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|Starter with a 20 gallon tank. Help please?|
2' x 1' x 15"
Aqueon HOB filter
I keep it as close to 76F because that's what I've been told to do by the instructions on the heater.
Currently I have:
3 Black Phantom Tetra
2 Red Wag Platys
2 Angelfish (very young)
1 Common Pleco
1 Red Claw Crab
I've pretty much gradually collected these fish over the past 2 months, keeping compatibility charts in mind, and have been caring for them to the best of my knowledge.
So far, nothing seems to have gone wrong. But I've been through several discussions here that lead me to believe things will start going wrong (too small of tank for adult fish, ph levels, and other things) and I may lose control of my tank.
I would love any advice whether it's about how to care for my tank, my fish, better fish ideas, anything! Upgrading size isn't an option and I'm on a somewhat tight budget. Thanks in advance.
|Posted 23-Feb-2010 04:09|
My initial idea is the butterfly and the pleco need to go. If you got them at a chain LFS then you should be able to return them, if from a smaller store you may have to settle with store credit. The pleco will put out far too much waste and the butterfly is just not a good addition to a tank like yours. I understand you are trying to branch out but you need to do that slowly. Keep the tetras and platies and the angels will be a bit cramped at full size in there but if in a year or so you could try to trade or sell them and get something different.
For the platies, make sure you have at least 2 females if you have any males in the tank (you can sex them very easily if you do a quick google or youtube search).
For the tetras I recommend getting at least 3 more to have a decent school and if you really want the angels then they should be fine. keep in mind the platies will breed but the angels and tetras will probably make short work of the offspring, if they dont then be wary or thinning out the stock by selling them or giving them away when necessary.
But all in all the pleco is a MUST GO. and the butterfly should go too. If you want a bottom feeder there are loaches and dwarf plecos that would fit the tank so much better. common plecos grow WAY TOO LARGE to fit in a 20 gallon, I've seen them in different tanks and ponds to where they are over a foot long. Call te LFS and see if they will let you trade the pleco and butterfly for the other tetras and maybe some food, plants, decorations if it isnt a chain store.
Other than that good luck!
\\\\\\\"an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure\\\\\\\"
|Posted 23-Feb-2010 19:00|
Unfortunately all I have is chain stores (Petco and Petsmart). The two local shops we had went out of business.
I was referred to a bristlenose pleco instead because they stay small I guess?
As far as returning the fish, I've done it before with a cichlid. It grew too big so I took it to them. They had me pay $3 for it to be placed in a "no-kill shelter".
|Posted 23-Feb-2010 20:41|
Maybe you could trade the Pleco and Butterfly for a Bristle nose or find someone in your area with a tank to take care of them.
|Posted 23-Feb-2010 22:30|
If you have your receipt, take them back to the chain you purchased them from. If you tell them about the sells person giving you bad advice, they will probably let you return them. If not, ask for a manager and raise a stink. Try the same suggestions below for the plec and butterflyfish, if you can't get satisfaction.
You can bump up the numbers for the tetras and platys. Just remember, if you want platy babies, you'll have to have more of the plain girlies in the tank than the colorful males. If your platy numbers get out of control, you can:
1) Try to get store credit --> most unlikely with chainstores
2) Private sale --> you can check with local fish/aquarium clubs or ebay/aquabid or neighborhood/community centers
3) Give them away --> Nursing homes, neighborhood/community centers, churches, neighbors, friends, and family
If you want bottom feeders to help clean up the uneaten food in the tank substrate, I would suggest something small like cories. Stay away from catfish with long whiskers. Long whiskers mean it's a predator and it's going to get HUGE.
I am also suggesting you get a freshwater test kit, as soon as possible. Avoid the test strips, they can be misleading and inaccurate.
Hope this helps. I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but others will most likely chime in.
|Posted 23-Feb-2010 23:53|
I'll do what I can about the pleco and the butterflyfish.
I'm not really looking to breed my platys. Is it unavoidable?
is that what you're referring to as a test kit?
|Posted 24-Feb-2010 03:29|
Small Fry with Ketchup
Fairly positive kelly was thinking of that one.
It's the kit I'd suggest buying.
It may seem a little costlier than just buying one or two kits now, but usually something comes up with tanks and you need most of those tests. It's always better to have the kit on hand ready to test the water rather than running to the store to buy kits at 2am or trusting in the people at the shop to give you a 'free' water analysis.
|Posted 24-Feb-2010 06:59|
The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian.
|Posted 25-Feb-2010 02:42|
Small Fry with Ketchup
To underscore what shini said about female livebearers, I had three females that I moved from a mixed M/FM tank to be by themselves. Months later I fed the tank a frozen food, few days later I had babies in the tank.
A tank with larger fish and few hiding places may take care of extra fish naturally, a lot of hiding places mean the fry can hide. If they cant hide they usually get eaten.
|Posted 25-Feb-2010 07:42|
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