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Old 03-01-2013, 10:18 AM   #1 
robinml
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Question betta community tank stocking

I am just purchasing a 55g tank and wish to make it a nice community tank and add my betta as he is only in a small 1g right now. What are the best tankmates (and numbers) I can put in with him? I am going to setup the community tank first then add him last so he does not get territorial first. Any ideas/advice is welcome. Thanks so much.
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Old 03-01-2013, 04:02 PM   #2 
Bombalurina
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When you do put him in, make sure the tank is super heavily decorate so that he doesn't freak out at being in a space more than 50x larger than he is in at the moment.

What tankmates you can have depends on your water parameters. For instance, if the water is hard with a high pH, cories and tetras won't like it, but if it is super soft and acidic, livebearers won't thrive. Find out the hardness and pH and get back to us. :)

A general rule to follow, once you know which fish will suit your water:
- not nippy
- not bigger than a betta
- not too colourful/long tailed
- enjoys water at 78F (so no danios or minnows)
- no other anabantoids (bettas and gouramis)
- no cichlids
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Old 03-01-2013, 04:48 PM   #3 
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I am thinking a PH around 6.5 with a school of 8-10 neon tetras, 6 corycats, 1 bristlenose pleco, 1 or 2 ghost shrimp and 1 or 2 nerite snails. Unsure of plant life yet. How does this setup sound? I'll still have his current tank as back up if community life doesn't work out and I'll get him his own larger tank down the road.
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:17 PM   #4 
Bombalurina
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It sounds extremely lightly stocked. :p In a 55 gal you could double that without wincing.

Again, check your water hardness - it can be just as determinative as pH, though since you have a slightly acidic pH it is probably softwater. :) Your species choice is therefore pretty good, working on that assumption. :) For more bottom-dwelling life, you could also look at kuhli or pakistani loaches, or have two schools of different cory species (though one large school would make the fish super happy).

For a bit more colour, consider looking at other kinds of tetra - glowlight, ember, cardinal and green should all work out. :) Personally, I think that people who turn their noses up at tetras are missing out on the beauty of a school of 20 cardinals.

I would also suggest using black substrate (sand is best for the cories), as black makes both plants and fish really pop. You'd have a truly beautiful display that way. :)
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