beginners mistakes... :(

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by TropicalBettaFreak, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. TropicalBettaFreak

    TropicalBettaFreakNew MemberMember

    I think I made a bit of a mistake in stocking my aquarium.
    I have 5 female betta fish, 5 feeder guppies, 3 cory cats, a pleco, and 3 silver tips. I'm planning on taking the silver tips back to the petstore and getting more cory cats.

    But can cory cats and plecos live together? Can different kinds of cory cats swim together in a group?

    I'd also like to get a schooling fish that gets a long with bettas, cory cats, guppies, and a pleco.... any advice?

    I have all but one of my silver tips caught in a let that's floating in the water kinda like a breeders trap until i can take them back to my lfs. I'll catch the last one later.

  2. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Ooohhhh, ummm, I didn't want to be the first to reply, but you have a few issues to consider.

    5 Betta females - I'd do some serious reading on Sorority Girls - but generally it can be a lot of hard work to make it work. Not saying it can't work, just do some reading - plenty of threads here on FL about sororities.

    Common pleco may outgrow a 25G, but should be ok with Corys.

    My concern would be how the betta's interact with the others.

    I sense MTS coming on :)

    I hope someone else comes in with better advice.
  3. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Good morning,

    I would highly recommend that each betta have a tank of its own, heated and filtered. It isn't recommend that these fish be housed together or in community tanks due to aggression issues between themselves and aggression from other fish toward the betta and their fins.

    There isn't 1 individual member on the site that I am aware of that can actually say they didn't have issues keeping multiple bettas in the same tank. It usually ends in disaster. This also holds true for a sorority tank. Females can fight just like the males. Things may be fine now, but things can also turn nasty very quickly.

    If nothing else, I would suggest dividing the tank for the bettas:

    Best wishes for your fish,

  4. jbdub

    jbdubValued MemberMember

    Hey, they say cory's should be kept in 5's but depends on size of aquarium. A pleco wouldn't really fight with anything but be careful of the species, the common pleco can get huge!
    I'd also be wary of female betta's, i've heard stories of them becoming aggressive towards each other.
    Tetras are good for schooling but so are the guppies you already have.

    haha i just realised to people were already WAY ahead of me
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 28, 2012
  5. LyndaB

    LyndaBFishlore LegendMember

    The bettas should be returned. This tank is small for a sorority and the only way for a sorority to work would be to have at least 8 females (but I still wouldn't advise it).

    The guppies are fine in this tank.

    The corys are fine and you could add 2 more.

    The pleco is most likely a common pleco, which would severely outgrow this tank. Return him.

    Return the silver tips.

    The good thing about making mistakes is that you can learn by correcting them. Don't think for one minute that all of us here haven't stumbled or made some serious screwups when stocking our tanks when we started out.
  6. Lupinus

    LupinusValued MemberMember

    Oh yeah.

    Honey I need a bigger fish tank, a week after my first one? That was a fun conversion.
  7. Wendy Lubianetsky

    Wendy LubianetskyWell Known MemberMember

    We have all made uuups on stocking in the beginning with a few exceptions. I bought an Oscar that grows to 12" with a Bonsai Flowerhorn that grows to 4 inches to put in a 5 gallon tank. Now I have them in a 60 and I still am buying a bigger tank for them. But, I sure know a lot more than I did then.:;lg
  8. octonaut

    octonautValued MemberMember

    ouch that's going to hurt! Know that one too.....

    With the female bettas it all seems to depend on individual personality. Our not so LFS keeps them in a sorority tank. we had one, who was great in a community tank. Our second one had to spend half a day in the community tank while I was shuffling fish around the house, and got so stressy she was trying to climb out on the thermometer and didn't speak to me for ages after. female bettas and neons can also be problematic if it's a female with largish fins I am told.
  9. OP

    TropicalBettaFreakNew MemberMember

    My bettas are perfectly fine and they provide me with no concern. I've been keeping bettas for about 6-7 years now and I'm pretty sure of my 5 females in the tank.

    I can't return the pleco, as I've had him for about a year or 2 now... hes lived in this specific tank for 4-5 years too.

    I can return the silver tips and get a few more cory cats though.
  10. LyndaB

    LyndaBFishlore LegendMember

    Do you know what species of pleco you have?

    You indicated in your initial post that you've made some mistakes stocking this tank. We're doing our best to help you fix the very obvious stocking problems but it sounds like you don't really want to make any changes. I'm confused about that.
  11. cameronpalte

    cameronpalteValued MemberMember

    Welcome to fishlore:). We have all made mistakes as beginners with overstocking our tank so we are here to try to help you fix them.

    The common pleco fish can easily outgrow a 25gallon tank, so I would be careful about that. I would also recommend removing all 5 betta fish from there, as 25 gallons is pretty much enough for only 5 betta fish not counting the fact that they would fight. You have made some serious mistakes with overstocking.

    It also seems like you don't want to fix your mistakes. You said your fish have been there "fine" for some time, yet what you are doing to them if they've been like that for multiple years is torture. I would recommend either giving away your fish to someone who has space or head out and get 5(5) gallon for the bettas. Return whatever you can, and transfer your pleco to a 40 by itself (may need to upgrade later).
  12. OP

    TropicalBettaFreakNew MemberMember

    My mom has a 75 gallon with 2 plecos and an oscar in it. All of our plecos except for my little sisters are common plecos. My moms oldest one is 13 years old and he's a monster!

    We had my pleco (he looked so tiny in there) in the 75 gallon, but the 3 plecos started beating up each other and there wasn't enough food for him.

    My bettas are fine. I've done plenty of research on them and none of them are showing signs of unhappiness.

    I really don't want to get rid of my pleco because I've grown very attached to him and I don't have money to buy a bigger tank (Plus my mom won't let me).

    Its not that I don't want to fix my mistake and make my fish happier (though their pretty happy right now), its that I don't have the money to upgrade anything.

    The pleco (I named her Goliath) came with the tank (which my grandpa gave to me).

    I'd be more than willing to get rid of the silver tips because, even though I really like them, they cause more trouble than their worth.
  13. camel89

    camel89New MemberMember

    If you think they're fine then keep it like that. I would just keep an eye on the bettas. I had a 5 female bettas and they did fine for a few years in a 37 gal. Then one day after work I found two almost dead on the bottom of the tank with their fins completely nipped off. Not sure what happened but I figured that's typical female behavior, in all species, lol. I separated them after that.

    And silver tips are a bad idea unless you plan on putting them in brackish or even marine water as they grow.
  14. djsmiley2k

    djsmiley2kValued MemberMember



    THEY WILL DIE. Do you get that? People are trying to be nice and help you, but the moment its something you don't want to hear you just cover your ears and hum until it maybe goes away.

    You might get lucky with the Bettas, thats your choice, but unless you can seriously concider rehousing the pleco and the silver tips then your going to have major issues.

    Transation: Major issues = Fish die.

    I don't know how fast the common pleco will grow, but unless you can guantee that you'll have a large enough tank in time for it (which you can't if your mum wont let you) then your simply dooming the fish to a very unhappy life, no matter how "happy" they appear to you. Fish, like so many other animals will hide weakness as much as they can as to not become a target for predators, sadly this means we don't know anything is wrong until its too late.

    Sorry to sound harsh but you don't seem to be listening :S
  15. OP

    TropicalBettaFreakNew MemberMember

    I should really stop posting my fish business on forums... I'll just talk to my LFS people from now on.
  16. e_watson09

    e_watson09Well Known MemberMember

    People at the LFS are the reason you're in the pickle you are in already. Listening to someone who is just looking for you to spend money isn't the answer. Many LFS employees just try to sell you anything they can talk you into.
  17. OP

    TropicalBettaFreakNew MemberMember

    The fact that I took advice from people on the internet who i don't even know is what got me into a pickle.

    I never talked to any of the very experienced people at my LFS and I deeply regret it.
  18. STLBluesFan

    STLBluesFanValued MemberMember

    its sad when someone reaches out like you have, and your trying to save your fish.. and then when several people on here have given accurate advice and you turn away, pleco can get over a foot long and need at least a 55 gallon tank, and thats if they are by them selves.. thats the 1 major issue here that i keep turning back to. and honestly, you came here cuz you knew you had a problem, we are just trying to help you fix it but it seems your unwilling so i dont know why you even posted. we may have offended you in some way, but in truth, we are just telling you whats best for this fish, and i can tell that may not be what you want to hear.. but its a fact
  19. Shine

    ShineWell Known MemberMember

    Look at it this way TBF: you came asking for advice, even started the post by saying "beginners mistakes" so clearly you know there are some problems with how your tank is stocked... So given that I am unclear as to why you are unhappy with the information that people are sharing with you?

    Lets start with the first questions you asked

    can corys and plecos live togethere? : Yes, given enough room they can. However as others have mentioned common plecos get to be up to 2 FEET long. A 20 gallon tank isn't big enough for one

    Can different kinds of cory cats swim together in a group? : No they don't school together. The LFS may tell you otherwise, but it isn't true. Literally; I have heard them giving that advise out, but it doesn't work that way.

    Honestly as far as giving stocking advise goes... I'd say if you are going to keep the pleco you need a much bigger tank. Aside from that keep a close eye on the bettas. It may work for you, but might not as well. Female bettas tend to be just as aggressive as the males, and are much faster given that they aren't weighted down by long fins. Make sure you have plenty of plants/decor to break up the sight lines, and have a back up plan in case they decide to start attacking each other one day.

    I'd let the tank settle for a bit before worrying about adding anything more. The only thing I would probably add later is more cories to fill out the school to better numbers... and as mentioned before, I'd return the pleco.
  20. angelfish220

    angelfish220Well Known MemberMember

    not saying that there aren't really really good LFSs out there, the majority just want to sell you stuff... We are just strangers online yes. but we are taking time out of our lives to reply to posts here. Why? because we love fish. We are trying to tell you what is best for the fish. We don't get a paycheck for selling you stuff, or even talking to you, we just want to spread knowledge about fishkeeping to help people out.

    As for the stocking, I'd rehome the bettas, silver tips, and pleco for a start.