20L Tank Setup

JayK1320

Candiru
Original poster
MFK Member
Feb 22, 2008
501
11
48
35
Boston, MA
Real Name
Jason
Occupation
Consultant
Hello all,

Long time member, back after a 10+ year break from the hobby (not all by choice), but I finally talked the (pregnant) wife into letting me setup a 20L tank for the future baby and us to all enjoy together.

Last setup I had was a 55G with 1 male Peacock and a few females. With some other stuff, been awhile so details are fuzzy.

I like to sand, rock / cave and drift wood look from the Peacocks, but know I need to go with something smaller for this tank.

As such I am looking for some tips, here are my priorities:

1. Primary Fish: Color, I loved the awesome color and presentation of the peacocks
2. Secondary Fish: Schooling, I think this would be a fun mix, even if they become prey every now and again
3. Balance: I enjoyed having a primary fish for amazing display, something fun moving around to fill the space and snails / crawfish / bottom feeder for clean up duty
4. Breeding: I enjoy watching them breed and raise the young, I am not after it for breeding, as I suspect most of the babies from both fish 1 and 2 will become food, but it is a cool cycle to watch

For #1 I have a few ideas, I will be choosing just one group not mixing all kinds
Scarlet Badis: 2 males and 4 - 6 females
Blue Ram: 1 male and 2 - 3 females


For #2 I also have a few ideas, again I will only be choosing one group (something cheap I can easier resupply if they happen to all get eaten)
Ember Tetras qty 6
White Cloud Mountain Minnow qty 6
Guppies qty 6

For the clean up crew I am leaning towards a bristle nose pleco and a crawfish, maybe some snails. I could mix this up though, main priority is #1 and 2

Appreciate any help!
 

JayK1320

Candiru
Original poster
MFK Member
Feb 22, 2008
501
11
48
35
Boston, MA
Real Name
Jason
Occupation
Consultant
Here is a potato camera (wow have cell phones come a long way...) of my old 55G setup that I am hoping to replicate to some degree on a smaller scale.
1369112
 

JayK1320

Candiru
Original poster
MFK Member
Feb 22, 2008
501
11
48
35
Boston, MA
Real Name
Jason
Occupation
Consultant
I also found the African Butterfly Cichlid for #1, but those seem to be hard to find? Can't find a lot of information on them
 

JayK1320

Candiru
Original poster
MFK Member
Feb 22, 2008
501
11
48
35
Boston, MA
Real Name
Jason
Occupation
Consultant
Maybe even Apistogramma
 
  • Like
Reactions: tlindsey

JayK1320

Candiru
Original poster
MFK Member
Feb 22, 2008
501
11
48
35
Boston, MA
Real Name
Jason
Occupation
Consultant
You could do African Shell Dwellers or a small Lake Tanganyika specie.
The shell dwellers seem interesting, but I like the rock scape so much. I will have to look into Lake Tanganyika species, I know nothing about them.

First step will be setting up the tank tonight to let it cycle and run. Get the water tested and see where I need to start.
 

Gourami Swami

MFK Moderators
Staff member
Moderator
MFK Member
Jul 13, 2006
5,764
5,295
753
DC
Yeah, see what your water is like. If you've got hard water with a high pH, the rams or apistogramma may not be the best move, they prefer softer more acidic water. And vice versa with the tanganyikans. But, I think your ideas are realistic as far as size goes. A trio of apistogramma and a school of south American tetras like black neons, etc. would check all of your boxes and make a nice display.
Shell dwellers are awesome as well. Would be different than the setup you describe, but can be very fun in their own way.
Welcome back!
 

NoobAquarist

Fire Eel
MFK Member
Dec 2, 2018
912
455
72
15
4546B (if you get this reference you get a cookie)
clickheretosavetheworld.com
Real Name
Adrian
Gender
Male
Occupation
Full-time nerd
There is no way you can keep any cichlid in a 20L setup. Literally the only thing that could go in there are maybe like 5 guppies or a betta. Badis is too big. Crawfish is WAAAY too big, as is the pleco. You could maybe have a snail in there.

For all the imperial system people, 20L is 5.28344 gallons.
 

fishhead0103666

Probation Member
Probation Member
May 14, 2018
2,968
2,473
154
18
Real Name
Brian
Gender
Male
I am pretty sure he meant a 20 long, not a 20 liter. Both are written 20 l so it’s not hard to see why someone could mistake the two if not given dimensions or pictures.
I’m assuming you have not heard of dwarf crayfish? Those type of crayfish could live in a 5 gallon.
Unless I’m mistaken the scarlet badis gets to 1 inch?
There are actually a decent number of nano fish that can live in a 5 gallon, some of them just are not that common.
One last thing, the dimensions of a 20 long are 30 inches long, 12 inches high, and 12 inches wide.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: JayK1320

NoobAquarist

Fire Eel
MFK Member
Dec 2, 2018
912
455
72
15
4546B (if you get this reference you get a cookie)
clickheretosavetheworld.com
Real Name
Adrian
Gender
Male
Occupation
Full-time nerd
Scarlet badis are active and intelligent. 10 is minimum i think.

I have heard of dwarf crayfish but didn't think that's what he was talking about. But they are 4-star cleaners, not 5, and although not as aggressive as other species, can still pose a threat to small fish.

If it's a 20 long yeah go for the cichlids, sorry my mistake.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JayK1320
zoomed.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store