Getting back into it...

  1. d3sl91

    d3sl91 Initiate Member

    Hey All,

    After recently getting settled in new living arrangements, and getting married (tomorrow is the 1 month mark), I am really getting back into the hobby. The niece and nephew love fish, and love the Betta we currently have. Prior to this, I had a couple of tanks over the course of a few years in my teenage years.

    5.5G Heated, Filtered (AC20) Betta tank.

    The plan we had, was to start a community tank. I had forgotten enough about the hobby and fish's requirements to think a 5.5g would be enough for a betta and a couple compatible tankmates. Now I know he needs 5g all for himself, and other than some shrimp... that this 5.5g is just enough for him alone. Hes been happily thriving in that tank for a couple months.

    So, once my discounted Petsmart giftcard gets to me this week, I will start building a 20 long to house the betta and a couple varieties of compatible tankmates (Niece and nephew will be choosing - with help from us and the LFS staff). Likely a couple of schools, so, ~12 fish in addition to the betta. If the betta acts up, he will end up in the 5g in my office.


    1. AC20 in a 20 long - is it enough? Or should I get a small sponge filter for additional surface agitation+filtration. Any reccomendations on a small sponge filter (I have amazon prime if that helps).

    2. I like dark substrate, and some of the fish the niece/nephew like also like darker substrates, I have read. Any thoughts on the bagged petco sand? Otherwise smooth/smaller darker natural pebbles (reccomendations?). I do think corydoras will be one variety in the tank.

    3. I see very conflicting opinions on corydoras. From some saying "a couple in a 10g is fine" to "nothing smaller than 30G and 8+ corys". I do know they like company, so 5-6 are going to be purchased anyway, but thoughts on tank size?

    4. Cycling and using an existing filter. Betta tank has the AC20 currently for about a month, precautions or suggestions before bringing to the bigger tank?

  2. BettaGirl22

    BettaGirl22 Well Known Member Member

    Hi! Nice to see you returning to the hobby :)

    1) My typical rule of thumb is to go up a size in filters than the recommended for the tank size. I would say get a sponge filter as well; extra filtration never hurts. My favorite is linked below. It works like a charm.

    2) Petco sand should do just fine; just make sure to rinse it all out before it goes into the tank.

    3) Corys are bottom dwellers, so they like lots of space to move around. I would say a 20 gallon long is the smallest ideal footprint for them and it should work just fine. As for group sizes, they do like company and 5-6 would do just fine.

    4) Good thought using an already established filter. The media should help jump start and hurry up the cycling process.

    Good luck on your tank! Let us know how everything goes.
  3. Geoff

    Geoff Well Known Member Member

    I have nothing to add, but just wanted to say Welcome to FishLore and welcome back to fish keeping!

    Be sure to post pics as you build the new tank!