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Hello everyone,
I'm currently setting up my first tank (5 gallon with heater and filter). Currently starting a silent cycle. Will eventually become home to a betta and a few other little critters. Now for my questions:

How many live plants should I plant into this tank? I'd like to get some anubias, amazon sword, wisteria and a marimo ball.

What type of tankmates can I get? I've read over and over that 5 gallons is just enough to support one betta. While I'm bummed not to get a few more fish and maintain a healthy atmosphere, I will settle for two nerite snails and some shrimp. I'd like some colorful shrimp that won't multiply like crazy. Any recommendations?
 

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There are a few somewhat limited options for fish from what I understand in a 5gal, but there aren't all that many and it would help if we knew a little bit more about your conditions. Do you know what your pH is?

Otherwise, I know you could probably do 2-3 African Dwarf Frogs with a betta in a 5 gal. I thought there were a couple of breeds of small fish that could be done as well, but you would need to make sure that your tank can support them in the numbers they need to be comfortable (a lot of species are shoaling). Other members here would be better with specifics though.
 

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Personally I feel that if you are new to bettas (and fish in general) it would be best to wait a few months and get a feel for what all goes into caring and maintaining a tank. This will also allow you to get a feel for the personality of your betta, which obviously is the deciding factor here. Some will not accept any kind of creature in their territory, and if yours is you'll have to accept it as it is.

As for plants, Amazon swords get too tall for small tanks, they are better suited for tall tanks like 20g+. I have Rotala, Hygro, Crypts, Java ferns, Moneywort, Ludwigia, and Anubias in my 5g. The Hygros are too tall for it and they don't look overly good in it compared to my bigger tanks. You will quickly realize that a 5g really isn't that big once you start filling it with plants, decor, filter, heater...

Also for plants, it depends how much work you want to put in for them. Some need higher lighting and ferts, some just need a decent amount of light to grow like crazy. Depends on your substrate as well. I perfer sand as I find it hold the plants in better and they don't send out tons of roots from the stem (also known as getting leggy).

If you do decide to try tankmates just be ready to relocate or rehome them in case your betta doesn't agree with them. And.. RESEARCH! Don't be afraid to ask questions :D We don't bite!

Welcome to the forum :3
 

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I have a oto, 12 cherry shrimp, and 1 ghost shrimp in my tank without a problem. They all seem to just leave each other alone. My betta would hang out with the oto and watch it eat sometimes but that's about it. I think it works out for me because my betta is super nice to everything. You might end up getting an aggressive one, its just the luck of the draw when it comes to bettas and their temperament.
 

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Otos are actually shoaling fish and do better in a group of 3-4, they also would need a bit bigger of a tank than a 5g especially if in a proper shoal.
 
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