Beta's and other fish

ArianaPerryJanuary 10, 2005

I few questions... I currently have my Beta in his own bowl (four gallons). I got a 20 gallon tank recently and I have six fish in it. A Rainbow Boesemani, a catfish clarias batrachus, two zebra danios and two tiger barbs. Can i put my beta in with these fish? Oh, and another question. I have had this beta (charley by the way) for about six months now. he used to be hyper and active all the time. Now he hardly eats, stays in one spot (either in his tree or on the bottom of the tank) all the time and he no longer blows bubble nets. Is this a problem? Should I be worried? Will putting him with other fish solve this? Oh and I was told that betas can't be put with other fish because the other fish will nip at their fins causing the beta to get sick? Is this the case? I don't want to loose my fish.

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imaginators(z6 KY)

I too would like to hear other opinions. I have read that if the tank is big and has hiding places, the Betta can be put in a community tank. Also you can but a divider in the tank and see how the Betta reacts to the other fish or vise versa.
I have also read Bettas can be moody. Maybe give him a treat of live food, might lift his mood. I am a newbie, like you about the Betta. I have mine in a 1 gallon vase and waiting for my new 20 gallon tank to be delivered to me. I plan to have my male Betta in it so he can spread his fins out. After aquarium and Betta are settled, I plan to add 3 more fish in there. My previous (Walmart Betta) Betta sounded just like yours but this new, young one (Petco store) is so perky and I hope to keep him that way with his new home.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2005 at 1:37PM
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I had a betta in a 30 gallon tank with about 10 livebearers with no problem. They were together for about 4 years. He did intimidate them a bit, so I had lots of dense live plants in the tank for the fish to hide when fights did occasionally break out. Nobody got eaten or killed. I think that livebearers are less aggressive than egg laying fish, so the type of other fish might be a factor.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2005 at 9:48PM
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Do not put your betta in a tank with barbs, tiger barbs and rosy barbs are notorious fin nippers they will leave your betta without fins in no time. Does that betta tank have a heater in it ?

    Bookmark   January 12, 2005 at 9:53PM
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now, raul may correct me, but a Rainbow Boesemani is definitely not a good "companion" for a betta. they are a very active schooling fish, and truthfully need a MUCH larger tank.

good luck!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2005 at 2:13AM
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luxum(9/10 Tampa FL)

Bettas in community tanks are very hit or miss. First, you shouldn't put them with fish that have any tendency to nip their long fins. You shouldn't put them in with other fish that have long fins or they may consider them a threat. You shouldn't put them in with gouramis, they are closely related and will often fight to the death.

Now, that said, bettas are very individual. Most of the ones people keep were bred for finnage, not fighting, so some of them are surpisingly docile and can work in a community tank, sometimes you can even get away with breaking the betta guidelines above. Then again, some bettas have strong fighting tendencies and will attack anything that moves. If you want to try him in the community, observe carefully at first and be ready to move him back to solitary if he is in danger, or a danger to your other fish.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2005 at 9:35AM
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luxum(9/10 Tampa FL)

Oh, but really, not with tiger barbs. They ~will~ nip. In fact since you only have 2, it is very likely that they will harass the fish that are already in the tank. They really should be kept in schools to keep their aggression focused on each other. The rainbowfish is also a schooler and needs the company of it's kind, it should not be kept as a single specimen, and as a previous poster mentioned, they are very active and really need a bigger tank. The danios may also nip, and again they are schoolers and shouldn't be kept as just a pair.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2005 at 9:39AM
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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

Similar to what Luxum said, I did read not to keep them, say, with fancy guppies because the bettas may mistake other fish that have long flowing fins as another betta.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2005 at 11:38AM
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Fairy never mind about the rainbow fish, most certainly they are too lively for a sedentary fish like a betta, same thing happens with danios, but those tiger barbs even in a larger school are going to tear it to pieces.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2005 at 2:48PM
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imaginators(z6 KY)

Can you have one male Betta with 2 or 3 female Bettas in a?tank is 12 gallon tank? Tank has bio, heater, etc. Also plastic plants to hide. Besides cory cat fish what other docile fish can be in a tank with a sweet, perky, male Betta.
My husband thinks I am crazy but every time I come near the Betta, the fish seems excited to see me so I say hello to him. What the little fish is saying to me....give me FOOD. Ha!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2005 at 7:32PM
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james_ny(z7 NY)

Forget the Tiger barbs. As their name implies their fin nippers. Although Rainbows are active they will probably ignore the Betta.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2005 at 10:34PM
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i love it when fish recognize a standing food source! my angels used to "beg" as soon as i came home. one of my bettas did as well.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2005 at 7:09PM
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imaginators(z6 KY)

So Fairy_toadmother did you have your Betta dwell with your angels?

    Bookmark   January 14, 2005 at 8:06PM
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you know, i can't remember. i think i did on a temporary basis. i felt bad because i had him in one of those half bowls that hung on a wall. i "came to my senses" and put him in with the angels. he may have died shortly after that. i should have given him his own house. i don't think i had built up the water apartments quite yet.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2005 at 10:24PM
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thanks for all the help. My betta has been in the tank now for about a week and he's fine. He's perked right up and his colors have gotten bright again. Oh and he's eating again. So I'm going to keep a good eye on him but it looks like he'll be okay. Thankyou.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2005 at 3:22PM
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imaginators(z6 KY)

Hi Ariana,
I am glad to hear that your Betta is doing fine.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2005 at 11:21PM
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ok ok ok I have a question could I possible put my beta in a tank with one or two silver dollars OR other small fish

what are some types of fish I CAN put my beta fish

My female betta is one that I saved fom death at a walmart she is very livly and loves live worms

also dose any1 have any beta food that they recommened i use TetraMin tropical granules (rich mix)

    Bookmark   January 17, 2005 at 8:23PM
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basically it seems like there are tons of different opinions about what can and cannot go with betta's. So what i did was put my betta in a bag, like you see them in in the pet stores (at least around here) and i put the bag in the corner of the tank (drapped over one of the corners so he had lots of air and I could feed him). After a day or two (I think it was two) and I noticed that the others left him alone and he didn't react to them I put him in the tank and just watched him really closely. If they had of started nipping at him or he had started being aggressive I would have taken him out and put him back in his bowl. I don't think I would put him in with anything that is notibly aggressive or seems aggressive in your tank. Certain fish just can't be with anything but their own kind.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2005 at 8:58PM
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are plastic plants okay to put in my betta's tank? Yesterday I saw that his tail got caught in it and a piece of it ripped off.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2005 at 12:24AM
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hi, i have a happy red beta fish. its in a 3.5 gallon tank. i want to get one or two more fish but i dont know which one will be compatible with my beta. i dont have a heater or a filter for my tank but i do clean it every week and clean the water every 3 days. so please if you can give me some advice on which fish will be fine with my beta and can surivie at room temperature and dont need a filter that would be great


    Bookmark   February 14, 2006 at 7:14PM
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I wouldn't recommend angelfish with any other fish. I had a pretty one and it kept attacking my leopard and zebra danio fish. I had to keep it in its own little tank because of that. A few years ago, I had a male betta in a 20 gallon long tank with the iridescent sharks (the neon kind not rainbow sharks - I forgot the name but they stay on the small side) and some neons. All the fish got along but that might of been a peaceful tempered fish. I would suggest getting a fish of the opposite gender and putting it in a tank or container next to your fish (I have a male and a female betta fish who have those 1 gallon tanks with the biological sponge filters and the waterfall feature (the plastic kind). They are very happy to be next to each other. Also, try giving an occasional treat such as a cooked green pea (the insides) or tiny pinhead cricket (they really chase them down in the water and attack them). But the tanks do have no top to them but my fish love their homes so much they don't have a tendency to jump out.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2006 at 11:26PM
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I just bought two Beta's and put them in a 10 gallon tank with a divider between the two. There is also a background with the divider so they can't see each other... each side of the tank has a filter, but after only a week the water is starting to look foggy. I can't figure out why. I put stuff in to get rid of the metals and the chlorine that can be harmful to fish, but only the amount recommended. Does anyone have any idea why the tank would already be so cloudy? It's making me nervous, and I'm already in love with these two fish, so I don't want anything to happen to them. I have gravel and fake plants in too, but can't imagine that would be the problem.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 3:30PM
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Is this a new set up? Sounds like "new tank" syndrome.

Here's a good basic article on the topic.

Here is a link that might be useful: New Tank Syndrome

    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 5:12PM
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I have a serious problem with my beta. He jumped out of the bowl and fell into the dustbin. I noticed that probably after 5 mins. I put him back in the bowl and from then on he's acting really wierd. He behaves like he's got a nervous disorder of some sort and he's all shaky and he is not eating. He's been with me for 4 months now.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 8:44AM
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I have a question. I have a beautiful blue and white beta fish. I have had him for about 1 year now. He was in a 2-gallon tank but I bought a 20-gallon tank. HeÂs alone now and I want to get him some friends. What fish will go well with him?

    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 4:46PM
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How about a female betta? Or maybe some Dwarf Gouramis, Giant, Thicklipped,....

    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 8:21PM
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fgilles02420(z6 MA)

I have one ten gallon with a betta and three glo-light tetras. And a second ten gallon with a betta and a couple of lemon tetras. All get along well - although I've heard its the betta's individual personality that determines this.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 6:47PM
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I have a beta, and I recently got a 2 gallon tank with an undergravel filter. I also went to the pet store to see if i could put in any other fish. They told me danios would be my best bet to avoid any issues, so i got two. I mixed them together but do see that the danios have been nipping at the fins of my beta, but that my beta does not respond at all, should i give it another day or two (its only been less than a day) to allow the fish to establish some kind of order, or should i separate immediatly?

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 12:28PM
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I would separate them our return the danios.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 7:03PM
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AnneCecilia z5 MI

I certainly don't claim to be an expert, but I did as much research as I could before completing my tank. My male beta gets along very well in a 20 gal. with six platys and a cory catfish. The beta was the last to be introduced to the already stable group. Day one, the beta hid behind the powerhead or in the plants and the playts seemed to chase him a bit if he came out. Day two, the beta turned around and started chasing the platys - but there was never any physical contact, so I just observed and didn't interfere. From day 3 on (4 months now) they settled into a very peaceful co-existence. No fights, no nipping, no chasing (except for the platys 'play' chasing each other.) It makes for a very colorful display, with the orange platys and the violet-blue beta which I can easily see from anywhere in the room. I'm very happy with my community tank - and thank you everyone here that I learned so much from by lurking and reading before I got started in this hobby. :-)

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 9:56AM
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annecelia: That sounds like a nice setup, except for one thing: few commonly kept fish are as unhappy if not with a school of their own kind as are Corys. They will live, but are miserably unhappy. With a 20 as lightly loaded as yours is, you could easily keep at least 5 more, just make sure they are all of the same species as the one you already have.

But you did the right thing by establishing your stable group of Plays first, and of course, the Cory would get along with just about any other fish it's kept with. I've been keeping Corys for many years, have bred over 20 species, and have never seen any display aggressive behavor, either with others of their own kind, or other, unrelated species.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 10:34AM
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AnneCecilia z5 MI

Thank you Birdwidow for your comments and advice - I really appreciate knowing I have not done too badly so far. My green cory cat is a very active little fish and *seems* happy, but I knew that there were more people saying keep corys in a group than were telling me that a single cory is ok. Indeed I thought that any more fish added in future would be Corys but unfortunately the pet shop where I got my green cory cat has no more of that kind at present. I wasn't sure about mixing the varieties and so have been holding off on a purchase. I'll look a bit harder for some companions for my little cat now! :-)

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 10:57AM
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From your use of the term "Green" I would guess that your Cory is what is commonly called a Bronze Cory, or to be more accurate: Corydoras Aeneus.

If so, then you could give your "lonely only" some company and at the same time, add additional color to your tank with the albino corys so common in shops, because if priced under about $20.00 retail, either the shop owner doesn't know their fish, or that is all they are: albino Aeneus, the "rabbits" of the Cory trade. They breed so freely, many advanced aquarists don't even bother anymore, because they are lucky to get more than 50 cents each for juveniles at fish auctions, and why they they are usually so innexpensive at pet shops.

NOT that I'm putting them down. Aeneas are wonderful fish! Easy to keep and and in the right light, quite attractive, with their irridescent green/gold highlights.

If you aren't sure, compare the photos on the following website (Planet Catfish) with yours and if it is indeed an Aeneus, be assured that the fish don't recognize the difference in color between normal and albino and in fact, freely interbreed.

(Click on any photo to enlarge)

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 1:22PM
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Generally speaking, the best way to establish a pecking order and prevent problems is to introduce fish together, at the same time. This way you eliminate some of the "junior high" behavior. However, introducing a Neon and a Red Bellied Piranha at the same time is a bit of a stretch! As long as the species, characteristic behavior, and individual behavior isn't too disparate, providing shelter is always helpful (plants, shale, pvc,...)

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 3:42PM
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I recently got two male beta,one of which is black with dark blue tips on his fins.He is a very rare find and I was hoping to transfer him to a 10 gallon tank with a filter from his 1 gallon beta bubble(the ones that hang on the wall)

I have had my black beta for about a month now and he has none of his original energy,rarely wants to eat,and just sit in his tree all the time.I have checked him for parasites,and fin rot but he doesn't have either.I change his water every five days,and the only time he seems to perk up is when he is waiting to go back into his bowl and sees my other fish through the side of his temporary cup.My other fish are however another male beta and the two tetras he shares his tank with.

I was hoping someone might be able to recommend other kinds of fish he might coexist peacefully with in a 10 gallon tank.
I have heard tetras,cory cats,platies,otocinclus algae eaters,danios,rasboras,and rainbows, are good companions.

I have also heard that barbs,danos,gouramis,angle fish,and catfish are bad companions.

I would greatly appreciate any recommendations from someone with a track record in communities with beta males and other fish.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 2:21AM
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I would go with Dwarf Gouramis or anything of Colisa genus. I would also provide plants for hiding places.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 12:34PM
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I've had a male beta in a 20 gal community tank for the past four months and he is doing fine. The tank is a mix of peaceful tetras (neons & red phantoms), zebra danios, platies, male guppies (not the same color finnage) and cory cats. I feed flake food, beta pellets, and occasionally some freeze dried brine shrimp and some algae pellets for the corys. The tank is moderately well planted. I would definately avoid any fin nippers in your tank.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 9:27PM
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I would like know if the male bettafish and what other kind fish can be with the betta fish; also if 2 or3 female betta fish can be okay. I have a big tank and only one betta fish ; i would like other fish in the tank.

thanks for the help; answer.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 12:39AM
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I have a 29 gallon tank with the following fish
1. Red tail sharks x2 for beauty
2. Zebras x5 to keep the tank moving
3. Neon's x4 beautiful and hang towards the bottom of the tank in a school
4. Glow lights x5 beautiful and hang towards the bottom of the tank in a school
5. Catfish x3 constant cleaners of gravel and such
6. Plecostomu x1 Algae eater
7. White cloud x1 Hangs at the top, fish store goofed and gave me one instead of neon
8. Beta fish x1 for beauty and keeps the tank interesting.
When I first put the beta in the tank he went after one of the neon fish and I figured this wasn't going to work so I started filling up my 2.5 gallon fish bowl when Mr. shark appeared from behind a rock and chased the beta twice around the tank. That was it for the beta he now leaves everyone alone and spends his time looking at the mirror reflection of himself. Mr. shark still chases him every now and then but only chases and does not nip or bite as the beta's fins are flawless and beautiful. The tank is very well balanced and everyone gets along and the funny thing is the shark never bothers any of the other fish just the beta. I don't think fish are smart enough to protect or play king of the tank but that's just what the shark appears to have done.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 12:45AM
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I have a fire red betta and he was in a little betta starter kit for 2 weeks now and i just bought a bigger tank 25 gallon and want to know what I can put in with my betta. He doesn't do much and I want him to be more active. What should I do any ideas? I was also thinking of putting some dwarf frogs in as well. Please give me your thoughts.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 10:51PM
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Ok, i got a male betta from petco and put him in a 2.5 gallon bowl thing. My mom says you can only have a female betta in the tank when breeding, is this true? He just looks so lonely! Im thinking about getting a female betta to go with him. Im wondering if it is safe for the female, and is the tank is large enough for both of them.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 5:21PM
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