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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm just getting back into fishkeeping after 11 years, and I'd like to try something new this time. I used to have a betta in a 2.5g, and platys in a 10g and they were fun, but this time I'd like to get a 10 gallon tank with a betta and some cory cats and create a planted aquascape. I'm going to be moving soon, so I won't be starting until things settle down, but I want to read up on them in the meantime and plan out the tank. Here's my planned tankmates so far:

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  • Tankmates - Would it be ok to have these fish in the same tank together? I hear that bettas don't really pay attention to bottom-feeders, however the website I've been using to plan the tank Aquavisor says that they may be aggressive towards the shrimp. But when I look at other articles they say that they're compatible. I'm wondering if anyone has any personal experience with this?
  • Plants: I want to plant this aquarium, and I have no clue where to start! I think I'd like some anubias and java fern, but I'm still reading up on the plants. Are there any beginner-friendly plants that bettas, cories, and shrimp like?
If you have any other reccomendations or advice I'd love to hear it, I'm here to learn :D
 

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Hi, I personally wouldn’t do that stocking for a 10 gallon— I’d opt for a 20 gallon long instead because the corydoras will need more space to forage and dig in the sand (please use sand as the substrate if you go for corydoras). Another thing is that your suggested fish numbers is not sufficient for corys- you need a group of 6+ per species. Because of this, I would choose one species and then have a larger number of them so they have more friends. I hope that helps!!

And by the way— Aquadviser is good in that it gives you an idea of the strain on the beneficial bacteria but it doesn’t give you an idea of other aspects like substrate, the way fish use the space, school size, etc so it shouldn’t be used as a final say… it would be nice if it was perfect though!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi, I personally wouldn’t do that stocking for a 10 gallon— I’d opt for a 20 gallon long instead because the corydoras will need more space to forage and dig in the sand (please use sand as the substrate if you go for corydoras). Another thing is that your suggested fish numbers is not sufficient for corys- you need a group of 6+ per species. Because of this, I would choose one species and then have a larger number of them so they have more friends. I hope that helps!!

And by the way— Aquadviser is good in that it gives you an idea of the strain on the beneficial bacteria but it doesn’t give you an idea of other aspects like substrate, the way fish use the space, school size, etc so it shouldn’t be used as a final say… it would be nice if it was perfect though!
Thanks for the reply, and I appreciate the warning!
That's good to know about Aquadviser, it was so advanced so I though they took all of that into consideration. I'll be sure to go up to a 20g then! I plan for this tank to be in the main room, so it being bigger won't be a problem. But the corys have to be the same species or they won't school together? Can they really tell? :O

I've never used sand as substrate before, how do you clean it? I remember with gravel that I would use the tank vaccum/siphon to suck up any debris, but that wouldn't work with the sand.
 

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Some of my corys of different species seem to hang out together but yes, they do still the same species. And for clean up, you can just hover the siphon a little bit above the sand and any debris you’re trying to remove should be picked up. Please keep me updated on the tank, I’d love to see photos as it all comes together!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Some of my corys of different species seem to hang out together but yes, they do still the same species. And for clean up, you can just hover the siphon a little bit above the sand and any debris you’re trying to remove should be picked up. Please keep me updated on the tank, I’d love to see photos as it all comes together!
Oooh, gotcha, that makes sense, thanks!
And I sure will, I'm excited to get everything rolling! Another question for you guys, does this forum have a chat or Discord channel?
And do you know of any way of adopting a betta instead of buying one? If there's no way, then I'll buy one, but I would want to go with a local breeder or store (Not a big chain pet store) if that were to be the case. :)
 

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Hi, as @NoodleTheMysteryBetta mentioned, the 10 gallon is a bit too small for the stocking you are thinking of. I would also recommend getting at least 5 corys of the species you choose, sometimes they do school together even if they are different types of corys. If you want to include more types of cory you could also go for smaller cory and you might be able to add a bigger school. Sand would definitely be your way to go since gravel can be a little too rough for the cory's barbs. They also dig through the sand so they keep it mostly clean and whatever waste gets disturbed can be picked up by the filter, at least this has been my experience with corys.

I've also kept betta with shrimp and they seem to do well. So far I've had no issues especially with Ghost Shrimp since they don't have the bright colors. I also currently have a male betta with cherry shrimp, one baby male guppy, and another baby fish that I do not know the name for. The two baby fish hitched a ride with the cherries when I bought them and I didn't notice until I was acclimating them to the tank. The betta only seems to dislike the male guppy since he has bright colors, but there are plenty of hiding places for it since the tank is heavily planted. Ghost shrimp are the cheapest to buy, however they are considered feeder shrimp so they don't always survive initial introduction due to the high stress they have been put through already. I've had a pretty good success rate with them though, very interesting animals, I would also suggest drip acclimation for all shrimp, this ensures a higher survival rate. Shrimp also tend to be more delicate to any water changes so I wouldn't suggest a fish-in cycle, I would suggest fully cycling the tank before introducing the shrimp.

As for plants I would suggest java ferns, anubias, and amazon swords since they have bigger leaves the betta can use them to rest on, stem plants would also be really good for waste filtration, I've had really good success with rotala rotundifolia, elodea/anacharis, pogostemon stellatus octopus, water sprite, vallisneria, cryptocoryne wendtii and cryptocoryne lutea, and aquarium lilies (usually sold as bulbs). All of my tanks are low tech, so I don't use any oxygen and I've had great success with all of these, I have to trim the stem plants almost every other week. I do use fertilizers on my 40 gallon tank but the other two 5 gallons get no fertilizer and the plants seem to be doing great.

Sorry for the long paragraphs, hope this helps though. I would also love to see your fish tank once it's set up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi, as @NoodleTheMysteryBetta mentioned, the 10 gallon is a bit too small for the stocking you are thinking of. I would also recommend getting at least 5 corys of the species you choose, sometimes they do school together even if they are different types of corys. If you want to include more types of cory you could also go for smaller cory and you might be able to add a bigger school. Sand would definitely be your way to go since gravel can be a little too rough for the cory's barbs. They also dig through the sand so they keep it mostly clean and whatever waste gets disturbed can be picked up by the filter, at least this has been my experience with corys.

I've also kept betta with shrimp and they seem to do well. So far I've had no issues especially with Ghost Shrimp since they don't have the bright colors. I also currently have a male betta with cherry shrimp, one baby male guppy, and another baby fish that I do not know the name for. The two baby fish hitched a ride with the cherries when I bought them and I didn't notice until I was acclimating them to the tank. The betta only seems to dislike the male guppy since he has bright colors, but there are plenty of hiding places for it since the tank is heavily planted. Ghost shrimp are the cheapest to buy, however they are considered feeder shrimp so they don't always survive initial introduction due to the high stress they have been put through already. I've had a pretty good success rate with them though, very interesting animals, I would also suggest drip acclimation for all shrimp, this ensures a higher survival rate. Shrimp also tend to be more delicate to any water changes so I wouldn't suggest a fish-in cycle, I would suggest fully cycling the tank before introducing the shrimp.

As for plants I would suggest java ferns, anubias, and amazon swords since they have bigger leaves the betta can use them to rest on, stem plants would also be really good for waste filtration, I've had really good success with rotala rotundifolia, elodea/anacharis, pogostemon stellatus octopus, water sprite, vallisneria, cryptocoryne wendtii and cryptocoryne lutea, and aquarium lilies (usually sold as bulbs). All of my tanks are low tech, so I don't use any oxygen and I've had great success with all of these, I have to trim the stem plants almost every other week. I do use fertilizers on my 40 gallon tank but the other two 5 gallons get no fertilizer and the plants seem to be doing great.

Sorry for the long paragraphs, hope this helps though. I would also love to see your fish tank once it's set up.
No, thank you for the detail! I'm so happy that people here are so willing to share their advice and experiences :)
Ghost shrimp are feeders? Never knew! I was thinking about what Noodle was saying and I think I'll just get the betta and maybe 5-10 ghost shrimp. Then I might get a 20 gal down the road.

That's a good list to get me started, I'm just worried about choosing ones that look good together... Ah well, the tank will look beautiful once everything is planted and set up :D
 
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