Originally Posted by 1fish2fish
Filtered is different from cycled... make sure she knows the difference. You can't just put a filter in and let the tank cycle unless you want sick and/or dead fish.
Mystery snails are great but can get up to 2 inches in diameter but come in a bunch of different colors. Nerite snails stay a little smaller and are more plain, you can also get Zebra snails who are basically striped Nerite snails. They also need calcium rich water for shell growth. You can only keep one in a tank or they may breed unless you can figure out males from females.
Ghost shrimp and cherry shrimp are very small so you can have quite a few... but they are very sensitive to water conditions so her tank HAS to be cycled before adding them or they'll die within days. Amano shrimp are slightly larger but have basically the same requirements.
ADFs are fun but more "fishlike" than snails or shrimp.. they move faster and thus are much harder to place with a betta. I always advise to go with shrimp or snails first to see how your betta reacts to them before trying an ADF.
Thanks! Yes, she understands the difference between cycled and filtered...fortunately she's doing her research and not just going and buying tank, fish, equipment, hot pink gravel, all in one trip. She's actually impressive and maybe a bit obsessive (like me) in order to make sure she's being a responsible future fish owner.
She'll probably go with nerite, either zebra or spotted, because that's what the fish store has nearby where she lives. I might give her some of my cherry and amano shrimp because I have so many.
What's a good way to introduce snails and shrimp to bettas to gauge whether the betta is snail- or shrimp-friendly?