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Old 02-11-2012, 08:22 PM   #1 
RackinRocky
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Do I have too much in my tank?

Hi - Just to give you a background--I got a baby betta that I fell in love with at a LFS BEFORE I had a tank set up. Live and learn, I guess. I bought a 1 gallon cube to put him in until I could get his 10 gallon set up. I was going to cycle it, but after thinking about it, realized I couldn't keep him in that tiny 1 gallon for several weeks, with no filter or heater. The heater that came with my 10 gallon kit didn't fit in the 1 gallon. So I was terrified he would be too cold (I keep the house pretty cool at night to save on the propane). I put a heating pad under it, but it wasn't warming it over 72. Didn't want to get up in the morning to a cooked or frozen betta!

So, to make a long story short, I went ahead and set up the 10 gallon and put him in there. I figured I'd do a fish-in cycle. Better than stressing over him being in that tiny thing. And I could at least control the heat and he'd have a filter. Everything went well, and he's staying right around 25-26C, or between 78-80F. Very active thing, about 4 months old, very curious and friendly. I'm glad I rescued him. He has nipped fins and had been there a while and no one bought him, probably for that reason. He's always looking for something to do. Someone on another forum said I probably should give him a tank mate since he is so active, and to keep him from getting bored.

Well, I researched what is compatible with a betta, and hubby and I went today and got 2 albino Corys, 2 ghost shrimp and two Mystery snails. Do I have too much in my tank? I only wanted one Cory and shrimp, but then I read they don't do well alone. They are all very active, and I added Stress Coat to the water, the same as I did when I got the betta. I have the correct foods (2 kinds of pellets and frozen fish eggs and mysis shrimp, plus wafers) for them all. And I have an order coming with brine shrimp gruel of some kind. I have a log with two openings, a large and small fake plant, and some real Anacharis. Have a thermometer, nice substrate and a hammock for the betta.

Did a master test today, and PH is 7.6, Ammonia is .25ppm, Nitrites are 0, and Nitrate is 5.0ppm. I know this doesn't mean much, as the tank has only been set up for two days, and until today, only the betta was in it. So I am bracing myself for a big change!

I think the betta is deliriously happy, as he is very interested in the others, especially the shrimp. No nipping whatsoever though. Just seems so happy to have company! I really wanted a Kuhli, but read they are too active for a 10 gallon. I can't believe how active these ghost shrimp are! I expected them to just go hide, but they are almost as active as the Corys. I wanted a Panda Cory, but no one seems to have them. Anyway, do you think this set-up will work?
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:58 PM   #2 
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Well, since you already added extra fish in there before it cycled, and you seem willing to do the extra water changes as a result, I say add another albino cory, because they are extremely social and so groups of at least 3 is required. :)
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Old 02-12-2012, 06:25 PM   #3 
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Does it have to be an albino cory, or can it be a dwarf or some other cory that doesn't get over about 2 inches?
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Old 02-12-2012, 06:34 PM   #4 
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get 1 more albino cory
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:47 PM   #5 
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Thank you, Fishyfriend. I will do that!
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Old 02-13-2012, 02:49 PM   #6 
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2 albino Corys, 2 ghost shrimp and two Mystery snails is a bit much. Most people don't realize but snails have a very heavy bioload (they produce a lot of waste). I would return the snails. The only reason you should have them in your tank is if you like the look of a snail. About the cories, they ideally should be in groups of 6 or more, but you can get away with 3. The shrimp should be okay as they have a very light bioload. The only problem I can see is with the betta. Some bettas see shrimp as snacks.

I would not add kuhlis to this tank. They are rather active and are recommended to be in groups of 6 or more in a tank that is at least 20 inches long as they usually grow to about 4-5 inches long. I love those little guys, but 10 gal is too small for them.

You can also get a bronze cory (if you want a little variety) as they are the same species.
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Old 02-17-2012, 12:50 AM   #7 
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Thank you for the advice. Update is that both my ghost catfish are gone. The smaller one disappeared after a few days, and I'm assuming the betta ate it. Then my ammonia went up to 0.50ppm, so I did a 50% water change (with Stress Coat) and found my other ghost catfish dead only a few hours later. I read they are really sensitive to ammonia. I was getting quite attached to him. So entertaining. So no more shrimp for me. I really like the snails too. Didn't realize they produce so much waste. I want to get just one more fish, (since the ghost catfish are gone). What about a Pitbull Pleco? Aren't they amongst the smallest of plecos? Would it be all right with the betta? I think they're super cute.
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:03 AM   #8 
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What fish do you have right now? And by bulldog pleco do you mean bristlenose pleco? They are small, but plecos also have a high waste output relative to other fish. You might want to check out this site to check your stocking level. It's a great tool for beginners. AqAdvisor - Intelligent Freshwater Tropical Fish Aquarium Stocking Calculator and Aquarium Tank/Filter Advisor
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Old 02-17-2012, 03:23 AM   #9 
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No, there is indeed a species called a pitbull pleco. I was looking at them but unfortunately they are illegal to import into Australia. They are also one of the few social pleco species and do much better in schools of 5 or so. I would definitely not recommend any pleco for a 10 gallon regardless just because of the bioload.

Don't add any other fish until the cycle is totally over - in fact, I would wait until the tank has been established for a good three months before adding anything else. I would also sell or return the snails, as they severely limit what you can have in there.
Before you choose any more fish, research them heavily. Look at multiple sources (go to spcific fish sites such as seriouslyfish, Tropical Fish Keepers, Badmans etc, not places like Yahoo Answers) and don't trust your petshop unless what they say tallies exactly with what you read on trustworthy fish sites.

I would recommend going with more cories, just because they are such characters. Alternatives include ember tetras and Endlers Livebearers. :) Do check here or on another forum before stocking though - its easier to prevent a mistake than to fix one. :)
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Old 02-17-2012, 05:22 PM   #10 
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Thanks all. For now, I'll wait until the tank is cycled, as I definitely don't want to lose any more fish. I may be able to take one snail back to the store, but not both of them. I'm already really fond of the black Mystery, so I guess the ivory will be going back! I'll let you know what I decide to get in a couple of months. For now, I'm going to go resesarch Endlers Livebearers!
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