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Tank mates for my Betta

Discussion in 'Freshwater Newbie Forum' started by Taylor Price, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. Taylor Price

    Taylor Price Registered Member

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    I currently have a dumbo betta named Frank in a 5 gallon. I got a 20 gallon set up and running, it’s got driftwood with sand and live plants. I’ve got a sponge filter rated for 25 gallons in it. I know the tanks need to run for a bit so I was going to get the fish this weekend. I heard Cory catfish can be good with Betta fish, is this true and how many should I get for the 20 gallon? Also what other fish can go with them. I like rainbow sharks but I know they can be aggressive sometimes. Thank you! I attached a picture of the tank setup, the sand was still settling when I took it so sorry for the quality

    AB57E8EF-E4A9-4687-A437-C2AD390E7859.jpeg
     
  2. authmal

    authmal Pseudonovice

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    So, a series of tips.

    Read up on the nitrogen cycle. Running a tank for a while doesn't automatically equate to it being prepared to handle and house livestock. If you don't have one, invest in a liquid test kid. API makes a freshwater master test kit that's ~$20 on Amazon. If you have any media you can move from the 5, or even just that filter and run it concurrently for a while, that'll be of value while the 20 builds up a colony of beneficial bacteria.

    Live plants, generally speaking, or better than artificial (since I'm not sure what you have in there) because artificial plants often have hard points that can damage a betta's fins.

    Cories are commonly accepted as safe tank mates, as are some snails. That said, bettas have their own personalities. Mine has largely ignored the ghost shrimp in his tank, until he decided one had to be dead. Now, I'm wondering if the 4 others that died did so without his intervention, and if not, when the last one will be killed. So far, he's ignored the snails. He chases, well, follows, his ember tetra roomies. Even when a betta is seemingly okay with a roomie, he may decide one day that he's not. One way to help with the introduction of new roomies is to rearrange the tank, so the territory is different, so he won't feel it's quite as much *his* and will be more tolerant of interlopers. Just stay away from fish that'll remind him of himself, like skirt tetras, guppies, and the like, and you'll have better likelihood of peaceful interaction.

    I know you didn't ask, but if given the option, I would go for a 20 long in the future, rather than the 20 high. It gives you a better footprint to make for more horizontally complex scaping, creating more visual territories for your fish. The drawback is tall scaping doesn't work as well.

    While I think your betta would do just fine in a 5, I'm glad to hear you're moving on up to the 20, so you have room to give him some potential friends.
     
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  3. DefJ123

    DefJ123 AC Members

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    Authmal posted all that I was going to. Definitely learn and understand the nitrogen cycle.

    Cories would make a good bottom dweller. Panda cories are good size for that tank. Perhaps a school of neons or something like that. No long fin fish, no gouramies, no bright colors.
     
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  4. the loach

    the loach AC Members

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    Nice looking tank. If you find a really small rainbow shark it might be fine with the betta until it gets big and territorial. But then? If you do get cories get a school of them, 8 or 10 of the same species, they are a really sociable fish. If you have more questions don't hesitate to ask..
     
  5. fishorama

    fishorama AC Members

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    I would suggest dwarf cories like habrosus or pygmaus. Habbies are more bottom fish, pygmies more mid-water swimmers.

    A comment on your plants, the green & white "corn plants" are not aquatic, they will slowly die. they are houseplants. Your pic is too blurry for me to tell what the other green plants might be, sword plants? They may outgrow your tank.

    I love a 20g long, my favorite small tank.

    Authmal has it right, if you move Frank & his filter, you'll be fine for the cycle bacteria...but will need to go slow adding any more fish.
     
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  6. Taylor Price

    Taylor Price Registered Member

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    Well petsmart sucks then haha, I got them all from them. It is some swords, I figured i was going to have to trim them and I can just use the trimmings when I get a bigger tank later. I like the 20 longs better but this was given to me for now. We added some good bacteria from a suppliment type stuff and we’re going to watch it before we add the fish. Thank you all for your replies, I read up on the nitrogen cycle. Super riveting I know but i can see why it’s important to learn. Also I’m going to add some floating plants and things for frank to have a place to hide up top.
     
  7. authmal

    authmal Pseudonovice

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    Test kits are important. They're the best way to know if a tank is cycled. Liquid test kits have a higher degree of accuracy.

    And the thing to keep in mind about most stores? They're there to do their jobs, which is to sell you things. Try to do research before buying things, because some of those people are ethically lacking, others are simply undereducated in the aquarium hobby. Sometimes they're misinformed by their suppliers. It's a crazy craps shoot. I once had a guy suggest a couple oscars and some orandas for my 55. :mad:
    I go in, look at all the pretty fish, and I already know what I'm potentially going to buy, because I know what I have, and have a pretty good idea of what's going to be compatible. If I see something out of the ordinary (unusual at those chain stores) I do research before pulling out my money. If it's still there when I go back, it was meant to be. Otherwise, I now have more knowledge for future use.

    I usually go into those stores for non-livestock purchases, these days, either because I don't want to order online for a variety of reasons, or I need it *right now* so I can't/won't wait for shipping.
     
  8. Taylor Price

    Taylor Price Registered Member

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    I don’t really trust pet stores that much either but I didn’t think going in for some live plants and decorations couldn’t be that bad haha. I’ve been doing some research on compatible beta tank mates for a month or so now, I’m not one to get a pet without research. Even if it’s “just a fish” to most people. I had some guaramis before but it’s been a while and I’m rusty on the whole fish thing so I’ve been googling stuff and on here trying to get the hang of things again. I didn’t really research plants too much because it’s decor. I was focusing more on the fish themselves, like things to look for when I buy them to make sure they’re healthy and stuff. I just wanted live plants to help keep the tank clean and more natural.
     
  9. Taylor Price

    Taylor Price Registered Member

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    Also here’s an updated pic after the sponge filter had been running for a day or so.

    8E0B63D7-CE04-4396-B5A2-B614A159CCD1.jpeg
     
  10. forse

    forse Registered Member

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    The tank looks nice! Cories will be OK with your betta. Do not add any active fish with your betta because bettas can not compete with them getting food. Also remember to give sinking food to the cories as tablets for bottom dwellers.
     

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