2 Gallon Tank Question

  • #1
I have a two gallon tank, so would it be too much to have a mystery snail and a betta or Neon Blue Dwarf Gourami in the tank together. Would it be too over-crowded for the fish?
I appreciate the help arky
Tigress Hill
  • #2
Welcome to Fishlore! One of the most crucial things to know in this hobby is the nitrogen cycle, click on the underlined words for more info.

If you put those fish in that size tank together, they will harm or even kill one another! And IMO, a two gallon is really too small for any kind of fish. Also, a mystery snail has a suprisingly high bioload, so watch out for that as well.
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
yeah I wanted a bigger tank, but it wasn't in the budget, I am defiantly am getting a bigger tank in the future.

Another question, do bettas need a heater?
  • #4
Welcome to FishLore!

Please, as suggested by Tigress, read up on the nitrogen cycle if you are not familiar with it. A very important concept indeed! Success will be impossible without a firm grasp of it.

1. Bettas and gouramis are both anabantoids, meaning they are labyrinth fish - they breathe air from the surface using a labyrinth organ rather than breathing oxygen in the water using gills. I'm sure you're aware that you cannot put two male bettas together - they are called 'fighting fish' for a reason! However, less common knowledge is that bettas and gouramis are related, and if you put these two fish together, a similar situation will result. Long story short, I agree with Tigress.

2. Bettas really need at least 5 gallons, though most betta afficionados will not keep them in anything less than 10 gallons. I got a 2.5 gallon kit on sale and I asked if I could put a betta in it - the resounding answer was no. So, as 2 gallons is less than 2.5, I would argue that you probably couldn't even keep just a betta in the tank. (Also, mystery snails get pretty large and are heavy waste producers, so a betta and a mystery together would definitely not be a good idea.)

3. Bettas definitely need heaters! In fact, more so than many community fish - you'd never think to keep tetras without a heater, but bettas actually prefer their water warmer - around 78-82 degrees. They also need a filter, as do ALL fish. This is another issue with small tanks: you will be hard-pressed to find a filter that isn't too strong for such a small space. Especially since bettas have large fins and aren't the best swimmers, they'll be blown around the tank like they're in a washing machine!

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if it wasn't me, it'd be someone else. I ended up using my 2.5 gallon tank as a shrimp tank and I LOVE it! It's dirted and planted, and it's such a nice bit of green in my office, it always cheers me up to see it. I got red cherry shrimp, and I love seeing them scuttle around the tank, hanging upside down from plants. Also it's always fun to see pregnant females - I have three now! Two have green berries, and one has yellow ones. (Sorry, I get a bit carried away when I talk about my shrimpies. ) I also have ramshorn snails in there - they're the swirly-looking ones, that look like cinnamon rolls. Soon I'll get red ones, so I'll have matching shrimps and snails. Anyway, my point is that even if the tank is too small for fish (which it unfortunately is) it definitely isn't too small to have fun with.


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  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Thank you for all of this information
The funny thing is that I was actually looking into getting some shrimp until I saw a betta
  • #6
You should totally get shrimp! There are so many different kinds and colors. I would stay away from ghost shrimp, though - they need more space than others such as red cherry shrimp (RCS). RCS are neocaridina, and any neos have the same requirements and would be fine in a 2 gallon tank. There are yellow ones, blue ones (blue pearl shrimp), orange ones (pumpkin shrimp), etc etc.

Since their bioload is much lower than fish, they're a bit more low-maintenance. My tank is heavily planted, and with a small sponge filter, there's never any ammonia or nitrites (IE the tank is cycled) and the nitrates are never higher than 5ppm, usually lower. I still do a water change every week, or more frequently, as fresh water encourages molting/growth and breeding. Also, they need calcium for their shells, so water changes help replace the calcium they use. However, since the waste output is so low, if you're busy for a week and miss a water change, it isn't as detrimental as it is for a fish tank with a bunch of fish.

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