Tank Mate Ideas? - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 01:22 AM Thread Starter
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Tank Mate Ideas?

I started setting up a 10 gallon tank at the beginning of this month (2/4/19). Got some pure ammonia and added a tiny bit in then I used some Fluval bacteria additives to help it cycle and once the ammonia started dropping and the nitrates started to pop up (about a week after I started) I got myself a little koi betta male. He's very healthy and came from a community planted tank. He made a big nest two days after I got him. The tank is still cycling and I'm keeping a close eye on the ammonia levels so he doesn't get sick. I've got some live plants in there as well.


Anyway, I want to get him some tank mates in the near future (once the cycle is finished) but I can't quiet decide on what to get. I was thinking about some dwarf cories (habrosus) in a school of 4-6 or panda cories, but in a small school of 2-3 which I know isn't ideal for them. Maybe a nerite snail as well to get the algae the cories won't eat. I would also like either another fish to swim at a higher level or a small school of tetras. I think the tetras may be too much for the tank so a fish the same size as the betta would be nice, I'm just not sure what. He came from a tank with sword tails but I feel like those would get too big. Maybe a male molly or platy? I just feel like there will be so much activity at the bottom with the cories that I need something mid/top of the water column beside the betta. I still want him to be the star of the show, though.



Any ideas?


(pardon the bubbles on the tank, the first one is the day I set it all up and the others were a week later after I did a big water change before adding him just to be sure the ammonia didn't hurt him)
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 08:00 PM
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Welcome to the Forum!

In order to avoid overloading the nitrifying bacteria you should wait at least a month past cycling; two is better. Unless..you use a product like SeaChem Stability which acts as a "sort of" fertilizer and helps prevent a cycle crash or mini-cycle caused by the sudden additional bioload.

I would not do such a small shoal of Cory. IMO, it is not fair to them. So I would stick with Habrosus or get six of the larger. For non-nipping tank mates I like Rasbora and Ember Tetra. I have also had success with male Endlers Livebearers or Dwarf Panda Guppies.

And...what a lovely boy you have!

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RussellTheShihTzu View Post
Welcome to the Forum!

In order to avoid overloading the nitrifying bacteria you should wait at least a month past cycling; two is better. Unless..you use a product like SeaChem Stability which acts as a "sort of" fertilizer and helps prevent a cycle crash or mini-cycle caused by the sudden additional bioload.

I would not do such a small shoal of Cory. IMO, it is not fair to them. So I would stick with Habrosus or get six of the larger. For non-nipping tank mates I like Rasbora and Ember Tetra. I have also had success with male Endlers Livebearers or Dwarf Panda Guppies.

And...what a lovely boy you have!

I'm not adding in more fish for a little while thanks to being low on money at the moment anyway. I just like to plan it out and make sure I know what I'm doing.


I wouldn't want to put 6 pandas in, I feel like that's too much. They're easier to find at my local stores than the habrosus are...I think only one store near me SOMETIMES has them and they don't special order.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 08:51 PM
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I mentioned the Stability because I only buy fish online. I often add 20+ to a tank and using that product have never had a cycle crash or mini-cycle.

I hope you find the Habrosus when the time is upon you. They are neat little fish. I kept five in my 5.5 gallon tanks when I had them set up with no issues.

Have fun!

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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That makes sense when adding in so many fish at once.


For right now I may get another plant or two and, once the cycle is tapering down, start calling the store (they get new fish every Wednesday) and get some once they get them in. If I don't feel like the tank is complete after them I'll wait a little bit then add in something else.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 09:30 PM
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Sounds like a good plan. Please keep us posted on your progress.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-23-2019, 01:27 AM
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I had a lot of luck with some of the larger, peaceful tetras in my community tank when I was younger. Black and Red Phantom tetras lived very happily along with my male betta. Those would offset his color nicely and they school well and tend to be mid level fish. Lemon tetras are another favorite of mine. I don't know much about nerite snails but I did keep Apple snails with one of my bettas and they pretty much just ignored each other.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-23-2019, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by CosmoKitty View Post
I started setting up a 10 gallon tank at the beginning of this month (2/4/19). Got some pure ammonia and added a tiny bit in then I used some Fluval bacteria additives to help it cycle and once the ammonia started dropping and the nitrates started to pop up (about a week after I started) I got myself a little koi betta male. He's very healthy and came from a community planted tank. He made a big nest two days after I got him. The tank is still cycling and I'm keeping a close eye on the ammonia levels so he doesn't get sick. I've got some live plants in there as well.


Anyway, I want to get him some tank mates in the near future (once the cycle is finished) but I can't quiet decide on what to get. I was thinking about some dwarf cories (habrosus) in a school of 4-6 or panda cories, but in a small school of 2-3 which I know isn't ideal for them. Maybe a nerite snail as well to get the algae the cories won't eat. I would also like either another fish to swim at a higher level or a small school of tetras. I think the tetras may be too much for the tank so a fish the same size as the betta would be nice, I'm just not sure what. He came from a tank with sword tails but I feel like those would get too big. Maybe a male molly or platy? I just feel like there will be so much activity at the bottom with the cories that I need something mid/top of the water column beside the betta. I still want him to be the star of the show, though.



Any ideas?


(pardon the bubbles on the tank, the first one is the day I set it all up and the others were a week later after I did a big water change before adding him just to be sure the ammonia didn't hurt him)
2 or 3 af african dwarf frogs could be an intresting addition

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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Little update


Added 2 plants and took some water to my lfs. Just wanted to make sure it was cycled since I was getting lower ammonia readings but no nitrates (using the API liquid kit) They're there, just not very high so the change in test water color wasn't very visible. The lfs strips showed it though. So...4.5 weeks since I set it up. I used bacteria additives and pure ammonia for a week then did a big water change then added the betta with more bacteria.



Got 6 little habrosus cories for now. Love them already. I'll let them go for a few weeks to let the tank balance and see if any don't make it. Then I'll replace any loss. Maybe go to 8 because they're so cute, but they're not full grown so maybe 6 is a good number for the tank size.


I still want to add another fish/small school. Need to look into tetras.


I don't have a quarantine but the store medicates all their fish and each tank is on its own system. All the cories came from the same tank so I just got the meds they didn't get yet. Shouldn't do anything to my betta except be a preventative measure. Hopefully they'll all make it. One doesn't swim as well as the others and sort of tilts to one side while resting instead of being straight up and down. He's missing some barbel length too. The others are all nice and darting around and eating. He's trying to every so often so...we'll see. I don't think he's the one in the pictures.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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Update 2:


Two cories died over night. Pretty sure one was the one not doing too well....the other I NEVER found and I spent a long time looking. Removed all the decor and looked into the filter and all around the tank in case it got out of one of the two small openings...nothing. Theory is that the betta destroyed it over night. He was chasing them yesterday so I guess he escalated. Anyway, got a replacement for the one body I did have and got the betta a new, smaller tank. Its only 3.5 gallons, so not ideal, but its heated and has a filter as well as a live plant and cave. This way I can keep him and still have my community tank...and keep him healthy while I monitor the cories in case more drop dead/go missing. If they're still ok a week or two from now I'll get more for a little bit bigger school and get a slightly bigger school of tetras or danio than anticipated with him out of the tank.
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