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Right now I have a 20 gallon long tank with a single betta. I plan on making it into a community tank, but am still not too sure what tank mates I should get for my betta.
 

Tank details I have relatively low kh, high gh (150 - 300 ppm, usually about 200), ph of around 6.8 - 7.0, and the tanks at 78° with a sponge filter and fluval stratum. 
 

I was researching panda corys but am worried about my high gh and my non - sand substrate. Which tank mates should I try that will work with my water parameters and betta fish? Also which plants should I have for said tank mates?

Edited by BeginnerFishKeeper
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On 5/14/2022 at 2:02 PM, BeginnerFishKeeper said:

Right now I have a 20 gallon long tank with a single betta.

I would lean towards false Julii corys or somethine that likes to be "slightly" warmer than a panda. Albino or bronze corys might be ones to look at too.

The advantage you have is that this is a 20L tank and the corys will absolutely love that real estate. You can start with 3-4 and then you may end up having eggs to give you more (or not, which is fine too!)

I would have some sort of piece of wood or "cover" for the corys to hide out in when they need to.  If the betta decides to be feisty, I really doubt there will be any long term issues, then It would give the betta a place to lay on the top of the wood as well as the corys a place to hide below the wood.

You mentioned substrate. As long as you don't have sharp substrate you should be fine. Sharp and hard substrate might lead to issues, but something like planted substrate, smaller particle substrate, gravel even, is perfectly fine for the corys. They LOVE sand substrate, but they don't need to have it.

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On 5/14/2022 at 2:41 PM, nabokovfan87 said:

I would lean towards false Julii corys or somethine that likes to be "slightly" warmer than a panda. Albino or bronze corys might be ones to look at too.

The advantage you have is that this is a 20L tank and the corys will absolutely love that real estate. 

Thanks for your response. I was looking at albino corys to begin with but someone said if you don’t have a tank larger than 20 gallons then to stick with panda corys since they’re smaller. Are there any plants that corys would like? I want to make my tank more heavily planted and figured I should get the plants that future tank mates would like 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/14/2022 at 11:00 PM, BeginnerFishKeeper said:

Thanks for your response. I was looking at albino corys to begin with but someone said if you don’t have a tank larger than 20 gallons then to stick with panda corys since they’re smaller. Are there any plants that corys would like? I want to make my tank more heavily planted and figured I should get the plants that future tank mates would like 

hm... Definitely interesting.

There is some 2-2.5" corys and then there are some that get up to 3-3.5".  Either one I think is FINE in a 20G.  But, for the sake of argument, let's keep to the "smaller ones"

When you look at the body shape you can see something like these emerald corys or brochis (different species). They get bigger. A bit chunkier and bigger bodied when younger. 
image.jpeg.9937659128925cae3e000b369e1229a1.jpegBrochis multiradiatus

There are some like these too that have a bit longer snout, those can be an indication of a species that gets pretty long. (Barbatus cory) These get up to 4"
Scleromystax barbatus

Others like the salt/pepper corys (they go by a ton of names) look a bit narrower and "medium" bodied.

Peppered Corydoras (Corydoras Paleatus) Fish Profile & Care Guide

That's kind of what you're looking for when "generally looking" but definitely keep an eye on spec sheets and verify size.

Emerald: 3.5"
Pepper (Paleatus)": 2-2.5"
Panda: 2-2.5"
Albino (bronze) cory: 2.5"
Bronze: 2.5"
False Julii: 2.5"
Julii: 2.5"
Sterbai: 2.5"
Orange Laser: 3"

https://www.aquariumcoop.com/blogs/aquarium/top-10-cory-catfish

Edited by nabokovfan87
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Look at the preferred temps. My pandas do better 71-75. I had them with guppies 77-78 and they did ok without visible stress but are visibly happier at the lower temps. The panda are also crazy active everywhere and may stress your betta. 
 

I have kept albinos with a betta and they did fine. They did not swim and act as crazy through mid/upper water like my pandas. They also did just fine at 80.  

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I've got a dragon plakat betta with a nerite snail, chili rasboras, and endlers, He was a shrimp killer, but I think it was in large part because he was in the tank first. Your setup is a lot larger so it may be easier to introduce "friends", but it might be useful to move some decos around when you are going to add new fish to break up his perception of territory,

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