still cycling but want to start planning...

  • #1
HI Everyone,

I'm still cycling my 20 gallon tall tank, after a few mistakes i'm on my way, the right way, finally!

I've been searching around to see what others stock their 20 gal with and I know I'd like to upgrade to at least a 75 gallon in a year. So i'm looking for ideas on what fish to stock my tank with once my cycle is complete, with these things in consideration:

1. As I stated above I am planning to upgrade to at least a 75 gallon next year
2. I'm not a big fan of the tiny big schools if fish like the Neons, Danios and most Tetras.
3. My water is hard and PH tends to run high here (7.8 - 8.2)
4. The types of fish i'm more drawn towards are: Barbs, Angelfish and Gouramis (I realize my tank is too small to house these type now )

I welcome any and all ideas, I wish I could afford to upgrade my tank size now but that is not possible.

  • #2
You could do a single Angel in a 20 tall w/ 4-5 smaller corys(panda, peppered would be nice choices). That is what my 20 tall will be going to once I get my 55 set up.
  • #3
Hard water, high pH and 75 gallon... my only thought goes to African Lakes...
With the specifications you give, my suggestion is to make a cichlid aquarium with MalawI or Tanganyka fish (Neolamprologus, Pseudotropheus are hardy and some not too territorial).

With respect to the 20 g you are cycling now... with those waterparameters (hard, alcaline) and only 20 g you are seriously limited in your choice of fish... I hand the thread over to other, more experienced posters.
My suggestion is to get some pieces of bogwood and use as decoration/hardscape and cover the bottom of your tank with peat, it is nice as a substrate and healthy for fish. Let it mature, while your tank finishes cycling and take measurements of the acidity; if it comes down to 6,5 or 7 you can have your gouramis or barbs (not together, barbs are fin-nippers). Check hardness, but if the acidity goes down, hardness will go down too.

PS: I hope you are doing fishless cycling - your tankwater will experience heavy fluctuations in acidity even without interfering with bogwood - with added wood and peat you're bound to have a pH-crash!!
But it's the only way to lower pH and soften in a long term.

If you are cycling with fish, do not interfere with acidity or hardness till the cycling is completed - that is hard enough on the poor fellows, if we make it any harder they'll check in, trying.
  • #4
I would suggest something like a colony of tanganyika shell-dwellers. Maybe some MultI Cichlids. That high pH is perfect for these fish.
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Thank you for the suggestions so far, I will keep them in mind.

I AM doing a fishless cycle, I made the mistake of putting fish in too early but took them back to the store..phew

Any other suggestions on lowering the ph besides changing the subtrate? or should I wait til i'm 100% cycled?

I love the idea of a single Angelfish, they are my favorites besides sharks.
  • #6
I would wait until fully cycled before messing with lowering the pH. pH can fluctuate when cycling.

Also, welcome!
  • #7
If you are cycling fishless you can add peat and some pieces of bogwood right away.
It will tan your water and maybe crash your pH, but that is not critical as no fish are in the tank. Otherwise you'd have to wait another week or two, after cycling, while you wait for acidity to adjust - that might be straining too hard on your pacience lol. Peat and bogwood not only lowers, but also stabilizes acidity and softness; if pH crashes, with bogwood it will recover by itself.
Keep measuring nitrite, pH and hardness, twice a week.
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
If I were to go get a piece of bogwood to lower my PH, I was wondering if I take out some of the tanks water to change out some of the decor (i'm pretty short and with a 20 gallon tall, it gets very messy if I leave the water full ) but put back in the same water...will I interupt my cycle?

  • #9
No that will not be a problem. It doesn't have to be full to cycle it.
Let us know how the pH behaves, OK?
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
My LFS store was out of Bogwood, they are suppose to get more in on Friday. I'm curious though...I know if I can I would LOVE to put an Angel Fish in my tank but i'm unsure what a good PH would be for them. Also what other fish would work well with him? I'm definitly drawn more toward colorful fish, my favorite is the Rosy Barb but I know my tank can not support them.

Thanks Again.

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