Unique Stocking Options for 20 Gallon Tall

Lillypad101

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Hi all!
I just got two 20 gallon tall aquariums, and one ten gallon! I did take down some of my older aquariums, as they were not serving their intended purpose. The ten gallon is for vampire crabs, and one of the 20s is for a giant betta. I need some ideas for what to stock the other 20 with. I’d like something unique. Whether that means interesting behavior, or a unique appearance. Preferably something bigger, not to big because it has to fit in a 20 though. I’m thinking about an apistogramma pair. It can be a species only or community. My ph is right about 7, so it’s ideal for a lot of fish. It can be lowered with Indian almond leaves or driftwood, and increased with crushed coral or the like.
Also, if you have any tank mates in mind for a giant betta:)
Any input is appreciated!
 
GH is more important than pH. Can you tell us the hardness, GH, of your water please as that makes it easier to suggest fish suited to your water. If you are on mains water, your water provider's website should give hardness - you need a number and the unit of measurement (there are several units). For well water, take some tap water to a fish store and ask them to test it for GH, again make sure they give you a number.
 
The GH and KH numbers, what is the unit? If degrees as DGH, these are very high (hard water) but if ppm (= mg/l) this is very soft. Worlds apart.
 
Gh - 25mg/l
It is very soft water.
 
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OK. So you have very soft water, which will become acidic, good. There are many more options for fish. The 20g high I assume is a length of 24 inches/60 cm) and width of 12 inches/30cm. There are many small sized fish, most all will be shoaling so a group of 10-12 of whichever, suitable. These might be used as dither fish for a pair of apistogramma, though I personally would want a minimum 30-inch length tank, but see what the cichlid aquarists think here. A soft sand substrate would allow you to have a group of pygmy cories. Floating plants will be mandatory for almost anything here. Its hard to suggest fish because I don't know what you like, but as long as you stay with small species there are many.
 
It’s an average 20 gallon tall like you said. Will probably look something like this:

2 sponge filters, one on each side of tank.
Carib Sea super natural sand (very fine)
Live plants such as: Java fern, anubias, pothos
Giant duckweed for floating plant
Driftwood and some dragon stone
Some small caves
79 degrees
I’m thinking about stocking it with the following:

Apistogramma cacatuoides pair
Clown killifish or marbled hatchetfish
I’ve heard that it’s not advisable to keep mid to bottom dwelling fish with an apistogramma pair, because the females will become very aggressive during breeding.
 
I also may just keep one male apistogramma as a centerpiece, and other schooling fish.
 
Peacock gudgeons? :hey:
 
It’s an average 20 gallon tall like you said. Will probably look something like this:

2 sponge filters, one on each side of tank.
Carib Sea super natural sand (very fine)
Live plants such as: Java fern, anubias, pothos
Giant duckweed for floating plant
Driftwood and some dragon stone
Some small caves
79 degrees
I’m thinking about stocking it with the following:

Apistogramma cacatuoides pair
Clown killifish or marbled hatchetfish
I’ve heard that it’s not advisable to keep mid to bottom dwelling fish with an apistogramma pair, because the females will become very aggressive during breeding.

If you do go with a pair and want fry, yes, substrate fish are likely to eat them during darkness. And the apistos will take a very dim view of cories. I have had various dwarf cichlids live well with cories, but in much larger tanks. And my Bolivian Rams spawned four times, and each time the cories got the eggs during darkness. Then the male Bolivian got fed up and killed the female. Its a long story, but it happens.

I would want Carnegiella strigata (marble hatchetfish) in a longer tank, a 30-inch 29g is better. But, since this species is very calm, not boisterous swimmers, it can work, but you want more substantial floating plants with spaces between. Duckweed is not at all advisable. Water Sprite, Frogbit, Water Lettuce work well, you can thin out new plants or older plants to provide the needed cover but sufficient open water. The Carnegiella species will remain almost motionless, except when feeding or spawning interaction.

Temp at 79F is too high for cories, best around 23-25C/73-75F.
 
Can peacock gudgeons live with apistogrammas?

I would think it risky at best, both are substrate-level inhabitants. But I never guess, and I have no direct knowledge of the gudgeons, so take advice from the members who do, I am sure @Rocky998 or others will help.
 
Can peacock gudgeons live with apistogrammas?
Personally I wouldn't. That's not to say it won't work, that's just my personal thought and choice, but I would be concerned about aggression because they are both territorial. For peacock gudgeons most "aggression" is usually always towards their own species in the form of chasing and/or mild sparring, nothing more. But it's always good to be safe.
I have mine with corydoras (in fact I just got my corydoras today lol), I've seen them kept with other schooling fish as well. They are great community fish, I just don't know how they would be with another species that is also a bit territorial.
 
It’s an average 20 gallon tall like you said. Will probably look something like this:

2 sponge filters, one on each side of tank.
Carib Sea super natural sand (very fine)
Live plants such as: Java fern, anubias, pothos
Giant duckweed for floating plant
Driftwood and some dragon stone
Some small caves
79 degrees
I’m thinking about stocking it with the following:

Apistogramma cacatuoides pair
Clown killifish or marbled hatchetfish
I’ve heard that it’s not advisable to keep mid to bottom dwelling fish with an apistogramma pair, because the females will become very aggressive during breeding.
If you do go with hatchet fish, make sure you have a tight fitting lid with no gaps. They are notorious jumpers. It's their natural defense mechanism to get away from predators. In nature there's usually a lot more water to land in. But in captivity, they end up on the floor.
 
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Maybe hatchetfish wouldn’t be the best option then… I’m planning on lowering the water level by a couple inches instead of having a lid…
 

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