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Old 01-09-2010, 06:24 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Question New to forum, just got tank from friend.

Hello all you Betta experts.
My daughter has a Crowntail Betta male in a 5 gallon tank. We change the water twice a week and he is doing great.
My friend is giving us a 25 gallon tank with filter, heater, and tons of goodies.
I have a few questions so I can make sure I do everything correctly.
1-What type of fish can I get and how many so everyone is happy?
2-What testing should I do and how often?
3-Cycling water? How much and how often.

I will be picking up the tank tomorrow so if you need specifics on make and model I can give you that tomorrow.

Thanks everyone for your info and advice.

New happy Betta owner
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Old 01-09-2010, 06:26 PM   #2 
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Welcome ;)
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Old 01-09-2010, 07:29 PM   #3 
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First off, unless your 5g is cycled (in which case you can transfer some of the bacteria from there into the 25g filter) I would do a fishless cycle on the tank. So much easier to do it BEFORE you add fish lol... man if I coudl do it over again... :)

NOW. Tankmates... I am note sure if you are putting the betta in the 25g, but if you do I would only give you a few options (wouldn't want any fin-nipping!)

-Cories (they will stay on the bottom -totally out of the betta's universe- so they should be fine)

With pretty much anything else you run the risk of fin nipping or the betta eating it.

If you decide to go with a community... here is a brief summary I wrote for someone else wondering what to stock their tank with. It is pulled from a thread where someone who recieved a tank where the previous owner did NOT research fish before stocking them. For reference, the whole horror-story can be found here:


1) Never trust pet store employees. Never Never Never. Always research fish on forums and in books before you buy. Pet stores are out to sell you fish, but we are out to share our knowledge and help you.

2) No bala sharks. They can easily surpass 1 foot in length and need to be kept in schools of at minimum 3. So to even keep balas you are looking at a minium of a 150g setup with bala sharks and nothing else. I have heard horror stories of balas in a 55g who (skittish from being kept only as a pair) would actually thud into the walls and lid of the tank whe people walked buy. This is a good way to break a tank, which is every bit as bad as it sounds!

3) Those common white algae eaters sound like a fish better known as the Golden Chinese Algae Eater. If they are, you need to take them back to the pet store asap. Not only do these fish reach a foot long, they are very aggressive fish and are actually terrbile at eating algae!

4) Beware of plecos. I know you haven't bought one lol but if the pet store suggests one, don't take their advice. This is one of the most common pitfalls newbies fall into. The Common Pleco will reach at least a foot in length and is notorious for latching onto other fish and sucking their slime coat off.

5) The black and orange fish is probably a clown loach. The pet store left out the 1 when they told you how big it would get... their maximum size is actually 16 inches! Furthermore, they like to be kept in groups of at least 3. I think you would be best off reoming this guy as well.

6) Stay away from eels until you have gotten your bearings with fishkeeping.

7) I think you will want to go with fake plants if you are keeping silver dollars because they are notorious for eating plants.

Okay I know that is a lot of info and a lot of fish that you are going to have to take back. Don't let that discourage you... a lot of people got off on the wrong foot with fishkeeping because of the bad info pet stores give them.

Now for some fish you can have in that tank:

Bottom Dwellers
-Corydoras species. Nobody in this catfish genus will get too big for your tank. Most of them will max out at about 3 inches although there are a handful of giant pygmy species that max out at 5 inches and .75 inches respectuvely. These catfish are extremely hardy and as long as you keep each species in a school (at least 4 specimens) everything will be hunky-dory. Just a few of the members of this family are... peppered cories, bronze cories, albino cories, skunk cories, bandit cories, panda cories, laser cories... the list goes on!

-Plecos. Okay I know I gave you the big warning about plecos previously, but once you have gotten a feel for a hobby there are some attractive and relatively small plecos not sold in pet stores. Just google zebra pleco and you'll see what I mean! The bristlenose pleco is another good one. Just be sure not to get a common pleco or any other pleco that grows past about 8 inches! These fish do not school and will be perfectly happy without buddies of the same species.

-Loaches. This family is basically asia's answer to the corydoras of south america. They tend to be a bit grouchy and you will have to be careful not to buy species that won't fit in your tank when they are fully grown but I'm sure you could find a suitable loach species if you do some homework. These fish school and must be kept in groups of about 4 to start.


This group includes mainly tetras, rasboras, danios, hatchetfish and barbs. They will need to be kept in groups of at least 6 and all stay quite small. They make for great size contrast against the centerpiece fish. The majority of shoaling fish will be suitable for your aquarium so you can basically pick whatever you like. Some barbs get a little nippy but other than that your best bet is to just crack open a fish book and flip through the tetra section. Just remember to always double-check compatbility before picking your winner.


You could go with some of the gourami species, or if you work the compatibility right you could even have a pair of angelfish. Dwarf cichlids are another option.

I will let other people fill oyu in now because I am tired of typing lol!
Good luck and don't forget to research the adult size of all fish!
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:01 PM   #4 
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Personally I would let the betta stay in his little 5g and run the 25g as its own little community tank. It makes things a heck of a lot easier. Less stress on the betta, less stress on the other fish, less stress on you. ;)
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:12 PM   #5 
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or she/he could divide the tank
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Old 01-09-2010, 09:48 PM   #6 
Join Date: Nov 2009
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I agree with leaving the betta in the 5 gallon and setting up the 25gal as a community tank, or maybe a female betta sorority, those are always fun, but you have to be careful!
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Old 01-09-2010, 10:52 PM   #7 
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Originally Posted by Zenandra View Post
I agree with leaving the betta in the 5 gallon and setting up the 25gal as a community tank, or maybe a female betta sorority, those are always fun, but you have to be careful!

Totally agree with that! That still gives you all the wonderful colors and personalities of bettas.
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Old 01-10-2010, 08:38 AM   #8 
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Welcome to the forum :)

Leave the betta in the 5 gal. and set up the 25 gal. with some fancy guppies or small tetras. Good luck.
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