New 20 Gallon Tall Tank - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 02-02-2012, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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New 20 Gallon Tall Tank

Hi everyone!
I'm in the process of fishless cycling my 20 gallon tall tank. Everything seems to be going well by the numbers I'm getting from my API test kit.

Gravel, plastic plants, heater, hood, light and an Aqueon 20 filter that hangs on the back. I'm partial to Corys, Tetras, and Dwarf Gouramis.....What would be your suggestions as to a safe number of fish to have in this tank. Will there be any problems housing these types of fish together? I'm open to all suggestions. I've been out of the hobby for about 10 years so its all new to me again!

Thank you very much!

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post #2 of 5 Old 02-02-2012, 08:34 PM
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Possibly, but it would be tight. Tetras are schooling, you would need at least 6 of the same species. The corys are also schooling fish, but you could get away with 4 of them. Personally I would consider it full at that point.

A single Dwarf Gourami would probably be happier in a 20 long than a 20 tall so they have more room to swim around. It might do okay though.

Be careful on the tetra you pick, some, like Serpea Tetra, are nippers and would not work with a Gourami.
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post #3 of 5 Old 02-02-2012, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Geomancer...thanks for the comments....I don't want to over crowd the tank and I wouldn't want the Dwarf Gourami feeling cramped, so I am open to other combinations of fish. However, I really like Corys and want to have a number of those. Like I said...I'm back in the hobby after a 10 year break so I'm open to all suggestions. I appreciate your quick reply.

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post #4 of 5 Old 02-02-2012, 10:07 PM
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The fish listed generally need soft, acidic water (some species are more adaptable) so you need to figure out the GH and KH of your water to see if these fish are a good fit.

Even if the water parameters are appropriate, I would avoid the Dwarf Gourami because of health and temperment issues (when a name is shaded it is linked to the profile of that fish).
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post #5 of 5 Old 02-03-2012, 01:05 PM
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Agree with others. Gourami can be difficult, but there are a couple that would suit a 20g. The Honey Gourami is one, and there is the pygmy sparkling gourami depending upon water parameters. You can read up on these in our profiles; click the shaded names. Profiles in general are under the second tab fro the left in the blue bar across the top of the page.

Tetra need a group as someone mentioned, and space in a 20g is limited as some of these tetra can get 2 or 2.5 inches in length. There are other colourful characins similar to tetra but a bit smaller and perhaps more suited to a 20g, in the pencilfish group. These are under characins in the profiles. Water parameters can be critical, as most of these will be wild caught, as explained in the respective profile.

There are also some small fish among the Cyprinids; these are similar to characins in that they are generally peaceful, need a group, etc. Some do better in soft water, some in basic medium hard. You'll have an easier time finding suitable fish once you know the parameters of your tap water.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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