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Old 09-23-2012, 08:41 PM   #1 
notsabrina
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Question Tetra questions for a community tank noob

Hello everyone!

Last Tuesday I purchased a 10 gallon tank that came with a hood and the Tetra Whisper 10i Filter. I also got super lucky and bought a brand new in packaging, adjustable heater for only $3 dollars from a lady on Craigslist!

Right now I'm doing a fishless cycle using fish flakes, and I seeded the tank with a fake plant, stones, and some gravel from my 5 gallon. I also squeezed water from the filter into the new filter. In terms of decor, I currently have white gravel and fake driftwood. I plan on mixing silk plants with java fern and water wisteria.



I've been looking into different kinds of tank mates and I have wondered about several tetra species. My first question would be:
  • Would any kind of tetra be good tank mates with a betta fish? My boyfriend loves neon tetras, as do I, but I've also taken into liking black tetras, green tetras, and harlequin rasboras (I know, not tetra lol).
My second question is:
  • After I've decided which fish I want to have, what do I add first: the betta or the school? How long should I wait before adding the other?
And my last question:
  • If I also added ghost shrimp, would the bioload be too much for a 10 gallon? Would 1 betta, 6-7 tetra, and 5 ghost shrimp be overstocking the tank?
Thank you so much for any input! I know I asked a lot of questions. This will be my first community tank, so I want to make sure it's done right. Bettas are SO addicting! I love my blue halfmoon and can't wait for my second!

Last edited by notsabrina; 09-23-2012 at 08:49 PM.
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Old 09-24-2012, 01:54 AM   #2 
Onlyonagoodday
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Hi there!
Not all tetras will work. Some tetras like black skirt tetras are notorious fin nippers. You might want to look up information on the specific species, some have a tendency towards nipping bettas, as the tetras are must faster than the bettas. I have never heard about nippy rasboras, however. You will want to add the school first because they need more time to adjust and settle in, finding hiding places, etc. Shrimp have a very low bioload, so I don't think that would be too much. If you want to find out the filtration capacity for your specific filter go to aqadvisor.com
About the java fern, beware that it cannot be planted directly in the substrate, it needs to be tied to something, I made this mistake and I will have to do some tank rescaping :\
I just did my first community tank too with a school of tetras, there are still things I'm figuring out about keeping a community tank but it's a pretty fun process. I had to do plenty of research, and this site is a great resource. Keep up the cycling, it takes forever, but its worth it.
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:14 PM   #3 
notsabrina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onlyonagoodday View Post
Hi there!
Not all tetras will work. Some tetras like black skirt tetras are notorious fin nippers. You might want to look up information on the specific species, some have a tendency towards nipping bettas, as the tetras are must faster than the bettas. I have never heard about nippy rasboras, however. You will want to add the school first because they need more time to adjust and settle in, finding hiding places, etc. Shrimp have a very low bioload, so I don't think that would be too much. If you want to find out the filtration capacity for your specific filter go to aqadvisor.com
About the java fern, beware that it cannot be planted directly in the substrate, it needs to be tied to something, I made this mistake and I will have to do some tank rescaping :\
I just did my first community tank too with a school of tetras, there are still things I'm figuring out about keeping a community tank but it's a pretty fun process. I had to do plenty of research, and this site is a great resource. Keep up the cycling, it takes forever, but its worth it.
Thanks for replying! I'm leaning towards neon tetras or harlequin rasboras. You're right it's a lot of research, and other user's hit or miss with neons makes me think I should be safe and get rasboras. But I still have plenty of time to think about it. Thanks for referring me to aqadvisor, helped a lot!!!! I'm aware about the java fern when I read up on it on a planted thread. I plan on just getting one and tying it to my drift wood, and see where it goes from there.
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Old 09-25-2012, 07:28 PM   #4 
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No problem! Harlequins are very pretty fish, I looked at getting them for my 10 gallon tank, although I found there's a lot less information available. Oh I'm glad! Aqadvisor is a great resource, although I'd take it with a grain of salt - stocking all the way up to 100% is usually overstocking. Yeah, java fern are very pretty plants. Good for you for doing your research, I had (and still have) absolutely no idea about how to care for plants. It's fun to think about your options while your tank is cycling. It makes the boring part more bearable.
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Old 09-27-2012, 06:51 AM   #5 
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Onlyonagoodday is giving you some great advice. But check whether your water is hard or soft. Some fish do better in soft, such as neons and most tetras, but some to better in hard, such as platies, guppies, and mollie, and others don't mind. If you have soft, neons would be a better option, and for hard, harlequins. :)
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Old 09-27-2012, 04:03 PM   #6 
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Thats also some great advice, I totally forgot!
On another note, where did you get your driftwood thats in your tank? I am looking for something similar.
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:56 PM   #7 
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Onlyonagoodday, ever since you told me about aqua advisor I've been on it checking compatibility and stocking numbers. It makes me want to add a new betta right away haha! I did get one java fern and tied it onto a small rock. The only cotton strings I own are my mom's threads for sewing, and I wasn't sure if the dyes would bleed into the water. So I tied it with a small rubber band instead. It looks great with my large leafy silk plants, and I def want to add more real plants!! As far as my drift wood, it's fake :( it was about $13 at Petsmart and also came in a browner more natural color. If you want inexpensive real driftwood check sellers on Craigslist! I've seen a lot of sellers in my area who've collected driftwood and were selling them for $5.

Maisy, thanks for replying! My water is hard and I've actually grown into liking harlequins more than neon tetras, which works out! Neons are very pretty, but its too much of a risk for fin nipping as I fancy halfmoon bettas a whole lot. The petsmart in my area restocked a lot of fish, and had a full tank of harle's schooling around. Looked great!
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Old 09-28-2012, 10:10 PM   #8 
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I just added 6 Cardinal tetras to my planted, gravel based tank today...so far so good. Neither my betta or the tetras have been bothering each other, but only time will tell. I do have a lot of plants in there though.
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Old 09-28-2012, 10:17 PM   #9 
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Here's an updated picture of my tank with my harlequin rasbora (sorry the picture is gigantic, uploaded with my cell phone - can resize later). I may have jumped the gun a little bit and bought a school of 6.... =x
Added: 2 medium silk plants, black stones, java fern, and Marimo moss ball.


Bettanewbie, congrats on the cardinal tetras! What low maintenance plants would you recommend? I want to add water wisteria and other plants to my tank in the future.
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Old 09-28-2012, 10:22 PM   #10 
Bettanewbie60
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I have some Bacopa Carolinian, Cabomba, and Anacharis in my tanks...I use a $10 grow light from Walmart, and so far my plants are doing very well. I have not added fertilizers or CO2...I just let the fish waste, and dropped food feed the plants. This tank has been planted for a month...the cave/plant in the center on the left is the only fake plant in there..
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