Species Decisions - 15 Gallon Tank - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 11-01-2012, 01:19 AM Thread Starter
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Question Species Decisions - 15 Gallon Tank

Hey everybody, I just got a 15 gallon aquarium from a friend and have been doing some research the past few days to try and get ready to set it up. Itís the second tank Iíve owned and although the last one was successful, it was about ten years ago and I just had cheaper fish and most were of the same breed.

Iíve picked out some fish that should be able to live together but since itís a rather small tank, I wanted to get everyoneís opinion. First idea:

1 Male Betta
6 Zebra Danios
5 Neon Black Tetras

Water would be kept at 75 degrees with KH at 8 and a pH of 6.5

My plan was to work on cycling the water before doing anything, then add the Zebras to the aquarium first. If everything goes well, the Tetras next followed by the Betta.

I wasnít in a position to go spend a ton of money which is why I hadnít already purchased an aquarium myself but since I now have a tank and most of the equipment needed free of charge, Iím capable and willing to purchase whatever else is needed to set up the aquarium and then keep it very well maintained.

The fish are guaranteed to be well taken care of, I spend a lot of time on maintenance and try to continue learning about each type of fish as time goes by. Therefore, my question is more about compatibility and if anyone thinks my tank is just too small.

Thanks in advance,

Kollin Tra Daryk
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post #2 of 5 Old 11-01-2012, 01:43 AM
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I am not sure if a 15 gallon tank is big enough for both groups of fish and a Betta? It could be just not sure. Though both groups would do better with higher numbers. The black neons need to be in a group of at least 6+ same with the Zebra danio. Do you know what your GH is??

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post #3 of 5 Old 11-01-2012, 01:51 AM
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Im no expert but the male betta may be an issue. Not sure on the compatability. There is the fish profile section in the top left of the forum next to user cp. Have a look but the numbers for the neons and danios seem good. Try a website called AqAdvisor.com. You can put in the species and tank info and it gives you a pretty good guide to stocking and compatability questions.

My little bit anyway.

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post #4 of 5 Old 11-01-2012, 02:23 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, I thought the Betta might be a bad idea but my fiance really wanted it. So maybe I'll go with 8 Zebra Danios and 7 Black Neon Tetras, leaving the Betta out. I keep reading that the Tetras should stay in groups with an odd number.

GH is at 4.0

The AqAdvisor website also said the Betta was a bad idea so thanks for turning me onto it.

Thanks again,

Kollin Tra Daryk
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post #5 of 5 Old 11-01-2012, 06:05 PM
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First, Kollin, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

Second, I certainly agree to forget the Betta. One, a male Betta frequently takes a dislike to other fish and will eat tetra [mine did]. Second, even peaceful tetra will tend to nip the fins of a Betta when the temptation is so high.

Third, to the danio and tetra. I would leave the danio out as they need more room. At this point, I'll refer you to our profiles, under the second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page. If the name is identical in a post to that in the profile, common or scientific, it will shade and form a link you can click to see the profile, example Zebra Danio. The profile explains this is an active fish, so more swimming room is better.

The Black Neon Tetra is OK. But with soft (GH 4 d) acidic (pH 6.5) water, you are in the enviable position of having a wealth of rarer fish suited to your water. And with a 15g, there are some lovely dwarf species that would allow you to have more fish and thus more interest in a relatively small space. For starters, have a look at Hyphessobrycon amandae, Boraras maculatus, Boraras brigittae, most of the species of pencilfish in Nannostomus [any except N. beckfordi], Brevibora dorsiocellata, and perhaps a couple of the anabantids in the gourami group that are miniature. For the substrate, a group of one of the dwarf species in Corydoras. Lots of options.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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