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20g tank help

Lefky

AC Members
Hello! I have many questions about my 1 month old 20g freshwater tank. Currently, I have 1 angelfish, 1 hatchetfish, 4 neon tetras, and 4 cory catfish. I have recently started to get into plants which I recently purchased a small Amazon Swords with my gravel substrate. I give it root tabs but after I get some more plants, I am going to move to liquid fertilizers and maybe add CO2. What gravel/floating plants does everyone recommend? What fertilizer if any? In a couple months, when I get back from a long vacation, I am planning on removing the Hatchet and Angelfish. I want to add 2 more Corys, 4 more Tetras and a Paradise Fish (preferably female for their temperment). The tank water is: PH~7.6, Temperature- 78-80F, 0 nitrates and nitrites. If tetras dont get along with paradise fish what others can I put in a 20g that get along with corys as well? I have a filter attached to the back of the tank creating a small waterfall. I recently added airstones as its increasing the temperature and too much movement at the top, as I read Paradise Fish like slow moving water. What food do you recommend for Paradise Fish as I currently have flakes, dried bloodworms and sinking pellets for my corys? Do I need a lid on the tank if I add the 3 species of fish? I am going to soon add a light that runs 24/7 with sunrise and sunset (pictures below). I would love to hear everyones thoughts and opinions. Thank you.
Ps. The pictures of the 3 plants Below are what I was thinking of adding (hornwort, moss balls and one more)

5FBEC1DA-8C36-4F42-9562-B378684A727A.jpeg

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92628E9A-A091-45FC-9B1E-CB18F648047D.jpeg
 

FreshyFresh

Global Moderator
Staff member
Welcome! That's a nice looking setup, but looks to be a very small footprint. What are the dimensions of the tank?

How did you establish a nitrogen cycle in this tank? What are your readings in PPM for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?
 

Lefky

AC Members
Welcome! That's a nice looking setup, but looks to be a very small footprint. What are the dimensions of the tank?

How did you establish a nitrogen cycle in this tank? What are your readings in PPM for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?
The dimensions are 24inL 12inW and 16inH
I use test strips so they dont give me those readings. After I use them all I will switch to an upgraded test kit.
 

FreshyFresh

Global Moderator
Staff member
It's a standard 20g high. Sorry. I couldn't tell from the pic.

I'd be more concerned with proper water parameters first, then consider the stocking you want. I wouldn't keep an angle fish in a 20 high. Not enough room for a fish that will grow saucer sized. Hatchets do better in groups and you need a tight, full hood on the tank to keep them in.

I like corys, but you need a lot of them to be in a comfortable group and this doesn't look like you have ideal substrate for corys.

Keeping plants is a whole'nother level. Not knowing all the specs from your lighting, I'd start with rhizome plants like anubia, java fern and java moss. You don't need to add additional CO2 and lots of ferts unless you have lighting and plants that need that.
 

Lefky

AC Members
It's a standard 20g high. Sorry. I couldn't tell from the pic.

I'd be more concerned with proper water parameters first, then consider the stocking you want. I wouldn't keep an angle fish in a 20 high. Not enough room for a fish that will grow saucer sized. Hatchets do better in groups and you need a tight, full hood on the tank to keep them in.

I like corys, but you need a lot of them to be in a comfortable group and this doesn't look like you have ideal substrate for corys.

Keeping plants is a whole'nother level. Not knowing all the specs from your lighting, I'd start with rhizome plants like anubia, java fern and java moss. You don't need to add additional CO2 and lots of ferts unless you have lighting and plants that need that.
I was thinking of donating the hatchet and angelfish. Do you think I could add sand with the gravel? If so how would I clean it since I have a gravel vacuum?
 

FreshyFresh

Global Moderator
Staff member
You could add another inch or two of a finer grained substrate over the top of the thin layer of chunkier stuff you have in there. I like to use very fine grained natural gravel, or mixes of dark/light colors.
 

Lefky

AC Members
You could add another inch or two of a finer grained substrate over the top of the thin layer of chunkier stuff you have in there. I like to use very fine grained natural gravel, or mixes of dark/light colors.
How would I clean it? I think the pump I use to clean it will suck it up.
 

ustabefast

AC Members
You have to be more cautious using the vac with sand. Mostly just hover it just above the substrate rather than deep vaccuming.

If you add sand and it's not the same color, it may look odd. It will also gradually sink down to the bottom with mostly just the gravel left on the upper substrate after a while.

You do need deeper substrate, especially for a Sword plant with it's aggressive root system. Two inches is a good goal for a serious planted tank.
Also, if your sword is happy, it will eventually dominate the tank.
 

Lefky

AC Members
You have to be more cautious using the vac with sand. Mostly just hover it just above the substrate rather than deep vaccuming.

If you add sand and it's not the same color, it may look odd. It will also gradually sink down to the bottom with mostly just the gravel left on the upper substrate after a while.

You do need deeper substrate, especially for a Sword plant with it's aggressive root system. Two inches is a good goal for a serious planted tank.
Also, if your sword is happy, it will eventually dominate the tank.
I piled gravel around the plant also adding a root tab in a couple days ago. I think the leaves are starting to brown as well. Hope it doesnt die on me, unless the leaves are just browning because of its new environment
 

fishorama

AC Members
Any plant may need some time to adjust to your tank, light, ferts, water changes, etc. So don't panic just yet.

Are any of those plants live in your pic? They don't look like it to my eyes. Please put up pics of your tank. I don't appreciate the big ads either. Sorry, we want to help...but without added BS.
 
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