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A Beginner's 20g Long Aquarium (Platys + Pygmy Corys)

Love the tank, hardscape looks great. Are the plants just growing in that?
Yep! So far the plants have been more-or-less zero-maintainance. I guess it was harder to grow things before LED lighting, but personally I don't see why anyone wouldn't use live plants.

Hi there! I figured out how to work the piece of driftwood into to the landscape in a way I liked, and added a black background, although I might paint it in the future. I'm really loving the way the aquascape is going together.

Current aquascaping plans:
-Some small driftwood sticks to attach to the main one to look like roots
-River stones for the back right corner, including food cave
-More plants, including:
-Tall plant for back (to the right of driftwood)
-Generally more small plants (I'd like something with little leaves to be a little shrub in the middle area, as well as something to fill in the left side
-Floaters with long roots (but not a ton)
-I'd like a couple of bamboo shoots scattered in the right half of the tank

I'm so happy my otos are doing well! One is still skinnier than the other, and I'm not 100% sure they "get" the repashy gel (When I put it in with the lights on, they hang around where the other fish are eating but don't actually put their mouth on it), but regardless they're both getting much rounder than they were when I bought them, so they're eating something! Today they've been swimming side-by-side a lot, which is fun to watch.

The Bug Bites came yesterday. @AdoraBelle Dearheart, for the cories do you usually float it in the water column or place it on the bottom? I'm realizing that if I crush the pieces small enough for them to eat whole, they also become small enough to get lost in the gravel where the tiny cories have a hard time getting them. I'm thinking about finding something flat to put on the substrate and use as a "plate" for them.

Unfortunately, I lost another cory the other day :sad:. I found it badly injured and decided to put it out of its misery. The only explanation I can think of is that I accidentally hurt it moving stuff around. There's only 3 of them now, and I'm a little bit concerned that with so few they won't feel confident to go eat the food alongside the other fish. I would like to go get more when I can, but I'm mildly broke at the moment so it might be a few weeks.
Hmm okay. I grabbed a few granules of the bug bites and put them on a nice flat section of the driftwood without crushing them up. That seems to actually work better for the shrimp and cories, since the whole granules are too big for the platies and danios to run away with, but the bottom-feeders can take little bites out of them. I can already see a cory and a shrimp munching on them!

Edit: The danios are still taking them, but at least they can't eat it in one bite so bits get scattered for the bottom-feeders to scavenge. I think once I have that food cave to put a little pile out of the way of bigger fish, feeding the cories/shrimp should be easy! I was surprised by how quickly they found it; when I put food on the substrate they rarely realize it's there.
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I think I've decided to hold off on rehoming the danios. I've realized that they really provide a lot of the "soul" of the tank color-wise (more so in person than in pictures), and they don't seem to bother the cories in the way I expected them to. If they continue to cause feeding problems once I've added the food cave, I might reconsider.
Thoughts about potentially adding a single panda garra? This isn't a plan in the slightest, but I discovered them today and like them a lot. Of course I would't actually add one until much later
How long does it usually take platies to reach their adult size?
Nothing like a good cleaning and rescaping to refresh enthusiasm! I was feeling a bit dissatisfied with the tank and unsure where to go from here, but on Sunday I went to clean it and ended up rearranging the landscape in the process, and now I feel much more sure about what I want for the tank.

I should also mention both of my platys gave birth about a week ago! There at least 20-30 fry visible in the tank at first. Unfortunately I think a lot of them have been eaten (I would enjoy raising them in their own tank sometime but didn’t invest in that this time), but I still saw a few when I was moving stuff around. There are a lot of hiding places for them in the tank (especially some very dense Java moss under the driftwood), and the ones I see appear to be growing. I have all indication that they are getting enough food, I think the ones that disappeared were eaten by the danios. I like to feed a pinchful of Bug Bites pellets, crushed to varying size so the larger fish will grab big bites while the small particles fall to the bottom.

Refreshing the tank’s aesthetics has helped me have more inspiration for future plans. I’m on vacation at the moment, but when I get back I’m planning to rehome the danios and white clouds, and going forward I want to get a full school of the Pygmy Cories, and have more platys to focus on breeding. Once I’m at that stage, I might choose a more peaceful dither fish like Chili or Emerald Rasboras.
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Love it, JackGulley! It's amazing how some changes to the aquascape can really ramp up the interest again. There are never-ending possibilities!
For anyone who didn’t see my other post about it, I’ve made some changes to the tank! I went to the LFS intending to get some CPDs, but when I got there I was taken off-guard by the price and realized I didn’t bring enough money for very many of them. I bought some bamboo and red root floaters that day, but didn’t walk out with any fish.

BUT, in the same tank as the CPD’s (a rather nice little display tank, had some zebra otos too.), I noticed that they had about 5 or 6 Black-Bar Limia in stock! Ever since I got into fishkeeping I’ve been interested in rare livebearers, but I didn’t think I’d ever see one in person, or not any time soon. I didn’t wanna impulse buy them, but after researching I was glad to see that they were a great fit for my tank, and I love the way they look, so I came back a few days later to buy them! They’re doing great in my tank. I have three females, so I won’t be getting any babies. I would’ve been fine either way. They don’t have as much contrast as the longtime denizens like the danios, but I’m wondering if they’ll continue to color up as they get used to their enviroment.


The display tank (I swear there was some sort of apisto(juvenile) in there too)




Found this cool algae (possibly free susswassertang?) hiding in the back of the tank. Too cool not to display! It’s in the middle courtyard now.
Those zebra otos are gorgeous but I’m not paying $18 for them lol! The store employee actually agreed with me on that one, I wouldn’t have mentioned it if I didn’t know they were just expensive in general
The heck? This morning I was confused to find that I could only spot 2 of my Limia, so I kept an eye on it and I just spotted the fish playing with its remains! I don’t know what could have happened to it, there’s nothing otherwise weird going on to make me expect it
Unfortunately another one of my Limia just died :sad: Unlike the last one, this one didn’t surprise me. This one was always the runt, I figured it was just a juvenile but as it grew it was clear it had some sort of spinal defect. It’s been shy for a while now. Earlier today I noticed it looked starved, and was having trouble keeping afloat.
Also the eye flukes are back. The first time, I lost a few shrimp, but then the remaining ones molted them off before I could obtain some general cure (expensive), and didn’t come back at all until a few days ago. Since I didn’t do anything to fix it the first time, I’m not really sure what to do about it now. But since I also just lost some fish to mysterious causes, I’m thinking it might be a good idea to get the general cure just to treat the tank in general.

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