Planning A Small Tank - Fish Compatibility Help Needed

  • #1
Searched for a good (this) forum purely to find some feedback, so here's to a first post.
I want to start a small tank using the Fluval Flex 57 - 15-gallon Aquarium.
I've read that due to the filters in this tank, it is actually closers to a 10-gallon tank so I'm going to try and stock it with that in mind.

My current plan for fish is
1 Male Betta (To be added last to hopefully make him less mean)
1 Mystery Snail
2 African Dwarf Frogs
4 Ghost Shrimp -ish-

I figure the tank is a good height for the frogs to be able to go up for air, and hopefully, they won't bump heads too much with the Betta who also lingers around the top. I figure I can feed them both frozen brine shrimp and dried bloodworms (that will be soaked again to make it easier for the frogs to eat).

I'm not sure overall if this tank is a good set up, and I'm not sure what to put in as substrate. I'd like to use some sort of sand, but I don't want the frogs eating it and getting sick like I've read that they can do with gravel, but I don't know if the shrimp would like larger not frog swallowable rocks of some sort. I've picked out a few silk plants for hiding space that won't hurt the Betta and a little cave for the frogs to hide in as they please.

Advice and suggestions appreciated, my dad used to breed betta fish FOREVER ago, and now that I'm a functioning adult, I want to just have a nice, pretty little tank since I've moved away from home.
Just got home from night shift, will check this tonight. Hope the day finds you all well!
  • #2
Welcome! I don't have experience with ADFs myself, but they have poor eyesight and can be hazardous to bettas. midna

The other critters you've chosen look fine to me; just make sure the "ghost shrimp" you buy aren't whisker shrimp. Also do some research on mystery snails - you can and should feed them a meaty pellet/wafer, alongside vegetables occasionally and some cuttlebone as a calcium source.
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Genuinely thought feeding the mystery snails would be the easiest thing. Does feeing them with a pipette work well? I've had a betta die because of over feeding (woops) and I want to try and control feed everything if I can. (Cept the shrimp, they can do whatever. Might sneak them some stuff directly too.)
  • #4
Genuinely thought feeding the mystery snails would be the easiest thing. Does feeing them with a pipette work well? I've had a betta die because of over feeding (woops) and I want to try and control feed everything if I can. (Cept the shrimp, they can do whatever. Might sneak them some stuff directly too.)
I put my snails in cups to feed them. Not sure if this was the best way though
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
That sounds pretty handy actually. I'll look up some more snail/frog feeding methods since the frogs can be little piggies. Thanks!
  • #6
I've owned a Beta fish before, as well as two ADFs, but never in the same tank (I did have snails in with the ADFs though). I personally don't know much about their compatibility, so I'd really do your research to make sure they can get along, as I know Betas can be pretty aggressive.

I also know that ADFs do better in calmer water, so I'd make sure the filter in your tank is either very calm, or just don't use one (I had a 5 gallon tank with no filter for my two frogs, and I did 1/4 tank water changes once a week). As far a substrate, I gave them natural aquarium gravel (1/2" size maybe?). I'd recommend giving them a mild aquarium heater as well because they prefer warmer water (you might want to look up the specific ADF temp requirements, as it's been awhile since I had them). Your decorations sound good! I remember my frogs loving the silk plants and little pot I gave them. Just make sure they're well secured in the substrate so they don't crush the frogs if they try to wiggle under them. I had a little dish in their tank that I put some sort of fish food pellets on (or maybe aquatic frog food?). I also fed them freeze-dried blood worms. I used long metal forceps to grab the worms and dangle them in front of the frogs mouths-- worked like a charm! (don't know if you'll have to get them acquainted to that first or not)

Anyway, I'd definitely do your research and be sure that the frogs and fish will get along, given that I can see how there might be complications (and b/c I don't have any experience mixing the species)

  • #7
I should add just for total honesty, that my frogs lived for approximately 3 years in those conditions (though I'm not sure of their age when I got them). So from what I understand, that's decent for that species, but not the best. So maybe read my comment with that in mind haha.

Also, what I meant about the heater was that I used it to ensure it didn't drop too low (like keeping it at normal room temperature) especially during the winter. So I don't think you have to heat it too much, and maybe you won't need a heater if you're really good about keeping your house temp steady.
  • #8
Bettas are tropical fish and should have a temp of at least 78-80. You should use a heater. Even if the temperature in your house is warm year-round, the heat fluctuations from day to night can be stressful for fish. Heaters keep the tank at a stable temp.
  • #9
I think your stocking plan could work. introducing the betta last is definitely a good thing.

there's always a chance the betta could nip at the frogs, mystery, and shrimp. it'll try to eat the shrimp and could choke or binge on it, leading to death. and it could bite off the mystery's antennae. these things have happened before, but it doesn't happen to everyone. it depends on the betta. the frogs could also try to do the same thing. i've also heard of bettas stealing food from bottom dwellers. the shrimp might steal the adfs' foods as well.

so it just depends on what you're willing to try. I got two nerite snails for my betta's 10 gallon. he nipped their antennae off the first day and wouldn't stop picking on them for about 15 minutes. I had to distract him. now he pretty much ignores them and the snails have learned not to wave their antennae around lol. i'm also trying to introduce a ghost shrimp to his tank... he's still in quarantine. we'll see how that goes. i'm hoping my betta never notices he's in there.

as for a substrate, i'd go with sand. I kept my frogs in gravel and they never tried swallowing it, but I know a lot of frogs at the pet store have done it.

show us pics once everything's set up!!!

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