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I'm currently cycling a 5 gallon tank. After cycling, I'd like to get a betta. Here are my tankmate ideas. Please let me know your thoughts about overstocking and compatibility.

Decor: One awesome-looking piece of driftwood and three live plants.

Tankmates for betta:
2 nerite snails
2 African dwarf frogs
4 cherry or amano shrimp

Is this too big a bioload for a 5-gallon? Should I go with African frogs OR shrimp instead of both?
 

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I agree, snails have a big bioload and Nerites need a good amount of algae in the tank (unless you're lucky enough to have one that will accept algae wafers or blanched veggies). One nerite is enough for a 5g. Personally I would plant it much more, especially if you want shrimp as they will need somewhere to hide. Shrimp also need a more established tank, not freshly cycled. They are quite sensitive.

I've heard that the frogs have a rather low bio-load, but I have no experience with them so I can't say either way. They are social so you will need more than one, not sure how many. RussellTheShihTzu knows more about them.
 

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5 gallons is not wery much water I am afraid and IMHO would suit the betta alone best. I would deffo not keep snails in such a small body of water, they are messy things :)
 

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5 gallons is not wery much water I am afraid and IMHO would suit the betta alone best. I would deffo not keep snails in such a small body of water, they are messy things :)
So long as they're willing to vacuum once/twice a week, snails aren't too bad. I have a bunch of Ramhorns and a bladder snail infestation in my 5g, I vacuum thoroughly. Lol.
 

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So long as they're willing to vacuum once/twice a week, snails aren't too bad. I have a bunch of Ramhorns and a bladder snail infestation in my 5g, I vacuum thoroughly. Lol.

Exactly, they are messy little buggers :p I had apples and marisa snails when I where younger, they lived in a bowl and where totaly gross! Big poopers and very messy while eating so it takes alot of effort to keep the tank clean. And you have to comit to it!
I had to change the water everyday or they started to flee the bowl from the amonia build up, and in the long run that became really boring and to high maintanance for me so I gave them to a friend with a bigger tank. He had to buy a bigger filter to support his fish and the snails.

My point is that in a 5G you really dont have many options as to tankmates Imho, and there is no point in craming it full. I would go for one snail maybe, nothing more as you would want the betta living there the best life possible not having to compromise water quality :)

Just my honest opinion, I totaly understand if people feel diferent, I am by no means a expert on this ^_^

And I might sound abit strict about this, which is not my intetnion at all, and I am sorry, I am just telling what ive learned from our Norwegian Aquatic Forum. (Fex. They advice against keeping bettas in smaller than 15g so they are really, really strict, maybe abit too strict and that has rubbed of on me :p )
 

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Just to throw a little experience in here, I have a 5.5 gallon fluval spec V and with one betta and two african dwarf frogs and I don't know if my cycle is just super strong (I also have 2 live plants but that's it) but I test the water weekly before I change and I only have 5 nitrates at the end of the week (as well as 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite) so I'm considering getting another little frog :)

Also for feeding it is kind of annoying but not too bad I either have to cup the betta while I put the food in their feeding bowl (which they learned to eat out of really quickly!) or I cup them and feed them in the cup cause the betta gets so stressed/angry from being cupped. But it's only for half an hour so....
 

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RussellTheShihTzu would be the person who would know the most.

However - speaking from experience - I have a cycled, relatively lightly planted 5.5gal with a betta and a nerite. Most of the time I don't even see 5ppm nitrates at the end of a week with regular water maintenance. A 5.5 would handle a betta and a snail fine. Or even a couple snails fine....provided there was enough food for them.

Other suggestions I've seen Russell suggest are 2-3 African Dwarf Frogs, 5-6 pygmy cories or 5-6 endler guppies. I think she had more suggestions that I'm not thinking of right now as well.
 

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+1 Tess and Greenapp1es: Snails are okay in a cycled tank if you keep up with the mess (and not all snails are messy).

Experience (mine and that of thousands of others) shows Betta do quite well with tankmates in a cycled five gallon as long as you don't over feed or overstock. I have yet to see factual support and reseach which support the contention Betta need at least a 10 gallon tank for optimum health; just opinions on forums or Facebook. :)

As for ADF, they only have the bioload of a large Tetra so in a cycled, five gallon two is perfect. I think they are the best Betta tank mates, bar none. They prefer the bottom and only come up for air so they are no threat to even a territorial Betta. Just take your time and wait a couple of months before you add ADF. This give you time to assess your Betta's personality and the tank parameters time to stabilize.

You won't have any issues if you feed ADF HBH Frog and Tadpole Bites. Well, at least for me as none of my Betta will eat the stuff. Once a week I feed frozen bloodworm and Mysis Shrimp. Just don't feed freeze dried.

If you can't find ADF locally, I buy mine from [email protected]. He sells them on eBay but currently doesn't have any listed. The only ADF on eBay now appear to be African Clawed Frogs, at least from the photos, which you definitely don't want in a Betta tank.

There are also several Nano/Micro fish which can easily live in a five with a Betta if it is well-planted. As Greenapp1es indicated, Endlers, small Rasbora, Ember Tetras. I do not suggest Neons in anything less than a 10 because they tend to be "busy." And you would need at the least six of each of the above as they are shoaling fish. Since they are all an inch or less in size and with practically no bioload they are fine in that number. But, as with the ADF, make sure the tank is several weeks to a couple of months beyond cycling.

Have fun deciding on tank mates...it's a great adventure!
 
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