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I recently acquired a 5.5 gallon aquarium for one of my bettas and was looking into a tank companion, possibly a cleaner-type like a catfish or shrimp?

I'm familiar with 10 gallon stocking,but not 5 gallon. I don't want a whole bunch of fish just like 1-3 or so (whatever fits).

if you think its best that the betta get the 5.5 all to himself please tell me. I've never had a mid-sized tank before. Smaller than this and he'd definitely have the tank all to himself x3
 

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I had 2-3 ghost shrimp in my 5 gallon for 6 months and they did a great job at keeping it clean. They are really fascinating to watch as well. When Oliver's long-time shrimp buddies died from natural causes and I replaced them with new ones, Oliver decided he didn't like the newest recruits. If you have a more aggressive betta who doesn't want to share his territory, they sometimes end up being injured or eaten.
 

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If you have a nice betta. You could do some small schooling fish like ember tetras or galaxy rasboras. Also some pygmy or habrosus (spelling ?) Cories.
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I would do a Nerite snail and culture algae for it in a bowl of rocks (in water) on a window sill.

If you wanted more than three, five or six small Cories like Pygmy (never fewer) would be okay but that's really pushing it in a 5.5 as shoaling/schooling fish do best in a 10 or better. Even five or six small shoaling species with all their activity in such a small space can stress some Bettas to the point of making them vulnurable to illness so I don't really recommend it.

You could also do two or three male Guppies but they can be nippy. The business about a Betta mistaking them for another male Betta is a myth.
 

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I have a male betta and a 1 ghost shrimp so far.
My betta will sometimes stare at him but not flare at him or attack him.
What I noticed is that whenever my betta swims close to the shrimp he will use his long antenna and kinda pokes at my betta (like shoo! shoo! XD) but nothing serious like having to separate them. They are very fun to watch. :-D
 

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I vote nerite snail as well, not only they keep aquarium algae free but they are easy care and don't breed in freshwater so no snail overpopulation. Mystery snails are very smelly and messy and I would not keep one in a 5 gallon. They also have a large flashy body that an aggressive betta would love to pick at. I've seen a lot of mystery snails lose their eyes to an aggressive betta :C
 

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If you have a nice betta. You could do some small schooling fish like ember tetras or galaxy rasboras. Also some pygmy or habrosus (spelling ?) Cories.
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Awfully small for schooling fish... the tank may be advertised as 5.5 gallons, but most tanks hold a little less, and keeping 5 pygmy cories and a betta in that tank is kind of pushing it.

Shrimp or ADFs would probably be just fine in there, though.
 
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