Hi fellow betta lovers! I will try and keep this post simple, and to the point. I am stumped, and could use some input!
So, here's the deal:
I was contemplating adding some form of a tankmate to my 5 gallon Chi. I currently have one ridiculously cute--albeit, really small--male betta. Yes, he is full grown, as I have had him over a year. He's just tiny! And frankly, even with the future addition of more plants...my tank just looks...bare. I was wondering what my options were for potentially adding some more "life" to my tank.
I know other fish of any kind are out of the question, as not enough adequate swim space, and too much on the bioload, etc. So, that leaves...? Snails? Shrimp? *Shrugs* (I am not picky, but my only stipulation, is that if I get a snail, it cannot be one that reproduces like crazy like those common ones you get on aquarium plants! Not good for the bioload.) Would love any imput/suggestions!
Nerite snails are typically asexual and need 2 sexes to reproduce, however, if you get a female and she was fertilized at the store she can hold the sperm for months and continually lay dudd eggs. None of them will hatch as they need brackish water and a proper ledge out of water to successfully hatch. They're versatile and awesome!
Shrimp have basically no bioload so you could put shrimp in your 5 gallon as well. Red cherry shrimp are a favorite. Keep in mind, once they are happy and there's plenty of food they will breed! I had to get rid of my females because there was just too many. Now I have 4 males left.
In my 5 gallon I had a small male betta, nerite snail and 4 shrimp. It was fine with a weekly change.
Thanks for replying! :)The nerite snail sounds like a good option! I didn't know I could potentially have a snail and shrimp. Good to know. The only shrimp my local fish supplier have are ghost shrimp. Wonder if that might work okay. The one good thing is my betta probably wouldn't eat them...they are probably bigger than he is lol I will have to see if they also have nerite snails as well. I can handle some eggs...I just don't want to have a massive snail infestation like I had with my 10 gal. And that was even after I quarantined my plants. Those little buggers are persistent! Lol
Mystery snails are a lot of fun too and really pretty, and they are more of a "presence" than nerites, IMHO. I think you could easily add one to your five gallon with some shrimp. They have the advantage of being much less picky to feed than nerites!( Seems I am always worried about my nerites getting enough to eat..). Mystery snails do have a bigger bioload though.
The mystery snail population is easy to control, they need two to reproduce. *** If *** you happen to get a fertilized one from the store, she can lay eggs for awhile, but will lay them in a cluster above the water line so it's easy to scoop the cluster up and discard it. I have two mystery snails ~ in separate tanks ~ and have not had either lay eggs.
Oh, cool! So many options! Kinda crazy! I called my local fish store and they currently have pond snails...for free. (No thanks. Been there, done that.) And something called a Gold Inca Snail as well as mystery and nerite snails. I will have to go down there and look em over. Not sure what Petsmart carries?
Our local Petsmart always has Mystery snails in several color choices ~ usually gold, ivory, black, and sometimes blue. (I keep hoping they get some purple ones...) And lately they've started carrying some of the plainer black and olive nerites also.
I agree that if you go the snail route, I'd get a mystery snail over a nerite/nerites. I have 2 mystery snails in my 10G betta tank at home, and they are a lot of fun (which sounds insane because they are snails, right?). They are very active and actually move quickly and crawl on each other and take daring leaps from the top of the tank.
I have 2 nerites with a betta in my desktop tank at work, and they are kind of boring. Pretty, but they really don't move around much and are just not as much fun.
Is there algae in your tank with the nerites? They are more active when they have real green algae to eat. My nerite cleared my tank and would zoom around, I could hardly keep my eyes on her. Now that I have hair algae and no green she just lays about and eats biofilm. It doesn't give her the same energy and fulfilment as real algae.
Going shopping on Friday for some tankmates. I have recently added natural Mopani wood, and also some natural plants--which will take some time to grow and fill in. I think I am either going to get RCS or some ghost shrimp. I have a very docile betta that will leave the shrimp alone. I might also get a mystery snail once I know it's going okay with the shrimp. Pretty excited. Thanks all for the input and advice!
Here is a pic of my tank. Do you think that is adequate coverage for shrimp to hide? I have anubias, java fern and some type of swords in there. I assume they will grow. Pardon the color of the water, even after soaking it, the Mopani is still releasing some tannis.