How Many And Which Fish To Start With?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by FishyGlenda, May 19, 2019.

  1. FishyGlenda Valued Member Member

    I have a 20 gallon high aquarium. I want to plan to get these fish maybe today or tomorrow:
    -6 Neón tetras
    -6 harlequin rasboras
    -1 honey gourami
    -2 platy
    -6 Panda cories
    I think my tank is currently processing 3 ppm of ammonia in about 24 hours. Based on how much ammonia my bacteria is able to process, which fish should should I start with and how many of them? I want to get enough fish where all the bacteria is used and none is left on excess because they would go to waste and lose them from starvation. But I also do not want too many where it overwhelms my bacteria and gives me an ammonia spike in return. What would be the perfect amount of fish to start with in my case? I’m also going to be gone from Tuesday to Friday so I won’t be able to monitor the ammonia levels those days.

  2. MrBryan723 Well Known Member Member

    I would do a single school at a time and wait about a week+ before adding the next one. I would skip the panda cories altogether since it is a "high" 20 and not a long one.
    How you tend to them with feeding has more impact on your BB than anything else really at the moment as well.

  3. Crispii Well Known Member Member

    I wouldn't recommend neon tetras and panda corydoras. The reason for that is that these fish are not as hardy as they used to (because of inbreeding) and that they may be sensitive to water quality.

  4. FishyGlenda Valued Member Member

    Are cardinal tetras and dainty cories hardier than Neón tetras and Panda cories?

    I personally believe a small school of 6 Cory doras would do fine in a 20 gallon high. A 20 gallon long is better obviously. But a 20 gallon high should be fine too. They would have all the bottom for themselves excluding the other fish also.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2019
  5. Crispii Well Known Member Member

    I'm not sure if cardinals are hardy enough for a beginner since a majority of the cardinals you see in store are wild caught (you may see tank raised cardinals in some stores). I believe that dainty corydoras are hardy, but I don't know if they're beginner friendly.
  6. Lajos Valued Member Member

    Yes, I agree with Crispii about Neon Tetras. They are not hardy and not suitable for beginner especially when your tank is not stable yet(not enough Beneficial bacteria - BB).

    Too many mass breedings today had resulted with weaker genes Neon Tetras.

    You have 3 schooling fish in your tank - Neon, Harlequin, Panda Cory which might be too many for your tank.

    In my opinion, you have to remove one schooling fish, which is the Neon Tetra, and keep the other two schooling fish - Harlequin Rasboras and Panda Corydoras.
    These will suit your 20 gallons high as you have one school of fish at the top and one school at the bottom.

    I think Cardinal Tetras are more hardy than Neon Tetras.
    But Harlequin Rasboras will definitely be more hardy than Cardinal Tetras.

    You can start by adding the more hardy fish first and for the BB to build up.
    1)Honey Gourami - x1
    2)Platy - x2
    1) and 2) will be your
    "commando fish" to be the first introduced into your tank. LOL

    3) Next, will be your Harlequin Rasboras x6

    4) Lastly, will be your Panda Corydoras. Since they are at the bottom of the tank, they will be more susceptible to the ammonia/nitrite rise.
  7. FishyGlenda Valued Member Member

    I know that 3 sets of schools might sound like a lot for a 20 gallon. But it won’t be overcrowded and there will be room for everyone to swim in. My tank is a 20 gallon high so it has 3 levels: top, middle, bottom. The harlequin rasbora is known to stay between the top and middle region, the Neón tetras is known to stay between the bottom and middle region, and the panda Cory is known to stay at the bottom. The platies will also stay in the middle of the tank and the honey gourami will stay between the top and middle region of the tank along with the school of harlequin rasboras. I also used AqAdvisor and it says I’m at 100% stocking which is perfect.


    Just to make make it easier for myself, I might swap out the neon tetras for cardinal tetras and the panda cories for another kind of Cory. I want to make this hobby as enjoyable as I can. :)How would the Panda cories be more suspectible to ammonia/nitrite rise? And I like your plan a lot on how to start stocking it.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  8. Crispii Well Known Member Member

    I wouldn't trust Aqua Adviser completely. Also, I would do only one species of shoaling fish, either the neon tetras or the rasboras.
  9. FishyGlenda Valued Member Member

    I don’t trust AqAdvisor completely and use it as a guide only. I keep myself from “overstocking” by following these 3 rules:
    1) Enough filtration for everyone.
    2)There’s swimming room for everyone to swim in and it’s not overcrowded.
    3)The tank has the capacity to sustain the bioload (which you can increase by adding more surface area for the bacteria to colonize on with ceramic rings, etc)
    These 3 rules work out really well to keep you from “overstocking,” and I love them.
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  10. MrBryan723 Well Known Member Member

    We are just giving the advice you asked for. General consensus is 3 schools is too many and to cut back on 1. Opinions on which 2 differ, but we're all encouraging 2 instead of 3.
  11. FishyGlenda Valued Member Member

    Would this be fine? If I can’t keep both harlequin rasboras and Neón tetras, I really want guppies. But a minimum of 3 guppies is required. I also reduced the platy to 1. So there’s less fish overall too.
    -1 honey gourami (top/middle)
    -3 guppies (top/middle)
    -1 platy (middle)
    -6 cardinal tetras (bottom/middle)
    -6 dainty cories (bottom)
    I might not get the dainty cories and get the panda ones instead. The same thing goes with the cardinal tetras and Neón tetras. It just depends on what my local fish stores offers and what they have in stock.