Fish choice advice!

  1. chemi Initiate Member

    Im pretty new to fish keeping and would some advice on what fish i should add to my tank to have a peaceful 90L/20G tank.
    Tank currently has 2 synodontis multipunctatus, 3 black phantoms, 3 ottos, 3 platys and 6 neon tetras.

    There was 5 black phantoms who were all fine for a few months until adding the platys, then 2 got ill and died. I then added 3 clown loaches and 2 died - i returned the last one before he suffered the same fate!
    I added the tetras a few days ago and one now has a badly injured fin.
    On researching i think the platys are all male and think they are bullying and being aggressive so these are most likely to be removed shortly.
    The fish shop people said the aggression/tension is too high in our tank so buy more fish to disperse this.
    All fish purchases have been discussed with them as well to check compatibility with our tank...

    Ideally i would like some more colourful fish but been advised against guppies or angel fish as phantoms can be fin nippers.
    Water tests show water to be fine (dont have exact numbers to hand)

    Any advice on what could be going wrong or suggestions for further fish??

  2. bassbonediva Fishlore VIP Member

    First off, welcome!

    Second, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your synodontis are going to get too big for your tank. They get to be around 8-9" each and are generally recommended for no smaller than 55 gallon tanks.

    Third, your black phantoms are probably part of the reason you're having aggression. They prefer to be in larger groups of six or more.

    Good thing you got rid of the remaining clown loach because they get to be huge. We're talking 13" each and they prefer being in groups of four or more.

    I would not recommend an angelfish for your tank because of the size. Adult angels can reach 6" in length and 10" from tip to tip vertically. I had an adult male silver zebra who was 5.5" long and about 8.5" top to bottom. MUCH too big for a 20gal.

    So, that being said, here is what I would recommend for stocking.

    6 black phantom tetras
    6 neon tetras
    3-4 male guppies
    3 otos

    You notice I said male guppies. Male guppies do great in bachelor groups. Also, once you get a bigger school of black phantoms going, their aggression will be focused within their own group and not spill over to the other fish,

  3. chemi Initiate Member

    Thank you for your reply!
    This is the exact reason i wanted to post on one of these threads because as i said above every fish choice we've made has been made with guidance of the staff in the fish shop but when we get them home and look on internet we find that they dont seem like the best choice - such as the size of the synodontis and the quick deaths of the clown loaches - which i felt really guilty about!
    Thank you for your advice, so you dont think the black phantoms will nip the guppies fins-as previously advised not to get them even when we did have a bigger number of them?