View Full Version : Can I add a betta to my community tank?

07-05-2006, 11:32 AM
When I went to Village I saw that they had bettas in tanks with tetras, danios, etc. But I have never seen that anywhere else. Some people say it's okay, and others say not to. What is your opinion? My DH wants to "rescue" ┬*a betta or two, because he thinks it pretty sad how solitary they are.

Just to let you know I have 3 clown loaches, 2 bandtail tetras, 3 neon tetras, 4 glowlight tetras, 2 zebra danios, 2 leopard ┬*danios, 2 cherry barbs, 2 O cats and an algea eater. The bandtail tetras are larger than any of the others, but the rest are pretty small.

07-05-2006, 01:38 PM
As with many other issues involving fish, there is no clear-cut answer. Although I don't have any bettas in my tank, I do have the opportunity to play with tanks that I don't own on a weekly basis. Since they aren't my tanks, I feel a little bit more free to "experiment". From what I have seen, MOST bettas get along fine with livebearers and tetras. I have not noticed aggression on the part of the betta or vice versa. I imagine a single betta would be fine in a community tank. Things to avoid would be any of the larger barbs (especially tiger barbs) as they tend to be fin-nippers. If you do decide to put a betta in your community tank, watch it carefully the first few days. ┬*Best of luck to you.

07-05-2006, 05:15 PM
another thing about having a betta in a com. tank is the water current, with its long fins harsh currents could stress them out.

07-05-2006, 11:47 PM
I think we had this discussion in another forum last month so you may want do a search.

Typical male pet store bettas are old (big) and not verry active or aggressive. ┬* They can be kept with other peacful fish. ┬* Watch for the tank bully nipping the bettas long fins. ┬* If the betta should have an aggressive personality and nip some of the other fish, ┬*the accepted solution is to buy a glass chimney from a kerosene lamp. ┬* Check the Hobby stores and the $1.00 stores for one that is as tall as your aquarium. ┬* Just slip it around the betta and embed the bottom in the gravel. ┬*You my want to ┬*brace the top if the gravel is not verry deep.

The chimney will be almost invisable in the aquarium and the betta will look like he is swimming with the other fish.

I prefer to keep my show bettas in 1g jars but I do enjoy having half a dozen females of various colors ┬*in my comunity tank.

07-06-2006, 01:46 PM
I did a search and we had a discussion about guppies, and what to get as far as the male/female ratio. I haven't gotten any yet. I want some pretty fish in the tank, but I am not looking to breed them, and since most of my fish are peaceful I don't want to add anything too aggressive. I just want some pretty colors. ┬*:)

The current in the tank is not strong enough to cause fin damage.

I like the idea about, if the betta is aggressive, to put in a glass chimney. But then you say that you have several females in your community tank. Maybe that would be the way for me to go.

The bettas I saw at Village were pretty active in the community tanks, but when I see them in the little jars they seem very still. It looks kind of sad. Would they perk up in my tank?

I'm waffling between guppies and bettas. Decisions, decisions! ┬*:?

07-06-2006, 02:00 PM
One thing to consider is that female bettas are not as "pretty" in traditional sense. ┬*Some people like them still. There is less of a demand for females than males... so it is a little harder to find quality female bettas.

Bettas definitely perk up a bit when they have room to go somewhere (unless they're sick!).

Ultimately it is a decision based upon personal preference, so I'll leave you to waffle over whether to get bettas or guppies.

07-06-2006, 02:10 PM
Maybe the real question is which ones eats the same food as the others I have? The loaches have sinking food but the others have flake food. For a treat they get a bit of plankton - which everyone seems to enjoy.

07-06-2006, 03:21 PM
Bettas have their mouths on the top of their head. ┬* They usually eat from the surface. ┬* ie high proteen things that fall in the water and float.. ┬* They will eat little bugs, worms, snails, daphina and they love mosqueto larva. ┬*They like stumps and bushy plants and other hidy places but they come out for air about every 60 seconds. ┬*You will also find that with a tank of females they will establlish a pecking order like most other fish and you may have to remove the "Top dog" if she is too aggressive.

PS - I usually set up a comunity with some top feeders, bottom feeders and middle feeders. ┬* ┬*Whatever you select. ┬* You should feed them a varied diet. ┬* Some high proteen, some vegetable and some special treats.

07-06-2006, 03:43 PM
I once had a friend who was into bettas. ┬*He said that you should not be worried about bettas in a cup. ┬*He said in the wild they only occupy and defend a very small territory near the surface of pools that already has a lot of vegitation there. This territory was only like 6" cubed

It would take more looking into to confirm the statement, but that is what I remembered him telling me years ago.

07-07-2006, 04:09 PM
If you keep your bettas in a small container, ┬*rotting food and fish waists will contaminate the water just like a big aquarium. ┬* Because Bettas breath air they can survive in pitiful conditions. ┬*However, the chlorine, amonia, and other chemicals can injure them and once fin rot gets started it is really hard to reverse it.

The rule of thumb for changing a bettas water is one galon per week.
If you have a one galon jar, change it once a week
if you have a half galon jar, change it twice a week
if you have a quart jar, change it every other day.
if you have one of those tiny betta cups....... ┬*every day.

My show bettas baracks had 100 containers, with water supply from drip emitters and an overflow system which drained to a sump / bio-filter. ┬* It provided a water change every hour.

07-07-2006, 04:19 PM
I've got one of my four bettas in a 10 gallon with my endlers. ┬*They get along fine. ┬*This is a blue and red crowntail who is a few years old so the fish's age may be a factor. ┬*I've never had any problems putting bettas in with livebearers or neons. ┬*I did have a zebra danio harrass one of my bettas relentlessly though, which I thought was odd.

A good way to tell if your male betta is aggressive is to take a Sharpie or a pen with a black tip and hold it next to the tank. ┬*Some bettas will flare, some won't, even if they would flare at another male betta. ┬*When my old betta finally dies I'll probably move the one of the other three that doesn't flare at my pen into the endlers' tank.

A betta can survive in a cup but it's not an ideal environment for them. ┬*A betta in a cup will usually perk up once you get him home. ┬*Best environment is at least one gallon of water, preferably with a filter but if you use a bowl be prepared to do a lot of water changes. ┬*A bigger tank is ok (such as a 10 galon) and the betta will usually stake out his own little corner of it.

In the wild bettas are usually found in ponds and rice paddies. ┬*Sure they can be found in a puddle after a storm but again this is not their ideal environment. ┬*Most rice farmers in Thailand traditionaly have a pond on their property where the kids will play with bettas from an early age. ┬*Such a pond would traditionally be used by locals improving their stock of fighters before modern breeding techniques were applied in the area.

I think you can have the best of both worlds. ┬*put a pretty male betta in with some fancy tail guppies and maybe a bottom feeder and you've got a nice tank. ┬*Don't forget the live plants. ┬*:)

07-07-2006, 05:03 PM
I was only refering about the space limit. ┬*If you keep a betta in a cup the water needs dialy changing.

07-07-2006, 06:07 PM
I just put a betta in my tank, so far he is staying to himself. The Cardinals are leaving him alone and the discus swam around him a minute ago with no problems.

07-07-2006, 10:33 PM
I have kept ┬*bettas in community tanks with apistos rams Angels and corys. As long as there are no fin nippers, bettas always appear extremely happy in a community tank. They love to swim ( as you have undoubtedly witnessed at Village) and exploring every nook and cranny. A very inquisitive fish.

I do not understand why people keep them "locked" up in small bowls. It really is a disservice to them.

01-21-2007, 12:03 AM
I would say to go for it! ┬*It's always a unique experience watching a normally solitary fish(such as a betta) in a community setting. ┬*I've done it before, and there's a few things to watch for
- Water Flow: Bettas live in Rice Paddies in the "wild", and rice patties tend to have very gentle water flow. ┬*Try stretching out [clean] pantyhose over the area where the water flows back into the tank, this should blunt the water flow a bit. ┬*Heavy planting near the filter can help with this as well. ┬*Or you could try a sponge filter.
- Fin Nippers: Bettas have very tender fins, are fin nippers can quickly rip these to shreds. ┬*Make sure all of your fish are peaceful, and watch how they act towards the betta for the first week or so. ┬*
- Diet: Quicker moving fish can often eat the betta's food before the betta can get to it. ┬*A varied diet might help in this, since different fish favor different foods.

Those are just some key points to remember. ┬*Also, a powerful filter can easily suck a betta's long, flowing fins right up. ┬*None of these tips were intended to discourage anyone from placing a betta in a community setting.

Have fun with it,

01-21-2007, 12:33 AM
it seems most of the points have been made, so i concur i think you can get the best of both worlds do guppies and a betta. just keep and eye on them for a bit and good luck. i like crown tails myself but hey I dont usually have bettas

01-23-2007, 10:59 AM
Well guys, this is way too late for me! I put my betta, Buster in the big tank and all was well for a few days. After he got used to the setup he got aggressive. I did get some guppies also, but Buster started nipping their fins, so out they went into a small tank. Then he decided that he liked the clowns cave, which is a root decoration that they can hide inside and under. So he started chasing them, and they just hid in the root and NEVER would come out. So I thought that maybe if I got a female betta that might calm him down. HA! He flirted with her and when she ignored him he went crazy and started chasing her at breakneck speed. So out came Buster and was put into a vase. The next day she died - I think she was sick and I didn't have a quarantine tank. The reason I say that is over the next few days I had more fish acting odd and eventually dying.

So now Buster is in his own little tank, on a bookshelf and he is a happy camper. For company sometimes I put a mirror over there and he watches that "other" Betta.

01-23-2007, 11:54 AM
That Buster, he's really a bad boy. ┬*Maybe you could send him to a program of some sort or take him to some anger management sessions ┬*:lol:

01-23-2007, 12:22 PM
That Buster, he's really a bad boy. Maybe you could send him to a program of some sort or take him to some anger management sessions :lol:


He is in an isolation tank!

02-21-2007, 02:55 PM
You know after all my ya ya about how I dont understand why they are kept in small bowl, I picked up a crown tail at Scotts swap and introduced him to my 26G Apisto Nijessini tank. Lo and behold he starts taking on the male, but Nijessini's are no slouches and he backed him off. But now "Buster" likes to chase the females and will agressively chase them to all parts of the tank. Luckily its well planted with bogwood and caves that they can find safety.

I dont want to put him into an isolation ward, but maybe a mellow pill is out there?

02-21-2007, 03:32 PM
Nothing to calm these things down, it's their nature. Go get him a 2.5-5g tank

02-21-2007, 04:03 PM
It's either this particular guy, or the fact that he's with apistos. If you have some more "peaceful" fish, maybe try to move him in with them? That is if you don't want to buy a small tank. But if it doesn't work, I'm afraid that's what you'll have to do. ┬*:)

02-21-2007, 04:03 PM
I'm not where I can isolate him...I have another in a 29 Gal with a couple angels and tetras and they are fine tankmates. Actually, the angels and betta "spar" with each other and enjoy the fun. And then I have another in a 29 Gal with Apisto Macs and he mingles with them peacefully. Its just they have so much personality I hate to see them just "sit" there.

I would like to keep them together, but animals fighting with each other to the death is not my idea of fun.

I may move him to a 45 or 55 with angesl and see how he gets along. The 55 has a pair of Ghosts and No one messes with them...at least not in my setups ┬* :)

02-21-2007, 04:42 PM
are your apisto's breeding? you got fry yet?

I would probably be intrested in some

02-22-2007, 12:33 PM
So I thought that maybe if I got a female betta that might calm him down. HA! He flirted with her and when she ignored him he went crazy and started chasing her at breakneck speed. So out came Buster and was put into a vase. The next day she died - I think she was sick and I didn't have a quarantine tank. The reason I say that is over the next few days I had more fish acting odd and eventually dying.

So now Buster is in his own little tank, on a bookshelf and he is a happy camper. For company sometimes I put a mirror over there and he watches that "other" Betta.

I recommend keeping any new fish in isolation for a few weeks as it is cheaper to treat a small isolation tank that a large community tank.
I keep all my new betta imports in one gallon pickle jars.

Yes, male fighting fish should not be kept with females as they get aggressive and the female can't run away. ┬*The only time I put them together is when the male has built a bubble nest in the spawn tank and the female shows vertical stripes, exposed egg tube and a head down subservant pose.

02-22-2007, 03:12 PM
I wouldnt put my bettas in my comunity tank at all. They are way to mean, they seem happy being placed next to each other in thier own 1g tanks.

02-22-2007, 05:28 PM
Female bettas are generally raised in spawn tank and seldom moved to individual containers (unless the owner plans to show them). ┬* They generally make good comunity tank members. ┬*

Males are more likely to be agressive, if not the bully of the tank will nip his fins. ┬* Eather way giving them their own container is the best solution.