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Discussion Starter #1
About my (soon-to-be) tank:

I plan to have a 10 gallon planted/silk plant mix tank. Full of hide away holes/caves and other places to hide covering from top to bottom, denser in the rear. Driftwood added. This tank will have a heater, bio sponge filter/aerater and a Aqueon 10g internal filter.

Question on amount of tank mates:

Male betta x1
Dwarf corys x4
Ghost shrimp x5
White cloud minnows x6

Too much? Just enough? Anyway I can alter the amount of each fish to suit the tank (excludeing the betta obviously)

I know I highly want shrimp whether it be ghost or cherry. And either white cloud minnows or blood fin tetras. I added the dwarf corys cause I'd like one more friendly tank mate for my betta. If not corys any other "betta safe" non-schooling fish??

I am new to all of this but i have been prepairing and googleing for about 6 months to a year. I'm not a noob, but I am also not the least bit experienced. Any help would be HIGHLY appreciated. :D thanks
 

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I don't think white cloud minnows are a good choice. They need colder water, lower than what a betta can handle. From what I've read, it seems that they should not be in water warmer than 72 degrees, whereas bettas should be kept in water that is from 76-82 degrees. I don't know anything else about any of the others you're looking into, but this stood out to me. Good luck in your research!
 

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I'd probably bump the corydoras number up to six individuals as being schooling fish, they will be more comfortable and exhibit more natural behaviour when kept in larger numbers.

I would not do white cloud mountain minnows for the reason already given. Their ideal temperature range is much lower than the ideal temperature range for the betta and seems to be on the lower end of the ideal temperature range for the corydoras.

Boraras brigittae/mosquito rasbora are beautiful little fish. However, because of the size difference between them and a betta, I would not attempt housing them with a betta that shows aggressive tendencies. They are also extremely sensitive to poor water quality and you would need a cycle and mature tank before introducing them.

Otherwise, have you thought of something like African Dwarf Frogs? They seem to be highly recommended as an appropriate tank mate for a betta fish.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks to both of you!!

@littlebettafish & @Elleth

So this is what im looking at (bumping up the corys and removeing cloud minnows)
Male betta x1
Dwarf corys x6
Ghost shrimp x5
Other fish x?

Is the tank load to high to add an additional fish? How about x-ray tetra? I thought they would look pretty neat with ghost shrimp.

My only fear is tank over load.

I am not sure if I would like a frog or not quite yet, I will do more research first.

Any other compatible fish recommendations for these particular numbers and types of tankmates in this 10 gallon tank?
 

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RusselltheShihTzu
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What you can have depends on how the tank is planted. Until you know that it's really hard to recommend. As LBF said, Rasbora are neat little fish (I have them with my Betta) but you would need a more densely-planted tank.

And, as with most Micro/Nano fish, Pygmy Cories need a completely cycled and established tank; so do the shrimp. BTW, minimum number for the Cories is six; more is better.

Ember Tetra are a smaller Tetra and, IME, not nippy in the slightest. As with the Cories and Rasbora, you would need a minimum of six.

IMO, African Dwarf Frogs are the best Betta tank mates. They stay on the bottom and out of the Betta's territory except to surface to breathe.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Russell! I plan on the tank to be densely planted (thinner in front denser in back) with 1/2 artificial silk plants and 1/2 live plants. Have any recommendations on which live plants to use? I have not gotten that far in my research

I am becomeing a bit confused with how to cycle, I understand what cycling is but im not 100% sure I am going about it the right way. I have both the sponge bio filter/aerater going, and my internal filter running. I filled the tank up and used my water conditioner. I have not yet attained a water test kit. I will soon. As I will also be purchasing a heater.

The water has been filtering and aerating for almost 2 weeks. After I install the heater and test the water (if the test comes out acceptable, in which I hardly know what acceptable is with the different species of both fish and plant I will give home to) What should be my next step? Add in the plants? A certain kind of starter plants?? Add in a certain kind of fish? Both? Am I missing anything? Is there any thing I should watch out for? In which order should I complete my tank to have it cycled properly?
 

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So have you basically just been running the tank empty with no ammonia source at all? If so, unless the quality of your tap water is horrendous, you are likely going to have good readings, because at the moment you just have conditioned tap water sitting in the tank.

To get a cycle established, you need to have a source of ammonia to feed the beneficial bacteria. Many people do 'fish-in' cycles, but I personally don't really agree with these, as there is always the possibility fish will be exposed to harmful levels of ammonia/nitrite. Also, as mentioned, pygmy corydoras and other nano friendly fish are often extremely sensitive to poor water quality. They likely will suffer if forced to endure a fish-in cycle.

I think the best way of cycling a tank, is to use pure ammonia (obviously this is done without fish in the tank). There are plenty of instructions online in regards to fishless cycling, and it usually takes around 2-4 weeks.

In densely planted tanks, plants can take over the role of the filter, by uptaking ammonia and nitrates. In some circumstances this is necessary (such as in very acidic water). However, I think a 'traditionally' cycled tank is best, as it offers much more stability. High levels of ammonia can negatively affect some plants, and as mentioned, some plants will compete with the beneficial bacteria in terms of utilising ammonia. I'd probably recommend leaving at least the live plants out of the tank until it is fully cycled.
 

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RusselltheShihTzu
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As LBF noted, unless you have an Ammonia source you are not cycling your tank.

I do fish-in cyclin but only with the Betta and only with an API Master Test Kit or you risk exposing your Betta to harmful levels of both Ammonia and Nitrites. Here is something that will help:

http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=507585
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Wow thanks that is a big help!
Yes, I have been running a empty conditioned tank. (Reason being, money was tight a cupple weeks)

Which cycle method (fish in, or out) would either of you recommend for a beginner at this. In a since, is either easier or quicker or better?

For the fish-in method, a single male betta would suffice? And just simply follow the instructions on the link? (thanks a ton for that!)

For just the pure ammonia method. Is there more I should know about this particular method?

And for each method, the plants should remain out untill cycleing is fully done, correct? Or can live plants be already added??

Also, ive been hearing the term "established tank". I understand that that means the tank is simply completed? Or does it mean its completed and has been a certain time frame after completion??

Once cycleing is completed I should only introduce one species of fish in at a time after that, correct?

In what order should I add my future fish that was previous stated I understand the dwarf corys and shrimp will be last, but would a specific order be better than a other?

Thanks all for being patent with all my questions!! I am just hopeing to do this correctly the first time and insure my fishies are the happiest fishies they can be :)
 

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I would start with the betta/cories/shrimp first, and worry about the other fish later--UNLESS you plan to do a fish-in cycle.

In which case, I could suggest platies. I would say that if you put in two or three platies, those would work well enough with your other fish, and they're good candidates for fish-in cycling because they're hardy, but they'll produce enough waste to start the tank cycling.

However, you'll want to change a gallon or two of the water every day if you do it this way, in order to keep things safe for the platies. It won't slow down the cycling process (someone on another forum did a study on this), so you don't need to worry about that.

You could try fish-in cycling with your betta, but he probably won't produce enough ammonia to matter much to the cycle, and if you're going to manually add ammonia anyway, best to keep the fish out.

The exception being if you've made the rookie mistake of already having bought your betta (&co?) and you're thinking you'll wait for the tank to cycle and just let the betta live in its cup until then, let me point out that the cup isn't cycled either. Uncycled 10g tank >>> uncycled 6oz cup. I don't think you'd make this mistake, but I've seen people suggest that keeping them in the cup would be better, so just a reminder.

Similarly, if you've fallen in love with a betta at the store, grab it and let it live in the big tank. If you wait to buy it, you're just letting it live in the uncycled cup until your tank is cycled again, and that is silly.
 

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RusselltheShihTzu
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Not to argue, but a Betta produces enough waste to cycle a tank...even a 10. I use Seachem Stability to help jump start cycling. The nice thing about Stability is you can then use it when you add more fish to prevent a "mini-cycle." I love the stuff and have used it to cycle seven aquariums.
 
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