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Old 03-24-2011, 08:57 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Mar 2011
40/55 gallon tank too big? Kit vs piecing one together?

Hi all,

I've been bitten by the betta bug and I am considering a larger 40 or 55 gallon tank for my 2nd betta. I have the perfect spot for one in my living room. I would like to have multiple tankmates, live plants, etc. What I would like to do, is find out what options I have and see if I can put something together out of those options.

Here are my questions and thanks in advance for your advice and input.

1. I'm leaning towards a 55g and I would like to have a good variety of fish (appearance/color, attitude, etc) in the tank. Is this feasable with a male betta or would I just be putting him into a stressful situation? I'd like to tailor the tank, plants and mates around a male betta.

2. If this is feasable, can you recommend some fish for me to research that would be compatible tankmates for a betta? I'm not too familiar with freshwater species.

3. Are there any manufacturers that you would recommend to buy or stay away from as far as kits? Such as Marineland, Aqueon, Tetra, etc...
I just saw an Aqueon 55 gallon kit on sale for $120. It may have been Marineland, I'll check again this weekend. Are there any recommended kits, that maybe need a better filter, or heater, etc... some place that would be a good starting point with one upgrade? If that makes sense

4. Depending on cost, I may consider piecing a tank together, which I'm sure would provide better equipment in the long run. What would you recommend as the better brand heater, filter, tank, hood, etc.

If a 55 tank is an option with a betta, I would like to pick one up and get started soon, so I can properly cycle the tank while I work on the extras.
I'm guessing the main factor will be what tankmates are compatible with temp, lighting, etc.

Thanks again!

Last edited by Alex919; 03-24-2011 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 03-24-2011, 11:42 AM   #2 
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Texas
I would say a 40 gallon breeder would probably be better since it is wider rather than taller. A 55 is just really tall.

Bettas depending on their attitude can typically live with several different kinds of schooling fish. I don't have any of mine with anything though except a couple have mystery snail buddies. So I am not a good source for suggestions.

Marineland is the best as far as I know and more expensive but Top Fin and Aqueon are good. Most brands are good. If it is a Tetra kit it would probably need a new heater. I think Tetra heaters suck! I don't know where you live but we buy a lot of our tanks from Craigslist. A lot of times you can get a full set up for really cheap!

Everyone has their own opinions on the heaters. Most of the time any type of adjustable heater is good. Walmart has filters which are relatively cheap and I have heard are amazing. I know a lot of people also use Penguin filters. Depending on how many fish you add you could always go with a fluval canister which are all amazing. We have a 205, 304, and 305. I don't know much in terms of the various hoods and lighting. My husband is more into that side of it.

I think that covers at least some of your questions. :)
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Old 03-24-2011, 06:28 PM   #3 
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Thanks. I've been looking at Craigslist here for weeks and the prices are rather higher on the aquariums in this area; but I'll keep looking. Never know what you may run across. A 55 gallon with a nice stand would be great :)

I'd like to go with a planted tank, so I'm leaning towards the fluval canister's. Would make it a lot easier to implement to Co2 requirements.
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Old 03-24-2011, 06:56 PM   #4 
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Location: Orange County, CA
Im good for tankmates. I would recommnd the walstad method, with sand as the top layer of substrate. With sand you could have 10 or so cory cats. A couple banjo cats are also great fish. Bristlenose plecos, rubberlip, bulldog, and other small/medium plecos (not common) are fine. Almost every pleco would do good, except for the very largest. Some plecos eat plants (not bristlenose), so research first. Otocinclus (4-5) are also great tankmates. Hatchetfish, most tetras, rasboras, shrimp (except macrobrachium), marbled crayfish, are great as well. Here is a list of good tankmates:

Harlequin rasboras- 10-15
neon tetras 10-15
hatchetfish 6-10 (depending on species)
danios 8-15 (zebra, celestial pearl, GloFish, etc....)
8 rasboras, and 8 neon tetras
any combination of the above fish (with about 6-8 per species)

Bottom/suckermouthed feeders:
Corydoras (large species 10-15, dwarfs 15-25)
plecos (3-4 bristlenose, depending on gender)
3-4 banjo catfish
3-8 otocinclus
1 marbled crayfish (caution, they clone themselves, so you only need 1 to have babies, and they rip up certain plants)
30-40 red cherry, crystal red, bumblebee, bee, ninja, blueberry, etc .... shrimp
10-20 ghost shrimp
1-4 bamboo shrimp
3-4 mystery snails
1-30+ pond snails
senegal bichir (if you have no very small fish)
5-10 kuhli loaches

I would go with the 55 gallon. And remember, I don't mean put all these species in the tank at a time, just pick a couple.
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:40 PM   #5 
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I have a 55 with females that will be moved into their own tank, so I can get a King Male Betta. I currently have neons, skirted tetras (require larger numbers so they dont nip, I've seen no aggression), glowlight tetras, & black kuhli loaches. My females have no issues with the height, so I think if you have a healthy betta you shouldn't see issues. Also I got my whole set up, adjustable heater, stand, filter, tank, and gravel, 75$:))) Post a wanted in the pets section, you'd be amazed at how many replies you can get.
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