Setting Up A 20 Long. Africans?

Staan
  • #1
Wondering how many and what species could I have in a 20 long I'd like quite a few if possible I have the flat rock and some artificial plants along with African cichlid sand from Carib sea. Planning on using AquaClear30 for filtration with a bubble wall the top is a slide and was curious if I could have an open top? Maybe with some duckweed or frogbit? I currently have a 55 for south Americans but have been told not to mix which makes sense. Any advice would be great!
 
Aquaphobia
  • #2
I know for sure you could have the smaller shell dwellers in there!
 
Staan
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
How many apistogramas could I have? And where could I get them our stores just say asst. African cichlid I had rams a few years ago but both ended up dying after just a few months I learned after they needed soft water
 
NavigatorBlack
  • #5
We are going into total confusion here... Apistogramma and rams are South American Cichlids. They need soft water.

East African Cichlids need hard water, which is where the OP is going with specialized sand.
A 20 long is way too small for the great majority of East Africans. When you are researching species (do not trust the store that sold you that sand for a 20 long!) stay away from mbuna or Lake MalawI Cichlids. The tank is half the size needed.
Unfortunately, when hobbyists say "Africans", they mean fish from that one lake, Malawi. You can't do that successfully in a 20 long.
You can follow the excellent advice of Aquaphobia, and get some Lake Tanganyika shell dwellers. The tank might hold four.
Or, you could get one pair of Neolamprologus (brichardis are good).

Those big colourful mbuna tanks we see start at 55 gallons. Those are larger, rough and rowdy fish. Mbuna like crowding, but there has to be a basic starting space.
 
Staan
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
It was from Amazon that I bought the sand and I have a spare tank from moving a snake. And before you jump and criticize another one of my posts it's sealed. And I got on here for recommendations on species for a 20 long. I am also aware that those are South American like I said I had rams. I asked about apistogramas because the ONLY pet stores here have those SA cichlids and all the African tank says assorted. I've read some jewel pair can do well in there or maybe the lake Tanganyika ones like I said I was asking for recommendations on species and if any that I could have quite a few that's it I did not specify so please don't jump this is the second post that you haven't advised just criticized .
Thanks
 
NavigatorBlack
  • #7
I had a perfectly fine 20 long that had held snakes - I think I know the model. No criticism there. I used mine for years.
I was responding to someone's suggestion you get SA Cichlids after you'd said you had hard water sand.

If you want species for a 20 long, avoid assorted Africans.
Jewels will fight in there, and I would go smaller. Kribs would be great, but notas good with hard water. I think for that tank size you would need Tanganyikan Cichlids. They are beautiful, small and from very hard water. Julidichromis, Neolamprologus - most of the ones around 2-3 inches would be fine. And, in decent stores, they are available if you are patient. It might take some looking, but it'd pay off.
 
Staan
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Thank you for the advice and unfortunately we only have 3 pet stores two are PetSmart's and are only stocked with the everyday fish and are usually Ill from my experience. The other is a Petco whose entire fish wall had ich spots and they were selling them 75% off after seeing that I haven't gone back lol
 
NavigatorBlack
  • #9
If I can make a suggestion - list what you can get. Petco and Petsmart are very very narrow in what they will sell - they take no risks. If you get curious and want to try things that are not on their super short stocklists, it gets more expensive. It's unfortunate.
 
gwtterry
  • #10
I was going to say shell dwellers as well. They are awesome!
 
Aquaphobia
  • #11
Have you got an aquarium club in your area? Quite often the members keep more exotic species and trade them amongst themselves
 
lol
  • #12
I've got quite a few Neolamprologus multifasciatus in my 20 gallon long -- maybe even too many! But it works. A bit of conflict between fish (they move forward like an inch quickly, as if trying to get the other to back down, but no physical contact).

With that being said, though, I don't think there's any real problem, and if there is, it's because I have too many fish in there lol. I would definitely recommend a tank just for these Multies if you can find them.
 
Staan
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
I've got the expenses under control if I can't find something I get it on Amazon unless I need it fast
 
Staan
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
Have you got an aquarium club in your area? Quite often the members keep more exotic species and trade them amongst themselves
Not quite sure I live in the hills
 
Staan
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
I've got quite a few Neolamprologus multifasciatus in my 20 gallon long -- maybe even too many! But it works. A bit of conflict between fish (they move forward like an inch quickly, as if trying to get the other to back down, but no physical contact).

With that being said, though, I don't think there's any real problem, and if there is, it's because I have too many fish in there lol. I would definitely recommend a tank just for these Multies if you can find them.
Thank you for the advice how many do you have and how is your tank set up?
 
Staan
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
Could anyone refer me to a stocking list possibly? Or switch the thread to that category? I'm not sure how
 
lol
  • #17
Thank you for the advice how many do you have and how is your tank set up?
Can't get a picture right now, so I'll describe it:

I recommend using a sponge filter; they're easy to maintain, won't suck up fry/small fish, and the only noise comes from an air pump that I use for my 75 gallon anyway. Make sure you have more shells than fish, so that fish can have a choice of shells, and if the shells are placed in a certain way, one fish might try to defend multiple shells, so it's important that each fish gets a shell.

I have a large rock separating 1/3 of the tank. A large rock will provide an actual sight barrier, which I think is necessary for males to not constantly worry about competition and they won't have to see eachother all the time.

There are open spaces between the large rock and the side glass so that it can act as a passageway without any fish claiming a shell there, or else the fish would have to swim over the rock to get from one side to another, and at first they seemed too skittish to go more than a few inches from the substrate, so I figured it might be a problem for them to go right over the rock.

Lastly, directly in the middle of the tank there's an area of sand with no shells, to help divide the tank up (I read that bare sand acts as a barrier) and on the right side (the large rock is on the left) there's a large group of shells.

Keep in mind that Multies will rearrange the sand in a configuration that they like, so rocks/decor must be resting directly on the bottom glass, and also don't bother setting up the sand in a precise way, because they will dig and turn it into mounds of sand on one area and a pit down to the glass on the next.

I don't have an aquarium light. Instead, I have a yellowish light that is mounted on the end of the desk. It makes the tank look much better than a white/blue aquarium light would, like the one I have on my 75g. It makes it look like a warm, sunny beach theme. Quite nice to look at, IMO.

Sorry for long comment. lol.
 
Staan
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
Can't get a picture right now, so I'll describe it:

I recommend using a sponge filter; they're easy to maintain, won't suck up fry/small fish, and the only noise comes from an air pump that I use for my 75 gallon anyway. Make sure you have more shells than fish, so that fish can have a choice of shells, and if the shells are placed in a certain way, one fish might try to defend multiple shells, so it's important that each fish gets a shell.

I have a large rock separating 1/3 of the tank. A large rock will provide an actual sight barrier, which I think is necessary for males to not constantly worry about competition and they won't have to see eachother all the time.

There are open spaces between the large rock and the side glass so that it can act as a passageway without any fish claiming a shell there, or else the fish would have to swim over the rock to get from one side to another, and at first they seemed too skittish to go more than a few inches from the substrate, so I figured it might be a problem for them to go right over the rock.

Lastly, directly in the middle of the tank there's an area of sand with no shells, to help divide the tank up (I read that bare sand acts as a barrier) and on the right side (the large rock is on the left) there's a large group of shells.

Keep in mind that Multies will rearrange the sand in a configuration that they like, so rocks/decor must be resting directly on the bottom glass, and also don't bother setting up the sand in a precise way, because they will dig and turn it into mounds of sand on one area and a pit down to the glass on the next.

I don't have an aquarium light. Instead, I have a yellowish light that is mounted on the end of the desk. It makes the tank look much better than a white/blue aquarium light would, like the one I have on my 75g. It makes it look like a warm, sunny beach theme. Quite nice to look at, IMO.

Sorry for long comment. lol.
It's all good thanks for the advice!! My 40 breeder for my snake comes in a month and I have 2 extra sponge filters sitting around and a bunch of shells from the beach in Florida when I was younger. Where I work we have tons of slate or lace rock which do you think would be better? And I also have Carib sea African cichlid sand is that alright? I don't plan on having plants so the digging is fine with me my kid loves to watch my SA cichlid do their landscaping lol
 
Aquaphobia
  • #19
For those types of cichlids you might want to consider the lace rock since it will help to increase the minerals in the water even more. Slate is more inert.
 
Staan
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
Alright sounds good I'll post a pic on here once I finally get it cycled and stocked
 
lol
  • #21
Yup, I have the CaribSea African Cichlid sand on both my tanks, and it seems to get the job done. It'll definitely be good for Multies.
 
Staan
  • Thread Starter
  • #22
Will that and lace rock be too much or perfect?
 
Aquaphobia
  • #23
I don't think it will be too much. The rock will probably only add to the minerals if the pH drops.
 
Staan
  • Thread Starter
  • #24
So my bolivians are breeding and I was wondering if I could put them in the 20 long with that sand?
 

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