New to tropical

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by JackieAnn65, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. JackieAnn65New MemberMember

    Hello all, I have a 20 gallon tank which currently has 3 goldfish in it, had them 6 years now.
    I am interested in changing the tank to tropical and as i've never kept tropical before would welcome some suggestions for what sort of fish would be suitable for a beginner. I have made a list of what I was thinking of, but not 100% sure. I was thinking of 2 male swordtails, 2 sterbai corys, 2 dwarf gouramis, 3 male guppies and 6 neon tetras. I think they are all compatible tank mates, but is that too many for the size of my tank?
    Many Thanks.
    Jackie :)

  2. bowcrazyWell Known MemberMember

    I take it you are going to find a new home for the goldies and are looking to change the tank to a warmer freshwater fish tank. Be sure to add a heater if you don’t already have one and keep the temperature up around 74 to 78 degrees. When switching I would give the tank a good cleaning by doing several back to back large water changes just to help remove any decaying food and fish waste from the tank. I would only rinse the filter good but don’t over clean it so that you don’t loose the beneficial bacteria in it.

    The tank mates you have picked should get along OK in the tank as long as you provide some good hiding places for the Dwarf Gourami. DG can be quite aggressive because they are some what a shy fish and don’t like feeling pressured by other fish.

    I can’t comment on the Sterbai Corydoras because I have never kept them but most Corydoras like a few more of their own kind in a tank but you might be OK with them in the smaller tank. Sticking with all male livebearers is a good idea but you might want to watch for some aggression between them. Other than that sounds good to me.

  3. JackieAnn65New MemberMember

    Thanks for the advice. Yes, the goldies will go, and I have a heater it came with the tank when I bought it. Would it be better to change the substrate to sand for the corys? Also, suggestion on plants, live or stick withe the silk and plastic ones i've got?

  4. LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Welcome to FishLore!!

    Looks like you're in good hands. :)
  5. soltarianknightFishlore VIPMember

    I would say deffinetly not a good stock. Steribai do need a group of 5. DG are a single housed species, you do not mix them with other DG, EVER. Unless of course for breeding which is a whole diffrent spectrum of setup and such.
    I belive you could get away with
    1 DG
    5 Steribai
    8 neons

    Neon's do better in bigger schools, Swords being in that small of a tank with a DG may cause a little chaos, being that this is you first tropical tank, i would avoid chaos.
    Just to add for future reference, most species of goldfish require 29 gals as a minimum for 1. The smaller species require a 20gal absolute minimum. Do you have a test kit to test if you tank is cycled?
  6. Wendy LubianetskyWell Known MemberMember

    :;groupGood Luck with your new endeavor. Bowcrazy gave you some good advise. Clean, but don't steralize. Make sure you leave some bacterial behind. And, if you don't have a test kit, grab one you will need it with the tropical fish. Welcome to fishlore, :;hurryb
  7. Sweet-lu84New MemberMember

    The good cleaning to your tank is a must as mentioned by bowcrazy. I like to add a little salt to help with the cleaning and I find it keeps my tank healthier (helps cut down on harmful bacteria). Dwarf gouramis can tend to get a little aggressive from my experience and I have had trouble with them in the past as far as disease. You are adding a lot of fish for a 20 gallon tank. I think you would be ok with all of the other fish excluding the gouramis (also given that they are a bit larger). If the gouramis are a must for you, I might consider eliminating one other pair of fish. Also take into consideration how confortable each species of fish is as an individual or in schools.

    Just as a side not, (if you haven't done so already) I would also make sure to have a filter that is rated for a larger tank, especially since you are pushing the capacity of your tank. For me, it has helped keep how often I clean down and my water stays crystal clear. As far as live plants, I would definitely recommend them from my experience. They can help to eliminate fish waste and add oxygen to the tank. The last obvious thing they add is plenty of hiding places for your new fishies :) . Just be sure that if you get live plants you have a good enough lighting system to grow them (something like a T5 bulb). Happy fish caring!
  8. ShineWell Known MemberMember

    "2 male swordtails, 2 sterbai corys, 2 dwarf gouramis, 3 male guppies and 6 neon tetras"

    I'd change up that list slightly. Corys are a schooling fish and need groups of 5+ to feel safe. Dwarf gouramis on the other hand, are highly territorial and aggressive to members of their own species.. so unless you want one to be tormented and bullied to death, I'd only go with one of those. Aside from those two provisos, your list isn't too bad. I'd probably go with 2 platies rather then swordtails, because they stay a bit smaller.

    So what I'd go with
    -1 DG
    -5 cories
    -6 neons
    -2 platies
    -2 guppies
  9. JackieAnn65New MemberMember

    Thanks all for the great advice and thanks soltarianknight for the golfish advice. The reason I wanted to get rid of them is because I thought they looked too cramped in the tank. Somebody gave them to me just over 6 years ago, there was 6 in one of those little hexafun tanks. Bought the biggest tank I could afford at the time and they grew, but 3 have since died and I now think it's best to rehome the other 3 to make their lives better. Like your list shine, will consider that.
  10. soltarianknightFishlore VIPMember

    No problem, at least you tried to give them a better life then they had. I like shines list as well. As stated, the Dg just dont get along. They have a relation to bettas. Now, if you want to do some Honey gourami, thats always a fun possibility. They are very similar in size and appearance to DG(commonly confused between the two) but have a fraction of the aggression(normally a select few males, and still, not bad). They have a few color varieties. Females always a bit duller then males. Theres a Yellow/gold, Orange, Orange and black and so on. Colors can always be enhanced through a good diet of frozen and live foods(what both they and dwarfs should be fed.) With the tropicals make sure to have some good quality foods, you dont want to start off with a poor quality flake food. Brand names to look for are New Life spectrum, Wardleys, Omega One(Great community flakes) and a few other brands. Frozen foods like frozen Brineshrimp and Blood worms also add some much loved nutrition to the diet.
  11. cameronpalteValued MemberMember

    Welcome to tropical. To start, you need to move your goldfish to a safe home. 20 gallon's is way to small for 3 goldfish, and they should generally have 40+ gallons.

    Now, for your topical tank. You would need to get a heater, and I recommend keeping your aquarium temperature at ~76 degrees.

    As for your fish 2(male swordtails): Swordtails can get to 4 inches each and male swordtails should have more space than that because they can fight. I would recommend cutting down to 1 swordtail or maybe even 0.

    2(Sterbai Corys). I don't know a lot about these fish, so I'll wait for someone to come back and talk to you about this.

    2(Dwarf Gourami's). These can become pretty big, and are slightly aggressive. I would not recommend getting any of this especially if you want a swordfish.

    3(Male Guppies). These fish can fit in your tank, but I don't recommend getting 3 males because you'll have the same problem as with the swordtails possible fighting. If you are getting 3 males because you don't want them to get pregnant, than get 3 females and 0 males. That being said, males do have the better colors (personal opinion) so this may be why you want it. I recommend getting 1 male. If you get females and males though they most likely will become pregnant.

    6(Neon Tetra). These fish are fine, yet they should probably be in larger schools. They are nice fish and pretty easy to keep. The only problem is they are not overly hardy, so you will have to wait some time before putting them in.

    Here is what I recommend

    1(Male Swordtail)
    8(Neon Tetra)
    8(Julii Leapord Catfish)

    This is just my 2 cents.
  12. Wendy LubianetskyWell Known MemberMember

    I like Shine's list as well. Good Luck Again.:;bn
  13. soltarianknightFishlore VIPMember

    How big do you think they grow? I have one at 3". thats the biggest ive ever seen or heard of. They normally fall around 2.5"

    Steribai are cory, just like the Julli cory recommended. Cory are a schooling fish period.
    I agree on the subject of sword Tails though, they can get quite big and are too active for a 20.

    Also, thought id add. Be sure to set up a quarantine tank for all the new fish.

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