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Stocking a 15-gallon


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Hi, guys, new here!

I’m wondering how to stock my 16-gallon tank, 24x12x14 (61x31x37 cm, 63 liters). It’s stocked with a school of 10 black neon tetra, a colony of 50+ red cherry shrimp and a Hypancistrus L340 “Mega Clown” pleco.

Is it okay if I add in a shoal of 5 Corydoras sterbai/trilineatus? I’ll be receiving the Corydoras, but I can set up a different tank for them if absolutely necessary.

Also, is my pleco going to be lonely? It’s still a juvenile. I’m able to get it a friend of the same species or L136. It is very shy.

I’m currently running the default filter (less than 80 gal/h ~ 300l/h), as well as another one (100 gal/h ~ 380 l/h). I’m able to add a third one (65 gal/h ~ 250 l/h). The tank is heavily planted.

Thank you so much for reading and replies!

Edited by Door
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Hey there,

Welcome to the forum.

Corydoras are not hunters. However, if they happen to get baby shrimp in their mouth, they will surely eat it. I used to have my sterbais in a 29g, now I have them in a 160Liters tank. If I had a chance to restock my old 29g tank, I wouldn't get sterbais. The reason I went with them was, they are known to handle higher temps better than other cories and during summer my tanks get hot. 

Until they reach adulthood, I had no problem. but after that, holy moly. Constant breeding, super active and glass surfing, swimming around nonstop, stressing other fish constantly. I would def go with pygmys or pandas if you like them. Also pygmys are much better for a shrimp tank I would say. You can home a bigger sized group easily as they are much smaller than sterbais. I have 16 in my 125L tank and I adore them. Getting sterbais in a 29g was one of my few personal regrets.


Plecos are not really social animals. There are very limited ones that wants to be in groups. So don't worry about your pleco. Keeping one in that tank size is actually better cause plecos can be territorial against their own species. Just make sure it gets its food after lights are off as they are nocturnal, and preferably have wood and hiding spaces/cave in the tank.


Filtering is not really an issue ngl. As long as you have some good surface movement for oxygenation and good amount of water circulation, it usually works. Too much filter and movement may stress fish as not every fish enjoy a lot of water movement. I wouldn't get a 3rd filter myself.


Edited by Lennie
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Hi, thank you so much for the reply and the welcome!

I returned to the hobby after a long hiatus and decided to do more research than before. I used to keep Corydoras aeneus and Corydoras paleatus with cherry shrimp and they never caused any problems. My main tank is a skittles Neocaridina nano tank with some Corydoras hastatus. It’s doing well, there’s some egg laying going on, as well as a constant stream of baby shrimp.

This 15-gallon was given to me along with the neon tetra. They were originally kept in a tank that was the same size as this one, along with the Corydoras, as well as some black phantom tetra, some pencil fish and a couple of dwarf cichlids. I will only be receiving the Corydoras.

I think the neon tetra have been eating the baby shrimp, but my shrimp colony has probably doubled in size in the last couple of months, regardless. The Corydoras I’ll be receiving are adults. I’m hoping they have a nice temperament, as they’re getting kicked out of their original tank because the cichlids keep beating on them.

Do you find the breeding behavior annoying? The little hastatus cories are fun to observe. I’ll definitely keep your advice in mind, if they end up causing problems, I have a big enough quarantine tank to house them for a bit.

As far as my research shows, these L340 Hypancistrus really aren’t social animals, as you said. I only have experience with Otocinclus, bristlenose and common plecos, so I wanted to ask someone other than Google. 😊 My catfish are all getting fed a variety of freeze-dried foods, during sunset and after the lights are off. They have driftwood and most of their tanks' area is very densely planted.  

Thank you for the advice about the filter. I will be adding air stones and/or more plants as the temperatures rise for the summer.

Thank you for the advice once again!

Edited by Door
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