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Old 02-12-2014, 01:50 AM   #1 
Cari
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Any small fishies/critters that can go in a non-planted, non-filtered, heated tank?

If it's not possible that's understandable, but I thought I would at least ask! Educate me!

I have a 3 gallon tetra cube tank. I don't use the filter because it's obnoxious, so I do one 50% and one 100% water change a week. No real plants, so I think that eliminates quite a few tank mate possibilities?

It currently houses my male VT Flareon.





I'm looking to add one tiny tank mate, be it another fish or some other little critter (little is important- I can't upgrade to a bigger tank at this time so it would have to be comfortable in a 3 gallon) who will thrive along with Flareon in this setup. Is it possible? If so, I'd love to hear suggestions!
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:10 AM   #2 
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Hey there :) First off, that's a lovely tank there! Secondly, I wouldn't add much more than a snail. Shrimp are too sensitive to deal with all those cleanings and no filter. A nerite snail might be okay in there but most of them are caught in the wild and don't do well on a prepared diet. My experience, at least, my nerites refused blanched veggies and algae tablets in favor of real algae.

Some people like apple/mystery snails but I think they get too big for a 3 gallon.

Tetras and other small fish feel secure in schools and shoals so a 3 gallon would be too small for any other fish, and in that size tank they would feel cramped with the betta and nipped fins would ensue.
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:31 PM   #3 
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Thanks, Laki! I will do some research on snails. Would a nerite snail be the only one that can handle this kind of tank set-up? Or are there other kinds, just to help me narrow my research?
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:58 PM   #4 
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Nerites produce a low bioload so they're my choice. They also stay relatively small for pet snails, Milly is fully grown and is about 1.5-2 inches across the widest part of her shell. However, like I noted above, most nerites are caught from the wild and my experience has been that they won't touch pet store food. (I only had 3 nerites, mind you). Some members on here say their nerites LOVE veggies and wafers so I guess it depends on where you get them. They can carry sperm and lay eggs but they are male/female separate and the eggs will most likely not survive out of brackish water.

Apple/mystery snails can get quite large and they are VERY messy! Bioload is high on these guys so I would not put them in a tank without filtration and a couple water changes per week.

You can get ramshorn and Malaysian trumpet snails for free off a lot of people because they are considered pests. MTS burrow underneath the gravel and sand to feed and rest while ramshorns graze over everything. Both these are controllable snails and stay very small. I think they're supposed to be asexual (which means they need a male and female to reproduce) but what happens is when they're in the pet shops on plants or whatever they transfer the sperm to each other. Females can hold sperm for months and thus, produce endless babies which makes them less than ideal for someone looking for one or two snails.
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Old 02-14-2014, 04:45 AM   #5 
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I think you'd be fine with a nerite. I have two in a 5.5 gallon and they seem to find plenty to eat. They also feed on the biofilm in the tank. You can also leave your lights on longer to encourage algae growth.

If you're concerned about him not having enough algae/biofilm since you do change most of the water every week - you can "grow" algae rocks ~ get some aquarium safe rocks, like smooth river-type rocks ,and put them in some kind of plastic container, like tupperware, near a sunny window. Cover them in treated or tank water, and they will produce algae. You can then rotate the rocks into and out of your tank and you'll always have some algae available

I actually think you might be okay with a mystery snail too, since you are already doing a lot of water cleaning. Do you vaccuum your gravel? If you were to get a turkey baster and do regular gravel cleaning, it should be fine. The mystery snail will make more mess, but is less picky to feed.

I think a lot of folks here use the Tetra cube ~ have you tried baffling the filter? That way your tank would cycle, making things easier for you

BTW your tank looks lovely! Good luck
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Old 02-14-2014, 07:41 AM   #6 
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You could try some shrimp like Ghost shrimp who are scavengers and will eat left over flakes and pellets. They may become a tasty snack for your Betta but it might be worth a try if you want something else. They will be fine without real plants as long as you feed them some pellets and flakes or something. You can get sinking shrimp pellets for them to be happy One of my female Bettas loves her shrimp, not to eat but to sit along side and just stare at lol. She tried to eat it at first but now she doesn't care at all. If you feed them well and often enough I find the shrimp might have a better chance against the Betta. Of course not all Betta's care; live food over pellets...yeah they'll go for the live foods lol

I also find that females tend to not care so much about tank mates, both my females love their guppy tank mates and shrimp while my males will make a snack out of ANYTHING...literally anything, even the snails I put in with them >.< So anyway, just another option! You could do like 4-6 ghost shrimp since they also have a very tiny bioload, much smaller than any snail

EDIT: also with the filter, I never really liked the Tetra 3i Whispers, never really filtered much. Instead I invested in these: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...21&pcatid=9821 soooo much better! They are also adjustable and you can basically use any filter media. I buy the Fluval Hagen AquaClear foam/sponge inserts and use those when I don't feel like buying the replacement sponges for the filter here but honestly either one is much cheaper than buying inserts for most other filters! I know not all have access to buying on the internet though, but it's just an option for you! I even use these up in my 5.5 gallons!

Last edited by lilnaugrim; 02-14-2014 at 07:45 AM.
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:49 AM   #7 
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2muttz, thank you for all the info! I think I am going to go with a nerite snail. I'm going to be filtering my tank soon but the rock algae idea is awesome and I'll keep it in mind!

Lilnaugrim~ Shrimp is probably a bad idea for Flareon, he's a pig and will eat any food I put in there, so a live shrimp will probably be too tempting! I am amso going to purchase that filter sometime today, because that's a great price. I do have a question, which is that when you "replace" the sponge inserts with new ones, doesn't that hurt the beneficial bacteria living in it or something? I read a lot of stuff about cycling last night and only retained like half of it so I'm probably wrong/confused lol.
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:19 AM   #8 
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No worries! The Nitrogen Cycle is a pretty difficult thing to comprehend the first go around ^_^ took me a while to figure it out as well.

What is usually suggested is that every week or every other week or when you do water changes to take the sponge/media out and give it a good swish and squeeze in the old water you just took out, or new conditioned water. As long as the water does not have chlorine in it, it is good. This will prolong the sponge life because it's not all caked up with mulm and other nasty stuff. THEN when it comes time to change your stuff out, try to stuff the new media in with the old one, that's not too hard with this filter since there is extra space with the only two inserts in it and it's spongy not rigid like other HOB filters and their inserts. So then you leave the old stuff in for about two weeks and by then, your beneficial bacteria will have colonized on the new sponges as well and then you can take out the old stuff and throw it away ^_^
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:54 AM   #9 
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Yay! wow you made it make sense to me. it doesn't sound that hard now :D thank you so much!
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Old 02-14-2014, 12:26 PM   #10 
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You're welcome! Glad to be of help ^_^
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