What size tank do I need to purchase for these fish?
I bought a 2 gallon tank at Christmastime because I wanted to have a beta at my office. The tank came with an "undergravel filter" (turned out to be just a tube with an airstone in it that pushed stuff underneath a platic panel at the bottom). I purchased an appropriate size heater to add to the tank.
Apparently, we have bad water, and it took us awhile to figure it out. After my beta died, Lucas decided he wanted to keep the tank at home, so we bought 2 guppies to put in it. The water started getting really coudy and dirty, so we added a regular submersible filter for a 2-10 gallon tank and a cory catfish. The guppies died a few days later, but the cory was okay. We couldn't get rid of the cloudiness in the water, so we took everythink out of the tank, and temporarily housed the cory in a fish bowl (we put the heater in the fish bowl to keep him warm) and took the tank outside and thoroughly cleaned everything. Reassembled the tank. Added a treatment that is supposed to nuetralize pH, ammonia and chlorine. I also added a treatment that is supposed to help add beneficial bacteria to new tanks. The next evening (about 25-26 hours later) we put the cory back in the tank. He is still doing fine (and is actually quite active), so we decided it was safe to try fish again.
We got the cory from Wal-Mart (I was there picking up prescriptions anyways), and since he survived so well, I decided to head back there. Knowing full well that we would need to upgrade to a much larger tank asap (assuming that we got our water problems solved and they survived), I got 2 cichlids. We have talked about doing a cichlid tank for quite awhile now, just never did it. We went price shopping for aquarium set-ups yesterday and are getting ready to move them to a bigger tank. And found 2 more cichlids that are beautiful and we must have (no I didn't buy them yet. We need to upgrade to a larger tank first).
However, I have two questions:
1. Can the cory catfish be moved to a larger tank with the cichlids? I know cichlids can be territorial and aggressive. Right now, they are not bothering the cory. They both have female/juvenille colors, but I'm not sure if they are female or young males. The blue cichlid we have seems to like the sinking pellets we bought for the cory, and he/she will even eat off the pellet at the exact same time as the cory. They are getting along well for now... Do cichlids generally get along okay with cory catfish, or would we be better off keeping the cory in the 2 gallon by himself?
2. If we want to keep 4 cichlids (and the cory if it is okay to keep him in there), what size tank do we need? I know we need at least a 20 gallon. Would a 20 gal be okay, or do they need a 29 gal?
Please don't get mad at me for temporarily housing the cichlids in a 2 gallon tank. We had decided that because we were having problems with the water quality that we were only going to try one more time, so I wanted to make sure that we got the water right and the cichlids survived before spending a ton of money on a bigger set up. If we still hadn't solved our water problem and the cichlids died, we would have spent all of that money on a large tank that would never get used, kwim?