I have a 25 gallon sorority and wanted to get some form of tank mates for my girls. I had two mystery snails, but my girls did not like them and would often try to bite them and my snails stopped crawling around as much so I moved them to my other community tank. I'm open to ideas on what else would work in my tank. I'd love something with a small bioload. It's planted as well if that makes a difference. Thanks in advance!
I'd go with some small cory cats, Julii's are adorable but I love Habrosus and Hastasus! Of course cory's are generally colder water species and love lower pH levels but some of them can thrive much more than others. If you take a look into a few, some have more tolerances than others.
I wouldn't suggest any shoaling/schooling fish though because it can easily stress the girls out more when they're already stressed out. I had a group of 7 Neon Tetras, never touched the girls but they were getting really rambunctious within their group. I think it was all males to one female haha so they'd constantly be showing off and chasing each other and it got to the point where the girls were really starting to get annoyed, it wasn't hard to tell. So out the Neon's went and my girls have been much more content with their surroundings!
Corys are always a good idea, very inoffensive to other fish. Alternatively, you could get a mexican dwarf orange crayfish. I have never personally had one, but they are supposed to be docile with fish and plants, and they stay small. The bettas may bother him though. If I had mine temporarily with a crayfish, they loved to bother it.
A bamboo shrimp could be cool too. They are big shrimp, maybe 4-5 inches or more. The only problem is they could be difficult to feed because they are filter feeders and so need small particles floating in the water. I have hand fed mine though, by crunching up flakes and such and dropping them right in front of him.
In that size tank, a bristlenose pleco would be a good idea. You can get albino or normal variety, and both come in long finned versions. They don't get huge and 25 gallons is a fine size for them. Very easy to care for too.
I keep guppies with my girls, they're not as stressful as the more rambunctious fish like danios and tetras. We also have some bristlenoses (as Peachii suggests, awesome tankmate), pygmy cories, and an otocinclus. I would personally go with only one kind of bottom feeder (my fiance had a buy first, ask questions later issue), to make feeding easier.
The bottom feeders are all great tank mates, the pygmy cories are pretty active too, which is one of my favorite things about them. Bristlenoses and Otos are pretty much "stick and sit" feeders. They stick to a wall, or decor, and just move when they run out of stuff to munch on.
I have 2 clown plecos and some apple snails with my girls. I almost never see the plecos though as this species isnt much bigger then a adult betta AND they hide. I sometimes see a swish of their tail and their trail of poop but thats about it. I do like that they can live for quite a few years though.
In my 55 gallon, besides my sorority I have julii cories, neon tetra, zebra danios, and Amano shrimp. Everyone gets along really well. There haven't been any problems. Even the crazy hyper danios don't seem to bother the bettas.
I did try a dwarf gourami with my bettas- BAD IDEA. I heard that it might not work out, but I wanted to try it anyway. The gourami kept following one of the bettas around and touching her with his feelers and it was totally stressing her out. It's too bad because the gourami was a really cool fish before I got the bettas.
Thank you all for the great suggestions! I really want to find something that will help with clean up, especially with having so many live plants. I wish I could have kept the snails, but my girls were relentless.
Corys are OK at cleaning. They eat leftover food and brush debris off of leaves. The bristlenose pleco will clean algae as well, although it does depend on the kind of algae. American flag fish are supposed to eat algae, but I don't know much about them so I cant say if they are good betta tankmates.
American Flag fish are colder water species and wouldn't do well in Betta tanks. Same with many species of cories, some can adapt more to the higher temp but many prefer the colder waters. What this will do is just speed up their metabolism and would lead to an early death, same as in all colder water species if put in Betta tanks.
Things I have in with my girls that seem to be working just fine (36G):
1 bristlenose pleco
2 golden dojo loaches (my cat LOVES these guys - they are not shy like Kuilis)
7 tetras (4 neon, 3 glowline) (There used to be more, but the others died soon after introduction...these ones have been going strong though!)
One of my girls seems to think she IS a tetra, she always hangs with them except at feeding time.
What didn't work so well
Farlowellas (I did read that they are harder to keep)
Julii Corydoras (again, not sure why...they had whisker problems that I think led to them getting infections...my loaches do not have any issues with their whiskers though, so IDK)