I'm gonna be getting an Aqueon 13 Gallon tank, and I wanted to turn it into a small community-type tank with a lone male betta as its "crown jewel". I've seen others recommend that because of its weird dimensions (24x8x16) it should be treated like a 10G in terms of bioload.
I've been looking at stocking guides and threads here on the forums and I'm...not sure I get it.
For example, say I'm stocking it with one betta and a school of 6 neon tetras. Is that considered to be fully-stocked, since on one of the threads it says that you can have one betta and six neons in a 10G tank? Might I be able to squeeze in another school of small fish, or perhaps a shrimp or two?
Similarly, one of the compatability guides says that you can have one bristlenose pleco in a tank that's 2.5 feet long. Assuming my tank was that length (it's not), does that mean that in that 2.5 foot tank, I could only have one betta and one pleco or else that tank would be overstocked? Or does that just mean that I couldn't have any more bottom-swimming fish?
Does the level that the fish prefers to swim at have any bearing whatsoever on stocking, or is it solely a matter of bioload? Let's say I wanted to stock a tank with a school of high-swimming fish, a singular middle-swimmer, and a bottom-feeding fish of some sort. (If I could think of any species I'd list them.) I realize that's horribly vague, but does it make sense, and if so, would that tank be properly stocked, since I'm not overpopulating any one area of the tank?
I want a lively tank, but I also want healthy fish! Help is appreciated!