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My First Aquascape - My Idea, Open to Suggestions! :)

Discussion in 'Beginner's Corner' started by mysho22, Nov 26, 2017.

  1. mysho22

    mysho22 New Member

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    Nov 26, 2017
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    Location:
    California
    Hello!
    I'm mysho22. I'm from California, and am just getting interested in aquascapes! I picked up a tank this weekend, and though I had a small aquarium when I was young, it has been years for me. I discovered aquascaping when looking for new fish owner guides, and have become incredibly interested in aquascaping upon finding it!

    My current plan is to start to create my own aquascape over my holiday break in which I'll be off from my classes (I'm still a college student!). I will create my scape, let the environment take hold and cycle for a few weeks, then add some fish! I've acquired a 20 gallon tank along with a filter, heater, light, pump, and cleaning supplies as well as three pieces of fake driftwood that came with the kit for the fishes amusement. It also came with two fake plants, which I'm hoping to get rid of very soon when I cultivate the live ones.

    I'm hoping to create a scape with a large mountain about a third from the right side that will slope to even substrate in the even middle, or slightly before. Then I'm planning on creating a boundary about 5/8 of the way from the right side of the tank where I will have a bit of a "river" running through of stones. On the other side of this 2 inch wide "river" I will have another boundary, so that both boundaries prevent the growth of plant material in the "river" area. On the far left corner my idea is to create a bamboo forest with enough space in between bamboo sticks that the fish I will have can swim between. My largest fake driftwood piece (A cave-like piece with an open mouth and bottom) will be settled at the top of the mountain on the right side, along with a larger leafed plant or two. My middle sized fake driftwood piece (a hollow tube that looks like wood with small holes in it that small fish can swim through) will be featured near the bamboo. My smallest fake driftwood piece (A small wood/rock looking piece that is only an inch or two tall by three or four inches wide) will be at the rear end of the "river". I will hopefully plant a small leafed moss or similar plant in the substrate on either side of the "river" so it will eventually grow to cover the entire bottom area of the substrate minus the "river". The substrate will also feature a downhill slope from the rear of the tank to the foreground of the tank, especially as the placement will be on a storage case that stands about as tall as I am (If this doesn't work and with the opinions of family and friends, I may instead choose to put it on a different storage case I have that stands only about two feet tall).

    In terms of the fish I'll eventually be homing, I'm planning on adding 2 gouramis, 2 small anglerfish, one small bottomfeeder to keep the algae down, and several schooling fish like guppies. I'm very open to suggestions on this! I have kept gouramis and anglefish in the past and loves them, and love the vibrant colors of guppies but could be convinced to choose a different schooling fish based on what would 1. Look good with the tank 2. Be easy to take care of and 3. Would work best with the other fish and plants in the tank. From my research these three types seem to get along well, but again I am open to any help. I'm also looking for suggestions on a good bottom feeder.

    I have done a good amount of research already, but am planning on continuing the research stage for quite some time, until I am ready to start my scape. I'm open to any and all recommendations, and am not tied to any single idea. I'm sure my final idea will change before my scape is created, and I'm sure my scape in reality will end up different than my idea anyway. Thanks for reading, and for inviting me into your community!
     
  2. Culprit3

    Culprit3 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Apr 21, 2017
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    Location:
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    Sounds good! Your scape will definitely change as materials are so different from what you think. Angelfish will not work in a tank this size. Bottom feeders will not eat algea. For the gouramis what type? To have to gouramis you would have to get either pearls or honey gouramis. A good stocking for a clean up crew in a 20 gallon is 5 or 6 amano shrimp, 3 or 4 otocinclus, and, if you don't have predatory fish a red cherry shrimp colony. Bottom feeders are generally corydoras. Just know you will have to have sand for them, and they need a school of 6+. They will not eat algea, and will eat the leftover food, but you still have to feed them a specialized carnivorous diet such as shrimp pellets.

    Have you looked into low tech/high tech setups? This will change the type of plants you get. Can you post some pictures of what you have right now? E.g. tank, filter, driftwood, light, ect.
     
  3. mysho22

    mysho22 New Member

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    Thanks for the reply!

    From what I've been reading, I was under the impression that anglefish would be fine in a tank this size. Several sources even recommended it! Can you give me more information on this?

    Gouramis I'm unsure of. I was looking into dwarf gouramis as they seem to get along well with other fish and I love the coloring. I'm open to pearl gouramis upon looking them up, though. Why do you specifically recommend these two? Is it ease of care, temperament, or aesthetics?

    Bottom feeder wise, I was thinking along the lines of a plecos of some kind that would eat the algae, or possibly some sort of catfish if it would go well with the other fish. I'm open to the idea of corydoras, but am looking to purchase all or at least most of my fish from my LFS and I'm not sure if they keep these.

    Finally, I've read a lot about keeping shrimp in the last few days (as my sudden interest in aquascaping has become time consuming!) and I've found more sites recommend not keeping them with fish, or being a bit more experienced to keep them with fish. I know amano shrimp would be fine breeding wise, but I'm also worried about overbreeding if I would add another type of shrimp to my tank such as the red cherries.

    My intention is to start pretty low tech, as I'm a college student and 1. can't afford a ton of tech and 2. can't afford the maintenance of a ton of tech. My hope for this tank is for it to be low to medium maintenance. I can do 25% water changes once a month, twice a day feeding, and some trimming (not sure about how often, once a month at least) but I'm trying to keep the overall tank pretty easy to take care of. I don't have a ton of free time during the week and even some weekends, so anything super high maintenance would not be beneficial for me or my little indoor ecosystem.

    I can post pictures later! Thank you for your help!
     
  4. Culprit3

    Culprit3 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Location:
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    Angelfish get about 6 inches long and about 8 tall. A 20 gallon long is only 12 inches tall. Put 2 inches of substrate all over... thats just two inches for it to go up and down. A 29 or 40 is the minimum. http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/pterophyllum-scalare/

    Dwarf gouramis are related to bettas. Unless you get a pair, which is pretty hard to do as female dwarf gouramis are pretty rare, they will fight and kill each other. Pearl and honey gouramis can live with each other. If you get one of those types I would get a trio.

    Common Plecos get up to 2 feet long and bigger. They actually don't eat much algea, and produce tons of waste. A Bristle nose pleco would fit, but its more that you want the pleco, not for algea cleanup. Corydoras need to be kept in groups of 6+ and need sand. They will just eat leftover food, but you will still have to feed them. THey will not eat algea. Most LFS's will special order fish for you completely free. Also, most LFS carry corydoras, they are very common.

    Red cherry shrimp will breed to capacity. Meaning they will breed until there is just enough food for all of them. You can also sell or give them away. Amano shrimp will not breed in freshwater. If you got gouramis they would likely eat the red cherry shrimp, so unless you got a different stocking I would not do them.
     
  5. mysho22

    mysho22 New Member

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    Thanks for the info!

    I'll do more fish research on exactly what will go in there then. I like the pearl gouramis, so I'll look into getting a few when its time for adding fish. Thanks for the suggestion!
     
    Culprit3 likes this.
  6. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Location:
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    mysho

    It looks like you have been doing your research with Dr Google. An Aquascaping Forum is far safer as every member either has or has had Aquarium tanks. The experience ranges from beginners to 50+ years.
    To start of with what are the measurements of your tank? A little warning "Kit" setups are sold for a price not quality equipment.
    First thing is select your inhabitants and create an Aquascape to suit. This will help you in your selection of fish.
    http://www.aqadvisor.com/

    This is an excellent site for getting information about shrimp/fish.
    https://www.theshrimpfarm.com/articles/types-of-fish.php

    This is a Mock Tank I would highly recommend it for planning your Aquascape.
    [​IMG]

    Keith:cat::cat:
     

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