Cycling Finish Line Is Close... How To Add Fish? :) Question

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by jessatiel, May 16, 2018.

  1. jessatielNew MemberMember

    Hi! I’m very excited because I think I’m close to completing a fishless cycle on my first 20g tank! :D

    I’m cycling with Dr. Tim’s ammonia, and I’m now wondering how to stock the tank. I know the usual advice is to stock gradually, but if my tank cycles 2-3ppm ammonia in 24 hrs, can I just add everyone at once? (This would be once the cycle is totally done, of course.)

    I found a stocking calculator online, and it says the following will put me at 85% filtration capacity:
    -1 male betta
    -10 neon tetras
    -8 kuhli loaches

    (Penguin 150 bio wheel filter)

    Thank you!

  2. AquaticJFishlore VIPMember

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that filter isn't quite strong enough for a 20 gallon. Now I'm not saying that you won't cycle or your water will be poisonous, but you're likely going to run into clarity and possibly nitrate issues. Kuhli loaches get up to around 4 inches, so 8 of them in a 20 gallon is going to be too much. I'm not too fond of giving stocking advice because I never know what to suggest that others will like. @TexasDomer is excellent at stocking advice though. Additionally, is this a 20 gallon long (30 inches), or a 20 tall (24 inches)?
  3. jessatielNew MemberMember

    Thanks for replying!
    This is a 20tall. I’m disappointed to hear my filter isn’t sufficient... my setup all came in a Marineland starter kit with the tank itself, lid, heater, and filter, and the filter description says it’s okay up to 30g. There’s space for another HOB filter... do you have a recommendation?


    Also to clarify, I’m completely open to having fewer fish... I just want to make sure the schooling types have enough buddies to feel safe.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 17, 2018
  4. AquaticJFishlore VIPMember

    Yeah in the 20 tall, I definitely would advise against the loaches. You have a beautiful setup though! Unfortunately, Marineland AND Aqueon kits come with inappropriate filters. I know that Aqueon gives the same filter in both the 10 and 20 gallon kits. So you should never pay attention to a filters "rating", you need to look at gallons per hour. The recommended GPH is 8-10 X your tank size. I never recommend 8, because, why do the bare minimum? So you should be at 200 GPH, your filter is 150 GPH. As I mentioned earlier, you aren't wildly underfiltering your tank, I just think that you may run into some minor problems. I also don't like Marineland filters because of the lack of personal media space, they're often loud, and I hear complaints about the wheel not spinning. The tricky part is you've built up a lot of bacteria on the wheel, so I don't think you should disturb it for now.
  5. jessatielNew MemberMember

    Yes, I’ve already had to unstick the biowheel. The learning curve in this hobby is steep!

    Thanks for the info... I’ll see what I can do to add filtration. Maybe another running in parallel? I’m trying to do this thing right.
  6. JLeeMWell Known MemberMember

    I'd advise cardinal tetras instead of neons. They look very similar, but cardinals have more vivid coloration and do better in warmer temps that your betta would need. One thing I would research or talk to someone else about is their size. Apparently, cardinals get a little bit bigger than neons, so not sure how they would work in a 20 high. Lastly, most people highly suggest using, at the bare minimum, a 20 long when trying to put a betta with other fish. Definitely add the betta last and keep a super close watch. They are all different from individual to individual.
  7. Kyleena696Valued MemberMember

    My personal favourites so far are the AquaClear filters. An additional AquaClear 20 should give you more than enough filtration!
  8. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    I think the loaches are fine. They will clump together and enjoy the tank. 8 kuhlis is a good max.

    However, the betta isn't temperature compatible with the neons, so I'd leave the betta out. The tank of neons and kuhlis will be pretty though!
  9. jessatielNew MemberMember

    Thank you!

    Thanks, everyone!

    I stocked the tank!

    There’s Freddy the Betta (I already had him and he’s the whole reason I started this 20g tank to give him a proper home, since his first tank was very small).

    Also: 8 kuhli loaches, who are already loaching it up under the big mangrove root thing...

    And 8 Harlequin Rasboras. I read they share space with Bettas in the wild, so they could be good tankmates for Freddy. So far, so good!

    Oh, I also added a second filter... a quietflow. I like it so much more than the penguin 150! Oh well.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2018
  10. JLeeMWell Known MemberMember

    Looking good! Just keep an eye on your betta with the rasboras, and all the current from two filters.

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