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20 Long Community Tank wanted which fish will suit


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Ok Still have the bully situation but working on it. Right now it is scared of me and hides when I go to the tank so we shall see.

This question is for another tank I have been working on. It is a 20 long with active substrate small gravel. It is on a 2 tank rack with a 15 gallon on the bottom that I want to make Crystal Black Shrimp with Cherry shrimp only tank. The 20 Gallon I would like lots of color and movement and just life in general. I have RO water in both tanks and can pretty much make the water parameters fit anything for a change. They are on the 4th week of cycling and doing well. I just do not know what to put in the top 20 long.

What I am asking is what fish would you fine folks suggest for color and variety I have options for lots of plants and already have two very cool of no tannin driftwood I want to use in it. I am also looking for a centerpiece fish as well as the movement variety.

So suggest away and I thank you in advance.


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Our 20 long currently has.

6 Candycane Tetras

6 Rummy Nose Tetras

A few Endlers

Pepper Corys (we breed them in this tank if I get the eggs quick enough)

A breeding pair of Super Red plecos

A few Kuhli loaches

A thriving Cherry Shrimp colony 

8 Cherry Barbs 

No single "centerpiece" in here, sorry.  Although I may try one of our small Electric Blue Acara females' when we upgrade this to a 33 long.

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If you've never kept them before, a 20L is a wonderful tank for a pair of rams (german rams have more color, need higher temp) or apisto species.

to pair with that you would be on tetra and Characidae territory. Let's think....

2x Rams (Assuming GBR)
8 silvertip tetras
8 pencilfish (choose what you like that works)
8 green neon, emperor, neon, or cardinal tetra

you can also sub out one of the tetras with a pleco or corydoras species.

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I myself like tanks with only two or three species in it, and both in larger numbers. It makes the fish more active, less shy and exhibits lovely behavior, unlike 6 here 6 there setups.

Good option for a single species tank might be pseudomugil, any one of them except furcatus, those dont handle being alone too well and get too bossy. They are active, flash each other, might even breed. Same way for me amazing fish are white cloud minnows, the gold variety pops, their red tails are stunning and the fish never stands still, but they like colder temps

Depending on your lid/temp/current situation, I love honey gouramis, their group behavior is said to be even better than a single fish one. Sadly all imports coming here from asia are weak so I had no luck with them, but even for that short while, amazing!

Or go the other option, large group of nano fish, like any of the boraras, they color better, they behave better. They like small food and prefere live one and floating plants, so that is to be considered.

The usual approach would be 8-10 corydoras, 20 for pygmy (if you have sandy substrate), and 20 of some schooling fish, harlequin rasboras, CPD, or glowlight tetras, silvertip tetras. I would say it is too small for rummynose, they really like their swimming space and large schools. Or replace corydoras with kuhli loaches, as long as you have sand and lots of hiding places. Or get a trio of Whiptail catfish and make them enough hidey holes and you may even get them to breed and they look amazing.

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