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Old 02-26-2011, 07:52 PM   #1 
Moldau
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Talking Contemplating Betta-centered Community Tank

I have a spare 20 gallon, and I have been wanting to do something interesting with it. One idea I really like is to have a community tank with a betta as the "centerpiece" fish. If I do this, I know that the betta will have to be separated from the other fish if he can't get along with them. I would make sure to minimize the chances of this by providing lots of cover and putting the betta in last.

This may be a dumb question, but is there anyway to predict at the store which bettas are more likely to get along with tankmates? Do bettas that seem to flare a lot at the betta in the next cup tend to be more aggressive in general? Just wondering if there was a way to predict that.

The water where I live is very hard and alkaline (pH about 8.2) and I have had trouble keeping tetras that require softer water, such as neons. Anyway, here is what I am thinking in terms of stocking:
1 male or female betta
7 of some kind of schooling fish (from what I've read, bloodfin tetras might be a good option because they are high pH tolerant and don't seem to be fin-nippers. I also like the idea of harlequin rasboras but I've read they need softer water so I'm hesitant to try them)
5 pygmy cories (I like what I've read about them on this site but it seems that they might have trouble in hard water. I don't know much about them at this point. Also, the tank already has gravel and they would probably be happier with sand)
3 nerite snails

If anyone has other suggestions for stocking or suggestions in general, I would love to hear them!
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Old 02-26-2011, 09:18 PM   #2 
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Hatchetfish! Search common, silver, or marble hatchetfish. I wouldn't do corydoras without sand, but a bristlenose pleco would be great.
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Old 02-27-2011, 06:23 AM   #3 
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Harlies will be fine. Hengelis and espeis also work. Trouble is they look almost similar with the harlies but all three still work absolutely fine.

Is your gravel fine or coarse? If fine, you can try corydoras. Kuhli loaches, clown plecos and bristlenose plecos are definitely good alternatives. If you opt to try plecos, the clown will need driftwood. The BN pleco loves it although it is not a necessity.

If you wish to try nerite snails, please make sure you have adequate and constant supply of green, brown and red algae as they will refuse anything else. It's difficult to get accustomed to vegetables and vegetable-based gel foods (except perhaps the pea-flavored one). My last nerites were able to eat black brush algae but I don't suggest introducing BBA as it is a PITA once it establishes in the tank.
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:59 PM   #4 
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Thanks for the replies. I am still reluctant to try the rasboras because of the pH/water hardness thing, though they sound like a great choice otherwise.

The gravel is coarse, but smooth and fairly flat. Could cories or kuhlis live happily in a tank with this kind of gravel?

Also, thanks for the tip about the nerites. This tank has been established for years, but it will be empty this spring when we clean the pond for the goldfish. Is it safe to assume that there is enough algae for nerite snails, or do I need to check for particular kinds of algae?
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:22 AM   #5 
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Corydoras really prefer sand, as well as kuhli loaches. A BN placo would be better.
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:47 AM   #6 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moldau View Post
Thanks for the replies. I am still reluctant to try the rasboras because of the pH/water hardness thing, though they sound like a great choice otherwise.

The gravel is coarse, but smooth and fairly flat. Could cories or kuhlis live happily in a tank with this kind of gravel?

Also, thanks for the tip about the nerites. This tank has been established for years, but it will be empty this spring when we clean the pond for the goldfish. Is it safe to assume that there is enough algae for nerite snails, or do I need to check for particular kinds of algae?

Your rasboras will be fine. I've kept them with no issues in pH of 8.0. I don't understand anyone trying to advise lowering the pH unnecessarily unless you are attempting to breed them or get wild-caught specimens which is another story.

I don't think I get your last paragraph.
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:23 PM   #7 
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Alright, I will stay away from cories and kuhlis then. I am glad to hear the rasboras should be fine in this water, because they sound like great fish.

Haha, now that I've reread the last paragraph I see why it didn't make sense. To explain, there is a common goldfish in the tank temporarily. I want to wait until spring to clean the outdoor pond and put the goldfish in it. At that time, I will also get some more goldfish for the pond for this one to live with. I will then convert the empty 20 gallon to a tropical tank. The nice thing is that it will already be cycled. I was asking if there is probably enough algae in that tank for nerite snails to eat since it has been established for a while, or do they need a specific type of algae?
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Old 03-04-2011, 05:40 AM   #8 
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They're not picky when it comes to algae. Mine ate green algae, red algae, brown algae, etc. The exception is the toxic blue-green algae. It's not algae but cyanobacteria. If you think you don't have adequate supply of algae, it's easy to culture them anyway. Do you know how to? Let me know so I can help on this.
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Old 03-04-2011, 09:09 AM   #9 
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Don't you culture algea by putting stones in a container full of water in bright sunlight then putting the stones in the tank once their is algea?
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Old 03-04-2011, 06:00 PM   #10 
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Originally Posted by shinybetta View Post
Don't you culture algea by putting stones in a container full of water in bright sunlight then putting the stones in the tank once their is algea?
Exactly. I was in a hurry then and could not think of a way to shorten it. My brain gets busy making long compositions all the time.
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