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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So, over a year ago I set up and cycled a 10g tank, planning to house a betta and four panda cories. After it had cycled, I bought the cories and added them, then went to search for a betta I could move in after a QT period. He turned out to be too aggressive to the cories and I had to move him. I tried my two males at different times, and they were also too aggressive. Several months later, I bought another betta, tried him out, and sure enough, all he tried to do was chase and bite the poor cories.

Long story short, I love my cories and don't want to take the chance that they will get hurt, so I've decided to give up on trying to house a betta with them. I could just leave the four of them alone in their tank, but I'm thinking of adding another fish. Here's what I'm considering, which do you think would be best?

1) Dwarf Gourami--for those who have these fish, are they good with tankmates? Would I be able to QT one in a 5g tank for a couple weeks? (I know not everyone QTs their fish, but I really don't want to take a chance of anything happening to my cories). If so, would the tank need to be cycled?

2) A guppy--I don't know much about guppies; people seem to keep them in groups of three, but in such a small tank, I definitely wouldn't want babies! Could I keep one male guppy alone, or do they need to be kept in same-species groups?

3) Another panda cory or two--This is definitely my safest option, but it would be nice to have a "showpiece" fish in that tank, not to mention I'm not sure how to go about quarantining one or two cories. What size QT tank would they need? I assume it would need to be cycled? Would they be stressed without more cories to shoal with, or would they be ok since it'll only be for a week or two?

Thanks!
 

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I would recommend having a QT tank cycled and ready to go if you can. It's possible that placing a fish in an uncycled tank can stress them out. They may appear fine you move them back and the move is the final straw and they break out with ich in your carefully preserved tank.

I had a lone male guppy for quite a while. I was temporarily housing some and when the rest moved he was just too small for me to comfortably move him again. How in the world he didn't get eaten I dont know but somehow he made it. He displayed playful antics and would even "school" with my harlequin rasbora sometimes. I think one would be fine by itself, or maybe you could go 3 males. That being said, panda cories like soft acidic water, guppies like hard alkaline water. What is your water like?

I wouldn't go with dwarf gourami.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I would recommend having a QT tank cycled and ready to go if you can. It's possible that placing a fish in an uncycled tank can stress them out. They may appear fine you move them back and the move is the final straw and they break out with ich in your carefully preserved tank.

I had a lone male guppy for quite a while. I was temporarily housing some and when the rest moved he was just too small for me to comfortably move him again. How in the world he didn't get eaten I dont know but somehow he made it. He displayed playful antics and would even "school" with my harlequin rasbora sometimes. I think one would be fine by itself, or maybe you could go 3 males. That being said, panda cories like soft acidic water, guppies like hard alkaline water. What is your water like?

I wouldn't go with dwarf gourami.
Thanks for your response. Yeah, I figured it would be best to cycle a QT tank first, regardless of what kind of fish I get, but I have an empty one that isn't cycled so I just thought I'd ask; time to break out the old API test kit and a bottle of ammonia!

My water is hard, with a high pH. I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to do cories, but before I got them I posted a thread here, and was told that captive-bred cories should be able to adapt to a variety of water conditions. And sure enough, they've all been very healthy for the year+ that I've had them.
 

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If you go for the panda cory option, definitely do quarantine. Pandas are extremely sensitive to stress, so you want to make sure that they aren't showing any illness as a result before putting them in with your current guys.

If you just want the one centrepiece fish, I would get 2 more cories + that fish. That's not really a strain on the bioload and pandas are pretty small, so fitting in 6 wouldn't be a problem.
I agree with not getting a dwarf - they do better in 15 gallons and up, in my humble opinion.

I would choose:
- one honey gourami
- three sparkling gouramis (less of a centrepiece since they are pretty shy)
- 3 male guppies or Endlers Livebearers (because they are social)
- 6 ember tetras (yes, that's a school rather than a centrepiece, but they are so purdy)
- one of the small killifish species (I will be seeing a killi-man tomorrow so I may have a species name for you then)
- a betta (there are peaceful ones out there, there are! You could try a colourful female or maybe even a wild-type, if you can find one that likes the same water as the cories)

Hope this gives some ideas. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the info! I didn't realize you could keep three male guppies together. I'll look into endlers; I didn't even think about them. I think kilifish are so pretty, but the really cool-looking ones have such short lifespans. :( I've thought about getting one anyway, but I haven't come across any local place that sells them.

I didn't realize I had so many options! I'll have to do some thinking!
 

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Male gups are a blast! They sure poop alot but are great! : D
Sometimes having all males can bring out agressions, most of the time it doesn't. They like to be in groups, preferably 3 or more. If you can find some purdy females that aren't preggers go for it! :) Honey gouramis are cool, too.
 
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