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What can I put in a 20 Gallon?

This is a discussion on What can I put in a 20 Gallon? within the FreshWater Beginner Information/Questions forums, part of the FreshWater Topics category;
Ok everybody. I have had a 5 Gallon tank for a while now and I want to get a 20 ...

  1. #1
    Teenie Weenie Fish
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    Post What can I put in a 20 Gallon?

    Ok everybody. I have had a 5 Gallon tank for a while now and I want to get a 20 Gallon. The problem is I don't know exactly what to put in it and what equipement I need. I would like to know what type of filter I need and what fish can I put in. I really need a basic setup plan. I have kept small tanks, but not a larger one like a 20 Gal. Any fish expert out there that can help?. Thanks. Suggestions are recieved with arms wide open.

  2. #2
    Teenie Weenie Fish
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    Post Re: What can I put in a 20 Gallon?

    Equiptment:  Filter, heater, hood with some kind of lighting...

    For A filter I would go with an aqua clear, probably an Aquaclear 200.  Get an Ebo Jager heater, 100 watt for a 20 gallon.  

  3. #3
    Super Fish colesea's Avatar
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    Post Re: What can I put in a 20 Gallon?

    Hmmm...well, you'll have to go what works for you, but here are some options:

    Filter:
    Whisper 30
    Marineland 170 or 130 (depending on the fish you get)
    AquaClear 200

    Heaters:
    Hagen Tronic 100watt submersible
    Visi-Therm 100watt submersible

    Air Pumps:
    Tetratec 80
    Profile 1500

    Gravel:
    approximately 25lbs any astectic color you want

    Decor:
    Anything you want

    Fish:
    what type of fish interest you?

    If you think 20 gallons is big...oh boy, you've got to think again. Some fish, like cichlids and fast growers, definately need more space than 20 gallons, but you could probably get away with 12 smaller tropical community fish (tetras, sm barbs, mollies/swordtails/platys etc).

    Currently my 20 gallon high is set up thus:
    Filter: Marineland Penguine 330
    Extra Media: 2 AquaClear 150 amrid pillows
    Heater: None (temp stable 72oF)
    Gravel:  40lbs Estee walnut colored gravel
    Air Pump: TetraTec 80 (sitting on floor)
    Airline and check valve
    Air stone: Aqua Garden 12" bubble bar
    Decor: An assortmant of nice green plastic plants by AG and PenPlex, a PenPlex replica tree stump, and some quartz stones I picked up from the beach and scrubbed and bleached and scrubbed...
    Fish:
    1 calico fantail goldfish (1/2 inch)
    1 black telescope goldfish (1/2 inch)
    1 red/white fantail goldfish (1/2 inch)
    1 -Corydoras sterbai- (1 inch)
    1 -Horabagrus braychysoma- (1 1/2 inch)
    Water Changes: 6 gallons twice a week, gravel vac siphon

    The two catfish are pretty new additions, not even a week yet, but they're doing fine and eating. I hope to get a pair more of each this week to give them some friends, since they're schooling species that need playmates (that and I'm getting tired of watching them pace the glass all the time, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth...).

    Good luck with your tank
    ~~Colesea
    The above, of course, is strictly opinion. If you don't have your own, I'll gladly give you mine.

  4. #4
    Teenie Weenie Fish
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    Post Re: What can I put in a 20 Gallon?

    I've been looking into starting a new tank thats between 10-20 gallons. I've been looking around and most pet stores supply really good starter kits that include gravel filter etc. My friend has a 12 gallon has a Trionic heater. She abosolutly loves it as she says you basically "Install it, and forget about it" it doesn't require much care and it tracks the temperature in the tank and heats it according to how low or high the temperature is. So you never have to worry about your tank's temp. It is quite costly (in the mid-to high $20.00) but its totally worth it. As for fish I heard otos are great for eating algae, but only add them to an established tank. Good luck!
    *Katie     here is a link to see the Trionic Heater http://www.petco.com/choicelisting.asp?tab=3&subtab=1&dept_id=1 110&family_id=4055

  5. #5
    Teenie Weenie Fish
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    Post Re: What can I put in a 20 Gallon?

    Ok, thanks. I appreciate it. I do not believe 20 Gallon is large since there are 100+ tanks. It is just big for a person that has had a 5 Gallon. I live in Central America(tropical climate) so do I need a 100 watt heater? I forgot to mention. I would like a planted tank. A pair of catfish are a must. I would not want goldfish in it, though. I was thinking about Gouramis and maybe some small shark. Is it true that male gourami's will fight, since they are related to bettas. Keep the info coming, that is my name. Thanks everybody.

  6. #6
    Super Fish colesea's Avatar
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    Post Re: What can I put in a 20 Gallon?

    If you live in tropical climes, you probably won't need a heater too much. If you're uncertain, set the tank up, put a thermometer in it, and record the temperature two or three times a day, around the same times every day, for a week, so you can make a graph of the change in temp over the course of the day. If your temps vary more than 2oF either way in a 24hr period, you'll probably want to add a heater to stabilize the temperatures. Great temperature flucuations in short periods of time lead to ich.

    As far as plants go, I know nothing. There is a plant formum on this site you could probably find answers in.

    Gourmis can and will fight, espeically the larger species that can grow 6" to 8". Somebody once told me the trick is to have two females and a male, but in a small tank like a 20, the gourmis are going to take over the entire top and not allow other fish to feed, that's how territorial they are.

    Small sharks grow into big sharks.  Irridescent sharks are really catfish that can reach about 22" in length, and are schoolers. Bala (tricolor) sharks are actually minnows that can also reach about 24" and are very active schoolers not reccomened for narrow tanks. Rainbow and Red-tailed black sharks don't grow much more than 8" but are nasty territorial. Black sharks also are another huge growing fish, although I've not seen them be as nasty as a rainbow or red-tailed black.
    ~~Colesea
    The above, of course, is strictly opinion. If you don't have your own, I'll gladly give you mine.

  7. #7
    Teenie Weenie Fish
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    Post Re: What can I put in a 20 Gallon?

    Ok, so big fish not a good idea. What about small fish? I currently have:
    1 Gallon: 1 male Betta
    3 Gallon: 2 Rosy barbs, 1 Albino Cory
    5 Gallon: UG filter, 4 guppies(2 feeder, 2 cobra), 3 cardinal tetras, 2 albino cory.

    Do you think a 20 gallon community of small fish would do well? If so, what can I put in it? Maybe some dwarf gouramis?  I would just love to have a pair of clown loaches, but they don't sell them down here. What do you recommed?  

  8. #8
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    Post Re: What can I put in a 20 Gallon?

    You've gotten some great advice so far, just wanted to add my 2 cents.

    Make sure you read up on the nitrogen cycle and cycling your tank. I'm a big proponent of fishless cycle, I think it's a great way to save your first fish from a great deal off stress. For some great articles on starter tanks, and one half-way decent article on fishless, check out the articles section of this site.

    Josh

  9. #9
    Teenie Weenie Fish
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    Post Re: What can I put in a 20 Gallon?

    Thank you "colesea". I am checking out filter prices. They seem to be much more expensive down here. Any ideas of fish that I can put in it?

  10. #10
    Super Fish colesea's Avatar
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    Post Re: What can I put in a 20 Gallon?

    If you combine all the tanks you currently have, you've got a great community right there for twenty gallons. I would just watch and make sure the barbs don't nip the betta's fins, but rosey's aren't known to be fin nippers. Add some more cardnials, and maybe even add some neos. Small tetras are also great community fish and one of my favorites. Danios too, but they can be fin nippers sometimes if not kept in a large enough school. Gold barbs are yellow and nice.

    Filter prices are a pain in the arse, I know.
    ~~Colesea
    The above, of course, is strictly opinion. If you don't have your own, I'll gladly give you mine.

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