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Xoobee October 15th, 2004 11:59 AM

Tank pets?
I have recently acquired a tall 20 gallon tank.
I'm not sure what to put in it...
Any thoughts on what can live in a tank and not grow to be too large?

Copper'sMom October 15th, 2004 12:11 PM

How about fish?? Oscars are great fish with personality. They grow to the size of their tank.

Cactus Flower October 15th, 2004 12:40 PM

A snake will only grow as large as their environment allows.

Don't go with an iguana, unless you are devoted to keeping a very specific set of temperature/humidity conditions that they thrive under.

Howzabout a turtle? They are great fun.

Fish? Yeah, there are always fish. But yaaaaaaaawn....... :D

GsdDiamond October 15th, 2004 12:50 PM

In order to keep any reptile, whether that be Iguanas, Snakes, Turtles, or other amphibian type creatures, the proper heating must be done for all.

Turtles need someplace to haul up on land. Ideally, a 50% land surface 50% water surface would be perfect. Make the water deep enough the turtle has to chase it's food and can swim around. They also require a heat lamp...I'm not sure of the watts though.

Snakes need things to climb on and a heat lamp, again....watts unknown. If it's a swimmer, again, a 50/50 type deal.

But, after the proper reading/study of your chosen pet, if cared for correctly, they can live a LONG time.

Lucky Rescue October 15th, 2004 12:56 PM

Fish do not grow to the size of the tank. They may stunted and sick, but will grow.

For one Oscar, you need at least 50 gallons.

If you want fish, I would suggest maybe 5 - 7 Neon Tetras (or other small tetras(, 3 Harlequin Rasboras (Or two female and one male Cherry Barb) and maybe 3 corydoras. That is plenty for a 20 gal tank.

The biggest mistake new fishkeepers make is to overcrowd tanks. I learned this the hard way many years ago.

Delirium October 15th, 2004 02:21 PM

Neither do snakes! That's a myth! The only thing you'd be able to keep in a 20 gallon is a hatchling and even then, it depends on the breed. Also, requires a ton of investment in other equipment.

I advise strongly against a snake unless you've researched it and know what you're getting into.

Also, do you know where you're going to be in 20 years? Because a turtle or snake you get now will very likely still be around then. They are a huge commitment.

From someone who had no clue what she was getting into when she bought her cute little twoonie turtles to another. They're now over a decade old, quite, quite large and were still learning how to bond with each other.


Cactus Flower October 15th, 2004 02:26 PM

It is true that all reptiles need regulated heat/humidity, but iguanas are especially sensitive to environment, and improper heat/environment is the number one cause of death in iguanas.

I have had snakes as pets for more than two decades now. Our last being a python named "Monty". Will try to dig up a picture. My snakes have ONLY grown large when moved into a larger tank. Once they have reached capacity for the size of the tank, they slow down on their eating so that they do not grow beyond the environment. Monty was just over six feet, and by then was in a tank that was as long as the wall.

chico2 October 15th, 2004 03:56 PM

I suggest making it a planter :D 20 gallons is too small for anything but small fish or turtles.Please don't even consider a reptile of any kind(other than small turtles)the tank is too small :eek:

meggie1425 October 15th, 2004 04:09 PM

Since you said it is a tall 20 gallons, I assume it isnt very big in width or length? Height isnt important, unless its for fish. I dont think you have a very big selection of pets to choose from...

Xoobee October 15th, 2004 09:03 PM

I was thinking maybe some sort of rodent. I've had various rodents before and did pretty well with them.
I could build levels and they could climb and stuff.

Kai One October 16th, 2004 05:29 PM

There are a ton of cool fish you could keep in a 20 tank.
How about dwarf puffer fish? They only get 1 inch.
Dwarf Gouramis are pretty cool too. They have amazing colours.
There are also cool amazon dwarf frogs, or fiddler crabs. Or salamanders.
For most freshwater fish it's about 1 inch of fish per gallon.

I have a salt water nano reef in a 20 long tank. It has a bunch of crabs, snails, shrimp, starfish, coral and other really cool things.

kayla July 4th, 2005 04:18 PM

I had turtles growing up and just had to warn you that they can really smell bad! So can rodents but at least they are cute :) I personally like terrariums, and think an ant farm would be kinda neat too but not if you donít like creepy crawlies. :eek:

jiorji July 16th, 2005 08:00 PM

i had a hamster living in a tank once. or you can have gerbils or mice :D :pawprint:

don't put water in tho :p

Dogastrophe July 17th, 2005 10:11 AM

Turtles of the slider variety are nice but do require a lot of work. I had a pair for about 15 years - moved from a 5 gal to a 20 gal to a 65 gal tank over that time (got them when they were the size of a quarter, final size was 6in across and 9in long). The keep the smell down you have to clean clean and clean some more.

A collection of hermit crabs would do well in a small tank. You could make your own little hermit city.

BMDLuver July 17th, 2005 10:34 AM

I agree with LR. I would personally get neons or tetras. They are very active and pretty to watch. Easy to keep and relaxing.

ceci August 10th, 2005 07:30 AM

different kind of pet
I have recently acquired a tall 20 gallon tank.
I'm not sure what to put in it...
Any thoughts on what can live in a tank and not grow to be too large?

Hi! Have you given any thought to an apple snail? They're pretty unique, not too difficult to care for, inexpensive, and you can check them out on the web.

beamer September 2nd, 2006 04:57 AM

i had a giant african land snail, im in england and im not sure if there legal in america, but there great fun

schnzerlover November 5th, 2006 01:10 PM

I have a pet rat in a 20 gallon tank and he is quite happy :]
you could also use gerbils, or fancy mice.. i prefer mice or rats because they are very intelligent

I woudnt recomend a snake.. having them in a small tank can hurt them.

MyBirdIsEvil November 5th, 2006 02:57 PM

schnzerlover, the original post is from 2004. :o
They were also talking about a 20 gallon tall, not a normal 20 gallon long. A 20tall wouldn't really have adequate ventilation for a rat.
Tanks in general are actually kind of bad for rats because of lack of ventilation - ammonnia fumes can build up really quick and cause respiritory problems, especially with wood shavings, but even with other types of bedding.
The best housing for a rat is a rodent cage, with a solid floor (their feet can get caught on wire), and places to climb.
I housed both my rats in tanks, but they were almost never in their tank, they were always out at least 8 hours a day on leash or running around playing, and the bedding still had to be changed very frequently.
I'd also like to mention that they're much happier in pairs because of how social they are - though they can be happy by themselves if given constant attention.

pug lover November 9th, 2006 02:36 PM

any type of lizzard or reptile requires a great deal of research before it is purchased

but i am sure that any pet u choose for your tank will be properly taken care of even after the novilty wears off:thumbs up

Colubridz November 19th, 2006 12:42 AM

Wow.... I'm so shocked to see that myth is still around. Not to be rude but are you suggesting a burmese python which are capable of growing to 14 plus feet would only get say 5 feet long if kept in a 50 gallon. Or suggesting a cornsnake, a species that the largest specimen ever recorded was well under 6 feet, would grow say 20 feet if kept in a large enough aqurium? According to your logic technically I could go right now, and buy a small species of python or hell how about a huge species like a reticulated python which is known to grow 20-25 feet tops and dedicate something like a football field to it and actually expect it to grow 200 plus feet long?

All species have their own sizes any reptile book and hobbiest can tell you as such. The reason it might of seemed like monty only grew when placed in a large cage is because snakes especially pythons can take 5 plus years to mature and it's such a subtle process.

I'm really not trying to come off personally attacking you I just am astonded to see that myth still exsits and it really shouldn't be passed on to first time buyers just getting into the hobby. I respect the fact you've kept snakes for much longer then I and don;t personally know you and feel I have no place to judge you I simply want to point out that every known herpterologist ( one who studies reptiles) has burned that myths years ago and it is well established each individual species has it's own adult lengths ( after all wild snakes literally have the whole world as their "Cage" and yet I really haven't seen many snakes in my backyard that have been over the 10,000 foot mark:).

If your looking for some smaller species that would be fine in a 20 gal as adults, cornsnakes, smaller species of milksnakes, ribbon snakes, spotted pythons, rosy boas and sand boas are all good choices.

But I agree with everyone else do as much research as possible before commiting to a snake as they all have their own individual needs regarding, terrirum setup, lighting cycles, heating, humidity and so on and many times some will go off feed and you will have to resort to feeding live rodents ( which I personally hate doing plus it is very dangerous to your snake). So make sure you go out and buy a few books and read as many caresheets as possible before making that descion.

Here are a few good starting websites incase your interested in doing some reading great site full of hobbists which can answer any of your questions

Good cornsnake caresheet ( not this is a very basic intro to care, its essential to research how to treat dieses and recognize them along with methods to try when snakes are off feed and terrirum design)
- [url][/url]

Good Spotted Python / Childrens Python caresheet ( same goes for what I said above)

- [url][/url]

Good Sand Boa caresheet

- [url][/url]

Milksnake caresheets


Also just wanted to add, All of the reading I've ever done on rats is due to their highly social nature they need to be kept in pairs very much like ferrets despite how long you can play with them every day, that and that they need much more room then a 20 gal and need something with as many levels as possible. So maybe upgrading in the future and getting your rat a friend might help:)


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