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Hello, I recently impulse bought a 10 gallon fishtank (no fish yet) and was wondering what and how many fish I could put in there with a male betta being the "centerpiece". Does it matter what kind or variety of betta I should get? Do they have different characteristics besides color? What fish would leave the male betta alone and not get mauled by the betta? I was thinking tetras and sucker fish and snails but I am not expert so please help if you can and sorry for making this so long.
 

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I wouldn't say it makes a big difference what type of betta you get, it's down to personal preference - just make sure you get a healthy-looking betta at the store (clear eyes, open fins, alert). I personally prefer larger fins (so crowntails, dumbos, half moons) but all bettas are amazing and their care requirements shouldn't differ. The only characteristic I would say are different is that plakats are slightly more feisty and swim around more than bettas with larger fins, although every betta is unique.

The fish that I have found that work well with bettas are harlequin rasboras, cherry barbs, oto cats, cory cats, bumblebee gobies and penguin tetras. All these are peaceful fish (in my experience), the barbs and rasboras are too quick for the betta to pick on, I've never seen them nip, and bettas generally ignore bottom feeders. I've never kept tetras, but I've heard that ember tetras, cardinal tetras and neon tetras are generally peaceful fish that do best in a school (stops the betta from singling one out). Any type of snail would be great as well, my favourite are nerite snails. Of course, I wouldn't have all of these at once in a 10G tank - that would be a severely overstocked tank and there would be a larger possibility of aggression because the fish have less space. I would say that 1 betta, around 6 schooling fish and otos/snails would be a good 10G tank.

Try to quarantine new additions to an established tank to prevent disease from spreading and never impulse buy any fish - do as much research as you can before getting new fish. Also be sure to buy a good filter (a gentle hang on back is alright, sponge filters are also great) and a heater (unless you live in a very warm climate). All the fish I've listed are pretty undemanding and hardy. Have fun!
 

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Hi and Welcome!

If you like Tetras with a Betta you may look into this thread:
Bettas and tetras?

It could also be a good idea to first choosing the Betta and getting to know him and his tank maintenance before adding other fish.

Have you already decided on the tank set up (artificial or natural plants), substrate, rocks, wood?
 
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Welcome to the Forum!

What you can have in a tank is more dependent on the tank's dimension than gallons. A 10 gallon that is 20 x 10 x 12 can have more than a 10 that is tall.

Feanor is correct in that it's a good idea to have the Betta first and learn its temperament. This also gives you a chance to cycle the tank CYCLING: the two-sentence tutorial

You want a shoal of at least six; eight to 12 is better when housed with a predator. This keeps the aggression within the shoal. With fewer, the aggression will be directed outside of the shoal and there goes your Betta's fins.

I've not found a difference in temperament among the different fin-types. I say buy what you like and then work on stocking.
 

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Harlequin rasboras are great tank mates! I have a group of five with my male betta and platies in my 20 gallon.
 
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