Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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LorenHusky 01-07-2013 03:05 AM

New to fish, from OHIO!
Hey there from Ohio! I'm a new fish keeper trying to start up a community tank. I currently have a 20G tall that's in the process of cycling with a lone Betta. I also have a 29g empty at the moment that I have plans for possibly carrying everything over to if I decide to go bigger.

Does anyone have a good suggestion for tank mates for the Betta? If he is unable to get along with other fish it's ok, I have a 10 gal and a 55GPH filter he can have all to himself if need be. I was looking at Zebra Danios because they're on sale at my local fish place and they're only 88 cents a piece. They are strong fish that can survive the cycle from what I see but I think they might pick on the Betta.

What do you guys think?
Thanks! 8-)

Bluewind 01-07-2013 03:13 AM

Hi and welcome to the forums and the crazy adictive world of fishkeeping! :-D

Ohio huh? I'm Arkansas. USA! All the way! ;-)

I love Bettas, so I can help you there. Stay away from Danios and Tetras with the as they like to fin nip and let's face it, Mr. Betta has a lot of fin to nip! The best way to spot a fin nipper is that most of them have forward facing mouths in order to eat from the water collumn. Best to get ones with downward facing mouths (like catfish) or ones that have those upward facing mouths like Mr. Betta.

Also, stay away from fish that look like him. Female bettas can get along with other females, but males don't like ANYTHING that looks like them! We are talking be flowy tails and similar color patterns. That knocks out fancy guppies and such.
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Bluewind 01-07-2013 03:23 AM

Finally, there are things they may see as food. This is more of a risk than a downright rule. Some Bettas are more agressive than others and will eat anything that can fit in their mouth. Some will only resort to killing and eating tankmates if you underfeed them. I have had shrimp in my tank and really enjoy them. They are funny and very active. I actually had my Betta in a floating quart jar for a few hours while my shrimp got use to the tank and found all the hiding places (which I made sure to have plenty of) before I let Gus back in the tank. He never bothered them save for occasionally watching them play. Heck, I have seen them walk on his head and he didn't care! :lol:

Snails are also cool little tankmates and a lot cooler than they sound. I have several and get a kick out of watching them go para-snailing! ;-)

Cory Cats are a great addition to a tank with a Betta. They are so active and beautiful! Just makes sure to have a sand substrate.
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Bluewind 01-07-2013 03:31 AM

(ran out of space)
Anyway, make sure the sand is smooth because Cory Cats have sensative little barbles and rough sand can wear those away and once they're gone, they're gone for good! Same goes for Otos who are also a good option. Either one of these guys should be in groups of 5 or more (many say +6). Believe me, they are both awesome little additions to any aquarium. I had False Julii and boy are they beautiful and active! :-D

I have known people who have had Loaches with their Betta and the mix worked for them. I haven't had them personally, but I hope to get some Kulii Loaches one day.

Just make sure that with a community, you increase the bioload slowely, do plenty of pwc, and have PLENTY of hiding places to make everyone feel safe. Best of luck hun
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LorenHusky 01-07-2013 03:44 AM

Yeah that's sort of the problem I am facing now. I just don't know what to put in with him. I looked at some of those Catfish, I think they were Corydoras but I think they're kind of ugly.

Bluewind 01-07-2013 03:54 AM

UGLY! What kind are you looking at? There are soooo many of them. So many different colors too. If you are interested in Danios, you might want to do a species tank of them. Someone help me out if I'm wrong, but I think they can be mixed with Loaches.

Your Betta could be placed in the 10 gallon if you can't find anything that sparks your interest and you can add some shrimp and/or snails to add diversity. You can also do a divided tank and have 2 males in the 10 gallon instead of just the 1.

You might be able to add some Tetra with the Betta in the 20 gallon as long as you have at least 8 Neons or 6 of any of the others. The more, the better. That should lower the risk of finnipping. Danios are a definate no though as you would need a bigger school than the tank could handle to balance it.
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Bluewind 01-07-2013 04:09 AM

Now let's see if we can narrow down what other fish you can get huh?
Tap Water pH:
Tap Water Hardness:
Tanks and Accessories (like filters, heaters...):
Fish/Inverts you like:
Fish/Inverts you don't like:
Favorite colors:
Tank theme (natural planted, slapdash,...):
Will it be planted? If so, how heavily?:
Would you be willing to order fish/Inverts or would they be strictly local?:
Do you like lots of little fish or one big one?
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LorenHusky 01-07-2013 04:25 AM

Tap Water pH: No idea
Tap Water Hardness: HARD
Tanks and Accessories 20G TALL. Fluval 300W Heater. Marineland Penguin 100GPH Biowheel Filter. 18W Florouscent light.
Fish/Inverts you like: Platys, Mollies, Sharks, Betta,
Fish/Inverts you don't like: Shrimp :/
Favorite colors: Black, Red, Blue
Tank theme (natural planted, slapdash,...): Don't know what slapdash is, but I have a couple plastic plants, and a little
Will it be planted? If so, how heavily?:
Would you be willing to order fish/Inverts or would they be strictly local?: Local
Do you like lots of little fish or one big one? Lots -o- lil fishies! :)

I also have a 29G sitting in the corner that if my community really kicks off, I will transfer everything over to in the not so distant future.

Bluewind 01-07-2013 04:30 AM

Okay! Now I have a better idea of what you like :-)

Take a water sample by your lfs. They should be willing to do a water test for free! Knowing your pH can help us figure out what fish will work best in your water. It will probably be basic being so hard. Basic enough and you might be able to add Chchlids! :-D
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Bluewind 01-07-2013 05:03 AM

On top of the list I just PMed you (could you post it for me?), Platties, Mollies, and Bettas do well in hard water. I googled the sharks and they are more neutral to slightly hard and if you put them in a tank that's too hard, they loose their color. I will get back to you tomorrow on compatability. Nighty night ;-)
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