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Subscribe20 gal. tall ideas
letsgoflyers
Small Fry
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Registered: 28-Jun-2010
Hey guys:

We currently have an abandoned 20 gal. tall tank residing in the hallway at my house. I'm thinking of reviving the thing if I can get rid of of all the algae, poop, and mold.

Anyone have any stocking ideas? I've had several tanks throughout my life and I've done all the usual (i.e. neon tetras, tiger barbs, corys, etc.) I'm looking to do something new and different.

There's a Petsmart right down the road from my house, so I'm not going to drive anywhere further. Unfortunately, they have a pretty limited options.

Any chance I could squeeze a couple of electric yellow labs in a 20 gallon? Anyone have any experience using sand as a substrate? Are there any other small cichlids that I should look out for? When I stopped by the other day I did not see any Kribs or Blue Rams.

Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks.
Post InfoPosted 29-Jun-2010 00:03Profile PM Edit Report 
Babelfish
 
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Small Fry with Ketchup
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female australia us-maryland
Have you checked around your area for aquarium or tropical fish clubs? I got my first kribs from a breeder auction, once you've got a breeding pair you don't need any more than that .


For sand. I used it in my 30 long, it chewed up two filter impellers even though I'd raised the intake, and had it covered. It also developed anerobic pockets of bacteria which is deadly to fish, even though I took precautions and had malaysian trumpet snails in there and worked my hands through it on each water change.
That said, other people have used sand no problem for years. You probably want to look for a larger grain rather than just play sand which is what I used.


Angel fish like tall tanks, a 20 is a tad small but you could go with a trio and some corys. You probably wont find healthy freshwater puffers at Pt$mrt, but you could do a species tank with them if you find a real LFS. They only work in species tanks since most every puffer will eat and harass any other fish.

20 is a good size to do planted tanks since you can easily do a DIY Co2, and have the proper amount of lighting without breaking the bank. A nicely planted tank is always fun.


^_^

Post InfoPosted 29-Jun-2010 01:56Profile Homepage AIM MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
letsgoflyers
Small Fry
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EditedEdited 29-Jun-2010 02:19
Thanks for the response. I'm thinking I may turn away from the sand. Angel fish are a little boring to me. If I could find a pair of Kribs or German Blue Rams that would be ideal. Can any other fish be added in addition to this pair?

I have tried to grow plants in the past with little success. Why was this - not enough light? Do I need to add minerals or "plant food" to the water? What do you mean by "DIY CO2"?

Lastly, the Petsmart has Black Convicts. Are these too big for a 20 gal?
Post InfoPosted 29-Jun-2010 02:17Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
keithgh
 
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letsgoflyers

Over the years the same question arises about sand. Some say yes and others no.

If you have any fish that will disturb the sand at all the filter inlet will pick it up and if you have a filtration system that uses a impeller the fine sand (which is an abrasive) any way naturally cuts the impeller to pieces.

The safest substrate is the 1-3mm river pebbles (washed well first)

The 20g tall if it does not have enough substrate surface area you might find it hard to make separate areas for them.

Cookie

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Post InfoPosted 29-Jun-2010 05:37Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
me is already in use
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EditedEdited 01-Jul-2010 09:36
Hi letsgoflyers,

I've had experience with sand. I used rinsed play sand in an unplanted 55 gallon tank. Pool filter sand is another cheap option. I haven't used it, but I've heard it requires less rinsing and has a more uniform size.
In the 55 gallon, I didn't have any problems with sand as far as impeller or anaerobic pocket issues. I had albino corydoras and a relatively thin layer of sand, between 1"-1.5". During water changes, you have to keep the gravel vac above the sand, close enough to aspirate the detritus but not the sand. I turned off the hang-on-back filter when changing water to avoid the large waterfall and to keep any disturbed sand from reaching the filter impeller. Having plants (whose roots oxygenate the substrate), MTS (malaysian trumpet snails which burrow through the sand), or digging fish minimizes the risk of anaerobic pockets. Though risk still exists, as in Babel's case. Anyway, I liked the sand aesthetically, and the corydoras seemed to enjoy combing it.

As far as I know, German Blue Rams are a peaceful fish. I'll let someone with experience comment on the Kribs, but according to most sources the personality of the Krib varies. Breeding pairs can become territorial and aggressive toward tankmates.

The amount of light, nutrients, and dissolved carbon dioxide needed depends on the plant. Some low maintenance plants, like the Java Fern, can grow under almost any condition.
In aquariums with medium to high light, carbon dioxide becomes a limiting resource to plant growth. DIY CO2 stands for Do-it-yourself carbon dioxide. It's an alternative to the more expensive, but much more precise method using pressurized tanks of CO2.

If you want to put plants in your tank, I'd definitely encourage it. Some cichlids don't get along with plants, but I believe Kribs and Blue Rams enjoy plants for territory and hiding, respectively. If you decide to have plants, there is a lot of information on the internet. Here is a good place to start (Frank's post emphasized): http://fishprofiles.com/forums/Planted_Aquaria/New_to_aquarium_plants__how_do/13454/

edit: why is my text smaller than everyone else's?
Post InfoPosted 01-Jul-2010 09:34Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
superlion
 
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For something different, see if your Petsmart carries Neolamprologus brichardi. Having a breeding colony of brichardi cichlids is a lot of fun. Start with a pair, and the older offspring help take care of younger ones. They're beautiful fish, and very interesting to watch.

><>
Post InfoPosted 01-Jul-2010 13:45Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
letsgoflyers
Small Fry
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Hey guys:

Thanks for the info. Here's an update:

I bought marine coral sand and have used that as a substrate. It was VERY cloudy for the first 3-4 days despite rinsing 6-7 times.

I also purchased a Black Molly and a Red Wag Platy. They're hanging in there, but don't look so hot. Both show signs similar to what I've seen refereed to as the "Shimmys." Most of the time they're treading at the top of the water surface. They both have been eating, though.

What can I do to fix this? Below are the water parameters that I have measured. Keep in mind that the water testing strips can be a little difficult to read, but its what I thought was most appropriate.

KH = 100 ppm = 5.6 dKH
pH = 7.8
NO2 = 0 ppm
NO3 = 0 ppm
Temp = 79 F

A few observations...

Is it possible that the hardness can be so low with the marine coral sand even after adding aquarium salt? Furthermore, the high pH and low hardness seem a little contradictory. The low nitrate and nitrite levels also imply that ammonia isn't being converted yet.

Any thoughts?
Post InfoPosted 05-Jul-2010 19:02Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
me is already in use
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Gasping at the water surface also implies the tank isn't cycled yet. Maybe see if you can get an ammonia reading from the pet store?

If it is uncycled, I'd remove the fish and do a fishless cycle.
Post InfoPosted 07-Jul-2010 06:40Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
letsgoflyers
Small Fry
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I'll get an ammonia test kit and see what the levels are. The tank has been running for a little more than a week with the fish in it 6 days. For now, I'll plan to do a weekly water change and hold out.

Should I try to raise the hardness?
Post InfoPosted 08-Jul-2010 01:13Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
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Hi,
I would do nothing chemically to raise the hardness.
The marine sand which is Calcium Carbonate, will raise
it for you, over time. If you want, you could also add
any of the popular carbonate rocks such as limestone,
dolomite, or even coral, and that would shorten the time
that it takes. Over time, the pH will climb to around 8
and the hardness with turn the water into "liquid rock."

Remember, you just put 20 gallons of freshwater into the
tank that came out of the tap considerably lower in pH and
GH. It won't happen overnight but it will happen. Also,
if you change large volumes of water once in a while,
instead of small 10-20% changes of water, a similiar
circumstance will occur with each change, a dip in pH and
GH would happen.

Frank


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Post InfoPosted 17-Jul-2010 14:34Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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