Suggestions for a 20 long south american themed tank
I just downsized from a 29 gallon high to a 20 gallon long. Although the new tank has 2/3rds of the previous tank's water volume, it actually has an identical footprint. Therefore, I expect I can stock the tank similarly. I'm much happier with the new tank's dimensions; I cannot stand tanks that are much higher than they are deep. The new tank has the old tank's substrate, plants, decor, and fish.
The current stocking is...
9 Cardinal Tetras
6 X-Ray Tetras
The tank is pretty basic. Honestly, it's barely even planted, with the sole rooted plant being an abused Amazon Sword, and the only other plants being Amazon Frogbit and Salvinia (plus some duckweed, that stuff is forever). The tank is set up as a lazy Igapů biotope. The substrate is sand (the Amazon sword has some Fluval Stratum under it), and the decor is sticks, seed pods, leaf litter, and a flying monkey statue, just like a real flooded forest in the Amazon. I plan on at least doubling the current amount of leaf litter in the tank in the next few days and maybe adding some other forest floor stuff I have laying around.
Honestly, it's kind of a miracle the Amazon sword is still alive. The lighting is the basic Aqueon hood which may actually have negative PAR. That combined with the typically tea-colored water, the previous depth of the 29 gallon, and the surface usually choked with floaters seems like it would kill any aquatic plant.
For filtration, I have an Aqueon Quietflow 20 and some random sponge filter spec'd for 20-30 gallons on the tank. I'll test the water tomorrow because it's been ages since I lasted tested it. Everything is over a year old and the tank is well cycled and well established already so I don't expect any ammonia or nitrite. In the change from the 29 to the 20, I did a 100% water change so I don't expect many nitrates.
I've attached a photo of the tank plus a photo of the inhabitants. I must say, the X-Ray Tetras are about twice as interesting as the Cardinals. The X-Rays are bolder, more engaging, and much harder to net. The X-Rays have definitely earned my respect. To top it all off, I actually like the X-Ray's markings more than the Cardinals. Sure the Cardinals are brightly colored, but their markings are so simple, no nuance. The X-Rays have beautifully patterned fins, a see-through body, and red tails. They also have interesting scoop-shaped mouths. Anyway, according to aqadvisor, I'm only about 2/3rds stocked, and I'm considering getting more fish for this tank. I thought I'd mention my feelings about the current inhabitants to help people with stocking suggestions.
Should I get more fish? If so what should I get and why? Note, I'd prefer suggestions for fish that are from South America and would enjoy a leaf-litter heavy environment.