I have been thinking about setting up a small betta tank. My lfs has an 8 gal tank deal going and think that would be good for a betta and something else. I read that betta's do not get along with any shrimp, but could they do well with an african frog? Any other ideas other than a mystery snail?
For Bettas, since their origins are in asian rice paddles, they're used to smaller 'houses' rather than larger tanks - your 8 gallon would be more than enough to house a happy Betta. Expect many-a-bubble nest (provided filtration doesn't interfere).
In an 8 gallon, you could house two or three Cory catfish (there are many variations so it's quite fun to select). They're fine fish, and quite entertaining. You also don't need to worry about too much conflict since they're on an opposing strata of the tank. They're also very hardy (if that's an issue). In an 8 gal there's not much else you can do, it's quite a cramped space for more than a few dwellers.
Also, when selecting your filtration, I'd suggest a HoB filter that's for a 20 gallon. Don't worry about over-agitating the surface if you're hoping for a bubble nest now and then - there are output settings. The current also shouldn't be too strong on the low - medium setting. :)
I have an 8g tank and in it I have 2 mystery snails and 3 armano shrimp. I have never heard that bettas don't get along with shrimp as long as the shrimp are big enough not to be seen as food. The snails also are good options and many people keep these with bettas.
I personally would not recommend the cories, simply because they are happiest in groups of 6 or more of their own species, and an 8g tank does not allow for this amount of fish. You could look into pygmy cories which are much smaller, and 6 of these would fit in your tank but I would be wary of your betta attacking them as they are often sold as young fish and as such may be small enough for your betta to think that he's getting his dinner.
My recommendation would be 3-4 amano shrimp as these are arge enough not to be eaten, or 1 or 2 mystery snails.
The thing about bettas and tankmates is that every betta is different. An otto or 2, some small schooling fish (rasboras or small, peaceful tetras), 6 of the smallest cories (C. pygmeus, hasbrosus, or hastatus) or 4 of the next to smallest (C. sanjuan, guapore, or panda), might be fine. An ADF or 2 should be fine. Mystery snails are no problem.
All this said, keep an eye on things. If the betta goes ballistiic on the new addition, have a bail out solution. If you go with smaller fish, make sure that you have some nice heavy plantings for them to hide in when the betta chases them.
my ten gallon has a 2 year old betta he is very aggressive but for some reason he loves his frogs! him and the adf play together, yes play! the frog sits on the top of the tank in zen position as some call it and the betta pushes him around its very funny! i also have a chinese algea eater in the tank he is very aggressive as well and all three get along fantasticly! the betta even shares his "hut" with my frog but hell chase the algea eater out. if your going to do shrimp dont get ghoast shrimp i made that mistake and 20 minutes later they were shredded! good luck!
I have 6 Bleeding Hearts, 1 Betta and 1 Dwarf Gourami in my 28 gallon. The Betta showboats around the tank often with his mouth open, but no one seems to mind him. I added a heavy floating plant and he spends most of his time in there. It seems that with proper planting these fish get along ok. Then again, they have only been together for 3 days now, so there is still opportunity for some fighting.