My 20 gallon tank

(Last updated: Mon Dec 11 17:41:24 EST 1995)

My 20 gallon tropical freshwater community tank was set up on October 17, 1993. And it was shut down during the end of the Summer of 1995.

The details below are no longer valid, as the tank is no longer set up. However, I have left this info here as a record of how this tank was.

A "20 gallon long" meaning that it is about 30" by 1' by 1', and actually could hold 4320 cubic inches or 18.7 gallons. It contains about 2 to 3 inches of gravel, 1 piece of tree-root, 2 small rocks and 1 small piece of slate.
Hagen AquaClear 150 power filter, with foam and carbon inserts.
Ebo-Jager 150W, set at about 77F.
"Double bright" Perfecto flourescent hood with two 20Watt bulbs: one is a Vita-Lite, and the other a standard one that came with the hood.
Very heavy fish load:
Weekly water changes, usually of just over 50%. Sometimes skip a week. Sometimes do only 25% change. Treat tap water with NovaQua. Add 1 teaspoon of uniodized table salt per 2.5 gallons of water changed. Rinse filter materials in removed tank water. Change carbon insert monthly. Vaccuum gravel when removing water. Clean filter impeller shaft about every six months.
Typical chemical levels
pH: Mid 7's (measured at fish store)
Ammonia: zero (measured at fish store)
Nitrite: Practically zero (LaMott)
Nitrate: 15--40 ppm before water changes! (LaMott)
Almost no fish died because of tank conditions, and no noted diseases. The list below includes all fatalaties since the tank was set up. 1 kuhli loach died after being injured in the filter (when young - fitted between slats on intake tube). 1 leopard danio found dead with bloody eye and jaw stuck open. Tried to keep 2 blue Rams, but they did not thrive, and eventually died (this was a long time ago - before the keyholes were around). 1 penguin fish bullied to death by the other 3 peguin fish. 3 leopard danios died by being sucked into the power filter (when the intake tube separated). 1 leopard danio found floating dead. 1 male platy looked unhealthy for a few days, and then just died. Female platy found dead - no indications of cause of death. Could be that the platies died of old age? Male dwarf gourami died - also seemed like old age; I had had him for about 1.5 years.
Had a problem with Blue-Green algae. As suggested on the net, I used Maracyn at half dosage for 6 days, and the problem cleared up completely, with no noticeable effect of the biofilter.

Davin Milun <>