16 Gallon Progress

PepperidgeFarms

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Hey all, I'm new to fishlore and used to be pretty into aquariums about 10 years ago but haven't for a number of years. I now own just a betta and am interested in getting back into it a bit. I would love to venture into the planted/aquascaping territory eventually which is something I've never done but just want to re-learn everything so I can do it properly.
I'm currently in a stupid situation where my betta is in a 2 gallon bowl-type thing which I know isn't good so I've just purchased a 16 gallon tank and would love to make it a community tank
... Obviously bettas can be tempermental, is there any way to test in the first place if he will do ok with others without actually having to risk injuries or the lives of other fish or himself? Also since he's just one fish I'm assuming I'm better off doing a fishless cycle and just changing his partially every day until it's ready or else it will take forever... does that seem reasonable?
What kind of substrate do I want to use so I can eventually grow plants? I unfortunately don't have any friends with aquariums to help me jumpstart the cycle by lending me some of their things from established tanks so I'll just have to go the ammonia way I guess... Any stocking suggests or advice? When I first got into fish it was due to me being an idiot and getting a fish without research and learning what they need so I've never done a fishless cycle and it makes me nervous since it's totally new... agh I'm just so nervous! I don't want to screw this up and accidentally kill any fish
 

kayla20johnson

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PepperidgeFarms said:
Hey all, I'm new to fishlore and used to be pretty into aquariums about 10 years ago but haven't for a number of years. I now own just a betta and am interested in getting back into it a bit. I would love to venture into the planted/aquascaping territory eventually which is something I've never done but just want to re-learn everything so I can do it properly.
I'm currently in a stupid situation where my betta is in a 2 gallon bowl-type thing which I know isn't good so I've just purchased a 16 gallon tank and would love to make it a community tank
... Obviously bettas can be tempermental, is there any way to test in the first place if he will do ok with others without actually having to risk injuries or the lives of other fish or himself? Also since he's just one fish I'm assuming I'm better off doing a fishless cycle and just changing his partially every day until it's ready or else it will take forever... does that seem reasonable?
What kind of substrate do I want to use so I can eventually grow plants? I unfortunately don't have any friends with aquariums to help me jumpstart the cycle by lending me some of their things from established tanks so I'll just have to go the ammonia way I guess... Any stocking suggests or advice? When I first got into fish it was due to me being an idiot and getting a fish without research and learning what they need so I've never done a fishless cycle and it makes me nervous since it's totally new... agh I'm just so nervous! I don't want to screw this up and accidentally kill any fish
I’m very new at this so I can’t answer all of your questions! But I do have a male betta and he does great with my Bristle Nose Pleco I have in with him! You could also try a snail if you’d like
 
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PepperidgeFarms

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kayla20johnson said:
I’m very new at this so I can’t answer all of your questions! But I do have a male betta and he does great with my Bristle Nose Pleco I have in with him! You could also try a snail if you’d like
A snail, that's brilliant! He can at least protect himself

Also (In case it makes a difference) This is the exact tank I bought (But from somewhere else) https://www.amazon.ca/Fluval-Vista-Aquarium-Kit-Gallon/dp/B072P1BZ4K
 

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Hi and welcome.

I'm sure you have already heard this, but do be aware that some betta will not tolerate anything in their space and will kill anything you put with them (fish, shrimp or snails). This will depend on the betta. You could try a snail.

kayla20johnson said:
I’m very new at this so I can’t answer all of your questions! But I do have a male betta and he does great with my Bristle Nose Pleco I have in with him! You could also try a snail if you’d like
BN plecos need a min tank size of 29g so it would not be an appropriate companion for this size tank.
 
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PepperidgeFarms

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Do you think I could put 4 panda cory's in the 16 gallon tank with a betta? I really like the look of them. Corys in general but particularly the panda ones. I'm not sure if they're too big for the tank though.
 

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PepperidgeFarms said:
Do you think I could put 4 panda cory's in the 16 gallon tank with a betta? I really like the look of them. Corys in general but particularly the panda ones. I'm not sure if they're too big for the tank though.
Panda corys need at least a 20g and should be kept in groups of 6 or more as they are a schooling fish. They wouldn't be appropriate for that size tank.
 

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In a 16g you could fit pygmy, the salt and pepper cory (habrosus) or hastatus cories in a group of 6. That is really the minimum size for those types of cories. But do be really careful about housing anything with a betta. I would suggest having a spare small (5g) tank that you could set up if the betta decides he is a loner.

Edit- You would also need to check whether any of those are temp compatible with a Betta. I have a feeling they may not be. I'll investigate and get back to you.

Edit- None of them look to be temp compatible with a betta. Betta's need a higher temp than these cories. Off the top of my head one of the only cories that is temp compatible with a betta is the sterbai, but those cories are too big for a 16 g I believe.
 
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PepperidgeFarms

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Thank you so much! Good thing I've got about 6 weeks to research my options lol
Any opinions on bottom feeders for me?
Also I officially started cycling my tank today!
 
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PepperidgeFarms

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Update! I had a piece of wood in the tank and it started forming a mold or algae. It's the grossest thing I've ever seen.
Also question: I checked my ammonia today and it's down to 0... but I also couldn't find any nitrites so does that mean it was unsuccessful and I start over? Did I miss my chance to continue growing the nitrites by starving them for a day possibly? (I hadn't tested the water in 2 days)
 

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PepperidgeFarms

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To be honest I didn't test it because I figured it would take a month before that would happen... I just tested now (still waiting 5 minutes but it's already showing a bunch)
It's literally been 8 days and it's already cycled, how is that possible?!?

Update: Nitrates are between 10-20 ppm (I have the hardest time deciding what colour it is)
I'm also going away on vacation for a few days and am not adding fish so would it work to add more ammonia just to keep the bacteria fed?
 
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PepperidgeFarms

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So Tuesday I added some more ammonia to bring it up to about 4 ppm.
It's now thursday afternoon and my current readings are
Ammonia 0 to .25
Nitrites between 2-5
Nitrates .5

Is that meaning it appears to be almost cycled already?
Could I add plants in now?
 
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PepperidgeFarms

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This afternoon I tested the water again and it appears to be
0 Ammonia
5+ Nitrites
160+ Nitrates
Am I supposed to do a pwc to take the nitrates down or just leave it until the Nitrites go down to 0 again?

Can anyone just let me know if this appears to be going right because I have no idea what I'm doing :S
 

jdhef

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Yes, once ammonia zero's out within 24 hours, you have 0ppm nitrites and some nitrates you are cycled. At that point you will need to do a large water change, or even back to back water changes to get those nitrates down as low as possible, before adding fish.
 
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