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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone! I'm Yschen and I am new to the forum and to keeping fish!
I wanted my first tank centered around a male Betta, always wanted one since I was small but my parents would not allow any other fish but Cichlids into their tank.

I have yet set up (and cycle) my own aquarium but I am looking for ideas concerning tankmates for a lone male betta in an already ordered 53 gallon tank.
The tank is 31.5 inches wide (80cm), 19.7 inches deep (50cm) and 19.7 inches high (50cm).

I have looked at Kuhli Loach for being pretty cool fish in general, and Otocinclus is another fish I am currently considering.
I had planned to have a school of 6 Loaches and around 5-6 Otocinclus.

My concern is if the tank will look underpopulated and if my Betta will be comfortable in such a large tank.
I read somewhere that a Betta won't like a tank deeper than 35 centimeters (13.7 inches). Any help is highly appreciated!
 

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I put the dimensions of your tank into a calculator on the internet - and it said your tank would hold about 8 US gallons. :/
8 gallons is too small to have fishy tankmates. You'd need at least 10 gallons for other fish. 8 gallons could hold a snail or some shrimp, though. :)
 

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I put the dimensions of your tank into a calculator on the internet - and it said your tank would hold about 8 US gallons. :/
8 gallons is too small to have fishy tankmates. You'd need at least 10 gallons for other fish. 8 gallons could hold a snail or some shrimp, though. :)
I'm not sure what kind of calculator you used, but I can tell just from looking at his dimensions that it is far far more than 8 gallons........

Did you do the calculations in cm instead of in?

By my calculations, it'll hold 52.92 gallons...
 

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Lilyth is right.. 52 gallons. No way a 31 inch tank would be 8 gallons!
You're right about space.. Putting a betta from a cup to 50 gallons is too much.. His muscles will still be weak and he will stress out not being able to patrol his whole tank. You can start a long finned male in a smaller tank to allow his muscles to build up.. A better option would be to get a short finned male (plakat) or a female.. A group of females is also possible, called a sorority, but you should research those heavily before starting one.. We have some threads on here about sororities.
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:oops: Sorry guys. I used cm instead of inches. lol
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Okay, I thought it was better to ask than to risk killing of a fish.
Olympia mentioned that a Plakat might be suitable. If I can get hold of one I will probably get one, since I really want a betta. I have a smaller tank avaiable that my parents used for their Cichlid fry. The tank itself is about 14 gallons (23 inches x 11 inches x 11 inches) does this tank need to be planted and properly decorated for a possible longfin betta to use as a training gym?
 

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Hmm well I'd plant it and such so he feels comfortable with hiding places. Get a filter with adjustable current and you can play around with it. My veil tail still has trouble at the highest current in his 10 gallon.
With a longfin in the 50 gallon you may be better off getting two smaller filters- a 30 and a 20 or something similar. One for each side so there isn't one place with a crazy current. Also two smaller heaters for either side so the filter can help push around the heated water. Extremely dense planting will also help him feel more at home in a large place, give the illusion of a dense underwater jungle. Either way with a longfin you will probably notice that he'll choose one side of the tank and stay there most of the time, whereas a plakat will enjoy zooming around more. If you have a petco they almost always sell plakat betta (and king plakats which are larger).
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Discussion Starter #9
If the local store have any plakats I will probably buy one instead of a longfin since it sounds like it will be more comfortable in such a large tank.
I planned on having the tank pretty densely planted since I like the look of it. Using two smaller filters and having a densely planted tank all considered, is it possible for a longfin to get accustomed to such a large tank without becoming sick of stress?
Also thanks guys for the help and tips! Really makes you feel welcome!
 

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I think it's very possible. People have done it before.
 

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You could make a community tank. I used to have a 55 with angel fish.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Well now that I have alternatives on the tanks dealbreaker I will have to look for dual filter setups and suitable tankmates. I was mostly concerned about the wellbeing of the Betta. What I want is a community tank centered around a Betta. So making sure that all the others can live with a Betta is important.
 

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It would also help us if you gave us your water's pH, and hardness. Some fish like Kuhli Loaches only thrive in tanks that are soft and acidic, and will not thrive in tanks that have hard water. Plakats are fast swimmers and probably do better in such a big tank rather than a halfmoon.
 

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Neil.. so excited that you're posting in unrelated threads? :p
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I have yet to set up the tank but if you mean the citys tapwater the water is "soft" 2.7-3.3 dH, and has a pH value that hovers around 8.
 

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Soft water is good for tetras and peaceful cichlids such as rams. :) Kuhlis will also do well in it, though they may object to your pH. I'd consider lowering it with driftwood or peat moss. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
At the moment I am looking at platies or some docile tetras. I am considering getting a bristlenose pleco aswell. I thought keeping any kind of chiclid with a Betta was a big no no. A pair of rams look kind of neat if they can get along with the betta. Since driftwood makes the loaches feel better with more hiding space I think that might be a good idea.
 

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Sorry, I forgot about the betta.

I have heard of people keeping docile single rams in with bettas, but I'd wait for more opinions on that. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well I'm not a cichlid guy so it's not a big loss, and I'd rather be safe than sorry. According to AqAdvisor I shouldn't be keeping a BN pleco with a betta, yet when I google it people say that it should be fine in a tank of 30+ gallons?
In general I'm looking for something noncory since the loaches hang around the bottom already. But I would like something bigger than tetras that is friendly enough to share the tank with a betta. So far platies seems to be the only ideal fit.
 
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