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Old 03-16-2013, 12:21 PM   #1 
percyfyshshelley
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Location: Alberta, Canada
New 60 gallon today

Hello. Today I'm driving two hours up to Calgary to pick up a tank I purchased on kijiji (ie Canadian Craigslist). For $200 I'm getting a 60 gal tank, stand, a couple fluval filters, a heater, a hood, and some other stuff. It seemed like a good deal so hopefully it will work out.
I've actually been wanting and planning for a community tank for about two years... Doing research I decided bigger was better and decided on something between 45-55 gal and then this deal presented itself. So originally I was planning on a basic community tank with something like khuli loaches, roasboras, a gourami and maybe another school of fish. Then I discovered bettas...... Lol. So now I'm wondering about a sorority tank.
I am new to bettas. I currently have ten males, all in filtered, cycled (well, two in uncylced but just about to go into cycled) heated tanks from 4gal to 8 gal in size. I LOVE my fish! I have a career (involving animals, of course) that keeps me busy, but other than that, I do have a lot of free time to devote to my fish and other pets (two dogs and a rabbit).
I've done a LOT of reading about sororities on this forum and I feel like I could handle it. Of course I have to get the tank, clean and sterilize everything, set it up, plant it (I plan to have lots of plants), cycle, etc. so it will be quite a while before I start adding any livestock, but I want to start planning for that.
I will have more specific questions I'm sure as this progresses but for now I'm wondering..
What should I put in this tank?!
Options:
1.) community with schooling fish, bottom dwellers, and a gourami, no bettas
2.) sorority
3.) sorority/community combo (minus the gourami)

I understand the risks of a sorority and I think I can handle it but I don't want to get in over my head and have a disaster. What do you guys think? One more question, what is a good number of female bettas for a 60 gal?

Thanks guys and sorry for the lengthy post! And hopefully this is posted in the correct forum?
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:05 PM   #2 
Karebear13
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wow how exciting! what is your career if you don't mind me asking? looking into jobs with animals?

I would say go with a community/ sorority tank! Since the tank is going to be huge you can put a good variety in there!
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:32 PM   #3 
percyfyshshelley
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Thanks for the reply karebear! Yes that's kinda what I was leaning towards myself...
I'm a vet! Mostly dogs and cats, but also cows and horses, and the occasional rabbit, ferret, goat, alpaca, etc. kinda wondering if I should've gone into aquaculture medicine now, lol.
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:41 PM   #4 
Karebear13
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that is cool! I used to work for a vet office and loved it!

Don't worry you should get more replies! a lot of people don't respond much on weekends but this really is a great forum with lots on people with great advice. Im sure you can also get a lot of good information by browsing other people's posts.

I think that tetras, khuli loaches, and cory fish are really great fish for a community tank
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Old 03-16-2013, 04:51 PM   #5 
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I would definitely go for a sorority-community, if you feel prepared. :) It's a bit scary to start with, but the amount of colour, personality and activity in the tank makes it completely worth it. I have one of my own and I adore it - I wish I could spend hours looking at it!

There are a couple of important considerations when getting community fish to go with a sorority:
- make sure they are fish that will be happy with your water hardness and pH (e.g. tetras prefer soft, acidic water)
- make sure they are fast enough to get out of the way if a betta takes objection to them
- make sure they aren't big enough to harass the bettas

In my tank (very soft water, pH 6.5) I have ember tetras, which I have found to be perfect betta-mates (small, like to just chill unless they are disturbed, not at all nippy) and Endler's Livebearers (which do better in hard water, but mine have been locally bred over multiple generations in progressively softer water each time to help them adapt), and cories (also great betta-mates due to their bottom-dwelling, peaceful habits, and relatively large size).
These fish provide an absolute riot of colour - orange tetras, rainbow livebearers and my beautiful girls, all of whom really pop against my planted background. :)

Your idea of loaches and rasboras is a good one if you have the water for it! :)
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:57 PM   #6 
percyfyshshelley
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Bombalurina, yes I like my idea of roasboras and loaches to, except that my water is quite hard. Duh. Forgot about that. Thank you for reminding me! I haven't tested hardness yet, but I'm sure it's hard. The ph runs around 8. So I suppose I should be considering mollies and such. Are cories ok in hard water? Will the bettas water be too warm for them? I may start a separate thread for betta fish compatibility with hard water fish...
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:19 AM   #7 
Bombalurina
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One thing I have noticed with my tank is that the top of the tank stays warm, at about 80, but down the bottom it is noticeably cooler, so my cories have been ok so far.

Seriouslyfish says that the more common types of cories (bronze, peppered etc) are able to live in hard water well enough. Their native water is soft, but they've been bred so much that they are able to live in it (I think). I'd PM Hallyx - she's super knowledgeable about this kind of thing. :)

If you want a stunningly beautiful livebearer that is a little different to the norm, consider Endlers. The females look like colourless guppies, but have very endearing faces, and the males are tiny rainbows. I adore mine. :) They are quite prolific, but my sororities have seemed to act as population control. They will cross-breed with guppies, though, so it's best to either have them *or* guppies.

I think hatchetfish are also an option, if you have a good lid. I believe there are also a number of Australian/PNG fish like spotted blue-eyes that prefer harder water, though I could be wrong (this is just off the top of my head). Glassfish (sadly, often dyed by money-hungry people looking to appeal to people who can't understand the natural beauty of these fish) and some killies are also options.

This is a pretty good article on hardness and fish that do well in hard water: http://wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwhardness.htm. :)
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:01 AM   #8 
percyfyshshelley
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Thank you for the helpful info! I'll check out the link right now. I've been googling but I get a lot of articles about cichlids lol. Prob not the best for bettas! Ah glass fish. Hadn't even considered that. I love those guys. My LFS has un-dyed ones. I'll look into endlers too. Good to know about the cories... They are so cute I'd love to have a school.
Well I guess you're starting your day down there... Midnight up here so I'm off to bed even though I want to start right in on cleaning my new tank! (wish I felt the same about cleaning my house lol.)
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:49 PM   #9 
percyfyshshelley
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Quick update, the 60 gal turned out to be a 40 gal, whi h I realized when I got it home, it looked a little small, and then I measured it. Oh well that's ok. It's really tall, too, and I don't really love it, but I can still use it for something I'm sure! So I ended up getting a fluval studio which is 33 gal, and I'm planning a sorority with some cories and possibly endlers.
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:14 PM   #10 
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maybe you can make the 40 gallon into a cichlid tank! idk if that is big enough cause I know nothing about them but I think cichlids are wonderful especially the rams!
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