Newbie with 20 g tank, over overwhelmed

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Piaelliott, Jun 21, 2016.

  1. Piaelliott

    PiaelliottWell Known MemberMember

    Hi all,

    Today I was gifted a 20 gal tank (24x12x16) plus Tetra Whisper x30 filter.

    Now I need to buy the rest, do a fishless cycle but first I need to get started with the 'interior decoration'.
    Unfortunately the tank is smaller than I would like, also I started reading up on fish and found conflicting information about fish size and requirement.
    So I thought I ask here to see what the experts think.

    Idea 1
    - one Betta
    - one Clown P!eco (I love plecos, so I really would love one)
    - maybe in the long run 1-2 dwarf frogs

    Idea 2
    - 4-5 male guppies
    - one Clown pleco

    Any other ideas?
    I was thinking black sand, big river rocks, driftwood and real plants would be nice.
    Any fast swimming fish like Danios I wouldn't want. They make me nervous. Everything should be very peaceful.

    Thanks in advance for your input.
  2. peregrine

    peregrineValued MemberMember

    First welcome.

    So for the First Idea. Betta really need to just be in a tank alone.

    Just curious why fast swimming fish make you nervous? And although danios can swim fast. Usually a lot of fast swimming is a sign of stress. Both my Zebra Danios and my Neon tetras usually just kinda float around slowly swimming around the tank...
  3. OP

    PiaelliottWell Known MemberMember

    Like I said, conflicting info. I read on a Betta web site that Clown plecos or other peaceful small fish could be kept with a Betta.
    We have a tank at work and baby giant Danios were introduced. They are very active and zip around a lot. Personally, I think an aquarium should be relaxing to look at and the Danios drive me crazy :)

  4. codyrex97

    codyrex97Well Known MemberMember

    Newbie with 20 g tank, ver overwhelmed

    I think idea 2 is good.

    If it were me I'd probably do a school of cories (corydoras catfish) for the bottom area and a school of fish for the upper area, and maybe some shrimp to hide in the plants.

  5. tyguy7760

    tyguy7760Fishlore VIPMember

    I like idea #2. You could probably add something to it but most fish small enough to fit in a 20 gallon high I would consider fast swimming fish. Celestial Pearl Danio's (I know it's a danio but they aren't the same as the others) don't dart around too much. You could do

    4-5 Male Guppies
    1 Clown Pleco
    15 Celestial Pearl Danios
  6. Aquatica88Valued MemberMember

    Newbie with 20 g tank, ver overwhelmed

    If you don't like danios, maybe a small group of male guppies would be more to your liking. Edit: I see that this was one of your proposed ideas already.

    You could also have a school of 6 cories that are suitable temperature wise to the other fish that you have.
  7. LJC6780

    LJC6780Well Known MemberMember

    This is a 20 gal tank. Would that not be very overstocked? I'm newer so curious ...
  8. tyguy7760

    tyguy7760Fishlore VIPMember

    No. CPD's stay very small at less than an inch and in a heavily planted tank you could do 12-15 I would think with 4 or 5 male guppies no problem.
  9. LJC6780

    LJC6780Well Known MemberMember

  10. codyrex97

    codyrex97Well Known MemberMember

    By the way, some calming words, the larger your tank the easier it is to manage water parameters. So starting with a 20 is a step up from somebody trying to start with a 5 or 10, or one of those tiny ones below 5
  11. Aquatica88Valued MemberMember

    IMO no fish should be in a tank below 5 gallons. A 20 gallon is a good size for a beginner that isn't too small to feasibly put much into it.
  12. Maxi1Valued MemberMember

    Newbie with 20 g tank, ver overwhelmed

    How about a single honey gourami. I'm like you, enjoy slower moving fish.

    I think it would go with male guppies and/or CPD's. Maybe 10 and the gourami. Check the fish out on uTube and stocking on aqadvisor. It is not perfect but gives you general ideas that are helpful.

    Have fun and welcome.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2016
  13. Grimund

    GrimundWell Known MemberMember

    Ember Tetra and a good number of Rasbora species are small, very colorful, and not that active too.

    Aside from guppies, is there other center of attention fish you like?

    There's always a female betta sorority. Multiple females can be kept together in the same tank, but you would need 5 or more to keep things civil with themselves. Aquaphobia and Flowingfins could help you with that option.

    Male Betta are pretty territorial with most of anything. The best bet, with male or female, is with invertebrates like shrimp or snails, but it's never a guarantee. I do recommend a 5-10 gallon for a male betta. They're quite the fun fish.
  14. OP

    PiaelliottWell Known MemberMember

    Wow, thanks for your input. I am at work right now, so don"t have time to write much. I will look into those celestial danios.
    As a center fish I thought about a dwarf gourami but then read they areally prone to disease.
  15. Grimund

    GrimundWell Known MemberMember

    There's a virus that's common among 20% of them that get imported from Singapore. Not really prone to disease.

    You're most likely not going to get one that has it and if it does, I'd assume you could get a refund for being sold a sick fish. Just watch the tank at the store for a week and if their still healthy, you're pretty much golden.

    I really love the Honey Guarami. They are very peaceful, especially for anabantoids (fish that have a labyrinth organ).
  16. OP

    PiaelliottWell Known MemberMember

    Love the Honey Gourami! When I researched it, it says that they show more interesting behavior when not kept alone.
    What do you think?

    I like the combination
    1-2 Honey Gouramis
    4-5 guppis
    1 clown pleco

    And maybe a few Celestial Danios which ars very cute.

    The corys ars great too but unfortunagely the tank is not that big.

    Thanks all for your input!
  17. Grimund

    GrimundWell Known MemberMember

    Guppies contribute a good bit to the bioload. If your heart is set on them, you wouldn't be able to stock much of the celestials, if any.

    1 male and 1 female honey. Two males don't get along very well.

    Cherry or Ghost Shrimp are a great choice for the bottom with the pleco. They are fun to watch and contribute very little waste to boot.
  18. Aquaphobia

    AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    I wouldn't try a sorority at this point. Beautiful if it works, but nerve-racking thanks to the potential for it all to go wrong!

    I also think that the chance of it working are higher in a 20 long vs a 20 high.
  19. Grimund

    GrimundWell Known MemberMember

    Whoops. I misread the dimensions. Thanks for pointing that out.

    I believe there's a dollar per gallon sale at petsmart now or very soon, so a 20 long could be gotten
  20. AndrewJ54

    AndrewJ54Valued MemberMember

    Unfortunately this sale ended last month on the 7th, I read your comment and got excited to find out it already ended

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