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Help with stocking indecision

Plutoids Mom

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My 20 gallon long is going to be done cycling in the next week or two, I'm guessing/hoping.  I had originally thought about doing platies with maybe cherry shrimp and/or cories.  I've had platies and cories before, but never shrimp.  Then, I was reminiscing about keeping bolivian rams and thought about keeping a ram or two with cories and/or tetras. Then, I saw a guppy tank from Primetime Aquatics. Things kept going down hill from there and now I can't decide on what and how many.

I'm hoping someone can prevent me from making a horrid over stocking mistake.  Would you keep in this planted tank:

A.) 1 bolivian ram, 4 platies, 4 panda or pygmy cories

B.) 2 bolivian rams, 6 neon or lemon tetras

B.) 6 platies, cherry shrimp

C.) 10 guppies (I don't know what I'd do with the babies, but they are so colorful)

I really want to do option A, but I have a feeling that is too much for the tank? Guppies are in the mix in case I can't decide between platies and rams and go in a completely different direction 😄 


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Having just rehomed all of my guppies from my 20 high and trying to plan what to do next... 


If you do guppies I would do a nice strain that you like instead of having mutt guppies (like I did). Other inhabitants of my tank were assorted neocaridina and albino cory cats. I think the activity of the guppies was nice, but almost frantic when viewing the tank, instead of graceful/calming? I also think the activity of the guppies made my shrimp feel the need to hide. After removing the guppies, my shrimp are out and about much more! I plan to get a school of neon green tetras for that tank instead (more calm movement and a consistent flash of color, hopefully less daunting for the shrimp, too!)

Now that I have over shared about my own tank sticking issues... 😂


For a 20L I would definitely do the rams. Bolivian rams are really underrated and I think they are definitely on my fish bucket list. 

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I think I would do option A with an adjustment:

1 bolivian ram, 2 platies, 6-8 panda or pygmy cories. 

With a male and female platy you will have more eventually. In a 20 long, you have lots of room for more stock. I would increase the corys, who really like to be in groups, and consider a second ram eventually. The rams will keep the platies from overpopulating.

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Not sure what kind of filtration you’re running but a decent 30-60g HOB and a sponge you can get away with a lot.
I like rams in 20/29g and if you want the color of guppies check out Endler’s, I’d get 6-8 males only and not worry about the breeding. I like the idea of Panda Corys for it as well! No matter what you decide you’ll be happy, my 29g is one of my favorite tanks.

You could even look into micro/nano fish like Chili Rasbora, or Kubotai Rasbora, or Celestial Pearl Danio and get away with a decent size school of 12-20 of em to go with a ram or two and 4-6 small species corydoras! Just my two cents 

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