Suggestions/ thoughts on addition to 20g community - honey gourami, balloon ram or ____?

Janine5683

Hi all

So, the betta in my 20g long died and I’m starting research for a replacement centrepiece fish and would like thoughts on what (if anything) I should get. Here are my details:

20 gallon long planted tank (amazon swords, dwarf sag, green cabomba and hornwort)
8 kuhli loaches
5 oto catfish
Moderate bladder snail problem (I see, and get rid of, 4-6 every day for 2 weeks now and they just keep coming back somehow)
Temp 78ish
pH 6.8
Ammonia 0
Nitrites 0
Nitrates 5-10

I’m using 2 sponge filters, each good for 20g but not opposed to a HOB or something else now that the betta is gone.

The otos- tbh I’m not sure if they’re going to make it. They cleaned the tank top to bottom (I had a lot of diatoms) and they’re not yet eating any of the veggies, pellets, wafers, gel food, seaweed sheets that I offer them. That said, they are healthy looking and active so, fingers crossed. I have to say though, what fantastic little cleaners!!!

The kuhlis, I’ve had them since March so I think they’re pretty stable. I lost one early on, but definitely have fattened up the rest to be healthy noodles.

So, for my centrepiece fish, I’m looking at ONE of the following:

-A pair of honey gouramis
-1 Electric blue balloon German ram
-1 moonlight gourami
-Some other type of gourami?
-1 male betta
-….. a pea puffer is a terrible idea, right? they sure are cute.

What I’m trying to avoid:

-Fish that spawn easily, I don’t want endless babies
-Fish, like the pea puffer, that have high potential to not get along with everyone (I really don’t want to have another tank right now, and I will feel bad returning a fish to the store)
-Fish with high bioload
-Fish who will wreck the plants

What I like:
-A curious fish who will come to the glass sometimes, or inspect their environment
-Something pretty or interesting or weird

Most of my fish experience is with bettas and cichlids. I like the betta personality, maybe I should just go with what I know (despite my recent bad luck….)

Thank you all, I truly appreciate your insight and advice.
 

CPTropicalAquatics

I don't have a balloon German Ram, but I do have a regular one. They are very active and colorful. Amazing fish. I'd either recommend them, or the honey gouramis. I haven't kept them, I've only ever kept dwarf gouramis, but I have a friend who had one that lived for over 5 years, and it was an amazing fish. Hope I could help!
 
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barbiespoodle

I have a 20 long. It started as a 10 gallon cull shrimp tank which I decided to make my first shrimp/fish tank. It became so interesting that I upgraded to a 20 long and it's become one of my fav tanks to watch.

First, it is a planted/landscaped tank. Second, it has the same filtration you currently have.

Besides the cull shrimp, although you can use one color like I did in my other two shrimp tanks, I put in white cloud mountain minnows. I wanted neon tetras, but couldn't find them, but got charmed by the wcmm's. They really color up once out of the stress of the lfs tanks.

It's a fascinating tank to watch. Between the schooling action of the wcmm's, and the shrimp, which are reproducing nicely, as well as so cute as they go about doing their little shrimpy thing.

But if you want a personable fish. Well you can't beat a betta in that respect. My betta actually know when I'm due home from work and is waiting to greet me. He don't like my hubby, he's my little buddy. He also has cull shrimp in with him and he doesn't bother them.
 
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Janine5683

yeah see — this is exactly what I mean about bettas!

thank you for this :)

I have a 20 long. It started as a 10 gallon cull shrimp tank which I decided to make my first shrimp/fish tank. It became so interesting that I upgraded to a 20 long and it's become one of my fav tanks to watch.

First, it is a planted/landscaped tank. Second, it has the same filtration you currently have.

Besides the cull shrimp, although you can use one color like I did in my other two shrimp tanks, I put in white cloud mountain minnows. I wanted neon tetras, but couldn't find them, but got charmed by the wcmm's. They really color up once out of the stress of the lfs tanks.

It's a fascinating tank to watch. Between the schooling action of the wcmm's, and the shrimp, which are reproducing nicely, as well as so cute as they go about doing their little shrimpy thing.

But if you want a personable fish. Well you can't beat a betta in that respect. My betta actually know when I'm due home from work and is waiting to greet me. He don't like my hubby, he's my little buddy. He also has cull shrimp in with him and he doesn't bother them.
thank you for this!! The German rams sure are lookers! It would be a new species for me which would be exciting and interesting :)

I don't have a balloon German Ram, but I do have a regular one. They are very active and colorful. Amazing fish. I'd either recommend them, or the honey gouramis. I haven't kept them, I've only ever kept dwarf gouramis, but I have a friend who had one that lived for over 5 years, and it was an amazing fish. Hope I could help!
 
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Dunk2

yeah see — this is exactly what I mean about bettas!

thank you for this :)


thank you for this!! The German rams sure are lookers! It would be a new species for me which would be exciting and interesting :)

A couple things to consider about German Blue Rams. . .

They do best in my experience at a water temperature of 82+, which is too high for many other fish. They are also very slow eaters and can be easily outcompeted for food in a community tank.

While some folks have success keeping Rams in a community tank, I haven’t and don’t recommend keeping them unless they have a dedicated tank.
 
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Janine5683

Thank you for this!! Does this go for both balloon rams or just the regular kind?

I will do more research, but that temp will be too high for the otos I think.

A couple things to consider about German Blue Rams. . .

They do best in my experience at a water temperature of 82+, which is too high for many other fish. They are also very slow eaters and can be easily outcompeted for food in a community tank.

While some folks have success keeping Rams in a community tank, I haven’t and don’t recommend keeping them unless they have a dedicated tank.
 
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Dunk2

Thank you for this!! Does this go for both balloon rams or just the regular kind?

I will do more research, but that temp will be too high for the otos I think.

You’re welcome.

I’ve never kept ballon Rams, but they are just another Blue Ram variant.

Have you checked out the cooler water Bolivian Ram?
 
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