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New Contributor
DianaFaye
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎11-14-2012
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Need fish ideas for 20gal tall tank

I've been thinking about restarting my old 20gal tall tank, and I'm trying to plan ahead as to how I want to set it up. I'm toying with the idea of Glofish or gouramis. I've had Glofish before and really liked them, and I'd love to have the new blue and purple additions. I have black gravel, but I can't decide on how else I want to decorate. I don't want the flourescent plants because I feel it'll take away from the beauty of the Glofish. Also, if I go Glo, I was thinking of 2 or 3 of each color (total of 10-15) but I'd like to have something else to accent them... I'm thinking a slightly larger white fish of some kind, maybe a betta, or bottom dwellers.

 

I have also been eyeing up the powder blue dwarf gouramis, and it'be be nice to have a new species, but I don't know what other fish I'd like to have as well. I'm a color freak (hence my leanings towards Glofish) and I'd like to have a wide variety of color (without going saltwater haha) but I'd also like to keep the overall tank ambiance classy.

 

Any experiences with gouramis, or tips on how many and what other fish would go well would be much appreciated. Also, if I go Glo, tank decor ideas or pictures would be GREATLY appreciated. My general aim, fishwise, would be to try to achieve all the colors of the rainbow lol.

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Regular Contributor
Aqua
Posts: 190
Registered: ‎06-13-2012

Re: Need fish ideas for 20gal tall tank

Gouramis tend to be aggressive towards each other most of the times. Additionally, they will need a lot of hiding places if you somehow get a psycho Gourami. Some fish I suggest that will get along with them will be Chinese Algae Eaters, plecostomus, or in your case either tetras or danios as they're quite smaller. Also, if you plan to keep the Gourami(s) with other fish, as said previously, make sure you have a lot of hiding places and plants. I would suggest either getting a bigger tank or some different type of fish. How about a some mollies, cories, platys, danios, or group(s) of tetras? One common rule is four gallons for inch of fish, some might disagree some might agree. Different views and different opinions. Hope this helps you a little.

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Respected Contributor
huachinango
Posts: 5,409
Registered: ‎07-22-2011

Re: Need fish ideas for 20gal tall tank

 

It seems to me that you like the idea of gouramis. If we go with that, we need to consider their preferences first, and then  see if any other fish will be compatible with them socially, AND in terms of their other preferences. 

 

Dwarf Gouramis (Colisa Lalia) come in several color varieties (normal, Neon, Powder Blue, Red, etc), but all  like rather soft, acidic water with gentle filtration (not a lot of current).  Live plants and driftwood would be good additions to their tank and water temperatures should  be nearer to 80 degrees than to 70.  Usually only males are available for sale, and they will battle for dominance in a small tank.  In your case, I would have only a single male at most or possibly a true male-female pair if you can find one.  I was lucky enough to find a true pair a couple months ago, and they are doing well in my twenty gallon long.  I monitor them often, because my male chases my female on occasion, but dense plant growth (hornwort, wisteria, cryptocorynes and aponogetons) allows her to hide and escape.  Aqua's term "Psycho Gourami" is more likely to apply to species other than the dwarf gourami. Blue Gouramis (Gold, Platinum, Opaline forms, too) and Kissing Gouramis are very pushy fish, especially mature males. Paradise Fish, a close gourami relative, also get aggressive as they age.  Pearl and Moonlight Gouramis are generally considered to be peaceful, but I have found they can be relentless in attacking one another if you have the wrong combination of genders or too small a tank.  In general, Gouramis are unpredictable. It's better to stock conservatively and keep watch on them whenever there is more than one in a tank. 

 

Plecostomus and Chinese Algae Eaters are both equipped with mouths that describe the water conditions they prefer: fast-moving and highly oxygenated. They attach themselves to stones or driftwood and eat algae and biocover.  Both get large (more than ten inches)  and have an unwelcome habit of trying to attach themselves to the sides of flat-bodied, slower moving fish (like gouramis, angels, and fancy goldfish) in the effort to eat the slime coating: an irritating and potentially damaging behavior.  I take the view that either of these fish needs a large tank  (they both grow very quickly) fast filtration and cooler water.  A CAE needs at least a 55 gallon tank when mature, a pleco (if we are talking about the common sailfin variety) will need a larger tank than that.  To be blunt, most people should purchase neither of these fish and if pet stores stopped selling them entirely, that would be okay with me, too. 

 

My gouramis share their tank with a group of six small Checker Barbs (a species smaller at maturity even than the tiny Cherry Barb) who mainly keep to themselves.  Small rasboras, danios or tetras would also be okay with them.  IF you  are considering Glofish Danios, I think they would be compatible. Not ideal, but okay.  I'd rather see them in a longer tank.  The GloFish Tetras, in contrast,  get to be a much larger schooling fish that would be better off in a larger tank.

 

I like mollies and platies, too, but both of these species like harder, more alkaline water than the gouramis and small schoolers I just mentioned.  Mollies like very warm water (80 or so), platies cooler (72-74). 

 

Like anything, you take things a step at a time.  Get your gouramis properly housed and proceed from there. 

 

Aqua mentions a formula for stocking an aquarium (4 gallons of water per inch of fish) with which I am unfamiliar.  The guideline I am familiar with is "an inch of fish length per gallon", but as I am not a fan of overcrowded tanks, I like his rule better!  The whole idea of stocking guidlines is worthy of a discussion in and of itself. 

 

“The oceans are the planet's last great living wilderness, man's only remaining frontier on Earth, and perhaps his last chance to prove himself a rational species.”
― John L. Culliney
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New Contributor
DianaFaye
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: Need fish ideas for 20gal tall tank

Yes, by Glofish I mean the danios, and I'm not interested on getting anything big right now haha. I'd love to have a bigger tank but money's tight so upgrading is not an option. I also like the effect of a "fuller" looking tank, which I'd like to achieve by keeping smaller, schooling fish (I'd probably still fill a big tank with even more schooling fish).

 

I've been playing around with AqAdvisor to get a better idea of tank capacity. I don't want to go more than 15 Glofish danios by themselves, or ten with a pair of a different species, such as a gourami. I'd love to have a single white betta w/ 10 danios, but I keep getting mixed reviews on that. I've had bettas in a community tank before, but not the danios and I know they can be rather zippy.

 

I really like the moonlight gouramis, from what I've seen, but according to AqAdvisor even one by itself appears to be too big for my tank?? :smileysad: 

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New Contributor
DianaFaye
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: Need fish ideas for 20gal tall tank

How about10 Glofish (2 red, 2 orange, 2 yellow, 2 blue, 2 purple) and 5 whiteskirt tetras?? Would those be compatible and look nice together as well??
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Respected Contributor
huachinango
Posts: 5,409
Registered: ‎07-22-2011

Re: Need fish ideas for 20gal tall tank

Strictly as a matter of preference and personal taste, I usually think larger groups of the same color fish make  a stronger statement. This is a preference not a law, feel free to ignore it!

 

The danios are speedy and prefer a longer tank, but will do okay in a standard twenty.  The whiteskirt tetras (same species as GloTetras) get surprisingly large and since they like to be in groups, I would stick with the danios.

 

I think the danios will easily out-pace a betta, so I think the combination would work.  Although Moonlight Gouramis get pretty big, the whole anabantid family are pretty slow-moving and can often be kept in smaller tanks than you might think---provided you keep them singly!

“The oceans are the planet's last great living wilderness, man's only remaining frontier on Earth, and perhaps his last chance to prove himself a rational species.”
― John L. Culliney
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Occasional Contributor
Yuna
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎10-29-2012

Re: Need fish ideas for 20gal tall tank

Hi DianaFaye! Thank you for joining Pet Talk Place, and for posting your inquiries regarding your fish tanks. The community would love to help you regarding your concern. Please feel free to post any other inquiries you come across, and we also encourage you to share your ideas and thoughts on our forum.

 

Aqua and huachinango, thank you for taking the lead in addressing DianaFaye’s concern. Your ideas will surely help DianaFaye achieve all colors of the rainbow. We are proud to have helpful and productive members like you. Keep it up guys!

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New Contributor
travelgirl
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎11-17-2012

Re: Need fish ideas for 20gal tall tank

Hi I  would suggest Mollies, a few schooling fish, and Guppies. That is what I had before I changed up to goldfish. I also had a few of those bright orangesmall  fish in that catigory. I enjoyed them as they would have loads of fry [Babies. ] fun to watch.I am not  up on the names of fish but lots of little ones with great color and stripes that would live great with these. Schooling fish are nice as they all tend to swim together. Also a 20 gal tank with these you could have more varity as goldfish get real big and put alot of waste in water. As for deco. I don't use gravel, I use glass small flat marbles a few big ones would look nice on your black gravel. You can get big ones in color. You could get some and seal together to make a hut, hill, ect. Just have to make sure you use the right stuff to glue together. you tube has sights that make back wall and glue together see what they use.  Maybe a colored Glass nicnak just make sure the  buttom heavy so the fish can't knock over and break.  I love when people think out of the box to decorate.I just did seashells but next plan to do an all chystal tank. Bling Bling. LOL.  Hope to see a photo in the future! Goodluck.

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Respected Contributor
huachinango
Posts: 5,409
Registered: ‎07-22-2011

Re: Need fish ideas for 20gal tall tank

The only thing to keep in mind about the livebearers (mollies, guppies, etc) is that they prefer high pH and hardness.  Gouramis, danios and tetras are generally more at home in soft acidic water. . .

 

“The oceans are the planet's last great living wilderness, man's only remaining frontier on Earth, and perhaps his last chance to prove himself a rational species.”
― John L. Culliney
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Valued Contributor
The_Big_A
Posts: 2,078
Registered: ‎07-06-2012

Re: Need fish ideas for 20gal tall tank

It's a little late but, "there is a search button use it! Probably 50 other threads with same title."
"Whatever happens, happens. I just go with the flow." - Linsey Weenk
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