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Please help with fish stocking!!

698 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  lauraleellbp
Not sure what to do. Its a 20L and am looking for alot of activity. I have a Ram tank and a larger cichlid tank. So, my dilemna is what do I add...? Puffers, Neons, Gourami's, Harlequins, Barbs, tetra's.....please give me some advice.
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Puffers, Neons, Gourami's, Harlequins, Barbs, tetra's.....please give me some advice.
If you go with puffers you'll be limited with tankmates, though you could probably easily put 3-5 dwarf puffers in a 20L.

Neons or Harlequins (or any other small schooling fish) with some Cories would be a good choice.

If Barbs, you'll need to stick with pretty small ones, like Cherry barbs. I wouldn't put Tigers, Odessas, etc in a 20gal because they'll get too big IMO.

A single or a M/F pair of dwarf gourami would work. I wouldn't try 2 males, though.

Personally, if I had a 20L to stock I'd get another colony of wild-type bettas, probably Betta macrostoma.
I am very unfamiliar with Betta's...any pics? Or advice? I like the harlequin, neon, and cherry barb combo. But I would like to entertain the betta option as well.
WOW...just did a google search on betta macrostoma. Where can I find them? And how are they stocked...1 male 3 females..?
Get a pair of black skirt tetras. They are super active, but not jumpers. Fun to watch them harmlessly taunt each other.
I have a colony of Betta simplex in my 46gal, here's a vid of 2 of the males displaying for each other:

Simplex are mouthbrooders, so it's actually better to keep more males than females since the males won't eat during the approx 2 weeks that they're holding eggs and fry. When the females have more males to choose from you can have longer for each male to eat between spawnings so stay in better condition.

There are many, many other species of "wild-type" bettas, and they have been coming down in price rapidly over the past few years since most are fairly easy to breed. Most species are either bubblenest builders (like the common Betta splendens) or mouthbrooders. The mouthbrooders are generally easier to breed in colony/community-type tanks.

Betta macrostoma is one of the more expensive species. Check out some others on and read up on wild betta species at is a betta-dedicated forum and also a good resource.
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lauraleelbp...Nice vid! Thank you for the info. I thought I was pretty knowledgable about fish. Actually just cichlids. These guys are very cool I am quite sure they are my choice. What do they need in regards to parameters and what should purchase M/F's?
Any specific sellers you have used whether aquabid or sns?
I bought mine from a fellow member, Brianjim. I think Brian sometimes sells on Aquabid (and probably under the same name?) but if you email or PM him over from UB's forum chances are good he's got some available, he's got a pretty big colony going.

I've never bought any bettas from Aquabid, personally. I usually try to find people as local to me as possible when buying livestock.

Betta simplex are very tolerant of different water parameters, but do best in hard water. Most other wild-types do best in soft water, though if you can find captive bred they've often been acclimated to other water params.

I'd do a reverse trio (2M/1F) for a 20gal tank. Be sure to cover the top very securely- I've lost 2 to jumping this year. :icon_frow
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