07-17-2012, 06:47 PM
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To be honest, I think a twenty gallon tank is too small for barbs. Much as I like them, I have never kept them in tanks smaller than 48 inches long. It's their non-stop activity and need for companionship that, for me, require bigger dimensions. Possibly cherries or checkers, but even those need long stretches of straight and narrow swimming space.Once I kept a school of fifteen Odessas in a 125 and they still bothered the other inhabitants no end. Barbs never seem to have enough, save for those two small species I mentioned. When they spawn, they sort of race down the freeway of love side by side and drop the goods in a clump of plants. My checkers and rubies bred in my 55 planted, and my rosies in an outdoor pond. I can't imagine what they'd do if they got frisky in a 24" tank-- do loop-the-loops?
I think the ancistrus is a good choice, certainly better than the usual CAE or common Hypostomus Pleco. The krib and ancistrus might get in each other's faces. You know where the krib likes to be, right? I would say pick one or the other but not both.
I'd be inclined to try to fit the Ancistrus with some small schooler that might not be so active as barbs: celestial pearl rasboras, espei rasboras, even many of the little tetras are less active than barbs. Any thoughts? I hate to dash people's dreams, but the right combination of fish is worth finding, if it requires a special order at your LFS and a bit more time. . .
Warring fish are just no fun, and barbs are grumpy enough under the best circumstances. . .
What's your typical water like? Hard? Soft? Acidic?