Options For A 3gal

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Maddie M

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I got surprised with a 3 gallon tank for Christmas! I realize the obvious stock is a betta and I currently have one who I love so I'll gladly get another one if it's my only option, however, I'd rather not...
I was wondering if I could squeeze a few neons in their or two pea puffers...I've heard endler's livebearers can be kept in small tanks, I was just wondering what some opinions were
If I could have one or two care tips as well as the reccomendations, that'd be amazing. I'll of course do my research while I cycle the tank, but know absolutely nothing about endler's or pea puffers so a little starter fact would help.
 

Neptune334

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You don’t have many options. Would you be interested in keeping shrimp? Or snails?
 

adh/smile

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I love bettas too! I have one in a 10 gallon and he swims in every available inch of swimming space!

Putting any other fish besides a betta fish in a 3 gallon would be tight.
Neon tetras need to be in large schools, a minimum of 6, and need lots of swimming room. A 3 gallon would be too small. I don't know much about pea puffers, but I'm pretty sure 3 gallons is too small for them as well.

You could maybe do a couple male guppies. I say male because if they are female they could come pregnant from the store, or become so if you keep a male and female together and quickly overstock the tank with babies! A Molly or patty could work, I think.

Shrimp or snails would be easiest for a 3 gallon.
 

FlipFlopFishFlake

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You definitely couldn't put in neon tetras, they are active schooling fish. A single pea puffer could work in a 3 gallon tank if you were willing to do the extra water changes. Endlers require a little bit more space in my opinion. I have a lot of last minute holiday preparation so I will just link you a care guide on seriouslyfish. Keep in mind they do need to eat snails.
Carinotetraodon travancoricus (Dwarf Puffer)
 
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Maddie M

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Neptune334 said:
You don’t have many options. Would you be interested in keeping shrimp? Or snails?
I have a snail with my goldfish and while he can be entertaining, it's not something I'm thrilled about dedicating an entire tank to. While I don't have shrimp experience, I feel the same with them too. Thank you though!
 
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Maddie M

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adh/smile said:
I love bettas too! I have one in a 10 gallon and he swims in every available inch of swimming space!

Putting any other fish besides a betta fish in a 3 gallon would be tight.
Neon tetras need to be in large schools, a minimum of 6, and need lots of swimming room. A 3 gallon would be too small. I don't know much about pea puffers, but I'm pretty sure 3 gallons is too small for them as well.

You could maybe do a couple male guppies. I say male because if they are female they could come pregnant from the store, or become so if you keep a male and female together and quickly overstock the tank with babies! A Molly or patty could work, I think.

Shrimp or snails would be easiest for a 3 gallon.
I've heard that neons can be kept in a group of three if they were the only species, but I'd rather not risk it. I think pea puffers are a little too adventurous anyway and mollies/platies may be too big. But I will definitely look into the male guppies!
 
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Maddie M

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FishFlake38 said:
You definitely couldn't put in neon tetras, they are active schooling fish. A single pea puffer could work in a 3 gallon tank if you were willing to do the extra water changes. Endlers require a little bit more space in my opinion. I have a lot of last minute holiday preparation so I will just link you a care guide on seriouslyfish. Keep in mind they do need to eat snails.
Carinotetraodon travancoricus (Dwarf Puffer)
Thank you for your time, but I think they're a bit too adventurous for me, I'll probably end up with another betta which will be fine!
 

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Even guppies keeping 2-3 in that small of a space they will become aggressive toward each other. Personally anything besides snails and shrimp in that is just cruel.
 

adh/smile

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Maddie M said:
I've heard that neons can be kept in a group of three if they were the only species, but I'd rather not risk it. I think pea puffers are a little too adventurous anyway and mollies/platies may be too big. But I will definitely look into the male guppies!
There is a common misunderstanding about small fish such as neons that, just because they're small they can be kept in small groups in tiny living spaces. But that is unrealistic to their needs. When buying fish, no matter their size, consideration must be taken regarding their socializing needs and their activity level. Almost all the information online and in major fish stores like PetSmart, PetCo, and even some All-Fish stores are only interested in selling fish to people to make money. Not caring about the fish's needs. We as responsible fish owners learn through experience and from helping one another what certain fish need. I'm glad you decided on a betta and will look into guppies. I think they are your best option for fish in a 3 gallon tank.
 

SaltySeaLion

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It would make a nice shrimp tank. I know it doesn’t sound thrilling, but they’re actually pretty cool to watch. They do these little shrimp dances when they’re feasting on anything, LOL!
 

adh/smile

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david1978 said:
Even guppies keeping 2-3 in that small of a space they will become aggressive toward each other. Personally anything besides snails and shrimp in that is just cruel.
I don't think male guppies are aggressive, are they? I had 4 at one time and they would always hang out together and never be aggressive at all! Granted they were in a 10 gallon tank, but if they were separated (I had to give one a salt bath once due to a ripped fin from a sharp plant: which I promptly discarded) and during the reaclamation from the salt bath he was pushing against the side of the bag trying to get to his buddies! The others continuously circled the bag trying to get close to him as well. I think 2-3 guppies in the 3 gallon tank would be fine. So would a betta.
 

david1978

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adh/smile said:
I don't think male guppies are aggressive, are they? I had 4 at one time and they would always hang out together and never be aggressive at all! Granted they were in a 10 gallon tank, but if they were separated (I had to give one a salt bath once due to a ripped fin from a sharp plant: which I promptly discarded) and during the reaclamation from the salt bath he was pushing against the side of the bag trying to get to his buddies! The others continuously circled the bag trying to get close to him as well. I think 2-3 guppies in the 3 gallon tank would be fine. So would a betta.
Believe it or no bettas will swim around to if given the room to do it. As far as the guppies ask around and the couple people that have tried it will tell you how it turned out.
 
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Maddie M

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david1978 said:
Even guppies keeping 2-3 in that small of a space they will become aggressive toward each other. Personally anything besides snails and shrimp in that is just cruel.
I would not keep more than two and like I said, I have time to research them, but I've looked at other threads with the same size tank and people there are saying they had two male guppies and haven't had issues with behavior or parameters. I have a betta in a 2.5 gal and he is doing amazing. He's active by himself, interactive with me, he has a new bubble nest everyday which I understand to be a sign that he's happy and healthy, I got him because he had nipped away over half his tail and once he was in my care, it grew back within two-three weeks and he hasn't had a problem since. The small tank was supposed to be temporary, I was getting a ten gallon to put him in, but I got it secondhand and it had a leak so that didn't happen. However, I don't plan on changing his tank any time soon since he's done so well. I would never go lower than 2.5, but a 2.5 is totally fine in my opinion for a solo betta.
 
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Maddie M

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adh/smile said:
There is a common misunderstanding about small fish such as neons that, just because they're small they can be kept in small groups in tiny living spaces. But that is unrealistic to their needs. When buying fish, no matter their size, consideration must be taken regarding their socializing needs and their activity level. Almost all the information online and in major fish stores like PetSmart, PetCo, and even some All-Fish stores are only interested in selling fish to people to make money. Not caring about the fish's needs. We as responsible fish owners learn through experience and from helping one another what certain fish need. I'm glad you decided on a betta and will look into guppies. I think they are your best option for fish in a 3 gallon tank.
Thank you for making things clear. Like I said, still researching and just trying to see all my options.
 

puffer_queen

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Hi Maddie M!
So, agreeing with some of the posters above, you could have a single pea puffer with maybe a few cherry shrimp as company, provided the puff doesn't develop a taste for them!

Pea puffers are very messy eaters and have a *massive* bioload for their tiny bodies hahaha. They can also be quite territorial and aggressive and I honestly cannot imagine 2 pea puffers surviving each other in a 3 gallon.

If you decide to go with a pea puffer, be sure to over filter the water (buying a filter compatible for a tank of at least 5-10 gallons for your 3 gallon, for example). I have a sickly blind puffer that lives in a 3 gal and have a Dennerle Corner Filter 110v - Marine Depot and I think its a great little filter. It doesn't take up much room and has a very adjustable flow rate, which is nice for any fish, puffer or not!

Hope this helps and please feel free to reach out with any questions!

Jamie
 

adh/smile

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david1978 said:
Believe it or no bettas will swim around to if given the room to do it. As far as the guppies ask around and the couple people that have tried it will tell you how it turned out.
I agree with you 100%!!! I've owned bettas for years and years. It all started when I was 7 or 8 and kept bettas in 1 gallon bowel (one at a time obviously) with no heater or filter. It was terrible! A couple years ago I became obsessed with the fish keeping hobby and bought a 2.5 gallon tank with a heater and filter for my betta. I was astounded at how the betta improved!!! It was a complete transformation from his color to increased apatite and activity! About a year ago now I upgraded again to a 10 gallon heated and filtered tank and my betta is doing amazing. It is amazing how active they are. My betta swims in every available inch of water! He even, and I don't know how he does this, squeezes his way into some loach caves that should be too small for him! I love him so much!
Maddie M said:
I would not keep more than two and like I said, I have time to research them, but I've looked at other threads with the same size tank and people there are saying they had two male guppies and haven't had issues with behavior or parameters. I have a betta in a 2.5 gal and he is doing amazing. He's active by himself, interactive with me, he has a new bubble nest everyday which I understand to be a sign that he's happy and healthy, I got him because he had nipped away over half his tail and once he was in my care, it grew back within two-three weeks and he hasn't had a problem since. The small tank was supposed to be temporary, I was getting a ten gallon to put him in, but I got it secondhand and it had a leak so that didn't happen. However, I don't plan on changing his tank any time soon since he's done so well. I would never go lower than 2.5, but a 2.5 is totally fine in my opinion for a solo betta.
I think if other people have experienced with 2 male guppies in a 2.5 gallon tank with mixed results, you'll just have to try it out yourself and see how it goes. It also probably depends on the personalities of the guppies. If your betta is doing well in a 2.5 gallon tank, that's fine if you don't upgrade him to a larger tank any time soon. However, he would become even better in a larger space! Just something to consider. Good luck with your fish tank and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!
 
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