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Doing this for a month need help!

Retired Viking

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You can plant them in the sand/gravel if you want. The plants provide oxygen to the water and improve its quality by absorbing the ammonia and the fish provide the plants with co2 and food- ammonia (their wastes) It is a nice cycle and the nitrates and nitrites are taken care of since the plants take in the ammonia without having to break it down.
 

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In more than 30 years I have never artifically cycled an aquarium because I always have plants, and I always have floating plants which are without question the best for this and the best going forward. Floating plants have what we term the aerial advantage; their leaves at the surface can assimilate CO2 from the air rather than having to do this submerged, and air CO2 assimilation is about four times faster for plants. And there will never be a shortage of CO2 in the air! Floating plants once they start growing (they are fast growers) will easily take up all the ammonia the fish can release, and a lot more.

The nitrogen cycle will still establish itself, but you won't be aware of it, which is why some term it "silent cycle." The plants are faster at taking up ammonia, out-competing the nitrifying bacteria, and with plants they do not produce nitrite, which also means less nitrate--all beneficial to fish.
 

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I never realised I have been doing silent cycles all these years.
Cool, when I first read about it I thought "this really makes sense" when I tried to explain it to some others they thought I was crazy to try it but is works great and makes so much sense.
 
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Cool, when I first read about it I thought "this really makes sense" when I tried to explain it to some others they thought I was crazy to try it but is works great and makes so much sense.
In regards to floating plants, can any plant float or are there particular ones that should float?
Really appreciate the helpful information.
 
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In regards to floating plants, can any plant float or are there particular ones that should float?
Really appreciate the helpful information.
Also what nitrite, nitrate, ammonia, pH levels am I looking for for a healthy tank after it’s been cycled?
 

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In regards to floating plants, can any plant float or are there particular ones that should float?
Really appreciate the helpful information.
The floating plants would be hornwort, moneywort, anschsris and water sprite to name a few, frogbit is one but stays on the surface like lilypads.
 

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After it cycle you should only see 0 since the plants absorb the ammonia so nitrite and nitrate will not be there because they are byproducts of the bacteria breaking down ammonia. Since the plants absorb the ammonia there are no nitrates or nitrites ;)
 

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I was wondering on some other stocking ideas on the 20g long tank. I found this one thoughts on it?
No. There is nothing wrong with rasbora, provided they are one (or more) species of the smaller sized rasboras, and these are fine with the group of cories. One of the "dwarf" cory species (Corydoras pygmaeus, C. habrosus) would work best, but a group of one of the medium-sized species is also OK.

But when it comes to gourami, rams and betta, there are significant problems. A male Betta is not a community fish and should not even be considered here. As for gourami, yes, there are some small-sized species. The sparkling pygmy gourami (Trichopsis pumila) in a group of five would be nice, and have no issues with rasboras and cories or other peaceful fish like some of the small and less-active tetras. There are some other small gourami species rarely seen too.

As for rams...the common or blue ram in any of its varieties (they are all derived from the same natural species Mikrogeophagus ramirezi) needs warmth, at least 80F but preferably higher, and this will burn out the cories and is not very good for the rasboras or small tetras either. The Bolivian Ram (M. altispinosus) does not need such warmth, and a single fish can work and given the tank's length (a 20g long is 30 inches/75 cm) this is OK.

Your water is very soft, so all of these are good on that front. There are still upper level fish like hatchetfish and some of the pencilfish to go with these. Obviously not all of them, but the options are vast.
 
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No. There is nothing wrong with rasbora, provided they are one (or more) species of the smaller sized rasboras, and these are fine with the group of cories. One of the "dwarf" cory species (Corydoras pygmaeus, C. habrosus) would work best, but a group of one of the medium-sized species is also OK.

But when it comes to gourami, rams and betta, there are significant problems. A male Betta is not a community fish and should not even be considered here. As for gourami, yes, there are some small-sized species. The sparkling pygmy gourami (Trichopsis pumila) in a group of five would be nice, and have no issues with rasboras and cories or other peaceful fish like some of the small and less-active tetras. There are some other small gourami species rarely seen too.

As for rams...the common or blue ram in any of its varieties (they are all derived from the same natural species Mikrogeophagus ramirezi) needs warmth, at least 80F but preferably higher, and this will burn out the cories and is not very good for the rasboras or small tetras either. The Bolivian Ram (M. altispinosus) does not need such warmth, and a single fish can work and given the tank's length (a 20g long is 30 inches/75 cm) this is OK.

Your water is very soft, so all of these are good on that front. There are still upper level fish like hatchetfish and some of the pencilfish to go with these. Obviously not all of them, but the options are vast.
Would you think 6 neon tetras, 6 panda corys, and 1 Bolivian ram could work in a 20long?
 

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Would you think 6 neon tetras, 6 panda corys, and 1 Bolivian ram could work in a 20long?
Yes but with more of the tetras and cories. When you are dealing with shoaling fish species in relatively small volume tanks, increasing the numbers can actually have less impact on the biiological system than too few of the species. The fish respond differently, in ways we cannot see because they are chemical/biological. With this tank, and just these species you've mentioned here, I would say 8-9 panda cories and 9-12 neon tetra, with one Bolivian Ram.
 
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Yes but with more of the tetras and cories. When you are dealing with shoaling fish species in relatively small volume tanks, increasing the numbers can actually have less impact on the biiological system than too few of the species. The fish respond differently, in ways we cannot see because they are chemical/biological. With this tank, and just these species you've mentioned here, I would say 8-9 panda cories and 9-12 neon tetra, with one Bolivian Ram.
Would this overcrowd the tank or no?
 

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Would this overcrowd the tank or no?
No. I would never suggest overcrowding an aquarium. But it's OK to ask, I am just explaining. You have a 20g long, and long tanks always allow more fish per volume than tall/high tanks (all else being OK), because of the surface area which means more substrate "space" for fish to move around over and more water surface area which means a better exchange of oxygen/CO2.
 
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