The Story: I will be moving in a year to a larger place and the place I will be going to has enough space for a nice 10-15gal fish tank. While pricing the supplies I would need at my local Walmart, I found Gus. He was a pitiful little Metallic Veiltail Betta in a little cup of water that was more urine than water (pic can be seen in my album). He was pale, dull colored, ammonia burned, and had a bad case of fin rot, but he ran up to the edge of the cup and bumped up against it every time I came close or talked. He didn't do it to a single other person that passed by, just me. How could I resist? He had to come home with me. I couldn't afford a large tank, the extra accessories, the upkeep price for a large tank, or even have a place to put the heavy thing if I got it, so I got a 1.5 gal tank. He has recovered beautifully since the month I had him and is a happy and healthy baby Betta. However, I don't want him to spend the next year all alone, so I was hoping to get him a tankmate.
The Facts: The tank is 1.5 gal with a plastic plant (his bed), a small rock, and 2/3 inch of gravel making water volume closer to 1 gal. Everything (including gravel) was soaked in a weak vinegar solution and thoroughly rinsed before being placed, so there are no dyes or foreign chemicals floating around. It has a Tetra filter made for 3 gal and the tank is still being broke in. The tank gets a partial water change every week and has a hood with light. I am still shopping for a heater for it, but having trouble finding one for a tank that small! (would love suggestions for that too if yall don't mind). Gus is about 6 months and has recovered from his experience save for a small scar on his head and a tad of freying on the edge of his fins where he is still recovering from ammonia indued fin rot. He is active, colorful, and has a light and feeding schedule. He is fed Tetra BettaMin and is not overfed. His mouth is very small (unable to even gulp down a small fly that landed in his bowl, which he then just chased around
) and he doesn't "puff up" at anything, even my dog! He prefers to "play" with my minpin through the glass, so I feel he has a good temperament for a Betta.
The Question: Considering the size of the environment, the level of care given to the environment, the filter, and the tankmate, what would be a good fish or invertebrate to place in the tank with him? I feel it would provide enrichment to his little life and would like some options to research. I am leaning towards some type of Cory Cat (would help suggestions on which one) or a pair of small Loaches like Kulli (I would have to get a pair of Loaches as one Loach would die without another Loach). Any suggestions are welcome and the more information, the better. With a tank as small as mine, something that can take temperature fluctuation and breath air is preferred, but not an absolutely required field.
Additional Information: The original tank setup I had planned for the large tank was a female Betta, 2 Cory Cats, and 3+ Loaches. My best friend is a fish expert who has an aquarium for years and currently cares for two 30gal tanks and one 10gal bully tank (she keeps fish in it that were showing signs of aggression or "bully" behavior in her main tanks), so I have someone to help me during a tank emergency or just to answer everyday questions. I included so much information because when I googled it and found posts by people who have asked a similar question in other fourms, they were chastised for having a Betta in a tank that was less than 5gal. I hope I made it clear with all the crazy details that my Betta is well cared for, healthy, and loved and that I can handle an overburdened tank so that I can get some good and informed suggestions.