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Old 05-27-2012, 05:43 AM   #21 
Bombalurina
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AqAdvisor just hates bettas. It doesn't want you to keep ANYTHING with them. Ignore its silly face. If your betta can tolerate any community fish, it can tolerate a pleco.

Platies prefer hard water - have a look at larger tetras. I don't know if congo tetras would be too big, but they could be an option.
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Old 05-27-2012, 06:33 AM   #22 
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The congo tetras should be healthy in a tank of that size. However I think emperor tetras would be better, since they don't get as big. I am considering getting two types of tetra schools, both schools numbering 6-8 fish in each. As long as they aren't aggressive fin nippers there shouldn't be much of a problem?
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Old 05-27-2012, 07:11 AM   #23 
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A lot of tetras are fin nippers. I know for a fact that neons and cardinals are. My betta's fins were horrible after that...lol he's ok now.
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Old 05-27-2012, 07:48 AM   #24 
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Congo tetra are much too big to live with a betta. They are also extremely active, which stresses out betta.

I'm going to stop you now. You have "interesting" water to say the least. In nature water is almost always soft and acidic or hard and basic. Clearly not here. The big drawing line with pH is 7. Some fish can go under and above 7, usually not by much though.
In soft water your platies could have silme coat issues that lead to more health problems.
A few things. First, leave some water out for 24 hours. Test the pH again. This will determine whether your carbonate hardness (kH) is low as well. There are cities that have acidic water which is bad for the pipes, so they pump up the pH without changing the kH. If the kH is low your pH will drop slowly until a certain point. If this happens I'd test the water until the pH is stable.

If you truely have this odd water though, you have some interesting options for the tank, and I'm not sure if they're 100% tried and true betta safe with a long finned male.

Raising hardness is always an option. Or lowering pH which is a bit trickier.
But first do the pH testing.
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:04 AM   #25 
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Found a mix I am happy with. 1 betta plakat if avaiable, 1 BN pleco, 6 kuhli loach, 8 galaxy rasboras and 8 emperor tetras. According to AqAdvisor this puts 57% bioload on the tank and it will need 15% water changes weekly. Am I overpopulating the tank or is it a good amount of fish for a 53 gallon tank?

EDIT: Will have to do some tests on the water then.

Last edited by Yschen; 05-27-2012 at 08:10 AM.
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:17 AM   #26 
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Galaxy rasbora are micro fish and would literally stress to death with larger fish like betta. Best kept on their own. They are one of those rare soft water high pH fish, but not betta safe.

In such a light stocking- if you plant it well with live plants you can get away with 30-40% weekly. Without live plants I'd probably do 50%.

Sorry if you feel like I'm just coming down on you derailing all your plans.
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:23 AM   #27 
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No that's okay, I'd rather have a stable enviroment :).
However my parents and many of my friends have kept fish here without to much trouble after cycling their tanks.

I thought I had overpopulated the tank and it's on a light load. I am really surprised.

50%?! Wow is this because the tank is assumed to not be heavily planted or is there another reason?
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:36 AM   #28 
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It's good that you are willing to take the time to have a stable environment, it's a good quality for an aquarist to have.

Well some people will argue that on a cycled tank you want to keep low on water changes to not disturb the system. In truth it seems that the system is helped by larger water changes, as they remove things we can not measure, fish pheromones and toxins we may never know are in the tank. Water changes should have little effect on actual water chemistry, and you are not removing the bacteria, there is no reason that it is a bad thing.
I do "40%" changes on my tank weekly. Reason for the brackets is that I'm usually so carried away in trying to get all the muck out that it ends up being a 50-60% change.
Your water changes are your own decision. You could do 30-40% on an unplanted tank with no noticeable consequences, it's a personal choice really. It's also a light stocking so a smaller amount is doable.
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Old 05-27-2012, 12:37 PM   #29 
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Instead of the micro fish you could do cherry barbs! They are peaceful and very hardy, they can live in almost any water as well, so I would say get them.

Just a heads up. Your loaches need sand as they burrow into it, so if you are getting gravel or have gravel find something else. If you have a hone depot, they sell play sand that is completely aquarium safe, I use it and many other people on here as well, it is like $5 for 50 pounds.

Petco and Petsmart both sell plakats, they should be labled plakat, or at Petsmart dragon. Dragons have metallicy scales. Hard to describe easy to tell. All of petsmarts plakata should be dragons though.
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Old 05-27-2012, 01:21 PM   #30 
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Just noticed you are in Sweden!
It's my natural assumption that everyone here is in the States, lol. We don't have Petco in Canada but everyone here says they have plakat varieties.
The fish hobby is pretty strong in Europe though so you should be able to find some nice fish if you live in a larger town.
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