Stocking Twenty Gallon Tank
I recently set a twenty gallon community tank,
1 flame guorami
7 neon tetras
3 white skirt tetras
3 cherry barbs
I want something to clean the tank like a snail or catfish or something, but do not know if there is enough room in the tank. I also do not want a snail that can breed and infest the tank. I dont want a pleco that will get huge and I will have to rehome either. I'm sure a single snail won't hurt as long as it doesnt breed. Any suggestions?
An algae scrubber. There is no fish that will "clean" the tank for you. Even a single snail (some can reproduce without a partner) won't make a big dent (and some like apple snails will need to be fed). If algae is the problem, just get a good algae scrubber and reduce the amount of light. If the problem is uneaten food, don't feed them as much or as often.
If you're looking for a substrate fish to give some movement to the bottom of the tank, then we can give you some other suggestions.
Bristlenose plecos are perfect for community tanks and some ornamental varieties are even smaller then the normal 4-6inches
Some small snails will really "clean" as no fish will, by eating waste to further break it down for the bacteria. The Malaysian Livebearing Snail is the best, as it burrows throughout the substrate. The pond or bladder snail are also good.
Keep an eye on your whiteskirts. This is a colour variant of the species Gymnocorymbus ternetzi that goes under the common names of Black Skirt and Black Widow. As it notes in our profile, when kept in groups less than 6 and in small tanks (a 20g is small to this fish) it can get nippy, and the gourami is a prime target. I would recommend removing the 3 since there isnot sufficient space for another 4 or 5.
If you can remove the white skirts as per Byron's suggestion, I'd get a couple more cherry barbs to have around 6. :)
A good algae eating snail is the nerite, it can't reproduce in freshwater. It's got hard teeth so it can get any really tough algae, but it won't be able to clean smaller plants like smaller species can.
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