cories or shrimp are typically good, though they won't just survive off of whatever your betta eats, you'll have to buy food for them as well (you can simply sink extra fish flakes down to the shrimps) :) Cories have sensitive barbels, so you'll want to make sure you have sand or soft substrate in your tank if you get them. Shrimps are a bit sensitive and hard to catch, so one they're in, they're pretty much in for good. Both are sensitive to water changes, so make sure your tank is cycled.
I let my water sit overnight because I want to do a water change today (suspect the pH is too high - light purple on the test). l think the water is colder than it was last night. If I had a fish, I think I'd kill it with the temperature shock. (The warm taps in my house have a pH of about 8.8. The cold drinking tap has a pH of about 7.4.) Do I have to buy a heater to put in the water that is gassing? (I am assuming my high pH is why my tank won't cycle and I tried to ask about that in another thread quite unsuccessfully.)
(I'm sorry I have so many dumb questions. I never imagined that it would be so damn impossible to make this work. I wanted to have a cycled, planted tank, but every day I'm wondering if this will ever work.)
Well, I don't think you would kill him or her persay.... When adding cooler water, I just pour portions in at a time. Houses are heated, so it's not like the temps are going to be too drastic of a change.
:( Sorry you're having such issues. I'm curious, do you already have plants in there?
Thanks, JK. I don't have a fish or plants yet. I was under the impression if I put plants in before it cycled, they would be an ammonia sink and slow the nitrites from appearing. That said, my nitrites are the most sluggish ones and really could not be slower. I'm going to do a big water change and give it another try. :(
I say get a good ammount of plants, and plant well. If they are fast growing, they'll get rid of ammonia relatively quickly, and will almost act like a back up cycle until your tank naturally and slowly cycles. Once your fish is in there, keep an eye on the parameters, testing daily, and doing smallish water changes as you notice the ammonia above .25 or any nitrites at all. I'm guessing if you're only having a male betta in there with a bunch of fast growing plants, you might not need to do more than a 50% water change weekly, if that.