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Old 09-25-2011, 02:57 PM   #1 
iversotl
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20 gal Set Up

Hi all! This is my first post here.

I'm very new to fish, and currently have a betta and a mystery snail in a 2.5 gal tank. My betta pays zero attention to the snail. I think he would do well with other fish as long as they don't go after his fins. I did have another betta and when he would see the other one he would flare up and puff himself up. Seeing the other betta really got him into building a bubble nest.

After finding out that I should really be keeping the betta in a larger tank I began looking into purchasing a ten gallon. Then a friend of mine offered to give me his 20 something gallon tank that he no longer uses.

From what I have gathered so far I'm looking into an AquaClear 50 gal filter, and EcoComplete substrate.

I woud like to add a decent amount plants, but not have it be overwhelmingly plants. (Any suggestions of easy to care for plants would be nice.)

As far as stocking how does this sound?

- 1 male betta
- 1 mystery snail
- 6 to 8 harlequin rabsora
- 6 to 8 panda corys
- ?? ghost shrimp ??

Would that be an adequate amount of fish for the tank?

Thank you all to any answered questions!
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:46 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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Welcome to the forum.....

Is this a 20gal long or regular, what kind of light do you have for the planted tank......

Some males will do great in a 20gal with a filter and some don't fair so well...so keep that 2.5gal tank...it perfect for the Betta anyway-provided that the needed water changes are made....

When stocking a larger tank with a long fin male Betta-as you already know-it is usually the male that end up with tattered fins from fin nippers and space/filtration....

I would pick 1 species of school-like rabsora 8/10 to 12/15 if its a 20gal long and 6/8 pandas or more if its a 20gal long....you can stock different in a long...as many ghost shrimp as you want and snails........ once the tank is mature and plants growing well-I would add a school of Oto's 4/5 or so....or if its a long....add a BN pleco if you plan on driftwood too...since plecos needs some wood to rasp on for digestion.....

Good low-mod light plants-naja grass, water wisteria, vals, sags, crypts, moss, ferns, rotala, ludwigia, swords, anubias....floating plants like water lettuce, frogbit are good...the list is endless....plants are dependent on proper lights/color temp-you already have most of the nutrients from the livestock/plants byproducts, fish food and plant specific substrate......you want daylight 6500k 20w light-2 tubes would be best but 1 tube will work too.....

What method do you plan for the nitrogen cycle and do you have a test kit-you can do a fish-in cycle without one provided that you are willing and able to make the needed water changes and with the added live plants-will make it much easier with a finh-in cycle without a test kit....

Look forward to some pic once you get it all set up.....
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Old 09-25-2011, 05:11 PM   #3 
iversotl
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Thank you for the reply!

I don't know the exact size, and by a picture I am guessing it is anywhere from a 20 high to a 29 gal.... which is a huge difference. It doesn't appear to be a 20 long... too tall for that. But he "doesn't remember". To be honest it was a short lived hobby of his because he didn't know the proper way to keep a fish. He set it up and dumped them in.... I am going to assume that it is a 20 so that way I don't get myself set on getting more fish than I can handle.

Long story short, I killed off one betta because I didn't properly care for him in his .5 bowl. I got this new one who I have slowly switched from the .5 gallon bowl to the 2.5 gallon tank. He has a heater and some java moss balls and a snail friend. He really liked the hornwort plant but that plant was too messy for my taste. Anyway, I know he enjoys his tank but it does get rather small for him at times. He "paces" up and down the side. If the big tank doesn't work out for him he will still have his current home awaiting his return, but I would really like to give this a try for him.

For the mid to upper level schooling fish I heard it is better to get more to reduce the fin nipping. Would ten be a good maximum for the rabsoras? And do you know of a good place to purchase these? I can't seem to find them on the petco or petsmart websites. I'll have to check my LPS but I really hate that place.

Are the pandas a better choice over say albino corys?

Do the otos and cory's coexist well, both being more lower level fish?

I did not really want to get a pleco. I don't really know why.. haha.

As far as lighting goes, I am unsure of what type of lights it has. I would prefer the daylight look to the artificial, but I would work with whatever is cheaper. I will do some more looking into the plants.

As far as substrate goes, I was looking into the EcoComplete. It seems to have high marks from it's users. It comes in 20lb bags, would that be enough to cover the bottom of a 20gal tank?

I plan to do a fishless cycle. We are really not in any sort of hurry, as the betta isn't in urgent need of a new home. And I don't get the tank for another two months anyway. But it's really nice to have all of the information I need at the get go.
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Old 09-25-2011, 05:14 PM   #4 
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Another question as well!

Most places I've read say to introduce the "aggressive" species last. Which would mean having to add all the other tank mates before adding my current betta. However I would like to try him first to make sure that he can handle the filter and the sudden change in water flowing. Is it okay to add him first? Or is it still best to wait for him to be last?
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Old 09-25-2011, 05:24 PM   #5 
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You can add him in first if you like to, just make sure to acclimate him. When you're ready to introduce new fish into the tank, pull him out and put him back into his old tank, try to change the decor of the tank so when you're done adding all the other fish into the tank, he'll think that he's being added into a new tank. . .

Remember one species per week, and it's also recommended to QT any fish/live plants to get from any pet stores.
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Old 09-25-2011, 05:29 PM   #6 
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That sounds like a good idea.

I definitely learned my lesson of not QT plants when I bought him the hornwort. It was carrying parasites and the poor guy had his face plastered with them. It makes my skin crawl...

Which would be the best to start with when the tank is all cycled?
Rabsoras?
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:50 AM   #7 
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If you are going to do fishless...you need a full test kit on hand for- ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH and I would hold off on live plants until after the fishless cycle .......much easier to understand the numbers if this will be your first time cycling, however, not sure how the Ecocomplete will do without plants....
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:11 AM   #8 
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Rasboras would be good to add first and then your bottom dwellers, rasboras are calm fish. I would suggest to add a few fish at a time though and to not over do your cycle. Maybe 5 at a time. Rasboras are pretty fish, especially when they are happy and their stripe glows orange. You got lots of great advice here!
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:35 PM   #9 
iversotl
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The only rasbsoras that I could find were at petsmart and they were scissortail rasboras. Is that still a decent type to add? If not is there a website I can order the harlequin rasboras online safely?

Which type of cycling do members here follow? I've read that the fishless cycling is "safer" in the sense that you don't dump fish into the water and hope they make it through. However, I've never met anyone who has done it, so I don't really know.

And thank you everyone! I'm so grateful for your help!
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Old 09-26-2011, 04:41 PM   #10 
Oldfishlady
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You can safely establish the nitrogen cycle with the Betta-provided that you are willing and able to make the needed water changes and if you have a liquid reagent test kit...it makes it easier and takes the guess work out of it and if you have live plants this make it even safer, however, live plants can make it harder to tell when the cycle is complete unless you know what to look for or other signs-since actively growing plants can use the ammonia before conversion and you may not see the nitrate reading that you use to tell you the cycling stage......the cycle is still happening....silent cycle.....

By doing the fish-less cycle with ammonia-you will need a liquid reagent test kit on hand and by doing a fishless cycle you can stock the tank with all the fish once completed.....

For hobbyist that are doing their first cycle-it is easier to do it without any live plants and add them later once the nitrogen cycle has established....especially if doing the fish-less method....

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 09-26-2011 at 04:44 PM.
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