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Discussion Starter #1
Hey, I'm new to fish keeping and also to the threads. As a newbie, I have been researching as much as possible, reading up on my new found obsession. In some thread, I found a link to aqadvisor.com. Does anyone know if this is a tool that can be trusted? I know there is a disclaimer and it says not to take it for the TRUTH all the time, and that further research is needed.
Background: I am currently cycling a 10 gallon tank. In the mean time, my sister has mentioned that my nephew no longer pays attention to his betta fish, which they keep in a bowl. So I adopted him. This is not a problem, except that after having read more about bettas, it seems they do not flourish in bowls. I know that people debate this, but now it seems like an obligation for me to let the betta live in my 10g tank, which of course screws up my former plans for stocking. Since bettas are sometimes aggressive and not very compatible with the other fish i wanted to keep, I used the aqadvisor to find some interesting stocking options.
Essentially, after doing some research on compatible tank mates, I came up with this:
1 male betta (Merlin)
2 platies
4 dwarf cories
2 ADFs

It seems a little crowded compared with what some people do in their 10g tanks. Is this stretching it? Do these species all seem compatible? IF it does work, what should be the order of acquiring/adding the fish?
My ten gallon tank has an aqueon 10 quietflow filter, and i plan on adding plants (recommendations needed) when water chemistry is right.
 

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I would skip the platies, their colors could easily spark his aggression, and they can get quite large. They could also easily turn into aggressors with the temptation of a lovely betta tail.

I would also up the cories to around 5-6, they like larger groups. But remember they are very sensitive to water quality :) I know bettas need to be kept in warmer water, are the cories okay with this? I haven't done much research into the dwarfs.

Oh, what are your water parameters (PH, GH, KH?)? This may also impact stocking.

For plants, definitely look into floating ones, the betta will really appreciate it. Dwarf water lettuce, watersprite, and frogsbit are a few I can think of off the top of my head.
I personally love crypts, and they're not very light demanding and won't mind being shaded out by floating plants. Crypt wendtii and crypt lucens are my favorites. You can also look into attaching anubias/java fern to driftwood/rocks.

I would probably add the betta first, just because you might want to hold off on the cories until the tank is truly established. I have no idea about the frogs, but I know several other members have kept them successfully with bettas, so I'm sure someone can chime in :)
 

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Hi! Welcome to the forum and to fishkeeping! It's a very fun hobby! Aqadvisor is a pretty good tool, but just like all tools it has its limitations.

There are some stocking problems with your plan, but the good news is it's just a plan and can be changed. Dwarf cories need to be in groups of more than 6 because they are a shoaling fish. Shoaling fish are normally found together by the thousands in the wild. When you house these fish in the aquarium, it's really the more the merrier. The other problem you're going to encounter with dwarf cories is that they are rather sensitive and not usually recommended to new aquarists.

Platies need a slightly larger tank. They can also be bad with a betta in that their bright colors can make male bettas think platies are another betta and incite the betta to attack them. Generally if you keep other fish with bettas, you want the betta to be rather chill and the fish to be rather bland in color.

Adding plants from the start is a great idea. Many people start with plastic and move to live plants later. Anubias and java ferns are great beginner plants. Both are rather slow-growing, so don't expect them to fill your tank with growth immediately.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I would skip the platies, their colors could easily spark his aggression, and they can get quite large. They could also easily turn into aggressors with the temptation of a lovely betta tail.

I would also up the cories to around 5-6, they like larger groups. But remember they are very sensitive to water quality :) I know bettas need to be kept in warmer water, are the cories okay with this? I haven't done much research into the dwarfs.

Oh, what are your water parameters (PH, GH, KH?)? This may also impact stocking.

For plants, definitely look into floating ones, the betta will really appreciate it. Dwarf water lettuce, watersprite, and frogsbit are a few I can think of off the top of my head.
I personally love crypts, and they're not very light demanding and won't mind being shaded out by floating plants. Crypt wendtii and crypt lucens are my favorites. You can also look into attaching anubias/java fern to driftwood/rocks.

I would probably add the betta first, just because you might want to hold off on the cories until the tank is truly established. I have no idea about the frogs, but I know several other members have kept them successfully with bettas, so I'm sure someone can chime in :)
Thank you for all of the suggestions! you have given me lots to think about. As far as water parameters, right now my water is a bit alkaline. I tested my tap water source and it was Very alkaline. I am not sure how much the cycling/biology in my tank has effected this, but as of yesterday the water in my tank has greatly reduced its alkalinity. I was planning on adjusting it after it was cycled (if it was still necessary) Is this a mistake? Now that I think about it, maybe I would want to have fish more closely adapted to the water I have ready on hand, in case of an emergency and for convenient water changes etc. It would also be less of a hassle, not having to constantly adjust for ph. I will test again tomorrow and post up my numbers, cant seem to find my little sheet with my parameters. (hope the wife didnt throw it away) From what I understand, cories are pretty adaptable to different PH? I think bettas like it around 7? What about plants and PH? honestly haven't done much reading on that. Will adding plants change the PH?

I really like the idea of adding some floating plants. I'll have to check what sorts of plants I can easily get, would like to maybe have 3 or 4 attached plants and 2 or so floating. Ones that do not require to much light are a plus!

I'll skip the platies and up my cories! I dont want to stress Merlin!
 

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Hi! Welcome to the forum and to fishkeeping! It's a very fun hobby! Aqadvisor is a pretty good tool, but just like all tools it has its limitations.

There are some stocking problems with your plan, but the good news is it's just a plan and can be changed. Dwarf cories need to be in groups of more than 6 because they are a shoaling fish. Shoaling fish are normally found together by the thousands in the wild. When you house these fish in the aquarium, it's really the more the merrier. The other problem you're going to encounter with dwarf cories is that they are rather sensitive and not usually recommended to new aquarists.

Platies need a slightly larger tank. They can also be bad with a betta in that their bright colors can make male bettas think platies are another betta and incite the betta to attack them. Generally if you keep other fish with bettas, you want the betta to be rather chill and the fish to be rather bland in color.

Adding plants from the start is a great idea. Many people start with plastic and move to live plants later. Anubias and java ferns are great beginner plants. Both are rather slow-growing, so don't expect them to fill your tank with growth immediately.
Noted about the Dwarf cories. Are all cories this way? I also considered some Kuhlis, I really like the way they look and from what I read, bottom feeders that chill in little groups are generally compatible with bettas. Will they try to nip at the betta though? i was watching some other type of loach try to nip at some fish at the pet store the other day. Would a couple of javas attached to a couple of rocks, along with some thing floating be a good start? I read mixed things about having them during cycling vs after bacteria have cycled the tank. Anyone have a convincing argument either way? Also what about moss balls? sorry so many questions. :cool:
 

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What do you use to test your water? Most of us use the API Master Liquid Test Kit ($20 on Amazon). And you can usually find the parameters of your source water online from the company.

Adjusting PH can be incredibly dangerous, as the PH swing is very quick and will often revert back to what it is originally, and this is very detrimental to the fish. It's best to just work with your tap water :)
Plants, driftwood, leaves, and alder cones can affect ph/gh/kh, but it's usually a gradual change and not much of one.

Also, for example, the PH of my tap is around 7.6, but the GH/KH are very, very low so after sitting awhile, my water settles to around 6.8 I have to be careful with my water changes because there is such a big difference.

Fish don't really 'adapt', they just survive as best they can. This isn't healthy for them and shortens their life spans, it's best to select fish that would be happy in your source water.

I would add a few more floating plants to create more cover, but that's just my personal opinion :)

Kuhli loaches are very neat fish, I have several. But they are much too active for a 10 gallon tank, they really do like their swimming room, and they are live cories, the more the merrier. To my knowledge they do not nip other fish, I have never seen nor read about such behavior. They usually just ignore my other fish. They are really cool, but again, they're also quite active and they can around 3-4 inches long.

If you can find out your source water we can look more actively for suitable fish :)

To cycle with plants you need a lot, and they have to be fast growing ones. Lots and lots of floating plants, and lots of fast growing stem plants. (Hygrophilia, wisteria, ludwigia, anacharis..etc)

There is some debate as to the effectiveness of moss balls. I do believe there is a thread on them over in the Aquarium Plants section of the forum :)

If you decide to go with minimal floaters and slow growers such as java fern, crypts, and anubias, it's best to have the tank already cycled with bacteria :)
 

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I'm no expert. But since bettas are labyrinth fish they need access to the surface or they might drown. Be careful with floating plants, tats all.
 

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Would a couple of javas attached to a couple of rocks, along with some thing floating be a good start? I read mixed things about having them during cycling vs after bacteria have cycled the tank. Anyone have a convincing argument either way? Also what about moss balls? sorry so many questions. :cool:
Java fern, Anubias, Java moss and mossballs are good beginner plants because they need little light and grow slowly, so they don't need much maintenance. Because of this slow growth they don't do much to remove ammonia from the water.

So, cycle your tank as per instructions. These plants won't effect the cycle at all.

As for the floating plants, they do eat ammonia rather effectively, so it might be worth waiting to add these until you're stocking your tank.
 

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Noted about the Dwarf cories. Are all cories this way? I also considered some Kuhlis, I really like the way they look and from what I read, bottom feeders that chill in little groups are generally compatible with bettas. Will they try to nip at the betta though? i was watching some other type of loach try to nip at some fish at the pet store the other day. Would a couple of javas attached to a couple of rocks, along with some thing floating be a good start? I read mixed things about having them during cycling vs after bacteria have cycled the tank. Anyone have a convincing argument either way? Also what about moss balls? sorry so many questions. :cool:
Kuhli loaches would work, but a 10 gal is a bit small for them. I have them in my 29 gal, and they are more active than you would think. But in a larger tank they are great with bettas. I had a betta in my 29 gal for a while and the loaches never gave him any trouble.

A couple of java ferns tied to rocks is a great start! Floating plants are awesome if you can get them! I have them in every single one of my tanks.

I'm no expert. But since bettas are labyrinth fish they need access to the surface or they might drown. Be careful with floating plants, tats all.
Actually, floating plants are recommended for ALL labyrinth fish as this is a common feature of their wild habitat. The plants make the fish feel protected and safe enough to come to the surface for air. I have them in my gourami tank as well as my betta tank. I commonly see the fish lounging in the plants and notice the gourami only go up for air around the floating plants.
 

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my betta had issues with duckweed because it compacts like a jigsaw puzzle. I removed it and got some dwarf water lettuce and it has enough room for my bettas to get through. My 5 year old betta is still strong enough to move a piece of water lettuce if he needs to. It's also large enough to remove some pieces when you get full. duckweed gets all over EVERYTHING and is virtually impossible to get rid of once you have it.

Just make sure with all plants that if you decide to trash them, to actually trash them or put them in your composter. NEVER put them down your drain or tub or toilet. Once you see them spread in your tank you'll realise that you don't want your favorite fishing or swimming hole to get over run with this stuff and it has happened and will continue to happen.

OK public service announcement over..


Go with frogbit or DWL IMO .. not duckweed.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm glad I created a thread! Seems there is a ton of misinformation about size requirements and suitability. I really appreciate all of the advice.
I use the API master test kit as well. I'll check the tap water tonight and post all my numbers.
So dwarf cories, platies and kuhlis are out! Any more stocking recommendations? Maybe just except that its not going to be as diverse with the addition of a betta?

I will put hanging plants in but make sure the betta has room to come to the top and move around.
 

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Gh- 100
Kh-40
These are results I had straight from the tap on a dipstick. (Master kit doesn't test for the that.)
Ph on dipstick around 8, but I will use master kit to get a more accurate reading tonight
 

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Wait why are dwarf corydoras out? I had 6 hasbrosus and a betta in a 10 gallon no problem. They are itty bity tiny and are good little vacuums
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A few of the above posters feel that they are pretty sensitive to water conditions and probably aren't the best fish for newbies like myself
 

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If you can do about a 30% water change once a week and a good gravel vacuum and stick too it then you are good. The aquarium must be cycled though. They aren't hardy enough to withstand the cycle process. I cycled with them in my 29 6 months ago and yeah I was stupid to do so but I did 50% water changes every day if any ammonia was present. After your tank cycles you could get some. Its tje main reason most people don't keep discus. 50% every day and immaculate water. Corys are more forgiving. I'd stay away from emerald or larger coreys and go with pygmy, dainty, or hasbrosus coreys. They still like to be in as large of a group as possible so if its a 10 and just the betta and some plants and a good filter you could do 8-10
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First thing, fisherton, is welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum, and the hobby.:cheers:

Having read through this thread, I tend to agree with most of it, but will offer a couple observations. And the first is that the Betta really is not a community fish. I know others have had them with other fish, etc, etc, but the fact remains--as every reliable ichthyological source will tell you--that they are best on their own. Not in a bowl, but a tank with some live floating plants. A 2-5 gallon tank would do well, as Betta are not active fish.

On the corys, most will not do well at higher temperatures such as Betta should have. Some cory species can manage in warmer temperatures, such as Corydoras sterbai, Corydoras leucomelas, and a few others; but most prefer it cooler, around 77-78F seems to work although there are some that would be better even lower down the thermometer. And the dwarf species are some of these. I have my Corydoras habrosus at 76F which is as high as I would go. And as someone mentioned, a larger group with the smaller species is better. In a 10g you could do 9-12 of one of these.

I agree with not combining platy and Betta, though as I said nothing should be forced into a Betta environment anyway.

To the water parameters. Knowing the GH, KH and pH of your source water (tap presumably) is essential. The GH and KH will not likely shift much in an aquarium unless something is done to specifically target it. The pH will tend to lower, but the KH acts as a buffer. Selecting fish suited to your source water is always easier because it means stability and ease of weekly water changes. But, depending upon the numbers and the intended fish, some adjustment is possible. I won't get into that as it is a complex issue, but my article might give you some background:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/freshwater-articles/water-hardness-ph-freshwater-aquarium-73276/

A GH of 100 ppm is about 6 dGH, and this is soft water. If you were to go with livebearers, this should be raised as they need the "hard" minerals like calcium and magnesium. But stay with soft water fish, and plants, and you are in a perfect position.

The KH (alkalinity) at 40 ppm is about 2 dKH, so this is not going to significantly buffer the pH which should lower naturally, ideal for soft water fish.

Let us know the pH with the API liquid test; when testing tap water, out-gas the CO2 first. You can do this by letting a glass of water sit 24 hours, or by shaking some tap water very briskly for a couple minutes. Then test the pH. CO2 causes a lower pH because of the carbonic acid.

Hope this helps.

Byron.
 
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First thing, fisherton, is welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum, and the hobby.:cheers:

Having read through this thread, I tend to agree with most of it, but will offer a couple observations. And the first is that the Betta really is not a community fish. I know others have had them with other fish, etc, etc, but the fact remains--as every reliable ichthyological source will tell you--that they are best on their own. Not in a bowl, but a tank with some live floating plants. A 2-5 gallon tank would do well, as Betta are not active fish.

On the corys, most will not do well at higher temperatures such as Betta should have. Some cory species can manage in warmer temperatures, such as Corydoras sterbai, Corydoras leucomelas, and a few others; but most prefer it cooler, around 77-78F seems to work although there are some that would be better even lower down the thermometer. And the dwarf species are some of these. I have my Corydoras habrosus at 76F which is as high as I would go. And as someone mentioned, a larger group with the smaller species is better. In a 10g you could do 9-12 of one of these.

I agree with not combining platy and Betta, though as I said nothing should be forced into a Betta environment anyway.

To the water parameters. Knowing the GH, KH and pH of your source water (tap presumably) is essential. The GH and KH will not likely shift much in an aquarium unless something is done to specifically target it. The pH will tend to lower, but the KH acts as a buffer. Selecting fish suited to your source water is always easier because it means stability and ease of weekly water changes. But, depending upon the numbers and the intended fish, some adjustment is possible. I won't get into that as it is a complex issue, but my article might give you some background:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/freshwater-articles/water-hardness-ph-freshwater-aquarium-73276/

A GH of 100 ppm is about 6 dGH, and this is soft water. If you were to go with livebearers, this should be raised as they need the "hard" minerals like calcium and magnesium. But stay with soft water fish, and plants, and you are in a perfect position.

The KH (alkalinity) at 40 ppm is about 2 dKH, so this is not going to significantly buffer the pH which should lower naturally, ideal for soft water fish.

Let us know the pH with the API liquid test; when testing tap water, out-gas the CO2 first. You can do this by letting a glass of water sit 24 hours, or by shaking some tap water very briskly for a couple minutes. Then test the pH. CO2 causes a lower pH because of the carbonic acid.

Hope this helps.

Byron.
Maybe the best thing would be to suck it up and just get a like 3 gallon tank with a few simple plants in it for the betta. Honestly, this would be great because I can get back to using my 10gal as a tropical fish community and not have to worry about trying to force species to be compatible with a fish that isn't always friendly.
I had been thinking of about 6 tetra with some compatible tank mates.
The problem with that is that I just took a reading and my tapwater PH is high. It looks about 8.3!
my water website says:
Hardness, Total (as CaCO) 123 ppm
Alkalinity, Total (as CaCO3) 61 ppm
Not sure how this relates to my testing from earlier.
 

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Maybe the best thing would be to suck it up and just get a like 3 gallon tank with a few simple plants in it for the betta. Honestly, this would be great because I can get back to using my 10gal as a tropical fish community and not have to worry about trying to force species to be compatible with a fish that isn't always friendly.
This certainly would be best.:)

I had been thinking of about 6 tetra with some compatible tank mates.
The problem with that is that I just took a reading and my tapwater PH is high. It looks about 8.3!
my water website says:
Hardness, Total (as CaCO) 123 ppm
Alkalinity, Total (as CaCO3) 61 ppm
Not sure how this relates to my testing from earlier.
I had intended suggesting you get the numbers from the water supply people, and forgot:roll:, so I'm glad you thought of that. GH of 123ppm is about 7 dGH so that is still soft [by which I mean suitable for soft water fish].

The pH may still lower, one can't say for certain until the tank is running with plants and fish. They might be adding something to raise it too. Do they have any numbers for pH?
 

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Yes, I did not see it before but it says 9.5 pH units! is this the same type of measurement? The report from the water company is very thorough it seems, there are quite a bit of parameters on the chart.
Water Quality
Not sure what any of this really means!
 
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