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Setting up new aquarium - suggestions?

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Ok I bought this cute fella (Betta Smaragdina) from Jodie a couple months ago.


Waited till moving before setting up the perfect tank. Now that I've moved its time.

So this is what is in there so far.


I'm keeping the sand & drift wood. The floating plants are just temporary at the moment. In the back I've got a heater in there set to 25 degrees and a little 200L/h filter/pump

Any inspirations on stocking and aquascaping would be very welcome?

(Of course need to be compatible with the Smaragdina)

Won't of course use everyones ideas but would love to hear them all.

Was thinking cherry shrimps and peppermint catfish to start with.

Would love to buy stock cheap from any member - can pick up CBD or anywhere near south yarra.

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All my wild betta tanks look similar to this.


Bare bottom for ease of cleaning, and for pairs to pick up fallen eggs. I have some small lengths of floating drainage pipe that the bettas love hiding in and even building bubble nests in.

Edited by briztoon
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Yeah I was thinking some tall reeds that would reach right to the top and then some smaller Java ferns lower down.

Briztoon: I have something that may have the same effect as a floating pipe. I read that I can have the female and male smaragdina in the same tank if its well planted. Is this really true?

I put the female in with him before and he attacked her a bit and stressed her out. Should I start preparing to house her separately on a permanent basis

Cool plants by the way

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If the tank is well planted you can have a pair of Smaragdina or Mahachai in a 2x1 tank.

If the tank is complex enough, you can have two males and four females in a 2x1 with little problems. If you have large clumps of Java moss and Subwassertang some fry may even survive in the tank.

Or you can have a large breeding net like I have in the tank and keep the female in there. I just used the grill that is supposed to sit in the bottom as the lid to keep the female from jumping out in to the main tank. Make sure you keep about 2cm of the net out of the water so the female can breath at the surface.

I also found Water sprite and floating Java fern very good plants for bettas to rest on.

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Ok done some aquascaping.

Also got my first tank mates. 2 yellow snails and 6 black neon tetras.

Ready to put the female in but tragedy struck this morning.

Yesterday I filled her bowl up too much. She jumped out and dried out on the carpet.

afr3178: still happy to help make a spawn if you can find a Smaragdina female, he never stops making bubble nests and i have a breeding net/cage.

Mangrove Jack: Fine White Sand I bought at subscape. (can't remember what sort of sand)

Thinking of adding 3 white Cories. Does anyone know it that will work? Should I go for loaches?

Will that keep the sand clean?

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A lot of "White" sand is actually calcium carbonate....

Great in non planted tangs for Rift Lake cichlids

Not what I'd use in a planted tank with bettas.....;)

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Issues for consideration

Substrate....make sure it's not calcium carbonate

Sand is not a good substrate for plants

If you use sand....plants are best attached to rocks or driftwood

Java moss,java fern and anubias work....note their roots shouldn't be buried in substrate

Dont use plants that aren't truly aquatic....they are cheap but will fall apart

If you choose to change substrate,crypts and amazon sword plants could be used

Melbourne has soft water.....if you want a community.... best fish would be

Betta+ rasboras+ small loaches (not clown loaches) or

Dwarf cichlids(Rams?)+ tetras+ corys(dwarf ones in that size tank)

I'd steer clear of livebearers....mollies,guppies,endlers or platies as they like harder water

Edited by Rod
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Thanks rod.

I was just about to ask if Melbourne is soft or hard water.

I think it might be more a fine gravel than sand. Will ask subscape exactly what i bought.

Using Java moss, java fern, little lilly thigs and reads.

May need to uncover Java ferns roots - thanks

rasboras - wow just looking now.

Dwarf cichlids(Rams?) - surprised that would work i thought they would fight with the betta

I really like the electric blue ones

corys(dwarf) - picking up today

Edited by MelbourneGlobal
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Well all done. Thanks for the advice/suggestions (plus helpful guy at subscape)

final set up

4 Sterbais corydoras

10 shrimp

1 Bristtlenose catfish

6 Black Neon Tetras

1 Betta Smaragdina

3 snails

I was very tempted by the rasboras suggestion and they had some beautiful copper ones at subscape but just trying to be carefull of space.


Now just need to work out how to feed a community. The tetras just don't wait their turn

Edited by MelbourneGlobal
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