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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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My 20 gallon tank

Hello aquatic plant lovers ! I'm a 16 year old guy , and I have become very interested about planted tanks. I first started reading about them like two years ago but I lost interest after a while. Well this time I really want to do something with a 20 gallon tall tank I have. The tank has some plastic plants , some blue gravel , and a big goldfish (which I can't get rid of because it's my brother's ). I have read about what I need for a planted tank and I think I have a vague idea of how to set one up. From what I have read online , one can keep goldfish with aquatic plants , but it is very hard because goldfish eat most plants. Is there any plants goldfish don't like to eat? Is it okay to keep anubias with goldfish? Any help will be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 10:11 PM
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It looks like you did your research and what you plan will work.

However, I think you'd be better off finding another tank for the goldfish. Even if you have to save a few dollars and buy your brother his own tank. Better still, let your brother have the 20 and get yourself something larger. (grin)

The problem is that the goldfish is going to be very limiting, especially when doing a planted tank. Plus your likely looking at a tear down anyway, since you will likely want to replace the blue gravel.

Good luck.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 10:34 PM
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I agree with the what the above poster said in regards to turning this tank into a planted tank.

That being said, I have a goldfish, and these are the plants in my tank:
Several different kinds of Java Fern
Cryptocoryne Wendtii
Ozelot Sword
Kleiner Bar Sword
Dwarf Sagitaria
Brazilian Pennywort
Corkscrew Vallisneria

No personal experience, but from all I've heard anubius is a great goldfish plant.

These are the plants that I've tried and have been eaten or bothered to death:
Dwarf Hairgrass
Duckweed
Salvinia
Amazon Frogbit
Fissidens Fontanus

It will depend on the size, type, and personality of your goldfish. Mine is an active 3-inch comet in a 29-gallon tank. He does tend to damage my sword leaves by blundering through them in his constant search for food, but it's nothing the plants can't handle.

Joy to the fishes!
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info! The goldfish is like six inches long , he is very calm. Once I bought a bunch of ludwigia repens , and he left it alone. I will think about buying myself a bigger tank . I will just have to save some money. Maybe I will find one on craigslist...
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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My dad said no to another tank.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 12:06 AM
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thats a big fish for a 20g


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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 02:21 AM
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Quote:
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... The goldfish is like six inches long , ...
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My dad said no to another tank.
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thats a big fish for a 20g
I didn't realize the goldfish was that large. That is going to be tough to deal with. I also agree that it's a large fish for a 20g tank.

You didn't approach you dad correctly. You should have asked if you could build a 250 gal garden pool out back to make a new home for the goldfish. Then when you got turned down for that, you ask for another tank, and that would have sounded very reasonable.

When I was your age, I usually had about 3 tanks going, a 20, a 10, and a 5 1/2, but everyone's parents are different.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 02:26 AM
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Get yourself some java fern. You wouldn't even have to plant the java fern and it will grow like crazy if you have a half decent light. Even a spiral cfl bulb would grow it with your setup. What light do you have?
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 04:45 AM Thread Starter
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I didn't realize the goldfish was that large. That is going to be tough to deal with. I also agree that it's a large fish for a 20g tank.
I was mistaken ,the fish is closer to 4 1/2 inches rather than 6 inches.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 04:58 AM Thread Starter
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 04:07 PM
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Decades ago I had a 20 gallon show tank I put a used 18" fluorescent bulb over and was able to keep a crypt and an apon alive for several years without water changes or fertilizers so you are good to go with the Java fern. Back then it was only a photo in a book, never did I see a real Java fern!

If you can find a nice bit of driftwood to glue or tie the fern on the tank will look just great even with the gravel you have now or a bare bottom tank. I would probably remove the blue stuff, go to HD and buy a bag of the coarsest sand there, wash it to death and put a thin layer on the bottom for your goldfish to play in. Plants are great but a bit of wood or rock arrangement makes the tank. Since the wood is covered a chunky bit would be fine.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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Is there any other fish I could add to the tank or would it become overcrowded?
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 07:41 PM
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The problem with goldfish is that they're big and produce a lot of waste. Most people say that 20 gallons is the minimum for a fancy goldfish (the type with rounder bodies and double rather than single tails). My comet will probably eventually have to go in a pond, as he will most likely grow to be about a foot long and he is the faster single-tailed type.

So your tank is pretty much full to the max as far as fish go. The other problem would be that any little fish with a low bioload would probably be quickly eaten by the goldfish. Goldfish will eat anything that fits in their mouths. And there's really not room for other fish big enough not to become a meal.

It's the sad truth about goldfish; they're very popular and can be quite rewarding pets, but they really don't make good community fish.

Joy to the fishes!
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 09:46 PM
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The problem with goldfish is that they're big and produce a lot of waste. ...

It's the sad truth about goldfish; they're very popular and can be quite rewarding pets, but they really don't make good community fish.
Well said!

And if you think the planted aquarium people or the reef people are "eccentric" (read crazy), go to a Koi show sometime.
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