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GalliJam

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Hello!
I joined today hoping to gain additional knowledge about keeping a beautiful clean, clear, & healthy community aquarium.

We bought a Topfin 37 gallon Aquarium kit for our son's 4th birthday, our first pet(s)!! We really want him to be a big part of all we have to do with the process. We are just learning about everything, I did a lot of reading a few month before we got started but I am a true beginner.:)

We set the tank up, added the water and the treatment along with cleaned/rinsed gravel and synthetic plants. We also added one live plant, an umbrella something? It was just something I picked up last minute in Petsmart. We let the filter, plant & water treatment do its thing for about 72 hours.

That brings us to yesterday! We went to a local fish store yesterday with the intention of bring home guppy but after talking with the gentleman there we ended up with 3 female Betta! We want to add some additional fish to the tank, possibly starting with Tetras in the next week. Any thoughts, or suggestions, also is our tank big enough to have more that 2 different fish types?
Thanks in advance!
 

seangee

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Hi and welcome. I'm afraid the gentleman at the store did not give you great advice. Betta are not community fish so you should not really have any other species in there. There is a chance that your bettas will fight (there is also a chance that they won't). If you are set on keeping the 3 bettas your best bet would be to add live plants and ensure there are plent of places for your fish to hide (from each other).

Hopefully some of the betta keeprs will chime in with advice.
 

Munroco

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Good luck with your tank. It is certainly big enough to add a lot more fish, but is it ready to house them. There are lots of posts dealing with cycling new tanks which is the best way to start. It needs some patience but its worth it.

You may also see some stories about the advice people receive from their local fish stores. Many of them are very good but many are just out to sell stuff and aren't too knowledgable or just don't care. I think the guy in your store comes into the latter category as selling a newcomer 3 female bettas to start their fishkeeping adventure is just wrong.
 

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If you want a community tank, please return the bettas to the store. I had a sorority tank (female betta tank). First, you have to plant it so thick that the plants break the line of view so the bettas can get away from each other. You also have to have lots of caves for them to hide from each other in. Even experienced fish keepers have problems with betta sororities. The females pick and harass each other. If it were me, I would return the fish and not add any fish until you get the tank cycled. Please read on the Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle to better understand the process. Your tank won’t be ready for fish for at least 6 weeks. We are here to help you along the way. Note: Attached is a pic of my sorority tank so you can get an idea of how heavily planted they must be.
 
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GalliJam

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Hi and welcome. I'm afraid the gentleman at the store did not give you great advice. Betta are not community fish so you should not really have any other species in there. There is a chance that your bettas will fight (there is also a chance that they won't). If you are set on keeping the 3 bettas your best bet would be to add live plants and ensure there are plent of places for your fish to hide (from each other).

Hopefully some of the betta keeprs will chime in with advice.
View attachment 95341 If you want a community tank, please return the bettas to the store. I had a sorority tank (female betta tank). First, you have to plant it so thick that the plants break the line of view so the bettas can get away from each other. You also have to have lots of caves for them to hide from each other in. Even experienced fish keepers have problems with betta sororities. The females pick and harass each other. If it were me, I would return the fish and not add any fish until you get the tank cycled. Please read on the Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle to better understand the process. Your tank won’t be ready for fish for at least 6 weeks. We are here to help you along the way. Note: Attached is a pic of my sorority tank so you can get an idea of how heavily planted they must be.
oh goodness! I was afraid of that. Well they were very inexpensive so we could definitely put those ladies in a smaller tank and start over! Suggestions on good stater fish for our bigger tank?
 
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GalliJam

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oh goodness! I was afraid of that. Well they were very inexpensive so we could definitely put those ladies in a smaller tank and start over or return them, which I didn’t think was possible! Suggestions on good stater fish for our bigger tank after we get the tank cycled? Thank you so much for all the info and pics, very helpful!
 

essjay

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If you want to keep the bettas, you would need a tank at least 20 gallons, with at least a couple more. And very well planted. Even then it's not guaranteed to be successful.

Female bettas form a hierarchy with a dominant female at the top, and she keeps her position as alpha female by attacking those lower down.
One female betta is fine.
Two females - the dominant one will continually attack the 'lower' one
Three females - two will gang up on one
Four - this is the minimum number that should be kept together but more is better.

If you really do want to keep them, the best way to go is get another tank (at least 20 gallons) and do a fish less cycle https://www.fishforums.net/threads/cycling-your-new-fresh-water-tank-read-this-first.421488/ using Tetra Safe Start to speed it up. Then buy at least one more female, preferably more. Once you get home with the new fish, take the ones you already have out of their current tank and put them and the new fish into the new tank all at the same time. The three you have will have sorted a hierarchy and if you put new females in the current tank, they will be seen as intruders and be attacked. Putting them all in the new tank at the same time puts them on a level playing field in new territory and they will sort out a new hierarchy.

Be aware that some short finned males end up in tanks of females at the shop, so keep an eye out for that. And some females are as aggressive as males.
Have a back up plan. Something like one of those fry nets - with a lid, bettas jump - can be used to segregate a short finned male/particularly aggressive female while you make permanent arrangements for the fish.
 

Jan Cavalieri

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I agree you got some really bad advice. My dear daughter was at Petco yesterday and was also talked into purchasing some fish that are not appropriate to the size of her tank, plus she's never cycled it.

Do read the article on Cycling on this website and you'll learn a lot about how important various water parameters are and how it can affect what are some of the best fish for the type of water you have. Return the fish, plan on 6 weeks cycling with plain ammonia (no additives), and record all the relevant statistics about your water. Get a test kit (API makes a good one) and find out how well your water is doing before you start adding fish.

In Community tanks it's essential that All the fish are rated "peaceful" and are good with others in the tank. it doesn't mean they won't chase each other off or try to establish dominance, but it does mean they won't likely injure or kill each other. Since you have a young child, you might look into getting a couple of Dojo loaches (they look like snakes) and are quite funny to watch sometimes. Some schooling fish like Danio's or Red Barbs can add some activity to the tank for him to watch. Don't let some pet store employee talk you into fish - they don't always know what they are talking about and have their own biases. There is a website Liveaquaria.com that has a HUGE number of fish and you can read up about each fish, they even have a compatibility chart to show you who will get along with who.

Since you've already got some bacteria in your tank after using Safe Start, you may find that getting your tank cycled only takes about 4 weeks instead of 6 or more.

Also the more live plants you get, the better off your fish will be - live plants (besides oxygenating the tank) give fish a place to "hide" when they are stressed or want some rest. You''ll find a number of plants just float on to of the water and you may have to remove some from time to time so they don't take over your tank.
 

Deanasue

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oh goodness! I was afraid of that. Well they were very inexpensive so we could definitely put those ladies in a smaller tank and start over! Suggestions on good stater fish for our bigger tank?
I would go ahead and work on getting the tank cycled. While you’re waiting, start looking up fish you would like to try. Make a list. Once you have it then we can help you decide which ones will work in your tank. Get an API Freshwater Test Kit as you will need it. Look at fish like a platy, guppy, danios, red cherry barbs, tetras, etc. These are all good starter fish. We will need to determine your PH to see if it’s soft or hard as that will help determine which fish can go together. I know this is frustrating and confusing. It is for all of us in the beginning. You’re already one step ahead by consulting a forum to help you. A year from now you’ll be offering advice to others. :)
 

essjay

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We will need to determine your PH to see if it’s soft or hard as that will help determine which fish can go together
It's the GH we need not the pH, which is the term we use for hardness. Look on your water provider's website for hardness; if they give it, you need a number rather than some vague words, and the unit of measurement.

Soft water fish will suffer if you have hard water; and hard water fish will suffer if you have soft water. It is much better for fish if we keep them in tap water with the same hardness as where they came from.
 
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GalliJam

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I agree you got some really bad advice. My dear daughter was at Petco yesterday and was also talked into purchasing some fish that are not appropriate to the size of her tank, plus she's never cycled it.

Do read the article on Cycling on this website and you'll learn a lot about how important various water parameters are and how it can affect what are some of the best fish for the type of water you have. Return the fish, plan on 6 weeks cycling with plain ammonia (no additives), and record all the relevant statistics about your water. Get a test kit (API makes a good one) and find out how well your water is doing before you start adding fish.

In Community tanks it's essential that All the fish are rated "peaceful" and are good with others in the tank. it doesn't mean they won't chase each other off or try to establish dominance, but it does mean they won't likely injure or kill each other. Since you have a young child, you might look into getting a couple of Dojo loaches (they look like snakes) and are quite funny to watch sometimes. Some schooling fish like Danio's or Red Barbs can add some activity to the tank for him to watch. Don't let some pet store employee talk you into fish - they don't always know what they are talking about and have their own biases. There is a website Liveaquaria.com that has a HUGE number of fish and you can read up about each fish, they even have a compatibility chart to show you who will get along with who.

Since you've already got some bacteria in your tank after using Safe Start, you may find that getting your tank cycled only takes about 4 weeks instead of 6 or more.

Also the more live plants you get, the better off your fish will be - live plants (besides oxygenating the tank) give fish a place to "hide" when they are stressed or want some rest. You''ll find a number of plants just float on to of the water and you may have to remove some from time to time so they don't take over your tank.
Thank you Kindly!
 

Deanasue

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It's the GH we need not the pH, which is the term we use for hardness. Look on your water provider's website for hardness; if they give it, you need a number rather than some vague words, and the unit of measurement.

Soft water fish will suffer if you have hard water; and hard water fish will suffer if you have soft water. It is much better for fish if we keep them in tap water with the same hardness as where they came from.
Oops, wrong one. Essjay is correct on GH and knows more along these lines.
 
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