New 20 gallon final stocking list
I got my new 20 gallon up and running yesterday and I am still a little unsure of the final stocking list. This is my second tank and I don't want to repeat any of my previous mistakes.
I used a black background and seachem flourite for substrate. I have two pieces of driftwood and lots of plants. I also put a mesh bag of gravel from my other tank just to help get things rolling. I will post pictures soon.
The current stock is 4 Albino Cory Cats. Originally I wanted to do Cardinals, a pair of GBR's and a BN, but now after watching the Cory cats swim wildly around the tank I am realizing there probably just isn't enough room. So I am thinking maybe just the Cardinal Tetra now. What do you guys think? I could use some help with numbers also. Should I add more Cories? How many Cardinals? Should I even consider a third species?
Also, my BN in my 55 keeps it so clean I am a little worried about not having an algae eater.
I think you're off to a good start. I'm assuming the water parameters are soft/medium hard and slightly acidic? For cardinals this is critical.
A 20g well planted will not have a lot of swimming room, so fish choices should be those that are not active swimmers and prefer quieter calmer environments. And corys (they will settle down, activity is common for anywhere from a couple days to several weeks in a new environment), cardinals, Rams are all such fish--they like quiet, minimal water movement, sort of marshy pond or flooded forest conditions.
Four corys are fine; you could add 3-4 of another species too. Cardinals do best in groups of 6 plus, and you could either add more (say 9 total) or perhaps a group of 6 of another species of characin. Although rummynose tetra are ideal with cardinals, I wouldn't recommend these for a 20g as they are best in much larger groups, 12+. But there are some small-sized species that would do well: Ember Tetra, hatchetfish in the Carnegiella genus, some pencilfish, Loreto Tetra. I wouldn't look at the Hemigrammus clade (Hemigrammus and Hyphessobrycon species) as they get slightly larger in size.
On the algae, in such an environment one good choice would be a Farlowella vittata. Click on the shaded name to see the profile; I have never seen such an active algae eater except for Otos. And their relatively small size (don't let the length confuse you, although 6 inches they are very small fish), quiet behaviour, "odd" appearance to add interest, and perfectly peaceful nature--what more could one ask for.
Thanks for the advice Byron, and yes I have soft acidic water. What if I went with 8 Albino Cory Cats and 12 Cardinal Tetra? Does this sound like an appropriate stocking list? Would it leave room for a couple Oto's if I need them?
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