Stocking Suggestions for a 20 Long

jasmine-smith

I was wanting to stock a 20 long with a school of ember tetras, pygmy corydoras, and a betta fish. Only problem is I'm not sure how many I can add for the tetras and corys. I was thinking a minimum of 10 ember tetras and 6 pygmy cories but I'm not sure what my max would be per say. I'm using a sponge filter for up to 40 gallons. Also for the cories, do they have to be kept on sand or is gravel okay? If they have to be on sand I'm probably not going to get them because the plants I want don't need anything special
 

Splunji

First off, sounds like a cool tank you're setting up! Second, a general rule for small fish like that is an inch per gallon. I have used gravel and sand for similar fish, and I noticed that in this case, sand is a better option (It generally is), as it is softer on the fish's scales and prevents the ability for them to accidentally hurt themselves. As well as the corydoras may have a better time sifting through the sand rather than gravel.
 
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FinalFins

Smooth gravel is fine for pygmy corydoras. Make sure to keep it clean. Pygmys are mid water swimmers so they don't care as much as regular corydoras do.

You could do 12 of each plus your betta.

Also personally I don't think bettas are community fish. I would consider switching it out for a gourami of some type. Bettas are really solitary fish and don't really want company.
 
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emilymg

I was wanting to stock a 20 long with a school of ember tetras, pygmy corydoras, and a betta fish. Only problem is I'm not sure how many I can add for the tetras and corys. I was thinking a minimum of 10 ember tetras and 6 pygmy cories but I'm not sure what my max would be per say. I'm using a sponge filter for up to 40 gallons. Also for the cories, do they have to be kept on sand or is gravel okay? If they have to be on sand I'm probably not going to get them because the plants I want don't need anything special
Yeah, cories really prefer sand. They are constantly digging and shoveling through the substrate so it’s better to have a softer one, i.e. sand. As for the stocking, I think you could do 15+ ember tetras and a school of 8 pygmy cories. With the betta fish this still works. You could probably do up to 20 ember tetras IMO. Since you don’t really want to do sand, you could try shrimp on the bottom if your betta won’t eat them (really it depends on the fish itself). If you are worried about this you could always switch the betta for another, more docile fish. A honey gourami could work great!
 
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jasmine-smith

Smooth gravel is fine for pygmy corydoras. Make sure to keep it clean. Pygmys are mid water swimmers so they don't care as much as regular corydoras do.

You could do 12 of each plus your betta.

Also personally I don't think bettas are community fish. I would consider switching it out for a gourami of some type. Bettas are really solitary fish and don't really want company.
I've kept betta in community tanks before and have heard they do well with these two species. The fish I'm intending for the tank is a female and has been with these species before as well. So definitely going with the betta
 
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jasmine-smith

Yeah, cories really prefer sand. They are constantly digging and shoveling through the substrate so it’s better to have a softer one, i.e. sand. As for the stocking, I think you could do 15+ ember tetras and a school of 8 pygmy cories. With the betta fish this still works. You could probably do up to 20 ember tetras IMO. Since you don’t really want to do sand, you could try shrimp on the bottom if your betta won’t eat them (really it depends on the fish itself). If you are worried about this you could always switch the betta for another, more docile fish. A honey gourami could work great!
I might go with shrimp instead, that's a great idea. The betta intended for the tank is a female who has been kept with these species before and I'm not worried
 
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jake37

You don't think your betta will snack on the shrimp ?
 
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emilymg

I might go with shrimp instead, that's a great idea. The betta intended for the tank is a female who has been kept with these species before and I'm not worried
If anything, the betta would be population control for the shrimplets. That is if you get cherry shrimp or other species that explode with babies. Its trial and error to see if your betta is aggressive to the adults. I hope everything goes well!
 
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