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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Help with new community tank and setup!!

Hey everyone I am wondering peoples opinions on something. I am a 24 year old male and looking to get back into the world of aquatics and fishkeeping. I can remember the joy I got as a boy watching my goldfish swim around, now as an adult with a stressful life I'm looking for some serenity in a new hobby along with an interesting pet to watch and a room decoration. I have decided on purchasing a new tank and also have decided on the betta as my main attraction so to speak of my aquarium. I have done all of my research on such over the past few days but had some questions maybe you guys could answer or give some opinions on for me. Heres what I have gathered. What I ideally want is to try and have a community tank. But. With space constraints and not wanting to jump head first into everything nothing over a 10 gallon. Which is a very small tank for such. The species I have in mind are 1 moontail male betta, 3-5 ghost shrimp, 1 small apple snail, and a small school (6-8) of either neon tetras or if I can find them some breed of rasboras. Im on a pretty tight budget and was looking to spend no more than 100 dollars on a build. I know about the nitrate cycling and water conditioning before hand and small feeding to promote good bacteria growth. Ive done my research lol. My question is. Would a 10 gallon with a slightly overpowered filter be enough to handle said setup? What products would you guys reccomend buying best bang for your buck? I have a localpetsmart*but no petco and very few pet stores otherwise. And of course the Internet. My ideal setup would be to have a single live plant, a betta hammock, silk decorative plants, a black background, a hood with white and blue leds, small black gravel sultrate with slightly larger polished white and gray stones scattered overtop, and of course other decorations as I readily find them such as caves for hiding and etc. I like the contrast of the light colored fish, dark surrounding and mixed led lights to make the fish pop as the room it will be in is always fairly dark. What is the best starter kit that I could purchase to accomodate what im looking to achieve? I can upgrade the filter or heater if need be plus add aeration but the kits seem to be way cheaper than buying a 20 dollar tank and then a 25 dollar filter and 20 dollar heater and 30 dollar hood plus aeration and decoration. I also like the idea of acrylic tanks but not the price. I am definitely a bargain shopper but not opposed to spending*money*just want the best bang for my buck. This thread may seem scattered but ive been looking so much I want people with experiences input. Also I am open to suggest on other creature and fish combos I could do? I like the idea of having a shoaling fish thatre quick moving and then the betta being slow and majestic. Then the shrimp as scavengers and possible snacks and the snail for algae If any occurs. I have read enough to put the smaller fish in first so that the betta feels more as if its being introduced to their home rather than them intruding on his. I'll end this post in saying any and all opinions on my setup and opinions on what to buy or change are welcomed and appreciated!!! Thanks in advance!
 

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1. Seachem Prime
2. API Master Test Kit;
3. Do not attempt to cycle with more than the Betta in the tank
4. Do you mean you want the shrimp as snacks? For the Betta????
5. When tank is cycled add one species at a time so as not to overload the beneficial bacteria;
6. What is a Moontail Betta?
7. The more live plants you have the easier to cycle and the happier the residents will be;
8. If you get a floating plant you will need Seachem Flourish Comprehensive;
9. If you get a rooted plant (like a Sword) you will need root tabs;
10. I would opt for floating plants like Guppy/Najas Grass, Hornwort, Cabomba, Water Wisteria, etc., over a hammock;
11. The more Neons the less nippy they will be; a 10 can easily handle 10+ Neons;
12. Buy the biggest tank you can afford;
13. Get to know your Betta's temperaments; some are too aggressive to have tank mates and you need to know that;
14. Most important: Have a back-up plan; not all Betta can handle fast-moving shoaling fish and it stresses them out especially if you don't have enough plants to break up the zip-zip movement of Neons, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Im still in research right now thats why im asking. Im going to cycle the tank with no fish in it and then after It cycles change out half of it with new treated water and then introduce fish. Ive personally never had a problem with the shock killing fish, but again most of experience has been with the goldfish family or crustaceans. Plus i want to add the tetra, shrimp, and snail before the betta to better aclimate him as kind of the new guy in town and hope he respects his neighbors rather than having him in there first and thinking the tank is strictly his domain and anything that enters is a snack. Im gonna take all precautions I can. The shrimp would not primarily be bought as snacks. But theyre a fast breeding animal and heard after they are about adult length of an inch a betta typically will leave them alone. Plus theyre almost transparent so theyre hard to keep track of for the fish to attack. But. I figured the betta having the agressive nature they have, could help keep the population down and let him use some of his instincts. I of course will be trying to scoop out and sell or donate any fry shrimp I get. I don't need a tank overrun with them even though they are cool to watch scurry around. I never thought about the floating plants. More tank healthy definitely and he would like that better than just a hammock I would assume. I want to have as much foliage as I can to allow hiding spots for the fish like in nature without taking away from the good looks of the tank. Thats why I want to get an artificial silk plant for decoration plus if I could find a thick more bushy type live or fake plant to keep in like the back corner as like a bedding area. Was just looking into back up plans tonight. The 10 gallon is going to be a long time running tank once I establish it so I was thinking of buying a little 2.5 or 3 gallon first and putting just the betta and snail in there, possibly a single shrimp just to get things up and running so I can slowly accumulate what I want for my setup so im doing it right the first time instead of buying cheap and then replacing half the equipment as I go. I want my fish happy and content so they can thrive. Plus if I buy the small tank first I will have it as a backup tank in case the male I buy is too agressive to be in a community tank he can go in his own little tank and sit on the kitchen counter or something.
 

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It's always easier to maintain a bigger tank.I'd think about getting a 20 or 29 gallon. Check Craig's list,you can often get really great deals.

I keep a male betta in a community tank with tetras and dwarf frogs. You can check it out in my journal if you like.

I really like tetra safe start for cycling with fish in. Plants will really help control ammonia and nitrites too.

Have fun!
 

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You might ask a Moderator to remove your double post in the Compatability section.

I don't understand changing out with half treated water but I could have misread as I have a hard time reading solid type with no paragraphs ... my age showing. :) And, I do fish-in cycles with a Betta before adding the other tank mates. In my experience it doesn't really matter which comes first: The Betta or the other fish. I have always had the Bettas first and later added the other fish and had absolutely no problem. I do believe introducing the new fish into a dark tank and leaving it that way for at least 30 minutes is why I've always been successful. Plus, I don't do the floating thing so the Betta never had a chance to get frustrated with those creatures in the bag.

Shrimp need a mature, fully-cycled aquarium as they are extremely sensitive to changing parameters. Even .25 ppm Ammonia can kill them. For long-term, optimum health, I don't recommend adding them until the tank has been established for at least a couple of months. Also, it's doubtful your shrimp will breed in your projected tank as it doesn't appear to offer them the environment they need. If you're speaking of Ghost Shrimp, they need brackish water and don't successfully spawn in freshwater.

And you want more than a single shrimp no matter the size of the tank. The fewest I would ever introduce is 10. As with all prey animals there is safety in numbers and just having one or two can easily cause death just from the stress. I liken it to expecting a herd of one or two horses to successfully live out their lives in couger country. :)
 

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Hey everyone I am wondering peoples opinions on something. I am a 24 year old male and looking to get back into the world of aquatics and fishkeeping. I can remember the joy I got as a boy watching my goldfish swim around, now as an adult with a stressful life I'm looking for some serenity in a new hobby along with an interesting pet to watch and a room decoration. I have decided on purchasing a new tank and also have decided on the betta as my main attraction so to speak of my aquarium. I have done all of my research on such over the past few days but had some questions maybe you guys could answer or give some opinions on for me. Heres what I have gathered. What I ideally want is to try and have a community tank. But. With space constraints and not wanting to jump head first into everything nothing over a 10 gallon. Which is a very small tank for such. The species I have in mind are 1 moontail male betta, 3-5 ghost shrimp, 1 small apple snail, and a small school (6-8) of either neon tetras or if I can find them some breed of rasboras. Im on a pretty tight budget and was looking to spend no more than 100 dollars on a build. I know about the nitrate cycling and water conditioning before hand and small feeding to promote good bacteria growth. Ive done my research lol. My question is. Would a 10 gallon with a slightly overpowered filter be enough to handle said setup? What products would you guys reccomend buying best bang for your buck? I have a localpetsmart*but no petco and very few pet stores otherwise. And of course the Internet. My ideal setup would be to have a single live plant, a betta hammock, silk decorative plants, a black background, a hood with white and blue leds, small black gravel sultrate with slightly larger polished white and gray stones scattered overtop, and of course other decorations as I readily find them such as caves for hiding and etc. I like the contrast of the light colored fish, dark surrounding and mixed led lights to make the fish pop as the room it will be in is always fairly dark. What is the best starter kit that I could purchase to accomodate what im looking to achieve? I can upgrade the filter or heater if need be plus add aeration but the kits seem to be way cheaper than buying a 20 dollar tank and then a 25 dollar filter and 20 dollar heater and 30 dollar hood plus aeration and decoration. I also like the idea of acrylic tanks but not the price. I am definitely a bargain shopper but not opposed to spending*money*just want the best bang for my buck. This thread may seem scattered but ive been looking so much I want people with experiences input. Also I am open to suggest on other creature and fish combos I could do? I like the idea of having a shoaling fish thatre quick moving and then the betta being slow and majestic. Then the shrimp as scavengers and possible snacks and the snail for algae If any occurs. I have read enough to put the smaller fish in first so that the betta feels more as if its being introduced to their home rather than them intruding on his. I'll end this post in saying any and all opinions on my setup and opinions on what to buy or change are welcomed and appreciated!!! Thanks in advance!
From what I read, you seem to be on the right track as far as I can tell. Based on my knowledge a 10 gallon would easily support the fish. Something to consider, I know you said 1 live plant, however it is always beneficial to include live plants in a tank! I'm sure with a little research you could find something you find enjoyable. Also, I have a betta in a 5 gallon by himself and I tried to go with decorations and fake plants. That didn't work, as his fins would scrape the decorations and plastic plants. As soon as I noticed this, I immediately replaced most decorations with live plants. Since, he seems to be a MUCH happier fish. Moral of the story: if you do want to use artificial plants and decorations : AVOID SHARP EDGES. Also as far as the filtration: you seem to have a somewhat moderate to light load on a 10 gallon, so a filter rated for slightly more than 10 would certainly work. I've always been told you want a filter with a rating of about x8 or x10 your tank capacity. (For example, I'm currently setting up a 55 gallon tank, so I'm looking for a filter with a gph rating of about 600 gph.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for the information on the shrimp. I like them as a scavenger but hadnt looked into ideal water conditions. I hope they will be able to survive as part of the community in the big tank. I am just leery about putting 10 shrimp in a 3 gallon tank and the bioload it will cause. Maybe 5?

I think after consideration I will start a 3 gallon betta, shrimp, and snail habitat first. It will scratch my itch to get a tank up and going and it will only cost about 30 bucks. Then I will have it as a backup tank in case my male doesnt like his tank mates.

Since im going to wait about a month for the big tank I think I will save and buy a quality acrylic set like a mr. Aqua or fluval to take the guesswork out of equipment. So until then. I still would like info on live plants and what works best for bettas and communitys that I will be able to grow, and I am still looking for other mixes I could do with the community. I want something that will compliment the betta being big and majestic as I will be getting either a veiltail, deltatail, or halfmoon tail if I can find one. But besides him I am up for discussion on other tank mates that make for a lively community thats fun to watch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I decided tonight that I am going to start a 3 gallon set up first. A betta and snail or betta, snail and 5 ghost shrimp habitat. I really want the 10 gallon to be of quality as I plan for it to be a permanent decoration and hobby. Im going to scratch my itch for a betta set up with the 3 gallon and then I have a back up in case my betta doesnt get along with his tankmates. Thatll keep me occupied for a month or so and im going to save for a quality acrylic kit to take the guesswork out of equipment and focus on my community and plants. As for plants I want to have java moss, a java fern that are alive possibly more I have to research it. The fake will be silk and big leafy plants just to add volume to the look of the tank. I am still looking for help with plants and my community though. I have had people tell me that what I want is a light load on a 10 gallon. So. Heres my new plan for it. 1 male betta (half moon, veil, delta whatever is readily available), 1 apple snail, 5-10 ghost shrimp as scavengers and possible snacks for the betta, 5-10 neon tetra, 2 otos, and possibly 1 dwarf frog. Does this sound like too much? Again decoration the same at least one cave and 2 or 3 decorations, a betta hammock, 2-3 live plants, java moss.
 

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Shrimp have such a small bioload that the general rule is 10 per gallon so you could easily have 10 in a three gallon set up.

An alternative would be to get two or three Amano Shrimp which are bigger but you have to make sure the lid is on tight as they are great escape artists. They are really fun to watch.

The trick to having shrimp with a Betta is the "safety in numbers" and so many plants that a Betta would have to be a contortionist to catch one. :) I have 40+ Malawa coming for my densely-planted eight gallon with Eric the Red and some Sundadanio axelrodi. ETR has been in tanks with Dwarf Orange Crayfish, Sakura Shrimp and Vampire Shrimp so I know he's okay with them.

Good plants, IMO, are Java Moss, Anubias, Dwarf Hairgrass, Micro Swords, Water Sprite, Limno, Cabomba, Anacharis and Subwassertang. All are low-light and need nothing more than a liquid fertilizer. With shrimp you don't want to get something called Seachem Flourish Excel. It is a liquid carbon source and not a fertilizer. The Seachem fertilizer is Seachem Flourish "Comprehensive."

TruAqua is coming out with a new line of Nano Tanks in the next few months. You might want to check there when you're ready for a larger tank.

Good luck .... and if I didn't say it before: Welcome to the Forum!
 

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I know it seems you've already made you decision, but some insight on ten gallons for you and setting up a new aquarium in general.

The best bang for your buck is definitely a starter kit that comes with tank, hood, filter, light, and I know some kits come with a net and some water conditioner/food samples. At the petstore I work at, you can either get that for $75, or you can spend $50 on the tank, $30 on the filter, $15 on the hood, $15 on the light, etc etc.
Best things to have for your set-up are the following:
A filter capable of pumping the volume of you tank ten times per hour. (If you have a ten gallon, get a filter for a 20, it'll run more efficiently for much longer.
Water conditioner
At LEAST One pound of gravel per gallon of water. (2lbs is even better)
Aquarium salt (Bettas love it)
Nutrafin Cycle or Tetra SafeStart
Variety of foods (All fish love variety)
At least ONE hiding spot per fish in the tank (Acheived with decor)
Extra filters should always be on hand (you never know)
Heater (EXTREMELY important. 5 watts per gallon, so a 10 gallon needs a 50 watt heater)
Thermometre (Ideal temperature for tropical species is 76F-78F)
Background to help them feel more secure
Plants to help them feel secure
A small net to catch and remove any problem fish, dead fish, uneaten food, etc.
And have Nox Ich, Melafix, and Pimafix all on hand. Nox Ich treats ich, Melafix treats external injuries, and Pimafix treats internal parasites.

All together, WITH the tank, should run you nearly $200, maybe a little over depending where you shop.
As for companions, I recommend neon tetras, rasboras, African Dwarf Frogs, and MAYBE a dwarf pleco.

Good luck!! I know from experience, an aquarium can be an AMAZING treatment for anxiety and stress.
 
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