Betta in my 20 gallon? And other questions.

  • #1
I have a bunch of questions that I keep meaning to ask and keep forgetting to. So, here goes!

I got a male betta back in June that lives in his own 5 gallon tank. He's doing great, except that he bites his tail a lot. For a while, I thought he might be stressed because of the temperature (I only had a minI heater for a while, and the tank wasn't warm enough, only around 72-74 degrees ) Now, though, I have a heater that brought the temperature up to 76 and that I will soon set up to 78 (I wanted to give him some time to adjust). But he's still biting his tail! Does anyone have advice on how to deal with that? Just keep the water clean? His tail was so beautiful and was growing back, but now it's a stub.

My second question is about how much to feed him. I had been doing 3 pellets 6 days a week, and I recently upped it to 4 pellets. Is this enough?

Of course, now that I have one betta I desperately want more ;D. In my 20 gallon I currently have 2 zebra danios, 7 black neon tetras, and one bumblebee catfish (SA variety, not massive Asian kind). My plan was to rehome the zebra danios, since I don't have any interest in increasing their school (their friends died), and they harass the tetras. I've been reading on the forum and it seems that a betta could work in my situation. I originally was going to get a female, but from what I've read of people's experiences, aggression doesn't vary from male to female so gender wouldn't be significant.
Then the problem is that I have plastic plants in my 20 gallon and I can't swap them all out. Would plastic plants matter with a female betta--that is, is tail length the concern with plastic plants or is it that bettas in general have very delicate fins? PetSmart sells "dragon bettas" that are all plakats and I saw some GORGEOUS ones there a few weeks ago, with metallic blue and red. So now I kinda want one of those.

Anyway, as you can see, I really need help figuring out what to do about all this. Especially because PetSmart has bettas on sale this week! And I need to find a home for the zebra danios first.
Thanks for any advice and for reading through this somewhat confusing list of questions!
  • #2
I'll answer what I can here:

Talibiting is a sign of stress, thogh can turn into a habit from previous stress, keeping him happy, good water quality etc. is the best way to go

Food: I give heta (my betta) 3 pellets a day. imagine your betta's eye is its stomach.. howm cuh would you feed?

Plants: A godd wayto check is to see if the plant could rip fins is to see if a pantyhose gets ripped.

Gender in community tank: I think females have a bettter chance ( not necessary that it will work however) many of us have a male betta vs. a female in their community tanks.

Zebras: give it to some responsible friend? or return them to the store you got them from.

Note: you should ALWAYS have a tank in case your betta doesn't work well with the community! Also i've known neons to sometimes nip?

wait for others input too.

Good luck!
  • #3
The reason why bettas bite their own tail is really unknown to all. No one really knows why. It could be stress, it could be aggression, boredom of tank, etc. There are many possible reasons to why. Take the betta out of the tank, re arrage or add decor, and add him back in. See if that helps. Or lower the light level to reduce reflection on the glass and possibly stop the aggressive flaring. Try either and see if that helps.

As far as the feeding, I would say do around 2 - 3 pellets a day and fast at least one day a week. I as well have a question for you. . . what do you feed your betta? Are you varying his diet? If not, I recommend to, it's essential to keeping a betta for the longest (Try more of the frozen foods that they usually eat in the wild, except not frozen). If you are just feeding pellets, soak them in aquarium water or garlic juice (betta's especially love that) prior to feeding them. That away it won't take much to eat the pellets like normally (Wear and Tear from the old, rough pellets is not good on the betta and will give negative results.

Z - Betta enthusiast & Keeper
  • #4
Good morning,

Here is some information on Tail Biting that you might find helpful:

Best wishes for your fish!

  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Thanks for the help!
Ziggy, I've been feeding him Aqueon betta pellets, and have been fasting him one day a week. I haven't tried feeding him anything else yet, but I have some freeze-dried bloodworms that I can soak and feed him.

I'll try changing the decorations in the tank around and increasing the water changes; maybe that will help. His tail is growing back a little now...

bettakeeper: I'll definitely try the pantyhose test on my plastic plants in the 20 gallon! I'm still wondering, though, would plastic plants matter with a short-finned betta (female or plakat)? Or are all betta fins very delicate?

I have a small (about 1.5 gallons) tank that I can move the betta into temporarily if there are problems between it and the tetras, as well as a minI heater and filter that can go in that tank.
  • #6
Plastic plants don't really matter with a female betta, but more of a male betta (Because of the extra finnage on the male). That's why I usually just use silk or real plants with my males
  • #7
all betta fins are delicate however, plakats female etc. tend not to rip and get stuck because of finnage length. I use silk and live plants ( or at least I did and soon will again).

The back-plan is good, just make sure to cycle it, or put media from a already cycled tank

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