Advice needed for betta tank mates and plants in a 36 gallon tank. - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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Advice needed for betta tank mates and plants in a 36 gallon tank.

Hi boys and girls! I hope all your fishy friends are healthy happy and thriving!

I wanted some advice on the setup of my 36 gallon tank.

Right now the aquarium is completely cycled on a PH of 7.3 with gravel, a planted small java fern (which btw doesnt do so good) and some java moss. Some scenery in the form of 2 rock formations an old victorian era battleship (an old broken down model of my father)sawed in half and... a cave.

Right now the only fish inside is my male betta and he feels like a king. I rescued him from a tiny petshop cup about a month ago.

The advice i want to ask is with what fish he would be willing to coexist. I had a look throughout the forum and it seems more or less a gamble but never the less i would like opinions.

I have nearly 20 years of experience with those fish: Angel fish, Oscar, yellow parrots, silver dollars clown loaches, sharks of all kinds, platys, cories, gambies, mollies, swordtails (those three i dont look forward too again), african butterflies, elephant fish and a cynodontis that lasted for 28 years!

So are any of those compatible? I know for example that Oscar parrots and are a no,no. So what are your ideas/advice for tank mates?

Also i would like a few ideas for plants, i am a beginner with this one, i dont seem to make even the fern grow :( . Not in the least are the silver dollars responsible for me never having live plants

So looking forward to your thoughts!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 09:38 AM
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Cories can go with a betta, and I believe most loaches can as well, but when choosing tank mates, you should also know your water hardness, along with the pH and having the tank cycled. I'm not sure about the temperature in Greece, but you might need a heater as well.

It sounds like you could use more plants and hiding spots for sure. You could always do fake silk or plastic plants. Live plants tend to need good lighting, and fertilizers. Someone else probably has better direction on which plants to buy! I don't have many, and I need to buy some fertilizers for my own :)

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
a planted small java fern (which btw doesnt do so good)
^ It's isn't doing so good because it's planted.

Java fern is an epiphyte - it grows on rocks, wood, like an orchid. Planted in the substrate, the rhizome will rot and yeah.. not so good. Pull it up and tie it to a rock or driftwoood by the rhizome with cotton, drop it back in. Give it a few weeks to recover, it'll be fine.

Anubias is another that grows well on wood or stone.

If you have lighting that's fine for plants, you could add some more clumps of java fern (the narrow leaf one is spectacular..) , banana lilies (nip the really leaf stems off to keep them thriving, float the nipped leaves for new plants..), elodea, hornwort, wisteria, peacock moss .. just try stuff. If it goes well, it goes well..

Some plants, however, like bulbs, lilies, swords, anything that isn't 'stemmy' so much as rosette or dense-rooted (root-feeders)- might need fert tabs around their roots now and then. I dose a little Flourish (NOT Excel) once a week, fish poo does the rest, for the stems (water-column feeders).

As for stocking.. if you're planning the tank around the betta, go for schools of peaceful fish that aren't long-finned or very colourful. Make sure the fish don't need high water flow (like loaches! <-- I learn by error..) or cooler temps than a betta likes.

I have a bristlenose catfish in with my wilds, so far so good. I know OldFishLady keeps community tanks, she'd be good to ask.

PLANTED TANKS: AKA UNDERWATER JUNGLES
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djembekah View Post
Cories can go with a betta, and I believe most loaches can as well, but when choosing tank mates, you should also know your water hardness, along with the pH and having the tank cycled. I'm not sure about the temperature in Greece, but you might need a heater as well.

:)
Tank is cycled, heated and its ph is a constant 7.3.

Temperatures here in Athens range from 20 Celsius in winter (seldomly it gets colder during december but inside a house it almost never drops below 18 and that you have to be unlucky) to 40-41 in summer. However as i said i have a heater and in summer there is air conditioning to keep the room of the tank to the appropriate temps.

So far so good i had a loach didnt knew they were schooling though, ill definitely get some and cories too. Thanks for the advice.

Aus thanks for the advice on the java fern. 20 years aquarist its the first time i have plants. The fern has a couple of its leaves gone totaly brown today, i think ill remove them and uproot it. I need to tie it with cotton as you said. Thanks for the advice. It made me wonder why it doesnt develop they said it grows way to fast. I have flourish from tetra (dont remember the exact name though and its way past midnight to search now, it doesnt harm the fish if i remember right?).

I got some java moss today. Do i let it settle on the tank on its own or do i tie/plant it somewhere?

Thanks for the advice guys, i might save the fern and make the aquarium more successful (and my betta more happy thus) thanks to you!

EDIT: Forgot to say that i have gravel as stratum. Around 2 cm each pebble.

Last edited by Pilot00; 07-28-2012 at 04:20 PM.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 05:07 PM
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Hi,
Im not too good with plants of any kind... OldFishLady is a pro with them though id ask here on any plant advice, and as far as my tankmate knowledge goes I've had cories, african dwarf frogs, platys, and tetras. Just thought to suggest OFL to you she is great with plants.

good luck,
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot Super Sly ill pm her at the fist opportunity. To be honest i dont look forward to have frogs in the tank i want it to be a fishy one, thought from what ive seen they are tons of fun!
I had platys in the past but i am worried since i plan to have some corries in there. I mean the platys grow to humongues sizes will it not endanger the corries at a later date?
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-29-2012, 06:56 AM Thread Starter
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I uprooted the java fern and let it settle freely on a rock formation i have. I hope it will recover.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-29-2012, 11:33 AM
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The java fern will be fine. It's happy to drift around or float. I have a single leaf a foot long that has about 30 babies weighing it down - the young plants grow out of spores on the back of the leaf, if you see brown spots that's what they are.

Java moss looks great tethered to a bit of driftwood, but it will eventually attach itself to whatever's near it - mine has grown onto bit of black gravel, so it weights itself wherever I want to move it.

Your water and weather are almost identical to those here in Melbourne, except our winter's a bit colder..

Loaches don't do well with betta tanks - depending on the species, but many love fast flowing water rather than slow-flow of the betta environment. My plakat killed one of loaches I put in his tank (on bad advice), and the other died of shock shortly after.

I have had better luck with a bristlenose catfish, though those do get quite big - I have him in my wild betta tank, and he seems very happy.

My smaller tank is just gravel, and so is my wild betta tank. Most low light plants will grow fine with 6500k lights and fish poo (if there's enough fish) but you can dose with Flourish once in a while too. If you have sword plants or lilies, root feeders like those, make sure to give them a root tab and they are happy to grow in gravel.

I think you should try some cryptocorynes too, and anubias (though that's another tethering plant) as they look wonderful with the javas and aren't hard to grow. Crypts do 'melt' a bit sometimes, like swords, when in a new tank but they come back okay.

The lights are the really important thing. If they're 6500K or thereabouts, they'll support plant growth okay.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-29-2012, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot for the advice it was most certainly useful!
The fern has brown spots on it for sure. However a couple of leaves are tottally brown and i fear they are dead. I will remove those tomorrow.

EDIT: I used tetra flora pride today to give the plants some boost.

http://www.agrizoostore.it/images/pr...LORA_PRIDE.png

Last edited by Pilot00; 07-29-2012 at 02:17 PM.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-29-2012, 03:27 PM
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I like to keep my bettas with tetras like the ember tetras, rummy nose tetras and cardinal tetras. I keep all my tanks with bettas at a nice 78*-80*, because that's where most fish and bettas can coexist. Most of the smaller tetras (with the torpedo bodies) will be great. Just watch out for fin nippers like black skirts. Also, most rasboras and danios will work out as well!

Corydoras are always great additions to any tank! I absolutely adore mine:) When they were in the same tank as my betta they always got along.

I just wouldn't do: cichlids or fin nippers. Those are large no-nos. But beyond that, it all depends on the betta!

The best way to help is to be forgiving. People aren't made with a book of ultimate information in their head. We need to inform, not insult; give advice, not lectures; and realize we're all human and we all make mistakes
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