I'm thinking of starting a new aquarium. I have some specific fish in mind but would like some input on numbers and tank size. I will probably do at least lightly planted because I'd like to have a nice group of ottos. So I would like to stick to 20-30 gallons but feel free to point it out if that isn't possible for what all I want. I'd like to keep ottos, kuhli loaches, cory cats, and possibly tiger barbs. I also have a male betta who could use an upgrade but I'm not sure about him with tiger barbs. Please give me any thoughts this assortment of fish and size needed. I'm open to other suggestions in place of the tiger barbs. Also, will cory cats be too destructive for planting?
Tiger barbs are a definite no with a betta - they are very nippy, and may nip at cories too. The betta would be fine with cories,otos, and kuhlis, but most other fish are a risk with him. You could try him with harlequins but be prepared to move him back to his old tank if there are problems. If you are going with cories and kuhlis, use sand rather than gravel as your substrate. Kuhlis like to bury themselves in it so may potentially uproot plants.You can get around this by using plants like Java fern and anubias attached to bogwood rather than plants that need to grow in the substrate.
Thanks for the tips! Noted. How do you feel about that tank size for ottos, corys, and loaches? I may just hold off and wait till much later to introduce my betta and/or any other middle dwelling fishes. Not really dead set on any species quite yet.