looked at the Aqueon Pro Heaters, which Wattage should I get?
 
Platylover
  • #18
I’m glad you’ve got as many options as you do, it can really be annoying when you’ve only got one or two! For your questions-
1. Well, it is always good to have some medication on hand, but since there’s so many different things a fish can become sick with it may be difficult to get any medication they may need. I think it would be a good idea however to grab two or three broad medications. Like keneplex for fungus or bacterial and a broad parasitic one as well. I always have keneplex on hand as that comes in hand more often for me then any parasitical medications.

2. I think awhile ago someone asked the same thing, but there wasn’t so people just kind of came up with one that’d they suggest. I’m not great with medications so if you’d like to get a better idea on what would be good ideas to get I’d try starting a thread on it.

3. It’s generally 5 watts per gallon, but it is a good idea to get a slightly higher wattage just so it has a little more ability to stay right where you want it. For a 20 gallon I'd suggest a 125W.
 
aosuna11
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
Platylover I was about to order the 150w Aqueon heater, but then I found this, what the difference between the two?
Aqueon Submersible Aquarium Heater

Aqueon Pro Aquarium Heater
 
Platylover
  • #20
I believe the main difference is that the pro is ceramic, making it much less likely to shatter than glass. The other one is a good one as well though, but the ceramic is a nice feature to have.
 
wodesorel
  • #21
The pro is solid all the way through and is plastic, so you cannot shatter it and it cannot develop a leak. It's the same as the old Stealths.
 
aosuna11
  • Thread Starter
  • #22
So I should go with the pro?
I mean, how often are heaters to break?
 
Platylover
  • #23
I personally do like the pro better, but I believe the other is good as well. Granted heaters don’t break to often, but when they do it can be pretty bad. Particularly if they shatter, meaning they can destroy your tank and such. Which is why the pro is nice since it’s much less liek to shatter, but like I said both are still good choices.
 
aosuna11
  • Thread Starter
  • #24
I personally do like the pro better, but I believe the other is good as well. Granted heaters don’t break to often, but when they do it can be pretty bad. Particularly if they shatter, meaning they can destroy your tank and such. Which is why the pro is nice since it’s much less liek to shatter, but like I said both are still good choices.
I guess 4 more bucks for peace of mind is worth it, going to go with the pro
 
aosuna11
  • Thread Starter
  • #25
Just ordered the Nicrew LED and the Heater from amazon, it'll be here in two days with my student prime, the heater was on sale too (woohoo!)
 
aosuna11
  • Thread Starter
  • #26
After tomorrow, I'll have everything ready to set it up! Just got 20lbs of white sand for 13 bucks
 

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aosuna11
  • Thread Starter
  • #27
Forgot to show this great piece of manzanita too, it'll help with what I'm going for
 

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Platylover
  • #28
Forgot to show this great piece of manzanita too, it'll help with what I'm going for
That piece is very nice, it’ll look great with the white sand and some plants.
 
aosuna11
  • Thread Starter
  • #29
All my equipment is in order, tomorrow I'm going to move my TV and PS4 to their new spot, and Friday is the big build day!
 

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aosuna11
  • Thread Starter
  • #30
Well after working for about 5 hours, it's done-
Half dirted and half sand, also it'll be half planted.

Here's some of the plants from the 5 gallon I tore down to use the gravel and space-
Dirt2.jpg
Sand1.jpg
Prog.1.jpg
20-10.jpg

Also since when did the forum get new font?
 

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aosuna11
  • Thread Starter
  • #31
Ill be doing a fishless cycle for it,using pure ammonia, and the dirt I used was sifted miracle gro potting mix
 
Platylover
  • #32
It’s looking good! Can’t wait to see it with the fish and plants more grown in!

I believe the new font happened within this week, maybe yesterday or the day prior.
 

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