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Stocking 20gallon Tank
January 21, 2011
4:58 pm
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wildmustng87
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January 21, 2011
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Hi Everyone,

I am familiar with the hobby but new to doing it all on my own (mom always had the fish tanks, now I am on my own). I need some help deciding what kind of fish to stock my tank with.

It is a 20gallon tall tank, gravel bottom (natural, no pink/blue/purple gravel for me lol). I bought it as a full kit, the lights are LED and (I have been told) I can only grow low light plants. I currently have 4 live plants and piece of driftwood in it.

Right now I have a Peppermint Pleco, a Delta-fin Betta, and 3 Cardinal Tetras. I already plan on gettting at least 2 or 3 more tetras.

Now for the questions;

1. I have been reading around and it seems that Bettas are not the fish I thought them to be. Perhaps a bit aggressive, can be problematic? We always had a Betta in our tanks and I don't remember having any problems, but that was a long time ago so maybe I am wrong. My local fish store will take it back, so even if the advice is not to have him at all, I can return him.

2. My mom always had Kribensis, and I loved seeing them herd their fry around the tank and I think they are beautiful fish. My local store has (as I was told by an employee there) a species very similar to the common Krib, pelvicachromis taeniatus that are much more colorful and the guy said they are more docile than common kribs and that I could breed them in my 20gal community tank. Is this correct? I would love to have a pair but not if it will restrict me too much on what I can have in there with them.

3. Rams: I LOVE Rams.. German Blues, Golds, etc. I think they are gorgeous! I am told that I cannot have them if I want to have the P. taenitatus in the tank. Is this true? If so, which would you suggest I get, the rams or the kribs? Do rams care for their fry as well, if I manage to breed? Can I get more than just one pair (for example, one male and 2 females, or a bunch of males/bunch of females, etc.) if I don't want to breed them?

4. Are these fish compatible with the Betta? If I need to take him back to the store, I need to do so in the next day or two so a fast response would be greatly appreciated.

5. Other suggestions for fish to go with the kribs/rams (whichever I choose)? I am very much into brightly colored fish.

Your help is GREATLY appreciated, thank you!!

~On a side note - I am aware that if I breed I will have to find homes for the babies. There are at least 4 local fish stores that take trade-ins and donations so I will have no problem in that aspect. Also, these are plans for the future. I will be getting a couple cardinal tetras and then letting the tank cycle for a few more weeks before getting any new fish. I also know that the kribs/rams will not breed overnight and I will have to be patient. Again, thank you for any advice /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

January 21, 2011
9:49 pm
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Senor Bastardo
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Great that you´ve decided to get into the hobby!

Now for the less fun part, it seems you´re on your way to seriously overstock you tank. If the peppermint pleco is what i think it is (Parancistrus nudiventris ) it will get way to big for your tank.

As for keeping bettas and tetras together, this is really a hit or miss. While it is true that male Bettas can be aggressive it usually is only towards other male bettas. The tetras however might start to nip his fins, this is more likely to happen since you only have three of them and they are a schooling species that you should try to keep at least six together.

Pelvicachromis taeniatus can be more docile than the pulcher, but that is until they breed and breed they will. Then you got some angry parents on your hand.

You could maybe fit a pair of rams in there if you don´t overfeed and keep up the water quality (read change water change water).

If I were you I would trade in the pleco and the Betta and go for the rams and add 8 to 10 more cardinal tetras since they look great in a group. You could probably add some more fish if they are small and not to many. It really is too easy to get greedy for species when you start out with the hobby I know i did, but you can always get more tanks /wink.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=";)" border="0" alt="wink.gif" />

January 22, 2011
2:06 am
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wildmustng87
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January 21, 2011
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QUOTE (Senor Bastardo @ Jan 21 2011, 01:32 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Great that you´ve decided to get into the hobby!

Now for the less fun part, it seems you´re on your way to seriously overstock you tank. If the peppermint pleco is what i think it is (Parancistrus nudiventris ) it will get way to big for your tank.

As for keeping bettas and tetras together, this is really a hit or miss. While it is true that male Bettas can be aggressive it usually is only towards other male bettas. The tetras however might start to nip his fins, this is more likely to happen since you only have three of them and they are a schooling species that you should try to keep at least six together.

Pelvicachromis taeniatus can be more docile than the pulcher, but that is until they breed and breed they will. Then you got some angry parents on your hand.

You could maybe fit a pair of rams in there if you don´t overfeed and keep up the water quality (read change water change water).

If I were you I would trade in the pleco and the Betta and go for the rams and add 8 to 10 more cardinal tetras since they look great in a group. You could probably add some more fish if they are small and not to many. It really is too easy to get greedy for species when you start out with the hobby I know i did, but you can always get more tanks /wink.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=";)" border="0" alt="wink.gif" />

Thanks for all the info! The betta and tetras seem ok, the betta chases the tetras a little if they get too close and they seem to stay away. I will definately get 7 or 8 more, I was planning to get 3 more at least, I just wasn't sure if that would be too much of them if I got more! I will have to think about giving up my betta, he really is gorgeous and I feel guilty sending him back to a little tiny bowl now that he's had free range of my tank lol..

I do think I will try the rams instead of the kribs. As far as getting a pair.. should I buy 4 or so and once a pair has bonded, remove the others? Or if I decide not to breed, can I get a few of the same sex? I don't want to overstock my tank but I really do love the rams lol so I kinda want to know what you think the max is on them?

I just called about trading in the pleco.. I have had him less than 24 hours and they will only give me half of what I paid for him, so I think I will keep him until he is too big and worry about it then.. If they had given me accurate information to start with, I could have gotten one of the cheaper plecos that they said would get too big anyways and done the same. Ah well, lesson learned. I will definately research more BEFORE I buy anything from now on!

I also have another question.. I was also thinking of getting a few shrimp. Red Cherries or crystals maybe? My boyfriend really likes them and I would love to put something in the tank for him. Would they be ok with the rams? I can get Red Cherry shrimp from a local hobby breeder for just $1 so if it is a risky thing, I don't mind too much if they become fish food, I just won't get any more if they get eaten.

Thanks!

January 22, 2011
3:34 pm
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Senor Bastardo
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If you buy enough shrimp they should be fine as long as there are plenty of spaces to hide, the thing is you might see them so much because they´ll be hiding a lot. I have crystal black shrimp in a tank together with Fundulopanchax sjoestedti (I threw them in as food) and they are now everwhere I just don´t see them until I clean the filter or trim the plants.

If go for the rams get either one or two pairs, they´re much more interesting when you have both sexes.

Oh,and good to hear that you will research before you buy any more fish. Sadly you can´t always trust your dealer, but there are a lot of people that you can ask online who have no interest in selling you stuff.

January 23, 2011
8:46 am
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Bluedave
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June 28, 2008
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Welcome to SF,

research is the name of this game. I would advise you to ask here or read up on a particular fish before you buy it to ensure it is compatible with your tank.

Think Senor Bastardo has answered your questions. I would definitely go for the rams, one of my favourite fish.

Shrimp will be fine if you have a lot of cover for them, if not they will become fish food pretty quickly, although the fish you have chosen will probably not grow big enough to eat a mature shrimp (will still snap uo the little 'uns though).

January 23, 2011
2:46 pm
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wildmustng87
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January 21, 2011
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Thank you both for all the info!

I got 15 shrimp, and they all hide under a piece of wood in the tank, I have yet to see one of them out lol. I will be putting more plants and wood in the today though so hopefully they will come out more. When I first put them in, the Betta was looking at them (it was actually pretty cute, cocking his head sideways lol) and he chased one or two but lost interest pretty fast.

I now have ten Cardinal tetras, they take a little while getting into their school in the morning but I'm guessing it's because the 7 are new; they seem to separate into my old little school of 3 and the school of 7 from my LFS for a bit until they decide to all swim together.

I'll be reading up a LOT on Rams before I get them. I do plan on getting a small flowerpot for them, and I am saving my money to buy a test kit as well so I don't have to drive all the way to my LFS to test my water. On that note~ about how often/how much should I do the water changes for the Rams?

Thanks!

January 24, 2011
6:44 pm
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Eyrie
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March 21, 2008
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A general rule of thumb for water changes would be 20-25% at least once a week, but depending on stocking and test results the tank may need larger changes 2-3 times per week.

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