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Old 12-11-2008, 09:54 PM
 
Location: Camberville
15,888 posts, read 21,507,787 times
Reputation: 28263

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For Chanukkah, I am setting up a smallish aquarium for my boyfriend. We have discussed this and he knows I'm doing it- no springing surprise pets on him! He has a new apartment and is perpetually stressed out from work and we both think that having a small aquarium would do him some good. I'm pretty much in charge of all of the research but have not ever had my own *real* aquarium before other than feeder fish for my turtle and guppies that didn't last long when I was little.

In my garage we have a few spare tanks that I will clean out and recycle, and I'm pretty sure at least one of them is a 20 gallon tank. At the very smallest, he will get a 10 gallon tank. He's expressed interest in a male betta fish but I'm not sure what other fish to put with it or how to introduce them. I also plan on getting at least one live plant (possibly more depending on tank size) and some hiding spots for the fish. The substrate will depend on the 2nd type of fish but I'm thinking small gravel.

So, my question are:

Should there be a wait time to introduce fish after setting up the tank (plants, treated water, filter, heater)? How long?

What are the best, easiest to care for fish that would work with a betta? Eventually he might want to add a 3rd species (which would probably mean a move to a bigger tank) so species that do well with other fish are preferable).

Should we introduce the betta or the other fish first? How long should we wait before introducing the second species?

What type of filter should I get that would suit the needs of both the betta and other fish?


I think I already have most of these answers but I'd like to hear from real life people with experience rather than piece together from various websites! Not to mention of course that each website seems to have sometimes drastically varying opinions. The plan now is that I'll get all the aquarium components in advance and set it up at his apartment, and then we'd go to the pet store and have him pick out whichever "safe fish" he likes (probably 2 or 3 tops).

Thank you all you wonderfully knowledgeable and experienced people!
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Old 12-12-2008, 08:09 AM
 
83 posts, read 290,393 times
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Quote:
Should there be a wait time to introduce fish after setting up the tank (plants, treated water, filter, heater)? How long? You will want the tank to cycle. This could take a few weeks.

What are the best, easiest to care for fish that would work with a betta? Eventually he might want to add a 3rd species (which would probably mean a move to a bigger tank) so species that do well with other fish are preferable). You could get 2-3 oto to help with the algea control. Betta's aren't the most frienldy fish and will attack anything with long fins. You might be able to do 5-6 female bettas instead.

Should we introduce the betta or the other fish first? How long should we wait before introducing the second species? I would reconsider the betta altogether.

What type of filter should I get that would suit the needs of both the betta and other fish? Bettas like little/no movement in their water. Other fish need more movement.
My advice would be 2 tanks. A 2-3 gallon for the male betta so he can live alone. Remember he is a tropical fish and will do best in 76-82 degree water.

You could put some nice guppies or other livebearers in the 10g and have a nice setup.
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Old 12-12-2008, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Camberville
15,888 posts, read 21,507,787 times
Reputation: 28263
He doesn't want two tanks and he's dead set on a betta. I just dug out my tank and it's a 15 gallon. It will just get thrown out if I don't give it away (I go to college 1000 miles away so I have no use for it) and it's the perfect size for his apartment which is why I'm sort of set on that. I've read on plenty of sites that bettas do well with a select few other fish, but I want to hear first hand experience.

If I wasn't going to do bettas, what would be two other freshwater fish that would work well together and be easy for beginners?
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Old 12-12-2008, 04:21 PM
 
338 posts, read 1,014,480 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charolastra00 View Post
He doesn't want two tanks and he's dead set on a betta. I just dug out my tank and it's a 15 gallon. It will just get thrown out if I don't give it away (I go to college 1000 miles away so I have no use for it) and it's the perfect size for his apartment which is why I'm sort of set on that. I've read on plenty of sites that bettas do well with a select few other fish, but I want to hear first hand experience.

If I wasn't going to do bettas, what would be two other freshwater fish that would work well together and be easy for beginners?
Years ago I had a community tank with swordtails, neon tetras, redtail shark, catfish,and a beautiful beta male. They all got along fine.
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Old 12-13-2008, 03:45 PM
 
Location: California
10,090 posts, read 42,490,768 times
Reputation: 22175
It's best to get the Betta and other fish at the same time. This way, the Betta doesn't feel the others are invading his territory. I have one male
Betta, 3 neon colored fish, and 2 algae eaters. They are all doing great and have been so for the last 3 months. I lost my whole tank when Hurricane Ike hit...so had to replace the fish. The fish that died, I had had for 3 years...1 betta, 2 algaes and the 3 neons....since they did so well, I figured I'd replace them with the same kinds of fish...so far, so good.
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Old 12-16-2008, 07:41 PM
 
517 posts, read 1,967,867 times
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I found a great website (like this one) that's just geared to "fishy" questions like yours..... check out www.aquariacentral.com.
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