Betta with other fish

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Anders247

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What's your opinion?
Mine is that they are species which should be kept on their own, if they are kept with other fish they have to be with temp-compatible bottom dwellers in a at least a 20g long. But I still wouldn't do it.
 
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Anders247

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I kept a king betta with some long fin black skirt tetras in a 10 gallon for a while with no issues.
Yeah, well how long was it?
Black skirts need a 20g minimum anyway, and cooler temps than bettas.

My betta attacks even snails. Some people have had their bettas be peaceful for long periods of time and then turn aggressive.
 
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Anders247

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It was a few months.

I only had 3 black skirts.
Yeah, but they need a group of 6+.
If it was only a few months then I'm not surprised.

There's also another issue that seems to take place when keeping fish with bettas, some bettas are so solitary that they are too timid and shy to attack the other fish.
 

SilverFlame819

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My opinion? Well, I mean, since you asked... :p

I've had a TON of Bettas over the years. Some were kept in 2-gallon decorative Betta tanks, but most have been in the community tanks. I've never had a Betta snap and go rogue on me. *lol* I've had some "semi-aggressive" tanks before, with things like territorial Barbs and Sharks, and have never kept them in with those. They've always been in my peaceful community tanks (Denison Barbs, Congo Tetras, Rummynose Tetra, Furcata, Plecos, Corys, etc). I've never had an issue. The one problem that I did see from time to time was in my Guppy tanks. I used to breed Guppies, and had a ton of them, and they got along fine. But if a male Guppy darted too quickly past one of the Betta's faces, the Betta would tail nip. I saw this happen a few times. The Betta would be chilling, and the Guppy would dart by and the Betta would just CHOMP. Then its brain would catch up with its mouth, and you could literally see it going, "Oh. Guppy. Oops." There was never any attacking behavior. It would nip after being startled, and then look like it felt awfully foolish about what it did, and swim off in the other direction.

I did notice, however, that every Betta seems to be an individual. I've had some feisty little jerks, and some super chill ones. It seemed like I ran into more attitude with the red strains. I've had the Bettas in smaller tanks before (10 gallons) with multiple other fish, and no issues. And I've had them in 55-gallon community tanks before, also with no issues.

I know that personality and aggression are highly heritable traits in many other animal species, so I don't know if it's the same in fish. Could be that I just got some strains with fewer jerks in the genepool. But I have had a ton of them, and no issues. The few reds I've had that have shown more spunk than usual got kept in Betta tanks. But even then, my Betta tanks always have Otos, and the Bettas haven't bothered them. Possibly because they're monochrome and spend most of their time holding still? I have had the Bettas in tanks with snails before, and they can be really annoying to the snails, but the snails would huddle down and the Bettas would get bored and swim away, and learned pretty quickly that they couldn't get to the "tasty" bits of the snails and didn't bother them much. (I raised Briggs, this could be different with other more delicate species, or those that can't fit their bodies as easily up into their shells to hide). No clue about shrimp. I raised shrimp to sell, not to feed to the Bettas, so Bettas never went into the shrimp tank. But I'm wondering now if that would be a simple way to deal with cull-grade shrimp?? Bettas are so small though, that I think they could probably only handle the baby shrimp...

Currently my Bettas are in with Otos and Corys. The first day there's a tiny bit of chasing and interest, and then they shrug and treat the fish just like part of the landscaping.
 

CarpCharacin

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No clue about shrimp. I raised shrimp to sell, not to feed to the Bettas, so Bettas never went into the shrimp tank. But I'm wondering now if that would be a simple way to deal with cull-grade shrimp?? Bettas are so small though, that I think they could probably only handle the baby shrimp...
When I kept my betta with ghost shrimp, some of the shrimp would just go missing, so I assume he ate them. Other times, he would just kill the shrimp and leave them.
 

SilverFlame819

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How dare you accuse that poor, innocent fish. I'm sure he was trying to give them CPR when they died, and was terribly heartbroken that his tankmates were kicking the bucket. What a tragic life, to live several years when the life expectancy of your friends is only a year or so. :p :D

Seriously though, did you ever actually see him attacking them or eating them? I would assume that a Betta would eat a shrimp if it could, which is why I never put any in my shrimp tanks. I've also never kept Ghost Shrimp, just Neos (Dwarfs). I've been thinking about getting back into shrimp breeding too, so am really curious about this. I don't want to go buy a big Cichlid or something that I have no interest in, just to toss cull shrimp to. But if Bettas are proven to eat them, that would definitely make my life easier. In the past, I just gave away my culls to people with aggressive fish, but then I'd have to keep a separate tank of culls until I got enough to make it worth the trip to my house for someone who wanted them as snacks for their fish...
 

SilverFlame819

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Was he red? *lol* I don't mean to get all fish racist, but my feisty fish were always predominantly red.

Although this orange one I've got now kept flaring at me when I was trying to take his picture yesterday. Maybe orange falls on the red scale? :) He doesn't have any tank buddies yet, so will be interesting to see how he tolerates them. My blue guy is in with 1 oto and 2 corys. For the first few hours he was like, "Holy Jeebus, what are THESE?!" He chased them a little and nipped at them, and then got bored. By the second day, he was acting like he didn't even see them in the tank anymore. I think one of the great things about Bettas is how individual they are, and how intelligent. I used to have a purple splash boy in a tank next to my bed, and every morning, when I woke up, he'd be plastered against the glass, staring at me, and as soon as he saw that I was awake he'd get SO excited (that was feeding time). Fish are cool. :) Now, if only I can get these other tiny tanks cycled so I can go pick up some more! It's too bad I don't already have a large tank set up that I could steal filter media from. This whole being patient thing sucks.
 

Roxane1232

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So should I tell my 8-year-old niece to keep an eye on her female betta? She has a ten gallon with a female betta, a dwarf gourami, and some guppies and neons.

I thought female bettas were usually less aggressive, but I am wondering if I should grab her an extra ten gallon or 5 gallon just in case.
 
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Roxane1232

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Females are usually less aggressive and they can sometimes get along in community tanks, but you should be careful, as it really depends on the personality of the fish.
She didn't seem to aggressive when I seen her last, but I was mostly worried because a dwarf gourami, and betta together might fight as they are from the same family from what I understand.
 
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Anders247

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I wouldn't suggest keeping betta with other fish, females can be just as aggressive as males.
Especially not with a DG, and the fact that it is a 10g is even worse. I would get a 20g, move the rest of the fish besides the betta to it, and leave the betta in the 10.
Neons are also temp-incompatible with bettas.
 

Roxane1232

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I wouldn't suggest keeping betta with other fish, females can be just as aggressive as males.
Especially not with a DG, and the fact that it is a 10g is even worse. I would get a 20g, move the rest of the fish besides the betta to it, and leave the betta in the 10.
Neons are also temp-incompatible with bettas.
Thanks. I'll go ahead and get her a 20 gallon then, she would probably love a bigger tank anyways.
 

SilverFlame819

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Huh. Again, I'm the exception to the rule here. *lol* I've always kept female bettas in community tanks, with zero issues. I think these fish just like to rewrite the rules to fit their own whims, because with so much conflicting information, it just seems like every one of them is different, and you just don't know until you toss it in a tank with other critters. The blue butterfly male that I currently have was chasing my Corys and nipping their fins, so they got moved to a new tank. Now he's taken to tormenting the snail, who could really not care less that he even exists. But he spends his days being a jerk to the snail, flaring at her and dancing around like an idiot, while the oblivious Nerite just does her job eating algae. He is the first Betta I've ever had that has bothered other fish in his tank (or snails). I should have known he was going to be a jerk. The only reason I bought him was because as I was looking at fish, he was dancing and flaring at ME and I was like, "Oh, look how cute, someone needs attention. I guess if he wants to go home with me that badly, I'll take him." He's a jerk. He did warn me! My other boy, the one in my avatar? Zero issues. Sweet fish. Likes all his tank buddies. I should have just stuck with him and called it good. *lol*

I currently have a Betta sorority going. 4 crowntails, 3 veiltails, and 1 koi. They don't even appear to realize the snails are living creatures. They're as interested in the snails as they are the substrate. They are also in with Panda Corys, and haven't bothered them a bit either. Once in a blue moon I'll see one chase one of the other girls, but it lasts about a second, and they go back to what they were doing.

And of course, now I'm dreaming about breeding Bettas again, and doing a Betta barrack setup, and getting some big tanks for my living room so I can house this growing collection of female Bettas... I may have a problem. Haha!
 
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SilverFlame819

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Hey, I just happened to be watching one of Cory's videos on YT (Aquarium Co-Op), and all of the Bettas in his fish store live in community tanks. Interesting! He mentions it at about the 6-minute mark. (I'm about half-way through the video, and holy crap, there's like a Betta in every tank. He also mentions possible issues with Guppies, but doesn't say why -- probably the same issue I had, which was occasional accidental fin nips?)
 
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SilverFlame819

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*lol* Sterbai are the Corys my jerk Betta had an issue with. He's been banished from friend-land. He has an Oto that puts up with his crap, and a snail. That's all Mr. Roid Rage gets. Pandas are in my Betta sorority tank (just got the prettiest red koi female!), and the Sterbais now live with the nice Betta, the one in my avatar. Who is perfectly happy to share his tank with whatever I drop in there. :)
 
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