20 gallon long upside down catfish tank

Sean54

Hi, I'm planning on setting up a 20-gallon long tank soon and I want to do an upside-down catfish only tank. I was just wondering if a school of 6 would be too much for this size of a tank.
 

MacZ

While a group would be optimal for Synodontis nigriventris, considering the adult size the tank is too small for more than 2 specimens when it comes to space requirements. Also this would limit you to a species tank, there will be no room for anything else.

I'd take a bigger tank (100x40x50cm minimum) or reconsider stocking.
 

Sean54

I was hoping to do a small species of catfish only tank other than corydoras, do you have any ideas?
 

MacZ

I was hoping to do a small species of catfish only tank other than corydoras, do you have any ideas?
Depends on your water. GH, KH, pH. That's my starting point.

There are about 100 species of Corydoras.
 

Sean54

I have a 29 gallon tank setup already with a school of 8 pygmy corys with a pair of honey gouramis and was looking to do something different with the 20 gallon
I'm open to any suggestions, but I'm a big fan of catfish and oddball fish and was hoping to do something like that with the 20L
 

MacZ

I'm open to any suggestions, but I'm a big fan of catfish and oddball fish and was hoping to do something like that with the 20L
I get what you're saying. Still, I can't give you any recommendations without knowing your water. I'm one of these people that go by tank dimensions and water parameters when stocking a tank.
One thing I can tell you anyhow: For the empty tank you have there the maximum size for a fish would be around 8cm and I would also not keep more than one or two of this size, the rest of the stocking being rather between 3 and 6cm.
 

Sean54

ph 6.8 kh is 5 and gh is 4
 

MacZ

Ok, that is very helpful. :)

Soft water gives you the biggest number of possibilities.

Take a look into the following genera: Parotocinclus, Centromochlus, Hara...

You could also go for banjo catfish (Bunocephalus sp.), but stay away from the bigger species like B. coracoideus. Those fish need little room, as they are quite inactive.
 

Sean54

I know I said catfish, but I also do like cichlids and oddball fish and I wouldn't mind doing a single fish, I know that's very broad but maybe you have an idea of something small enough to fit
 

TClare

What about Tatia / Centromochlus perugiae (oil catfish)? Nice looking small catfish but I think they are very nocturnal.
 

Sean54

I was actually just looking at them, but I want something that's somewhat active when the lights are on
 

SparkyJones

Asian stone catfish, hara Jerdoni, also called anchor catfish. Max size is just over an inch. It's small and stays small and it's not a Cory.

You could do a group of these in a 20g might be a little difficult to find them though, I don't see them much when I go fish looking.

Most all catfish are nocturnal or don't move around much. Corydoras would be your best bet if you want something active with the lights on.
 

MacZ

I was actually just looking at them, but I want something that's somewhat active when the lights are on
Then look onto smaller Loricarids (Rineloricaria, Parotocinclus) . Most catfish have nocturnal or very reclusive lifestyles. The availability in the trade and the sizes of many species make this not much easier in your case.

hara Jardine
Hara jerdoni. ;)
 

TClare

Asian glass catfish are interesting, diurnal, good in groups and I think would be OK for that tank size but would have to check...

Edit: seriously fish says 90 x 30 cm or equivalent - what are the measurements of your tank?
 

Sean54

Asian stone catfish seem really interesting since if they feel comfortable they will school during the day and I looked into asian glass catfish and they seem to be extremely sensitive to water parameters
do you know if I only did asian stone catfish how many I should do?
 

MacZ

Asian glass catfish are interesting, diurnal, good in groups and I think would be OK for that tank size but would have to check...
The standard species of the genus Kryptopterus usually grow too big. K. vitreolus might work, problem is they are hard to ID correctly in the usual sale size.

If they turn out to be K. bicirrhis or K. minor the tank is already too small after a few months.

I looked into asian glass catfish and they seem to be extremely sensitive to water parameters
Your water parameters are great. It's the water quality that makes them tricky.
 

Sean54

I will be doing an asian stone catfish only aquarium, but I do not know how many to get
 

SparkyJones

The standard species of the genus Kryptopterus usually grow too big. K. vitreolus might work, problem is they are hard to ID correctly in the usual sale size.

If they turn out to be K. bicirrhis or K. minor the tank is already too small after a few months.


Your water parameters are great. It's the water quality that makes them tricky.
Yeah it has to be kept clean they kind of just sit there a lot of the time and get bacteria infections if the tank is dirty. Sort of a slow river fish that just kind of hangs out. Visible, but not very active. They won't go looking for the darkest spot to hide in when the lights come on but they kind of look like the substrate or a leaf which I think is why they aren't so light skittish, the ability to hide in plain sight.
 

Sean54

Thank you for the help everyone!
 

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