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notthepenguin

Keeping fish in 30L BiOrb?

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Hey guys, I'm a newbie who's considering getting their first fish tank. I'm a student flatting down in Dunedin so I can't get a super large tank and I've been considering a 30L BiOrb tank to hold a couple of plants and maybe 3-4 small fish (or maybe 1 fish? I've heard some people say that thats an okay size for beta fish?). In any case I'm looking for some advice about whether a tank that size would be appropriate to hold something like a single beta or maybe a couple of smaller fish (maybe shrimp?), and if so what species would be good, as well as what some good plant species are to go with it. 

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I understand space is at a premium for you but why the BiOrb? As they are bowl shaped, with a filter in the middle, they actually hold less water than you think. Also, surface area is as important, if not more so, than volume of water and the round shape means you have less water surface. They may also be more expensive than a standard rectangular tank (although I have no idea what tanks cost these days). Having Googled them, I see some orbs are not bowls but rectangles.
Have you considered a small square, or rectangular tank? For a tank that small I would recommend a UGF (under gravel filter) with an external pump (although some say the pumps are too noisy) or you might prefer a HOB (hang on the back) or small external canister filter. These options leave more space inside the aquarium. A square or rectangle will also be easier to clean.
As for fish, White Cloud Mountain Minnows, some tetras and some danios are all small but very active fish and need length to dash about in so I would not recommend them.
A single Betta would be fine.
Shrimps have a small bioload so you could have a wee colony of them.
2 or 3 male guppies (they are more colourful tan females and you don't get over-run by fry).
Some pygmy corydoras. They like to be in groups so a minimum of 3. These are bottom dwellers.
Plants: mini sagittarius, dwarf baby tears (Hemianthus callitrichoides), Java moss, Anubias nana, Christmas moss (though not too common).
Have a look under the Clubs tab at the top of the page as there is an aquarium Club in Dunedin and I am sure members can help you and perhaps offer plants, fish, seeded filter media,or other bits and pieces to get you started.
Good luck.

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