Semi-new to fishkeeping. I'm planning a good tank, what do you think?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by orangeclumsy1, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. orangeclumsy1Valued MemberMember

    I've had some experience in the past with guppies, glo fish, and platies. I was younger and didn't really know how to take care of them properly so I sold them. Now I have a job at a local family owned and operated pet store and I'm looking into fish again. I get an employee discount of 20% in early January and so I'm waiting until then so I can get that discount, fish can be expensive! I'm thinking of a....

    20 gallon (tall)
    aquascaped (I need tips on this. I know I want live plants though. But not too crowded)

    And I want to start with...

    3 Cardinal tetras
    3 neon tetras
    3 cory catfish (which kind though?)
    My current betta, Steve
    5 ghost shrimp (Experimentally)

    And eventually I want
    4 cardinals
    4 neons
    5 or so corys
    My betta
    10 ghost shrimp
    And one mystery snail.

    I plan on having lots of plants, and when I have this many fish I'll also add a second filter.
    Any other fish stocking ideas? They MUST be able to stay with bettas though, because I'm keeping Steve in it no matter.
  2. JDcichlidloverWell Known MemberMember

    Well it sounds ok to me. I think 20 long would be a better idea.
    Panda cories and pygmy corys stay pretty small. They like to be in groups of at least 6. Preferably 8. The cardinals and neons like to be in groups of at least 6 too. Look into harliquin rasporas. They're pretty too. And look into cherry red shrimp instead of ghost shrimp. They breed like crazy so it won't matter if Steve eats a few or not lol.

  3. orangeclumsy1Valued MemberMember

    Thanks for the tips! I was thinking 3 of each to start, because since they're so similar in color they typically school together, am I right? And I'll look into the long instead. :) I'll also see what I can find on harlequin rasporas and cherry shrimp. :) How many shrimp should I get to start?

  4. QQQUUUUAADDDWell Known MemberMember

    That would be too crowded and overstocked. That's just too much for a 20 tall or long. A 20 gallon tank can't have more than a centerpiece and 2 schools of fish. I would take the cories out as they need a larger footprint than a 20 tall has. If you get a 20 long, that's a different story. You could try 1 school of tetras, rasboras, etc. and another school of cories. Maybe 6 pandas. As for the 20 tall, 1 school of tetras, another school of tetras, and Steve would be good. Just remember to watch out for the tetras nipping Steve.

    Also, make sure to have a backup plan. Sometimes things go horribly wrong with bettas in community tanks.

  5. YeoyWell Known MemberMember

    Since they like to be in schools, you'd be better off getting all your cardinals, then all your neons (or the other way around).

    Just be aware that bettas can sometimes not get along with their neighbours, so be prepared to.put him back by himself if he gets aggressive. Tetras and cories should be OK with him though :)

    There are some great threads in our aquascaping section, lots of inspiration there!
  6. JDcichlidloverWell Known MemberMember

    No. Usually if a fish isn't the same they won't school. And quad is right. Its a bit overstocked if u school them correctly. 20 long has more space for plants.
  7. ZiggiWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome :;hi2!
    I agree, 20 long would be better for the cory, and you'll definitely want at least 6. I had 3 (originally 5, 2 passed) and all they did was huddle in a corner. As soon as I added my replacement 2 they became much more comfortable and were back to exploring the tank. 3 will survive fine, but they wont be as active as they would/should be (from what I've seen anyways... I've seen a big difference from what was 5 to now 8 cory in my 40!).

    As for the aquascaping, I'd say think about what you want your centerpiece to be (rock, driftwood or particular plant) and build off from there. :) If you know that much, we can give ideas on here to help ya along! :D
  8. orangeclumsy1Valued MemberMember

    Thanks for all the tips! I've actually known many people to have neons and cardinals school together, but I just called the store I work at and we don't even carry cardinals! Looks like it'll be neons for me! And as for the harlequins, we don't have those either, so it looks like we won't be having those. Any other tetras that don't have long flashy fins? As for Steve, I'll add him last so hopefully there won't be any big conflicts. If there are, I'll move him back to his little kritter keeper. (Please don't kill me. He doesn't have a filter and it is only one gallon, but I change the water FREQUENTLY.) I would like the centerpiece to be a castle decoration I have (I can't find it right now, but I have one!). It looks similar to this one   . And I guess I'll be getting the long tank! I'm not starting out with that many fish, and as I add more fish I'll get a second filter as well as having lots of plants in the tank to aid in filtration. So right now we have...

    School of neons (6)
    School of corys (6) [Panda?]
    Cherry shrimp (5ish perhaps?)
    A Mystery snail (After a month or so)
    And a school of some other kind of tetra.

    I'd like the other tetras to be as different in appearance from the neons as possible, any ideas?

    EDIT: And after I add the shrimp, I have one of these things   to put Steve in until the cherry shrimp get to having babies, so we don't have to worry about Steve massacring them all before I can do anything about it! And if Steve ends up trying to kill everyone, maybe he can live in the box happily? (That grate is removable by the way.)
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012
  9. YeoyWell Known MemberMember

    You will want more than 5 shrimp, to make sure they breed and keep their own numbers up. Maybe 10 (or more) to start off your colony. They will always breed, but they will need lots of plants to hide in when your fish are out and about.

    Panda cories look great if you can get them!
  10. orangeclumsy1Valued MemberMember

    At my store, the cherry shrimp are $2.99 each! Will 5 not be enough to start? If not, I can maybe do 7... And if we don't carry Panda Cories, I can probably get them through special order. Come to think of it, I might even be able to get Harlequins that way too. How much do those two usually go for?
  11. JDcichlidloverWell Known MemberMember

    Like quad said. Its a bit much for two schooling fish. If you want neons and some other tetra id suggest going to a 29gal. Otherwise id drop either the neons or the tetra.

    I got pandas for 4.50 ea up here. The harliquins are 1.50ea
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2012
  12. orangeclumsy1Valued MemberMember

    Oh okay, I see. Well, I'd like to look into the other tetras, so what do you guys think? What kind of tetra is $2ish each and doesn't have flowy fins?
  13. QQQUUUUAADDDWell Known MemberMember

    Hmmm... I got glowlights from Petsmart for $1 each during their $1/fish sale.
  14. orangeclumsy1Valued MemberMember

    I'm buying all my live fish from a local family owned and operated pet shop, but thanks for the tip! In a month or so, I'll get 20% off as well.
  15. YeoyWell Known MemberMember

    Just browse what they have. See if they have a supplier list (or availability list) and then go home (and come on here) and research the fishes profile and compatiblity.

    P.S. I am sure that all our members are very jealous of the 20% you will get!
  16. orangeclumsy1Valued MemberMember

    Alright! I'm going in to work about an hour early tomorrow to look through the fish stuff, but I'll come back and let you know what I found as soon as I can (Probably on Sunday). :)

    Side question - How many betta pellets should my betta get every day (or every other day). I really haven't paid attention unfortunately.

    Oh! And is there any way for me to prevent my tank from exploding with snails? The plants will undoubtedly have snail eggs on them, and I don't want 5000 snails.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2012
  17. TerraWell Known MemberMember

    Have you consider a 29 gallon tank? They're not much more than a 20 gallon in price, and will let you stock the stuff you're wanting to. Having a 2nd filter will surely help your bacteria growth to handle the ammonia and nitrites, but it will not remove the nitrates. With more fish you get more nitrates. You can have 20 filters and it won't change that. If you don't mind doing bigger or more frequent water changes, then the nitrates won't be such a big deal.

    You also need to consider territory and swimming space. Fish don't wanna be crowded any more than people do, and just like people they start getting irritable with each other when they're crowded. Steve may decide he doesn't like having to watch 15+ other fish all the time in "his territory" and kill 10 of them overnight while you're sleeping.

    Snail populations control themselves.. overfeed your fish and you're feeding the snails. If the fish eat it all before it hits the bottom, the snails exist solely on algae which will limit them to algae growth dependant on however long your lights are on :)
  18. orangeclumsy1Valued MemberMember

    I'll definitely consider the 29! I'd love two separate schools of fish. Neons and harelquin rasboras. But I won't overstock the 20.If i only get the 20 I'll only get one school. And so as long as I don't overfeed my fish I won't get an explosion of snails?
  19. JDcichlidloverWell Known MemberMember

    You can also do a bleach dip to your plants. I think its 19-1 water to bleach. And you dip it for 30sec to a minute. That's suppose to kill the snails and eggs. And any diseases that might be on the plant.
  20. orangeclumsy1Valued MemberMember

    Good idea! What is everyone's opinion on this? Also, what kinds of plants do you all recommend? And what kinds of wood will be good in my tank? I've seen people who krazy glue moss to the wood, and my castle decoration has some green paint on it to represent moss, and I was thinking of gluing actual moss to it! And then surrounding the "centerpiece" of the castle, I could have some mossy pieces of wood.

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