Help With Choosing Fish And Tank Size Please

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by ChristinaM90, Jun 16, 2018.

  1. ChristinaM90New MemberMember

    Hi, I am super new to fish. Wanted to start a freshwater tank and read a few articles on fish for beginners and I have a few I'm interested in but wanted some advice on how many per each fish since some need to be in groups. So the ones I am thinking about are
    -neon tetras
    -pleco (tiger or bristlenose)
    -betta (this one scares me)

    Obviously it's probably not practical to get them all but any guidance on which of these work best together, have similar livng conditions and how many of each breed would be greatly appreciated. I am open to a tank between 20-50 gallons. Thanks.
  2. GuppyGuy007

    GuppyGuy007Well Known MemberMember

    If you got a 50 Gallon tank, you could probably keep everything except the Danios, assuming you mean zebra Danios.
    In a 50G , you could do
    1X Betta
    15X Neon Tetras
    7X Platies
    8X Guppies
    1-2X Bristlenose Plecos
    And probably something else, but I would wait for a more experienced member give input on that.
    I would say no to the Danios, because they need cooler water than everything else.
  3. GettinTanked

    GettinTankedValued MemberMember

    Kudos to you for doing research before making purchases.
    This might be TMI, but--
    If you plan on using your tap water (treated with dechlorinator), you might want to find out some things about it first and then opt for species that are compatible. For instance, my water is pretty hard, so I went the livebearer route. Neon tetra tend to like water on the neutral to slightly acidic side, so I opted against those fish. This isn't a hard rule. Fish raised at your local pet store probably were raised in similar conditions to your local tap water and are pretty adaptable, so there are certainly people that do raise fish like neon tetra in harder water. What this does to their physiological stress level and in turn their disease susceptibility/ life span, I'm not sure. I just play it safe.
    The general consensus seems to be that water stability is more crucial than getting within specific parameters, so it's best not to try to change your pH with chemicals and whatnot to make it match a fish you like. If you want a fish that has ideal parameters slightly outside your own, some fish are more adaptable than others. These are the fish they tend to call "hardy" in their descriptions.

    Sorry for the long post.
    But also: get a small or soft or sandy substrate. The first thing I did was buy a pebble substrate. This is incompatible with the vast majority of bottom dwelling fish, most of which like to sift through the substrate for food.
    Okay I'm done.

  4. OP

    ChristinaM90New MemberMember

    Thanks guys for the quick replies! I don't necessarily want A LOT of fish, I just know some need to be in schools but if they can be solo of their species that's even better for me. So probably not tetras, I would prefer to use tap water and I live in Texas, we have horrible hard water with lots of lime scale... now that I think about it maybe a smaller tank with distilled water would be best haha okay so thoughts on a betta with maybe a dwarf frog and a pleco? Could those 3 get along in a 20 or 30 gallon you think?
  5. RainBetta

    RainBettaWell Known MemberMember

    You could do a sorority in a 29G tank. That's a good beginner size. Do you know about cycling a tank?
  6. OP

    ChristinaM90New MemberMember

    Sorority of female bettas? I don't know about cycling :( im trying to read articles on basics. In a perfect world I would have a giant tank behind my bed full of jellyfish but ya know I'm not that ambitious or rich. I just want something big enough to keep fish happy, low maintenance and enough accessories to make it look pretty.
  7. GettinTanked

    GettinTankedValued MemberMember

    Guppies and platies are both livebearers which can tolerate some hard water. Not sure how hard you're talking. They're both peaceful fish and their numbers are flexible. It's more of a gender ratio that you need to keep in mind (which is common). Something like 2-3 females per male, to keep the males from overstressing the females. You will get lots of fry though.

    If you do distilled, keep in mind you'll have to add minerals to the water (for any fish, I believe). I've never attempted this, but maybe someone else can speak to how difficult or easy this is to do successfully for a new aquariest.

    And then there's the question of live plants.
  8. BettaFishKeeper4302

    BettaFishKeeper4302Well Known MemberMember

    Bettas are a great choice don't be scared. Oh yeah and 4 words for you tank size. Biggest you can get.
  9. Lagertha

    LagerthaValued MemberMember

    Why are you scared of Bettas?

    Also I’d not recommend a Betta sorority for a beginner @RainBetta.
  10. OP

    ChristinaM90New MemberMember

    I had a betta when I was young (a girl) by herself but I'm scared to get a boy and put any other fish with it, could I get a boy betta and some non fish with it? I dont know whats possible with the betta though, I read some large shrimp but it said minimum of 5 and that's a bit much for just shrimp
  11. Lagertha

    LagerthaValued MemberMember

    Bettas aren’t as aggressive as people think as long as you have the right size tank.
  12. OP

    ChristinaM90New MemberMember

    Lagertha, do you think one betta and a pleco like of the small variety would be okay in a 20 gallon together with some sand? And would the pleco need real plants or extra accessories that aren't just for decoration?
  13. rae650

    rae650Valued MemberMember

    A good starting point to learn about cycling is YouTube, understanding the nitrogen cycle will also help x
  14. Lagertha

    LagerthaValued MemberMember

    I’m not the best person to ask as I’m new myself but based on the ton of research I’ve done and the helpful chaps here I’d say that would be fine.

    Bettas are ok in community tanks as far as I’m led to believe as long as they have their own space.

    I’m not at all educated on plants but from what people have told me here is definitely the way to go. I’m in the process of gathering easy beginner plants for my Betta tank because of how delicate their beautiful fins are. There’s always that risk of him hurting himself on fake plants.
  15. OP

    ChristinaM90New MemberMember

    That's true I didn't think about their fins and fake plants, I saw these mossy looking balls that looked cute for Bettas, I've never tried keeping a plant alive under water though so we shall see ha
  16. Lagertha

    LagerthaValued MemberMember

    Oh moss balls are bullet proof!

    They need nothing to get on, Just pop them in and when you do your water changes give them a gentle squeeze in old tank water. Done.

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