20gal Nano Community! Fish Suggestions!
Hey there! Long time, no post. This thread is littered with questions. Any answers, suggestions, or comments are greatly appreciated.
Soon, I will be starting up a 20 gallon long aquarium. I intend for this to be a soft-water, acidic planted tank suited for certain nano fish. I'm hoping to filter with an AquaClear 30.
-- First question: Is this appropriate filtration for the types of fish I'm looking at (see below)? Would I be better suited to a smaller AquaClear or 2x weaker filters?
For fish, I have a ton of options of fish I've been dying to try. On many of these species, very little information is available. Please share personal experiences or what you've heard. I'm especially interested in the following: scarlet badis, sparkling gouramis, celestial pearl danios, (sparkle-eye or any) white cloud minnows, pygmy corys, (rocket) killifish
For a feature fish, I'd like either the sparkling gourami or scarlet badis.
-- Could I have both? Which of these species is bolder, less likely to hide?
For a schooler, I'm interested in either some variety of white cloud or celestial pearl danios. I'd prefer the latter.
-- I've heard the danios can be nippy with each other. Thoughts? Would either species work with my choice of feature fish?
I'm thinking some pygmy cories might also work. (EDIT: Ooo, I forgot shrimp. Maybe cherry shrimp instead of pygmy cories.)
I'm looking for good color and interesting activity. Any additional fish suggestions?
How would you stock this nano tank (which species, how many)?
First off I expect your tank is going to be densely planted?
Filter may be a bit much, you don't need a lot with nano fish as their bioload is really small. Sparklers would prefer minimal surface movement.
When it comes down to the scarlet badis or sparklers, you could do both. Remember sparklers are a social gourami, so you should have a group ideally 4-6. I've only had scarlet badis once and they did not do very well, but my water was not acidic. As far as I know scarlet badis are pretty much always male.
For the schooling species I would personally avoid CPDs. First off they are pricey little fish especially looking at a school of them. I'm not sure what the status is on this fish currently, but I know the aquarium trade did a hard hit to the wild populations and caused significant habitat destruction back when if was first discovered in (2006?). I believe its still suggest you breed the fish (species only tank) if you intend to keep it. I think it becomes a bit of an ethical question if you put known wild fish in a community tank with this species =/.
The WCMM are nice fish, especially the Vietnamese variety. They are very active fish though and tend to stay in upper levels most the time. Other options you may want to look into are ember tetras and Boraras brigittae. There are a lot of dwarf Boraras species that look quite similar and can stay as small as 0.5". I've had a 3 Boraras uropthalmoides for years now and they have been very hardy little fish. I did buy them as B. brigittae though, which is an issue with lots of mislabels with these similar species. Washed out in shops they all look real similar to add to the frustration often shipments seem to contain a slight mix. Any of these options I suggest are going to stay more to the mid or lower levels.
I missed some stuff
Edit: I missed some stuff
I would prefer the cherry shrimp, but my experiences with cherry shrimp and sparklers is you will have a pretty reduced breeding rate from the shrimp.
For stocking you can have quite a lot of fish given its densely planted. IMO the larger the groups the more natural its going to be. I would go with 6 sparklers, at least 15 of whatever schooling fish you pick then you could easily get 15 more fish in there depending on the type and how you want to stock. Start off with 1-2 dozen cherry shrimp. If they they breed excessively I would try to limit the population at 100-150. How much they breed depends a lot on the tankmates. From my experience with cherries a good estimate is for every shrimp you see there are usually 2 you don't see. A great thing about cherries is they are always in demand so its never hard to sell a few dozen if you need a population cut.
Given the kinda fish you are looking for, its likely to be worth while to order then online. Unless you have an awesome shop that will bring in the less common fish without majorly overpricing them. Franksaquarium.com is well know for a good selection of nano fish. You may have to wait or work with him a bit to get all the fish you want as some don't come in regularly and they sell out quickly. Visit the 'bulletin board' on the site if you are actually interested in getting fish from there.
Everything Mikaila has said is dead on I just want to add something.
I am keeping Scarlet Badis right now and they are a fairly difficult fish. I have 1 male and 3 females in with 7 pygmy cories (corydoras habrosus). I don't recommend them with a lot of fish or very active fish since they tend to seem intimidated and took them a while to start eating. They are also picky eaters so you will have to find what works for you but mine like blood worms but ignore tropical flakes.
I've been looking into Scarlet Badis and they do seem a bit difficult to keep. My LFS has them, and I want them...just not sure about these "picky" eaters. I read somewhere that bloodworms are supposed to be avoided as they can lead to obesity in the scarlet. Can anyone shed more light on this fish?
I have CPD's and they are super hardy and colorful. And they are very peaceful, not nippers at all. They keep to themselves and ignore my other fish. I bought mine from an online seller on another fish forum, if you want to know where just send me a PM.
I would advise against the CPDs... They prefer hard basic water.
I would advise against the Scarlets... I've heard they have trouble competing for food in a community tank...
I would advise against the White Clouds... They prefer cooler (sub-tropical) temperatures...
If it was me, I'd go with something like-
Pygmy Gourami, 6-10 Ember tetra, 10-12 boraras brigitae (chili rasbora), 6 pygmy cory, and 2 Dicrossus filamentosus (Checkerboard Cichlid)
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