Help A beginner with three tanks(3.3gal, 20gal, & 9gal)

bluejackalope

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Hello everyone! First off, this is my first time posting here, so I figure a quick introduction is in order. I go by Jack for simplicity's sake, but please don't call me a mister. Imma girl, I swear! D8
I'm a theatre major and I've just completed my first year of college. During my last semester, my roommate convinced about six people to go on a betta spree, and soon there were little bettas and betta problems everywhere. I ended up eventually joining the bandwagon--after an incident with goldfish--and purchased a 3.3 gallon tank.

It has an underground filter and a bubbler, and is in a cylinder shape. Currently, it is home to my King Betta, Hades, who is quite happy in it.
After bringing Hades home, he acquired a plant and two run-of-the-mill snails as companions, and aside from being medicated for fin-rot, is doing very well. But being home brought me in contact with my two other tanks that have been sitting empty and unloved for nearly a year in my room.

One is a 9 gallon biube that was abandoned due to lack of knowledge and...quite frankly...I was too interested in other things to care at the time. The other is a lovely 20 gallon that was home to a boat-load of swordtails who now live with my chinese suckerfish--fondly called TheNinjaBuddaFish due to his ability to disappear into nothing and his incredible pot-belly--and my mother's catfish and plecostomas in a 30gal tank(we plan to move them into a 50 gal soon).

I've since cleaned both tanks up and gotten them set up again. The biube is now the home of a double-tail-half-moon betta(who doesn't have a name yet), but I'm not sure if I want it to be his permanent home. So here're my problems.

First off, I really want to have both tanks stocked. I will be going back to college come fall, but I am allowed and able to bring both the 3.3gal and the biube, as they both are within the size limit for tanks at my school(foolishly, they neglected to put a limit on number of tanks, and saw last year how many a couple students could fit--1 three gallon fish, 1 ten gallon hermit, 1 fifteen gallon gecko, and 1 2-ish gallon betta). The 20gal I cannot take, but my mom is considering taking it up to the school--she's a teacher--and is willing to care for it in my absence.

I really want to put the little betta in a community tank if possible. I like to see lots of fish, or at least active ones. He's pretty active so far, but because of the way the tank is shaped, if he ever decides to take a nap in the "corner" I would never find him again. Another problem is the rocks required for that tank, which are considerably sharper than the gravel in my 20gal.
Would it be best for me to move him in the 20gal and get him some easy-going friends? And what sort of fish do best with bettas most of the time? Or should I save up and get a smaller tank--perhaps a biorb--just for him and maybe a couple cherry shrimp?
I do love shrimp and crayfish.

I really could use some stocking suggestions for these two tanks. I've been reading my eyes off, and the possibilities are endless, I know. But I'd like just some simple lists of fish that usually get along, and I can experiment as I go along.
Part of me would really like a larger fish; either the 9 gallon or the 20. But most importantly, I want the fish I get to be in a situations where they would be happiest, and I want to keep my two bettas happy as well. Any suggestions?

Oh! And if necessary, I would be willing to change the gravel in my 20gal to sand. Unfortunately, I have no choice of rocks for the biube, so I can't change them. But I've been looking a bit into the shell-dwellers, and I kinda think it would be nice to have a few of them. But hey. I'm just trying to keep my head from spinning with overload right now! -laugh-

(p.s. I prefer to cycle with fish, and while the double-tail is what I'm using to cycle the 9 gal, I currently have no fish in the 20gal, so whatever I get to cycle it would have to get along with what I ultimately go with. Thanks!)
 

jerilovesfrogs

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welcome to fishlore! well if you decide to cycle with fish, you should be doing daily changes of 25% or so, with water treated with prime or amquel+, which will detox ammonia for 24hrs. if the fish are subjected to high levels of ammonia, nitrite....they can suffer greatly. and the bettas will probably get finrot. (i've learned the hard way....as i knew nothing in the beginning).

i don't think a lot of people recommend bettas for a community tank. sometimes at first it appears things are ok, but then one day the betta can turn on the others. and if you did have him in his own tank, he might think shrimp are a snack. i have nerite snails in with a ct and vt and it's fine. but with the hmpk, no way. it just depends.

i would say a 5 gallon would be a nice place for him. though a 2.5 is doable. and the bettas shouldn't be in a tank with any sharp things, or gravel. some use sand with bettas, but some will say it's a bad idea. i think becuase they pick at stuff on the bottom and can swallow sand with it.

the king betta is in the 3.3 right? that's ok....except for the undergravel filter. those aren't very good. is there any way you could get another filter for it? i don't know what kind of tank it is. hmmm let's see what else

the 20g, is it high, or long? i have a 20 high and have 8 harlequin rasboras, 6 galaxy rasboras, corys, 1 endler, and 1 honey gourami. though i kind of wish i had a long....it seems like the longness of it would be good for a schooling fish and corys.
 

Lucy

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Welcome to FishLore!!

I'm not a big fan of bettas in community tanks. We've seen a lot of problems with them.
Some may work for a day, a week, a month, but as they betta and other fish mature, someone gets hurt, killed or sick from stress.

Imo, keep Hades in the 3.3, in the 9g you could try some pygmy cories to go with your other betta.
Shrimp might become a bettas dinner and I wouldn't try the crayfish with the betta. As you probably know bettas sleep towards the bottom or in their special place and are slow moving, too irresistible for a crayfish.

In the 20g, you could do a nice community minus the bettas.

Good luck, whatever you decide to do.
 
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bluejackalope

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Thank you for the welcomes! :3

I'm a constant water tester now that I've kidnapped the kit from my mom, so I'll be keeping a very close eye on the ammonia, and will be doing water changes as well.

Unfortunately, I can't change the filter on the small tank. Its an Aquaview360, and barely has enough room on the side for the tiny heater I got to help Hades get better. So far I hadn't had any trouble with the filter until I moved back here. I think I'm probably going to have to do full water changes more often--I'm pretty sure that'll help a lot.

I believe its a 20 high, 'cause its definitely not long. Although I wish I had a long one--I've been eying the 6.6 gallon bookshelf tanks, but I don't think I can get my hands on one right now. xD;

As for the fish, I really am fond of the gouramis. I'm not sure how available some of those you mentioned are to me, but I'd love to have a gourami or a dwarf gourami drifting about...I'll have to do some more window shopping around the local stores. ;3

Oh I would never put the crayfish with the betta. oxo;; Especially not with this particular one--his fins are easily three times his own size when he spreads them as much as he can.
 

JustinF

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Welcome!

I like Neon Tetras and other small schooling fish for the 20g, betta in the 3.3, and maybe some barbs in the 9g, maybe? Good Luck with the fish and school.
 

FLGirl

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Jacks not weird for a girl. My friend's name is Jacqueline and we all call her Jack. Welcome to FishLore! I'm still a bit of a newbie myself but I do have my first tank cycled finally.

Lucy are you sure about the cories in the 9gallon? I think they need a biggish group and I think the biube is really tall vs long and not allot of bottom room. I know the pygmies don't stick to the bottom like most other corys always do though. I just remember it was iffy if I could fit them in my 20g high when I was thinking about but I'm not expert so I could be totally off!! You would know better than me!!

Again, Welcome to fishlore Jack!!!! There are a ton of good 20g tall community options, You can check out this forum and see lots and I'm sure if you have a special fish in mind (like D.G.) the people here can let you know what is or isn't compatible both species and space wise! Have fun with your aquariums!!!
 
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bluejackalope

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I'm really hesitant about neon tetras. =/ They aren't very hardy from what I understand, and I kinda had a bad experience with them when I was young. xD; I couldn't understand why they kept dying when I was six.

Its the height of the 9gal that's been a nightmare for me. oxo; I always get suggestions of bottom feeders, and it really doesn't work with the structure of the tank. Its basically a cylinder...with a tube going up the middle. xD;

Thanks again for all y'all's help. o3o I need as much as I can get. x3
 
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bluejackalope

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Got a nice little update!

After a lot of thought--and a visit to a bajillion and two stores--I've decided on some rather run-of-the-mill fish that I think should do fabulously.

I currently have a small hoard of nano-fish inhabiting the 20gal while it cycles.
There are three male guppies, two zebra danios and one long-fin zebra danio swimming merrily around. I'm not worried about this being a few too many for a cycling tank because it has been cycling without fish for a week or so, part of the time with a filter that was actually putting ammonia into the tank(an older filter). Its already beginning to make nitrate, so I'm quite content with the whole set up and will be keeping a very close eye on it.

The plan is to add some additional guppies and danios, although I'm not sure how many, since I don't want it to be overstocked. More importantly to me I plan on getting 4-5 black loaches(I found some locally!) to keep the food waste down and an algae eater(either a plecostomas of some sort or maybe a snail.)

This sound okay for a 20gal? :3
 

allibobs

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I have 3 biorb tanks and a have a betta in a community tank in there and they do really really well. I have male endlers and cherry shrimp and all is ok. The shrimps do well becasue of the media the biorbs use as the shrimos can hide in it and I also have my tanks really well planted!
 

jerilovesfrogs

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i am not sure, but i think loaches are kind of aggressive, and big. that's what i always thought. and i dont' think a pleco would be good either....they get huge and produce a lot of waste. i have snails, and corys, to help with leftover food etc. though shrimp do a good job too.
 

Kunsthure

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Welcome to Fish Lore!

Do you know what kind of loaches they are? Most will get too big for a 20g except dwarf chain loaches. They top out at about 2". But they do eat small snails.

-Lisa
 
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