New centerpiece fish for 20 gallon

  1. Dempsey Dude Well Known Member Member

    So I've had my 20 gallon up and running for over a year now, and I've gone through several different "line-ups" of fish, let us say, before I settled on one I really liked. Right now this tank houses 2 siamese algae eaters I've had for the longest time, very tough little critters, have survived 2 bouts of ich, love to graze on my hand and arm when it's in the tank rescaping or doing maintenance. Also in the tank are a small school of 5 neon tetras, which were pretty small when I bought them but are now getting quite big and absolutely flourishing, they never school they're always all over the tank so it seems they're quite comfortable. Finally, there are 4 female guppies who like nothing more than to stuff their faces. Their little bellies get so round after every feeding, it's hilarious.

    Now to my point: these are the fish I like and definitely want in this little community tank, but I am lost as to what to get for a centrepiece fish. I have tried several different fish, bettas (neons picked on them and nipped their fins), dwarf gourami (too aggressive toward other fish) laetacara curviceps (quite liked these but very hard to sex which was a problem for me), kribs (way too aggressive during breeding), and german blue rams. The GBR's have by far been my favourite in terms of both looks and temperament, but my LFS carries very weak stock GBR's and I've never been able to keep them alive for more than a couple months at a time before they wasted away to camallanus worms or some other internal parasite. I just lost my last male GBR and decided to forego buying any more of them because they have obvious problems.

    What I would like is any suggestions for a good centrepiece fish for this tank build. I love colourful fish, I would prefer something moderately peaceful, and I absolutely love cichlids of all kinds so some type of dwarf cichlid would be ideal.
  2. Watermark Member Member

    It's hard to have a 'centerpiece' for such a small tank. I would rehome the guppies and siamese algae eaters, and increase the neon population to a dozen so that they will actually school, which would be a delightful centerpiece in and of itself.

  3. Dempsey Dude Well Known Member Member

    Schooling is a sign of stress or perceived threat, so I'm actually happy that they're comfortable enough not to do it. And again, I am happy with the fish I have currently and do not wish to get rid of them. What I am looking for is 1 smallish, showy fish that is fine on its own to add as a centrepiece.
  4. Watermark Member Member

    Tetras are schooling fish, which is not to say that they don't occasionally swim alone. It is well known that tetras in particular are more comfortable in a school of at least 5-7. I understand that you already have this minimum, but coupled with the fact that your tank is on the small side - introducing another species for the sake of having a centerpiece may not be prudent.

  5. _Fried_Bettas_ Well Known Member Member

    Apistogramma, they need a cave and if you only have a male he won't be very aggressive. If you have a pair, SHE will be aggressive. They are SA dwarf cichlids like the rams, and roughly the same size.

    One of mine.

    Rocky&Adrian 131101 (3).jpg
  6. Dempsey Dude Well Known Member Member

    I know there are many subspecies of apistos, I have a borellii in my 10 gallon... that one is gorgeous, what type is it, agassizii? I don't think they're available in my area unfortunately.
  7. _Fried_Bettas_ Well Known Member Member

    He is a rather rare wild blue strain of apisto cacatuoides that I acquired through Aquabid (apistodave). The only tank I have left that hasn't been converted to raising bettas.

  8. Anders247 Fishlore Legend Member

  9. Dempsey Dude Well Known Member Member

    Not a huge fan of plecos and I think that would put me over the top in terms of the bioload. I'm looking for something more active and colourful. I would love an apisto but they don't carry them around here.
  10. Anders247 Fishlore Legend Member

    They grow smaller than other plecos: 4 in

  11. Anthony10 Member Member

  12. Dempsey Dude Well Known Member Member

    That's an interesting suggestion, what kind were you thinking?
  13. Anthony10 Member Member

    F. Gardneri (Blue Lyretail)
  14. Anders247 Fishlore Legend Member

    Maybe dwarf gouramis?
  15. Dempsey Dude Well Known Member Member

    I've tried dwarf gouramis, not a huge fan.

    That's a beautiful killifish, I'm not sure if my LFS carries them.
  16. Anthony10 Member Member

    I know there's someone on this forum that has a breeding pair and sells the fry! I forget who though... EDIT: EricV has the killies, I'm not sure when he has fry again, maybe send a PM?
  17. neofyt05 Member Member

    I'd say a pair (male and female) of honey gouramis :)
    Cuter and more peaceful than the dwarf gourami and they prefer to top region.
  18. Anders247 Fishlore Legend Member

    I wouldn't say cuter but definitely more peaceful.
  19. Dempsey Dude Well Known Member Member

    I may give a male dwarf gourami another shot if I can't get my hands on a pair of killis, although an apisto or other colourful dwarf cichlid would be most ideal for me. I'm gonna go take a look around my LFS tomorrow and see what they have. May even grab a bolivian ram, I've been eyeing them lately. Not as colourful as the GBR's but definitely hardier, and still pretty.
  20. Anders247 Fishlore Legend Member

    You may have just gotten some DGs with bad attitudes. :confused: