Beta with Flaring Gills !?



HI everyone,
I have had my tank up and running for a week now.
27l tank, with live plants. Air Filtration, Temp of 26.
My Blue Beta ( Smirf) and my plecho (named Pecko who is smaller then the Betta) have been together for one week.
I thought they were pretty happy together and getting along until yesterday. When I noticed my Beta was flaring his gills, swimming close up to my plecho.
I was worried that my Bettta would attack my plecho..
I have since bought rocks for the Plecho to hide under and I am hoping my betta leaves him alone, I don't want my Plecho to be stressed by the Betta.
What else could I do to prevent them from fighting as I don't want to have to separate them..
I was also considering buying a few (6) neon tetras, but I am afraid now that Smirf could kill them?
As you can see I really need your advise


Bettas really do best by themselves as there is always the risk of aggression between them and other tank mates. The best solution is to keep him by himself. In the tank size you already have, it would be a great size for him OR 4-5 neons max, but nothing more.

All 5 of mine live alone and are very friendly, happy and healthy. They love nothing more than human attention.

Here's a guide to betta fish

EDIT: You say the tank is up and running for a week now, is it cycled? Do you know the readings for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? Here's a link to it This will keep your boy in the best health too.


Hello MaxI and Welcome to Fish Lore.

Here is some information on Bettas that you may find helpful. Personally I feel that Bettas should be in a home of their own, heated and filtered. I'm afraid that your tank isn't large enough to house even the Pleco in addition to your Betta. I don not recommend that you add any more fish.

Betta Fish Care Guide

I wish I had better news for you Enjoy the site.
We love photos!


Too, according to your profile information you are not aware of the nitrogen cycle. Look over this link and if you have questions don't hesitate to ask
The nitrogen cycle is crucial to fish keeping.
  • Thread Starter


Thank you for the comments. I have not done any tests on my tank yet.
What does the Gills raising actually mean? Should I be worried about the Plecho?
I have noticed today the Betta has not raised his gills.
I will be posting some pics shortly.


Hello Maxi,

The betta raising his gills, or Flaring as it's called is a sign of aggression. The fish is upset and ready to fight. They display the gills an full spread of their fins when they feel threatened or majorly stressed. Too, it's kind of like a self defense posture.

Your Pleco could be in danger. My best suggestion is be prepared to separate them. I hate to say it but you may want to consider returning the Pleco. Things may settle down for a while but I doubt it will last for long.


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