10 Gallon tank suggestions

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Hmarie37

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Hey all!
I will be setting up my second official aquarium here soon to go ahead and begin the cycling process. I believe I want a Betta in this tank, as well as providing some tank mates for ‘em. I’d love to hear suggestions on tank mates for a betta, acceptable in a 10 gallon tank. I plan on having lots of live plants (this is my current tank set up and I love it so much) So excited to get this bad boy set up and so excited to hear some of your opinions!
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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Eeekk this topic always brings controversy!

There's a split in the hobby. Bettas are solitary fish, line bred to be more aggressive for gambling on "Siamese Fighting Fish". By nature, bettas are not a gregarious, social fish that wants company. One side of the hobby thinks bettas should never be kept with other fish, as they sometimes turn murderous and will wipe out the guppies/neons/shrimp whatever, or the tank has ongoing problems because of the stress when the stocking hasn't been thought through.

A ten gallon would make a beautiful luxury home for a single betta, maybe with some shrimp or cool looking snails.. ;)


The other side of the hobby do keep a betta in a community tank successfully, and think it's okay. You'll hear from both sides I'm sure, then will have to make your own decision about whether you want to risk it or not. I don't keep bettas, so I don't have a dog in this fight! :whistle:
But I do like my nano fish, and have a lot of ideas for stocking a ten gallon with a lot of fun and active fish, but I wouldn't put a betta with those fish....

Tell me - is your heart set on a betta? Why Bettas?
 
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Hmarie37

Hmarie37

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Eeekk this topic always brings controversy!

There's a split in the hobby. Bettas are solitary fish, line bred to be more aggressive for gambling on "Siamese Fighting Fish". By nature, bettas are not a gregarious, social fish that wants company. One side of the hobby thinks bettas should never be kept with other fish, as they sometimes turn murderous and will wipe out the guppies/neons/shrimp whatever, or the tank has ongoing problems because of the stress when the stocking hasn't been thought through.

A ten gallon would make a beautiful luxury home for a single betta, maybe with some shrimp or cool looking snails.. ;)


The other side of the hobby do keep a betta in a community tank successfully, and think it's okay. You'll hear from both sides I'm sure, then will have to make your own decision about whether you want to risk it or not. I don't keep bettas, so I don't have a dog in this fight! :whistle:
But I do like my nano fish, and have a lot of ideas for stocking a ten gallon with a lot of fun and active fish, but I wouldn't put a betta with those fish....

Tell me - is your heart set on a betta? Why Bettas?
I appreciate your response! Yes I do know it’s controversial, which is why I reached out on here because I really do love hearing the opinions of other fish keepers (especially since I’m fairly new to the hobby) I’m pretty set on a betta for this tank, I feel they are often given poor living conditions and if I have the opportunity to provide even one with a good life then I’d love to do so.
 
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Hmarie37

Hmarie37

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Eeekk this topic always brings controversy!

There's a split in the hobby. Bettas are solitary fish, line bred to be more aggressive for gambling on "Siamese Fighting Fish". By nature, bettas are not a gregarious, social fish that wants company. One side of the hobby thinks bettas should never be kept with other fish, as they sometimes turn murderous and will wipe out the guppies/neons/shrimp whatever, or the tank has ongoing problems because of the stress when the stocking hasn't been thought through.

A ten gallon would make a beautiful luxury home for a single betta, maybe with some shrimp or cool looking snails.. ;)


The other side of the hobby do keep a betta in a community tank successfully, and think it's okay. You'll hear from both sides I'm sure, then will have to make your own decision about whether you want to risk it or not. I don't keep bettas, so I don't have a dog in this fight! :whistle:
But I do like my nano fish, and have a lot of ideas for stocking a ten gallon with a lot of fun and active fish, but I wouldn't put a betta with those fish....

Tell me - is your heart set on a betta? Why Bettas?
HOWEVER, while I am pretty set on a betta, I do plan on getting more 5-10 gal tanks in the future so I’d LOVE to hear your suggestions!
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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I appreciate your response! Yes I do know it’s controversial, which is why I reached out on here because I really do love hearing the opinions of other fish keepers (especially since I’m fairly new to the hobby) I’m pretty set on a betta for this tank, I feel they are often given poor living conditions and if I have the opportunity to provide even one with a good life then I’d love to do so.

You could make a gorgeous betta home in a ten gallon- I'd go for lots of tall broad leaf plants since bettas like to rest on leaves often at different levels of the tank. But leave some clear swimming space at the front. Get the tank cycled and make sure the plants are beginning to grow, then hunt through whatever fish selling/homing places online you use for someone looking to rehome a betta! One time I was browsing aquarium related ads and saw someone has wanted to sell their tank with fish, and I saw how neglected the fish were, that they were a bad mix and not in the right numbers. I reached out and explained that I didn't need the tank, but would like to adopt the fish, and they were more than happy to do that! It's easier to sell an empty tank after all. You could look for a betta that needs rehoming, and give them a much better life!

I strongly suggest not going to a large chain store and buying one of the sad sickly cheap bettas in cups or jars, to "rescue" one. It's a popular thing on youtube, "I buy all the bettas at Walmart!" or "I nursed this dying betta back to health!" and lots of beautiful B roll of a beautifully transformed betta swimming around a lovely tank.

While I understand, as an animal lover, that urge to want to save the individual fish, because it's right in front of your eyes and you want to help the fish. But buying them only keeps the trade going. The big chain stores only look at sales numbers. If they sell out of bettas in one day because some youtuber wanted to make a video about how horrible the conditions are, the chain store only places an even larger order for the next batch of fish that will suffer the same awful conditions. I'd urge people not to buy bettas from dodgy sources like that. If they can't sell them, they'll stop stocking them.

Support stores that keep them well, like Aquarium co op (not an ad! I've just seen a few videos about their betta racking system!) or if you're lucky enough to have a good, non-chain local fish store that's decent. Look for hobbyist breeder in your area, or the bettas on Ebay.
 

Essjay

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The other aspect is the size of the tank. The only other fish suitable for the tank size are very small fish and tiny fish are likely to trigger a "FOOD!!" response from a betta. Even if he couldn't catch them, the small fish would know they are sharing a tank with a predator which would stress them. In a larger tank this would be less of a problem as it would allow larger tank mates.
 
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Hmarie37

Hmarie37

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The other aspect is the size of the tank. The only other fish suitable for the tank size are very small fish and tiny fish are likely to trigger a "FOOD!!" response from a betta. Even if he couldn't catch them, the small fish would know they are sharing a tank with a predator which would stress them. In a larger tank this would be less of a problem as it would allow larger tank mates.
Ahh well looks like my future betta is going to have a 10 gallon all to itself 😂😂
 

sharkweek178

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Sometimes people are able to successfully keep a betta with tank mates. But it's rare and it really depends on the personality of the individual betta. Which is impossible to predict. And you hear stories about how the betta was fine with tank mates... until it wasn't. They coexist for months until something snaps in the betta and it attacks its tank mates. Are you prepared to come home some day to a bunch of dead fish in the tank and a betta working on its alibi?
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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The other aspect is the size of the tank. The only other fish suitable for the tank size are very small fish and tiny fish are likely to trigger a "FOOD!!" response from a betta. Even if he couldn't catch them, the small fish would know they are sharing a tank with a predator which would stress them. In a larger tank this would be less of a problem as it would allow larger tank mates.

I like a heavily planted tank, especially in a smaller tank since it helps so much with water quality and I just love the look, but all of the fish mentioned appreciate a well planted tank too.

What's the GH of your water? If you're in a hardwater area, I'd go for nano livebearers like:

Endlers (male only to prevent getting overstocked with fry - and the males are prettier anyway!)
Or! Pseudomugli. Mini rainbow fish that thrive in harder water

Nano fish would definitely be what I'd suggest for a ten gallon! A colony of male only Endlers? Super pretty, colourful, active and not difficult to keep. Pseudomugli are tiny but flashy, gorgeous, active and fun to watch, and a gang would be fine in a 10g. Or perhaps celestial pearls or galaxy rasbora.

If the water is soft, then you have even more options! Go on youtube and search for nano fish species, there are so many, and the tank becomes like a mini world, without a big bioload. Look up Badis, Chili rasbora, ember tetra, green neons, kubatoi rasbora, there are many more as well

10gs is a small tank in terms of a mixed community, but you can do a lot with it if you think of it as a nano tank, prepare it right, and can have those tiny fish in the kinds of numbers they need, without overwhelming the tank with a high bioload, especially a well planted tank. :)

10g is too small for the larger, popular community tetra like neons and cardinals, in my opinion. But you could have 12 plus green tetra or celestial pearls in a well planted 10g without problem!


Or a dwarf corydoras tank! I'm biased since I love my pygmy cories, but also want to keep hasbrosus at some point, get a colony of those breeding, and my pygmies have been doing great in a 15.5g for a few years now.
 

threecharacters

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I'd thought I'd just add my two cents.

I've kept two male bettas in community tanks (different times and different tanks of course) and I never had an issue. I actually even kept one of the bettas with other anabantoids (three Samurai Chocolate Gouramis) without excessive aggression. The betta would occasionally charge the other fish, but he never made contact, and there was never any evidence of damage.

Lots of people experience unexplained fish death and search for an explanation. Many find dead fish stuck in filter inflows an assume that the inflow killed the fish when it is far more likely that the fish died and was then sucked into the inflow. Fishkeepers are generally quick to blame something other than themselves for a fish death despite the fact that it's most likely their fault. I wouldn't be surprised if the reports of betta massacres were actually the result of improper water conditions, and the betta, being a pretty robust anabantoid, was just the only fish to survive. Then owner came home and found the betta picking at a bunch of dead fish and blamed the betta for killing the fish.

I would not keep a betta with small fish or shrimp. Betta are sizable fish and literally all fish regard shrimp as food. There are no 100% shrimp safe fish.
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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Lots of people experience unexplained fish death and search for an explanation. Many find dead fish stuck in filter inflows an assume that the inflow killed the fish when it is far more likely that the fish died and was then sucked into the inflow. Fishkeepers are generally quick to blame something other than themselves for a fish death despite the fact that it's most likely their fault. I wouldn't be surprised if the reports of betta massacres were actually the result of improper water conditions, and the betta, being a pretty robust anabantoid, was just the only fish to survive. Then owner came home and found the betta picking at a bunch of dead fish and blamed the betta for killing the fish.

All of this is very true, I'm sure it happens, and people often do assume that a fish was bullied to death and killed by another fish, when often it was because there was something wrong with the fish that was being picked on- the other fish try to drive away a sickly, struggling fish, since it attracts predators. It's normal for even peaceful species to try to chase away a struggling/dying/weak fish, and to pick at the body if a fish dies, and misplaced blame does happen all the time.
I would not keep a betta with small fish or shrimp. Betta are sizable fish and literally all fish regard shrimp as food. There are no 100% shrimp safe fish.
I agree not small fish, but shrimp could work. That really depends on the individual betta's personality, how many hidy holes and ground cover plants do the shrimp have to hide in, etc. If it's an established shrimp colony that's breeding, even if the betta picks off the odd one, enough should survive to keep the colony going. Neocaridina and caridina shrimp are a bit large as adults to be easily eaten by a betta, and they're pretty fast and canny!
 

threecharacters

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I agree not small fish, but shrimp could work. That really depends on the individual betta's personality, how many hidy holes and ground cover plants do the shrimp have to hide in, etc. If it's an established shrimp colony that's breeding, even if the betta picks off the odd one, enough should survive to keep the colony going. Neocaridina and caridina shrimp are a bit large as adults to be easily eaten by a betta, and they're pretty fast and canny!
Yes, the shrimp population will probably be able to survive, but I personally think shrimp would be worse than small fish. I guess it just depends on if you would feel bad about losing some shrimp. If you're keeping super high quality designer dwarf shrimp, you probably don't want to keep any fish with them. Honestly though, the dwarf shrimp have different temperature ranges than bettas. Cherry shrimp and bee shrimp do best in unheated or slightly heated tanks (<75 F). Bettas prefer higher temps. Amano shrimp would work and I have kept them with bettas before. Mutt cherry shrimp are pretty dang tough so they could probably deal with higher temps but it's not ideal.
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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Honestly though, the dwarf shrimp have different temperature ranges than bettas. Cherry shrimp and bee shrimp do best in unheated or slightly heated tanks (<75 F). Bettas prefer higher temps. Amano shrimp would work and I have kept them with bettas before. Mutt cherry shrimp are pretty dang tough so they could probably deal with higher temps but it's not ideal.

Yeah, if someone is breeding a colony of expensive shrimp that they can sell offspring for real money, you definitely don't want a single one eaten! But most people who are that into shrimp would already likely have moved to shrimp only tanks.

There are probably bettas out there that would tackle an adult neocaridina, or hunt down and eat every single shrimplet they can find, but others are less interested and can't get at the shrimplets hiding in the dragonstone holes or shrimp caves anyway.

When I do a water change, I check the bucket carefully and rescue every single shrimp and shrimplet in there and return them to the tank! No matter how long it takes. I bought a headlamp and shrimp nets for that exact purpose. But I don't fret about the odd shrimplet getting picked off by the fish. It's the same in nature, and it helps keep the population healthy if the fish pick off the slower, weaker shrimplets. I provide a lot of hiding spaces, so the tank is always full of shrimp either way.
 

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