Help figuring out what to do with a new 20 gallon tall

brandelion

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first things first - my current tank is a 20 tall - set it up a few days ago with water, power filter, heater, airstone, black gravel, some misc. rocks and fake plants - last night I added 3 small spotted cories to try to get the ball rolling

having some trouble getting the heater to regulate below 80-82º but so far it hasn't gone above that or below 74º so I'm done messing with it

anyway...

here's the thing - I had a 20 gallon tall about 7 years ago (stocked with 1 cory, one small pleco, 2 angel fish and 2 swordtails) which I had great luck with (even got the nickname 'the fish whisperer' because I had the most sparkling clean aquarium anyone had ever seen haaa) - trust me I'm NO fish whisperer!!

sadly about a year after setting it up, we wound up having to move and somehow about 2 weeks after moving into our new place, the filter managed to get loaded with MOLD and the fish started dropping like flies - I figured it was because of the house (very old house with a lot of water damage and mold issues) so with a heavy heart, I gave up and sold what was left of my fish and the entire setup to a friend who managed to salvage everything and keep the last of the fish alive - YAY!!

I'm in a different house now and FINALLY had the means to get a new tank/filter/heater/etc.

let me first just say that I wish I had found this place 2 days ago - I would have tried to get the ball rolling in a fishless way... instead I now have these 3 cories I'm hoping will make it through the process

anyway... assuming all goes well in getting this thing all cycled and good to go, without killing my new babies - I'm trying to decide what direction to go in as far as (eventually) adding more new babies

fish I'm considering (NOT all together of course - just considerations in some possible combination)

I'd like this tank to be a little more lively than the last one so I'm thinking along the lines of some schooling fish - perhaps either neon tetras or tiger barbs (leaning AGAINST tiger barbs just to keep my options more open down the road for fish that might not fare so well with them... but just think they are so cool looking it's hard to knock them out of the running)

also considering, possibly: cherry barbs, lyretail guppies, swordtails, black mollies, african dwarf frogs

I'm still doing my research to see who can live with whom/compatible water conditions etc. but I just thought I'd ask the opinion of actual people who might know something (rather than relying completely on whatever information google decides to throw at me

of the fish I mentioned, what combinations and numbers of each kind might work best in my 20 gallon tall setup (keeping in mind I'll hopefully still have the 3 corries living in there)

or do you guys have any other suggestions that might work out better than the ones I've come up with?

hope you guys can help =)

thanks!!
 
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brandelion

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p.s. another way I've been thinking of going is - I have a male betta I've been considering putting in this tank - any opinions on doing that - and what other fish might mix well with him if I do?
 

JRDroid

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Bettas are really hit or miss in community tanks. I don't recommend it personally, you see more horror stories than success stories with bettas in community tanks. If you do do it, just make usre you have a back up plan if it doesn't work out.
 
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brandelion

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Monmouth ~ that's why I haven't stuck him in there already - I'm not hugely in love with the idea other than to get him out of his unheated 2 gallon bowl
but he's been doing just fine in there for like a year now so I'll probably just leave well enough alone as far as he is concerned - just thought I'd throw it out there as a consideration =)

ideally I'd like this new aquarium to be as free from confrontation as possible hehehe

thanks =)
 

Kunsthure

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Welcome to Fish Lore!

Don't beat yourself up about finding out about fishless cycling too late, I was the same. Just make sure to do daily water changes of at least 25% and use Prime or Amquel+ as your water conditioner because they detox ammonia and nitrites. What test kit do you have?

I'd skip the tiger barbs in a 20g. I had cherry barbs but traded them in because I thought they were pretty boring. I got gold barbs and they rock! They school well but aren't on auto-pilot like a lot of tetras. They are really active, swim all over the tank, and even play with the platy and corys. They have developed into a beautiful metallic gold with red tail and dorsal fins. You could do 6.

What kind of corys do you have now? If they're the smaller kinds, like no emeralds or albinos, I'd add at least one more Cory, they like to be in groups of at least four.

I have read that the dwarf frogs don't often do well in community tanks but I'll let someone else fill in the gaps on them.

I'm not a big livebearer fan (our 20g is my daughter's) because of the never ending fry supply if you get both males and females. But even getting all females is a risk since they can store sperm for 4-6 months. But if I had to, I'd go with three black mollies (1 male and two females, or all males or all females) and add 1 more Cory. Swordtails will get too big for your tank. You could also do 6 guppies, 2 male and 4 females, and 4 corys.

-Lisa
 
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brandelion

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kunsthure ~ sorry for the delay - my computer went belly up... just getting back online now

I have an API master kit (which I was totally ripped off for :/) $32 (STUPID PETCO!!)
tested ammonia and nitrate today - ammonia was .25 and nitrite was 0
the corys seem to be doing fine - typically bonkers and having a ball playing in the bubbles haaa

to answer your question - they are spotted corys (should grow to no more than 3" each)

I'm currently considering this combo

the 3 corys (maybe one more)
a bristlenose pleco
and around 5 either cherry barbs OR gold barbs OR black neons OR lyretail guppies
not sure if I could pull off more than that without another filter - what say you?
and why would you skip the tiger barbs? think they'll get too big?
 

JRDroid

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since you are going through the nitrogen cycle with fish, make sure you stay on top of your water changes daily and use a water conditioner such as Prime or AmQuel that detoxes the ammonia to dose the ENTIRE tank, not just the new water. This will give you fish the best chance of survivng the cycle.

For stocking, i think the lyre tail guppies would be neat!
 

NC_OBS

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I too have a small pack of gold barbs in my tank(5) and I really like them, sometimes they'll all group up and swim around then split off to investigate things. They didn't have that much color in the store but after 2 weeks in my tank they're bright yellow(gold) and ya, the red in the fins has come in. I like em.
 
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