Joshaeus 20 high setup

Joshaeus

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Hi everyone! I took the plunge and got a 20 gallon high at a local petco today...currently it is being leak tested in my bathtub. Here's the specs so far...
...
...
...nothing! I literally have no clue what on earth I am doing with this - I have not even ruled out saltwater yet! All I know is that, after learning that I am seemingly incapable of keeping algae at bay in planted tanks, I will most likely not use live plants in this tank (though that is not definite either) and will thus most likely not deliberately light the tank (though it will receive some light from the plethora of lightbulbs in my room powering my houseplants). Any ideas what to do with this tank? Thanks
 

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Hi everyone! I took the plunge and got a 20 gallon high at a local petco today...currently it is being leak tested in my bathtub. Here's the specs so far...
...
...
...nothing! I literally have no clue what on earth I am doing with this - I have not even ruled out saltwater yet! All I know is that, after learning that I am seemingly incapable of keeping algae at bay in planted tanks, I will most likely not use live plants in this tank (though that is not definite either) and will thus most likely not deliberately light the tank (though it will receive some light from the plethora of lightbulbs in my room powering my houseplants). Any ideas what to do with this tank? Thanks
I also have recently purchased a 20 high. Correct me if I am wrong but saltwater tanks are considerably more expensive then freshwater tanks. But if your willing to pay extra go ahead, I would love to have a saltwater tank. I have a suggestion; if you looking for something unique or something that is not a fish a single Axolotl might work. I don't really have other ideas because your were kind of broad so idk.
 

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  • #3
I also have recently purchased a 20 high. Correct me if I am wrong but saltwater tanks are considerably more expensive then freshwater tanks. But if your willing to pay extra go ahead, I would love to have a saltwater tank. I have a suggestion; if you looking for something unique or something that is not a fish a single Axolotl might work. I don't really have other ideas because your were kind of broad so idk.
Yeah, I know...I've had some before Good idea, but sadly axolotls are illegal in my state and need a permit to keep them.
 
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  • #5
Oh, ok. Do you know what type of tank you want?
Not really, but ideally the fish would not spend all day hiding. I would love a sort of 'pet' species that I could train to hand feed, but it's not a requirement by any means. I would also like a species that could be spawned and raised without extreme difficulty.
 
Not really, but ideally the fish would not spend all day hiding. I would love a sort of 'pet' species that I could train to hand feed, but it's not a requirement by any means. I would also like a species that could be spawned and raised without extreme difficulty.
For handfeeding I have heard the Honey Gouramis do that, but I don't have them so I can't say for sure. Guppys are pretty easy to breed and other livebearers like mollys, platies, and swordtails.
 

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I converted my 20H that I was also struggling with into a blackwater setup and love it so far. the light diffusion and tannins keeps the algae at bay (fingers crossed) and there are some very cool fish that thrive in such environments. I have Beckford's pencilfish var. "red" in there along with some Harlequins
 
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  • #8
Here's an idea I have been pondering...I know I said 'no more planted tanks', but maybe a simple setup consisting entirely of vallisneria planted in sand, with Thrive C dosing and half an excel dose daily? The tank's height would seem to lend it towards displaying vals at their best.
 
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  • #10
I gotta say ...my pleco does an AWESOME job of keeping algae at bay which thrills me cause I TOTALLY love my live plants
Maybe I just need some algae eaters to keep algae at bay until the plants settle in...hmmm...

Have any suggestions? Most plecos are too large for a 20 gallon, so maybe some nerite snails or a small school of otocinclus? (And what and how much should I feed the algae eaters when algae is not obviously visible?)
 
  • #11
Maybe I just need some algae eaters to keep algae at bay until the plants settle in...hmmm...

Have any suggestions? Most plecos are too large for a 20 gallon, so maybe some nerite snails or a small school of otocinclus? (And what and how much should I feed the algae eaters when algae is not obviously visible?)
I'm DEFINITELY not the one to ask on this as I'm still new to the fish world. but I think definitely some algae eaters. I'm looking at emerald cory for my new tank. And I hear they love algae wafers.
 

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  • #12
I'm DEFINITELY not the one to ask on this as I'm still new to the fish world. but I think definitely some algae eaters. I'm looking at emerald cory for my new tank. And I hear they love algae wafers.
Cories are cool for sure, but they are carnivorous catfishes and won't do much against live algae even if they love algae wafers. They are schooling fishes, by the way, so make sure if you go the cory route that you get at least 6 - and ideally a dozen or more, if your tank can handle it - cories of the same species so they can socialize as they do in the wild. A lonely cory is also a boring cory.
 
  • #14
Take with with a grain but be careful choosing an algae eater. We bought one of those "cute little" Plecos for a 55 gallon tank. It GREW to almost a foot long and overloaded the tank.
 
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  • #15
Take with with a grain but be careful choosing an algae eater. We bought one of those "cute little" Plecos for a 55 gallon tank. It GREW to almost a foot long and overloaded the tank.
That's why I am hesitant to go with anything named 'pleco'.
 
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  • #16
Hi again everyone! After giving it some thought, I have decided to stick to a freshwater tank with artificial plants for ease of maintenance (and to eliminate the risk of major algae problems, as artificial plants don't need any more light than is required to see them). Still don't have a definite 'specs' list yet, but I am leaning towards trying Microctenopoma fasciolatum again...if I can find a dither fish large enough not to be eaten and small enough not to overly tax the bioload (Microctenopomas in general tend to be quite shy without top dwelling dither fishes to tell them there are no piscivorous birds waiting to dive in and eat them). I've had paradise fish (similar in size and shape to M. fasciolatum, though somewhat more aggressive) eat adult zebra danios before, so that is harder than it sounds...
 
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  • #17
Hi everyone! I think I am getting closer to a clear picture of my setup. Here are the tenative specs;
Filter; Homemade air powered filter with seachem denitrate.
Decor; Artificial plants, likely plus some live floating plants held in place with a floating ring of 1/2 ID tubing.
Light; If plants are used, a BR30 bulb (of TBD wattage and color spectrum) focused on the floating plants. Otherwise I won't use any.
Heater; Generic 100 watt heater.
Fish; This is the part I am least sure about. I have a couple ideas, but I am primarily leaning towards anabantoids. High on my list are;
-A harem (1M 3-4F) of splendens complex wild bettas
-A pair/trio Microctenopoma sp (will need dither fish, may use harlequin rasboras for that)
-A pair/trio paradise fish
-A small group (maybe a harem)? of wild type honey gouramies

I have not ruled out non-anabantoids, but these are some of the options I am most interested in.
Maintenance; 40% weekly WC's

Any thoughts on all of this?
 
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  • #18
Hi everyone! Here is the homemade internal filter;

Homemade box filter (1).jpeg
The water will enter the bottom mechanical filtration chamber through a number of holes drilled on the side, go through a tube connecting it to the top biological and chemical (with seachem denitrate and purigen respectively...may or may not keep the purigen, as it barely fits) chamber, and then exit through the larger tube at the top (which is powered by air coming through the air line tubing, which pumps air into the larger tube). This design allows me to easily take the filter apart for maintenance...but the real test is when the tank is set up.

EDIT; I tested the filter and it works (though it does not support particularly high air rates...perhaps around half an air line). I proceeded to go and set the whole tank up;

20 gallon 12 2 2020.jpeg
Not much to report obviously...the artificial plants that will serve as most of the decor will not be here until later this week, and I don't dare order live anything (plants or otherwise) during December when everyone and their mother is shipping packages through the postal service.

EDIT NO. 2; Since posting the above picture, I have added a turtle dock an inch or two below the water surface on the right side of the tank. The tank will not have any livestock that will need the shallow water, so I will be using it as an additional piece of cover for the future fish as well as a platform to either grow moss of some kind or use more artificial plants.

EDIT NO. 3 (12/3/2020); Hi again everyone! The artificial plants are arriving either today or tomorrow based on the tracking info, and yesterday I also purchased a 150 watt heater for the tank (which may have been overkill...)...if the 'plants' do arrive, I will set them up in the tank and get a picture of them.

EDIT No. 4 (still 12/3); Hi everyone! The artificial plants just arrived, I 'planted' them, and this resulted;

20 gallon 12 3 2020.jpeg
GORGEOUS!

I also took the time to test the GH, KH, and TDS; the former two were both around 5 degrees while the latter was about 175 ppm.
 
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  • #19
Hi again everyone! Just a small update. I discovered that the seachem stability I am using to introduce the beneficial bacteria needs to be shaken VERY vigorously to work effectively (I am doing 45-60 seconds of as hard as I can). This knowledge, coupled with dosing it more than recommended, has resulted in the cycle is progressing quickly - there is already a measureable nitrite reading . Here's to the tank cycling with haste...
 
  • #20
Hi everyone! Here is the homemade internal filter;
View attachment 747881
The water will enter the bottom mechanical filtration chamber through a number of holes drilled on the side, go through a tube connecting it to the top biological and chemical (with seachem denitrate and purigen respectively...may or may not keep the purigen, as it barely fits) chamber, and then exit through the larger tube at the top (which is powered by air coming through the air line tubing, which pumps air into the larger tube). This design allows me to easily take the filter apart for maintenance...but the real test is when the tank is set up.

EDIT; I tested the filter and it works (though it does not support particularly high air rates...perhaps around half an air line). I proceeded to go and set the whole tank up;
View attachment 747889
Not much to report obviously...the artificial plants that will serve as most of the decor will not be here until later this week, and I don't dare order live anything (plants or otherwise) during December when everyone and their mother is shipping packages through the postal service.

EDIT NO. 2; Since posting the above picture, I have added a turtle dock an inch or two below the water surface on the right side of the tank. The tank will not have any livestock that will need the shallow water, so I will be using it as an additional piece of cover for the future fish as well as a platform to either grow moss of some kind or use more artificial plants.

EDIT NO. 3 (12/3/2020); Hi again everyone! The artificial plants are arriving either today or tomorrow based on the tracking info, and yesterday I also purchased a 150 watt heater for the tank (which may have been overkill...)...if the 'plants' do arrive, I will set them up in the tank and get a picture of them.

EDIT No. 4 (still 12/3); Hi everyone! The artificial plants just arrived, I 'planted' them, and this resulted;
View attachment 748030
GORGEOUS!

I also took the time to test the GH, KH, and TDS; the former two were both around 5 degrees while the latter was about 175 ppm.
That IS gorgeous!
 
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  • #21
Hi again everyone! The nitrite reading mentioned above may have been a false alarm...I have not seen a non-zero nitrite or nitrate reading since. Don't know why...oh well, it will sooner or later cycle.

Anyhow, today I added a sponge filter and a heater to the tank. I'm hoping that both will hasten the development of the cycle and that the sponge will give more room for the beneficial bacteria while also giving me a pre cycled filter to move to a QT tank if necessary. (Fun side note...the 'sponge grunge' produced by squeezing a matured sponge filter contains copious microfauna that can be used to feed fry. Just squeeze it into a container outside the tank, wait for the debris to settle, then use a turkey baster to harvest the clear water above the debris - much of the microfauna will accumulate there. I will likely use this to supplement the walter worms that will be my primary fry food).
 
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  • #22
Hi everyone! Highlights from today;
-I added a second internal power filter that consists solely of purigen for chemical filtration.
-The tank is starting to cycle! Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate were all several ppm a few minutes ago.
-I am kinda thinking about trying REAL plants in this tank. Since the tank is already filled, can I simply add more gravel (only a half inch thick currently) and just rely on judicious fertilizing to keep the plants happy? I would be using household bulbs, but I would first rent a PAR meter to make sure I was using the correct amount of light.
 
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  • #23
Hi everyone! Good news...the tank is cycled However, I am not sure when I will be ready to add fish and/or live plants to the tank.
 

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