a couple of things... RE betta fish

Ezzy1986(NSW Aust)November 2, 2005

Hi guys,

I have had my betta now for about 4 months in a 3 gallon tank (no filtration) and he's been great. I've recently upgraded to a 10 gallon filtered tank... currently there are two male sunset gouramis...

I plan on adding a school of glass sucking catfish and also a couple of (or maybe just one) peppermint bristlenose catfish...

I just added my betta in today (with the two gouramis) they seem fine, just ignore each other... often brushing up against each other and swimming away...

The problem is that when I put my betta in he just lay there and floated around with the current... he's now nestled against a plant..

The water current is very strong, compared to what he is used to... nothing. Will he be ok? Or would he be better off in his bowl?

Also, he recently had some fin rot (due to fluctuating water conditions) and he is a bit sick looking...

Can bettas pass there illnesses to the other fish I have mentioned? Gouramis and catfish?

Thanks for all your help

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woeisme(z7b NC)

I would guess that the finrot and other possible damage was due to the ammonia/nitrite build up in the unfiltered aquarium. Improving the water conditions deffinatly helps. You can mix gourami's and bettas (male) successfully but they should be watched carefully. "Stand off's" and "sparing" may occur. This is not bad unless nipping or other damage happens.It may be a better idea to let the betta "heal" before adding it in the other aquarium. The betta may possibly have a bacterial infection. This may be contageous, may not? If the flow is pushing the betta arround into objects it is too much. My healthy betta enjoyed the high flow of a filter a little too much and would swim into the current and get bashed into the walls of the aquarium. Pretty funny , but could be harmful. Try raising the water level, adjusting flow, or creating a "dead" spot with floating plants (live or artificial) or other decour. If you plan on keeping all 3 (2 sunset gouramis and betta) in a 10 gallon do not get the bristlenose pleco. The 3 others are somewhat crowded in a 10 Gal (either US or AUS). IF you want a clean-up crew get the Otocinclus Cats, about 2-3, This would max your 10 gallon out. IMO , I would keep the betta in the 3 gal. get a small low-flow filter and "borrow" some filter media from the established 10 gal. Also monitor the temperature of the aquarium(s). I know you are in AUS so a heater "may" not be necessary, unless the room is kept cool with air conditioning. Best bet, get a 10 Gal. for the betta, both the gouramis and bettas, along with any of the 2 cats you mentioned would appreciate a moderate to heavy planted tank. Not totally necessary , but it is their bio-tope.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2005 at 9:33AM
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Ezzy1986(NSW Aust)

Thanks for your help...
my betta died today
i guess he was sicker than i thought
he was my favourite and first ever fish
i've had fish die before but this was very sad :(
i have one other betta that i tried to put in the gourami tank but he is so tiny and they chased him relentlessly....

i think that the improved water conditions would be good for him but i think i will get some of those betta barracks that keep him seperate while he enjoys the improved water conditions.

do u think he'd get bored?

    Bookmark   November 2, 2005 at 7:03PM
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woeisme(z7b NC)

I guess the barracks is a good alternative then putting him back to the un-cycled aquarium. Keep the flow high enough to push water through the container, but not enough to push him into the sides. When he recovers, see if the gouramis will not harrass him. One thing to do is re-arrange decor just before letting him free. That way they all have to claim new territory. Do this with no or little light and keep the lights off a day. May help may not.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2005 at 10:17PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

Sorry about your betta. I have also had trouble with bettas and gouramis together. They are closely related although they don't look like it, and they often don't get along.

My best success with a betta, although it was many years ago, was in an unheated 3-gallon tank in a warm room. I had the same one for a couple of years at least. A few more gallons couldn't hurt either. I don't think bettas get bored, honestly I think they enjoy their solitude. Nothing bothering them or nipping their fins. Correct me if I'm wrong on this one.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2005 at 10:27PM
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I've kept bettas in community aquariums since I was 10 (a really long time ago!) and they have always done fine. You do have to put them with compatible fish, tho - neon tetras, cardinal tetras, platties, mollies, otto cats, cory cats, danios, white clouds, rasborias, etc. One of the best sources of information I know of is www.peteducation.com (Drs. Foster and Smith - vets). They have a great fish compatible chart and if you type in 'betta care' in the search box a great article on betta care comes up. Since bettas are tropical fish, they prefer 80 degree water. When they water is too cold then just lay on the bottom, become lethargic and have surpressed immune systems so they can catch anything. All seven of my bettas are in heated tanks. All of my aquariums are filtered, some are Eclipse systems, too. I cut a piece of styrophome and placed under the water flow to difuse it along with using live plants and mine seem to be fine. Healthy, happy fish!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2005 at 12:24PM
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Seems I always kept my Bettas in a community tank as well, and they were fine.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2005 at 2:34PM
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woeisme(z7b NC)

The only problem I have with the Dr.'s Charts, they are a little broad. 1 Example, african cichlids are compatible with "other" african cichlids. This can get you into real trouble.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2005 at 3:12PM
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Hi there, My Betta (The General) is not only NOT eating but seems to be having eratic behavior as well.
He sleeps like a human. sounds bizarre?
It looks bizarre! trust me.
click the link below! see for yourself...
As we all believe that our pet(s) could be more unique, and special than the others, This is not the case.
I'm more concerned about this.
what i have managed to discover was a pattern. the General does this all day now. He sleeps for approx. 2 minutes swims up to the top for some fresh air, and goes back down for another 2 minute nap. sleeping on the plants like a bed."SIDEWAYS" like he's dead.
my girlfriend and i thought he was dead when we first discovered it, but i tapped the glass to be sure, and he just shot right up, and started swimming around like seabusicut.
finally he ate some beta bites today for the first time in 3 days. so he looks like he's getting back on track.
but he's still stressed out, you could tell because of the way he swims.. he looks like he's constantly dodging something. My girlfriend and i are doing everything by the book.
we even gave him a bigger bowl so he could have some room to actually do a u Turn without having to back up..
i swear it seems like those little cups they have them in is the cause of the problem. fish dont ask for much. they dont have much room to move in those things, you might as well slap a sardines label on it..
I'd appreciate any suggestions, solutions, and answers you may have...
please take a look at the photo, and let me know what you think.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   November 21, 2005 at 12:34AM
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woeisme(z7b NC)

Sammy- IME, betta's will hang out once in a while on plants for a quick "rest" but usually respond to movement within the room, or will usually surface and wait for food or just to "say hello". The biggest concern with "the general" is laying on its side. Not good at all. The picture looks like a small bowl with no filtration or temperature control. Depending on your location the water could be getting too cold and the fish's metabolism will slow and he will become lathargic. But that usually affects eating, and yours seems to be eating. This leads me to believe that he is sick or the water is toxic with ammonia or nitrites. If you keep a betta in a bowl with no filtration you really have to monitor ammonia levels. I don't know who's book you are following, but any amount of ammonia is toxic to fish, any type fish. The only way to remove ammonia from an unfiltered aquarium is to change the water daily to remove or at least dilute the ammonia. The ammonia comes from decaying uneaten food and fish waste. Ammonia can be detected after as little as 12 hours from uneaten food. In larger aquariums (and very small ones to) a "bio-filter" is created from helpful bacteria that converts the ammonia and nitrites in to less harmful nitrate. Nitrate is pretty harmless to fish unless it builds up over 40ppm. The nitrate is removed from weekly or bi-weekly partial water changes (PWC's). This is what happens in a natural eco-system. Also plants (live ones) cycle the amm. and Nitrite to nitrate. Plants do this and use the nitrate as food. To keep "The General" in command, get a larger aquarium. I would say at least 5 gallons, with filtration and a heater. Minimally the 5G with a heater and some hearty plants like a Java Fern. Just improving the water conditions will improve his health and longevity. I know the Betta is marketed in a way that makes it seem like a no effort way to keep fish. IMO it is just exploited for its attributes as a survivor. Truth is more often then not these fish don't survive as long as they should or could.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2005 at 9:35PM
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sandywesttexas(zone 7)

Sorry to hear about your fish. Get another one and do keep it in the 10 gallon. I have one betta in a ten gallon . The fish loves it. My fish is active likes to play with a fake fish I put in the tank. I have all kinds of plants and large decorations in the tank. You can see him quite well. I never added other fish just content with him. He and the tank look good. I break the filters power by placing a plastic plant up against the front of the filter. The water is deflected off of the plant thus breaking the waters power. I did need to find a plant with a wide base it is turned upside down the base is held against the front lip of the filter. The leaves break the water. Hope this helps...

    Bookmark   November 22, 2005 at 12:51PM
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