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Discussion Starter #1
I originally posted this in the introductions section. I haven't really gotten any useful information. Probably because I am impactient. Maybe I will have better luck here!

Hello all,
I am totally new to the fish keeping world. It definitely appeals to the scientist in me. I got a 20 gal high tank for christmas. Actually 1 week before from my boyfriend. I cycled it and now have what seem to be happy fish. I have already learned a few lessons. Never take the shop keepers word (or lack there of). Patience is key, and always do lots of research before bringing a fish home. I started with a betta and LOVE him. I must say I already want a bigger tank. I think I will give it a while though. At the moment I have:
3 Emerald Cory Cats
2 Opaline Gouramis
2 Sunburst Gouramis
1 Horse faced loach
1 Knight Goby
1 Bush nose pleco
1 baby fancy guppy (accidentally came with another fish)

I have a few concerns. After reading up on my Goby I have found that he is a brackish creature. Apparently this is an issue many other people have run into. Is there anyway to make him more comfortable. I have been looking through a lot of fish forums and there are some who do keep them in all freshwater. Is this cruel? He is thus far my favorite and most interesting fish.

Whats the deal with aquarium salt? Is it good for every tank?

I have Very soft water. It tests at 0. Is there any way to up this?

Thanks for any input!
 

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I think some folks keep a bit of salt in their freshwater tanks, but I don't think that would mix if you have live plants. Sorry, you'll have to wait for someone more experienced than I.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Toad,
I do have fresh water plants although I'm not sure what kind. I was so excited when I bought them that I forgot to write down the names, oops.
 

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I also put a little aquarium salt in my tanks. It's suppose to really help keep the fish healthier somehow. I dunno but I haven't noticed any negative effects of using the salt.
 

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How much salt per gallon?

Will it hurt the pond snails that hitch-hiked in on my plants?
 

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OK these are all just my opinions

3 Emerald Cory Cats Fine
2 Opaline Gouramis Will get too large and can get nasty
2 Sunburst Gouramis Fine
1 Horse faced loach Will get too large
1 Knight Goby OK but needs brackish so I would consider taking it back
1 Bush nose pleco EXCELLENT choice
1 baby fancy guppy (accidentally came with another fish) Fine

I have Very soft water. It tests at 0. Is there any way to up this? What tests at 0?????

Betta's and Gouramis shouldnt be kept together IMO
 

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I am curious how you cycled your tank. It is possible to do it in a week but it takes seeded material from established tanks. If you didn't get gravel and filter media from and established tank I don't think that it could be cycled unless you used Tetra Safe Start. Let us know because if it wasn't done correctly you could be in for a disaster. If it was done correctly congrats on the tank but typically a cycle takes anywhere from several weeks to months to complete.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I used Microbe-lift Special Blend. I have tested my tank numerous times and everything tests great and steady except for the water hardness.
 

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IMHO the best thing you have done so far is the live plants. By setting up the tank with plants it no only looks pretty but also balances out a stabilizes the operation so that the wastes from the fish are being used a plant food.

for a substrate I use 1" peat moss ($10/bale at lowes/home depot), 1" play sand ($3/50 pounds at lowes/home depot), with gravel on top which I like pc select but I did have to special order that. Wet, level and clean the tank with each layer. Then plant the plants and fill the tank with water ran over a dish. Let set a week, the add one fish and don't add food then next week. Ten add more fish and start feeding a flake or two each day.

Of course you already have fish in there so modify with that in mind.

With a high tank plants like anacharis and vals the grow tall are a good choice. For a 20g I would use 10 bunched of anacharis and 5-10 giant vals.

Some slower growers like small potted plants (crypts, small sword) and a single amazon sword would be nice also. After a few months the slower growers will expand.

best tank ever.

my .02
 
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