Panda Corys And Betta, 9gal Fluval Flex

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by HAYGEE, May 20, 2019.

  1. HAYGEE New Member Member

    Hi there! I’m new to the forum (hope I’m posting in the right place!) and have a few questions re the title of my post.

    Before we start, tank is cycled with water perimeters of:
    PH- 7.4
    Ammonia- 0ppm
    Nitrite- 0ppm
    Nitrate- 5.0ppm

    Plants: Javafern and frogbit.

    My tank is a 9gal Fluval Flex currently housing a male Betta and three Panda Cory.

    I’m getting conflicting information on the size in which it is okay to house these Panda Cory. After a week or so of insane research, my original plan was to have six Pygmy Cory/Habrosus Cory seeing as they seemed to meet the needs of my tank well however, yesterday, when I had gone to my LFS, they said they were out of the pygmy/habrosus/hastatus but had the Pandas, which were a species of dwarf Cory-catfish. I pressed the the guy and voiced my concerns of bringing home Pandas and he insisted it would be okay. Before purchasing the fish, I went to a second LFS and asked for a second opinion. He too reassured me that the panda was a safe alternative but that seeing as my tank was smaller, it would be safe to purchase three instead of the original six. In my excitement and confusion, I had mentioned my tank being a 10gal and immediately began to feel horrible when I had housed the Corys and remembered that my tank was in fact, a 9gal and not a 10gal. Should the three Panda’s be okay in their current environment? Also, is housing three Panda’s really an okay option as opposed to six? I guess I could maybe get away with four, but seeing as I am already pushing it at three in the 9gal I’m leaning towards leaving my tank stocked as is permitting things go well. The pandas atm are doing very well and my Betta ignores them completely (with the exception of stealing a bit of food here and there).

    If this really is not an option, would there be any other species of schooling fish you would recommend? My betta does great in communities, however he is a deep red colour so ember tetras or neon tetras (which I have also heard were an option) would make me a bit nervous lol! I also previously had six Amano shrimp in my tank prior, however they all died Mysteriously... I tried introducing two Amano and they started showing symptoms of toxins so atm, shrimp are not suitable for my tank until I test for copper or other issues,

    Thanks for any and all help!

    Edit: I also forgot to mention I am getting conflicting info on temperature. My tank currently sits at 78, and while I heard this may be an issue for the Pandas, others Have also said it is fine. Thanks again!

  2. corbin Valued Member Member

    In a tank that size I would say you would be much better off with the habrosus cories. If they will give you store credit I would say bring back the pandas and wait for the habrosus to be available. The pandas will survive fine but they might not be at their best/ happiest. You would be able to get more of the habrosus which would give your tank a more active feel than just the 3 pandas.

  3. kallililly1973 Well Known Member Member

    Also to add panda corys prefer a cooler tank than the Betta. I agree with the above that a smaller dwarf would be better suited. Which i'm sure others may chime in with different info that a 9 is not ideal for any cory cats. but i could be wrong.

  4. blue velvet keeper Well Known Member Member

    it is way to small for pandas for sure if you really want pandas do a 15 gallon instead
  5. HAYGEE New Member Member

    Thanks for the reply! How many habrosus would you recommend? :).

    Yeah I’m starting to think so as well. I think I’ll take these guys back when I can, I must admit that I’m still leaning towards trying for the pygmy/habrosus in my 9gal. Unfortunately there is no way way for me atm to upscale. Any other suggestions besides cory’s you could recommend? :)

    So I’ve heard! After the fact unfortunately lol. Hopefully I can try my luck with some smaller dwarfs! :)
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2019
  6. corbin Valued Member Member

    For the habrosus corydora you would probably be just fine with the 6 you originally planned for. They are a bottom dweller with behavior much like your typical corydora. The Pygmy corydora and hastasus are both more mid level swimmers. They seem to need even larger groups to feel comfortable in my experience.

    For other fish you might be able to get away with adding a small school of 1 inch fish provided your betta will tolerate them and in turn the betta won’t scare them into hiding all the time. A school of five 1 inch fish along with the betta and 5-6 habrosus cories would probobly be pushing the limits of stocking for that tank but could work with lots of plants, hiding places and frequent water changes.

    3 male endlers live bearers might be a better option though. Again not sure how the betta might react.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2019
  7. HAYGEE New Member Member

    I’m definitely leaning towards this plan, doing more research to triple check!

    I’ll look into to some small 1 inch fish for sure, but definitely will have my emergency tank up and running in case my betta gets brave lol! He’s surprisingly super chill, and hardly flares so I’m willing to try :). I would definitely only be adding one school of fish if any are found to be compatible. So I’ll either do the 1 inch fish and betta OR the 5-6 habrosus cories and the betta :). Too scared and unwilling to even TRY more than that lol!

    Never even considered male endlers! Will also do more research. Thanks so much for your help! ✨
  8. DuaneV Well Known Member Member

    The more Corys the better is always a safe bet. Always plan on a bigger tank too as they REALLY like to swim around and explore the bottom. Ive gotten away with keeping 3 or 4 in a 10 gallon a few times, but its definitely not ideal for them. And keeping Corys with a Betta is tough because Bettas really need like 80-82 degrees and most Corys dont like warm temps. There are some that do, but in a small tank and a small school, Id probably skip the Corys.
  9. HAYGEE New Member Member

    For sure! Made up my mind and definitely returning these guys. Live and learn lol! Currently researching other nano fish ideas :). Thanks for the input!
  10. corbin Valued Member Member

    If you are looking for nanos I would recommend Chili Rasbora or celestial pearl danios. A 10 gallon would be a great set up for either. Just not sure how they would get on with the betta. I do think the habrosus would still be fine in this tank if you choose to go that route you could certainly keep it at 78 and keep everyone happy.
  11. HAYGEE New Member Member

    How funny, literally been researching all night and day on nano fish and just ran into Chili Rasboras! A bit concerned with how tiny these guys are however. My Betta is chill, but anything that could fit in his mouth scares me lol! Worst case would be removing the Betta in his 1gal hospital tank while I return the Chili’s. I think if I go this rout, I’ll also be adding more plants/floating plants as well. Also, my tank is technically about 9gal, 9.5gal even though the dimensions say 10gal seeing as the back of the fluval flex houses the pump, filter media and heater. So far, in order of best compatibility imo would be ember tetras (x6), endlers live bearers (male only x5-6), harlequinn rasboras (x5 due to size being slightly larger, although looking into 6) with the Chili’s being on the bottom of the list due to size and risk. I’ve got until Thursday to decide lol! Thanks again for all the help and steering me in the right direction :). I’d like your comments, but still learning the site LOL
  12. corbin Valued Member Member

    You are right the chillis are super small only about .8 inch but they are super thin too which makes them seem even smaller. Harlequin Rasboras might be a touch big for that tank but I don’t have any experience with them. Take a look at Espei Rasbora (also known as lamb chop Rasbora) I considered them for my 5 gallon spec but decided they were a bit big. A little smaller than harlequin just barely over 1inch and brighter colors. Should still be big enough to keep with a betta if grown enough.probly about the same size as an ember tetra, maybe a smidge bigger. Ember tetras can get to be a really nice color as well, those would probobly be a good choice as would the endlers although the flowing tail fins of the fancier ones might spark aggression with the betta but I don’t have experience as I have only ever kept Bettas solo.
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
  13. imba Well Known Member Member

    This is just my opinion, but I wouldn't keep any type of cories in anything smaller than a 20g.

    I've kept dwarf cories, habrosus and hastatus in 10g before with bettas. Temperature incompatibility aside, after moving the cories to larger tanks, their behaviour change was day and night. They were so much more outgoing and bigger groups in larger setups I've concluded I'd never keep them in smaller tanks anymore.

    I think a 9g would be perfect for a betta as the singular fish. Since you have issues keeping shrimps, I'd suggest maybe snails as tank mates. Anything other mid dwelling fishes would make it too busy.
  14. HAYGEE New Member Member

    Looked into lamb chop rasboras and ruled out the harlequinn! I’d definitely be pushing my luck with the harlequinn where as the lamchop fit my needs much nicer. I’ve got a list down to three or four possible tank mates! Thanks again :)

    You’re absolutely right! Moved the pandas to a quarantine tank and brining them back tomorrow. Definitely didn’t take into consideration that my tank is only 14” in length, so my fluval flex DEFINITELY is not a fit! Trying my hand on some nano fish tomorrow with my emergency betta tank up and running if he decides to be a jerk lol. I was considering snails, but I heard they can eat my frogbit and I’ve worked pretty hard on that plant lol! If the nano fish don’t work, I’ll be re considering shrimp and snails with further research. Thanks for your input! :8
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2019