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Old 03-03-2013, 02:26 AM   #1
Sharpchick
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Choosing a top dweller for 20 long


I have a 20 gallon long, intensively planted - 50/50 mix of Eco Complete and fine gravel for the substrate. Low light, fast growing stem plants, a couple of crypts (wedtii - that never melted! Yay!) I have floating stems of pennywort that cover about 25% of the surface.

I use Seachem Flourish, root tabs, API Leaf Zone, and 1/2 dose it every other day with API CO2 booster (the anacharis started melting at full doses, so I cut the dose of CO2 booster, and all seems well).

Filtered with a Lustar hydro sponge 2 and a Tetra Whisper 20i. Temp runs 74/75F.

Livestock is 6 neon tetras, 10 harlequin rasboras, and 6 emerald cories.

The tank has been running for two months now - has never shown nitrites or nitrates, and ammonia has only intermittently been a shade between 0 and .25 ppm. pH is 6.8.

I'm looking for a top dweller and think that either a male dwarf honey gourami or a male dwarf gourami might be what I want, although I'm thinking the dwarf gourami (Trichogaster lalius) might get a bit larger than what I'm looking for.

I've kept larger gouramis in larger tanks, but never the small ones. I understand they are a bit skittish, and like cover, so my tank should be okay in that regard.

Do you really need to keep them in threes (1M/2F)? That's going to get uncomfortably close to 100% stocked, and I am really not looking to breed, or to have the other fish chased out of a "territory."

If that's the most humane way to keep them, then what other suggestions do you guys have for a top dweller in this tank?
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Old 03-03-2013, 02:34 AM   #2
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There's no need to have them in groups. One dwarf gourami should be enough.
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Old 03-03-2013, 02:35 AM   #3
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Dwarf gouramis can also be bullies. Hatchetfish are pretty cool if you can have a top.
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Old 03-03-2013, 02:41 AM   #4
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Default Choosing a top dweller for 20 long

What about clown kilis? They look really nice and stay small. I don't have much experience with them but am wanting some for my tank. A friend of mine has a few and says they stay near the top and don't bother anyone.
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Old 03-03-2013, 02:43 AM   #5
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Dwarf gouramis can also be bullies. Hatchetfish are pretty cool if you can have a top.
Do I need a pair of hatchetfish?
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Old 03-03-2013, 02:44 AM   #6
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What about clown kilis? They look really nice and stay small. I don't have much experience with them but am wanting some for my tank. A friend of mine has a few and says they stay near the top and don't bother anyone.
I looked at those - read a few forum threads (on other forums ) about killer killis...
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Old 03-03-2013, 02:51 AM   #7
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Do I need a pair of hatchetfish?
They do better in groups.
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Old 03-03-2013, 02:53 AM   #8
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They do better in groups.
I thought I'd be overstocked - but the pretty conservative AqAdvisor says I could add 6 and only be at 89%.

Better than that - my filtration would still be good.

This might work.

ETA: And I have a glass top to cut down on evaporation...
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:23 PM   #9
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Tube mouthed pencilfish are another option, they always stay near the surface and are very small. They do great in groups and I don't se an issue with adding a half dozen to your set up. If gouramis are your desire, then what about some sparkling or Licourice gouramis? They could be added as a trio and stay fairly tiny compared to dwarfs or honeys
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:26 PM   #10
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Wrestling halfbeaks are great top swimmers.
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:40 PM   #11
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Great suggestions. I hadn't thought about several of these fish.

Thanks so much.
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharpchick View Post
I have a 20 gallon long, intensively planted - 50/50 mix of Eco Complete and fine gravel for the substrate. Low light, fast growing stem plants, a couple of crypts (wedtii - that never melted! Yay!) I have floating stems of pennywort that cover about 25% of the surface.

I use Seachem Flourish, root tabs, API Leaf Zone, and 1/2 dose it every other day with API CO2 booster (the anacharis started melting at full doses, so I cut the dose of CO2 booster, and all seems well).

Filtered with a Lustar hydro sponge 2 and a Tetra Whisper 20i. Temp runs 74/75F.

Livestock is 6 neon tetras, 10 harlequin rasboras, and 6 emerald cories.

The tank has been running for two months now - has never shown nitrites or nitrates, and ammonia has only intermittently been a shade between 0 and .25 ppm. pH is 6.8.

I'm looking for a top dweller and think that either a male dwarf honey gourami or a male dwarf gourami might be what I want, although I'm thinking the dwarf gourami (Trichogaster lalius) might get a bit larger than what I'm looking for.

I've kept larger gouramis in larger tanks, but never the small ones. I understand they are a bit skittish, and like cover, so my tank should be okay in that regard.

Do you really need to keep them in threes (1M/2F)? That's going to get uncomfortably close to 100% stocked, and I am really not looking to breed, or to have the other fish chased out of a "territory."

If that's the most humane way to keep them, then what other suggestions do you guys have for a top dweller in this tank?
You should consider a group of male endler livebearers, they stay under an inch, are really colorful and fun to watch, and stay near the top... Just don't throw in a female if you don't wanna breed because you will have a population explosion in about a month if you do. Also, their ph and hardness is usually high and alkaline but they are pretty adaptable. They are fine in my tank at 6.8 ph and 1 kh 3 gh.

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Old 03-04-2013, 01:33 AM   #13
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SOme my my all time favorite topdwellers are none other than the plain old white clouds. They stay mostly at the top and really do get beautiful as they mature. My LFS gets them in as feeders so at least by me I can pick them up for really cheap and save them from becoming arowana food in the process! Also emerald eye rasboras stay very close the top as well and are really pretty too!
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:45 AM   #14
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I've found dwarf honey gouramis really prefer the bottom. And can be territorial. I had 1, added another, and the original was never as active as it used to be. It eventually died 'for no reason'. Then I added a betta to that tank, and the second honey got really stressed by the betta (who was somewhat of a bully). I took the betta out after two days, but the other honey died a couple days later.


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Old 03-04-2013, 04:15 AM   #15
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Dwarf gourami would go fine with your stock. Most of those fish are too fast for him to do anything but dart at. Mine sometimes picks at the substrate and never darts at the plecos or upside down catfish. Keep only 1 male though unless your planning on getting a few females cuz they're pretty aggressive towards each other
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