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Stock Suggestions for 20 Gallon Hard Water Beginner Tank

pollyandpear

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Joined
16 Jan 2023
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30
Location
London
My last thread got a bit confusing as I ended up asking for general advice, so I wanted to make a fresh thread regarding what fish I could consider getting for my 20 gallon tank.

I have now set the tank up, and for the next 4 - 6 weeks I will be letting it mature and the plants grow in. Whilst this is happening I want to narrow down the fish I will be getting for it.

I live in London so have hard water.

I am currently thinking - some bottom dwellers, ideally that like to clean, some mid and top dwellers. Plus a few snails/ and or shrimp.

I have a heater in the tank set as 22 - 24 degrees but happy to take it out if not needed.

So question 1: Are there any pleco type fish, or fish like hill stream loaches that would be suitable for my tank? (Apart from Otocinclus)? Otherwise I will probably go with a group of Corys.

I like the celestial pearl danios/ guppies so plan on having a shoal of about 6 - 10 of those.

I tend to be drawn to the flatish or longer fish like plecos, catfish and khuli loaches, however I am aware that lots of these are either too big or unsuitable for my aquarium.

The petshop I went to did have hillsteam loaches in London tap water, with no current and said they'd be fine for me, but I am also aware they gave me some pretty advise advice re other species so I am guessing probably best to avoid the hill stream loach (as much as I love them).

If I were to have the above (shoal of small fish, and a group of bottom dwellers) would that be the max occupancy or could I add one other species, that are more middle swimmers?

Thank you all for being patient with me!
 
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MichaelJ

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9 Feb 2021
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Minnesota, USA
If I were to have the above (shoal of small fish, and a group of bottom dwellers) would that be the max occupancy or could I add one other species, that are more middle swimmers?
A shoal of small hardier tetras or rasboras is always nice. With a 20 Gallon tank I would stay with nano fish (max 3-4 cm).... not more than 12-15 individuals for mid/top dwellers. Endlers and guppy's are particularly well suited for hard water.

As for Plecos, in general, Plecos are not suitable for small tanks... I've had them in the past in big tanks - they tend to get quite big regardless of tank size. I would consider my current 40 gallon tanks to be too small for Plecos (with perhaps one or two dwarf species being an exception). For bottom dwellers; Otos, Corys are good choices (fine gravel or sand especially for the Corys that spend almost all of their time at the bottom)... Shrimp wise, I would shy away from anything but Amanos (as they tend to be hardier) since your not in control of your water - you may get lucky with Cherry shrimps if you get some that are breed and well adapted to hard water. Btw. I saw the picture of your tank on another thread; congratulations! but you should add more and bigger plants... replacing the big (white) rock for plants is a much better disposition of the space.

Cheers,
Michael
 
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AlecF

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15 Sep 2021
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359
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Edinburgh
Start with one simple species, like the tetras or rasboras. Then add one species of Cory after a couple of months, if you have fine sand. Focus on the plants and these fish, and get used to any swings and changes in the aquarium ecosystem, so you learn how to handle those. Don't add a more difficult fish like a pleco until you have good experience and are sure the tank is suitable. It is may feel more enjoyable to get everything straight away, but the real enjoyment will come from e-learning by stages. This way you'll avoid losing fish, which is always upsetting. Ignore everything your fish shop says.
 

pollyandpear

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16 Jan 2023
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London
Okay thank you. I'll remove one of the rocks as i have a lot of plants coming in the post!

I will start with one species, probably the guppies if I can have them instead of raspboras? A shoal of 10?

Also I haven't got sand at the moment, just aquasoil and gravel so will maybe need to add some sand in the future for the Cory's but no rush as that is months away!
 

dw1305

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7 Apr 2008
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nr Bath
Hi all,
I will start with one species, probably the guppies
I probably wouldn't go with Guppies (Poecilia reticulata), the reason being that they aren't the hardy fish they used to be.

They have been very over-bred commercially, which has weakened their constitution and a lot of the commercial stock is also riddled with <"Camallanus worms">. If they are healthy? You have the other problem, that they breed like mad and you can't give the babies away.

All male <"Endler's Livebearer"> (Poecilia wingei) might be an option?

cheers Darrel
 
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MichaelJ

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Joined
9 Feb 2021
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2,242
Location
Minnesota, USA
I probably wouldn't go with Guppies (Poecilia reticulata), the reason being that they aren't the hardy fish they used to be.

They have been very over-bred commercially, which has weakened their constitution
Reminds me of what has happened to a lot of commercially breed dwarf cichlids such as Ram's in particular.

All male <"Endler's Livebearer"> (Poecilia wingei) might be an option?
Thats a good idea.

Cheers,
Michael
 
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