Hello, everyone! I have a 20 gallon aquarium that I have been trying to decide how to stock. Here are some things I have to consider:
1. I already have gravel for the tank, so I don't want to get fish that require sand.
2. The water here is very hard and alkaline (pH around 8.0-8.2, I have had a bad time keeping many of the tetra species, and I want to get fish that will do fine in this water)
3. The tank is not the "long" kind, it is 24 inches across the front
1. I want to have a good variety and distribution of fish throughout the aquarium (top, middle, and bottom dwellers)
2. I like bettas, so a combination involving a betta (male or female) would be good, however that does limit my choices so I want to consider other combinations as well. One stocking I've heard of is a betta, a school of harlequin rasboras, and some kind of bottom-dweller. However, I've read conflicting information about keeping harlequins in hard alkaline water. I also know keeping bettas with tankmates is risky, so I want to consider non-betta combinations as well.
3. If I have any kind of livebearers, I want a single-sex school because I don't want to deal with a bunch of fry all the time, regardless of whether they all get eaten.
4. I want this to be a peaceful tank with hardy fish species.
Thanks in advance to anyone who reads all this and gives suggestions!