Ten gallon tank + betta question

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Chickerdoodle13, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

    Mar 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I just recently purchased a ten gallon tank for my betta. I plan on letting it cycle for a few weeks and then possibly adding a few other fish. I've been doing some research and it looks like I may be able to let the betta coexist peacefully with some other types of fish.

    Anyways, now I'm going to have some fun trying to figure out what combinations I could add to my little ten gallon. I figure that should trouble arise between the betta and anything else, I could put him in my original 2.5 gallon tank.

    I've read that cory cats usually do well with bettas. My tank is planted and I will be adding more/growing more during the weeks that the tank cycles. I also have a filter that is rated for up to 15 gallon tanks, but I may go back to the store tomorrow and get one rated for 10-20 gallons (The one I bought today was cracked).

    What else would be compatible and how many? I don't want to overstock the tank and I want to get things that will get along. I had my eye on some dalmation mollies, but can't find any info as to how big they get. Most websites say they get along well with bettas and a few say they nip fins.

    If I got a cory, would I need more than one? Also, what type would be most compatible?

    I also read about kuhli loaches and those are pretty neat. My room mate just got one for her ten gallon. The lady at petsmart said they should be in groups of more than one also, so I'm not so sure about them either. They also like to hide it seems.

    What else and in what combinations could I put in my ten gallon? As I mentioned before, should it not work out with the betta in a community tank, I can definitely separate him into another tank. I just don't want his tail to be nipped and I don't want any injuries!

    Also, how long should I wait for the tank to be cycled? I've always heard two weeks, but some websites say 6-8 weeks. I have access to already cycled gravel - could I put some of that in the tank to help out? Once the tank is cycled, how often should I do partial water changes and how much?

    Thanks so much! This is my first time setting up a ten gallon tank, so I want to do it right. I've only ever had 2.5 gal. betta tanks.
  2. [​IMG] If you get live bearers, when the fry are born, the betta will eat them. They can even eat adult sized guppies or any of the freshwater egg layers of the same (adult guppy) size. Having your tank moderately planted or heavily planted would help alot. I think heavily planted with fantail guppies looks real nice (remember above).

    I wouldn't get a powerhead "filter" set up as the current would be too strong for the plants and the betta. You'll never get a bubble nest w/moving water. An undergravel filter plate, the one or two lifter tubes and a bubbler/air pump would work great, though! You might even put an extra air pump with a line, wand, or disk of bubbles against the back of your tank as the plants take up a lot of oxygen and it'd look nice, too. If you have a larger air pump with more than the one connector, or just use two smaller air pumps, either way...works.

    If you don't want live bearers like guppies, any smaller tetra in at least a school of seven to ten would work, like headlights, head/tail-lights, Cardinal Tetra (about 2" Neons) Jumbo Neons, (larger than neons), or the real hard worker that eats certain algae: otocinclus catfish (small like guppy size and not a carnivorus catfish).

    Or, a few platy's would be nice:) And any of the cory's/corydora's would be fine, 3-6 would be nice. You want to keep the same type of fish that would eat the same type of food, together in your tank along with about the same size and compatible in relationships and water quality.

    Avoid fast moving fish, a betta is a peaceful, slow, mover but very determined. I had two, the last time I had betta's and once they set their eye(s) on prey, they eventually got the fish and at it, one by one, which at the time were guppies. I had each in a five gallon tank, side by side.

    And, if you use a HOT Magnum or hang on the back or similar, bio wheel type filter, make sure you have a sponge filter/cap on the water intake so your small fish and your betta do not get sucked against the intake or into the intake and either drown if they can't get away or once sucked into the filter, are ground up by the motor!

    Cherry barbs would be nice, too, but I like those so much I wouldn't take a chance on the betta eating them and they are fun when they decide to mate, scatter eggs and then you see babies! The males are redder than the females and a bit smaller. A ten gallon with those alone, is very pretty and exciting once the parameters are right cause then the babies show up;) No other barbs, they are too fast and also nippy.

    And, when you want a Community tank, the proper way to set up a pleasing to the eye set up in choosing your fish is to learn which fish live at the top, the middle and the bottom of the tank, so you end up with all three peacefully living within their space.

    One way to eliminate that and still have a pleasing to the eye set up is to only have cory's on the bottom and a school of Rosy Barbs, which are very fast movers and they come in the regular fin or long fin type. They are very beautiful and almost look like very nice goldfish.

    You have to make the choice by where the tank will sit and whether you want it peaceful or active. A bedroom with fast movers like rosy barbs will not be peaceful, a living room set up for that species would be better. Another fast mover that is the same adult size as the rosy barbs would be the Congo Tetra, very flashy, movers, absolutely beautiful and best in their own tank with a school of at least six. These two types of fish should never be set with betta's, too fast... (sorry this is so long, its one of my favorite hobbies and I could go on forever!)

    Partial water changes, like only a third of the water, is kinder more often, than any other cleaning method, depending on whether its hot in your area or not, would determine how often, for good clean water quality. Once or twice a month, normally. Almost all characins can be kept as community tanks with the exception of plant eaters...if you want to keep healthy plants.

    Longer tanks do best. The hex/octogon type do not have the swimming space nor the water surface space, so lack of space and oxygen is not a good thing for fish or the health of your tank set up. If you'd like to see how to set up a Freshwater aquarium, Foster's and Smith has a video center at: DrsFosterSmith.com
    and in their (many) catalogs, they always have helpful hints in every issue on many things. Better stop for now, I'll keep on all night!!!

    One more thing, the larger and longer the tank, the safer the fish...it absorbs many mistakes by the amount of the water, a twenty gallong is about the smallest I'd ever want, unless it was a five gallon for a betta. The basic needs of the tank occupants are most important, rather than shapes and colors of the fish. Set up your plants and fish according to their need of same water qualities...stopping now...
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2009
  3. Bock_Bock

    Bock_Bock Songster

    Dec 13, 2008
    Hayward, Ca
    you could get some dwarf gouramis or even full size if you want also get a pleco for the tank too
  4. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

    Mar 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Please keep going! I never get tired of hearing about fish.

    I do have many options I think, because worse comes to worse, I can put the betta back in his 2.5 gallon tank. That was plenty big enough for him but I just wanted to upgrade to larger tanks. Eventually I could get him another five gallon.

    I'm really liking the look of the ten gallon though! It's beautiful empty!Tomorrow I'll be able to set the filter up and get that going. Should I take some gravel from my room mate's established tank? If I do that, how long should I wait to have a fully cycled tank?

    I'm definitely going to get a cory, preferably a dwarf cory. (I believe my room mate has a peppered cory) How many of these could I put in the ten gallon? (considering a few other middle or top swimmers) I probably will try the set up with the betta first, and if it doesn't work out I'll separate him. Unless I find other fish I really really want and are not compatible with him. However, less tanks = less work for me!

    So far I have java moss and alodea in my tank. My room mate is going to snag me some more plants, but these few have already grown in the short time I've had them. That should provide plenty of cover when it fills in.

    Platys are very nice and I may go with a few of those. I've read good things about them getting along with bettas. If I wanted to go with those, how many would you recommend to put in a ten gallon tank?

    I am still reading mixed things about mollies. I really like the dalmation mollies, but some websites say they grow up to 6 inches and others say no more than three. Some websites say they would be fine in a ten gallon and others say no way. Originally I was thinking of getting two or three of those, but I don't want to over load the tank, especially not as a beginner. I've also read on some sites that the mollies are fin nippers. I don't want that either...but I'm having trouble finding information on them!

    My room mate just got cherry barbs for her tank and they are very neat little fish! Those are definitely another option I am considering. I still like the platys and mollies because they are slower and more relaxed, but the barbs are quite interesting. I'm not so sure I like the khuli loach as much as all it seems to do is hide.

    Basically I want to go with a smallish school of one species, my betta, and corys. The hard part is figuring out which swimming species will work out and how many of each to add!

    Thanks for your info. It really is very helpful!
  5. Chef

    Chef Chicken Connoisseur

    Dec 16, 2008
    I tried a pleco before and the beta nipped him for all his fins. I think some betta's are more tolerant than others. I'm gonna get a bigger tank soon too. [​IMG]

  6. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

    Mar 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Yeah that's what I've been reading too. I do have two bettas though, so I can try each of them if one turns out to be more aggresive than the other. What I figure is worse comes to worse, I will either separate the tank or just put the betta in my other, smaller five or 2.5 gallon tank.

    I've read that gouramis will attack bettas and it seems like plecos get very large. I really like the corys because they are cute, unique, don't grow too large, and move around a lot. I'm pretty set on trying those as my bottom feeders. I already have some snails off the plants to control algae, so I'm not worried about that. Any extra snails will get eaten by someone (Room mate's oscar or one of the many lab animals here at school). Same will happen with any offspring should I get livebearers. I'm not too concerned about overbreeding in my tanks! [​IMG] [​IMG]
  7. Bock_Bock

    Bock_Bock Songster

    Dec 13, 2008
    Hayward, Ca
    there is diffrent types of plecos too tho you prob had the sail fin pleco
  8. Six cory's[​IMG] cory's are kind and beautiful...that way you'll get male and females by chance. decide on either a community tank or a species tank- community is different species that peacefully live together and species is only one type- I'd go w/species for a small tank. Gourami's have feelers they use like arms/hands for sensing and tasting and can chase betta's. You wouldn't want a big or medium sized pleco...try those small ones I mentioned above, instead, they look like small fish but are workhorses. Can't go wrong there. Go to the library or look online for info and pics of fish you might want and their requirements. Swordtails and Mollies are usually too big and fast for the betta's, besides, they have a tendancy to get ick, esp. the black mollies. Mollies live best in brackish water. A smaller relative of the Swordtail, the Platy comes in many color/varieties and would do well w/your betta. Since brackish water fish live in medium to hard water, you cannot use peat to soften the water. Brackish water fish need algae or fail to thrive. If the plants you have need soft water, you'll need soft water loving fish, too. I have to stop now and go fix the door to my biggest coop, it wouldn't shut right earlier today when I moved all my feathered out (three different aged/sizes) chicks into the coops so now I've got to check on them as its bedtime for them and make sure the door is able to shut so when wind comes up, the chicks/birds will be safe. Learn as much as you can before you do it, like you said, start slow, do the betta and the plants you now have and then learn a lot, and then add what works, but don't worry about the cory's, those will work right:)
  9. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

    Mar 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Ok, sounds good to me. I will definitely check out the platys next time I go to the pet store. (My room mates usually make several trips!)

    I think I may start out with three corys to see how they work out. At least I know they will be fine in a larger group. I will probably get those three before I get any other fish. I know you are not supposed to add more than two or three fish at a time to prevent ammonia spikes. Are there any species of cory you recommend? I know they have several at petsmart. I've seen albino, peppered, dwarf, black, and a few others I can't remember. Can different types live together or should i get corys that are all the same? (For ex: could I get a white, a peppered, and a black?)

    Thanks for all the advice! I'm looking forward to hearing what everybody else has to say as well!

    BTW, here is a picture from my other thread of my two tanks.

  10. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

    Aug 24, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    the betta are slow swimmer, fear is other fish picking on the betta. Molly,guppies,danio all good.

    Sold many of betta in my pet store, they dont need much room. The males are raised in quart jars, no need for air pump, as they come to the surface for air.

    Just give the betta places to hide, or some will eat his fins.

    Yes he will eat new frys, but so will most other even the mother as she is giving birth.

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