Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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xfatdannx 04-29-2013 04:29 AM

20 g tall stocking question
I have 6 black phantoms tetras that will be going in the 20 once the cycle is done. They have out grown their current home.

I want a few corys for clean up of any food that may make the bottom. I was thinking 3.

Would there be enough room for the 6 tetras, 3 corys and then 2 German Blue Rams?

If not its coming down to whether i should go with the Rams or the Corys. Suggestion, comments please. thanks guys!

fish monger 04-29-2013 07:03 AM

Corys need temperatures in the mid 70s range and Rams require around 80-82. So they wouldn't be good tank mates. The tetras could handle either temperature range; however, 80-82 would be at the top limit. Personally, I'd go with the Corys. I have had a group of 3 work out well but, most people will suggest 5-6. Also, the Corys really do better when they get some dedicated food in the form of sinking pellets. They also do better with a sand, or at least, a very smooth substrate. This is easier on their barbels which are very tender.

xfatdannx 04-29-2013 08:33 AM

thanks for the advice. I am currently running at about 79-80 degrees and do have a black sand substrate. Im glad you mentioned temp bc i forgot to look at what the other fish can handle/prefer. I already knew the Phantoms would be fine as their current tank is the same temp.

JDM 04-29-2013 08:54 AM

Emerald catfish (brochis) can handle much higher temps, I think their range is up to 82F. They are very similar to corys and also can handle much harder water as well. Just getting the leftovers that happen to make it to the bottom isn't good enough as they should the fed directly. They do find everything that makes it to the bottom though.


xfatdannx 04-29-2013 09:03 AM

i already have algae wafers for when the cleaning crew arrives, but i would prefer to feed them maybe an hour or so after the others so they have a chance to clean up before being fed directly. I do not intend to have them solely feed off leftovers :)

also, any other fish recommendations are welcome. I have contemplated Cardinals, Emperor, and Black neons as well. Would like something with some more contrast in color, thus the GBRs. Black substrate, green plants, reddish/brown decor, Black Phantoms... I thought those colors would really make the GBRs, Cardinals, and/or Emperors really stick out.

JDM 04-29-2013 10:07 AM

Cory's are omnivorous so algae wafers aren't the best choice for them as it might be for some other bottom dwellers. I use a sinking NLS pellet that all the fish get as it's a well rounded product without a lot of filler. For the surface eater I set them on top and they float long enough for him to eat. I drop the rest from a few inches and they go to the bottom slow enough for the middle eaters to catch them on the way down and the corys and cats snuffle them up off the bottom.


Byron 04-29-2013 01:03 PM

I agree that corys are better than rams here. I would get 5-7 corys. There are many species these days. The Brochis mentioned will manage, but as they get much larger I would stay with the corys in a 20g.

Lower the temperature to 76F. This is better for the corys, and will not bother the tetra at all. My tanks never run above 77F except specific ones for fish that need higher temps. Fish will always be healthier mid-range of their preferred temperatures.

As for other fish, a group of a similar sedate tetra will work. No mention is made of parameters, but with soft water the cardinal tetra is fine, in a group of 7-8. Lots of plants for all these, and definitely floating plants. Both the Black Phantom Tetra and the cardinal tetra, and most others for that matter, have what one source terms a "light phobia."

Emperor Tetra are too large and too active for this tank. The BPT is a quiet sedate fish, as is the cardinal. I could think of others that would work if asked, or browse our profiles. Keep the water parameters in mind.

On the cory foods, one of the veggie sinking tablets is a good idea. There is shrimp and fish meal in these not just the "veggie" stuff, and fish are better health-wise with some vegetable matter, so this is a good way to do it. My corys and loaches really love the Omega One Veggie disks. These things last for a few hours and they will cluster around them all that time. The upper fish are less likely to pick them up, which they do with some of the sinking foods like shrimp pellets (also good food though, alternating).


xfatdannx 04-29-2013 01:26 PM

i also failed to mention i have spectrum new life pellets and frozen blood worms for a food source.

Thanks guys!

Byron 04-29-2013 01:29 PM


Originally Posted by xfatdannx (Post 1915114)
i also failed to mention i have spectrum new life pellets and frozen blood worms for a food source.

Thanks guys!

New Life Spectrum is a good brand, I use that along with Omega One. The frozen bloodworms are a treat, once a week, no more.

xfatdannx 04-29-2013 06:25 PM

if i went 6 BPT 3 Corys and 6 Cardinals, do you think that would be a little much on the bio load?

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