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I want a community tank again!

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
OK, so I have one Betta. He's in a bowl that hangs on the wall, about a gallon. I didn't want an entire community tank as I had a bad experince with the last one. Basically, all my fish just died on me in one day! I felt so guilty I decided never to have anything other than a Betta again. So, how do I go about setting up the tank? I have a 5 gal, & (2) 10 gals....the two Gerbils are in the 20 gal, so that one is outta the question. I have a filter(maybe) & water heaters. I might have an air pump & stone as well.

What other fish get along with Bettas?
What fish are relatively easy to care for?
What sort of things do I need to treat the water?
What type of water should I use
How many fish can fit into a 5 gal tank?
......a 10 gal tank?
What things do I need to put in the tank?

Right now, I change part of the Bettas water every other day. I clean the bowl then, too. I feed him daily, but that's about all I do(I've only had the guy for a short while).
post #2 of 18
There's really not a whole lot you can do with a ten gallon tank and a betta unfortunately. I just recently put a Betta in my standby 10 gallon tank with 2 albino cory cats and a black mystery snail. The Betta loves the room and mystery snails are a hoot to watch (and the black ones and some other species don't breed asexually and over crowd your tank). Cory cats are some of my faves too, they are like the puppies of the aquarium world. Tons of fun!

Personally I wouldn't risk putting too much with Bettas, too many fish find their long beautiful fins too much fun to nip at. (Think of the fishing lures you've ever seen)

My little set-up is a joy to watch and pretty easy to take care of. You will need de-chlorinator to take the chlorine out of the tap water. Don't use filtered water, the fish need the minerals that are taken out of it. You'll need some test strips to keep an eye on your levels (nitrates, nitrites, amonia, ph) and make sure that your heater isn't too big for your tank. You don't want to cook your fishies!!

On mine, I do a 30 percent water change every week. That keeps all my levels in check. You'll find taking care of a well maintained tank is much easier (and better for the fish) than taking care of a bowl.

Don't forget to let the new tank cycle before adding your fishies, or you'll be in big trouble in no time. If you need some more info on cycling your tank, let me know and I'll dig up some good links that I have book marked!

On the same note, I also have a 55 gallon discus tank, and have found that the bigger the tank the easier it is to take care of too. Let me know if you have any more questions, and I'll try to answer!

Good luck and let us know what you decide!
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
I should add...I won't be using our tap water, it's rusty. I wouldn't dare put fish in that! What sort of water should I buy to fill the tank?

I really don't want to buy a bigger tank...I don't know that I have a good place to put a huge tank.

What can you tell me about Neon Tetras? They are so pretty & small, I thought maybe they'd be OK in a 10 gal with a Betta? I Cory Cats! I had two & they were just so awesome! There is no cooler fish on the planet.
post #4 of 18
Rusty tap water? Are you on well water then?

I would buy water that has the minerals added back to it (like Dasani does, but I don't know if you can get it in gallon jugs). Just make sure its not completely stripped of all the good stuff. In that case, you won't need dechlorinator.

I wasn't saying that you needed a bigger tank...but once you get the bug.....

Neon tetras might work out. You will need a school of them of course, if memory serves me right they max out at about an inch and bettas can be five inches long, so by the inch to gallon rule, you could have a small school of five! I would just watch them closely the first few days to make sure they don't nip. They are pretty peaceful so they shouldn't, but if they do you can always trade them back to your local fish store and go with something else. They are a lot of fun to watch too!

Cory cats are one of my favorites for sure!!
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Awww...crimeny! If I have the Betta(5"), then I can't have a Cory cat(how big do they get) as well as a school of Neons....& I don't want a single neon(they always look lonely...they're meant to be together).

Maybe I need another 20 gallon tank.... I'll have to see how much & what types of tanks I can find. What about a lid for the tank? I have a 20 gal lid.... And also....the water thing. We have well water. I know I can get drinking water, spring water, & distilled water. That's all I know of....would any of those work?
post #6 of 18
The albino corys can get 2 and a half inches, with the other species mostly growing just a bit bigger (some 4-6 inches). A twenty gallon would be perfect for a school of neons, a couple corys and your betta! That way you could get more neons for your school too!

You definitely need a cover, any fish can jump out when they get frisky.

About the water, I would guess that spring water would be best, but don't take that to the bank. I'm not a hundred percent sure since we use tap water for ours. I do use spring water to water my bamboo plant, and its growing like that would be my best guess.

ETA: I don't know about your wal-mart but here you can buy a 20 gallon tank (just the tank) for about 20 bucks...might be something to check into
post #7 of 18
I was thinking, you might want to check into Cardinal tetras instead of neons. They look very similar and only get about a 1/4 of an inch bigger. The reason being, despite rumors, Bettas really like a temp of 76-80 and so do the Cardinals. The neons however, prefer a temp in the lower 70s. Just a brain burp.
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
I just like the neons cuz they're so pretty!!! I'll hafta do more research on neons & cardinals. I think I had cardinals once & they were cranky buggers! Are they the ones with a red stripe or red markings...otheriwise they're white/clear ish?
post #9 of 18
Here's a link to some info on them, they resemble the neon a lot, just a tad bigger.

I'm actually looking for some of these for my Discus tank, but can't seem to find anything but the neons around here. The Discus need temps of 82-86 and these are one of the few tetras that can handle that, plus they relieve the stress of the shy discus. When the school is out, the Discus feel secure. Neons may do well at 78 or so, but I'm not sure.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well, I know I can get neons locally, I don't know about the cardinals. I'll have to do some looking around to see what I can find, then do some research on whats avaliable locally! Once I figure out what I want, I can set up the tank & once I'm ready, go get the fish!

Cardinals are not what I was thinking of, earlier, either. I just want something "hardy" case I mess something up a little bit while I'm getting the hang of things again. And not goldfish! I never got into the whole goldfish thing, I really don't much care for them!
post #11 of 18
I have had great luck with Bettas and other fish...

the list in the 3.5 gallon
one male with three white clouds and some ghost shrimp

9.5 gallon
betta male or female with three pracoex rainbows and a pitbull pleco...

you know your males personality , neons are good fish to house with bettas

Rule I use to stock a tank ... 1 inch per gallon( male betta about 3 inches) of mid leval swimmers and half inch for bottom and top swellers.. oh and like 10x pr hour filtration

9.5 gallon tank
two internal filter s one55 gph and the other 45 gph total 100 gallon per hour

I have most of the time
one male betta ( top dweller ) ( 3 inches)

3 r preacox (one 3-4 incher , one 3 inches one 2.4inches )(total about 9 inches)

various ram snails

one pitbull pleco ( he should be no more than 2 inches but I recently measured him at 3
post #12 of 18
just want to add that corys are also fish that need to be kept in a group 3-6 is best.
post #13 of 18
Originally Posted by Maxy24 View Post
just want to add that corys are also fish that need to be kept in a group 3-6 is best.

This is recommended, but I've always found they do just as well in pairs.

If she decides to go with a 20 gallon she'll have room for more anyway!
post #14 of 18
If you want the perfect corys for a ten gallon a pair or trio( i have doen both) ... Pygmeous corys ... max out about 1 inch
post #15 of 18
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
If you want the perfect corys for a ten gallon a pair or trio( i have doen both) ... Pygmeous corys ... max out about 1 inch
Hmmm....never seen those around here....runs off to do research
post #16 of 18
My fav community fish has always been the Dojo Loach. I love them! I have a 55 gal, 29 gal, 6 - 10 gals and a few small betta bowls up and running. The best place I have found for fish info has been

They even have a spot where you can find the fish you have and it'll tell you what's compatible with that fish. (My bettas have snails in with them or even ghost shrimp) Personally, I hate neon tetras. One little upset in your water and they can get sick fast. The cardinals are better, IMO, but for small fish I like Danios.

Here is the link for their profiles
You can go there, choose freshwater, the fish (like the Betta) you have, see it's profile then click "Find compatible species" and it'll let you know what you can keep with a betta.
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Maxy24 View Post
just want to add that corys are also fish that need to be kept in a group 3-6 is best.
Now that I didn't know!! Now I'm glad I asked! Thanks for the website ChrissyR...I'm definately going to have a look at that!!!

Man, I'm really excited. I think I'm gonna go price tanks & check out what fish I can find locally tomorrow before I get snowed in...this weekend could be perfect to let the tank "ferment" to get ready for fishies!!

ETA: stupid question, but how do I know what type of Betta I have? I know there was a specific name, but I honestly cannot remember what it was!
post #18 of 18
You likely have a veil tail if you got it at a pet store... betta spledens
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