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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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!
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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.
 

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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.

Jeff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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.
 

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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.

Jeff.
 

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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).

Byron.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
i also failed to mention i have spectrum new life pellets and frozen blood worms for a food source.

Thanks guys!
 

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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.
 

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I agree with FM, corys do better in slightly larger groups.

Just add the tetras in two separate groups at least two weeks apart, longer the better, and wait the same before adding the corys. This lets your tank stabilize between each additions to the new load and let's your plants catch up. You will have cycling symptoms if you add to many too quickly and the corys can be the most sensitive which is why they ought to be last.

This will be a well loaded tank when you are done.

Jeff.
 

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if i went 6 BPT 3 Corys and 6 Cardinals, do you think that would be a little much on the bio load?
I already answered this, a couple posts back. You would be fine with 7-9 cardinals, and 5-6 corys, plus the existing 6 phantom. Live plants. And regular partial water changes weekly. The named species need more in the group.

"Stocking" has to take into account many factors, not just fish size. If a particular species is better in a group, then a slightly larger group means the fish will be less stressed, and this has less of an impact on the biology, than fewer fish that are stressed. It also depends upon the species--their behaviours, size, etc. Active swimming fish mean fewer in a smaller tank than quiet sedate fish in the same sized tank, even though the fish themselves might be the same adult size. This is why I said the Emperor was not as suitable, it is too active.

Byron.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
i must have misunderstood on your previous post then Byron, my apologies. I did not think you said all 3 would be okay. I thought you were saying 2 of the 3 species.

What defines a "Well planted tank" ? I have a few slow and a few fast growers. But how do i know its enough?
 

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Add more plants each time you add fish. Get some floating plants in there too. Even getting some fast growing stem plants that you can temporarily add would help if you have slower stuff. This is a case where overdoing it is a good thing.

I added a mess of duckweed when I added my last batch of fish as I'd absolutely did not want an issue with nitrite spiking as I was away for two weeks right after adding them. My daughter was looking after things and tested every day but it was fine.

Jeff.
 

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Yes, activity level and surface area are important factors to consider when stocking a tank. Inch of fish per gallon is a nice safe measure insofar as bioload is concerned. Typically, the minimum tank size takes into account habits and respiration needs. Mixing habits is usually not a good idea even if the tank allows for it in sheer size. Busy with busy and sedate with sedate most often creates a more tranquil environment for the fish and the keeper.
 

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i must have misunderstood on your previous post then Byron, my apologies. I did not think you said all 3 would be okay. I thought you were saying 2 of the 3 species.

What defines a "Well planted tank" ? I have a few slow and a few fast growers. But how do i know its enough?
Fast growing plants are the beneficial ones when it comes to taking up nutrients including ammonia/ammonium. Stem plants are fast growing, but some of these need more light so it does not always work. One sure-fire fast growing plant are the floaters. Floating plants can take up vast amounts of nutrients and ammonia because they are close to the light and light is therefore sufficient, plus being at the surface their leaves can assimilate CO2 from the air which is 4 times faster than from water. So CO2 which is often the nutrient in least supply in the water is readily available.

Good floating plants are Water Sprite, Salvinia, Dwarf Water Lettuce, Frogbit, and of course Duckweed. Some of these are in our profiles (click shaded names). Some stem plants grow nice floating, Brazilian Pennywort is one, and there is Hornwort, Wisteria and Cabomba. Sometimes the latter three will not do as well.

Substrate-rooted plants can be low light, as the floaters shade them somewhat. And being low light, they are naturally slower growing. Swords are an exception though; they manage in moderate light and are fairly fast growing plants. The pygmy chain sword and chain sword are ideal in any tank due to their small size.

Byron.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I currently have 2 different crypts, wisteria, anubias (longer skinny leaf)((congensis i believe)), and h. sperma ((picture to the left in my aquarium log))

i had wanted to get water lettuce ever since i heard of it. That will probably be the surface plant i go with. I also wanted some jungle val, supposedly someone was sending me some two weeks ago but i have not heard from them since...

If and when you place orders for plants on line do you guys have any recommendations?
 

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I currently have 2 different crypts, wisteria, anubias (longer skinny leaf)((congensis i believe)), and h. sperma ((picture to the left in my aquarium log))

i had wanted to get water lettuce ever since i heard of it. That will probably be the surface plant i go with. I also wanted some jungle val, supposedly someone was sending me some two weeks ago but i have not heard from them since...

If and when you place orders for plants on line do you guys have any recommendations?
The H. Sperma is a fast grower, I used that and have since removed it from my tank in favour of more leafy plants, crypts mainly. It will do a great job of using up the ammonia. I have always picked up plants at the LFS, can't help with that.

Jeff.
 

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Aquariumplants,com has been a good source for me. They have a great selection and they do a great job of packaging the plants for safe shipping. Their prices are hard to beat also.
 
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