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  1. My favorite tank mates for bettas has been long finned leopard danios and platies. I've also generally gone for the females for a community set-up. That seems to lower the chances if aggression and fin nipping dramatically. I have done standard veiltail males in community set-ups without issues, but I just found it more stressful on me to constantly be monitoring for fishy fights. I would not attempt anything with bigger fins, those giant fins slow the betta down too much, and are just too tempting of a target. I also wouldn't worry too much about water hardness unless your water is on the extreme ends of the scale, or you want to keep wild-caught bettas. If your water is on the extreme end of the scale, and you don't want to invest in a R/O system, check and see if there is a grocery store that has a bottled water refill station. I'm not sure how popular these are in other regions these days, but I found that to be a much cheaper option when I've needed to use them. Current cost is 0.25-0.49 a gallon, rather than the $1-2 of an off the shelf gallon.
  2. I currently have a small dilemma, and thought I'd seek some other opinions. My city is in the middle of doing some major work on our water supply sources. As a result, they changed up how much water is being drawn from where. Over the last couple of months, I've noticed my kh and ph have been dropping. Currently, my numbers out of my 55 g read as 150 ppm GH, 6.8 PH, and 80 ppm KH. Previously the numbers ran 150 ppm GH, 7-7.2 PH, and 120 KH. Water out of the tap is currently 50 GH, 6.4-6.6 PH, and 40 KH. Now I normally would not worry too much about this, but since it seems to be a downward trend, and not stable, I'm more concerned. I should also mention that, due to last years forest fires, our current water supply is full of ash and other organics breaking down. I expect that to contribute even more once spring rolls around. Should I start buffering my water?
  3. I am actually in the middle of restocking the 55. I have 2 siamese algae eaters and 2 half grown angels. My previous iteration had a 5" pleco that was not really identified, 6 skunk botia, and 6 Buenos Aires tetras. My last skunk botia died last January (she was 14!), and I've been trying to decide what I really want to go with the angels.
  4. A small hello! I go by Alaya on the internet, and hail from the Northern Colorado area. I currently keep a 55 g and a 5 g betta tank, with another in the process of being set up. I've been keeping fish in some form or other for 36 years, most of that with community tropical set-ups and bettas.
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