29g Stocking W/ Betta

FergusDaFish

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I got a 29 gallon tank from my grandma and have been thinking about setting it up and moving my betta into it around the end of the year (I've got a lot going on). The delay gives me time to consider stocking, though, so I have questions!

The tank:
I'm thinking of doing a low-tech, planted setup with either driftwood or rock in the 29G (haven't decided). I haven't decided on substrate other than I'll have some planting mix below a topping, either pool filter sand which I have a ton of, or dark, smallish gravel which I'd have to buy. The idea is to keep things fairly neutral/natural in terms of color so the fish really stand out.

(Fergus is a crowntail with an iridescent blue body and red ribbony fins, see my avatar photo)

STOCKING TIME!

I am of two minds: I like the idea of having schooling fish in the tank with Fergus so...

- I could go brightly colored and do neons or cardinals so they color-coordinate with Fergus
OR
- I could go neutral but sparkly/silvery with the schooling fish so Fergus stands out as the star of the show

He was kept in a 10G community tank at the LFS when I got him so I know he can cohabit with other fish.

Thoughts? What have you seen that you really liked? What schooling fish would you recommend for either/each scheme?

(I also have two snails)
 
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FergusDaFish

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They're pretty cool, neat tails.

I didn't see them at my LFS the last time I was there so I'd have to ask about them or look around.

Have you heard of/seen diamond head tetras?
 

ValerieAdams

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They're pretty cool, neat tails.

I didn't see them at my LFS the last time I was there so I'd have to ask about them or look around.

Have you heard of/seen diamond head tetras?
Yes, the diamond head neons? They like cooler water than bettas
 
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FergusDaFish

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The look of the diamond heads was what I was considering for the second look: the silvery, less colored school option. Something silvery and a little flashy.
 

IHaveADogToo

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As someone who used to keep neon tetras with a betta, I advise you not to keep tetras with a betta. They can get fin nippy... rummynoses and neons both do it. I suggest rasboras instead, specifically, harlequin rasboras. I do like @ValerieAdams' suggestions for bottom dwellers, though.
 
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FergusDaFish

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Is there a specific reason you recommend harlequins or would any rasbora be compatible?

I like mosquito/chili rasboras which would push me into the color-coordinated option for the tank...

Also looking at kubotai rasboras, they're pretty neat
 

IHaveADogToo

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Chili rasboras are so small I fear a betta may eat them. I recommend harlequins because I have seen it work several times (keeping bettas with them). I don't know a lot about different types of rasboras, but I do know about harlequins. They're big enough to not get eaten, and they don't tend to fin nip like tetras or barbs do. Temperature compatible, too.
 
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FergusDaFish

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Even with a school of 20-24 you think chilis would be too small?

I figured that since I was going to only have my betta, two snails and the one schooling fish that I could get a nice-sized school right off the bat rather than piddle around with a school of 6 or 8 or 10.

Go big or go home.
 

IHaveADogToo

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I believe that if it can fit in a tank mate’s mouth, it will get eaten. Especially if that tank mate is a piggy fish like a betta. But, if you have a super chill betta, it might be okay. I just hate to see you buy a bunch of expensive betta food.
 

imba

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Chili rasboras especially the juveniles are indeed tiny, and I think an adult betta can chomp them.

How about some espei rasboras? They look like harlequins but stay smaller and have even better colour. They sre bigger than chilis so your betta wont be able to eat them. You can easily go with 16 to 20.
 
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FergusDaFish

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Espei are porkchop rasboras, right? When I was looking around my LFS for ideas their porkchops looked identical to their harlequins; there was no color difference (they were only like two tanks from each other so they were easy to compare).

As for size: it looks like aquatic arts sells their chilis as juveniles that are 1/4" to 1/2" in length so very very small (My LFS didn't have them). I wouldn't put a betta in with babies as I agree they'd probably get eaten (Fergus appears to have a hunting instinct based on recent feeding games).

Do you think a smaller fish like that would work if I let them grow up before I put Fergus in or, IYO, are chili-sized fish a no-go?

Thanks for all your opinions, everyone, this is very helpful! :emoji_thumbsup:
 
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