Betta buddies

naturelover_mtl(z5QC)August 15, 2005

Hi everyone. I would like to know whether Bettas can have buddies in the tank with them or if they need to live alone. If there are other fish that would live peacefully in a tank with a Betta, can anyone advise me as to which types? Thanks!

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Minaku(z6 Pittsburgh)

You need a good-sized tank to have other fish with your betta, or else fighting will occur. People keep oto or cory catfish with their bettas, African dwarf frogs, maybe some ghost shrimp, and other freshwater tropical fish - never goldfish.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 11:31AM
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Ezzy1986(NSW Aust)

Minaku, How big should the tank be to have other fish in with my betta? I have a 4 gallon tank with a small male betta... would this be suitable to have other fish in?
If not, what if it was a female betta in a tank this size?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 10:18PM
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Minaku(z6 Pittsburgh)

In order to have a shared tank the tank must be cycled and be 10 gallons and over in volume.

Unless you are planning to put female bettas together, and then they should only be in odd numbers, a male and a female should never cohabitate. even a bunch of females and a male should not cohabitate - it's too much stress. Bettas are fighting fish. It's in their nature to fight every single member of their species.

Your betta is perfect in a 4 gallon by himself - 3 inches of betta means 3 gallons of water, and an extra gallon for room.

If you want to keep females, 3-5 in a heavily planted 10 gallon tank would be great.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 11:39AM
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woeisme(z7b NC)

You can get away with an oto cat or 2 in the 4 gal. Especially if you have the live plants. Otos are very small and don't add much to the "bio-load".

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 2:04PM
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Minaku(z6 Pittsburgh)

Oto cats are schoolers as well as coldwater fish, and I'd prefer to have them in a large goldfish tank in a school of at least 3-5. Their minimum tank size is also 2 gallons. Add that to the 3 gallons needed for a betta, and you've overstocked your 4 gallon tank. A betta should be in a 4 gallon tank by itself. Everything else that could go in would overstock the tank or would be a schooling fish.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 8:47AM
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woeisme(z7b NC)

The Oto is not a coldwater fish. It is tropical. It comes from tropical rivers in S. America. It can stand water temps. to 68 degrees F. They barely grow to 1.5 ". They are very small and do not put much into nthe bio-load. The inch per gallon rule is out the window on Oto's. They are more active in groups but are not schooling fish like neon tetras. I have about 8 in my tank and they will hang together in groups of 3 sometimes. Not for long even at night. They are usually spread out. They do however prefer a planted tank, but plastic plants with some algae growth or an algae supplement food is fine.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 1:35PM
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I would go with a little shrimp or snails. Neither put out a lot of waste and will help to clean up a lot of the mess from your betta.

No matter how little I feed mine, there's always some left over.

They'll also help to take care of algae.

I have kept a single male betta in a community tank before (39 gallons, filtered and air pumped, and may have been heated) but you have to remember that bettas like calm, non-moving water in a small quantity.

Bettas live in shallow, stagnant pools in the wild. And they don't like sharing their pools with other fish.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 12:58AM
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woeisme(z7b NC)

I have had only 3 bettas total, 2 over 15 years ago, 1 just recently. I have heard that bettas don't like fast moving or any water flow. Mine seemed to enjoy it. Either filter returns or airstones. I had to deflect the flow of water in the most recent bettas tank because he would swim in the stream, it would push him across the tank into the glass, then he would come back or more. It was pretty funny but I was worried he would get injured. IMO the generalization that all bettas like calm water is for vendors to justify selling them in way too small containers. Wild bettas are not only found in merky rice patties/puddles but a great number of them are found in rivers. For breeding purposes the water flow should be somewhat restricted so eggs wont be disturbed in bubblenests. Not every type of betta are bubblenesters. Also, the bettas we keep now are hybrids raised on farms or from private breeders. They are not wildcaught. Wild bettas are generally an inch larger, a lot less colorful, and live shorter lives (this is true with alot of other tropicals) because of the water quality. Shrimp would be good, but I would start with a few less expensive glass-shrimp just in case they become a snack.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 10:44AM
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I have a fairly small tank and I keep my better with cory catfish.. they get along very well.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2005 at 6:22PM
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Cory catfish! Thank you! That's the name of the fish I was looking for the other day. I had two, one died and I need to get my little guy a new friend.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 2:00AM
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Cory cats should be kept in groups of 6 or more.....they are schooling fish. A small school of these fish will keep them happy and comfortable. Keeping them as a single fish or just in pairs can cause them stress and shorten their lives. For the most part aquarists strive to keep their pets healthy and happy.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 12:34PM
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woeisme(z7b NC)

They do "play" when kept in groups of 6 or more. It is fun to watch and they seem to brighten in color when kept happy.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 1:22PM
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I have two male bettas. One is living on his own, the other is living with two dwarf frogs and a snail and seemed to be getting along fine. Can I merge the two together or keep them seperate? Also I'm thinking of putting a live under water plant in each and a snail with my lonely one. Is that a good idea?


    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 12:38PM
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Have to say it really depends on the personality of your betta i have 3 ..2 of them is tolerant of a mystery snail and a ghost shrimp in there tanks, and 1 is untolerant of ANYTHING in his tank and has killed anything ive tried..Ive heard several stories of some people who were even successful with other fish species like tetras or danios in with there betta and no problems so it totally depends on your bettas personality every one is diffrent

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 10:56PM
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I used to have several bettas each in their own small bowl and I even tried to breed them a couple times. They are just aggressive to any other fish the only exception was during the mating process then they go right back to trying to kill each other.
My roommate had a huge tank 150 gallons I think with a pair of large Angels and several smaller fish in it. The Angel fish were breeding and bullied all the other fish into the corners of the tank. We decided to teach the bully a lesson and dropped the male betta into the tank. The Angel male rushed him and he didn't even back down just sort of fluffed up and got big the Angel backed down and all the other fish immediately started to come out of the corners. They all lived peacefully together in that tank for months until I left and I assume even after because I let my roommate keep the Betta.
In a 4 gallon tank I would leave the betta alone if you want to add other fish increase the tank size alot. Even 10 gallons is probably pushing it. Don't put them in with any fish that has fancy fins. Goldfish and Guppies especially. They will eat their fins off and it will happen very quickly. If you put a male and female together watch them very closely and be ready to net the female out quickly when they have completed breeding. She is not in danger usually, he is. And he is the one who is needed to care for the young.
Breeding bettas is really quite a fascinating process and I would suggest that you try it if you want to raise bettas because it gives you a reason to enjoy and pay attention to your fish. There is always something going on in a breeding tank. Be sure to do your research though there are several pitfalls you will need to know about to make it work.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 10:25PM
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Hi, I have a male betta in a ten gallon tank with a couple goldfish, an alge eater and 2 small school fish. The goldfish's tails are looking frayed and I have a suspicion that the betta is the cause. All the goldfish are bigger than the betta but docile. Would it be a bad idea to leave the betta in the same tank? Or will it kill the goldfish? Plz help!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 6:07PM
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sbrow156(Cairns QLD Australia)

alot of people are asking that here on this forum. The answer is simply no. A male betta cannot be with any other fish in its tank...(unless the tank is 30litres or more and has lots of places for the other fish to hide) No neons, no tetras, no other fish! A female betta can be with other females or any other fish really they are usually ok but with a male they must be alone.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 1:16AM
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