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Stocking ideas for 20gal long


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I have a 20g long in my office, it was my first tank. I currently have 15 white clouds, 4 florida flag fish and a paradise fish in there (plus who knows how many snails and shrimp). It's a good dimension for fish ~2'' in length or less, gives them a lot of swimming space to go back and forth in and the water volume is enough to keep things nice and stable. Lot of 'floor space' to grow rooted plants as well. I have never had to change water for nitrates, even relatively early on before it became a total jungle, even double dosing fertilizer.

I also like the dimension because it's very easy to work in, I can touch the bottom without getting my elbows wet which is good for a space where you might not want to drip on the floor. Much easier to quickly towel the arm off with your dry hand when only your forearm is soaked. A lot of people will say just go up to a 30 gallon since it has the same footprint, but you lose that fringe benefit at 30. That is a good option though since it does kind of expand your options if you want slightly bigger 3-4'' fish.

Personally, I'd stick with the same dimension if I had to do it over again. For stock I might have done like 16 Bloodfin Tetras and the paradise fish instead (it's unheated, so the heated equivalent would be neons and a betta lol). Either that or like a dozen clown killis and a dozen CPDs. I think you can get away with a school of 15-24ish of most 1-2'' fish in a well planted 20g long and a big tetra school in a well planted tank just automatically looks good.


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A dozen or so celestial pearl danios, dwarf emerald rasboras, or ember tetras, and an equal number of Corydoras pygmaeus.

A tank with just two species would be nice, but if you wanted a centerpiece fish you could back off on this numbers and add a trio of honey gouramis.

Another option that might be a little less visually appealing but more fun to watch would be to heavily plant it and add 4-5 pea puffers.

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