Help! Very New. 20 Gallon Tank With Clown Pleco.

litttlecreature
  • #1
HI guys!

I am really new to this. I mean, I had fish as a kid, but never a developed aquarium.

I am getting my boyfriend a 20 gallon tank with accessories for his birthday. I've been researching a lot, but there is so much information out there that it's a but overwhelming.

I have decorations with places to hide, driftwood, food for different fish, the works.

The one fish I want to get is a clown pleco, because he loves them. I know that 20 gallons is the minimum for them, so I want to know if/how many/what types of fish I might be able to get with the pleco. I was thinking some mollies, definitely some snails, and maybe some very tiny schooling fish. I'm looking for fish that'll do a good job with tank cleanup, and fish that would be happy in the environment I have.

I know I'm ignorant about all of this - I am trying to learn as much as possible before his birthday (7/15). ANY tips or suggestions would be so, so helpful.

Thank you!!
 
DylanM
  • #2
Was about to write a heated post thinking you said clown loach, but then I realized you wrote clown pleco XD
 
litttlecreature
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Haha, nope! So you think a clown pleco is ok in a tank that size? I don't want to do something wrong! I'm nervous.
 
DylanM
  • #4
Haha, nope! So you think a clown pleco is ok in a tank that size? I don't want to do something wrong! I'm nervous.
I think as long as you provide him with plenty of driftwood and you get a 20 gallon long you could definitely keep one in a 20 gallon. After all their max size is about an inch shorter than a bristlenose's max size.
 
litttlecreature
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
I have quite a lot of driftwood - thank you! Yeah, I'm choosing a clown because their size is so small. Let me know if you have an idea on tankmates!
 
wodesorel
  • #6
I have had two in a 20 for the last ten years. They are not extremely active and mostly want to chow down on algae and driftwood. They are often sitting out in the open though so are fun to watch. If you can get the tank set up for a bit and then add the clown it may do better in the long run. Mine like softer driftwoods, mopanI is not a fave.

Go for a lot of filtration though. I have double filters now and they still get clogged within 2 weeks with brown driftwood poo sludge from the plecos. Not a huge effect on the bioload as long as the good bacteria have time to build up to process it all, but it is icky trying to clean the tank sometimes. When I rinse the sponges in tank water the bucket turns solid brown. Not a dealbreaker, but also not what I was expecting with having them!
 
litttlecreature
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
I have had two in a 20 for the last ten years. They are not extremely active and mostly want to chow down on algae and driftwood. They are often sitting out in the open though so are fun to watch. If you can get the tank set up for a bit and then add the clown it may do better in the long run. Mine like softer driftwoods, mopanI is not a fave.

Go for a lot of filtration though. I have double filters now and they still get clogged within 2 weeks with brown driftwood poo sludge from the plecos. Not a huge effect on the bioload as long as the good bacteria have time to build up to process it all, but it is icky trying to clean the tank sometimes. When I rinse the sponges in tank water the bucket turns solid brown. Not a dealbreaker, but also not what I was expecting with having them!

Thanks do much for the info! I'll keep that all in mind. I ordered mopani, so I'll get something else, and make sure my filtration is decent!
 
DoubleDutch
  • #8
I have had two in a 20 for the last ten years. They are not extremely active and mostly want to chow down on algae and driftwood. They are often sitting out in the open though so are fun to watch. If you can get the tank set up for a bit and then add the clown it may do better in the long run. Mine like softer driftwoods, mopanI is not a fave.

Go for a lot of filtration though. I have double filters now and they still get clogged within 2 weeks with brown driftwood poo sludge from the plecos. Not a huge effect on the bioload as long as the good bacteria have time to build up to process it all, but it is icky trying to clean the tank sometimes. When I rinse the sponges in tank water the bucket turns solid brown. Not a dealbreaker, but also not what I was expecting with having them!
Indeed MopanI is to fresh and hard for these guys.
 
DuaneV
  • #9
The Clown Pleco will need MopanI wood. Its a staple of their diet.

A 20 gallon is more than large enough for a single clown and some other fish (depending on filtration). We've had clowns in 10 gallons for years and according to the professional breeders Ive spoken with, clowns are fine in a 10. My son has a 10 gallon guppy tank that's heavily planted, has 5 guppies and a clown in and its been running fine for 2 years, and that's about the lifespan of guppies if you're lucky.
 
DoubleDutch
  • #10
Huh I can think of all kind of wood that are softer and more eatable than mopanI to me.
MopanI is a fresh root from southern Africa that is quite hard.
The Clown Pleco will need MopanI wood. Its a staple of their diet.

A 20 gallon is more than large enough for a single clown and some other fish (depending on filtration). We've had clowns in 10 gallons for years and according to the professional breeders Ive spoken with, clowns are fine in a 10. My son has a 10 gallon guppy tank that's heavily planted, has 5 guppies and a clown in and its been running fine for 2 years, and that's about the lifespan of guppies if you're lucky.
 
DuaneV
  • #11
The breeder I bought ours from recommended MopanI so its what I went with.
 
goldface
  • #12
MopanI does get really soft and flaky after it ages for a while. But yeah, it’s probably much too hard if it is newly sunk. Softer woods like Malaysian would be better.
 
litttlecreature
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Thanks so much, everybody. I'm going to boil and soak the mopanI for days to try to age it if it doesn't soften, I'll get something else! Any fish ideas to share the tank would be awesome, too!
 
wodesorel
  • #14
Mine would not touch Malayasian for some reason! Picky little guys. They mostly stick with Manzanita and grape, though I know a lot of people do not like grape because it is too soft and falls apart too quickly.
 
PatientStars
  • #15
My clowns both hate Mopani, as do both of my bristlenose, and my lone zebra. While I occasionally spot them on it briefly, it is not their go to compared to the other driftwood I have, which is much softer even before soaking (no clue what kind of wood it is, it's just labeled as driftwood at my lfs haha)

As for other fish, mollies are nice but can be bullies occasionally, so if you would get another smaller type of fish, they could get picked on. My molly liked to nip tails, she didn't play well with others.

I'm partial to mystery snails on that front. I currently have 5, and there are babies in my 50 but until they get bigger I have no clue how many! Haha they breed at a much slower rate than a lot of other snails, which is nice. I have also heard good thing about nerites, though I've never head any myself.

One of my favorite little fish in my tank are my blue eyed forktail rainbowfish. They have fun personalities and are really active. A small school would probably fare well in a 20.
 

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