Newbie With A 20 Gallon High (stocking Help?)

Discussion in 'Freshwater Aquarium Builds' started by nop990, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. nop990

    nop990New MemberMember

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    Hello all,

    I am nearing the end of my nitrogen cycle for my first ever fish tank (nitrites just started decreasing). I'm very excited and I have a decent idea of what I want in my tank, but could use some advice. It is a planted tank with:

    -3 types of sword
    -1 nana anubias
    -1 dwarf lily bulb
    -4 (brown :emoji_disappointed_relieved:) marimos
    -a few bunches of hornwort
    -1 decorative battleship wreck
    -1 medium piece of mopani driftwood

    I plan on getting moss before getting shrimp; I just haven't found any at my local stores yet. It has black gravel as substrate, and I have an Aqueon QuietPro 10 paired with an Aquaclear 30 for filtration (with some sponges on the intakes). I would like to have:

    -1 to 2 honey gourami
    -8 harlequin or glowlight rasboras
    - 4 to 6 of some type of corydora
    - 2 amano shrimps
    - 1 golden or ivory mystery snail


    My first question is, what type of corydora should I go for? I would love one of the dwarf varieties (habrosus/hastatus/pygmaeus), but the only varieties sold in my area are albino and emerald catfish, and they are very expensive to ship online. Would the albinos fit, and if so, how many?

    Next, is the stocking okay? AqAdvisor says it is at 91% with 5 albino cories and 1 gourami, but Aq is hardly gospel. I am trying to have a nice balance of swimming levels, with the gourami at the top/middle, the rasbies in the middle, the cories on the bottom, and the shrimps in the plants/driftwood cave (plus the snail chillin wherever). If all of that is good, could I even get a M/F pair of gouramis? I don't want to go overboard.

    The order I would stock would be the shrimps, the snail, and the rasbies first, then 4 cories, then the gourami/rest of the cories. 2 weeks in-between additions. Does this sound good?

    Finally, if you don't think a certain fish would be happy in my set-up, could you please provide an alternative that might? Shrimp are basically a must for me, so I'd prefer something compatible with them. I know amanos only breed in brackish water; I'm not looking to breed them.

    If needed for some reason, my water parameters are:
    - 7.6-7.8 pH
    - 8 kH
    - 12 gH
    - 75 Fahrenheit
    (I have centralized A/C so it will always be this temp)
    - TDS currently 1110 ppm, but 360 ppm from tap

    Sorry, I know I asked a lot of questions but I want this to go right :D
    20190708_204348[1].
     
  2. Giul

    GiulWell Known MemberMember

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    The stocking list looks great. I think albino cories would be a little too big for a 20 high. Do they have false julii or panda cories in your area? They’re smaller (not quite dwarf) but you’d be able to fit a group of 6 in there. You could always ask your LFS to special order the dwarf cories for you. I know even my local Petco will take special requests
     
  3. OP
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    nop990

    nop990New MemberMember

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    Hi, thanks for the reply! The only ones I've seen listed online at Petco and PetSmart have been albinos and emeralds, unfortunately. The 2 LFSs I've visited haven't even had any cories! I didn't think that was even possible! I will take your advice and ask if they can special order them for me. I also plan on going to a very large fish store about 30 minutes away from me in the coming days to check out their stock as well, but from what I've seen they mostly just have plecos. I know gouramis like to be paired m/f, do you think 2 of them would fit in my set-up? I don't want the little guys to be cramped, but I also don't want them to be lonely.
     
  4. Noroomforshoe

    NoroomforshoeValued MemberMember

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    Call the place before you go and ask if the can order dwarf cories, you can look up the species of dwarf cories on google, or go with panda or Julies. Most of the stores can order from a pretty varied list. pretty much every one bet petsmart will.

    Gouramis dont really like to be paired off, sometimes they can be paired up without fighting. but most of the species would be best as the only gouurami in the tank. The pearl gourami may be an exception, but they need a bigger tank anyways. Gourami are close cousins of the betta fish and can be just as territorial, if not worse. A 20 gallon tall even with the plants, is not a lot of space for territorial fish to develope territories. It would be safer to just have one gourami,
    In my experiance the honey gourami may hide most of the time, A female betta may be a more intersting choice.
     
  5. pagoda

    pagodaWell Known MemberMember

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    Just as an observation, Cory's "might" have issues with the type of gravel. They have barbels on their snouts and love to dig in sand, I stand to be corrected here but that gravel might be a little harsh for their snouts to rummage in and could damage their barbels
     
  6. OP
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    nop990

    nop990New MemberMember

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    Hi, thanks for the reply! I could've sworn I saw on one website saying that honeys liked to be paired, but now I can't find it. Better safe than sorry, and I am fine with having "only" one anyway. I do like female bettas a lot, especially halfmoons. The only issue is that I'm afraid they'll try to snack on the amano shrimp. I'll look around at my LFSs and see if any look particularly calm, but I am pretty set on a honey. Thanks for your advice, it is very appreciated!
     
  7. OP
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    nop990

    nop990New MemberMember

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    I have also read things about sharper gravel being a problem for their whiskers. The substrate I got is very smooth and a little rounded. Hopefully that will be acceptable for them. If any problems turn up, I'll return them to the store. I'm not here to damage fish for my pleasure, lol. Or, perhaps, I could find a way to make part of my tank sand. Maybe like a 1/6th inch coat of that multi-colored pool filter sand would look cool. Thank you for your reply, and I appreciate your concern!
     
  8. pagoda

    pagodaWell Known MemberMember

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    I have a 20g long with Tetras, Gourami, Pleco & 4 Bronze Cories and one of their very tiny babies. I have small Marina brand gravel to one end, I guess 25% of the base and the rest is covered with around 3" depth of white silica sand. The Cories rarely if ever venture into the gravelled area digging around but they love digging and rolling about in the sand...and the rest of the fish seem to like playing in the sand too (and faceplanting into it when acting out play wrestling)

    @DoubleDutch is probably the one to ask on this. Obviously you would never harm your fish knowingly, no-one would, but I am a little concerned that the gravel "might" be hard going for them
     
  9. OP
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    nop990

    nop990New MemberMember

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    I'd have to replant some stuff (which is fun anyway), but I could make the half with the driftwood sand and kinda curve said sand a little around the back of the ship so it's nice and artsy. I *think* it looks good in my head, lol. Taking out that much gravel wouldn't destroy my cycle, would it?
     
  10. pagoda

    pagodaWell Known MemberMember

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    Again I stand to be corrected.....if you swapped the gravel for sand during a water change, thus keeping the upset to a minimum, I think you should be OK on the cycle. Once fully cycled its quite hard to break it. Make sure that the sand that you choose is specifically suited to aquarium use. Putting just any type of sand might upset the balance since it may have unsuited ingredients that could potentially knock the cycle off

    By taking every precaution with the type of sand, doing it when changing the water and so forth you should lessen any ill effects
     
  11. OP
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    nop990

    nop990New MemberMember

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    Understood. Thank you so much, I really appreciate all your advice!
     
  12. pagoda

    pagodaWell Known MemberMember

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    No worries matey :)

    Hopefully others will chime in with advice too so that you can get the best from your aquarium & your fish :) Fishkeeping can be emotionally draining at times when getting everything just right, but in the end of all the hard work put in you'll have an awesome aquarium with happy & healthy fish to enjoy for many years to come :)
     
  13. DoubleDutch

    DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

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    I noticed that the main issue with gravel is the grainsize / shape in combination with the thickness of the layer.

    Issues occure when foodparts get out of reach and will start to rot / ammonia and nitrites occure and bad bacterial growth takes place. If that doesn't happen (it stays clean) Corys can live happy on gravel, but definitely love sand even more.

    Hoping this makes sense.

    Greetings,
    Aad
     
  14. OP
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    nop990

    nop990New MemberMember

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    Hi, thanks for your reply! I bought a gravel vaccuum when I got the tank to avoid that problem, but if they are happiest on sand then I will look into adding that to my tank. Appreciate your advice!
     
  15. clovervalley

    clovervalleyValued MemberMember

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    The Cories definitely enjoy their sand! They sort through it to find food particles, which is harder to do with gravel. It sounds like your scraping idea is perfect though! As for the stocking, it sounds good to me. It’s my understanding that the Rasboras don’t produce as much waste, and neither do the Cories. They still do their business but they’re not as dirty as swordtails! The amount of gph you have with you filters seems adequate to deal with the amount of waste as long as you slowly let the bacteria build up between fish stocking! Good luck, keep us updated!
     
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