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Okay - my very heavily planted tank is thriving. Plants are growing out of control and fish are getting big and beautiful. Starting to think about where I'm headed.

It's only a 20 gallon tank, and I now have 11 neons (lost one in quarantine). I think the next step is Amano Shrimp, and the gal at my LFS said I should get 5.

Two questions. Does 5 sound right? After the shrimp, How many more fish can I get?

Does the one inch of fish per gallon rule apply to heavily planted tanks? I assume the shrimp count toward my limit?

I guess that's more than two questions.

Thanks in advance.
 

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First, throw the "inch per gallon" rule out the window. The amount of waste put out by a fish should be taken in to account (along with it's size to make sure that it doesn't out grow the tank). For example, a 2in pleco' puts out a heck of a lot more organic matter then a 2in neon. Shrimp add the the total bioload of the tank, but don't add a whole lot. You should be safe with several more amanos and fish. What filter and you running? That will also play into what and how many fish you should get.
 

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5 is a good number for a 20g for amanos. That rule doesn't apply for planted tanks. You could keep up to 24 neons if you wanted. Oh and the shrimp don't really add much to the bioload. Their bioload is so minute.
 

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A lot more than you think in a planted tank.

I have a 20 G with the varying amounts of the following fish/animals. The tank has 0 problems...tested for ammonia, nitrates and nitrites for weeks after introducing each group of fish and tank is handling it well.

Harlequin Rasboras
Chili Rasboras
Neon Tetras
Bubble Ram
Bumblebee goby
African Dwarf Frog
Amano Shrimp
Badis Badis
Corys
Golden Oto
Siamese Algae Eating

The key is to add slowly and see how much each addition stresses your system. You'll be able to notice it, of course, in your ammonia/nitrites/nitrates. So long as you do that, and the fish you pick can actually fit and have adequate space, you're good.

Needless to say, I'm done...won't be adding anything unless I have a loss but so far so good!

I also agree with Riparium..the type of fish matters quite a bit. The gallon/inch is really for the novices of novices. Shrimp are typically not seen as heavy contributors to the bioload. In fact, their presence may do more good than harm by consuming debri and left over food which, if left in the tank, will contribute quite a bit to the bioload as it degrades.
 
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