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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
new planted 20gallon xhigh
current fish: 3 zebra danios, 8 neon tetras
Want to add a few more neon tetra, so a total of 12 maybe. Also a small school of cory, an SAE or 2, and possibly a dwarf gourami for centerpiece.

Overstocked? If so, would removing the three zebra danios do it? any suggestion..

Thanks
 

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going with that, youre definitely not overstocked currently. 12 tetras is a good school and cories would make a good group of bottom feeders. I would stay away from the SAEs because I hear with growth and age they become a terror, especially in a tank too small.
 

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Your ideas will overstock the tank, but I have seen some people successfully overstock a tank without any deaths because they have cycled the tank and were doing water changes frequently.

I would have 8 Neon Tetras and 3-5 Corys.
 

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If you are heavily planted and have good filtration, that certainly is not overstocked. I too would forget the SAE though. Maybe a few otocinclus instead. Dwarf gourami is one of my favorite fish; I keep a pair of males in a 20H. Be sure to give him some floating plants so he can build a bubble nest or he could possibly turn aggressive.

I have 2 dwarf gourami, 12+ chili rasbora, 5 cories, 4 otos, and 2 anchor cats, plus a breeding colony of RCS in a heavily planted 20H, and everyone is fine. Monthly water changes and nitrates never get above 30-40 ppm.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I was aware of the SAE getting larger, up to 5 inches. But not worried as I will be setting up a 40breeder tank before the end of the year. I really just want something to help with eventual algae I will have. I had otos before but heard SAE are much more active. With the planned fish listed I thought 30% wc twice a week would be ok?

and currently have quietflow 50 by the way
 

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I was aware of the SAE getting larger, up to 5 inches. But not worried as I will be setting up a 40breeder tank before the end of the year. I really just want something to help with eventual algae I will have. I had otos before but heard SAE are much more active. With the planned fish listed I thought 30% wc twice a week would be ok?

and currently have quietflow 50 by the way
The SAE will eventually stop eating algae and start eating smaller fish, I'd stay away as well. I had one and it was a little bastard and after about 4-5 months stopped eating algae all together, I wouldn't bother if I were you.
 

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The SAEs size isnt so much the issue, but they can get aggressive in smaller tanks. One would be perfectly at home in a 40 though, as long as you have it set up and ready to move him if he shows any signs of unrest.

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Also, would a single male or female gourami be best or a pair?
You wont find a female unless you get it straight from a breeder. They are very dull in coloration and lfs don't usually carry them. I would recommend a single male unless you have a ton of plants to break the line of sight during spats and two seperate islands of floating plants so each can have their own bubble nest. Most people say it can't be done, but I have successfully kept male pairs for many years. If they are similarly sized, their fights only involve a bit of chasing and flaring. Their duels are entertaining to watch and don't seem to cause any permanent damage or excessive stress to either. If the size difference is too great, you may have nipping issues that could stress the smaller fish. I once tried to keep a male/female pair and it was a disaster.

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new planted 20gallon xhigh
current fish: 3 zebra danios, 8 neon tetras
Want to add a few more neon tetra, so a total of 12 maybe. Also a small school of cory, an SAE or 2, and possibly a dwarf gourami for centerpiece.

Overstocked? If so, would removing the three zebra danios do it? any suggestion..

Thanks
Hi Anthony... A heavily planted tank would definitely go a long way.. I've found that a heavily planted tank with good, strong growth is also more forgiving of less-than-ideal water parameters. Or you could consider smaller tetras like Embers..? They've got rather low bioloads and you could probably add a school of 7-8 maybe? They school and if conditions are right, take on a lovely deep orange-red hue! Hope that helps!

G.

p.s. I had an SAE once and it was a nightmare to get out of the tank. You'd have to remove almost every single tank deco that could serve as a potential hiding spot. Those fish are like lightning!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Its my first planted tank and it is newly planted with some ludwigia, vals, dwarf lily, dhg, wisteria, dwarf sag, and a crypt wendti. Soil capped with eco complete so I am hoping everything flourish and fills in well. Im noticing new growth everyday. And Im too anxious for the dhg to carpet!

How often would you suggest changing the water with a planted tank? Ive seen from once a week to once a month.
 

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Its my first planted tank and it is newly planted with some ludwigia, vals, dwarf lily, dhg, wisteria, dwarf sag, and a crypt wendti. Soil capped with eco complete so I am hoping everything flourish and fills in well. Im noticing new growth everyday. And Im too anxious for the dhg to carpet!

How often would you suggest changing the water with a planted tank? Ive seen from once a week to once a month.
You can't really go wrong with a weekly 10-20% water change. However, how often you NEED to change your water depends on how long it takes for nitrates to build up to a level that is uncomfortable for your fish. In order to know for sure, you'd need to test your water weekly for nitrates. You can also use this website to calculate how much water needs to be changed on a weekly basis depending on your tank size, filtration and stocking level:

http://www.aqadvisor.com/

Of course, this website just provides an estimate. Overfeeding would obviously require you to do more frequent or larger water changes. According to this website, my 20 gallon is overstocked (mainly due to all the guppies I have), but I have more than enough filtration due to the fact that I'm using a filter rated for a 50 gallon tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have been testing the water every other day to see where the levels are at and so far no nitrates. Im new to planted tanks but if im not mistaken the plants consume the nitrates which delays the need for water changes as often..maybe lol
 

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I don't have a water change schedule, I have a water test schedule. I check parameters once a week and do a 50% water change when nitrates hit 40 ppm. Frequency varies on all of my tanks, with some needing weekly changes and one tank only getting around 3 water changes a year.

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I think everyone here is confusing Siamese Algae Eater with Chinese Algae Eater. A true SAE is not aggressive compared to the CAE. But they still do tend to get large 5-6 inches. So keeping them in a 20 would not be advised unless you plan on setting up a bigger tank before they are fully grown. I would nix the Zebra danios due to their hyperactive nature and go with either Harlequin Rasboras or a smaller tetra like Embers.
 

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Don't give up on finding a female dwarf gourami. Stores may not order them in, but occasionally one will get included by mistake. I was able to get mine when a female was accidentally shipped in with the males. you need to know what a female looks like though, because there is no guarantee the fish store employee will. They hadn't even noticed the female until I pointed it out.
 

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new planted 20gallon xhigh
current fish: 3 zebra danios, 8 neon tetras
Want to add a few more neon tetra, so a total of 12 maybe. Also a small school of cory, an SAE or 2, and possibly a dwarf gourami for centerpiece.

Overstocked? If so, would removing the three zebra danios do it? any suggestion..
I have a 20 gallon high planted tank myself, so I felt compelled to post. I started it up 2/2013. Did a fishless cycle (dosing Ammonia) that lasted around a month.

Currently, I have:

10 Bloodfin Tetras (that feed like Piranhas)
4 Green Neon Tetras
4 Nerite snails
3 Otos
5 Amano Shrimp
1 Golden Ram

using an Aquaclear 50 HOB Filter.
----
With an established colony of beneficial bacteria, my tank was/is easily able to handle this large bioload. I will say with my bioload, I HAVE to clean my filter every week, to keep the algae down. With that said...

Hi Anthony... A heavily planted tank would definitely go a long way.. I've found that a heavily planted tank with good, strong growth is also more forgiving of less-than-ideal water parameters.
This is another factor that I emphatically agree with.

Consensus:

1. I would not go over what I have listed above.
2. Get Otos, they are algae slayers.
 

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I think everyone here is confusing Siamese Algae Eater with Chinese Algae Eater. A true SAE is not aggressive compared to the CAE. But they still do tend to get large 5-6 inches. So keeping them in a 20 would not be advised unless you plan on setting up a bigger tank before they are fully grown. I would nix the Zebra danios due to their hyperactive nature and go with either Harlequin Rasboras or a smaller tetra like Embers.
was thinking this as i read through the thread. True SAE can be aggressive toward other SAE, but mine were never a problem with my rasboras and rummynose in my 55. I bought 2 SAE to deal with a hair algae problem, as i read they were great at dealing with tough algae problems. This turned out to be 100% true. They eat almost any crud algae that others (like plecos)wouldn't touch. My newly established 55 bloomed BBA and hair algae all over so it was initially a feast for them. One out competed the other and got substantially larger and constantly picked on the smaller one, so i had to give the small guy to a friend. The newly solo SAE grew full size, and was one of my favorite fish until he jumped out of a tiny hole where the HOB filter sits on my 55. They are very fast, agile fish with tons of energy and activity and are phenominal at cleaning algae, even from plants without damaging leaves!

This being said, go with what you initially said and get otos for your 20.. but think about an SAE when you set up your 40B, they are very cool fish!

For your 20, I wouldn't push the bio-load too much unless you want to do frequent water changes or do overkill filtration. Personally I would get the danios out (possibly into the 40 when you get it?) and put in 3 or 4 corys and 3 otos as was suggested earlier.
 
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