20 gallon community stocking with male betta ?

Kayla5221

Hi! So I’m going to get a 20 gallon long with drift wood, live plants, some smooth rocks, & white sand. The temperature will be 78 degrees F.

I have a list of fish I just don’t know how much I can get of each without overstocking my tank.
here’s what I’m thinking

• 1 male Betta
• 7-8 Neon Tetras
• 5 Pygmy cory catfish ( or any kind of Cory recommendations you think )
• 1 Nerite Snail

Would this be too much fish bioload in a 20 gallon long?

I was wanting to get 2 Kuhli loaches instead of the Cory catfish, I think they’re so cute & cool but their max size is 4 in. & I’m not sure they can fit. If they can please let me know! & if not, is 5 Pygmy Cory catfish the way to go or can I get any other types of corys?
Thank you!
 

BigManAquatics

I think your listed stocking should be fine, the betta is a wildcard, mainly for the possible aggression factor but should be alright. I think there are some other cories you could do instead of the pygmies if you wanted, but not real sure on which ones. I do know that pygmies and dwarf cories, either one should work.
 
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Noroomforshoe

Kuhlies should be in a school of 6 or more. I would get more, no less then 9. They are very social.

Pygmy cories are great, But I would also recomend that you keep a larger then minimum school of 9+ Come to think of it same goes for neons.

If you wanted a dwarf species of cories instead of the pygmies, you could keep 6 julies, or pandas or other dwarf species.

I think you should be fine with any one of the bottom feeder shools, the neons and the betta, and the snail.
 
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Candace

The stocking levels sound fine but the concern I have is the neons with the betta. The constant flashing of bright colors runs the risk of agitating him more (thinking that there is another male he may have to fight with for territory, not always a problem but more chance that he'll be less tolerant of them). Since it's planted I would actually suggest 3 or 4 more pygmy corys, they're small and feel most comfortable in larger groups. I actually have 1 dwarf gourami, 10 glowlight tetras, 8 bronze cory's, 3 mystery snails, and 1 nerite in my 20g long, I'd say mine is a bit overstocked since it only has a couple java ferns and floating plants but I keep up on maint. and it's been fine.
 
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Kayla5221

I just don’t understand how much fish I can keep in a 20 gallon without over stocking,

What is the maximum inches of fish in a 20 gallon that won’t effect the bioload?

That would help so much I can never figure it out, I want to school the fish so they’re comfortable but I don’t want the bioload to be too much & make my tank dirty
 
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Candace

I just don’t understand how much fish I can keep in a 20 gallon without over stocking,

What is the maximum inches of fish in a 20 gallon that won’t effect the bioload?

That would help so much I can never figure it out, I want to school the fish so they’re comfortable but I don’t want the bioload to be too much & make my tank dirty

It honestly depends on filtration and how heavily planted the tank is going to be. The inch per gallon rule and such is very flawed. With a betta, the best filter would be a sponge filter (doesn't give a strong current) so how are you planning to plant? If you're more of a beginner with plants I really suggest guppy grass, water spangles, dwarf water lettuce and duckweed (be warned that duckweed grows very fast and is virtually impossible to get rid of once in a tank), these are fast growers and will help with waste produced by fish and food. I have a bit of a brown thumb but these have all done really well in my 40g (so much so that I've been able to add some to my 20g and 5 gallon as well as take some to the pet store). The biggest thing about guppy grass for me is that you can just let it free float vs planting it, planting isn't really an option for me since all my mystery snails and bronze corys (they big bois) have made it their personal missions to uproot everything I plant.

Another tool you could use (though also flawed since) is aqadvisor.com - If you are only going to lightly plant, I wouldn't suggest exceeding 78-80% level stocking, if you are planning to heavily plant (preferably fast growers) you could stock up to 100%. (My stocking is at 83% according to aqadvisor even though I only have a few slow growing java ferns and floating plants up top, but again I do 50% water changes 1-2 times weekly)

A good starting place might be (while adding only 1-2 fish once a week once the tank is cycled):

1 x betta
10 x neon tetras
10-12 pygmy corys
1-2 nerites
(and even a couple mystery snails if they interest you, I'm very biased as I love them LOL)
 
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Kayla5221

Thank you! I was thinking of getting
• 1 Rosette Sword Plant
• 4-5 Anubias Barteri
• 4-5 Anubias Nana
I researched some beginner plants & this is what I’ve found, I think that’s a good amount. I want it to be planted but not too heavily. I’m also planning to do white sand substrate. Will it be fine to add liquid fertilizer or is there certain plants on my list that need fertilized substrate? I’m not familiar with the care for these plants, & want to make sure a lot of algae doesn’t grow. Any recommendations on how to make sure it will be balanced?

also, with this amount of plants in a 20 gallon long, will I be able to fit

• 1 Male betta
• 10 Neon tetras
• 6 Julii Cory Catfish
• 1 Nerite Snail
 
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Noroomforshoe

I just don’t understand how much fish I can keep in a 20 gallon without over stocking,

What is the maximum inches of fish in a 20 gallon that won’t effect the bioload?

That would help so much I can never figure it out, I want to school the fish so they’re comfortable but I don’t want the bioload to be too much & make my tank dirty
Im sorry, Its just not that easy. That is why we are here to try to help. I say that the stocking plan of 6 julies, 10 neons and 1 beta sounds good. It will depend on the individual betta also. Aqadvisor says you would be at 84% stocking but i did not add plants, "dont know if you can"
or, you could do about 10-12 pygmy corie instead of Julies
 
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Mindy3

Hi! So I’m going to get a 20 gallon long with drift wood, live plants, some smooth rocks, & white sand. The temperature will be 78 degrees F.

I have a list of fish I just don’t know how much I can get of each without overstocking my tank.
here’s what I’m thinking

• 1 male Betta
• 7-8 Neon Tetras
• 5 Pygmy cory catfish ( or any kind of Cory recommendations you think )
• 1 Nerite Snail

Would this be too much fish bioload in a 20 gallon long?

I was wanting to get 2 Kuhli loaches instead of the Cory catfish, I think they’re so cute & cool but their max size is 4 in. & I’m not sure they can fit. If they can please let me know! & if not, is 5 Pygmy Cory catfish the way to go or can I get any other types of corys?
Thank you!
I am not experienced at all so take what I say with a grain of salt, but I just moved my male betta into a 20 gal community tank and he’s doing fine. I looked at loaches and read they will eat snails so that was a hard pass for me. I used that stocking tool where it tells you based on breed and number of fish and I could add even more it turns out!! Especially if you have live plants!
 
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Kayla5221

I am not experienced at all so take what I say with a grain of salt, but I just moved my male betta into a 20 gal community tank and he’s doing fine. I looked at loaches and read they will eat snails so that was a hard pass for me. I used that stocking tool where it tells you based on breed and number of fish and I could add even more it turns out!! Especially if you have live plants!
Which stocking tool are you talking about? Thanks!
 
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Qzar61

One male or one female betta is fine. A group of loaches will take up room, like they said, they can get to 4 inches which is bug for a 20. Ask around and here about mixing pygmy and dwarf cories, the dwarfs might stress them out a bit.
 
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