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20g aquarium with beginner plants and fish.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, I want to make sure these fish are beginner friendly from y’all’s experience because there is some controversy on them. (This is for a 20g tank)
The fish are:

Centerpiece: Apistogromma (Not sure of the species yet) x1

School: rummynose tetra x8

Bottom/Clean up crew: Pygmy corys x6

Extras: Endlers x3
 

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I'd not go for rummynose for 20g. They do get quite chunky for schooling fish, not like neons. And they really appreciate larger space to swim.
Hosing apisto and cory might be OK. Might not be OK also. For 20 gallons I think they'll be fine.

Trigonostigma espei, or Lambchop rasbora is my favorite shoaling fish. They do not have tight schooling behavior tho.
There are 3 different species that look similar: T. espei, T. hengeli, T. heteromorpha (Harlequin rasbora). You can learn how to distinguish them just by quick googling.
I find color of T. espei is the most vibrant of the three. Other than that they are practically the same.
They don't mess with apistos as they are top dwellers, and they share the same water params: low pH soft water, possibly blackwater.
 

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20g aquarium with beginner plants and fish.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dang I was looking forward to keeping rummynose, would you recommend the chili rasbora? I am making a jungle style tank so I think the cories and apisto will be Allright. I do currently have lamchop rasboras and they are pretty hardy like the harlequins.
 

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Chili rasbora might be too small to be safe with apisto. I think someone around here is trying them with A. borelli after having determined that species would be the most likely to be compatible. I don't remember who it was, but you should look them up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That sounds cool, if that doesn’t work do you think ember tetras would be okay? Do you think cardinals could go in a 20g?

I just found out that a decent amount of people have kept chilli rasboras with apistos because the rasboras where to fast for the apistos. Do you think 12 would work in a 20?
 

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there are over 100 species of apistogramma - some are beginners some are expert only. When you decide on a specific species then you can get a bit more details. Is this a 20 long or a 20 high? In a 20 high you 100% do not want cory in there with m/f(s) apistogramma because there won't be enough floor space for them to run away from an angry female protecting her eggs. A 20 long is possible with proper landscaping but not really recommended.
 

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Just a heads up chilis are very timid and tend to hide a lot if there's bigger and/or faster fish in there with them. They were scared of my kubotais, and that was in a heavily planted 55...
 

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20g aquarium with beginner plants and fish.
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
there are over 100 species of apistogramma - some are beginners some are expert only. When you decide on a specific species then you can get a bit more details. Is this a 20 long or a 20 high? In a 20 high you 100% do not want cory in there with m/f(s) apistogramma because there won't be enough floor space for them to run away from an angry female protecting her eggs. A 20 long is possible with proper landscaping but not really recommended.
It is a 20h but I’m only getting one male
 

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I won't recommend getting pygmy corydoras, as they're extremely sensitive to even the slightest change in parameters and die off easily. Plus, their small size will likely trigger attacks from the apistogramma.
 

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Pygmy Corydoras aren't that sensitive. I have a healthy and very entertaining group of 11. They’ve proven themselves to be hardy little fish. Mine have lived through a mistake or two without any die off or noticeable suffering. It’s a good idea in general to wait until your tank is stable to add any fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Okay I’ll keep the apistos and Pygmy cories on my list as well as the enlers I just have to find a good schooling fish to keep with apistos. Any suggestions?
 

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16g rimless cherry shrimp, 20g cube dwarf cichlid, 40g breeder nano community.
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I have a half dozen harlequin rasbora in a 29g and I'll be adding a pair of the cockatoo apistos to the tank soon.
 

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pencil fishes are good small schooling fish. The problem of course is your tank is pretty small. 20 long or 29 tend to be a bit better; but a 20 H has a lot of water space but not much room. Green neon are an option but they don't really school in the same sense. kubotai rasbora are pretty neat little fish and quite active. Not sure i'd go with the bit larger harlequin in a 20 H. There are ember tetra but again not big schoolers more of a shoaling fish.
 

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My neons didn't really school (when I had them) but I only had about 7 or 8 of them. Not sure about embers, but they sure are pretty.
 

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Apistogrammas will eat a fish that can fit in their mouths. Whatever fish you get make sure they are not too small otherwise they might get eaten. I have hongsloi that ate some neons that were too small :(
 
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