A twenty-gallon aquarium is a perfect sized tank for those wishing to start keeping tropical fish, it is large enough for a small community (depending on the species you wish to keep) and is also ideal as a quarantine or hospital tank.
- Best 20-gallon fish tanks and kits
- 20 gallon aquarium reviews
- Marina LED Aquarium Kit 20-gallon
- Aqueon LED Aquarium Kit 20 Gallon
- Tetra Aquarium 20 Gallon Fish Tank Kit
- Aqueon 20 Gallon Long Aquarium
- GloFish Aquarium Kit Fish Tank
- SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set - Rectangle
- SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set - Hexagon
- Tetra ColorFusion Aquarium
- Landen Rimless Low Iron Aquarium Tank
- SC Aquariums 24 Gallon All in One Reef Aquarium
- Accessories and replacements
- How many fish for a 20-gallon tank?
- 200+ brackish and freshwater species for 20-gallon tanks
- Setup ideas for a 20-gallon tank
Best 20-gallon fish tanks and kits
Let’s take a look at some of the 20-gallon aquariums available to buy, we’ll talk through the features of each one so that you can best decide which one will suit you best.
|Model||Our rating||Aquarium tank||Dimensions||Hood & lighting||Filtration||Heater & thermometer||Others|
|#ad||20-gallon glass, best for starters||24″ L x 12.5″ W x 16.5″ H||Hood with LED lighting||Marina Slim S20 clip-on filter with cartridges||not included||Fish food, supplement, conditioner, fish net, thermometer, and guide|
|#ad||20-gallon glass, high form||24.25″ L x 12.5″ W x 16.75″ H||Hood with LED lighting||QuietFlow 10 power filter with medium cartridge||100W preset heater at 78 degrees||premium fish food, water conditioner, fish net, stick-on thermometer|
|#ad||20-gallon glass||24.2″ L x 12.4″ W x 16.7″ H||LED hood||Tetra Whisper 20 HOB filter||Tetra mini UL preset heater||1 artificial Boxwood Plant Mat, 4 artificial plants.|
|#ad||20-gallon long glass, blank without equipment||30.25″ x 12.5″ x 12.75″|
|#ad||20-gallon glass tank for Glofish||24.2″ L x 12.5″ W x 16.2″ H||Hood with 13″ blue LED light stick for GloFish||Tetra Whisper 20 HOB filter||Tetra mini UL preset heater for tropical fish||decorations, fish food, conditioner, and guide.|
|#ad||20-GAL acrylic rectangular, blue backdrop||24″ L x 13″ W x 16″ H||Hood with 15″ light reflector (bulb not included)|
|#ad||20-GAL acrylic hexagon, black backdrop||15″ x 15″ x 24″ H||Hood with 12″ light reflector (bulb not included)|
|#ad||20-gallon glass||24.2″ L x 12.4″ W x 16.7″ H||Hood with color-changing LED light||Tetra Whisper 20 HOB filter||Tetra mini UL preset heater||decorations, fish food, fish net, digital thermometer, conditioner, and guide.|
|#ad||17.1-gallon rimless glass, blank||23.6″ L × 11.8″ W × 14.2″ H|
|#ad||24-gallon glass||24″ L x 15″ W x 15″ H||back-panel filtration||return pump, and plumbing kit|
20 gallon aquarium reviews
Marina LED Aquarium Kit 20-gallon
- Aquarium tank: 20-gallon glass, best for starters
- Dimensions: 24″ L x 12.5″ W x 16.5″ H
- Hood & lighting: Hood with LED lighting
- Filtration: Marina Slim S20 clip-on filter with cartridges
- Heater: not included
- Others: Fish food, biological supplement, water conditioner, fish net, thermometer, and care guide
The Marina LED Aquarium Kit is an ideal tank for a beginner interested in keeping fish. It comes with most things you will need for the setup process. They include a rimmed glass tank with LED hood, Marina Slim clip-on filter with cartridges, water conditioner (to treat tap water), tropical flakes, biological supplement (to boost the Nitrogen cycle), fish net, stick-on thermometer, and care guide.
What I love best in this kit is its filter with quick-change cartridges. The cartridges are floss pads included with activated carbon and ceramic to perform three-stage filtration with mechanical, biological, and chemical. It is very efficient in keeping the water clean, clear, and free of Nitrogenous toxics.
The LED lighting, which is housed within the hood, is energy-efficient so the running cost is reduced; this white LED lighting is also suited for live plants if you wish to keep some within the tank.
It is a complete setup if you wish to house coldwater fish. It doesn’t come with a heater, simply add a 100-watt heater and you can then keep tropical livestock.
[acheck asin=”B0173I55Q0″ title=”Check on Amazon.com”]
Aqueon LED Aquarium Kit 20 Gallon
- Aquarium tank: 20-gallon glass, high form
- Dimensions: 24.25″ L x 12.5″ W x 16.75″ H
- Hood & lighting: Hood with LED lighting
- Filtration: QuietFlow 10 LED PRO power filter with medium cartridge
- Heater: 100W preset heater at 78 degrees
- Others: premium fish food, water conditioner, fish net, stick-on thermometer
This 20-gallon tank is ideal for those wishing a full set-up. Within this product, you’ll find most items needed to keep freshwater tropical fish. There are a QuietFlow 10 PRO power filter, 100W heater, fish food, water conditioner, fish net, and a thermometer.
The main tank is a standard shape and comes with a black lid. The black hood consists of a feeding hatch and LED lighting.
The filter is a hang-on one that is perfectly sized for this tank. It is able to alert you, with a red light, when its cartridge needs to be replaced (one included).
The heater is a preset one and holds a temperature of 78 degrees; so, ensure any livestock kept in this aquarium that requires heat is suited to this exact temperature if you intend on using this heater.
[acheck asin=”B06ZXWGT7D” title=”Check on Amazon.com”]
Tetra Aquarium 20 Gallon Fish Tank Kit
- Aquarium tank: 20-gallon glass
- Dimensions: 24.2″ L x 12.4″ W x 16.7″ H
- Hood & lighting: LED hood
- Filtration: Tetra Whisper 20 HOB filter
- Heater: Tetra mini UL preset heater
- Others: 1 artificial Boxwood Plant Mat, 4 artificial plants.
This aquarium starter kit is 20-gallons and an ideal set-up for those starting in aquarium keeping.
It is a beautiful tank, classically shaped, and comes with everything needed to get you started. Its edges are well sealed with clear silicone, and the base and top are reinforced with black rims for durability and a longer lifetime.
The kit comes with an LED hood, Tetra Whisper 20 Hang-On-Back filter, preset heater, and some decorations. The LED lighting unit is energy efficient and is designed to mimic natural sunlight.
If purchasing this starter tank, you’ll also gain access to Tetra Care, which provides you with free help and advice in running an aquarium.
[acheck asin=”B013BXDZ90″ title=”Check on Amazon.com”]
Aqueon 20 Gallon Long Aquarium
- Aquarium tank: 20-gallon long glass, blank without equipment
- Dimensions: 30.25″ x 12.5″ x 12.75″
- Hood & lighting:
This 20-gallon tank is suitable for both freshwater and marine setups. It is a long tank that means it provides more contacting space between the surface water and the air, compared to a high/standard form. This makes it better for stocking fish.
This longer sized tank is suitable for species that prefer swimming space on the surface like Zebra Danios, Guppies,… It is also ideal if you plan to keep bottom-dwellers; such as small Corydoras, shrimp, or catfish, so they have more area to roam about in.
It comes as a blank glass tank only without any equipment. So, you will need to add your own lid, filter, heater, lighting, etc., depending on what you decide to house in it.
[acheck asin=”B0002AS21W” title=”Check on Amazon.com”]
GloFish Aquarium Kit Fish Tank
- Aquarium tank: 20-gallon glass tank for Glofish
- Dimensions: 24.2″ L x 12.5″ W x 16.2″ H
- Hood & lighting: Hood with 13″ blue LED light stick for GloFish
- Filtration: Tetra Whisper 20 HOB filter
- Heater: Tetra mini UL preset heater for tropical fish
- Others: 1 GloFish yellow anemone, 2 plant multipacks, fish food and water conditioner sample, set-up guide.
This tank makes a great choice for any Glofish keeper. It is 20-gallons and comes with most extras needed to start a tropical freshwater set-up.
Included in this kit are a hood with LED lighting, Tetra Mini UL Heater, Tetra Whisper 20 filter, GloFish yellow anemone, 2 x plant multipacks, fish food, water conditioner sample, and a care guide. This offers amazing value; simply add substrate and livestock and you’re good to go!
The blue LED lighting that this tank provides looks amazing if you have Glofish within the tank; you can also purchase numerous GloFish accessories to jazz the aquarium up further if required.
This tank set-up is one of the better options if you’re wanting a complete set-up and intend to keep Glofish.
[acheck asin=”B013BXE1XO” title=”Check on Amazon.com”]
SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set – Rectangle
- Aquarium tank: 20-GAL acrylic rectangular, blue backdrop
- Dimensions: 24″ L x 13″ W x 16″ H
- Hood & lighting: Hood, reflector and 15″ fluorescent light fixture (bulb not included)
This SeaClear aquarium is 20-gallon and made of high-quality acrylic. It comes as a blank tank with a hood and blue backdrop, and without other necessary supplies. It can be used for either freshwater or marine fish.
The clear acrylic top of the tank is pre-drilled with hoses for fitting the lid, a Hang-On-Back filter (not included), and a heater (not included).
The hood with its 15″ fluorescent light fixture is junk when most home aquariums these days use modern LED lights. However, there are no more available options to go for an acrylic aquarium with a medium volume of 20 gallons and you have to buy it if you prefer acrylic to glass.
I will show you the way to make it perfect with only small and easy customization. Just throw the lid away, then buy a 24-inch LED light fixture with extendable brackets and hang it on the acrylic top. Luckily, the top is flat to do so. It is also clear for light to penetrate through. Setting up in this way, the acrylic top will also protect the LED light fixture from damages from the aquarium water, and thus prolonging its lifespan.
[acheck asin=”B000634GYM” title=”Check on Amazon.com”]
SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set – Hexagon
- Aquarium tank: 20-GAL acrylic hexagon, black backdrop
- Dimensions: 15″ x 15″ x 24″ H
- Hood & lighting: hood, reflector and 12″ fluorescent light fixture (bulb not included)
This 20-gallon aquarium is the same as the previous but it is a hexagonal one; for something that little bit different. It offers a unique shape and very clear viewing areas.
Like the previous, you will also make some customization for this tank to make it perfect. And you will need a 15-inch LED light fixture to fit on its top. You will also need to buy a filter and heater for setting it up. You can find these in the following sections in this article.
[acheck asin=”B000634GM4″ title=”Check on Amazon.com”]
Tetra ColorFusion Aquarium
- Aquarium tank: 20-gallon glass
- Dimensions: 24.2″ L x 12.4″ W x 16.7″ H
- Hood & lighting: Hood with color-changing LED light
- Filtration: Tetra Whisper 20 HOB filter
- Heater: Tetra mini UL preset heater
- Others: 2 Wonderland Plant Multipacks, 1 Blooming White Anemone, fish food, fish net, digital thermometer, conditioner, care guide.
This 20-gallon tank is a beautiful complete set-up that would make an ideal first tank or a second smaller tank.
Scratch-resistant glass is used here, and the tank itself comes with a lifetime warranty. Also included are an LED hood, Tetra Whisper filter, Tetra HT 20 heater, water conditioner sample, digital thermometer, fish net, care guide, and some decorations. You have everything ready to go, simply add your choice of substrate.
The special feature of this product is its color fusion LED lighting. It allows you to opt from several color choices, each designed to show off the best colors of the fish housed within the tank. This is one of the best options for those looking for a 20-gallon tank combo.
[acheck asin=”B013BXDXTC” title=”Check on Amazon.com”]
Landen Rimless Low Iron Aquarium Tank
- Aquarium tank: 17.1-gallon rimless glass, blank
- Dimensions: 23.6″ L × 11.8″ W × 14.2″ H
- Hood & lighting:
This tank is slightly under 20-gallons, it will hold 17.1 gallons, and is constructed from heavy-duty 6mm glass. This glass is low-iron and offers very clear viewing. This is an ideal purchase for those who are finding a rimless tank to build an attractive planted aquascape.
If you’re looking for a basic tank that you can customize as you prefer; with your heater, lighting, etc. then this is one of the best options available. You get a strong, sturdy tank that you can set up exactly as you wish to.
[acheck asin=”B00DC2Z07G” title=”Check on Amazon.com”]
SC Aquariums 24 Gallon All in One Reef Aquarium
- Aquarium tank: 24-gallon glass
- Dimensions: 24″ L x 15″ W x 15″ H
- Hood & lighting:
- Filtration: back-panel filtration with a return pump, overflow chamber, and plumbing kit
- Others: Ideal for a reef setup
This tank is slightly larger than most on the list and will hold 24 gallons. The aquarium is made from Starfire/low iron glass, which makes for beautiful transparency for viewing.
Three behind compartments #ad
It is specially designed with a built-in rear chamber overflow with three compartments for housing filter materials, a pump, and other equipment. This design hides all equipment from view leaving the tank with nothing more than an attractive aquascape with colorful fish.
The way it works is so easy to imagine; the pump pumps the water from the rear chamber to the main view tank, the overflow water from the main tank flows to the chamber containing filter materials through its drilled hoses for continuous filtration, and then returns to the tank with the pump.
You can use it for either a marine or freshwater setup. However, most aquarists built it as a nano reef because the back panel provides an ideal place to install a small protein skimmer. You will need to buy a reef tank LED light to fulfill the setup. I strongly recommend the Nicrew HyperReef 50 #ad for the tank.
[acheck asin=”B07S6R5D2C” title=”Check on Amazon.com”]
Accessories and replacements
Most twenty-gallon tanks will be sized as follows, give or take a small amount; for standard shaped tanks (24″ x 12.5″ x 16.5″) and long shaped tanks (30″ x 12.5″ x 12.5″) and will weigh around 220 lbs when filled. This allows you some ideas of what equipment can fit into the tanks.
H2Pro 24-inch glass canopy, 23.07 x 11.69 x 0.16in #ad
H2Pro 30-inch glass canopy, 29.21 x 11.69 x 0.16in #ad
Not all aquariums come with lids as standard so you may need to add one. To find the best one for your tank, ensure you measure up correctly and check against the dimensions of the lid you intend to buy.
Most 20-gallon aquariums do not come with a stand and it is advisable to use an aquarium stand as these are designed to hold the weight of the tank when filled with water. To choose the best stand you’d like then ensure the length and width of the tank itself match the stand and that the stand is suitable for holding the required weight.
Find a stand here: https://portlandaquarium.net/fish-tank-stand/
Most aquariums do come with lighting but if yours does not, or you wish to change the lighting unit to something different then you need to make sure that you choose a light that is suited to your aquarium.
You should make sure that the light is suitable for the length of your tank, and whether it is suited to plants and/or corals if you keep either of those. Not all lights are a fit-all solution and some are more specialized than others. You will need a 24-30 inch LED light for a 20-gallon tank.
Filtration is the most important thing to get correct when keeping an aquarium, they help to keep your water in peak condition for any livestock you keep.
When choosing a filter, you need to get one that is capable of turning over the volume of water in your tank 4 times per hour. That means in a 20-gallon aquarium you need one that turns over 80 GPH (gallons per hour).
If you intend on keeping tropical fish then a heater is a must-have item in the tank. Not all aquarium setups come with one included. If you’d like to add one then you need to ensure the one you put in the tank is suited to its size and can hold the temperature required.
As a basic rule of thumb, 1W is required per liter of water (or 3.8W/Gal), so for a 20-gallon tank, we’d advise a heater that is 75-100 watts.
Spectrastone Shallow Creek Regular #ad
How much substrate will you need? A pound per gallon is a good rule-of-thumb to have a 1-inch substrate. This means you will need at least 20 pounds of substrate for a 20 gallon tank.
For fish-only tanks, the substrate thickness depends on your preferences but ensure it is no thinner than 1 inch. Just go with medium-sized gravels for easy cleaning.
For planted tanks, you will need a thicker substrate for the growth of the root system, 2-3 inches is recommended. You will also need a special substrate for planted aquariums that can nourish the plants.
Vepotek aquarium background, double sides for choice #ad
Many people like to use an aquarium background in their tanks, it adds imagery and depth to an aquarium and there’s an abundance of patterns and pictures to choose from.
To select the correct one, ensure you measure the total length and height of the tank and match it to the background you purchase. It is advisable to purchase a little bigger if you can not find the correct size, you can always trim it (carefully) to fit.
Uniclife Adjustable Air Pump 2 L/min #ad
An air pump isn’t a necessity in an aquarium with filtration but many people opt to include one, or more, within their tanks. Air pumps are usually used to operate some action aquarium decorations and air-driven filters such as undergravel, sponge, and corner box filters.
The benefit of an air pump is that it helps aerate the water, which in turn provides more oxygen to the aquarium water which is beneficial to livestock within.
For a 20-gallon aquarium, you need to look for one that has a minimum output of 0.660 liters/min. This also depends on how much equipment needs to be powered with the air pump and how deep your tank is.
If you keep a marine aquarium you will need a stronger one, owing to the fact saltwater has 20% less oxygen solubility than freshwater.
A water pump is a great addition to an aquarium to create a flow within the tank. This helps to keep water fresh and also some fish benefit from stronger flows which they enjoy swimming in. You can also use a water pump to help with water changes.
When looking for a water pump you should get one that rotates the volume of water in your tank 5 times per hour. This means for a 20-gallon tank you’d need a minimum rate of 100 GPH to ensure the best efficiency.
There are so many decoration options when it comes to an aquarium. You can have ornamental ones; from sunken ships, bridges, mountains, etc. to artificial plants, driftwood, caves.
You should consider the fish you intend to keep when planning your décor as some prefer having hiding spots so you can match their needs to your preference for décor.
How many fish for a 20-gallon tank?
The amount of fish you can keep depends on the size of your tank and the size of the fish you keep. You can keep 1 inch of fish per gallon, based on the size of the fish when fully grown. E.g. You can keep 20 fish that maxes at 1 inch when fully grown.
When choosing fish for an aquarium, ensure all the species have similar water requirements so that you can set up the most optimal water environment for them. You should choose many species that handle at different levels of the water column to form a small community.
200+ brackish and freshwater species for 20-gallon tanks
|Family||Scientific name||Common name||Max length||Special notes||Temperature||pH||Water hardness (dGH)|
|Brackish||Brachygobius xanthozonus||Bumblebee goby||2.0 inch||territorial towards others of its own species||71.6 – 82.4°F||7.5 – 8.5||11.2 – 19.6. Salinity: 2 – 10%|
|Brackish||Hypseleotris compressa||Empire Gudgeon||4.7 inch||eat smaller fish that fit in its mouth||68.0 – 86.0°F||7 – 8.5||15 – 30|
|Brackish||Pseudambassis ranga||Indian glass perch, Indian glass fish, Glass fish||2.0 inch||68.0 – 78.8°F||7.3 – 7.5||8.4 – 14. Salinity: 1 – 20%|
|Brackish||Stigmatogobius sadanundio||Knight Goby, Fan Dance Goby||3.5 inch||territorial towards conspecifics||68.0 – 78.8°F||7 – 8.5||10 – 20. Salinity: 0.35 – 0.7oz salt/ 2.6 gallons|
|Catfish||Ancistrus cirrhosus||Common Bristlenose Catfish, Jumbie teta||4.9 inch||71.6 – 80.6°F||5.8 – 7.5||1 – 15|
|Catfish||Auchenipterichthys coracoideus||Zamora Woodcat, Midnight Catfish||3.5 – 4.3 inch||71.6 – 77.0°F||6 – 7.2||0 – 10|
|Catfish||Centromochlus perugiae||Oil Catfish, Oil Woodcatfish, Perugia’s Woodcat||2.4 inch||75.2 – 86.0°F||6 – 7||1 – 25|
|Catfish||Chaca chaca||Frogmouth catfish||7.9 inch||species tank||71.6 – 77.0°F||6 – 8||4 – 25|
|Catfish||Corydoras aeneus||Bronze catfish, Bronze corydoras||2.6 – 3.0 inch||68.0 – 80.6°F||6.5 – 7.5||1 – 20|
|Catfish||Corydoras arcuatus||Skunk Cory, Arched Cory||1.8 – 2.2 inch||71.6 – 78.8°F||6 – 8||2 – 25|
|Catfish||Corydoras axelrodi||Pink corydoras, Axelrod’s Corydoras||2.0 inch||68.0 – 73.4°F||6 – 7||1 – 15|
|Catfish||Corydoras duplicareus||Saddle Corydoras, False adolfoi cory||2.0 inch||71.6 – 78.8°F||6 – 7||1 – 15|
|Catfish||Corydoras eques||Horsemans Cory||1.6 – 2.0 inch||71.6 – 78.8°F||6 – 8||2 – 16|
|Catfish||Corydoras haraldschultzi||Harald Schultz’s Cory, Mosiac Cory||2.8 – 3.3 inch||75.2 – 78.8°F||6 – 7.2||2 – 15|
|Catfish||Corydoras julii||Julii Cory, Leopard Cat, Leopard Cory||2.2 inch||73.4 – 78.8°F||6 – 7.2||2 – 15|
|Catfish||Corydoras melanistius||Black-spotted corydoras, Melanistius catfish, Bluespotted corydoras, Blacksail corydoras||2.4 inch||68.0 – 82.4°F||5.8 – 7.5||2 – 20|
|Catfish||Corydoras melini||False bandit cory||2.0 inch||71.6 – 78.8°F||6 – 7||1 – 15|
|Catfish||Corydoras metae||Bandit Cory, Masked Cory||2.0 inch||71.6 – 78.8°F||6.5 – 7.5||2 – 15|
|Catfish||Corydoras nanus||Mini Cory, Nanus Cory Cat||2.0 – 2.4 inch||71.6 – 78.8°F||6 – 8||2 – 25|
|Catfish||Corydoras paleatus||Marbled Corydoras, Peppered corydoras||2.4 – 3.1 inch||69.8 – 80.6°F||6 – 8||2 – 28|
|Catfish||Corydoras panda||Panda Catfish, Panda Cory||1.6 – 2.0 inch||71.6 – 82.4°F||5.8 – 7.8||2 – 20|
|Catfish||Corydoras schwartzi||Schwartz’s Cory||2.0 – 2.4 inch||71.6 – 78.8°F||6 – 7.5||4 – 19|
|Catfish||Corydoras similis||Smudge Spot Cory||2.0 inch||69.8 – 80.6°F||5.6 – 7||1 – 15|
|Catfish||Corydoras sterbai||Sterba’s Cory||2.6 inch||78.8 – 86.0°F||6 – 7.6||10 – 15|
|Catfish||Corydoras trilineatus||Leopard catfish, Three line cory||2.4 inch||71.6 – 78.8°F||6 – 7.2||2.2 – 14|
|Catfish||Corydoras zygatus||Black band catfish||2.4 – 2.8 inch||71.6 – 78.8°F||6 – 7||1 – 15|
|Catfish||Dianema longibarbis||Porthole Catfish||3.9 inch||75.2 – 82.4°F||5.5 – 7.5||1 – 20|
|Catfish||Dianema urostriatum||Flag-Tailed Catfish, Flagtail Catfish, Flagtail Porthole Catfish||4.9 inch||77.0 – 82.4°F||6 – 8||5 – 20|
|Catfish||Hemiodontichthys acipenserinus||Knobnose Whiptail Catfish, Pinocchio Whiptail Catfish||5.3 inch||75.2 – 82.4°F||6 – 7||2 – 12|
|Catfish||Hypancistrus inspector||Snowball Pleco||4.9 – 6.3 inch||71.6 – 86.0°F||5.4 – 7.6||1 – 15|
|Catfish||Kryptopterus macrocephalus||Striped glass catfish||3.5 – 3.9 inch||71.6 – 80.6°F||4 – 7||0 – 10|
|Catfish||Microglanis iheringi||South Amrican Bumblebee Catfish||2.0 – 2.8 inch||69.8 – 78.8°F||6.5 – 7.5||10 – 18|
|Catfish||Panaqolus maccus||Clown Pleco, Ringlet Pleco, L-104 catfish, L-162 catfish||3.9 inch||peaceful, a little territorial||71.6 – 86.0°F||5.5 – 7.5||7 – 20|
|Catfish||Rineloricaria lanceolata||Chocolate-colored catfish||3.5 – 3.9 inch||77.0 – 82.4°F||6 – 8||5 – 20|
|Catfish||Rineloricaria microlepidogaster||Whiptail catfish||4.7 – 5.5 inch, In nature it can reach up to 9.8 inch||69.8 – 82.4°F||6 – 7||5 – 18|
|Catfish||Synodontis contractus||Bugeye squeaker||2.4 – 3.0 inch||71.6 – 78.8°F||6.2 – 7.6||3 – 15|
|Catfish||Synodontis nigriventris||Upside-down catfish||3.9 inch||71.6 – 78.8°F||6 – 8||1 – 20|
|Characins||Alestopetersius caudalis||Yellow Congo Tetra, Yellow-Tailed Congo Tetra||male: 2.8 inch, female: 2.0 – 2.4 inch||71.6 – 78.8°F||7 – 7.5||12 – 16|
|Characins||Aphyocharax anisitsi||Bloodfin tetra||1.6 – 2.0 inch||71.6 – 78.8°F||5.9 – 7.2||8 – 12|
|Characins||Aphyocharax nattereri||Dawn Tetra||1.2 – 1.6 inch||quite peaceful, may nip long-finned tankmates||71.6 – 80.6°F||5.5 – 7.5||1 – 15|
|Characins||Aphyocharax rathbuni||Redflank Bloodfin||1.4 – 1.8 inch||quite peaceful, may nip long-finned tankmates||68.0 – 78.8°F||6.5 – 7.5||2 – 20|
|Characins||Astyanax jordani||Blind Cave Fish, Blind Cave Tetra||3.5 – 3.9 inch||68.0 – 77.0°F||6 – 7.8||20 – 30|
|Characins||Astyanax mexicanus||Mexican tetra||2.4 – 3.1 inch||68.0 – 75.2°F||6 – 8||8 – 12|
|Characins||Boehlkea fredcochui||Blue tetra, Cochu’s Blue Tetra||2.0 inch||71.6 – 78.8°F||6 – 7||5 – 12|
|Characins||Carnegiella strigata||Marbled hatchetfish||1.4 – 2.0 inch||75.2 – 84.2°F||5 – 7.5||5 – 18|
|Characins||Chilodus punctatus||Spotted headstander||2.8 – 3.1 inch||75.2 – 82.4°F||6 – 7||1 – 10|
|Characins||Copella arnoldi||Splash tetra, Jumping characin||2.4 inch||75.2 – 78.8°F||6.5 – 7||2.6 – 8.4|
|Characins||Corynopoma riisei||Swordtail characin||2.4 – 2.8 inch||71.6 – 77.0°F||6 – 8||3 – 12|
|Characins||Crenuchus spilurus||Sailfin characin||2.4 inch||75.2 – 82.4°F||5 – 6.5||1 – 5|
|Characins||Gasteropelecus sternicla||Common hatchetfish||2.6 inch||71.6 – 80.6°F||5.8 – 7.5||4 – 15|
|Characins||Hasemania nana||Silver-tipped tetra||2.0 inch||71.6 – 82.4°F||6 – 8||5 – 20|
|Characins||Hemigrammus erythrozonus||Glowlight Tetra||1.6 – 1.8 inch||71.6 – 82.4°F||6 – 7.5||6 – 15|
|Characins||Hemigrammus hyanuary||January Tetra||1.6 inch||73.4 – 80.6°F||6 – 7.5||0 – 15|
|Characins||Hemigrammus ocellifer||Head-and-tail light tetra||1.6 – 1.8 inch||75.2 – 82.4°F||5.5 – 7.5||5 – 19|
|Characins||Hemigrammus pulcher||Pretty Tetra||1.6 – 1.8 inch||73.4 – 80.6°F||5.5 – 7||1 – 12|
|Characins||Hemigrammus ulreyi||Broken-line Tetra||2.0 inch||73.4 – 80.6°F||5.8 – 7.2||5 – 12|
|Characins||Hyphessobrycon bifasciatus||Yellow tetra||1.6 – 2.0 inch||68.0 – 77.0°F||5.5 – 7.5||5 – 20|
|Characins||Hyphessobrycon columbianus||Colombian Tetra||2.0 – 2.6 inch||68.0 – 82.4°F||5 – 7.5||1 – 12|
|Characins||Hyphessobrycon eques||Serpae Tetra, Jewel Tetra, Callistus Tetra, Blood Characin||1.6 – 1.8 inch||75.2 – 82.4°F||5.5 – 7.5||3 – 12|
|Characins||Hyphessobrycon flammeus||Flame tetra, Red tetra||1.6 inch||73.4 – 78.8°F||6.5 – 7.2||5.6 – 11.2|
|Characins||Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi||Black neon tetra||1.6 inch||71.6 – 82.4°F||6.8 – 7.2||5.6 – 6.7|
|Characins||Hyphessobrycon heterorhabdus||Flag Tetra||1.2 – 1.4 inch||68.0 – 82.4°F||5.5 – 7.5||5 – 15|
|Characins||Hyphessobrycon megalopterus||Black phantom tetra||1.8 inch||75.2 – 78.8°F||6 – 7.5||3.3 – 4.2|
|Characins||Hyphessobrycon pulchripinnis||Lemon tetra||1.6 inch||71.6 – 80.6°F||6.5 – 7||4.5 – 7.3|
|Characins||Hyphessobrycon scholzei||Blackline Tetra||1.6 – 2.0 inch||71.6 – 82.4°F||6.8 – 8.0||5 – 25|
|Characins||Hyphessobrycon sweglesi||Red phantom tetra||1.6 inch||68.0 – 75.2°F||6.5 – 7.2||4.5 – 8.5|
|Characins||Hyphessobrycon takasei||Coffee Bean Tetra||1.2 – 1.6 inch||71.6 – 80.6°F||5.5 – 7.4||2 – 14 NK°|
|Characins||Inpaichthys kerri||Purple Emperor Tetra||Male: 1.6 inch, female: 1.2 inch||75.2 – 80.6°F||5.5 – 7.0||1 – 12|
|Characins||Knodus borki||2.0 inch||71.6 – 78.8°F||5.5 – 7||5 – 12|
|Characins||Nannostomus eques||Brown pencilfish||2.4 inch||77.0 – 82.4°F||5.5 – 7||2.8 – 8.4|
|Characins||Nannostomus trifasciatus||Three-lined Pencilfish||1.6 – 2.4 inch||a little aggressive||71.6 – 82.4°F||4 – 7.5||1 – 12|
|Characins||Paracheirodon axelrodi||Cardinal tetra||2.0 inch||73.4 – 80.6°F||6 – 7.2||2 – 8.5|
|Characins||Paracheirodon innesi||Neon tetra||1.6 inch||68.0 – 75.2°F||6.5 – 7.2||10 – 15|
|Characins||Pristella maxillaris||X-ray tetra||1.6 – 2.0 inch||71.6 – 82.4°F||6.0 – 8.0||2 – 20|
|Characins||Thayeria boehlkei||Blackline penguinfish||3.1 inch||71.6 – 78.8°F||6.5 – 7.2||4.5 – 8.5|
|Cichlids||Anomalochromis thomasi||African butterfly cichlid||2.4 – 2.8 inch||territorial||75.2 – 78.8°F||6 – 7.5||8 – 10|
|Cichlids||Apistogramma agassizii||Agassiz’s dwarf cichlid||male: 2.8 – 3.1 inch; female: 2.0 inch||territorial||77.0 – 78.8°F||5 – 7||0 – 12|
|Cichlids||Apistogramma baenschi||Inca cichlid||male: 2.2 inch, female 1.6 inch||territorial and aggressive during spawning||75.2 – 82.4°F||4 – 6.5||1 – 5|
|Cichlids||Apistogramma bitaeniata||Banded Dwarf Cichlid, Two-striped Apisto||male: 3.5 inch; female: 2.6 inch||territorial and tolerant with its own species||75.2 – 80.6°F||5.5 – 7||2 – 6|
|Cichlids||Apistogramma borelli||Yellow dwarf cichlid, Borelli’s dwarf cichlid||male: 2.8 inch, female: 2.0 inch||territorial||71.6 – 78.8°F||5 – 7||1 – 10|
|Cichlids||Apistogramma cacatuoides||Cockatoo dwarf cichlid, Crested dwarf cichlid||male: 3.1 inch, female: 2.0 inch||territorial and polygamous||75.2 – 78.8°F||6 – 8||1 – 15|
|Cichlids||Apistogramma hongsloi||Red-lined dwarf cichlid, Red Streak Cichlid, Rotstrich Cichlid, Blackseam Cichlid||male: 3.0 inch, female: 1.8 inch||peaceful, territorial||75.2 – 80.6°F||5 – 6.5||0 – 15|
|Cichlids||Apistogramma macmasteri||Macmaster’s Apisto||male: 2.8 inch; female: 1.6 – 2.0 inch||territorial and aggressive during spawning||75.2 – 82.4°F||5.5 – 6.8||1 – 5|
|Cichlids||Apistogramma nijsseni||Panda dwarf cichlid, Nijsseni’s dwarf cichlid||male: 3.1 inch, female: 2.0 – 2.4 inch||peaceful, territorial||75.2 – 80.6°F||4.5 – 7.5||0 – 8|
|Cichlids||Apistogramma panduro||Azure dwarf cichlid, Blue sky dwarf cichlid||male: 3.0 – 3.1 inch, female 2.0 – 2.2 inch||territorial and aggressive during spawning||71.6 – 84.2°F||4 – 6.5||1 – 5|
|Cichlids||Apistogramma trifasciata||Three-stripe dwarf cichlid||male: 2.4 inch, female: 1.6 inch||territorial and polygamous||77.0 – 82.4°F||6 – 7||0 – 15|
|Cichlids||Badis badis||Badis, Blue Perch, Dwarf Chameleon Fish||3.1 inch||may become territorial in a species tank||71.6 – 75.2°F||6 – 8||3 – 16|
|Cichlids||Dicrossus filamentosus||Chessboard Cichlid||male: 3.5 inch, female: 2.4 inch||territorial, aggressive during the spawning||71.6 – 78.8°F||5 – 6.75||2 – 15|
|Cichlids||Dicrossus maculatus||Spadetailed Checkerboard Cichlid||male: 3.5 inch, female: 3.1 inch||territorial during spawning||78.8 – 86.0°F||3.4 – 5.4||0 – 5|
|Cichlids||Hemichromis lifalili||Blood-Red Jewel Cichlid||4.3 inch||territorial and aggressive, especially during spawning||73.4 – 78.8°F||6 – 7.8||4 – 15|
|Cichlids||Laetacara dorsigera||Redbreast acara||2.4 – 2.8 inch||peaceful, can be kept with small tetras, a little territorial during spawning||68.0 – 82.4°F||5 – 7.5||2 – 15|
|Cichlids||Mikrogeophagus ramirezi||Ram cichlid, Butterfly cichlid||2.4 – 3.1 inch||peaceful, can be kept with other non-aggressive fish||78.8 – 84.2°F||6 – 7.5||6 – 14|
|Cichlids||Nanochromis transvestitus||1.2 – 1.6 inch||males can be quite aggressive and territorial with conspecifics||75.2 – 80.6°F||4 – 7||0 – 12|
|Cichlids||Neolamprologus brevis||Brevis Shell Dweller||male: 2.4 inch, female: 1.6 inch||territorial||73.4 – 80.6°F||7.5 – 9.0||8 – 25|
|Cichlids||Pelvicachromis pulcher||Kribensis, Purple cichlid, Common krib, Rainbow krib||3.1 – 3.9 inch||peaceful, territorial but not aggressive during spawning||77.0 – 78.8°F||4.8 – 7.5||0 – 12|
|Cyprinids||Barbodes semifasciolatus var. ‘Schuberti’||Gold barb||2.8 inch||73.4 – 77.0°F||6 – 8||5 – 8.5|
|Cyprinids||Brachydanio albolineata||Pearl danio||2.4 inch||68.0 – 77.0°F||6.7 – 7.2||5.6 – 14|
|Cyprinids||Brachydanio kyathit||Orange-Finned Danio||1.6 – 2.0 inch||68.0 – 78.8°F||6.5 – 7.5||2 – 10|
|Cyprinids||Brachydanio rosea||Rosy Danio||2.0 – 2.2 inch||64.4 – 77.0°F||6 – 7.5||2 – 15|
|Cyprinids||Desmopuntius pentazona||Five-banded barb||2.0 inch||71.6 – 78.8°F||6 – 6.5||5 – 10|
|Cyprinids||Desmopuntius rhomboocellatus||Snakeskin Barb, Rhomb Barb, Rhombo Barb||2.0 – 3.1 inch||73.4 – 82.4°F||5 – 7||1 – 10|
|Cyprinids||Garra flavatra||Panda Garra||2.8 – 3.5 inch||71.6 – 80.6°F||6.5 – 7.5||2 – 12|
|Cyprinids||Oliotius oligolepis||Checkered barb||2.0 inch||69.8 – 82.4°F||6.6 – 6.8||8 – 15|
|Cyprinids||Pethia cummingii||Two spot barb||2.0 inch||71.6 – 80.6°F||5.5 – 7||1 – 12|
|Cyprinids||Pethia nigrofasciata||Black-ruby barb||2.4 inch||71.6 – 78.8°F||6 – 7||1 – 12|
|Cyprinids||Pethia padamya||Odessa Barb, Scarlet Barb||2.8 inch||68.0 – 78.8°F||6 – 8||5 – 20|
|Cyprinids||Pethia ticto||Two-spot barb, Ticto barb||3.1 inch||66.2 – 78.8°F||6 – 7||3 – 15|
|Cyprinids||Rasboroides vaterifloris||Orange-finned barb, Singhalese Fire Rasbora||1.6 inch||77.0 – 82.4°F||6.5 – 6.8||4.5 – 8.5|
|Cyprinids||Trigonopoma pauciperforatum||Red-line rasbora||2.0 inch||71.6 – 80.6°F||6 – 6.5||2.8 – 5.6|
|Cyprinids||Trigonostigma heteromorpha||Harlequin rasbora||1.6 inch||75.2 – 82.4°F||6 – 6.5||4.5 – 8.5|
|Invertebrate||Marisa cornuarietis||Giant ramshorn snail||1.4 – 2.0 inch||64.4 – 82.4°F||7.2 – 8.0||10 – 25|
|Invertebrate||Atya gabonensis||African Giant Filter Shrimp, African Fan Shrimp, Vampire Shrimp||4.7 – 5.9 inch||quite peaceful, and will not harm even the smallest fry or other shrimps||73.4 – 84.2°F||6.5 – 7.8||2 – 10|
|Invertebrate||Cherax quadricarinatus||Redclaw Crayfish, Blue Lobster, Australian red claw crayfish||7.1 – 7.9 inch||species tank, females are territorial when with eggs||59.0 – 86.0°F||7.2 – 7.8||10 – 30|
|Invertebrate||Procambarus clarkii||Red Swamp Crayfish||3.9 – 4.7 inch||species tank, very territorial and aggressive to other crayfish||68.0 – 80.6°F||7.5 – 8||8 – 18|
|Killifish||Aphanius dispar dispar||Arabian Killifish||2.8 inch||peaceful||59.0 – 86.0°F||7.5 – 9||15 – 35|
|Killifish||Epiplatys dageti||Red-chinned Panchax, Black-lipped Panchax||2.0 – 2.8 inch||become aggressive with age, females fight each other during spawning||69.8 – 75.2°F||6 – 7||2 – 10|
|Killifish||Fundulopanchax sjostedti||Golden Pheasant, Red Aphyosemion||5.5 inch||species tank, predatory towards small fish.||71.6 – 78.8°F||6 – 7||2 – 12|
|Killifish||Jordanella floridae||Florida Flagfish, American Flagfish||2.0 – 2.2 inch||species tank, males can be territorial and nippy||64.4 – 86.0°F||6.5 – 8.5||2 – 20|
|Killifish||Pachypanchax playfairii||Playfair’s Panchax, Jeweled Panchax, Sawback Killifish, Seychelles Killifish||3.9 inch||aggressive, territorial predator||73.4 – 77.0°F||6.5 – 7||5 – 15|
|Killifish||Poropanchax normani||Norman’s lampeye||1.6 inch||peaceful||71.6 – 78.8°F||6.5 – 7.2||5 – 12|
|Labyrinth||Betta macrostoma||Brunei Beauty||3.9 – 4.3 inch||species tank, males (even females) will fight with each other||68.0 – 78.8°F||3.5 – 6||0 – 10|
|Labyrinth||Betta splendens||Betta, Siamese fighting fish||2.4 – 2.8 inch||highly pugnacious behavior towards one another||75.2 – 82.4°F||6.8 – 7.5||5.6 – 11.2|
|Labyrinth||Ctenopoma weeksii||Mottled ctenopoma||3.9 inch||species tank, become predatory toward smaller fish||75.2 – 82.4°F||6.2 – 7.2||4 – 15|
|Labyrinth||Macropodus ocellatus||Roundtail Paradise Fish||3.1 inch||may harass any similarly-shaped or long-finned tankmates||60.8 – 75.2°F||6 – 7.5||5.6 – 11.2|
|Labyrinth||Macropodus opercularis||Paradise fish, Paradise gourami||3.1 – 4.3 inch||aggressive males||50.0 – 86.0°F||6 – 7.5||5.6 – 11.2|
|Labyrinth||Macropodus spechti concolor||Black paradise fish||4.7 inch||aggressive||64.4 – 77.0°F||6.5 – 7||5.6 – 8.4|
|Labyrinth||Microctenopoma fasciolatum||Banded ctenopoma||3.1 inch||males can be territorial with each other||75.2 – 82.4°F||6.5 – 7.5||4 – 20|
|Labyrinth||Pseudosphromenus cupanus||Spiketail Paradisefish||2.4 – 2.6 inch||68.0 – 82.4°F||6.0 – 7.5||2 – 25|
|Labyrinth||Pseudosphromenus dayi||Brown Spike-Tailed Paradise Fish, Spike-Tailed Gourami||2.6 – 3.0 inch||75.2 – 82.4°F||6 – 7.5||5 – 15|
|Labyrinth||Sphaerichthys vaillanti||Samurai Gourami, Vaillant’s Chocolate Gourami||1.8 – 2.2 inch||69.8 – 77.0°F||3.5 – 6.5||0 – 5|
|Labyrinth||Trichogaster fasciata||Banded Gourami, Indian Giant Gourami, Rainbow Gourami, Striped Gourami||male: 3.9 inch, female: 2.4 – 3.1 inch||69.8 – 82.4°F||6 – 7.5||4 – 15|
|Labyrinth||Trichogaster labiosa||Thick-lipped Gourami, Thicklip Gourami||2.4 – 3.1 inch||71.6 – 80.6°F||6 – 7.5||5 – 15|
|Labyrinth||Trichogaster lalius||Dwarf gourami||1.6 inch||60.8 – 82.4°F||6.5 – 7.2||5.5 – 6.72|
|Labyrinth||Trichopsis vittata||Croaking gourami||2.4 – 2.8 inch||peaceful, males are occasionally aggressive during spawning||78.8 – 82.4°F||5.5 – 8||2.8 – 5.6|
|Livebearers||Alfaro cultratus||Knife Livebearer, Knife-edged Livebearer||3.0 inch||can be aggressive with conspecifics||75.2 – 82.4°F||6 – 8||5 – 20|
|Livebearers||Allotoca dugesii||Opal allotoca, Bumblebee Goodeid||2.4 – 2.6 inch||males are quite aggressive with each other||64.4 – 75.2°F||7 – 8||7 – 20|
|Livebearers||Characodon audax||Bold characodon||2.0 inch||quite aggressive males, may harass females constantly||68.0 – 75.2°F||7 – 8||6 – 20|
|Livebearers||Limia melanogaster||Black-bellied Limia||male: 2.0 inch, female: 2.4 inch||71.6 – 82.4°F||7.5 – 8.5||15 – 30|
|Livebearers||Limia nigrofasciata||Blackbarred limia||male: 1.6 – 2.2 inch, female: 1.6 – 2.4 inch||75.2 – 82.4°F||7 – 8||10 – 25|
|Livebearers||Limia vittata||Cuban limia||male: 2.4 – 2.8 inch, female: 3.9 inch||75.2 – 82.4°F||7 – 8.2||25 – 30|
|Livebearers||Phallichthys amates||Merry Widow||male: 2.0 inch, female: 2.4 inch||71.6 – 82.4°F||6.5 – 7.5||10 – 25|
|Livebearers||Poecilia sphenops||Black molly||male: 2.4 – 2.8 inch, female: 3.1 – 3.5 inch||77.0 – 82.4°F||7.5 – 8.2||11 – 30|
|Livebearers||Priapella intermedia||–||male: 2.0 inch, female: 2.8 inch||77.0 – 82.4°F||7 – 8||9 – 19|
|Livebearers||Skiffia francesae||Golden skiffia||2.0 inch||57.2 – 71.6°F||7 – 9||2 – 35|
|Livebearers||Xiphophorus variatus||Variegated platy, Variatus platy||male: 1.6 – 2.2 inch, female: 2.6 inch||75.2 – 82.4°F||7 – 8||10 – 20|
|Livebearers||Zoogoneticus tequila||Tequila splitfin||male: 2.4 inch, female: 3.1 inch||quite aggressive with each other||68.0 – 75.2°F||6.5 – 7.5||10 – 25|
|Loaches||Acanthocobitis botia||Zipper Loach, Mottled Loach, Eye-Spot Loach, Sand Loach, Striped Loach||3.1 – 3.9 inch||69.8 – 78.8°F||6.5 – 7.2||15 – 25|
|Loaches||Ambastaia nigrolineata||Black-Lined Loach||3.1 – 3.9 inch||68.0 – 77.0°F||6.5 – 7.5||5 – 15|
|Loaches||Ambastaia sidthimunki||Dwarf Loach, Dwarf Chain Loach||2.4 inch||75.2 – 82.4°F||6 – 7.5||1 – 15|
|Loaches||Beaufortia kweichowensis||Butterfly Loach||2.6 – 3.0 inch||peaceful and shy loach, males are territorial||60.8 – 75.2°F||6.5 – 8||1 – 12|
|Loaches||Gastromyzon ctenocephalus||Borneo Sucker||1.4 – 1.6 inch||peaceful and shy loach, territorial||68.0 – 75.2°F||6 – 7.5||1 – 12|
|Loaches||Pangio anguillaris||Eel Loach||3.9 – 4.7 inch||73.4 – 84.2°F||6 – 7.5||0 – 8|
|Loaches||Pangio kuhlii||Coolie Loach, Kuhli Loach, Prickly Eye||4.3 inch||77.0 – 82.4°F||6.2 – 6.8||4 – 15|
|Loaches||Pangio oblonga||Java Loach||3.1 inch||73.4 – 84.2°F||3.5 – 7||0 – 8|
|Loaches||Pangio pangia||Cinnamon Loach||2.4 inch||75.2 – 78.8°F||6 – 7||1 – 12|
|Loaches||Sewellia lineolata||Gold Ring Butterfly Sucker, Reticulated Hillstream Loach, Tiger Hillstream Loach||2.2 – 2.6 inch||68.0 – 75.2°F||6 – 7.5||1 – 10|
|Other||Carinotetraodon irrubesco||Red-tailed Redeye Puffer||1.6 – 1.8 inch||males can be territorial||68.0 – 82.4°F||6 – 7.5||2 – 12|
|Other||Monocirrhus polyacanthus||Leaf Fish, Amazon Leaffish, South American Leaf Fish||3.9 inch||males can be very aggressive and territorial||71.6 – 77.0°F||5 – 6.8||1 – 10|
|Other||Pantodon buchholzi||Butterflyfish, African Butterfly Fish||3.9 inch||intolerant with surface fish||75.2 – 86.0°F||6 – 7||1 – 15|
|Other||Stiphodon ornatus||Rainbow Stiphodon Goby||2.0 – 2.6 inch||peaceful but males are loosely territorial, especially during breeding||68.0 – 82.4°F||6.5 – 7.5||2 – 12|
|Other||Tateurndina ocellicauda||Peacock gudgeon||2.0 inch||75.2 – 77.0°F||6.5 – 7.5||5.6 – 8.4|
|Rainbowfish||Iriatherina werneri||Threadfin Rainbowfish, Featherfin Rainbowfish||male 2.0 inch, female 1.4 inch||75.2 – 86.0°F||5.5 – 7.5||5 – 12|
|Rainbowfish||Marosatherina ladigesi||Celebes Rainbowfish||male: 2.4 – 3.1 inch, female: 2.0 – 2.8 inch||71.6 – 82.4°F||6 – 7||10 – 25|
|Rainbowfish||Melanotaenia maccullochi||Dwarf rainbowfish, Black-lined Rainbowfish||2.8 inch||71.6 – 82.4°F||5.5 – 7.5||8 – 18|
|Rainbowfish||Popondichthys furcatus||Forktail rainbowfish, Forktail Blue-eye||2.0 – 2.4 inch||75.2 – 82.4°F||7 – 8||5 – 12|
And over a hundred species for 5-gallon tank and 10-gallon tank.
Setup ideas for a 20-gallon tank
There are so many options when it comes to aquascaping and this depends on the style you’re aiming for. But what is aquascaping? This is the art of laying out aquariums with hardscapes such as rocks, stones, wood, and plants. There are a few common styles and we’ll cover some options for you.
If you have a 20 gallon planted aquarium then a natural aquascape makes sense. This uses the plants within your tank to create a natural scape that resembles a natural landscape. You can use rocks and wood that you can plant on to build up the scape to look more realistic. Moss is your best friend when it comes to this style of scaping.
If you’d like a planted tank then how many can you have? Well, there’s no hard and fast rule for this, you can keep as many plants as the tank can fit but ensure all the plants can get enough light they need, and the rest space is abundant for fish to swim around. Adding too many plants will require more maintenance, too.
Fish-only aquarium without plants
If you want to make your decorations as the central piece of the aquascape, you may set up your tank in this kind. It is easy to maintain and clean with a tank without live plants. You don’t have to trim your plants and remove dead leaves weekly. Cleaning the gravel is much easier without any obstructive plants.
The best aquascaping for a fish-only tank is to use hardscaping materials only; gravel, rock, wood, plastic plants, and decorations work best in this instance. You can balance the colors and textures with any ornamental decorations you may have within the tank. This will allow you to create a landscape that is natural-looking without greenery.
Some live plants such as Marimo Moss Balls, Anubias, and Echinodorus can be added to supplement a little real green to the tank. These plants are low-demanding, slow-growing, and very easy to maintain.
Shrimp do enjoy hiding places so many aquascaping options would work here. The best options for aquascaping a shrimp tank will include caves, wood, and plants which are everything most shrimp love. Utilize the materials to create natural hiding holes for them which look like they are part of the landscape rather than a cave sat in the middle of the floor.
Find the detailed page for shrimp here: https://portlandaquarium.net/freshwater-shrimp/
Coldwater tank (unheated tank)
Zebra Danio tank
To aquascape a cold-water tank it is best done without using plants, rocks and stones work best in these tanks. You can build up natural towers, bridges, and caves to create stunning scenery that looks like it may belong in the stone ages. You are only limited by your imagination, even when restricted with your materials.
Make sure you keep all coldwater fish such as Zebra Danios (64° – 79° F) in the tank. Some other species for a 20-gallon coldwater tank include White Cloud Mountain Minnow (64° – 72° F), Clown Killifish (68° – 79° F), Hillstream Loach (65° – 77° F), Rainbow Shiner (50° – 72° F), Endler Guppies (66° – 84° F).
Fancy Guppies are tropical fish and don’t do well in coldwater that makes them easy to get diseases. If you have Guppies in a coldwater tank, ensure the temperature doesn’t drop below 68 °F (20 °C).
Saltwater fish-only with liverock (FOWLR)
You can aquascape a marine tank with live rock, you can create structures and natural-forming hidden caves for your fish. You need to ensure however that everything is not stacked or put together too tightly, to make for easy clean-up of fish waste. Live rock is relatively easy to stack up, to gain height within the scape.
Your imagination is your best friend when scaping a reef tank, imagine the reefs that are natural out at sea and aim to create a miniature version. You can mix colors and shapes to recreate a natural-looking formation. Do not worry about perfection when doing a reef scape as it is not perfect out in the deep blue sea. Random reefs placed strategically work best in this setup.
Dwarf Puffer tank
This kind of aquariums is also suitable for some specific species, which are aggressive to other fish or with specific care requirements, such as Puffers, Dwarf cichlids, Dwarf Gouramis, Bettas, etc. You can keep one or two species with the closed water requirements in the same tank.
To aquascape a species tank, you need to fit the scaping in with the fish you keep. If you have a Betta tank, they enjoy resting places, that can be easily added and combined with your overall scaping look. You can keep multiple male Bettas in a 20-gallon tank with the help of dividers.
Aquaponics fish tank
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It is a self-sufficient tank and already has a natural look, due to the plants that grow above it. It will look stunning with a green planted floor and a few rocks placed around. You will need a 20-gallon aquaponics kit to build your tank this way.