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Hey there, all! A friends of mine is new to the world of betta owning, and she's looking at getting a few little tankmates for her little guy, and we're looking for some suggestions! She has a 2.5 gallon tank, but is thinking of upgrading to a 5 gallon before she gets any friends for her buddy, Ragsy. Any help and/or pointers would be greatly appreciated!
Also, if you know anything about planting live plants in an aquarium, some pointers for that would also very helpful!
Thank you so much, guys! ^_^
 

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Personally, I wouldn't recommend a tankmate for a 2.5g or 5g.

Shrimp -> A lot of betta will attack and snack them. In addition, they are delicate and bad water parameters can kill them easily.
Nerite snail -> It only eat specific kinds of natural algae. I have never been able to kept them for long in my 5.5 gallon tank.
Mystery snail -> It eats zucchini and algae wafers. However, they poop a lot and some betta like to pick its antennas.

She needs to have a backup plan in case the tankmate things fails. The backup plan means she needs to rehome the critters or has another tank for them.

Tankmates are for us, not for betta. My betta is being happy alone in a 5.5 gallon.
 

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About all I'd recommend in a 5 gal is snails.

Nerites, as already mentioned nearly always will only eat live algae, they won't eat anything else. I've found that to be true with the two I have in my 5 gal tank. So in order to keep them she'll need to allow some algae to develop in the tank. I purposely leave the light in my tank on for at least 8 hours a day so that I know some algae grows for my two. While a female nerite will lay eggs in freshwater the eggs will not hatch.

I also have Malaysian Trumpet Snails in my 5 gal, they are left over from when I had my soil substrate. They will eat left over food, algae, and dead plant matter. I also supplement their diet with snello (snail jello) to ensure they get the calcium they need for shell development. They are not the prettiest of snails, are nocturnal, and they do breed and are live breeders (do not lay eggs).

I have ramshorns in my 3 gal, they were in a 2.5 gal before I added a betta, and I moved them all to the 3 gal. The 2.5 gal tank cycled with just the snails. Ramshorns, like the MTS eat left over food, algae, and dead plant matter. Also like the MTS I supplement their diet with snello. They are cute little snails and pretty active in their search for food. They have the ability to glide, upside down, across the top of the water. Drawback is that also like the MTS they do breed.

With any snails that breed you can control the population by culling the the egg sacs and hatchlings when you find them, also they do not breed nearly as fast if they are not overfeed. I only feed mine snello once every week or two, and I do not overfeed my betta so very little food drops to the bottom of the tank.
 
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