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Betta In My 20 Gal?


Guest Megan Steele

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Guest Megan Steele

Hey everyone,

would betta fish be able to live with other fish in my tropical tank? I don't know because I have heard that Bettas are very territorial and will kill anything else that is in the tank with them. Is this true? :blink:

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A male betta is very territorial and aggressive, and certainly have the potential to kill his tankmates. However, it also depends on its tankmates. I had a betta with a couple of bumblebee gobies in a 10 gal and the gobies certainly did more damage to the betta by occasionally biting his fins.

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It does depend on the tankmates for sure. I tried putting my betta in my trop tank before and came very close to killing my guppies (chewed their tails off). However, as far as I could tell he didn't bother the tetras at all. I think it really depends on the fish.

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Just make sure you have a second tank to move it too in case it don't work. I had one in my 30 gallon for a while but then one of the other fish ate his fins off so had to move him.

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One suggestion, if you do decide to try this see if there are any bettas in the main tanks at your lfs. I've seen tanks with bettas who are very peaceful, and others where they are terrorizing all the other fish in the tank. Obvioulsy, a peaceful one would be better for a community tank.

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Bettas can be in a tropical community tank....but the other guys need to be carefully picked...

What works??

Cardinal and neon tetras...neither of the species bother the betta, nor the betta bothers them...

Platies...but under supervision...this does not work always...trial and error...

Danios...again under supervision..cos I have heard cases where these guys nip at the poor betta...

What does not work??

Guppies...cos they have beautiful fins...and the male betta mistakes them for another betta...so obviously betta attacks them...

Mollies...cos they are aggressive...there is a fair chance of these guys nipping at your betta...

Dwarf Gouramis...cos these are bubble nest builders..cousins of the betta..so they fight like 2 male bettas.. :)

Rather than introducing a betta in an already established tank..it is nice to build it up with the betta in there first...then work around it by introducing the tetras first...and later maybe something else.. :) ..hope this helps..

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Guest Megan Steele

Would a female betta be less agressive? Because I wanted to get some guppies but if the betta is going to kill them...I do have a little 1.5 gallon. Would that would for it?

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Guest Megan Steele

ok. Well I was going to get some guppies like the one that is shown as the tropical fish forum. Would a female betta be okay with that? They will be okay with plecos right?

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Bettas attack guppies because of their elaborate fins, same goes for any other species that has flowing fins (like fancy goldies). I wouldn't chance a female betta with guppies either. And yes, they will be fine with plecos :)

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Rather than introducing a betta in an already established tank..it is nice to build it up with the betta in there first...then work around it by introducing the tetras first...and later maybe something else.. :) ..hope this helps..

I always thought it was better to introduce the betta last because if the betta is in there first he will think of the tank and his territory and therefore try to defend it by attacking the other fish.

correct me if I'm wrong though - I've never tried it either way personally

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I don't see why bettas would kill guppies if they are dull-colored. I had some female half-black guppies with a female betta and they were fine.

The betta would not attack if you are getting wild dull colored guppies..but they will attack if they are fancy guppies...

ok. Well I was going to get some guppies like the one that is shown as the tropical fish forum. Would a female betta be okay with that? They will be okay with plecos right?

you mean fancy guppies...so no bettas might attack them...

Bettas attack guppies because of their elaborate fins, same goes for any other species that has flowing fins (like fancy goldies). I wouldn't chance a female betta with guppies either. And yes, they will be fine with plecos :)

:exactly ..corydoras will be fine too...also glofish and glass catfish.. :)

Rather than introducing a betta in an already established tank..it is nice to build it up with the betta in there first...then work around it by introducing the tetras first...and later maybe something else.. :) ..hope this helps..

I always thought it was better to introduce the betta last because if the betta is in there first he will think of the tank and his territory and therefore try to defend it by attacking the other fish.

correct me if I'm wrong though - I've never tried it either way personally

hmm...now thats a good point...either ways I guess it would be a trial and error...but I always read articles..where ppl would have the betta in there..with decors and plants and then introduce tetras or so...but ur point is a good one...I may be wrong abt tht... :)

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It is always advised to keep a betta in a minimum of 2.5-3 gallon tanks....But I really think a betta will be very healthy and active in a 4-5 gallon lightly filtered tank...Mine lives in a 5 gallon eclipse..the filter it comes with is really very light and cheap..so works gr88 for the betta....

A bowl is ok for a betta..but needs 100% water change every week and practically has no cycle to it...this tends to shock and stress the betta...A tank would mostly have a 60-70% water change every week with a 100% every month...the filter and gravel help maintain the cycle...and this keeps the betta happy and healthy...

So a betta can thrive in a 1.5 bowl...but he will not live happily there... :)

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I have had a female betta in a tropical community tank (20 gal and 16 gal) for about a year with no problems. She was even in with fancy guppies and totally ignored them. It probably just depends on their personality but it is possible! :)

I have her in with hatchet fish, glo fish, cories, and a platy right now and none of them bother each other at all. In the past she was with guppies, upside down cats, swordtails--even goldfish! The only bad thing was the swordtail male kept nipping her tail so she won't be in with him anymore. All the others got along great.

HPIM4815.jpg

Here she is--you can see a cory cat in the back

I had her in a bowl with no filter originally but she started to get lethagic after a month or 2 so I put her in the community tank where she has grown and become very active.

I had other bettas in a 1.5 gal tank with a tiny filter but none of them made it for very long. Right now I have another female in a filtered 5 gal by herself and she's doing great. I'm beginning to think 5 gal should be the minimum for a betta. I clean it every week just like the big tanks.

HPIM4430.jpg

Here's the 5 gal w/betta

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Guest Megan Steele

Crissy, is this what your filter looks like?

http://www.pet co.com/product/13796/Hagen-E...ter-Filter.aspx://http://www.pet co.com/product/13796...ter-Filter.aspx

How does it work? Does it just suction to the inside of the tank? Would this help the tank keep somewhat of a cycle?

P.S. You probably won't be able to click on the link. I had to put a space on mmm between pet and co because when you post it it blocks them out with mmm. So when you copy it into your toolbar, just make sure that you take the space out between pet co. Thanks!

Edited by Megan Steele
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Guest Megan Steele

Thanks so much! That is the pic that was on the link! So it works good for you? Does it keep somewhat of a cycle going in such a small tank?

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Thanks so much! That is the pic that was on the link! So it works good for you? Does it keep somewhat of a cycle going in such a small tank?

It works pretty good, but it's a good idea to have gravel as well to help provide a place for bacteria to grow.

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