Potential New Tank
So I have been bugging my wife for a 20 gallon high fish tank for Christmas and I think she is starting to give in. It is really not the ideal size, but it fits perfectly in a spot on my bar and I have been itching for a new tank. So I have been going over some potential setups in my head and I wanted to run one by you guys,
I have never really been into the Betta, but I saw a nice red one at the LFS and it sparked an idea. I am thinking the Betta, Rummy Nose Tetra and Red Cherry Shrimp. I have soft acidic tap water, which I think will meet the requirements of all of these inhabitants. What kind of numbers would I be looking at? I was thinking around 8 tetra, but I have no idea on the shrimp. Would I need to worry about the Betta eating the shrimp? Is there any other species that would go well that I am overlooking?
This tank would be planted. I am thinking water sprite, wisteria and some type of moss for the shrimp. Any other suggestions?
Also, if you think this setup will work, in what order would you stock the species? None of the fish seem to be good to put in a new tank. Seeing as this is a planted tank I would be stocking immediately.
Also, if you have any other potential stocking ideas let me know.
You have some wonderful options, with soft acidic tap water (like mine). But I would not include a Betta in a community tank. Some have luck, others don't. Betta can be very aggressive to other fish; they deserve their own environment.
Leaving out the Betta, in such a setup cardinal tetra are ideal. They do not require swimming room, need soft water, love lots and lots of plants (they have a light phobia and stress out under bright light) and are a perfect match with the Brilliant Rummynose Tetra which is the most beautiful (and most often seen ) species of the 3 rummys. Both these fish do well in larger groups than 6, I would go with 9-10 minimum cardinals and 12 rummys. Rummys actually do not fare well with less than 12, they are probably the most "schooling" of the shoaling tetra fish. I have 20 in my 115g, a combo of two species Hemigrammus bleheri (the Brilliant) and Petitella georgiae (quite rare).
Other possibilities would be five corys for the substrate, or perhaps a Farlowella (singly or a trio). This is a real eye-catcher but without soft water almost impossible to maintain. You can check the thread I started on my trio spawning multiple times.
In a taller tank the pencilfish Nannostomus eques is an interesting addition with its 45 degree angle swimming; check the profile for more info. A group of 6-7.
On the plants, Water Sprite floating is very good, for shade and the pencilfish browse the roots continually. I would hesitate over Wisteria though; in a tank like this some more permanent plant (rather than one that need constant weekly pruning) would keep things better settled. Check out the swords, Pennywort, Pygmy chain sword for the bottom.
Hope that helps.
Thanks Byron, good info as always. What do you think about the RCS with the Cardinals and the Brilliant Rummynose? I was thinking they could be kind of cool. I have Albino Cory Cats in my 55, which I love, but I was hoping to get something different for the bottom of this tank. I have checked out your Farlowella thread, very cool fish but I have never seen one in my LFS. Are they very rare? My LFS carries many species not commonly seen, maybe they could order them for me. Also, how do you keep moss under control? I would like to have some kind, but my wife has only seen what is in the LFS and it seems to take over the tanks.
Farlowella are seen here usually once a year, when they are available from SA as they are wild caught--unless you have someone locally who raises them. They can be expensive. I'm not sure why, but I really like this fish.
If Java Moss gets too much, pull some out. In some of my tanks it just sits there and slowly spreads over a piece of wood; in other tanks it will easily become a huge mass of plant. But it pulls apart easily.
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