Max occupancy for 35gal tank?

kymoto
  • #1
I have a 35 gal tall tank with a male betta fish being the only occupant, but once my tank cycles I would like to add more fish. I would idealy like to add (gradually) 3-4 cory cats and 7-8 tetras. Is this too many fish for my tank? Right now the betta fish seems to be happy and healthy I don't want to alter this state of being by adding too many roomates.
 
Shawnie
  • #2
welcome to fishlore kymoto!

A few things to consider: please make sure you are doing at least 50% water changes a day to cycle that tank with your betta in it..he will die from ammonia and nitrites if not...an apI master liquid test kit is amazing and will help with correct readings..
betta's usually like to be alone...they don't make super community tank fish, but it has happened before....so maybe buy him a 10 gallon tank and cycle it before you add more to your bigger one??

goodluck and I'm sure many experienced fishlorians will be along to help more!
 
Blub
  • #3
Hi!

First - since you chose to take the difficult, long with fish route to cyclign the tank, here are my reccomendations: You'll want to be doing 25-50% water changes daily, and testing with the API aster test kit every day.

Bettas should only be kept with Otos, Plecos and Corys really. Although a lot of people say that they're fine in communitys - this is a fragile set up and the Betta is never as happy as he could be. I say get 1 Bristlenose/Clown/Flash pleco, 4 Corys and 4 Otos instead of Tetras. They are all fascinating fish, and you should be happy with those as they are really great. You should have minimal algae in there as well - with such a good algae squad! All of those species of Catfish have brilliant personality's, and they're slight lack of colour (You can get some really fancy corys though, and the 'Zebra oto' is a great find!) will be made up for by the Betta.

 
sirdarksol
  • #4
Since you've said that you know about the nitrogen cycle, I won't go into that. If you have questions about it, feel free to ask.

I would suggest against getting both plecos and otos. One or the other would be better. Plecos produce a lot of waste and would compete with the otos for food, which could result in the otos starving. You could get around this with special feeding, but it's a lot of work that most beginners don't want to do.

Cories tend to be good betta tankmates, especially in such a large tank.

If you're thinking about small tetras, like cardinals or neons, this might work out. I would provide a lot of cover (plants, either living or plastic), to allow the fish to separate themselves if they feel the need. If you do get them, I would suggest being prepared to take them out of the tank and return them to the fish store.
Larger tetras, like the skirt tetras, are fin-nippers, and would likely pick on the betta. These would not be a good idea at all.

Normally, I would agree with Hatchet on not adding fish to a betta's tank (my betta lives in a 10 gallon by himself), but with such a large tank and with really small fish like neons, this could work out.

Edit: One important note about adding fish. I would highly suggest on temporarily pulling the betta out of the tank when adding fish (Or put him in a breeder's net. This might work best, as it would maintain good water quality for him), then rearrange things a bit in the tank. Bettas can be really territorial once they get used to their surroundings, and have been known to attack newcomers.
On the other hand, they tend to deal better with other fish if the betta is the "intruder".
 
Tom
  • #5
You could get a smaller 10 gallon tank for the betta and then you can put your cories in as well as some tetras, and other small fish that you want. But like other people have said, bettas are picky fish and don't like many tank mates, so only bottom feeders are good for a betta.

You could also use any kind of test kits that you have access to, like the Hagen(Nutrafin), API, etc. Any of them work well, it's just some are more money, some are more accurate, it's just pretty much the saying, you get what you paid for. I did the same thing when starting out, put fish in the tank while it was cycling, but they turned out fine and one of them is still healthy and strong, 2.5 years later. I just kept up with the weekly 10% water changes after the initial 25% every two days. So it is really up to you on how you want to go about doing this.

If you had your heart set on keeping the betta in the 35 gallon tank, then you could get a school of cories, like about 15 of the ones that get to 2" long. Then you could also add a small clown pleco, or a small bristlenose(BN) pleco, or even a few oto cats. As long as you have a fair amount of caves, then you would be able to see the fish more then if there wasn't any caves. Just think about it and get back to us on your thoughts. Hope this helps in your fish keeping.
Tom
 
susitna-flower
  • #6
HI, WELCOME TO FISHLORE!

Just take your time....don't add any more fish till your tank is fully cycled.
 
Tom
  • #7
HI, WELCOME TO FISHLORE!

Just take your time....don't add any more fish till your tank is fully cycled.

I knew I forgot something...Welcome to Fishlore. And take it slow.
Tom
 
COBettaCouple
  • #8
Welcome to Fishlore.

Another option is to get a 2nd tank of 5-10 gallons for your Betta and then you could go ahead with the corys and tetras in the 35g.

If you can get Prime, I'd recommend that for your water conditioner. It will help protect your Betta from the effects of an uncycled tank.
 
kymoto
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Thanks everybody!

I have been checking my water everyother day, and no spike in ammonia yet so I haven't began water changes. Should I be changing the water regardless of my ammonia and nitrite levels being zero? I also added water and gravel from the betta's previous home (a small bowl), to speed up the nitrogen cycle.
I really appreciate the advice to switch up the tank decor when adding fish to make my betta less territorial so thanks to sirdarksol for that tid bit.
I will take it slow and let the tank do its thing, then and only then I will add cory cats, 2by2.
Thanks everyone!
 
COBettaCouple
  • #10
Have you been able to get a liquid testing kit yet?
 
Shawnie
  • #11
With your betta boy, it will take awile for ammonia to show up in a 35 gallon is hes the only one ..so be very careful
 
kymoto
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Have you been able to get a liquid testing kit yet?
Yes I've got my liquid water testing kit, and just last Saturday discovered ammonia .25ppm
Should I start water changes now?
 
susitna-flower
  • #13
You need to be testing every day now. 25-50% water change every day as long as the ammonia or nitrite are over 0. Both of these are highly toxic and will kill your fish.

Most here at fishlore don't recommend cycling a tank with fish, it is stressful on them, and a lot more work for you. I hope it works out.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #14
Yea, I'd just treat all water with Prime and change 25% out every day or 2 until the tank cycles. It will take a while, but the water changes should keep the levels low and the effects on the Betta will be minimized by the Prime.

Yes I've got my liquid water testing kit, and just last Saturday discovered ammonia .25ppm
Should I start water changes now?
 
kymoto
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
You need to be testing every day now. 25-50% water change every day as long as the ammonia or nitrite are over 0. Both of these are highly toxic and will kill your fish.

Most here at fishlore don't recommend cycling a tank with fish, it is stressful on them, and a lot more work for you. I hope it works out.
Yes I know that cycling with fish is not ideal, but my betta was visibly unhappy in his bowl and with this large tank now in my possession I couldn't wait to get him in there. Now he flares up at his reflection, and looks much happier and healthier. Please don't think me cruel for cycling this way, I plan on taking all the necessary precautions to keep my betta safe.
 
FL CommunityFans
  • #16
With such a 'larger tank' and only one fish in there of that size, it will take a bit longer for results of the cycle to begin to show. If Bio-spira was an option, I'd highly recommend getting it and your other fish simultaneously, and introducing them all at once, while keeping the betta at bay, as suggested while the new fish get used to the tank surroundings etc.

otherwise, as listed, just take it very slowly, and carefully monitor the readings.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #17
While it's best if a fish can go into a cycled tank, it was better to go this way for you. In the bowl, he'd be exposed to worse conditions and uncycled water so moving him to the tank is healthier for him in the long run.

Are you able to get Prime?

Yes I know that cycling with fish is not ideal, but my betta was visibly unhappy in his bowl and with this large tank now in my possession I couldn't wait to get him in there. Now he flares up at his reflection, and looks much happier and healthier. Please don't think me cruel for cycling this way, I plan on taking all the necessary precautions to keep my betta safe.
 
_Fried_Bettas_
  • #18
Hi, thought I'd throw my 2 cents in. I had a betta that was perfectly happy with living with other fish, but the mistake I made was not finding a way to prevent him from eating the food for the community fish. Ultimately he ate too much and died of it. I just bought a new betta and he has his own 5 gallon tank. If you do decide to have the betta with community fish, please make sure you don't make the mistake I did.
 
kymoto
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
I have been conditioning my tap water with a product called Nutrafin Aquaplus. Haven't been back to the pet store for this product prime (yet) but I'll check into that this weekend. I preformed a 25% water change last night.
In response to over feeding...I've heard the opposit is a risk. Bettas are often slow moving and outcompeted for food...guess that's one of those issues that revolves aroung your specific bettas temperment and eating habits.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #20
Bettas are nibblers and contrary to a lot of 'information' on them, they will eat off the bottom. They'll go after algae wafers too. With their stomach being as small as their eyes, it doesn't take all that much dry food to bring on constipation. Ours kept going after the algae wafers, so we ended up having to give the corys we had to a friend.
 
kymoto
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
Wow that's especially interesting info for me as cory cats are what I had settled on to live with my betta. Do cory cats need algae wafers? I read that you don't have to feed them, because they are scavengers and will eat food pellets or flakes that sink to the bottom. I've never seen my betta eat anything that sank to the bottom with the exception of peas, so maybe he is still a good candidate for cory cat roomies?
 
luna
  • #22
That would assume that the betta had leftovers for the cories to eat. I don't think that would ever happen...bettas are piggie-fishies!
 
chickadee
  • #23
Cories are not algae eaters. They eat shrimp pellets, carnivore wafers and other foods for carnivores. They are not like catfish that are scavengers they are bottom feeders but need to be fed their own food.

If you are looking for a scavenger then I would recommend a Clown Pleco or a couple of otocinclus catfish not Cories as they are not for that purpose.

Rose
 
Narcicius
  • #24
sounds like your covered, I'll stop.........here.
 
kymoto
  • Thread Starter
  • #25
That would assume that the betta had leftovers for the cories to eat. I don't think that would ever happen...bettas are piggie-fishies!
my betta is a pretty light eater. Now that he has more room to excersise he eats more, but still only about 6 granules. The more I learn on fish lore the more I am starting to realize that fish are individuals just like people. And these rules never apply across the board. I am still considering cory cats, even if I have to feed them separate from the betta...somehow.
 

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