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Discussion Starter #1
i normally pick the fish then build the tank to suit them then add them after its done. i got a good deal on on a 20 gallon used, im going to put a live big leaf plant thats tall for a betta and some sort of decor some cave type things and some other plants for hideing it has a sand substrate now for the fish i was going to get a couple of mts for the sand and algae control 6 neons 1 or 2 shrimp ? and a betta male or female not sure after looking up every thing i thought this would be a good combo got some experaince with the betta trying to some of the things i did in the past my tank is not cycled yet so i got a bit of time and going to put my fish and inverts in that order wanting to double check and make sure this would work i know about the cycle and the chemicals and that was why i want to go with neons i do have a fish bowl for the betta if it dont work out just in case the info changed so much since i last had a betta dont want to have problems come up any advise on some thing i might be missing
 

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One or two little problems with that...

No sand substrate with a betta. Bettas like to eat things that look like pellets and I have lost bettas who have eaten sand and gotten so packed up with it that it killed them.

Shrimp is the first food for all baby bettas so the shrimp will be safe until it molts and when their shell is regrowing they become breakfast for the betta .... Yummy!

Tetras are okay if they are Cardinals but the Neons and all others are fin nippers and since the bettas do not recognize them as threats they simply let them nosh on their fins until they are so infected with fin infections and finrot they usually die. I do not know what to advise.

the tank is a lovely idea but the simplest idea for it all would be ... no betta. But if your heart is set on a betta then the whole idea needs to be rethought. NO sand, shrimp or only tetras of the Cardinal variety.

You are doing things the right way by cycling the tank first and doing the things in the right order. I want to congratulate you and give you a lot of reinforcement for doing the right thing for your fish and asking the questions first. Wish I could be more encouraging but this is the time to find out about potential problems and while there are fish that will coexist with a betta, there are not many DECORATIVE fish that do. Most are not so decorative but can be very entertaining. Here is a partial list that do well if you would be interested.

Most small loaches do well surprisingly.

Dwarf loaches or Chain Loaches ... same fish just different name

Kuhli Loaches

Angelicus Loaches

Clown Plecos

Otocinclus catfish

Corydoras catfish ... all of them I have personal experience with Sterba's cories and Green Cories and Peppered cories but they need to be in groups of at least 3

The Dwarf Cories need to be in groups of 6 or more but do well too.

Remember though that if you want an invert that the best bet is truly an Apple snail or Mystery snail. One only in the tank or your tank will be overrun with them. You cannot have them in the tank with Loaches.. any shellfish actually. The loaches will do the same as the betta would with the shrimp. YUM.

I have had a betta that loved having tank mates and I have had a betta that killed every other living thing that I put in with her. (yeah her) so remember that a lot depends on the temperment of the most aggressive fish in the tank no matter what type you put in there. It is always the best idea to put your most aggessive fish in the tank LAST. Let the others establish their territories first and then put your betta or other aggessive fish in there. That way they feel they are just welcome to whatever space is left not that there are intruders coming into their space. If they get the tank first, they automatically think the whole territory is theirs and everyone is the intruder. They have less aggression if they are the "visitor".

Just be careful not to overcrowd the tank with fish and life as the space for your fish to live will definitely make them more likely to get along. If the most peaceful of fish are crowded they will get cross and aggressive. It brings out the cranky in them all.

Hope some of this helps. Have fun and let us know how it goes. Good luck and congratulations on having a very good attitude and doing things the right way.

Oh and the fish bowl won't work for the betta unless it is big enough to be filtered and heated. They are tropicals and need the same things the others do, contrary to popular information being bandied about. 78 to 80 degrees and a filtered environment is important or they will succumb to ammonia poisoning the same as any other fish or ich, velvet, or a few other cool water conditions. They are also more likely to die of constipation in unheated water as their digestive systems are very prone to stop working in cool water.

Way to go!

Rose
 

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Discussion Starter #3
sorry about that i was thinking cardinals and wrote neon instead, thank you for invert advise i got a butt load of rock i can slip in there before the cycle really takes off ill try to go with ottos if i add them last would the betta get aggresive with them algae will take some time dont want to starve them or get killed
 

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If you were to add any fish AFTER the betta the otos would be my choice. I have only seen the bettas be protective of "their" otos. I actually had a betta who took afternoon naps with his. I have a picture somewhere of two little butts under the heater .... one oto and one betta both turned to the camera having their nap. I have never had a betta fight with their otos. They do tend to love them or ignore them totally.

Rose
 
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