Planning a 37g tank. - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-05-2020, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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Planning a 37g tank.


I am currently planning a 37g planted tank for a Betta. I'm doing some research and am looking on what to stock my tank with. Here is what I am looking to put into the tank.

2x Nerite Snail
5x Neon Tetra
5x Black Phantom Tetra
3x Blue King Tetra

1x Beta

I researched the full grown sizes of these fish and did some math on the 1 gallon = 1 fish rule. I actually went in and divided the full size of the tank in half and gave each fish 2 inches of space. I also left an extra 2 inches.

I would really appreciate some feedback on my choices. I really want a good healthy and safe mix for my future babies. Thank you so much in advance for your time.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-05-2020, 10:31 PM
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How exciting! Best of luck and make sure you show us photos when you are done and let us know your final stocking.

I will advise you that the one inch per gallon is not a viable guide. It doesn't take into account length of tank vs. height; the three levels of occupation (bottom, middle and top), substrate, equipment, etc. Footprint, not gallons, determines how one stocks an aquarium. That is how it is done here: AqAdvisor - Intelligent Freshwater Tropical Fish Aquarium Stocking Calculator and Aquarium Tank/Filter Advisor.

Shoaling fish need a minimum of six; however, if housed with a predator like a Betta the minimum should be 10 if smaller like the Neons. Neons in small shoals, IME, tend push their aggression outside the shoal onto their tank mates; especially slow-moving long-finned Betta. Plakat Betta not so much.

Make sure there is heavy planting as the Betta will need places to retreat from the others. As I said, Betta are slow-moving and their fins the target of fish in insufficient shoals.


Personally, I have found the Betta in my Betta-based communities do best when the other fish are smaller than they because they *are* slow-moving and easy targets to larger fish (those more than 1"). My best communities have had small Rasbora, dwarf Cory, Neon, Green Neon, Ember Tetra, Endlers Livebearers, Dwarf Panda Guppies, Dario Dario (must be fed live food), Hara Jerdoni, etc. I would look askance as skirted Tetra and those that are 2" or better when grown.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-05-2020, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the information. So instead of three varieties of tetra, maybe I should limit myself to 2 and simply make the shoals larger?

I Do plan to plant my tank with plants and I will include a lot of hiding places ( that are soft for those pretty fins)
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-05-2020, 11:09 PM
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If it were me I would start with one group/shoal at a time and see how it goes with the Betta. Because the Betta can often determine what's comfortable in a tank.
I'd also stick to smaller finned Bettas like Plakats if there were large shoals of Tetras. Tetras are a bit.. strange at times. (But that's just my experience with Tetras and Bettas)

My previous Betta, Jasper, I wouldn't have trusted with any small fish, he was incredibly ... aggressive towards everyone, including a cat, and his own reflection. I was the only one he didn't seem to find it fun to flare at. And he was FAST compared to my current Betta, Orion.

Ori is not the same personality by any means, but I gave him nearly 2 weeks to heal from the pet store issues before bringing in anything to his tank, for stress on him but also to gauge how he'd respond. He was very curious about the floating Endlers I put in their bag to adjust. They don't seem to find him very interesting except when he's going to eat, they know already that it's time to be fed if he's over in the corner. He however gets a little persnickety with them in his food zone, and will chase them off. Minus the flaring.

I've never seen him flare at anything. Completely different fish than Jasper. He's also got heavier fins and a more laid back lifestyle it seems.

I tried to float the endlers in the female Bettas tank, she was a bit more .. interested than I felt was good for their longevity. A slightly larger fish might be ok but they were tiny and fast and gave her something to think about attacking.

But even with an aggressive Betta, if you have lots of plant life and hiding spots, they might do alright.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-06-2020, 12:35 AM
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Oops, most important thing I completely forgot!

Doesn't matter which is introduced first. The trick is the method of introduction. Only float new fish in a dark tank and leave the lights off for at least an hour after release. I prefer three or more. You can throw a towel over the top part of the tank to keep it nice and dark.

Floating in a lighted tank seems to cause Betta to become frustrated and aggressive toward those floating. Or, if they are the ones floating, toward those who come to investigate. This frustration can transfer and continue as open aggression when whichever is released.

Plug into aqadvisor and let us know what they say after you enter your tank and filtration size. FWIW, I keep two filters in all of my community tanks because I believe you can only have too little filtration; never too much. I would use two filters recommended for 50 gallons.

Since your tank is longer than tall you have more options. A 37 appears to be 30 x 12 x 22 high. Length of a 20 long but 10 inches taller. You could easily have three mid-tank shoals of 10+ and one bottom shoal of six or so Cory. Starting slow is an option mentioned by pnwbetta. One mid-tank shoal and one bottom shoal would be perfect.

And always have a back up plan as Betta are unpredictable fish. I've never had a Betta outright kill another fish but I have had them take advantage of weak, stressed or sickening fish.
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Last edited by RussellTheShihTzu; 01-06-2020 at 12:38 AM.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-06-2020, 08:30 AM
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I had and still have bettas in community tanks and with the right ammount of plants and hiding places never had any problem.

I found out that Limnobium laevigatum (a swimming plant) is especially helpfull since it provides a hiding and nesting place for the betta, in my experience this helped me to provide a safe space for the betta below the surface which always made them calmer.

The only downside is they grow really fast and can cover the whole surface of your tank, so you have to keep an eye on them and throw some away if they get to much and float all around your tank.

Therefore I made some kind of barrier out of suction cups and an old hose to hold them in place.
I attached also a foto where you can see the roots.
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snails , stock , stocking 37 gallon , tetra an betta

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