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Should I get neon tetras?

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Discussion Starter #1
I have a couple of questions about adding new tank mates to my relatively new beta tank(The beta has been in it for 3 weeks). I have a 10 gallon tank 20in x 10in x 12 in, with led lights, 5 live plants), 1 little (4in x 1.5in x 6in) decoration(also planning to get a more natural decoration that is more cave than decoration), a very good tetra whisper filter, and a heater that keeps my tank at a constant 78 degree farenheight. Also I do weekly 25% water changes. My tank already has a couple of cory catfish that are awesome but not very colorful and I would like to add some small colorful fish that would not disturb the beta. I have done some research and I have decided neon tetras would be a good option. So here are the questions. 1. When I first added the beta in, he would flare at the corys if they got within 1 inch of him, since the tetras are colorful, would he do worse than flare at them? 2. Is my tank large enough to add 4-6 neon tetras? 3. should I feed them separate food than I feed the beta like I do with the cory catfish? I will appreciate any feedback I get, thanks! Also yes, the tank is already cycled.

P.S. My beta's name is Cho, (butterfly in japanese). Just saying.
 

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RusselltheShihTzu
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First, welcome to the forum!

I am not a fan of Neons with Betta as they (the Neons) tend to be very nippy and decimate Betta tails. I am actually in the process of either rehoming mine or putting them in with the African Dwarf Frogs. IMO, a better colorful stocking option would be 3-5 male Fancy Guppies. It's a myth that they can't be housed with Betta because the Betta see them as rival males.

If you do go with Neons it would be better to wait until your tank has been cycled 3-4 weeks and parameters are stable as they can be quite sensitive to fluctuating parameters.

As far as your Betta, only you can answer what he will do if you add more fish. Color has nothing to do with his behavior. It's always best to have a back-up plan even if that plan is to return the new fish.

As far as feeding, I feed the Betta NLS pellets and Ken's Five-Stick Blend to the rest of the residents of my Betta-based community tanks. However, there can be a problem with the Betta gorging on the non-Betta food.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
First, welcome to the forum!

I am not a fan of Neons with Betta as they (the Neons) tend to be very nippy and decimate Betta tails. I am actually in the process of either rehoming mine or putting them in with the African Dwarf Frogs. IMO, a better colorful stocking option would be 3-5 male Fancy Guppies. It's a myth that they can't be housed with Betta because the Betta see them as rival males.

If you do go with Neons it would be better to wait until your tank has been cycled 3-4 weeks and parameters are stable as they can be quite sensitive to fluctuating parameters.

As far as your Betta, only you can answer what he will do if you add more fish. Color has nothing to do with his behavior. It's always best to have a back-up plan even if that plan is to return the new fish.

As far as feeding, I feed the Betta NLS pellets and Ken's Five-Stick Blend to the rest of the residents of my Betta-based community tanks. However, there can be a problem with the Betta gorging on the non-Betta food.
I think you may have misunderstood, I am concerned that my beta will go after the neon tetras because neons are colorful, not that that the beta will attack because he is colorful. Also, my beta has very delicate fins as gentle as silk, so does that mean the neons will ruin them? I thought betas will attack fancy guppies because they look a lot like other male betas, and betas will attack other male betas? Any other good alternatives to neons and guppies that are also colorful, not as nippy, and don't look so much like betas? Thank you.
 

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RusselltheShihTzu
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I think you may have misunderstood, I am concerned that my beta will go after the neon tetras because neons are colorful, not that that the beta will attack because he is colorful. Also, my beta has very delicate fins as gentle as silk, so does that mean the neons will ruin them? I thought betas will attack fancy guppies because they look a lot like other male betas, and betas will attack other male betas? Any other good alternatives to neons and guppies that are also colorful, not as nippy, and don't look so much like betas? Thank you.
I understood you. Just wanted to make sure you knew the Neons pose more of a threat to your Betta than your Betta does to them. I am rehoming my Neons because they will shredded Dexter's fins. I thought he was tail-biting until I saw the Neons go after him.

It's really a myth that male Betta see colorful male Fancy Guppies as other male Betta. I don't know why people continue to perpetuate it. We have a ton of posts by people who keep the two together with no issues and I've done it for years. Never had a nipping problem with my Guppies.

A picture of your tank would help with determining what fish might work. But, to reiterate, a back-up plan is necessary should Cho prove unwelcoming. It doesn't matter if they're colorful or not. Betta that don't do well with colorful tankmates don't do well with drab ones, either.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Any colorful options other than guppys or tetras?

I understood you. Just wanted to make sure you knew the Neons pose more of a threat to your Betta than your Betta does to them. I am rehoming my Neons because they will shredded Dexter's fins. I thought he was tail-biting until I saw the Neons go after him.

It's really a myth that male Betta see colorful male Fancy Guppies as other male Betta. I don't know why people continue to perpetuate it. We have a ton of posts by people who keep the two together with no issues and I've done it for years. Never had a nipping problem with my Guppies.

A picture of your tank would help with determining what fish might work. But, to reiterate, a back-up plan is necessary should Cho prove unwelcoming. It doesn't matter if they're colorful or not. Betta that don't do well with colorful tankmates don't do well with drab ones, either.
Thankyou, Im still not so sure about the guppies though, they look a lot like betas. Even though I am sure what you said was true I still think that my slightly aggressive beta, that when first put in the tank would flare at the corys if they got to close, might become jealous or angry at the fancy guppy and attack the long flowing tales:-(. Are there any colorful tank mate options for betas other than tetras, and guppys, because I haven't heard of any. I read that if you keep tetras in schools of 6 or more they won't be nippy and won't attack the fins, Is that true? I find that hard to believe. Also here is a picture of my tank,, I have 3 corys, a gold inca snail, and my metallic butterfly beta. This is not how my tank would look when adding the new fish though, I am planning to add 3 more plants and redesign it using some limestone looking caves that are pretty large so all of the fish will have a place to hide. Thanks! :-D
 

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If you had a larger tank, I'd suggest pencilfish as they are very interesting lil guys, but they need lots of cover and a 20 gallon minimum tank size.

Black phantom tetras are kinda pretty, but not colorful.
http://tropicalfishandaquariums.com/Tetras/ this site i used when finding a tetra species for my South American community. I ended up with black phantoms and the distantly related pencilfish. Tetras get less nippy with larger schools but you need a bunch.
You could try mollies or platies which don't have the flowing tails but have colorful bodies.
Guppies are hit and miss as far as compatibility.

If you have a fish specialty store(not a chain store but just a fish store,) I'd suggest taking a look around there too. I find a lot more stuff browsing stores than I do online simply because I can't search for what I don't know exists.

I would recommend more plants in any case. You have LEDS by the looks of it so you should be able to get away with most plants. With the cories, I'd also suggest getting at least two more and putting them on sand. Not only will you see a change in behavior with them, but it's healthier for them as well. The plants would make everyone happy and provide a beautiful contrast as well as help parameters.

There's some really nice low level care plants. I personally keep several low tech tanks and I can support:
Ludwigia repens
Ludwigia arcuata
Bacopa (which if you let grow above the waterline will flower with pretty little purple flowers)
Rotala nanjenshan
Rotala rotundifolia
Alternanthera reineckii (beautiful plant)
Windelov fern
Water Wisteria
Most Sword plants (My favorite right now being a big echinodorus ozelot I picked up)
Myriophyllum mattogrossense
Most Hygrophilas
Most floating plants
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If you had a larger tank, I'd suggest pencilfish as they are very interesting lil guys, but they need lots of cover and a 20 gallon minimum tank size.

Black phantom tetras are kinda pretty, but not colorful.
http://tropicalfishandaquariums.com/Tetras/ this site i used when finding a tetra species for my South American community. I ended up with black phantoms and the distantly related pencilfish. Tetras get less nippy with larger schools but you need a bunch.
You could try mollies or platies which don't have the flowing tails but have colorful bodies.
Guppies are hit and miss as far as compatibility.

I would recommend more plants in any case. You have LEDS by the looks of it so you should be able to get away with most plants. With the cories, I'd also suggest getting at least two more and putting them on sand. Not only will you see a change in behavior with them, but it's healthier for them as well. The plants would make everyone happy and provide a beautiful contrast as well as help parameters.

There's some really nice low level care plants. I personally keep several low tech tanks and I can support:
Ludwigia repens
Ludwigia arcuata
Bacopa (which if you let grow above the waterline will flower with pretty little purple flowers)
Rotala nanjenshan
Rotala rotundifolia
Alternanthera reineckii (beautiful plant)
Windelov fern
Water Wisteria
Most Sword plants (My favorite right now being a big echinodorus ozelot I picked up)
Myriophyllum mattogrossense
Most Hygrophilas
Most floating plants
How would I remove the gravel, and add sand without taking out the water? I dont want to drain out the water completely. Should I put the fish in large jars for like 30 mins while I do it? Im probably going to get black phantom tetras, I really like the look of them. Like I said I was planning to add 3 more plants but I have the funds to add about 5 more plants if necessary.
 

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You can take a clean litter scoop, the kind with the very fine slots so your gravel doesn't fall through and scoop it out that way, then pour your sand in. I'd definitely remove the fish for that. The reason I say to change is because the little barbels on the cories face are very sensitive and them searching the bottom for food with gravel can irritate them if not totally rip them off, thus inviting infection. Sand allows them to search and snuffle around without damaging their barbels. More cories will allow you to see the true playful nature of those cute little guys.

For more natural decor, driftwood is loved by most, if not all fish. However, if you like your water clear, you would want to soak it for a while or get it from a tank thats been presoaking. Dry driftwood floats, and releases tannins which will make your tank look like someone poured tea in it. Healthy for the fish and beautiful if you're going for the blackwater natural aesthetic, but irritating if you like your water crystal clear.

I would suggest getting larger plants, since you do intend to add more. That way you get more "bang for your buck" so to speak. The ones that come in the plastic tubes are fine plants, but ridiculously overpriced. All they guarantee is that you won't get snails or diseases. Thats fine and all, but a good quarantine system of a week or two will give you almost the same results.
Anacharis bunches are pretty and relatively inexpensive. Just quarantine them for a bit(at least a week) if they are in a tank that has any access to the water that cycles through the fish tanks. A couple of my petsmarts and petcos have separate plant tanks. Anacharis will "melt" when first introduced to water so if you see it getting wilty and brownish, don't throw it out. It will sprout new stalks that will be adapted to your water. Clip these off from the old and plant them. You can throw out the old wilted after. Sword plants are also great cover for cheap. You can usually get a pretty big sword plant for not a lot.
Bacopa is another cheap alternative that usually comes in large bunches and can cover a tank.
If you can get Myrio, the stuff grows like a weed and can cover your tank quick. Plus the leaves are kinda feathery and a great contrast to the normal rounded or grass-like leaves of most other plants.
If you have the money for several tube plants, you can entirely fill that tank if you get bunches that are in the tanks. Anacharis is like 4$ a bunch around here, Bacopa is like 3$ or so I've gotten probably a good 7-10 plants out of a bacopa bunch before. Anacharis I get about 3-6.
 

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Rasboras are another option. there is a lovely neoneish green type in my lfs.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You can take a clean litter scoop, the kind with the very fine slots so your gravel doesn't fall through and scoop it out that way, then pour your sand in. I'd definitely remove the fish for that. The reason I say to change is because the little barbels on the cories face are very sensitive and them searching the bottom for food with gravel can irritate them if not totally rip them off, thus inviting infection. Sand allows them to search and snuffle around without damaging their barbels. More cories will allow you to see the true playful nature of those cute little guys.

For more natural decor, driftwood is loved by most, if not all fish. However, if you like your water clear, you would want to soak it for a while or get it from a tank thats been presoaking. Dry driftwood floats, and releases tannins which will make your tank look like someone poured tea in it. Healthy for the fish and beautiful if you're going for the blackwater natural aesthetic, but irritating if you like your water crystal clear.

I would suggest getting larger plants, since you do intend to add more. That way you get more "bang for your buck" so to speak. The ones that come in the plastic tubes are fine plants, but ridiculously overpriced. All they guarantee is that you won't get snails or diseases. Thats fine and all, but a good quarantine system of a week or two will give you almost the same results.
Anacharis bunches are pretty and relatively inexpensive. Just quarantine them for a bit(at least a week) if they are in a tank that has any access to the water that cycles through the fish tanks. A couple of my petsmarts and petcos have separate plant tanks. Anacharis will "melt" when first introduced to water so if you see it getting wilty and brownish, don't throw it out. It will sprout new stalks that will be adapted to your water. Clip these off from the old and plant them. You can throw out the old wilted after. Sword plants are also great cover for cheap. You can usually get a pretty big sword plant for not a lot.
Bacopa is another cheap alternative that usually comes in large bunches and can cover a tank.
If you can get Myrio, the stuff grows like a weed and can cover your tank quick. Plus the leaves are kinda feathery and a great contrast to the normal rounded or grass-like leaves of most other plants.
If you have the money for several tube plants, you can entirely fill that tank if you get bunches that are in the tanks. Anacharis is like 4$ a bunch around here, Bacopa is like 3$ or so I've gotten probably a good 7-10 plants out of a bacopa bunch before. Anacharis I get about 3-6.
I have decided I am going to get sand, ill take out half of the water and put the water in a bucket, add the fish to that water, take out decor, scoop out the gravel, put in sand, add decor, add water and fish, DONE! :D Ive found a couple of nice underwater plants at my local petco that I love, ill add those, I also found some cool limestone looking rock caves, one is pretty large, one is small. Also the fish that I am going to get are rasboras, like 6 of them. Thanks for your help, if any part of my plan seems like a bad idea please tell me.
 

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If they are plastic, I'd make sure they don't emit any toxic smells like burning smell or anything. If they're real rock, make sure they don't affect your water parameters. Otherwise, all sounds great! :>
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I have a question, what fish would be better to add to my tank, also how many of it should I get? 1. Swordtails 2. cardinal tetras 3. fancy guppies, 4. Rasboras

Thank you

Also For some reason Cho sometimes just struts around the top of his tank flaring every once in a while at seemingly nothing, he seemed to have gotten over his flaring at his own reflection problem a while ago, don't know whats up :p any ideas? It happens mostly at later hours, so I just end up turning the lights off so he can't see anything that would cause him to flare.
 

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RusselltheShihTzu
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Cardinal Tetras and Neons are equally nippy.

Rasbora need a minumum of six but preferably 10 or more which would be no problem in a 10. Three-five Fancy Guppies.

However, looking at your tank, you need to wait on tank mates and get at the very least 10 times the plant cover you have now; especially if you believe your Betta to be semi-aggressive. To successfully keep tank mates a Betta should have no clear line of sight/chase. There has to be enough plant cover for the other fish to rest. Below is my 20 long (30 x 12 x 12) a year ago. It successfully houses several species with a Betta. This is what I mean by enough cover.

Whatever you do have a backup plan and if you think he'll be too aggressive maybe you should consider African Dwarf Frogs? Most Betta don't bother them.
 

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Russell if you want to ship your neons I'll take them lol. I have 15 in my 120 gallon that need some buddies, and for some reason the local stock here has a bunch of them that have a weird humped head that I don't trust.
 
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