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Old 05-13-2012, 06:10 PM   #11 
Micho
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I would say to the Otos. :) Mainly because Otos are algae eaters and they rip through algae really fast, they need to be in a stable, cycled tank that's heavily planted.

You could do Cories though! Please remember that in order to house Cories you'll need a sand substrate, not gravel. :) You could house 8 Pygmy Cories easily. I wouldn't do an undergravel filter, and yes you will need a filter. In order to cycle the tank you'll need a filter and also filters are just needed if you want tankmates. I recommend the AquaClear 20 filter, even though it's recommended for 20g tanks. If you can't find Pygmy Cories, maybe Bronze, Sterbai, or Julii Cories could work too. :) 5 of them or so.
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Old 05-13-2012, 08:38 PM   #12 
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Regardless of whether or not you need a bottom feeder or algae eater (in this case Otos were mentioned), you still might want to keep corydoras in mind for tankmates. They are extremely peaceful, adorable, and full of personality. As for what Laki mentioned about the corydoras needing a school of 4+, that would be accurate.

Also keep in mind that Otos do need to have a source of food, that usually being algae and other supplemented foods. Otos can clean quite a bit of algae in only a matter of hours.

Ehh... should've mentioned earlier along with this post. For the corydoras you will want to feed them some sinking shrimp pellets and either algae wafers or frozen food (easily obtained from local pet stores) for variety.

Last edited by Rosso1011; 05-13-2012 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 05-13-2012, 10:07 PM   #13 
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The more I think about what kind of tank I want, the fewer fish I'm adding with my Betta XD I started with quite a number of fish in mind, then reduced the number to just the Cories and Otos with the Betta. Now I'm down to just the Betta! Considering I've never really tried my hand at having an aquarium, I might start with a simple ~5 gallon tank with just a single Betta with a few plants and deco. After looking through a thread that went into some detail on plants, I was thinking just some Java moss and an Anacharis or two. I know Petco has a bunch of different Anubias, but I didn't really see the other two (I was looking online, so in-store might be different). They had lots of fake plants, but if live plants help the tank-life, then that's definitely what I want to try for.

With time, I'll probably upgrade to a larger tank and will start putting in other fish like Otos, Cories, and Tetras. But... for now, it will probably be best to start with just a ~5 gallon and one fish. Then, when I upgrade, the ~5 gallon can be a large quarantine tank for my new fish if/when I get them.

I'm having a hard time finding a suitable Petco or Walmart aquarium for a Betta. I don't think I'd want something as small as a 2.5 gallon (which are their 'Betta' tanks), but I don't know if the filters on the other kits on the Petco website would be too strong for a Betta? Being pretty much broke at the moment, I really want to be careful with the equipment I buy. I'm very big on not wasting my money when it comes to hobbies and other such things. It tends to make me stress out, but I usually figure things out in the end XD So, I'm feeling a bit lost right now going through all the different aquariums and such on Walmart and Petco's websites. There just doesn't seem to be enough information on all of the aquariums to give me an idea if they'd be adequate for a Betta without risking its life with the filtration system.

One thing that came to mind while I was browsing around... would I need an air pump system? I think I read somewhere that Betta's actually have a hard time breathing the dissolved oxygen in the water, and usually take a few gulps of air from just above the waterline. Is this true?
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Old 05-13-2012, 10:14 PM   #14 
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Nothing wrong with starting off with just a Betta. :) That's what I did, started off with those lousy Betta tanks which doesn't even hold a gallon, upgraded immediately to a 2 gallon, with a heater and all that jazz. Later down the road got a 10 gallon tank set for a cheap price, then upgraded my Betta to a 2.5g for more swimming room.

I'm sure there are those 5 gallon tank kits out there. Just look for them, brands like Tetra and Top Fin make them extra cheap, I know Marina is pretty expensive as well along with other brand names. Try looking online as well, secondhand tanks are way cheaper and all you gotta do is give them a good cleaning and it'll be brand new. :P

And yes, where Bettas come from they live in shallow rice paddies with little to no oxygen in the water, so they have a labyrinth organ, which allows them to breathe surface air. They won't need those bubblers like Goldfish do. :)
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Old 05-13-2012, 10:22 PM   #15 
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Originally Posted by LittleWatty View Post
Well, if I have a under gravel filter, I suppose I won't need the Cories to clean up the mess XD would that few Otos keep the algae in check, do you think? Or should I up the ante a bit?
Just want to bust this myth for you. :) Catfish don't make your tank cleaner. Sure, they eat leftover food, but you also need specific food for them. They won't eat waste, but they will produce it. Just like with any fish, the add to the total amount of waste produced in a tank, and definitely can't replicate the job of a filter. :)

In terms of filters, an internal or HOB filter is going to be a lot less mess and fuss than a UG.

Definitely wouldn't go with otos. They are sensitive little critters and hard to keep. If you want an algae eater, go with a nerite snail, but really, you shouldn't need one. It's is best to deal with algae with a sponge and your own strength, rather than adding extra bioload to the tank. :)

I would recommend cories though - gorgeous little critters!
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Old 05-13-2012, 10:40 PM   #16 
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My questions to all of you are:
1) What would you say is the best tank setup? A small 2-3gal tank, or upwards of 10gal? I think 5 gallon is the magic number for a betta. It's big enough for less maintenance, but its small enough to have a very gentle filter that is still strong enough for the tank size.
2) Would a community tank be recommended? I would recommend just a betta. Much easier.
3) If so, what are the best fish possible? (Neon Tetras? Bristlenose Plecos?)
- along those lines, are Bristlenose Plecos the smallest pleco? Would it be fine in a 10gal tank?
- should I quarantine these fish? If so, how?
4) Live plants or fake plants? Fake plants are a little less maintenance, but live plants help with the water quality
- Any specific plant recommendations? I dont know, never had them.
5) Do they need freshwater, saltwater, or doesn't it matter? They definately need freshwater.
6) What kind of of water conditions? - pH, hardness, etc. I think 6-8 is okay. soft to hard is okay, ammonia ideally 0, nitrites ideally 0, nitrates below 40ppm
- if my tap water isn't sufficient, how can I alter it or what other water source should I use? Just put water conditioner in the tapwater. Seachem Prime is highly recommended by many.
- best ways of testing my tap to see if it is adequate? (would Petco test my water for me?) A liquid test kit like the "API freshwater test kit"

7)Does anyone have anyone have any tank/heater/filter combo recommendations? Keep in mind I don't have a lot of money to spend on equipment and fish. The best possible compromise between price and quality would be great. Links would also be great! (I've got a Petco near here, so if you have a Petco link, that would be awesome)
http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...26amp%3B+Bowls

http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...3B+Circulation

http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...ductId=4282556

OR
http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...ductId=2752191
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Old 05-13-2012, 10:50 PM   #17 
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Originally Posted by LittleWatty View Post
I'm having a hard time finding a suitable Petco or Walmart aquarium for a Betta. I don't think I'd want something as small as a 2.5 gallon (which are their 'Betta' tanks), but I don't know if the filters on the other kits on the Petco website would be too strong for a Betta? Being pretty much broke at the moment, I really want to be careful with the equipment I buy. I'm very big on not wasting my money when it comes to hobbies and other such things. It tends to make me stress out, but I usually figure things out in the end XD So, I'm feeling a bit lost right now going through all the different aquariums and such on Walmart and Petco's websites. There just doesn't seem to be enough information on all of the aquariums to give me an idea if they'd be adequate for a Betta without risking its life with the filtration system.
Just need to know real quick if you have a Petsmart near you. I know of a tank that comes with most everything, with the exception of food and a heater that runs $20 - $30, if I remember correctly. I think Walmart may actually have a fairly reasonably priced 5 gallon kit that comes with a filter and you can get a heater there fairly cheap as well. I just wouldn't recommend the food they carry there (just my personal opinion).
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Old 05-14-2012, 07:53 AM   #18 
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There's a Petsmart in a city about 20 miles away, maybe a bit more. If I can't find anything at Petco or Walmart, I'll probably check out the Petsmart. I do know I'm going to a TJMaxx up there for some trinkets after I move in, so maybe I'll stop by then :)

Thank you all for all your help so far!
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:36 AM   #19 
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Petsmart generally has better stuff than petco. But I found a 2.5 gal kit at petco for 10 dollars less. I'd recommend calling before you go to check out prices, instead of running all over. =3

(I have all the petsmarts/petcos/walmarts/other local fish/pet stores saved as contacts in my phone. lol )
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Old 05-14-2012, 04:28 PM   #20 
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If you find a cheap kit great! Keep in mind, most kits come with the filter, not a heater. Since a filter is not necessary for bettas anyway in a small tank, you could save money by buying a kritter keeper and a cheap 16$ heater. Dollar stores have decorations (silk plants in the craft section) and in the pet isle. I did one of my setups for 40$ fish included.
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