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Old 03-29-2012, 08:35 PM   #1 
Daveman
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Question 20 Gallon Community Tank help

I'm really new to keeping fish and I want to make sure I can give them all the best life possible so I was wondering if you guys could answer a few questions. Right now I have my one betta in a 5G heated tank with weekly water changes. I was going to get a 20G tank from a friend and wanted to start a community tank. I wanted to make a heavily planted tank with my betta, 8 neon tetras, and 6 panda corys. I've been reading a lot and know I have to cycle the tank first, after that though I'm not sure how to properly take care of them all since I've never had a tank like this. Do I still need to make water changes or just siphon the sand? How do I properly take care of them all? Sorry it's so long but I just want to make sure I have the time to take care of them all properly before I get them

Thanks a lot :D
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:00 PM   #2 
thekoimaiden
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Hey Dave! You sound like your betta has a great home.

Even in a cycled tank you will need to make weekly water changes. We're putting stuff (food) into the closed system, so we'll need to take stuff out (waste and water). Plants help, but they don't eliminate the need for water changes. So once you get it cycled you're going to be looking at one 30%-40% water change weekly. If you want sand (best for your cories) then you will still need to suck the poop off of it during your water changes.

Proper care for any fish is mostly weekly water changes, good food, good water, and proper setup. I would actually go with cardinal tetra over neons because cardinals can handle the higher temps that betta require while neons actually do best around 75F. With either neons or cardinals you are going to want subdued current and floating plants. This will help them feel much more comfortable and be much more brilliant in color. I'm going to warn you, some people have had trouble with neons nipping fins. Ember tetra are another possibility you can look into that others have had success with. Alternatively, you could leave the betta in the 5 gal (where he would certainly still be very happy) and populate the 20 gal with more neons/cardinals and cories. Without the betta you could up the neon school to 10 or 11 and the cory school to 7 or 8. Both of these fish will look more impressive in larger schools. I should also warn you that neons and cardinals are soft water fish and will live longer in soft water. In hard water, they do have shortened life spans. Cories can tolerate harder water than neons and cardinals can.

Hope I answered all your questions. Feel free to ask more! We're here to help!
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:21 AM   #3 
MaisyDawgThirteen
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Koimaiden has you covered. :)
Cardinals just look like bigger Neons. lol
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:38 AM   #4 
Daveman
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Thanks a lot for all of the help! Hopefully I can get the tank soon and start to put this all together. So if I have my beta the cardinal tetras and corys, how many tetras and corys can I put in the tank? Or if I put 6 of each could I have other fish or would that be to much? Thanks again!
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:10 PM   #5 
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I would try to get around 10 tetra and about 7 or 8 cories. The reason I say get more tetra is to be sure to keep any aggression within the group. Six individuals is a bare minimum. And generally just pushing the min isn't going to be the greatest for the fish. I'm guessing this is why people have trouble with neons and cardinals; they keep them in groups of 6 or under.
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:20 PM   #6 
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Plus, the bigger the school, the better they look. :) So many people go crazy for variety and try to cram a few of each different tetra into a tank, but they really miss out on the beauty of a big school of just one kind. :)
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:03 PM   #7 
Daveman
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OK thanks a lot. Sorry for all the questions but i was at the fish store and I saw that there was different sizes of tetras and corys. Would I be able to get the large ones? Also they didn't have any panda corys so would I be able to get any type? Again thanks a lot
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:45 PM   #8 
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By different sizes do you mean different species? The larger tetra species probably aren't a good idea. Every individual in a species will grow to be about the same size; it doesn't matter what size you buy them.

For cories, you can chose from a wide variety of species as they all have the same general needs. I think there are over a hundred species in the Corydoras genus. But keep in mind not all of those are in pet shops. Bronze cories are the most common.
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Old 03-31-2012, 02:03 AM   #9 
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As long as all the cories are the same species, you'll be fine. :)
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Old 03-31-2012, 07:30 AM   #10 
MaisyDawgThirteen
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Yes. Some of the different coloured cories are still the same species. Ex. bronze cories and albino cories are both corydoras aenus (I think I spelled that right :P). ;D
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