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post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
We already have a 20 gallon aquarium complete with accessories, so we decided to put it up and get some use out of it. The only fish I've ever had before are goldfish, and I know that you are not supposed to mix those with other fish. So, what kind of fish do you think we should get for our aquarium?
post #2 of 13
How much work do you want to put into it?

I assume you are thinking of tropical instead of goldfish, which, IMO, is probably better as a 20 gallon would only hold two goldfish.

Good, hardy community fish that I reccomend are the smaller tetras like neons, black skirts, bleeding hearts, head and tail lights,Glass or ghost catfish, white clouds, most all gouramis, otocinclus algea eaters (not chinese algea eaters as they can get a tad aggressive), corydoras catfish.

Just remember that the tetras are schooling and you'd really want at least 6 of any given species, with gouramis you can get away with two, otocinclus do best in trios as do the glass cats.

That should give you a good variety to pick and choose from.

I would avoid danios unless you want to keep a single species tank as they are very active and enjoy harrassing other fish.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks! I don't want to put a ton of work into it...smaller fish would be best. I'll take your suggestions with me to the store so I can see what they look like.
post #4 of 13
Very little work....I would recommend a couple bunches of anacharis for live plants and various sizes of realistic plastic plants.

Tall plants at the back, short plants at the front with plenty of free space in the middle.
post #5 of 13
Rule of thumb - a gallon of water per inch of fish. So if you have 20 gallons, you could have 20 one-inch fish (not including tail).

Anyway, we (dad and I) raised fancy guppies - had some really nice ones. We also had zebras, neons, swordtails, and angelfish.

If I got an aquarium again, that's what I'd put in it.

Tropical fish and goldfish can't be in the same tank - goldfish are best at 65-68 degree temps and the tropicals have to be about 10 degrees higher.
post #6 of 13
I spent quite awhile with tropical but I honestly could not keep them alive for too long. But goldfish I have had so much luck with! There are so many of them. Just remember the 1 inch of fish per gallon rule and you should be fine. I have a 30 gallon and I have 7 goldfish (one was huge! like 7 inches long but he just died after a very long life) and one algae eater which I fould out later is considered a tropical and should be with the goldfish but he is alive and healthy with them for a year now.

So anyways, tetras are a good little tropical fish for beginners I think. Plus they are kinda cool looking and I beleive there are lot of different varities.
post #7 of 13
I had goldfish for about 20 years, I love the fancy ones, but I was lousy at keeping them alive . I now have a bunch of tetras- easy, and the varieties out there are more than I ever could have imagined! I would still rather have fancy goldfish, but the tetras are nice. I have them with 2 regular cory cats, and a long finned albino cory cat, and a whiptail pleco (stays small). It's a nice group! And so much cleaner and easier than the goldfish! They also seem to bounce back quicker if they do get sick .
post #8 of 13
I love tropical fish. I used to be pretty obsessed back when I wasn't allowed furry animals and I had four small tanks. Now I only have one 10 gallon and one 29.

A group of 5 tetras, barbs (like cherry barbs), or white cloud minnows looks nice. For the bottom, you could get a trio of cories. They're like little aquatic puppies. Mine are always playing and tumbling around with each other. I've had trouble keeping Dwarf Gouramis for more than two months. I don't know what it is. Female bettas are a good choice too. They come in many colors and are just as social with people as male bettas but get along better with each other and with other fish. You could do a male betta if you're careful about the other fish, they're more often harassed by fin-nippers and some will harass other fish back.

And I love African Dwarf Frogs! So, so cute!

Do not get any algae eaters except Otocinclus (which are a bit fragile for a newb) because everything else will get too big and overcrowd your tank. Pet stores often tell you to buy a baby Common Pleco, but they grow to 15+ inches. Contrary to popular belief, fish aren't really stunted by the size of the aquarium.

I'm a huge fan of aquatic plants. Get something easy to keep alive like Java fern, Anubias, and any of the Cryptocoryne species. They do well in normal flourescent light with little extra fertilization. A lot of the other plants sold for aquariums need fancy expensive light systems to do well and often die after a few months. So the person goes back to buy more and the store makes more money.
post #9 of 13
Originally Posted by Naturestee View Post

Do not get any algae eaters except Otocinclus (which are a bit fragile for a newb) because everything else will get too big and overcrowd your tank. Pet stores often tell you to buy a baby Common Pleco, but they grow to 15+ inches. Contrary to popular belief, fish aren't really stunted by the size of the aquarium.
Actually, there are many kinds of Plecos that don't get very big at all. They are more expensive, but are also more colorfull and very pleasing to the eye. Many don't get any bigger than 5 or six inches. This site lists a few of the more common ones:
(click on the pics to see full adult sizes and to get more info)

There are hundreds of different kinds to chose from. These little buggers have awesome personalities and are so much fun to own. We have a Tiger Pleco "Mustard" who we love very very much!
post #10 of 13
Oh I know. I have a rubberlip pleco in my heavily planted 29 that will only be about 5 inches. But a 5 inch large-bodied fish is huge in a 20 gallon tank, especially if there's not much plants to help process nutrients. Plecos can be super messy and from my experience Siamese Algae Eaters are vicious.
post #11 of 13
Not sure what kind of algae eater we had, but they never got more then about 3 inches long. We found them better at keeping the tank clean then the catfish
post #12 of 13
I dont go by the one inch rule ... I was taught and it works in my make your own aquaruim... I have a nine gallon with one betta ( I have had both sexes males to me are easier) , three preacox rainbows ( lovely fish with personality) one pitbull pleco ( he is fully grown at 2.5 inches ) ... my other tank is a 3.5 gallon right now has three white clouds and has also housed a betta with them( clouds are both tropical and cold water )

Easy fish
Bettas ( one male to a tank)
tetras ( some gorgeous ones out there)( best in groups of five or more)
Cory cats aka corduras
Guppies , mollys , sordtails( live beareers so babies are going to happen)
white clouds( not to bright but they are kinda pretty)
Shrimp ( i use the cheap ghost s )
small plecos ( common small ones clown, bristlenose/bushynose, pitbull, rupperlip)
post #13 of 13
Our zebra fish layed eggs in the aquarium and we had baby zebras
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