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Overcrowding or ok?

Jennifer Deleon

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Hi everyone I have a 20 gallon long tank heavily planted. I have about 20 cherry shrimp, 3 ammano shrimps, 7 cardinal tetras, 6 rummy nose tetras. I was told I can put about 20-30 tetras in there no problem but I would like to add guppies. I would like to add 6 guppies, and 3 endler guppies all male guppies to give more color. I know that tetras can grow up to 2 inches and if I can do tetras 20-30 and guppies grow up to 2 inches just like tetras. Can I still add those 9 guppies to my tank no problem? I have a filter that is for 40 gallons hang back. And I got a bunch of plants. For the shrimp to hide as well. Will it be to much? Is that overcrowding?
 
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Deanasue

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I am not advocating overcrowding for one second. Let that be on record. Others are going to disagree with me too. With that said, I was once told by a wise aquarist that if you look at your tank and still see an area without fish, then you have room. I have a lot more than what you’re planning in my 20G long. Biggest question is “are you willing to do extra water changes”? I do a 75% on Mondays when I clean the tank and again on Thursdays. I do have lots of floating plants too. I can’t tell you the last time I had an issue with that tank or the fish. Wishing good luck and success.
 

PheonixKingZ

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View attachment 93952 Hi everyone I have a 20 gallon long tank heavily planted. I have about 20 cherry shrimp, 3 ammano shrimps, 7 cardinal tetras, 6 rummy nose tetras. I was told I can put about 20-30 tetras in there no problem but I would like to add guppies. I would like to add 6 guppies, and 3 endler guppies all male guppies to give more color. I know that tetras can grow up to 2 inches and if I can do tetras 20-30 and guppies grow up to 2 inches just like tetras. Can I still add those 9 guppies to my tank no problem? I have a filter that is for 40 gallons hang back. And I got a bunch of plants. For the shrimp to hide as well. Will it be to much? Is that overcrowding?
First of all, nice tank!! Secondly, that would be ok, but guppies can reproduce very fast, so you might have to get rid of some.

(Definitely no tetras) ;)
 

Deanasue

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First of all, nice tank!! Secondly, that would be ok, but guppies can reproduce very fast, so you might have to get rid of some.

(Definitely no tetras) ;)
Very good point. I believe OP is going with all male guppies. That’s what I did too.
 

PheonixKingZ

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Very good point. I believe OP is going with all male guppies. That’s what I did too.
That is a good idea, but.... I thought it was recommended to have 1 male, for every 2 females to reduce aggression? I could be wrong though....o_O
 

Russjw

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Im no expert and i may be wrong here but adding hard water fish like liverbearers to a tank with soft water fish like your Tetras may cause you problems..

Do you know what your water hardness (GH) is Jennifer?

Lovely tank by the way :)
 

Deanasue

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That is a good idea, but.... I thought it was recommended to have 1 male, for every 2 females to reduce aggression? I could be wrong though....o_O
That’s only if you’re having both sexes in the tank. The reason is so the males don’t stress out one female all the time. If you only have males then you don’t have to worry about that issue. ;)
 

essjay

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Im no expert and i may be wrong here but adding hard water fish like liverbearers to a tank with soft water fish like your Tetras may cause you problems..

Do you know what your water hardness (GH) is Jennifer?
I agree. Guppies need a hardness of over 200 ppm, while cardinal and rummy nose tetras need softer water.

Your hardness should be somewhere on your water provider's website. You need a number and the unit, as there are several they could use.
 

PheonixKingZ

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That’s only if you’re having both sexes in the tank. The reason is so the males don’t stress out one female all the time. If you only have males then you don’t have to worry about that issue. ;)
I might be totally wrong here, but I thought that if you had a tank full of male guppies, they would become aggressive over territory? Or is that only if there are females in the tank as well? o_O
 

seangee

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It is the hardness question that needs to be answered. If the tetras are thriving the water is probably unsuitable for guppies. Similarly if the water is suitable for guppies your tetras will have shortened lives.

Its best too establish what will do best in your tank before adding more fish.
 

Byron

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View attachment 93952 Hi everyone I have a 20 gallon long tank heavily planted. I have about 20 cherry shrimp, 3 ammano shrimps, 7 cardinal tetras, 6 rummy nose tetras. I was told I can put about 20-30 tetras in there no problem but I would like to add guppies. I would like to add 6 guppies, and 3 endler guppies all male guppies to give more color. I know that tetras can grow up to 2 inches and if I can do tetras 20-30 and guppies grow up to 2 inches just like tetras. Can I still add those 9 guppies to my tank no problem? I have a filter that is for 40 gallons hang back. And I got a bunch of plants. For the shrimp to hide as well. Will it be to much? Is that overcrowding?
It is less a matter of overcrowding, and more a matter of inappropriate. Others have mentioned knowing the GH and pH, and this is crucial. But moving beyond that for a moment, and assuming these parameters are suited to the existing tetras, you need more of some of them. And providing a better situation for the fish you now have is far more important than adding any new species.

The cardinal tetras are fine with seven--though given the species' natural behaviours and in a larger aquarium without the aforementioned issue I would recommend a few more. But it is the rummynose that need increasing. This is a species that will always be in better health with more of them, and here I would add at least another three or four, maybe five, to the six. A larger group not only benefits the fish themselves, but will provide more interest for you the aquarist. You have likely noted that this fish remains in a tighter group much more than most other tetras (all tetras are shoaling fish requiring a group) and a group of 9+ swimming their "laps" is worth it. And as I say they will be in better health.

I would myself not add guppies or livebearers here, but before recommending additional species we do need to know the parameters (GH and pH especially).
 

Naughts

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I might be totally wrong here, but I thought that if you had a tank full of male guppies, they would become aggressive over territory? Or is that only if there are females in the tank as well? o_O
Guppies are neither aggressive nor terratorial.
 

Colin_T

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Male and female Livebearers have a pecking order with dominant males bullying smaller males to keep them in their place, and the same thing happens with female livebearers. This bullying is not that noticeable and rarely ends in the death of a fish. Male guppy's eyes can go dark when they are arguing over dominance.
 

Jan Cavalieri

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My daughter has all male guppies - never has had a problem - I don't believe she even has a dominance problem. As far as overstocking - I kind of feel the same way as Deanasue. If it doesn't look overstocked than maybe it isn't.

I counted up the number of fish and the number of fish (in inches) and my first aquarium came in way over stocked, but the fish are all small to medium side, 3/4 move so slow or spend the day hiding in the foilage.

In my other tank I have 1/3 the number of fish and fish in inches but all the fish are at least 4" long, and well over half are 6" long. Nobody ever hurts anybody but they have constant dominance battles which get really boring to watch. They just do not look like a happy group of fish, being constantly harassed by the 6-8" fish.

I just bought my 4th tank and am going to do more of a mixup with small and large fish. With the primary species I purchase (Gourami's) they are all peaceful and slow moving- while they play dominance games with each other - not once have I seen them push a fish of a different species out of the way or even remotely try to injure them - so I just have to be careful which small fish I add - I actually have 4 that are very aggressive (didn't know they turned that way at adulthood) and as cruel as it sounds I may have to euthanize them - they've already taken a chunk out of one of my favorite fish - a Bristlenose Pleco.

I even had to remove a Danio a while back to my 5 gallon tank- this so called "peaceful" fish killed all his mates and ate the fins off of one of my Gourami's and I had to euthanize it. He now lives alone with a pack of Rasbora's and leaves them alone. But with these 4 Chinese Algae eaters, they have gone from miniature to over 4" long. Usually they are attacking each other - but at feeding time they will attack anybody in their way - I HATE them and have absolutely no trust that I won't wake up do multiple dead fish.

They've stopped my best Algae eaters (Bristlenose) from even trying to eat algae but they do a half-assed job. Gourami's move so slow and these guys move so fast I don't want to keep them in a tank with Gourami's - which is all my tanks except a 5 gallon one that would be too small. (tempting though - I could move out my Rasbora's and Danio to a different tank and put the 4 mean algae eater in this tiny tank. Is that a fate worse than death? I refuse to buy them their own larger aquarium. I realize they cannot help what they are and don't deserve to be treated cruelly but I also can't handle the stress of them killing my other fish (especially at feeding time - they are like piranhas and will nip at anything - including me - that come near them.)
 

Deanasue

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Byron briefly touched on a very good point. Not all Tetras have the same parameter needs. My neons do fine with my guppies but I learned my Green neons are not compatible to my water conditions. I now understand why I lost 3 right away. Although the others are hanging with the neons. They probably aren’t as happy. So don’t assume all Tetras have the same needs or other fish with similar names do. Do your research before buying. As far as guppy aggressiveness , some are worse than others. I use to have a group that tire at each other’s tails. The group I have now play more than attack. They even pair off when tired of playing and rest together.
 

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