01-01-2016 05:55 PM - last edited on 04-19-2016 04:51 PM by Aluxe
I have a male betta named Zale. I just moved him from a 1gal to a 10 gal I got from my younger sister. I have fake plants and big sea shells in his tank as decoration. I have a heater and a water filter. I was considering getting a snail or something to help keep the tank clean. I do a partial water change with distilled water once every week and a half, and will be doing a full tank clean once a month. Anything you would suggest?
01-01-2016 07:41 PM - edited 01-02-2016 05:06 PM
Congratulations on the larger tank.
Yes, I think it's possible to add another fish or two in an aquarium this size. A snail would also be a possibility. I just want to remind you that really nothing you add to your tank in the way of livestock will actually "clean" the tank. Yes, some will seek out stray flakes of food or possibly eat algae off surfaces, but the real maintenance is what you have been doing as weekly water changes. That's the only true way to remove excess nitrates.
Very important point: You mention that you intend to do a "full tank clean once a month". I admire your enthusiasm, but it's neither necessary nor "good" for the tank to empty and clean it monthly. If you do that, you interrupt the biological filtration necessary for the overall health of the tank. Biological filtration occurs when bacteria colonize the gravel and filter media of your tank. These break down poisonous ammonia (fish waste) into less harmful nitrates which can be controlled by your partial water changes. The colonies of beneficial bacteria take about 4-6 weeks to develop in a newly set-up or newly refilled tank, so the key to tank maintenance is to remove excess nitrates while keeping the biological filter as stable as possible.
Use an aquarium gravel vacuum to remove 25% of the water each week, then refill it with fresh water of the same temperature as the tank and enough dechlorinator to detoxify any chlorine. You are currently using distilled water, but IMO it's unnecessary to do that. Gradually transitioning to tap water is a good idea unless you live in an area where local water is very hard or very extreme in pH in either direction.
A few zebra danios or small rasboras would be okay for this tank. Not likely to harass the betta and too fast for the betta to bother them. Ancistrus catfish (antennae cats) are in the plecostomus family, but mature at a much smaller size. I find them to be interesting and usually active during the day. And since the ancistrus will be mainly on or near the bottom, it won't be competing for space with any of the other fish I have mentioned.
01-04-2016 11:05 AM
Welcome to the community and congratulations on your tank upgrade! huachinango is an esteemed contributor and always have great information and advice. If you feel that their post answered your question, feel free to mark it as a solution (or any other post in the future).
I'd love to see a photo of your fish in their new tank! What's their name?
01-05-2016 09:05 PM
I've had a few male bettas in the past and have never had success with them sharing a tank with another fish. Mine have always been too aggressive and the other fish end up with nips, fin tears, etc. My current betta is living with two amano shrimp and 3 horned nerites. He can't really see the amano shrimp and the horned nerites are small enough to be covered entirely by their shell, without antenae sticking out (which would likely be bitten off). The shrimp clear the water of debris and will eat any leftover food. The snails clean the tank walls and plants of biofilm and algae.
11-14-2017 10:54 AM
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