Stocking option 20 high

Laichyee

Hi as my 20 high tank is getting nearer to the end of the cycle. I am beginning to research about stocking options.

Centrepiece fish: hand-picked Betta from a local breeder

5 X panda cories
3 X Kuhli
1 X Nerite
School of chilli rasboras

Mediumly planted

Any suggestions on my plans. I have seen extreme opinions about Bettas in community tanks. Need your advice.

YouTube videos are saying that they are good. While reseRch on other forums say otherwise... Do let me know!
 

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jake37

I'd look for a different cory - as Bettas prefer it warm and panda cool. Also store purchased chilli rasboras can be pretty small; if they are too small the betta will thank you for a extra delicious snack.
 

Laichyee

I'd look for a different cory - as Bettas prefer it warm and panda cool. Also store purchased chilli rasboras can be pretty small; if they are too small the betta will thank you for a extra delicious snack.

What kinda Cory would you recommend? Would Harlequin Rasbora's be okay ? And kuhli loach I'd good I guess?
 

jake37

Kuhli loach are fine. Corydoras habrosus (salt and pepper cory) are an interesting option; they are pretty small - about .75 inch so you could get 8 or so another option are sterbai cory - a bit larger but nice looking cory. There are others that will work well just panda that tend to prefer cooler temps. I believe harlequin rasbora would be fine.
 

Laichyee

Kuhli loach are fine. Corydoras habrosus (salt and pepper cory) are an interesting option; they are pretty small - about .75 inch so you could get 8 or so another option are sterbai cory - a bit larger but nice looking cory. There are others that will work well just panda that tend to prefer cooler temps. I believe harlequin rasbora would be fine.
Do you have any experience in a betta community tank ? I am really afraid I will end up with a tank full of scared fishes and a murderer I bring up with my own hands..
 

jake37

Very minimal but you can wait for others to contribute. I do have lots of experience with kuhli and cory. Also i read up on what others have experienced with betta. Cory in general will stay out of the betta territory though if you added a bit of low plant life or drift wood they could hide easy enough - i have pygmy myself (as well as sterbai); to be honest if a betta got into a fight with an adult sterbai it could find itself seriously injured but they tend toward top of the tank while the sterbai will exclusively stay at the bottom. Having said that there are never guarantees; as each fish will have an individual personality. I suppose in the worse case a cory could go to the surface (and they do occasionally) and startled the betta but i find it unlikely - there just isn't anything about a cory that would interest the betta.

Do you have any experience in a betta community tank ? I am really afraid I will end up with a tank full of scared fishes and a murderer I bring up with my own hands..
 

ProudPapa

Do you have any experience in a betta community tank ? I am really afraid I will end up with a tank full of scared fishes and a murderer I bring up with my own hands..

I have a female betta in my 40 gallon community tank and I haven't had any issues with her. As I understand it, it depends on the personality of the individual fish. Some are perfectly fine with tank mates and some will kill everything in sight, and I suspect some are in between. I don't have enough experience with them to know if there's any way to tell ahead of time what yours will do.
 

MacZ

Can't say anything about Bettas, but C. habrosus also like it cooler. Sterbai cories grow a bit big to be kept in a good sized school in a 20. I'd go with kuhli loaches alone and take 5 to 8 of them.
For rasboras, maybe espei. They stay smaller than harlequins and bigger than the micro rasbora species. 8-10 of those should work out well.
 

Laichyee

Can't say anything about Bettas, but C. habrosus also like it cooler. Sterbai cories grow a bit big to be kept in a good sized school in a 20. I'd go with kuhli loaches alone and take 5 to 8 of them.
For rasboras, maybe espei. They stay smaller than harlequins and bigger than the micro rasbora species. 8-10 of those should work out well.


Will it be okay if I do a middle temperature that would accommodate both the cories and betta?

Man fishkeeping is really all about the knowledge....
 

YellowGuppy

I'm a little curious why you're looking at both kuhlis and corys in a 20 high. There isn't a huge footprint, and both types of fish are schooling, so you'll want a reasonable number of each (6+, maybe even 8-10) for them to be comfortable. That's a VERY busy bottom of your tank—I'd maybe pick one or the other, but not both.
 

Laichyee

I'm a little curious why you're looking at both kuhlis and corys in a 20 high. There isn't a huge footprint, and both types of fish are schooling, so you'll want a reasonable number of each (6+, maybe even 8-10) for them to be comfortable. That's a VERY busy bottom of your tank—I'd maybe pick one or the other, but not both.

Got to be honest kuhli loaches are one of the most interesting fish I have ever seen. But someone in my household really loves cories. So I was thinking if could do something.. but I guess I have to sacrifice the thought of having loaches.
 

YellowGuppy

Got to be honest kuhli loaches are one of the most interesting fish I have ever seen. But someone in my household really loves cories. So I was thinking if could do something.. but I guess I have to sacrifice the thought of having loaches.
You don't HAVE TO sacrifice the thought of having miscues loaches—the question was intended to gather information about your motivation for that choice, and it turns out you have reasonable motivation for wanting that. It's your tank— if you want corys and kuhlis, do it up! That's something that continues to amaze me about this hobby—everyone's idea of what they want for their setup is different. Some people really go for the SpongeBob pineapple and florescent gravel, others buy $80 bags of neutral substrate to cap their organic soil for their highly demanding plants. Nobody is better suited to developing your tank than you are!

PS—I love the thought of kuhlis, too! I've got a 20 high with red cherry shrimp, and part of me is kicking myself for buying them instead of the kuhlis. Perhaps once I get my plants in order, that'll be next on my list...
 

YellowGuppy

I also have another source of opinions when it comes to stocking my tank! My wife gets grossed out by otos, plecos, and pretty much anything transparent (so no Amano shrimp, to be sure!). As soon as I saw kuhlis at the big fish store in town my immediate reaction was "THOSE ARE AMAZING BUT MY WIFE WILL HATE THEM" so I got shrimp instead. After telling her about the kuhlis, she responded "They're actually kind of cool. You could have gotten those ones."

Communicate with your spouse, people. Always.
 

tuggerlake26

You should be fine with the betta. Can be hit or miss, but I've had luck with them. I've found that if you don't get the centerpiece fish you've really wanted, you regret it and always want it. Maybe introduce the other fish first and add the betta in last?

Larger rasboras are a good idea, and same note about the corys. Otherwise great looking tank!
 

MacZ

Will it be okay if I do a middle temperature that would accommodate both the cories and betta?

Man fishkeeping is really all about the knowledge....

I hear a lot of people say you can't compromise on the temperature for a betta, so I'm inclined to say no.

And yes, it is. Often people even research scientific papers for the hobby and many have been inticed to study biologie because they keep fish.
 

jake37

I have *lots* of kuhli and while they will at times hang out together they do not school. Likewise most cory i have do not school (though they will at time hang out together). However, the small types (pygmy) will school at time and it is quite amazing to watch them move as one across the tank. In only one of my tanks do all the kuhli actually spend time together (a group of 4); but in another tank they avoid each other during the day each of them having their own hiding spot. In the larger tank where i have 10+ (I've lost count); i rarely see more than 3 near each other and I haven't seen them swimming together in over 4 months (there was a brief period of 3 weeks in the fall where they all glass surfed together but before and afterwards they rarely spend time around each other).
-
A 20 high is pretty darn small so i would not get anything larger than a pygmy cory (there are 3 types - i think salt and pepper are the smallest).
-
One advantage of the kuhli is they love warm temps and will do fine in cooler temps so they are more compatible with the beta just don't expect them to school. I believe you can push the pygmy cory or salt and pepper (two different types) to make them work with the beta - it isn't the most ideal temp for them but it is within their tolerable range.
-
I keep my pygmy cory at a target of 75 but during the summer when the room warms up they end up at 78 or 79. I have them in a 20 long with some orange laser cory (an expensive fish that I would not keep with beta due to temp requirement).
-
I have 7 sterbai in a 29 which i might end up moving to the 120 (sterbai are large cory with the female just short of 3 inches); but they do ok in warmer waters hence my naming them above - and yes I think you could keep 5 or 6 in a 20 high with a beta but nothing else - the males seem to stay closer to 2 inches.
-
Still for your tank given the small size maybe just go with the kuhli (grown kuhli by the way are not small - people say their bioload is pretty low but a full grown kuhli can get pretty darn large and i have at least 2 that i would question are less bioload than the adult sterbai). The only thing is that you have to be prepared for kuhli that you never see. They are just not predictable. As i just noted in one 29 i ahve 4 that i see daily and never hide and in the other 29 4 that i see about once every 2 or 3 months and less often if i didn't know where they hid (to be honest i only know 3 hiding places and the 4th i've not seen for a while - but kuhli are truly the sort of fish that can go unseen for many months and then pop up alive and healthy). I will note that the ones that never hide are on black substrate and hang out in a shaded corner BUT the 10+ i have in the larger tank are also in a tank with black substrate and heavy plants and they do hide - the other 29 has white substrate and less shade. When i was a kid we have a couple and they mostly hid and when i was in college i had some that sort of hid - I've not seen a pattern whether it be count, lighting or substrate (well - ok - one pattern most (but not all) of them do prefer shade whether it comes from floating plants or something else in the tank. I"m not an expert and maybe one will chime in on the matter but the above is what i have observed over time and different tanks.
-
As for count - people say you need 6 but again i've not seen any real behavior change between 2 and 12. I have had 2 where again they never hide or are startled when i tinker with the tank and 6 or 8 where the slightest movement send them off to hide. I just haven't figured out the pattern (though most (but not all) do seem sensitive to light).

I'm a little curious why you're looking at both kuhlis and corys in a 20 high. There isn't a huge footprint, and both types of fish are schooling, so you'll want a reasonable number of each (6+, maybe even 8-10) for them to be comfortable. That's a VERY busy bottom of your tank—I'd maybe pick one or the other, but not both.
 

MacZ

A 20 high is pretty darn small so i would not get anything larger than a pygmy cory (there are 3 types - i think salt and pepper are the smallest).

C. habrosus are the biggest. Sizes are smallest to biggest: C. hastatus, C. pygmaeus, C. habrosus/cochui
 

jake37

Hum interesting the fishlore article listed salt and pepper adult size as .75 (2cm); which is incorrect and why i presume they were the smallest. I've not own salt and pepper but rather c. pygmaeus which are larger.


Salt and Pepper Cory Care - Size, Life Span, Tank Mates, Breeding
--
Planet catfish has:
C. hastatus -> 1.3 inch
c. pygmaeus -> 1.3 inch (mine are around that size)
C. habrosus -> 1.4 inch


C. habrosus are the biggest. Sizes are smallest to biggest: C. hastatus, C. pygmaeus, C. habrosus/cochui
 

MacZ

That listing is indeed incorrect. I keep C. habrosus myself and the biggest ones are pushing 3.5cm. I haven't seen any C. hastatus over 2cm and no C. pygmaeus over 3cm. And C. cochui are a sister species to habrosus reaching the same size.
 

Laichyee

You don't HAVE TO sacrifice the thought of having miscues loaches—the question was intended to gather information about your motivation for that choice, and it turns out you have reasonable motivation for wanting that. It's your tank— if you want corys and kuhlis, do it up! That's something that continues to amaze me about this hobby—everyone's idea of what they want for their setup is different. Some people really go for the SpongeBob pineapple and florescent gravel, others buy $80 bags of neutral substrate to cap their organic soil for their highly demanding plants. Nobody is better suited to developing your tank than you are!

PS—I love the thought of kuhlis, too! I've got a 20 high with red cherry shrimp, and part of me is kicking myself for buying them instead of the kuhlis. Perhaps once I get my plants in order, that'll be next on my list...

I guess am the person that goes all out to get a bag of white sansibar sand for 30plus dollars and just ending up using less than a quarter of it... but hey I really love this hobby as far as I can say and ain't nothing gonna stop me learning and trying! Thank you for the encouragement!
 

Laichyee

You should be fine with the betta. Can be hit or miss, but I've had luck with them. I've found that if you don't get the centerpiece fish you've really wanted, you regret it and always want it. Maybe introduce the other fish first and add the betta in last?

Larger rasboras are a good idea, and same note about the corys. Otherwise great looking tank!

Yea missing out on a centerpiece fish is not something you want to live through your life... hahah. Am I being overly dramatic here? But yea, I have been in contact with several breeders in my country to inquire about really good looking bettas that I wouldn't mind spending a bit more on. The thought of it excites me already. But first I gotta solve the cory problems...haha
 

Laichyee

I have *lots* of kuhli and while they will at times hang out together they do not school. Likewise most cory i have do not school (though they will at time hang out together). However, the small types (pygmy) will school at time and it is quite amazing to watch them move as one across the tank. In only one of my tanks do all the kuhli actually spend time together (a group of 4); but in another tank they avoid each other during the day each of them having their own hiding spot. In the larger tank where i have 10+ (I've lost count); i rarely see more than 3 near each other and I haven't seen them swimming together in over 4 months (there was a brief period of 3 weeks in the fall where they all glass surfed together but before and afterwards they rarely spend time around each other).
-
A 20 high is pretty darn small so i would not get anything larger than a pygmy cory (there are 3 types - i think salt and pepper are the smallest).
-
One advantage of the kuhli is they love warm temps and will do fine in cooler temps so they are more compatible with the beta just don't expect them to school. I believe you can push the pygmy cory or salt and pepper (two different types) to make them work with the beta - it isn't the most ideal temp for them but it is within their tolerable range.
-
I keep my pygmy cory at a target of 75 but during the summer when the room warms up they end up at 78 or 79. I have them in a 20 long with some orange laser cory (an expensive fish that I would not keep with beta due to temp requirement).
-
I have 7 sterbai in a 29 which i might end up moving to the 120 (sterbai are large cory with the female just short of 3 inches); but they do ok in warmer waters hence my naming them above - and yes I think you could keep 5 or 6 in a 20 high with a beta but nothing else - the males seem to stay closer to 2 inches.
-
Still for your tank given the small size maybe just go with the kuhli (grown kuhli by the way are not small - people say their bioload is pretty low but a full grown kuhli can get pretty darn large and i have at least 2 that i would question are less bioload than the adult sterbai). The only thing is that you have to be prepared for kuhli that you never see. They are just not predictable. As i just noted in one 29 i ahve 4 that i see daily and never hide and in the other 29 4 that i see about once every 2 or 3 months and less often if i didn't know where they hid (to be honest i only know 3 hiding places and the 4th i've not seen for a while - but kuhli are truly the sort of fish that can go unseen for many months and then pop up alive and healthy). I will note that the ones that never hide are on black substrate and hang out in a shaded corner BUT the 10+ i have in the larger tank are also in a tank with black substrate and heavy plants and they do hide - the other 29 has white substrate and less shade. When i was a kid we have a couple and they mostly hid and when i was in college i had some that sort of hid - I've not seen a pattern whether it be count, lighting or substrate (well - ok - one pattern most (but not all) of them do prefer shade whether it comes from floating plants or something else in the tank. I"m not an expert and maybe one will chime in on the matter but the above is what i have observed over time and different tanks.
-
As for count - people say you need 6 but again i've not seen any real behavior change between 2 and 12. I have had 2 where again they never hide or are startled when i tinker with the tank and 6 or 8 where the slightest movement send them off to hide. I just haven't figured out the pattern (though most (but not all) do seem sensitive to light).

Thank you for the detailed advice! I will definitely keep those in mind! But on a side note... I love how tanks are just never big enough. This gives you the reason to get more tanks... more tanks... and MORE Tanks!!!!
 

jake37

You could do more or you could do larger Now if you went with a 40B or even a 20 long over a 20 high....

Thank you for the detailed advice! I will definitely keep those in mind! But on a side note... I love how tanks are just never big enough. This gives you the reason to get more tanks... more tanks... and MORE Tanks!!!!
 

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