Small catfish question plus suggestions for finishing my 20g stocking
Hey all, after weeks of lurking, i've come forward for some help on an question hundreds of various forum posts have not answered.
It seems the more I read the more muddled my options become...
Anyways. I've had a bunch of fish for about a month now that are getting along quite well. Now that i'm sure that the tank has stabilized properly, its time to finish off my stocking with a few more fish.
I have a 20gallon high tank that is extremely well filtered and aerated: Aquaclear 50(200gph) plus a air-powered sponge filter for added filtering and bacterial capacity and a large air-wall. Black gravel bed. I do water changes regularly.
my current fish are:
5 Zebra Danio
5 Neon Tetra
4 Neon Serpae Tetra
3 Platy(2 females, both currently pregnant, will be moved to 5g tank for birth)
Currently my future intentions include:
-adding a centre-piece fish, probably 2 dwarf or pearl gouramis (other suggestions appreciated)
-adding some invertebrates for cleanup(amano shrimp? zebra snails? lobsters? frogs? any interesting alternative suggestions would be appreciated)
-adding more neon tetras, perhaps cardinals if mixing is alright(2-4 more)
-and finally my main question: bottom dwellers. I need a small bottom dwelling fish, but here recommendations have been all over the map
So what type of bottom dweller would you recommend for a 12x24" gravel bed in a nearly stocked tank?
most people recommend cory's which do best in schools,but I don't have the space. I figure i can have 1-3 fish of this kind.
I'm potentially considering removing the uninteresting Serpae for more Neons, Danios or something new, but I "could" get a school of 6 cordy's instead?
Otherwise most solitary catfish i've been looking at seem to get too large(or not, depending on the source of information), ie:Raphael catfish, plecos. And some seem to require a sandy bottom, which I do not want to deal with.
The options i've been considering thus far are kuhli's or ottos, but i'm not the biggest fan of either.
Any clarification of what my options realistically are would be a great help!
Last edited by gelu88; 05-25-2012 at 07:56 AM.
I would recomend you to ditch 1 school and up the numbers in the remaining two.
I cannot stress enough, DO NOT get multiple gouramis, they are highly territorial and would cause chaos in your tank. Unfortunately this is a common mistake. I attempted multiple gouramis in the 1m 2f ratio in a 42G, outcome was a dead gourami and stressed fish and an unhappy owner. I don't even think I'd recomend any gouramis for your 20G, your small schools will probably strip them of any finage.
For your 20G I think your best bottom dweller is khuli loaches, 8 of the little guys would go down a treat, I keep around 20+ of them over 2 tanks. In my experience if you provide them with what they need then they are as tough as coffin nails.
Requirements - soft rounded substrate, sand is best but the do equally well with rounded gravel. Glass, quartz substrates are a complete nono. Caves/rocks/plants and general shady areas, this will keep them feeling secure and safe.
How long has your tank been running? If you are sure it is cycled then allow it to mature for 2 months before adding khulis.
Hope this helped o, and welcome to the forum
My therapist says I need a bigger tank . . . . .
What are your ammonia and nitrite levels? Before adding more fish, check that these are zero and that the nitrates are low. Then as Scottfish says, don't get more than one gourami. Your treta schools (both) are rather small - those fish like bigger groups. Also, what filter(s) do you have and have you checked out the site in my signature for filter/WC/stocking suggestions (see aqadvisor, below)?
I wouldn't be adding a centrepiece fish or any other type. I would get rid of one of your schools and up your schools of the other two.
You would be able to fit 3 corydoras in there if you wanted. Or 6 khuli loaches. I have some black khuli's and they are fascinating to watch.
This page is great to work out stocking issues etc:
4 ft 60g FW: 2 angels, 4 blind cave, 1 whiteskirt, 4 gold widows, 6 serpaes, 1 neonhead apisto, 4 clown loaches, 4 albino cory, 2 bronze corys & 3 BN plecos.
23g FW: 1 neonhead apisto, 1 yoyo, 2 albino BN plecos & 4 pepper cory
5.5g: Crowntail Betta, 6 black Khuli's & RCS
5 g: Crowntail Betta, 1 albino cory (Quasi), 4 baby khuli's & RCS
7 g: Dragontail Betta & 2 albino cory
3ft Axi tank: 1 black, 1 gold - 1 redcap oranda & 2 albino cory
@Cermet: the multi-test kit I ordered a month back with everything else was backordered and still has not arrived. But I got a Ammonia kit and my results have always been and remain 0.
I obviously do not intend to stock up any further until i have tested nitrites and nitrates, but both my filters(Aquaclear 50 and sponge) were in other tanks for a number of weeks so I'm quite sure they are fully colonized.
-I have read frequently that Dwarf or Honey gouramis can be kept is small groups, if i got 2 those were my choices.
But if its really not advisable I'll only get one .
I am more and more certain about getting rid of the Serpae. And either replacing them with Cardinals or Black neons(or regular neons if you think they will not school tegether) OR a school of cordy's.
If I do the former, I would also like to add a solitary bottom feeder, which loaches, cats or plecos would do well alone in a stocked tank such as this?
Solitary, 3" max I think...
I ditto this or my opinion would be shrimp. Not much space for bottom feeders in a small tank. Or a couple apple snails? NO to all gourami's. The tank is simply too small for half a dozen species of fish and certainly centerpiece fish. I wouldn't even keep danio's because they are so active and fast that they may disrupt the slow moving neons.
Originally Posted by ~Col~
Last edited by Lady Hobbs; 05-26-2012 at 04:19 PM.
One thing I do know, is that while frogs are ADORABLE (just got one the other day) they are hard to feed and definitely will not help clean your tank. I hear good things about shrimp, but I LOVE my 2 cory cats. They probably won't clean as thoroughly as shrimp, but they have great antics.
I think 1 dwarf gourami would be ok. Mine doesn't bother my neons a bit.
20 gallon with a male betta, neons, glowlights, and red cherry shrimp. (work in progess) Recently added a few LIVE plants and driftwood, Woooohoooo!