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Old 10-14-2010, 06:45 AM   #1 
Caliban
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Smile Let's Play Pretend! 20 Gallon?

Let's play a group game of pretend! If you were to set up a betta centered 20 gallon tank, what would you do? Would you choose a regular 20 gallon or a 20 gallon long? What companions would you put in? Would you put live plants in? What sort of filter and heat setup would you use? I was having a happy little day dream about cycling a live plant tank without fish and then filling it. (Never done it and do not have immediate plans to do it.) So consider this both an educational resource and a fun game of imagine if. Maybe someone already has this sort of setup and would like to share?
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Old 10-14-2010, 07:50 AM   #2 
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This is exactly what I need, since I've decided to upgrade from a 15g to a 20 *fingers crossed* Plants: YEAH!!! Even though they've gone wrong in the past I would love to try again.
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Old 10-14-2010, 08:16 AM   #3 
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Size: I'd definitely go for long ... just because. :)
Companions: If I were doing a sorority it could be a species only (since I love doing them) OR I could divide the fishies into maybe eight female bettas and four cories, as long as both parties are happy. If it was just betta girls I would have at least a dozen, maybe more, maybe less. If they were VT girls I would have more, but I was very close to buying some of those sad looking half giant ladies at Petsmart. If I did go for the half giants I would have at least six since they're so big. But I could also add in my current girlies (I have five of them now ... hmmm) and hope for the best. Thing is is that Lulu, Deja, and Reinette are quite aggressive, and the two new ladies are still juvies. I *might* try putting them all together. It would certainly save me a lot more room in the long run (eg moar males!) but they are so used to living alone. It's tough ... then again I'm happy with the boys I have. Dilemma!!

Decor: Black or natural gravel with a thin bottom layer of sand or small grain gravel for the plants. I love the look of a dark tank since most of my current girls are light coloured (two whites, a green/red, and two unknown) and I have these beautiful glass jars and bottles I could use for caves. I really don't like the look of resin decor from the stores, so I'd probably incorporate some bogwood or roots and get some marimo. Hmmm things are shaping up!

Filter/Heater: I just bought a new heater last week, the name escapes me but it seems to be quite well made. And I would get my old aquaclear filter running again, but then I could also get a new one.

Anyway that's what I'd do ... now to DO it!
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Old 10-14-2010, 12:06 PM   #4 
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To make this even MORE entertaining. How about pictures of dream fish that would go in? Come on, I know you all have a fish you oggle but can't afford: cough up the pics!
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Old 10-14-2010, 05:10 PM   #5 
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Haha already have my 20 gallon long :) Divided for 4 boys. Love it! But I would love to plant it with just one male in the future!
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Old 10-14-2010, 07:32 PM   #6 
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I've been really longing for one lately. I'd get a long tank. It'd definitely be a planted sorority! I really want to try out a more natural, planted tank...using driftwood and the like.

I think it would be really cool to get black, white, and red females...and then get some cherry and ghost shrimp on the bottom.

Or maybe I'd get some Corys?
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Old 10-15-2010, 10:31 AM   #7 
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*Ahem*

I would have a 20 gallon long planted aquarium with natural gravel, driftwood, and a sorority of 5 females. Along with them I would have some neons maybe, not sure on that one. A couple of ghost and cherry shrimp, and a mystery snail. My DREAM. And a possibilty (;
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Old 10-15-2010, 01:29 PM   #8 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CodeRed View Post
My DREAM. And a possibilty (;
I think that's the best part about playing pretend with a 20 gallon... it's not impossible or unrealistic!
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Old 10-15-2010, 02:23 PM   #9 
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Definitely 20 long--the composition for planting is way better, and you don't need a very strong light at all to grow plants well because of its shallower depth. A basic fluorescent light fixture with other indirect fluorescent light should be plenty. I would use a canister filter, because they tend to be more customizable and higher quality--you can also control the direction and flow of the outlet easily.

As far as stocking is concerned, I'd pick a lovely HMPK in a bright, contrasting pattern. Oh, since we're dreaming, let's say... someone like him:


And then I'd use bright green plants like water wisteria and lloydiella to make his colors really pop, along with dark cryptocoryne wendtii, red nesea, and dwarf lilies for contrast. I would use a dark planting substrate like EcoComplete or Flourite black sand if I wanted a lot of bottom dwellers. Catfish love to dig around in sand.

Additional livestock would be a school of celestial pearl danios, because they're tiny and lovely:


And a school of kuhli loaches. Because watching them interact with each other and their environment is very entertaining:


A mix of pygmy cories and panda cories would be great for making a small tank like a 20G look bigger, though, and not everyone is into the snake-like quality of kuhlis. Since pygmies and pandas are different species, get enough for each to have their own school to swim with.
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Old 10-17-2010, 04:15 AM   #10 
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If I set up a 20 gallon, it looks like it may be to rehome a mal-treated goldfish, not with a betta- I know they're not compatible at all. Any websites on goldfish care are thoroughly welcome :)

P.S. Adastra the HMPK is drewl worthy.

Last edited by Caliban; 10-17-2010 at 04:17 AM.
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