• You liked BFD7 now you should join this forum and of course become a club member to see what CCA is all about.
  • Thank you to everyone who registered and showed up for the BIG Fish Deal #7.

Greetings!

Sue in DC

New Member
Hi all, I'm Sue and I live in DC. I'm new to aquarium keeping although my dad always kept freshwater tanks when I was little. I have two boys in elementary school and am starting a tank with them in mind. I have a 20 gallon long tank with just a few male guppies while cycling. I'd love advice on a good mix of species for a small tank - not necessarily cichlids (are any suitable for a tank this size?) but am open to a variety of freshwater species. I love all aspects of gardening and houseplants - it's actually fellow plant lovers that have gotten me interested in keeping an aquarium. I'd love advice on plants as well. Last reason for joining - - I'm in a Facebook group focused on aquariums but wanted to be part of a local group for resources on buying/trading locally and dealing with our lovely DC tap water. Glad to meet the group!
 

mchambers

Occasional Corydoras Breeder
Welcome!

Some of us here use DC tap water without problem (using a dechlorinator, of course).

There are some cichlids that will be okay in a 20 long. For example, at least one club member is breeding a dwarf West African, Pelvicachromis kribensis “Bipindi”. A pair of Bolivian rams also would work. German blue rams and Laetacara curviceps also come to mind.

You can get plants at a club auction, too, for very reasonable prices.
 
Hello, Welcome to the club, PLANTS I'm no help. But with your kids in mind take a look at the Rainbow species until you get hooked a little deeper then go like MCCHAMBERS advised or you can go that route first. I have found that in order to keep the kids interest you have to start easy and rainbows fit that bill. Take a look around, you will see some things you never saw before. These guys and gals are great here.
 

zendog

Active Member
Welcome. You are already getting great advice and seem like you've already done some research and are well on your way.

One other suggestion with fish and kids is to consider some C.A.R.E.S. species, which are species that are endangered or even extinct in the wild. I don't really remember what the C.A.R.E.S. acronym means, but basically there are fish keepers around the country working to keep captive populations of these species to keep them going if they are lost in the wild. While it is hard to know if this will lead to successful re-introduction, it can be a lot of fun for kids to feel they are part of the effort to preserve these species and provides a good opportunity to learn about loss of habitats, conservation efforts, etc. There are several fish keepers in the club that have some of these types of species and they come up regularly at our auctions.

One group that has a number of species in the C.A.R.E.S. group is the Goodeids, which are livebearers. I've kept several species of these and they fit in pretty well with other fish in a 20 long. I've actually kept them with some of the dwarf types of cichlids Matt mentioned and they all got along quite well.

The problem with just one tank is there are too many options...
 

DiscusnAfricans

President
Staff member
CARES (I had to look it up) stands for Conservation, Awareness, Recognition and Responsibility, Encouragement and Education, and Support and Sharing; for more info check out https://caresforfish.org.

Good suggestions from others, plenty of options even for smaller tanks, depends on what your kids might like. Dwarf gouramis could work and come in a variety of colors, or you could go with a large school of small fish such as tetras or danios for an active tank.

Plenty of plants available at our auctions, and one of our sister clubs also meets in the DC/NoVA/MD area and focuses more on plants, you can check out www.gwapa.org for more info there.

If you're free on February 16th, thats the second day of our annual event known as BFD. There is a Kids Decorating Contest where you could register your kids and they could design their own tank (if you don't mind adding one/two more) or there will be several tanks on display for our aquascaping contest known as Aquarium Beautiful. That might give you ideas of what to do with your tank, and/or types of fish your kids might like. The event will be in downtown Bethesda, right outside of DC.

We also have a normal meeting on the 12th in Silver Spring at JFK High School. Doors open at 1pm, meeting starts after 2pm; we'll have a speaker and mini-auction, as well as a raffle, and refreshments are generally provided.
 

stany

CCA Members
Welcome to the club. This is a great place for first hand experience and comments and often more than you can process. It is a fun bunch of people who breed fish, raise plants....and try to spread cichlid fever. I'd go along with a pair of the German Blue Ram or Bolivian Ram until you figure out the plants. Neither will dig up plants and stay small enough for a 20 gallon tank.
 

Becca

CCA Members
Hi all, I'm Sue and I live in DC. I'm new to aquarium keeping although my dad always kept freshwater tanks when I was little. I have two boys in elementary school and am starting a tank with them in mind. I have a 20 gallon long tank with just a few male guppies while cycling. I'd love advice on a good mix of species for a small tank - not necessarily cichlids (are any suitable for a tank this size?) but am open to a variety of freshwater species. I love all aspects of gardening and houseplants - it's actually fellow plant lovers that have gotten me interested in keeping an aquarium. I'd love advice on plants as well. Last reason for joining - - I'm in a Facebook group focused on aquariums but wanted to be part of a local group for resources on buying/trading locally and dealing with our lovely DC tap water. Glad to meet the group!
Even if you don't formally sign up, feel free to bring your kids by the Give a Kid a Tank Seminar at Big Fish Deal on 2/16.

If you're looking for low(er) maintenance fish and plants, there are lots of good options, some of which are even temperate (do not require a heater). If you'll be at the club meeting on Saturday and you're interested in a "grab bag" of low-medium light, low maintenance plants, let me know. I typically charge $10 per bag, but will happily give you a starter bag if you choose to become a paid member of CCA.
 
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