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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I are planning a 20G H setup (24"x12"x16") and would like to have a pair of German Blue Rams (or Bolivian or Apistos) since they are so colorful and fun! And I love cory's and cardinal tetra's, so this is our 20G stocking plan:

2 German Blue Rams
6 Cardinal Tetras
4 Julii Corys

Inverts:

Nerite snail? (as long as it eats algae!)
Cherry or Amano shrimp
Malaysian Trumpet Snails (MTS)

Can I keep more fish than this? The tank will be somewhat over-filtered with a Rena Filstar XP1. The tank will also eventually be heavily planted.
 

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That stocking level is fine; personally, I would up the cories to 6 and the cardinals to 10, just so they will be happier. You will be closer to full capacity, but with good maintenance and a planted tank you shouldn't have any problems.

Your rams would likely eat your shrimp. I've heard that some get along with Amanos, but I think it's iffy. Cherry shrimp will become snacks unless you have a lot and good places for them to hide (and some will still become snacks).

Nerite snails are good algae eaters. Ramshorns are also pretty good; the nerites won't reproduce, so that could be a plus or a minus depending on how you look at it. If you don't overfeed, your ramshorn population should stay at a manageable level. The rams will probably also eat baby ramshorns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That stocking level is fine; personally, I would up the cories to 6 and the cardinals to 10, just so they will be happier. You will be closer to full capacity, but with good maintenance and a planted tank you shouldn't have any problems.

Your rams would likely eat your shrimp. I've heard that some get along with Amanos, but I think it's iffy. Cherry shrimp will become snacks unless you have a lot and good places for them to hide (and some will still become snacks).

Nerite snails are good algae eaters. Ramshorns are also pretty good; the nerites won't reproduce, so that could be a plus or a minus depending on how you look at it. If you don't overfeed, your ramshorn population should stay at a manageable level. The rams will probably also eat baby ramshorns.
If I can't use shrimp, since the GBRs will most likely eat them, what other algae eaters are recommended? 4 otto's? 2 otto's? A dwarf bristlenose pleco instead?
 

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I wouldn't do 2 rams in a 20h if they don't get along they will kill each other in so little space. Its a bet, maybe they will get along, maybe they don't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I wouldn't do 2 rams in a 20h if they don't get along they will kill each other in so little space. Its a bet, maybe they will get along, maybe they don't.
We may do apistos or Bolivian rams then. But if we do GBRs, could we do one single GBR in the 20H?
 

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All these dwarf cichlids must be kept as compatible pairs to work - they are fish that pair up and established defined territories which they do not like to share with other territorial fish. The common way to achieve a pair is to start off with a few juveniles and let a pair form out of them, then remove the outcasts. if you are patient you might find an already mated pair - if you simply randomly choose a male and a female it could work, but if they are not compatible it would not.

I do recommend apisto's - aside from me finding them nicer, they are not so sensitive to conditions and temperature as Rams.
 

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If you can get a PAIR ( m/f ) of Rams I see no problem with putting them in a 20 gallon tank.
20 gallons of water is indeed enough for 2 rams, but its a 20high tank, so the space is limited, if they don't get along, the rams can't build a big enough territory for them selves and they will cross each others territory the whole time, so they will fight to protect there territory, and in a while one fish will lose the battle and die.

This is only when they don't get along. If you have a mated pair, they will be fine, but I saw mated pairs split and fight till the dead after being life partners for more than a year, with success full spawns in the past... so beware!!

It's better to be safe than sorry...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Angelfish get way to big for a 20gallon... if u want to do angelfish do a 30 long or 30 high...
Got it. We're now leaning towards the apistogramma's, since they tolerate harder water more so and are a bit more hardy fish!
 

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If I can't use shrimp, since the GBRs will most likely eat them, what other algae eaters are recommended? 4 otto's? 2 otto's? A dwarf bristlenose pleco instead?
I'd hold off on the ottos or BN, and just wait to see how well multiple nerites and MTS handle the algae. My 55g with 6 nerites rarely has an algae problem unless there's direct sunlight on it. If you're concerned about debris buildup in the substrate, consider freshwater clams, they're a great cleanup crew.
 
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