Betta in 20 gallons?

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by FishDreamer, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. FishDreamerValued MemberMember

    :;toast Yay! I've finally been able to register an acc on here(I've been having some glitches)! Ok, now to the point. I have a 20 gallon(long) tank that has been set up for a couple months now. Here are my readigs:
    Ammonia: 0
    Nitrite: 0
    Nitrate: 0
    pH: 8.4
    GH: 0?
    KH: 300
    I am starting to use distilled water to lower the hardness, and I will test it soon to update you all on the readings. The pH has always been high, odd because my water here is soft. I have a bottle of pH down, but I'm tentative to use it. I don't prefer to use it, but it could come in handy. Any suggestions? Also I have a female betta in a 1.5(temporarily of coarse) with no filtration and a stable temp of 80(light heats the water). I feed her Jack's Pets tropical flakes(going to drop by the petstore and buy some more blood worms) one pinch daily. She shows no signs of illness and is contented in her small tank. There was a shrimp..but you know bettas, always snacking on them. :). Anyway, I was thinking once I can lower the pH and Hardness levels, would it be okay to have one betta(my female), 5-7 Panda Cories, and 1-2 ADFs? My subtarte is black gravel, It seems round enough for the cories. Thanks for the help!!
  2. ClearEyesWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to Fishlore!

    With 0 nitrates, it doesn't sound like your tank is fully cycled yet.

    That combination of fish is probably not a good idea - your betta may attack your cories. Also, ADFs should be in a species-own tank, otherwise they could starve, as they are not good at competing for food.
  3. Anders247Fishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to fishlore!
    Agreed with the above. What test kit are you using? If it's the API liquid test kit then you need to bang the #2 nitrate bottle really hard.
  4. AndyVEValued MemberMember


    First...cories prefer sand.
    But i have very rounded dark brown FINE gravel 'like' substrate (is special substrate for shrimp and not as hard as gravel though). My cories do just fine (almost 2 years now).

    Combining a Betta with them is another thing.
    It will all depend on your Betta if he endures the cories or not.

    I had a Betta in my 33 gallon (or at least tried to keep one there).
    After two weeks almost all my 17 Cardinal Tetra started to die very quickly (over a period of 4 days). Never seen my Betta attacking or even chasing one. But after I re-homed him there was no more dying Tetra.

    Adding Panda cories might work since they do not have any colour so your Betta might not see it as competition
    ...but as mentioned before it all depends on your Betta.

    By the Betta does not seem to mind RCS (is in his own 5.5 gallon and added 10 RCS from my main tank and have much more in there now).

    For the kH....some soil for shrimp seems to lower that (the one i am using in my main tank for sure does since my kH is 2-3). It also had an effect on my pH (lowering it). But that effect will only last a year or so.

    To lower your pH you can try:
    - adding "indian almond" leaves (tannin it releases also lowers your pH)
    Betta also seem to be fond of it.
    - adding driftwood will also release tannin and lower your pH
    - or add peat (for aquarium) to your filter
    (but that has to be replace almost every cheap though).
    Am using that to lower my pH since a small month and so far it works
    pretty well (just replaced it the first time)

    As I understand it most tank breeded fish can adapt to higher pH values.
    But I also prefer having my tank as close to their natural environment.
  5. Anders247Fishlore LegendMember

    Panda cories wouldn't work because they need a cooler temp than bettas.
  6. MtnTigerWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to Fishlore. I would be very hesitant in lowering your pH. Most if not all fish can adapt to any constant pH. It's the fluctuation that causes problems.

    If you are using the test strips getting an accurate reading is almost impossible.
  7. Anders247Fishlore LegendMember

    Agreed, I missed that part. Don't mess with your pH. It will stress out the fish and do more harm than good.
  8. FishDreamerValued MemberMember

    Thanks for all the quick replies! So should I try to lower my pH? I don't have that much money...(actually I'm broke)....I don't want to leave my poor betta in the 1.5 gallon! She looks so sad right now, she's not moving and she is just sitting there on her rock. Is there any other way to lower my hardness and pH cheaply and safely? Thank you all for the help!
  9. Anders247Fishlore LegendMember

    We just said not to mess with or lower the pH or hardness, it stresses out the fish....
  10. ClearEyesWell Known MemberMember

    Your LFS might try to sell you products such as API pH Down or Up. They basically just beat up your fish, especially if you have to use them every water change. pH changes, even if they look small, like 0.1, are actually pretty drastic to your fish.
  11. BornThisWayBettasFishlore VIPMember

    Welcome to Fish Lore!!! Nice to meet you! :D

    I don't know much about how to lower pH, but as for the betta, you could try putting her in with the others. Cories and ADFs are some of the best tankmates for a betta, even though ADFs are best off in species-only tanks if that's possible. Just keep a very close eye on them and remove her immediately if you see any signs of aggression, even if it's just "minor". All up to you, though. :) I personally am a supporter of "betta communities", when you have a good tempered betta.
  12. Anders247Fishlore LegendMember

    Bettas are not compatible with panda cories. Pandas need lower temps, bettas need higher temps.
  13. BornThisWayBettasFishlore VIPMember

    Yeah, that would be an issue. :/
  14. FishDreamerValued MemberMember

    Oh! I'm sorry! I have no fish in the 20 gallon. And I haven't added any chemicals since Ilast re-started my tank(I had to dump it and re-start once). I've been thinking, what do you all think about starting sorority? I have thought about it before, and my tank is stuffed with plants. I am going to buy more soon. I know it's a hit or miss sort of situation, but I'm willing to take the risk if it means saving bettas from those prison cups. I wish I had a breeder around, I read that it would reduce the stress between the females if they were siblings. I have read so much about sororities, I bet I could type up a whole essay on it! I could buy dividers just in case the females fought. Thanks for the help!

    Sorry for the spelling errors, this keyboard is really bad. :)
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2015
  15. _Fried_Bettas_Well Known MemberMember

    I don't have any spawns of the right age at this moment or I would easily sell enough sibling females for a sorority (9 or so). But find an online breeder with bettas you like and ask, breeders always have a surplus of females. They would be moving from their growout/sorority at the breeder directly to yours, the optimal conditions for success with this setup.
  16. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    And I hate to break it to you, but by "saving" bettas from betta cups, you're supporting the business. The ones you buy will just be replaced.
  17. BDpupsWell Known MemberMember

    I've never understood this mentality. If you want a betta and you feel that keeping them in cups is wrong to sell them ( I don't think there is anything wrong with that ) then buy them from a breeder.

    Sent from my iPhone with my fingers.
  18. BornThisWayBettasFishlore VIPMember

    As long as the cups are kept clean and aren't ridiculously small I think that the store selling the fish really doesn't have much of an option, considering that they can't put bettas together in the same tanks like they can other fish and they can't even put one betta in with another tank with other fish because it would be too risky, as not every betta will get along in the "community" setting. I bought my betta from a cup in Petsmart, because I fell in love with him and he was so beautiful. Also, many people can't/don't want to buy a $40 betta and then pay $15 or so for shipping, even if they are "prettier" and "fancier" than the pet store bettas.
  19. FishDreamerValued MemberMember

    They are too small(they are cups after all), and they seem pretty healthy for the most part. Also, my female is actually pretty 'fancy'. Her name is Uranus(I've had other bettas named Pluto, Mercury, and Neptune).
    Photo 1- This is when Uranus arrived home. Her coloring is much more vibrant and as you can see the cup isn't extremely small..JMO:;betta
    Photo 2- This is Uranus' marking on her head, which I find very unique.
    Photo 3- Here's her side, as you can see, her coloring is much brighter. She used to be in a small bowl, but since then, Neptune died and she inherited his tank.
    Photo 4- This is Ivory(Crowntail), my 2.5 year old betta who died recently due to dropsy. She was moved to the 1.5 gal with a bubble wall and some medications. I made her a 'hammock' so she could rent while being near the surface.
    Photo 5- This is Neptune(Veil Tail), my 3 year old betta, who died of old age. He's flaring at Uranus as I held her up to his tank. I've never seen his colors so brilliant! A year ago he could see Ivory all day, so he began making bubble nests. I think it would be fun to breed bettas sometime.
    Photo 6- This is my 20 Gallon tank. It has some plants,and I'm planning on buying more(once I sell my junky tablet(who needs one when you can have live pets?)I'll have tons of money) soon.
    Do any of you guys have suggestions for starting a sorority tank(besides the breeder/sibling thing)? Uranus is very calm and never flared at me or Neptune. :;betta2

    Oops they got mixed up, I bet you all can figure it out. :)

    Also I meant they aren't too small not they are. This key board is terrible.:;madsmiley

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2015
  20. FishDreamerValued MemberMember

    I just went to Jack's Pets and here are my readings:
    GH-?(They forgot to fill that in[was around 180 before])
    It's actually gotten worse. What I don't get is
    1) Why didn't the distilled water lower the pH?
    2) Where did the Ammonia come from? I have no fish or live plants!
    Also how can I lower these INEXPENSIVELY? They recommended Water Softening Pillow and Spring Water. I hope on getting some Spring Water soon. Would this work? I don't think I'm ever going back to Jack's Pets. Here's all the wrong things I noticed.
    1) They said Iodisedsalt is the same as Aquarium slat...
    2) They said that salt helps lower hardness...Actually it does the exact opposite.
    3) Also they use test strips:mad:
    4) When I told them about the Betta Sorority idea, they said they had never heard of it. And they said that a 20 gallon IS TOO BIG and bettas LIKE SMALL BOWLS. This is ridiculous.
    5) They sold Arowana in a 5 gallon tank!
    I cannot believe Jack's Pets. Petsmart gives terrible information, and many of my fish have died because of them. I might try Petco. I got my betta Ivory from there, and she lived a long live, she was also beautiful. Any comments on the above things Jack's Pets said or does? Any ideas on lowering my Ammonia KH and pH? I read that Marimo Moss Balls help reduce SOME Ammonia and Nitrates. Well not much at that. Please help! I have little to no money and my tank is going for the worse AGAIN!!!!:(:-[:;fru:-\:'(