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Stocking Fluval Edge 6 Gallon

TinyTink

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Hello all!

I bought a Fluval Edge many years ago when they first came out. I originally got it to house a Betta that was gifted to me (after I researched Betta Care and realized the bowl he was housed in was NOT cool). I tried adding live plants for an aquascape (which didn't work due to the horrible light). I did manage to get some java fern and moss to grow though. I added some ghost shrimp which the Betta was thrilled with - a very nice snack for him. Sorry shrimpies! I've read that some Betta will tolerate shrimp, but this one was especially aggressive. I'm sure it didn't help that I added the shrimp after the Betta had already established his tank as his territory. If I do this again, I will get a female Betta and add the shrimp first. After the Betta passed away, I then added neon tetras which were very happy for awhile, plus I had a few tiny corys. I am now reading that this tank is far too small for the dwarf corys, but I am reading the opposite on other websites (SOOO confusing).

I put the tank away for about 2 years, and I'm ready to get started again. I am going to add plants and cycle first, but I am not sure what to stock with after that point. I want to get it densely planted, so I am going to upgrade from the 21 LED light to the 42 LED light for the Fluval Edge. I will be sticking with easy, low light plants like the Java fern, moss and some anubis. I am going to have some driftwood and other hardscape for hiding places as well. And I will use the Fluval stratum since it worked great before. I'm used to cleaning it without stirring up too much dust.

I thought about a single Betta who would be happiest alone, but I would love to have a community if possible. The pygmy corys were so sociable and my favorite out of all the fish I had, but now I'm worried that the tank is too small even if I just had them by themselves. I also considered a single dwarf blue gourami instead of the Betta (are they less aggressive towards shrimp)? I really would love to have one single showstopper specimen (betta, gourami or something very colorful), some tiny fish in a group (corys, rasbora maybe?), 3-5 shrimp, a trapdoor snail, and a horned nerite. I know this is asking too much of my little tank, but what combination of these guys would you suggest to make the most of my space without causing my fishies stress? Thanks for any suggestions.
 

Derekshatch

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Try amano shrimp they are bigger and i have 2 male bettas with shrimp and they dont bother them at all. I have neon tetras in my 5 gallon you could try that. In my opinion pygmy corys are too big for a 6 gallon considering that you need atleast 3 of them.
 
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seangee

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What about cherry shrimp without the fish? For this size tank a betta is about the only option for fish
 

utahfish

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Neons dont belong in tanks that small.
Snails, shrimp, bettas, possibly african dwarf frogs though they do better without fish as they are shy and slow eaters
 

Velatelen

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5 or six neons should be fine that’s a gallon per fish as long as there is no large decor taking up massive space. frankly I just don’t understand the push to have giant tanks. (While in my opinion the bigger the better) I just don’t understand the push behind all the space for one fish. Many of the species in aquariums are found in what amount to seasonal puddles labyrinth fish breath air for goodness sakes I don’t think that adaptation was created by perfect water conditions.
 

PheonixKingZ

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Ok, here we go...

My betta in my 10g will tolerate cherry shrimp and snails. He will occasionally chase them, but I have a densely planted tank so he won’t be able to catch them. That being said, my betta in my 5g won’t tolerate shrimp at all. He will chase them and bite them and eat them. He will tolerate snails though. IMO Dumbo Ear bettas are the least aggressive of them all. (And Maybe Super Delta tales, depending on what the environment is.)

It varies from betta to betta.

@Velatelen the gallon per fish “technique” is extremely incorrect/inaccurate. Some people think bettas live in tiny pockets of water and that’s “fun” to them. Not true at all. They only live in the small pockets of air because they are forced to when the dry season hits. When it is the raining season, they live in huge rice patty fields, fending off their territory from other males.

Neon tetras need a tank with base size of 60cm by 30cm. A 6g is way to small.

Back to the OP, I suggest a betta with a densely planted tank (not to dense, or the betta won’t have any room to swim around) and a few cherry shrimp and/or snails. (Depending on your bettas temperament. I tested my betta temperament by finding a video of shrimp on YouTube and playing it right up against the glass. If he strikes the glass repeatedly, he is not “cool” with shrimp being in his tank. Don’t do this to many times and he may hurt himself.)
 

Byron

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5 or six neons should be fine that’s a gallon per fish as long as there is no large decor taking up massive space. frankly I just don’t understand the push to have giant tanks. (While in my opinion the bigger the better) I just don’t understand the push behind all the space for one fish. Many of the species in aquariums are found in what amount to seasonal puddles labyrinth fish breath air for goodness sakes I don’t think that adaptation was created by perfect water conditions.
This topic comes up a lot but there is scientific reasoning behind the tank size aspect.

It is perfectly true that some species may be found in seasonal puddles, but this is out of context. When many watercourses in the tropics evaporate to the point of being a seasonal puddle, the fish are forced into the situation and often die. All fish in these waters spawn when the water level is at its highest, overflowing and flooding the surrounding forest for hundreds of square kilometers, and to often-considerable depth. Food for the fry is then plentiful. As the dry season approaches, the fish die back due to lack of food or predation or evaporation of the water.

Another aspect is the fact that an aquarium is an artificial, not a natural, ecosystem. This affects fish, because of the incredibly close connection fish have to their environment, much greater than any terrestrial animal. Placing a fish in this unnatural environment has impacts, serious impacts. Substantial and frequent water changes can help, but only "help," not correct or replace a more adequate environment.

There is evidence from studies showing that the smaller the space around the fish, the more stress it creates and leads usually to increased aggressive behaviours. It is a problem of both physical space and water quality.

You mentioned anabantids; this excerpt from an article I authored several years ago on this family may provide some insight.

Another common name for anabantoids is labyrinth fish, derived from the folded suprabranchial accessory breathing organ known as the labyrinth organ, called such because of its labyrinth or maze-like structure. This organ is designed to store air and extract oxygen from the air; the fish regularly rises to the surface to inhale air which passes into the labyrinth where the oxygen is absorbed into the bloodstream. Provided they remain moist, anabantoids can survive out of water for short periods by breathing air. The fish are not born with a functioning labyrinth organ, it must develop as the fish grows; fry use their gills to respirate. The size of the organ somewhat depends upon the oxygen level in the water in which the fish develop; fish native to low-oxygen water have relatively larger labyrinth organs that those inhabiting oxygen-rich waters. The fish are well adapted to this secondary breathing and would literally drown if deprived of air; the tank housing anabantoids should always be well covered to retain warmth and moisture above the water surface.​

Neon tetras need space. They need a shoal or they will be continually stressed. Six is ofteen cited as the minimum, but there is no question that more will result in healthier fish. I am sure your aim is like most of us, wanting to provide the best care for our fish. If the tank is "x" size, then we need to select fish that will be at their best in such a tank. A group of neon tetra should have a tank with a base dimension of 24 inches (60 cm) by 12 inches (30 cm). This provides them with a fairly good environment (depending obviously on water parameters and aquascaping which are also both part of the healthy fish package). A group of 8-9 in this tank will without question be in better condition than five or six forced into a 6g or even a 10g.
 

JuiceBox52

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Try amano shrimp they are bigger and i have 2 male bettas with shrimp and they dont bother them at all. I have neon tetras in my 5 gallon you could try that. In my opinion pygmy corys are too big for a 6 gallon considering that you need atleast 3 of them.
Neon tetras need a bigger tank. 5 gallon is WAY too small
 

Derekshatch

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No it isnt. If there is an inch per gallon and i have a 6 gallon and 6 tetras that works fine. My tetras do not looked stressed at all and their colors are very vibrant in the tank, they swim back and forth and dont even nip at each other. And when you tell me that the tank is too small, i am not going to do what you think is right so dont tell me what i am doing right or wrong because i did not ask for your opinion!!!
 
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JuiceBox52

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No it isnt. If there is an inch per gallon and i have a 6 gallon and 6 tetras that works fine. My tetras do not looked stressed at all and their colors are very vibrant in the tank, they swim back and forth and dont even nip at each other. And when you tell me that the tank is too small, i am not going to do what you think is right so dont tell me what i am doing right or wrong because i did not ask for your opinion!!!
I was not trying to be aggressive. The one inch per gallon rule is a good rule, but some fish do require a larger swimming area based on activity levels etc. @Byron stated above that they need a tank with at least a 24inch by 12inch footprint. As an example, nobody would (or should) put a 6 inch fish in a 6 gallon tank, or a footlong fish in a 13 gal. Professional fish keepers would consider a 20 gallon the bare minimum for this species.
 

Derekshatch

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I agree that they need space to swim but i think my tank is plenty big for them to swim around. I inly have plants in the tank and they are trimmed back alot.
 
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