Picked Up A 20 Gallon Tank For My First Tank Since 2011.

PonzLL

Hi, I'm new and this is my first post here!

I put in some driftwood and rocks I had, and have my T5HO fixture from my old 29 gallon on top. It's currently cycling on day 3, but my filter doesn't come until tomorrow. The driftwood and the air pump filter thing have been in a jarrarium that was about 3 weeks old, so I think I'll get a good start on the bacteria.

I have new HO bulbs coming in tomorrow because the bulbs currently in there now are just regular 22" bulbs.

The water is yellow with tannins from the wood, but I used Purigen in years past and it cleared the water up seemingly overnight, so I ordered some of that to pack in the filter as well.

I'm going to design and 3d print some type of mount to hold my light up off the top a bit, and stop it from falling into the tank lol

I'm not sure what exactly I can add to a 20 gallon tank once it's cycled, so I'd like some ideas! I'd rather have lots of fish over a few bigger ones.



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Gypsy13

Hello! Welcome to fishlore!

There will be all kinds of suggestions of course. First I want to know what you like. Tiny fish in schools, shiny fish, colorful fish, a honey Gourami? Sorry. One of my favorite fish. Gotta throw it out there just in case.
 

PonzLL

Thanks

Well in the past I remember having a boeseman's rainbowfish which was really cool, and I had a pair of dalmation molly's that actually had personalities. I also remember tiger barbs but they were pretty aggressive and probably not a good match for the rest. Might have had a few tetras but I just can't remember.

If I could have my way I'd say tiny fish in schools, and then maybe 1-2 bigger fish like a black skirt tetra to sorta lead the pack but not bother (or be bothered by) the little guys. I want to have another DIY CO2 system like I used to have, so I think I'll have some huge plants again for the fish to swim through, if there's anything that may like that.

Here are a few pics from my first tank in 2011.


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Gypsy13

So you NYFishGuy have 4 tanks? So you could do cold water and tropical? Too cool. Which corydoras? I'm loving my albinos.
 

FishFor2018

First WELCOME!!!!!
Here are some good options:


option 1:
recommended Temperature would be 75 for this stock
:


option 2:
Recommended temperature would be 75 for this stock
:


option 3:
  • 1 male and 4 females (Will breed if males and females are kept together)
  • 1 male and 4 females (will breed if males and females are kept together)
  • 15 red cherry shrimp (they will breed)
  • 1 Dwarf gourami to take care of the fry
Recommend temperature would be 75 for this stock
:


option 4:
  • 6 female betta's
  • 10 harlequin rasbora's
  • 6 albino corydora's
Recommend temperature would be 76
:
 

NYFishGuy

So you NYFishGuy have 4 tanks? So you could do cold water and tropical? Too cool. Which corydoras? I'm loving my albinos.

Actually bought 8(+3 10s 1-29) because of the petco sale and MTS. Brings me to 11. pic of the first rack in here
Albino corys will be going in my 55 with black sand.
LFS had "Melini" corys I liked and thought they were pandas
I also like the spotted ones and the pygmys
 

PonzLL

It's pretty amazing to me that I could theoretically have that many fish in a 20 gallon tank! Seems like way too many to me, but I don't know too much about it.
 

kanzekatores

Welcome!!!
Your tank looks beautiful time to spice it up with some fishies!
So I recommend getting a bunch of different species of fish for middle/top dwelling fish or schooling fish like tetras or rasboras. For your CUC get cories or catfish or snails/shrimp.
I mean that's just the basic structure of an aquarium's fish ecosystem, but there are so many options out there so honestly just stick with what you like. FishFor2018's post seemed to give you a whole lot of options so if you're really lost then just go with that. What would I recommend? Here's what I would do if I were in your position:
~ x8 corydoras julii
~ x6 greenfyre tetras
~ x4 sparkling gouramis
~ ivory snails
or maybe
~ 8x bloodfin tetras
~ 6x endlers livebearers
~ 4x otocinclus catfish
Honestly there are so many options out there stick to what you like
 

PonzLL

Thank you for the suggestions!

I'm getting very impatient and then saw Tetra Safe Start+

Seems too good to be true, but if you guys think it's actually safe for the fish, I'll stop today and get some fish + a bottle of TSS+!
 

FishFor2018

I have used TSS plus many times and it cycled my tanks within 2 weeks some even 4 days
Thank you for the suggestions!

I'm getting very impatient and then saw Tetra Safe Start+

Seems too good to be true, but if you guys think it's actually safe for the fish, I'll stop today and get some fish + a bottle of TSS+!
 

PonzLL

Great options, I appreciate all these suggestions. Lots of cool posted so far that I'd never have known about before. I'm especially digging the red ones like the mosquito rasboras and the cherry barbs!
 

FishFor2018

Great options, I appreciate all these suggestions. Lots of cool posted so far that I'd never have known about before. I'm especially digging the red ones like the mosquito rasboras and the cherry barbs!
Okay so what about:
  • 6x Cherry barbs
  • 6x mosquito rasboras
  • x4 red platys
  • 15 Cherry shrimp
  • female red betta (or any color you want)
recommend temperature 76 for this stock
:
if you do this add the female betta last. this would make a beautiful tank with all the red fish
 

PonzLL

Holy cow that's a lot of red! I like the idea I think, but I want to talk to my wife when I get home and get her input too, since she's taking an active role in helping out this time around! She totally agreed on the cherry barbs and red cherry shrimp last night though. I think we're gonna be on the same page here.
 

FishFor2018

Holy cow that's a lot of red! I like the idea I think, but I want to talk to my wife when I get home and get her input too, since she's taking an active role in helping out this time around! She totally agreed on the cherry barbs and red cherry shrimp last night though. I think we're gonna be on the same page here.
yep lots of red!
if you do that list or something similar I definitely wanna see pics when the fish get in
 

PonzLL

You bet! I'll keep putting pics here probably every time I make any kind of change!

I think the local fish store should have a lot of the fish listed here, but if not, hopefully they can order them for me. I think there's a good chance of that.
 

PonzLL

Well I stopped at the fish store on the way home and grabbed 4 neon tetras to put in with the safestart+ I put in. I wasn't sure if I wanted them but they just looked so nice I had to have them. I think as the safestart finishes the cycle I will add 4 more and then we definitely want the 6 cherry barbs the next time I add fish.

Once I have those 14 fish, I'll watch my readings and decide if I feel right adding another kind lol



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FishFor2018

Well I stopped at the fish store on the way home and grabbed 4 neon tetras to put in with the safestart+ I put in. I wasn't sure if I wanted them but they just looked so nice I had to have them. I think as the safestart finishes the cycle I will add 4 more and then we definitely want the 6 cherry barbs the next time I add fish.

Once I have those 14 fish, I'll watch my readings and decide if I feel right adding another kind lol



2018-07-23 17.58.42.jpg
so your planning on adding
  • 8 neon tetra's
  • 6 cherry barb's
Do you want to add anything else after the cherry barbs do good for a week?

Neon's look beautiful and healthy


What you could do is
  • After the tank cycle's add 4 more neon's, wait a week to ensure they are all healthy and survive
  • Add 6 cherry barb's wait a week to ensure they are all healthy and survive
  • add 5 white cloud mountain minnows, wait 4 days, add 5 more, wait a week to ensure they are all healthy and survive
  • Add 4 FEMALE endlers and then enjoy your tank!
tank temp with or without the minnows and endlers should be 76 Fahrenheit.
 

PonzLL

Thank you, appreciate all the help! That's basically what I was planning to do so I'm glad you said that.

Now I did have one of them get stuck to the filter basically as soon as I added them, and the filter isn't big at all so I just think he was a weakling.
 

FishFor2018

Thank you, appreciate all the help! That's basically what I was planning to do so I'm glad you said that.

Now I did have one of them get stuck to the filter basically as soon as I added them, and the filter isn't big at all so I just think he was a weakling.
If it happens again just cover the intake with a sponge and use some zip ties to secure it
 

PonzLL

That's exactly what I did! Kinda ugly but it covers everything. The tetras look pretty young, but otherwise I think the current wasn't too bad. Probably just a mix of being so tiny and shock from transferring from the fish store.
 

FishFor2018

That's exactly what I did! Kinda ugly but it covers everything. The tetras look pretty young, but otherwise I think the current wasn't too bad. Probably just a mix of being so tiny and shock from transferring from the fish store.
Yeah, they should start being active and eating within the next few days.
 

BottomDweller

Neon's look beautiful and healthy


What you could do is
  • After the tank cycle's add 4 more neon's, wait a week to ensure they are all healthy and survive
  • Add 6 cherry barb's wait a week to ensure they are all healthy and survive
  • add 5 white cloud mountain minnows, wait 4 days, add 5 more, wait a week to ensure they are all healthy and survive
  • Add 4 FEMALE endlers and then enjoy your tank!
tank temp with or without the minnows and endlers should be 76 Fahrenheit.
That's wag overstocked imo and the white clouds need cooler water.

In a 20 gallon I would just do 1 mid dwelling school, maybe 2 if they were both very small fish (like neons and celestial pearl danios but not cherry barbs) and no other mid dwelling fish. 3 schools is too many, especially with the endlers.
 

PonzLL

I'm actually leaning more toward 8-10 neon tetras with maybe 6 cherry barbs and then stopping there.

Also my wife (who is supposed to be there to talk me down when I want new tanks!!) suddenly decided I should get a tank for our bedroom, to put on top of our dresser, so I can see a 40L or 55 gallon happening in the near future! I mean, it was inevitably going to happen at some point anyway, but now that she said she wants one, what else is a guy supposed to do


edit: aaaaand I just found out Petco is having their $1/gallon sale, so a 40L is $50 and a 55L is $65. Guess I'm grabbing one today lol
 

PonzLL

I like to incorporate 3d printing with my other hobbies, so today I designed this bracket to hold my light fixture 5.5 inches above my tank. The first one is printing now, and I'll print the other one tomorrow unless I can start it tonight. That of course assumes the first iteration fits!


Bracket V1.png
 

PonzLL

Is there a thread someone could point me to that discusses the importance of having types of fish at each layer of the tank? I'm seeing it discussed in lots of other build threads I've been checking but don't know if these are just suggestions or if they're important. Just want to learn more but am not sure what to search!

I checked my ammonia and nitrite yesterday. Ammonia is maybe .25 with the 3 neons, and nitrite is 0.

Also my API kit is from 2001 I believe, so I'm wondering if maybe I need a new one. It seems to give numbers that makes sense because I read online the dose of ammonia to bring my 40 gallon to 4ppm and then checked it afterword and it matched up on the test, but then again I read they're only good for like 3 years? Any thoughts?

Sorry I ask so many questions, I hope that's not considered rude at this place. Still getting a feel for these forums!
 

FishFor2018

Is there a thread someone could point me to that discusses the importance of having types of fish at each layer of the tank? I'm seeing it discussed in lots of other build threads I've been checking but don't know if these are just suggestions or if they're important. Just want to learn more but am not sure what to search!

I checked my ammonia and nitrite yesterday. Ammonia is maybe .25 with the 3 neons, and nitrite is 0.

Also my API kit is from 2001 I believe, so I'm wondering if maybe I need a new one. It seems to give numbers that makes sense because I read online the dose of ammonia to bring my 40 gallon to 4ppm and then checked it afterword and it matched up on the test, but then again I read they're only good for like 3 years? Any thoughts?

Sorry I ask so many questions, I hope that's not considered rude at this place. Still getting a feel for these forums!
Do you mean what fish are bottom mid and top dwellers? Or fish that are bottom mid and top dwellers that can live together? I would get a new API master test kit since they really do only last 3 years. Its not rude! this place was made to ask questions!
 

PonzLL

Thank you! I'm just gonna suck it up and order a new one lol.

For the fish question, I guess I was just under the impression that if a tank didn't have fish that live at each level, there might be issues. Wasn't sure, but was interested in some discussion on that if it exists.
 

FishFor2018

Thank you! I'm just gonna suck it up and order a new one lol.

For the fish question, I guess I was just under the impression that if a tank didn't have fish that live at each level, there might be issues. Wasn't sure, but was interested in some discussion on that if it exists.
No not really. you can have just bottom dweller or just top and mid dwellers or all. It just depends on the species because some are aggressive and some aren't. it won't affect the tank or fish/plants at all if you don't have fish at each level
 

PonzLL

Here's the first bracket for the light. The holes are because I didn't use enough infill combined with the fact that my cooling isn't great. No biggie, it doesn't really affect anything structurally. Second one is printing now!



2018-07-25 20.11.47-1.jpg
 

FishFor2018

Here's the first bracket for the light. The holes are because I didn't use enough infill combined with the fact that my cooling isn't great. No biggie, it doesn't really affect anything structurally. Second one is printing now!



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So cool what technology allows us to do
 

PonzLL

Wow what a difference Purigen made in just a day!


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PonzLL

Woohoo check it out my second bracket was ready when I got hime from work. Well actually last night but I get up early and didn't mess with it before work. Really happy with the height of the light, it hits the tank more evenly now!


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FishFor2018

Woohoo check it out my second bracket was ready when I got hime from work. Well actually last night but I get up early and didn't mess with it before work. Really happy with the height of the light, it hits the tank more evenly now!


IMG_20180726_192319-1306x1092.jpg
So Cool!!!!
 

PonzLL

With the help of a friend's filter, I think the tank is doing pretty well. 8 neon tetras and 4 ghost shrimp right now, and ammonia is keeping stable. I've added 3 times so that it doesn't get overwhelmed with new waste sources.

I wan t to have 12 neons, 6 harlequin rasboras, and ghost shrimp in this tank. One of the shrimps came pregnant but I read it's hard to keep them alive.


2018-07-27 20.16.28.jpg

I also just finished setting up my CO2 system for this tank. I used a 2 liter bottle with 2 cups of sugar, 2.5 cups of water, and 1/4 tsp yeast. Currently using cotton stuffed in the hose to make the bubbles because I used a cigarette filter I stole from a friend last time around and it worked great. If this doesn't work I'll suck it up and get the proper bubbler.


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Tank shot


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PonzLL

I really wasn't digging the way the light mounts I designed were holding to the top. It was stable when the fixture was in place, but when I had to remove the lid and the light, there was little stopping them from falling into the tank. My solution was to design these little red clamps to slide on from the back. They clip on real tight and hold the fixtures perfectly still so there's no chance they fall off when doing maintenance!

Also I just checked my water parameters. .25 ammonia, and 0 nitrite. I think things are looking good as of now! I'll give it another couple of days and see how things look and then go out and grab 6 Harlequin Rasboras!


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AJ34

Thank you for the suggestions!

I'm getting very impatient and then saw Tetra Safe Start+

Seems too good to be true, but if you guys think it's actually safe for the fish, I'll stop today and get some fish + a bottle of TSS+!

I've had good luck with Tetra Safestart! I have also used API Quickstart and had good luck with that as well.
 

PonzLL

Ugh I came home to ich on my neon tetras. Freaking PetSmart I shoulda known better lol. I'm not dealing with this in a new tank, I'm just gonna return the fish, let it die off in the tank, and then only buy fish from my reputable local store.

I really need to get a quarantine tank going
 

FishFor2018

Ugh I came home to ich on my neon tetras. Freaking PetSmart I shoulda known better lol. I'm not dealing with this in a new tank, I'm just gonna return the fish, let it die off in the tank, and then only buy fish from my reputable local store.

I really need to get a quarantine tank going
Omg PetSmart used to be the good store to lol. Try going to a PetCo if you can. I got a betta there and it was in VERY GOOD health. Crank the heat up to 80 or 81
 

PonzLL

I have a great fish store to use it's just not right on the way home from work so I need to plan my trips better. I'd try to cure it myself but I'm afraid of harming the shrimp in there especially since one is pregnant.
 

FishFor2018

Yeah I would just return them. They should give them medication. Just turn up the heat as high as you can and wait 4-5 days before getting new fish
 

PonzLL

That's exactly what I did today

I packed them all up in a 2 gallon pickle jar I keep around and filled it with tank water and took them back for store credit which I'm sure I'll use for plants or something. Could have gotten cash back but didn't see any reason

So now I have 4 ghost shrimp holding the fort for a week or so. I'm afraid to heat it up and stress them, and I'm afraid of losing my cycle without the fish

what do
 

FishFor2018

That's exactly what I did today

I packed them all up in a 2 gallon pickle jar I keep around and filled it with tank water and took them back for store credit which I'm sure I'll use for plants or something. Could have gotten cash back but didn't see any reason

So now I have 4 ghost shrimp holding the fort for a week or so. I'm afraid to heat it up and stress them, and I'm afraid of losing my cycle without the fish

what do
You could use the store credit to get ammonia and dose in a little to keep the cycle. The ghost shrimp can live in 82 but 80 should do the trick
 

PonzLL

I have a big 'ol bottle of hardware store ammonia from 2011 that I used to cycle all of my current tanks

My petsmart has decent plants so I'll grab those as they go on sale which they seem to do every couple weeks.

Also I will turn up the heater from 77 or so to 80 for a week or so. Thanks!
 

FishFor2018

I have a big 'ol bottle of hardware store ammonia from 2011 that I used to cycle all of my current tanks

My petsmart has decent plants so I'll grab those as they go on sale which they seem to do every couple weeks.

Also I will turn up the heater from 77 or so to 80 for a week or so. Thanks!
Sounds good! No problem!
 

PubliusVA

After the neons and cherry barbs I'd consider some bottom feeders, like black kuhlI loaches or one of the smaller cory species. Your tank is a bit warm for white cloud mountain minnows--they prefer water in the 60s or low 70s.
 

PonzLL

We have steady CO2 now! I didn't want to fool with yeast mixes anymore, so I ordered a 5lb bag of citric acid, a bubble counter, and a kit for the bottles. Working great so far! I'm doing about a bubble a second, we'll see how that works and make adjustments if needed. Really think the way this works is so cool


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Fishbeard

If you're worried about your cycle, just overfeed the tank a bit. The shrimp with either eat it or it will rot and release ammonia. The plants will help with keeping it cycled too!
 

PonzLL

Thank you, that's exactly what I'm doing. I came home today and added a big pinch of fish flakes after checking to see there's no ammonia. Not sure why I checked the ammonia since there shouldn't be any anyway lol
 

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