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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all! I used to be considerably active on this site yet such activity dropped after my luck with bettas did the same. However, after an extensive break, I'm looking into getting back into bettas, and since, I have done some research (to add onto my previous knowledge, lol). I originally was looking into continuing on using my 2.5-gallon tank before I decided I wanted something bigger, and so, the search began. Despite this, I still have a few questions!

My original plan was a five-gallon with tankmates, yet the more I looked into this the more I found that a five-gallon wouldn't be enough room for many tankmates. I saw lots of things saying that 10 or 20 was better, and so I resolved myself to looking into tens more. Though is this true, and if not, what tankmates would work? I assume nothing like mollies, tetras, guppies, plecos, etc. as they would need more room, though overall I'm not sure.

However, after finding this out, I looked more into ten gallons, where I found a lot of information on what could/couldn't work with bettas. I found considerable amounts of help on what would work with bettas yet still have a few questions. I was interested in plecos, though I saw lots of things saying they'd be too big to share. Additionally, I looked into guppies/mollies/tetras and was unsure of whether or not they'd work. Similarly, I also found a decent bit of websites saying that cherry barbs could work and cherry/ghost shrimp might, alongside harlequin rasboras, too. I'm generally unsure of what combinations would work here, and I know my mom is interested in finding a friend with a suckermouth. I'm open to pretty much anything though my dad expressed disinterest in shrimp haha.

Thank you!
 

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Welcome back!!!

Species profiles go by footprint rather than gallons because what's most important is room to move. I would not have anything except snails in a 5.5. I also would not suggest shrimp; just not enough room for shrimp to live comfortably with a predator.

Most site recommend a minimum of six fish if one gets a shoaling variety like Rasbora or Tetra. However, that changes when you put them in a tank with a predator. I asked Rachel O'Leary (msjinkzd on YouTube and www.msjinkzd.com) one of this country's most knowledgeable "fish people." She said no fewer than 10-12 if one is forcing them to live with a predator as I do.

So, I recommend a tank that is no smaller than 30 x 12 x 12 (20-gallon long) for all residents' needs to be met. If you only have one shoal, a well-planted 20 x 10 x 12 (10 gallon) will work with 10 or so smaller Nano fish like Chili Rasbora or Ember Tetra.

I admit that, in the past, I have not followed the above....much to my regret because once I did I found shoaling species housed properly act more naturally and live longer than when crammed in a tank too small or with too few members.

And tell your Mom you're sorry; but no Pleco in anything less than a 30 x 12 x 12 tank. They just poop too much for anything smaller. Of course, this bolsters your argument for a 20 long so go for it. :)

I can't comment on Platys or Mollies because, TBH, I don't like them and they create an incredible amount of waste. Also, I want my Betta to be the centerpiece of my community tanks. When one adds equal-size species, in my eye, it takes away from the Betta. Species profiles indicate a minimum tank size for Mollies is 36 x 12 x 12 or 30 gallon; for Platys it's 24 x 12 x 12 or 15 gallon. I could find no profile which suggested a 10 gallon was acceptable for either.

Guppies are fine, though. Don't pay attention to those who say you can't house Guppies with male Betta for whatever reason. If a Betta can't be housed with Guppies he (or she) can't be house with any other fish or shrimp.

FWIW, I find a 20 long the most versatile. You can do so much both with planting and dividing and choice and number of shoals.

Almost forgot: You can also have African Dwarf Frogs but, from experience, I would only house them with Plakat. The long fins of a HM look too much like food to these near-sighted critters. ADF do well in bare bottom tanks which makes cleaning so much easier.

And there you have it: TMI. I do hope it helps you somewhat.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you so much! Mom was disappointed to hear about plecos, lol, and unfortunately, I got denied for a 20 long. Someday it will happen, but that day is not today.

But soon after hearing all this, I think we've decided on 10 or so neon tetras. Though after further research, it seemed as though snails were also in the cards, but I wasn't sure of whether or not this would work out. I heard (I don't remember where to be honest), that some snails do not eat anything but naturally-growing algae. I wasn't really sure of where to start looking but I was also unsure of whether or not this would be considered overstocking, with the tetras, a betta, and a snail. Any tips/help would be appreciated on this topic, and thanks again for all the help!
 

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It is Nerite snails that mostly only eat natural algae. There are exceptions but I've not been that lucky.

Are you getting a long or short-finned Betta? Neons can be nippy BUT with 10 or so their aggression should stay within the shoal. And if it is heavily planted you probably won't have any issues.

Ember Tetra and Rasboras are easier on the fins, though.

Make sure to keep us updated with photos, etc. I love setting up a new tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Gotcha!

Not sure on long or short-finned yet, this is all pre-planning. But sounds all good, and I definitely will make new posts later with photos etc!

Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, I am pleased to say through excellent convincing and some easy pointers, a 20 gallon long is what I've acquired. After realizing we could place the tank in a location better for a 20 long, my parents actually suggested it and I was happy to agree LOL. So now I have a 20 long, a heater, filter, plants (definitely not enough though) etc. I'm not going to get the fish for a little while because now all my ideas for a 10 gallon got chucked out the window, though I'm attempting to keep some of the same ones!

My mom is still hoping for tetras, and I was assuming I could put more in, and I was interested in seeing if I could add another shoal of fish. Preferably one smaller and still in nice colors, I was thinking about ember tetras, or a rasbora? I'm not quite sure, but my mom was pushing for a pleco (obviously) and I was clearly thinking of getting one lol. So far my total ends up at about a (possibly) larger number of neon tetras, a betta, a pleco (or two? I'm not sure) and some other type of smaller fish.

Thanks again!
 

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To stock your tank divide it into levels: Top for the Betta; middle for the Tetra/Rasbora; bottom for Cory and Pleco. Yep, you can have a shoal of Cory and a Pleco. Or, if you don't want a shoal of Cory you can get a Mystery Snail or two to take care of leftover food on the substrate.

Good new is you can easily have two mid-level shoals in a 20 long.

I always run two adjustable filters suitable for at least 20 gallons because I tend to overstock. I started the practice when a filter quit while I was on vacation and all that nitrifying bacteria was lost. After that, always two filters. My husband, though, says it's because I have an extra filter ready if I get another tank. :)

At some point, I can recommend getting a second filter; especially is the current one isn't rated for higher than a 20.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Alright, gotcha! I think the plan is a betta (obviously), neon tetras, chili rasboras, a pleco, and a snail.

Oh no! I have a feeling a second filter will be in order eventually - my current one is rated for up to a 40 I believe, though, so I'll have to keep an eye on it.

Thank you so much!!
 
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