Some time ago I thought to see again the watery part of the world (bad lit joke, there). The time was Dec 2008, and after a long (13+ year) absence from aquarium building, I thought I would start over again...pitched in with my two siblings to give my mother a Christmas present: bring up the old 10 gallon tank, clean it, soup it up with a new power filter and some fake coral reef decorations, and restock.
There's a few horror stories in between. In short, I learned the hard way about cycling and the truth about pond snails (they're all bad news). In March 2010, I decided to take up the growing trend of betta keeping. While the tank belongs to my mother still, I remain its slightly benevolent dictator-for-life, who makes all decisions related to the well being of the little underwater community.
In March, I bought a red fantail male Betta who passed away last month, most likely old age as he seemed to be in good health until the last several days. After he died, I rearranged the tank again - adding more gravel substrate and an abundance of plants (mainly anacharis and bananas) and stocked the tank with two females.
I plan to add more fish in the months to come, but largely my question is this: what is a reasonable number for a population of female bettas in a 10 gallon? (I assume that it should be an odd number) I also would like to add several non-betta tank mates, such as a Chinese Algae Eater or Ghostie to take care of messes, bearing in mind the inch-per-gallon rule. I would assume that every two weeks is a safe time frame to bring new tank mates in, allowing for bacteria levels to adjust?
I am grateful to find a site on betta-keeping, as i know LFS are acquiring bad raps and often give advice that's sometimes contradictory (at best.) Any of you amateur icthyologists out there, I'd love to hear from you - I'll put up some pictures of the tank soon! :)
JS in New Jersey