Splitting freshwater stock between 3 gallon and new 5 gallon

Ravuun

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Right now I have a 3 gallon planted nano freshwater tank, cycled, heated, and filtered. Living in it are 1 Betta, 1 mystery snail, 1 pom pom crab, and some random MTS & pond snails. There's 3 anubias nana, 2 marimo balls, 1 3x3" moss carpet, two small slate rocks covered in Christmas moss, and a black bamboo hideout covered in java moss. Nitrates are within safe levels and other levels are good. I have soft water where I live so that's been tricky with the snails.

My daughter has a .75 gallon planted, cycled, heated, unfiltered freshwater invert tank with 1 assassin snail, 1 dwarf shrimp, and many, many MTS and pond snails. There is 1 anubias nana, two nano marimo balls, and some of those ceramic filter things to give the bacteria something to grown in. Her levels somehow test better than mine! LOL

That .75 gallon was an awful idea. Lesson learned after many months of thrice-daily water changes.

We will soon be upgrading to a 5 gallon and splitting up our stock between the 3 gallon and the 5 gallon.

My question is: what would be the best stock/plant split with what we already have?

Also, is there any chance of adding more dwarf shrimp to either tank?

My husband is hoping for schooling fish but I am sure that would be an overstocking nightmare.

TIA!
 

JxsPxxle

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Right now I have a 3 gallon planted nano freshwater tank, cycled, heated, and filtered. Living in it are 1 Betta, 1 mystery snail, 1 pom pom crab, and some random MTS & pond snails. There's 3 anubias nana, 2 marimo balls, 1 3x3" moss carpet, two small slate rocks covered in Christmas moss, and a black bamboo hideout covered in java moss. Nitrates are within safe levels and other levels are good. I have soft water where I live so that's been tricky with the snails.

My daughter has a .75 gallon planted, cycled, heated, unfiltered freshwater invert tank with 1 assassin snail, 1 dwarf shrimp, and many, many MTS and pond snails. There is 1 anubias nana, two nano marimo balls, and some of those ceramic filter things to give the bacteria something to grown in. Her levels somehow test better than mine! LOL

That .75 gallon was an awful idea. Lesson learned after many months of thrice-daily water changes.

We will soon be upgrading to a 5 gallon and splitting up our stock between the 3 gallon and the 5 gallon.

My question is: what would be the best stock/plant split with what we already have?

Also, is there any chance of adding more dwarf shrimp to either tank?

My husband is hoping for schooling fish but I am sure that would be an overstocking nightmare.

TIA!
For a 5 gallon tank you could keep something such as chili rasbora, maybe a group of about 6, or you could keep some endlers guppies, about 6 as well. As long as the betta is the only fish in one of the tanks it should be fine. You can put many shrimp into small tanks, you could probably have at least 10 dwarf shrimp in a 5 gallon, if your snail population is growing out of hand you could lower how much excess food their is so they don’t have as much to feed on. As for the crab i don’t really know much about them but if it is doing fine with a betta then I would keep it with it. Also any chance you could attach a picture of the tanks i’m interested to see what they look like because they sound great!
 

PheonixKingZ

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You could get another betta for the 5g. I have 1 5g tank with 1 semi-aggressive betta, which means no shrimp in his tank. My betta in my 10g tank is pretty chill, so there's a small colony of cherry shrimp.

I find that even semi-aggressive bettas can have snails in their tanks. I have blue rams horn snails and MTS in every one of my tank, because of how helpful they are. If you have any more questions, please ask. :)
 
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Ravuun

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For a 5 gallon tank you could keep something such as chili rasbora, maybe a group of about 6, or you could keep some endlers guppies, about 6 as well. As long as the betta is the only fish in one of the tanks it should be fine. You can put many shrimp into small tanks, you could probably have at least 10 dwarf shrimp in a 5 gallon, if your snail population is growing out of hand you could lower how much excess food their is so they don’t have as much to feed on. As for the crab i don’t really know much about them but if it is doing fine with a betta then I would keep it with it. Also any chance you could attach a picture of the tanks i’m interested to see what they look like because they sound great!
Here are a couple photos of the 3 gallon. I will post some of the .75 gallon once my daughter is up. Thanks for the stocking advice! My husband wanted me to ask if neon tetras could go in the 5 gallon, I guess he had some when he was a kid.
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No to the neon tetras in any of these tanks. Even a 10 gallon is too small for a group of neons or any similarly-sized fish. Being shoaling fish, they must have a group and the more there are the healthier they will be.

The chilli rasboras could work, though I would want a 10g for these too. There is not much beyond a single Betta (thinking of fish, not the other invertebrates) that will work in a 5 gallon.

For the future, please always give numbers for tests, parameters, etc. "Nitrates are within safe levels and other levels are good" raises questions, as there is a lot of variance in what some people consider "safe" or "good" and it is always better to have the numbers.

Endlers were mentioned in one post...as you live in Seattle I know your water is very soft (I am in SW BC and the entire North West is very soft water) so Endlers will not work as they need moderately hard water. The rasboras would, but in a 10g. Maybe you could get a 10g rather than the 5g? It does open up more options, though still remaining with nano fish that excludes neons.
 
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Ravuun

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Thanks for the advice on the tetras--I figured they would want a larger tank but it never hurts to ask. :)

The 5 gallon tank setup was gifted to me from my Buy Nothing group on Facebook. After the holidays and 3 birthdays I am a ways away from buying a 10 gallon.

I have been adding a bit of calcium citrate to the tanks to help the snails--the soft water here is def a pain. I put in about 1/8 tsp after the monthly 50% water change in the 3 gallon and maybe 1/32 tsp into the .75 gallon every couple of weeks. I do 25% water changes in the 3 gallon weekly and the .75 gets 2-3 25% water changes per day. Sometimes I will also add similar small amounts of aquarium salt during the monthly change, but not every month.

Okay so levels for the 3 gallon:
Nitrate: 0-10ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
GH: 75-100ppm
Chlorine: 0ppm
KH: 60ppm
pH: 6.8-7.2
Ammonia: 0ppm

.75 gallon:
Nitrates: 0-10ppm
Nitrites: 0ppm
GH: 100-150ppm
Chlorine: 0ppm
KH: 80-100ppm
pH: 7.0-7.2
Ammonia: 0ppm
Thanks for all your help! Here are some photos of the .75 gallon.
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I am curious why you add salt, even if sporadically. There is no benefit to anything in a freshwater tank, with the exception of using salt at adequate doses to best deal with certain specific diseases. But otherwise, no. Salt is harmful to fish, especially soft water species, and invertebrates.
 
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Ravuun

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The salt is to help my Betta with this pernicious case of fin rot he had for a while earlier this year. I tried almond leaves, erythromycin, daily 20% water changes, aquarium salt, and Maracyn 2 before he finally started growing his tail back-he's a Delta but his tail looks like a long plakat's right now.
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PheonixKingZ

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Nice looking betta. question, why do you have the mirror in there? IMO it stresses out betts if its in their tank all the time. Maybe take it out and put it back in when you play with him? That's what I do for my bettas, just a thought. ;)
 
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Ravuun

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Oh, I put the mirror in there so that I could get a good shot of his tail (what there is of it). I normally only put the mirror in there for about 5 minutes a few times a week. I definitely don't leave it in there full-time!
 

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The salt is for a specific issue, so that is different. I will leave it to the Betta and disease-knowledgeable members to comment on effectiveness as I have next to no experience with this (fortunately). Just keep in mind that salt does impact all fish negatively, and the invertebrates. When it is the best treatment for something specific, fine, because that is limited.
 
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Ravuun

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Okay, so it sounds like no schooling fish in the 5 gallon. Bummer for my husband, but I don't want any little fishies to suffer!

Here are my thoughts on how to split our stock after all your wonderful advice. Thank you all so much!

I think I'm going to keep the Betta in the 3-gallon. He's been in there for a year and a half or so and seems pretty happy despite missing half his tail--so glad it's growing back finally. He's pretty aggressive and recently developed a taste for pond snails LOL that's why the assassin snail got moved to the invert tank, the Betta was eating all his food!

I think I'll get a nerite snail for the Betta tank and move the mystery snail to the 5-gallon since the Betta sometimes tries to get at the snail's antennae and head-butts it when it's up at the surface for air. I had a tiger nerite in there for about a year and the Betta left that one alone entirely. It was also WAY better at cleaning algae than the mystery snail has been. This mystery snail prefers blanched kale.

I'll likely get 8-10 dwarf shrimp for the 5-gallon to keep the little blue one company, they're so fun! I think I'll also move the pom pom crab to the 5-gallon, I think the Betta makes him anxious as he's always hiding under the driftwood and making burrows in the back of the tank. I only know he's still alive because the gravel gets moved into hills and valleys overnight!

I'll split the MTS and the pond snails between the two tanks--the assassin snail will go in the 5-gallon so he can munch on them.

How does that sound? Any other suggestions for stocking or how to split our critters up?

Now for the plants.

I know I'll keep one moss ball in the Betta tank, as well as the largest anubias that's attached to the pagoda in the center of the tank (the Betta likes to sleep in the pagoda's little cave). The moss mat will also stay with the Betta since I think it'll fall to pieces if I try to move it.

I'll move the black bamboo hideout with the java moss on it to the 5 gallon for the shrimp, along with the other 3 moss balls. I have 3 small anubias nana attached to 3" long pieces of split cholla wood that will go in the 5 gallon. I will also move the slate rocks with the Christmas moss to the 5 gallon.

I would love suggestions for aquascaping the 5-gallon--most of the plants and polished river rocks going in there are small and low to the ground, and I don't have a lot of larger rocks or driftwood given the small sizes of the tanks I have currently. The 5 gallon came with some white, small-sized gravel but I would love some recommendations for better substrate.

I've been watching videos on Youtube to see how others scape similar-size tanks, but I've never done this before with anything larger than my 3-gallon (and that's been a lot of trial and error).

I'm thinking maybe some java ferns or sword plants for the rear of the tank, and a larger piece of driftwood for the center of the tank?

I do have some random fake plants and a larger hideout that I couldn't use with the Betta (sharp edges) that I could stick in the 5 gallon to round it out a bit, but I'd prefer to use live plants as much as possible.

Here is the 5-gallon with everything it came with. Isn't that Petco 10 filter just about the ugliest thing? LOL

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Finally, I am going to need a heater, a cover, and a light for this tank (the mystery snail and the pom pom crab are both excellent escape artists), and I'm going to replace that Petco filter at some point for something a little less ludicrously huge, likely an internal filter so the top can be completely covered. I would love recommendations for these items as well, I've been looking online but there are so many options and no way of knowing what's good and what's crap.

Thanks again to everyone for all of your help! I am very excited about upgrading my tanks and providing better environs for our fishy friends.
 

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As the only fish is the Betta, my only suggestion is to have floating plants in for the Betta. This is frankly mandatory because bettas naturally live near/at the surface among floating veghetation so they "expect" it. He will be happier (which means less strtessed and thus healthier) among floating plants.
 
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