20 High Centerpiece And Schooling Fish 20 Gallon Tank 

ahouseofscales

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Hi! I am looking for some stocking ideas for a 20 high planted tank. It is just started and on the tail end of cycling, so it's not very mature, but I won't be stocking it for a while. Right now I'm just looking for ideas since I've never had a 20 before and I'm not sure what I want. I do know I would like 1 or 2 larger centerpiece fish and a school if possible. I am a college student so I need fish that are relatively hardy in the case that someone else has to care for them or I miss a water change (which I will try not to do).

Tank params:
Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate will all be 0.0 once it's done cycling.
pH is 7.5 out of tap, 6.5 once it's gassed off.

The tank will be heavily planted with rockwork and possibly driftwood. I am also considering throwing some botanicals in.

I have experience with anabantids mostly but I'm open to branching out.

Fish I like:
Bettas (I stopped buying them a while ago because of them marble gene but if I can find a better source I'm open to it)
Dwarf Gouramis (also wary of them because of DGD but I enjoy having them)
Guppies and other livebearers
Rummy Nose Tetras
Julii Cories
Angelfish (I know the care sheet on here says 20 is the minimum but I've heard otherwise. Opinions?)
Any Invertebrate (seriously, any)

Fish I don't like:
Honey Gouramis (I like the fish itself, I just would prefer 1 or 2 larger fish)
BN Plecos

I am open to any suggestions and they don't have to be fish on this list. I'm just looking for ideas right now! Thanks!
 

Algonquin

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I think Rummynose need more swimming space than a 20H offers. What about a few male guppies and a nice group of ember tetras? You can get some pretty awesome guppies these days, a trio of different colours/types would serve as your centrepiece! And maybe some shrimp for the bottom, once the tank is established.
 
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ahouseofscales

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Algonquin said:
I think Rummynose need more swimming space than a 20H offers. What about a few male guppies and a nice group of ember tetras? You can get some pretty awesome guppies these days, a trio of different colours/types would serve as your centrepiece! And maybe some shrimp for the bottom, once the tank is established.
Okay. I had put rummynose on here because another member said they would do okay in a 20H in a previous post of mine. I think I would prefer a larger fish than guppies as a centerpiece but I will think about it.

Crispii said:
I don't condone having angels in a 20 as it way too small for them. Have you considered killifish as a centerpiece fish?
I had thought about killifish but not too much since I've never had them and I know next to nothing about keeping them. What species would you recommend?
 

Algonquin

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Crispii said:
How about a pair of Fundulopanchax sjoestedti?
Now that's a beautiful fish! :joyful: (had to look it up!)
I guess it will also depend on what is available in OPs area (and/or what's shippable).
 

Algonquin

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What about a pair of wild bettas? That could be interesting (although expensive!). Your Ph is in the right range.
 
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ahouseofscales

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Crispii said:
How about a pair of Fundulopanchax sjoestedti?
This is a beautiful species! Is it an annual?

Algonquin said:
What about a pair of wild bettas? That could be interesting (although expensive!). Your Ph is in the right range.
I love wild bettas but my issue is when I go home my pH is around 7.5-8.0. That usually isn't good for wilds.
 
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ahouseofscales

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Crispii said:
No. These types of killifish can live 3-5 years.
Oh cool! They seem like they would be a great option for me. Would a pair do well in a 20 gallon with a small school?
 

MissNoodle

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Ima gonna throw in the suggestion of a pair of female mollies or even just one molly for a centerpiece, if you keep the pH a bit up there. Theyre great fish, personally
 

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ahouseofscales said:
Would a school of harlequins work well? Any particular species you suggest?
I think harlequins would do okay with killifish, however, try getting a schooling fish that reach 3".
 
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ahouseofscales

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MissNoodle said:
Ima gonna throw in the suggestion of a pair of female mollies or even just one molly for a centerpiece, if you keep the pH a bit up there. Theyre great fish, personally
I personally don't think a 20 high is enough room for mollies, plus my pH is not in the right range for them. Thanks for the suggestion though.

Crispii said:
I think harlequins would do okay with killifish, however, try getting a schooling fish that reach 3".
Would a school of three inch fish work in a 20 high? It seems like they would need more room.
 

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ahouseofscales said:
I personally don't think a 20 high is enough room for mollies, plus my pH is not in the right range for them. Thanks for the suggestion though.
pH doesn't matter. Any fish can thrive in a wide range of pH as long as it is consistent and stable.

ahouseofscales said:
Would a school of three inch fish work in a 20 high? It seems like they would need more room.
That should be fine. Mind asking the dimensions?
 
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ahouseofscales

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Crispii said:
pH doesn't matter. Any fish can thrive in a wide range of pH as long as it is consistent and stable.


That should be fine. Mind asking the dimensions?
I agree that pH should be consistent and stable first and foremost but I tend to think that most fish do better in a pH they're adapted to, so I usually only get fish that work for my pH range. It is a standard 20 high, 24.25" x 12.5" x 16.75".
 

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Mollies are one of the exceptions i believe, they really do not do well in soft water or low pH, they become weaker and prone to illness easier.

Otherwise i do agree most fish just need a stable pH

Though, your listed tap water pH is fine for mollies, the gassed off pH is a touch low.
 
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ahouseofscales

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MissNoodle said:
Mollies are one of the exceptions i believe, they really do not do well in soft water or low pH, they become weaker and prone to illness easier.

Otherwise i do agree most fish just need a stable pH

Though, your listed tap water pH is fine for mollies, the gassed off pH is a touch low.
I just tested again today and it's sitting around 6.0 now. So I don't think mollies are an option for many reasons. Thanks for the suggestion though.
 

bettabo1

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I wish you were closer so i could give you a trio of gardneri killifish. I think you will like killifish as a center piece.
 
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