Betta vs. the Stocking Calculator

TracyLeeAnne

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I suddenly have my first betta. He's lovely, so I've been doing a lot of research and am pretty confident we'll be good friends.

But the AqCalculator gave me a warning note I don't understand: Betta's "can become stressful under presence of too many shoaling species. Try to keep under 1 shoal if the tank is small." I might be thinking about this too hard. A single specie 'schools,' and multiple species 'shoal,' so how can you have less than 1 shoaling species?

His new home will be the Mr Aqua 12 gallon long tank, and I want to include about 15 Ember Tetras. Any thoughts on whether or not they're going to drive Poseidon (presently King of the Pitcher) nuts?
 

AshWolFF

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The aqua calculator is inaccurate in some ways.

Betta fish can get stressed with a lot of active fish around them. Every Betta fish is different and some won't tolerate the presence of other fish while some will. I have a Betta that lives happily with Neon Tetras, Endlers, and Guppies.

Tetras are very nippy and may bother the Betta because of their activity level.
 

Lucy

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TracyH67 said:
His new home will be the Mr Aqua 12 gallon long tank, and I want to include about 15 Ember Tetras. Any thoughts on whether or not they're going to drive Poseidon (presently King of the Pitcher) nuts?
HI Tracy, sorry, the answer to this is maybe. Maybe not.

No one can predict how an individual betta will react with tanks mates.
There is no magic equation.

Either:
A) It'll work
B) It'll work for an undetermined about of time (maybe a day, a week, a month or a year) before someone (either the betta or the other fish) ends up.hurt or dead.
C) Poseidon will get over stressed from the other fish which can lead to illness and even death.
D) The other fish will get over stressed because of ,Poseidon which, again, can lead to illness and even death.

Personally, I am not willing to risk B, C, or D to try to achieve A.

Whichever you decide have an extra tank ready in case someone needs to be moved and keep a very close eye on them.

Good luck!
 

junebug

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I had a betta that was fine in a community tank until he was attacked. Now he chases and flares at anything that moves in his tank. Including bubbles from the filter and even the vampire shrimp.

It really just depends on the betta you have and what his temperment is like. But I definitely wouldn't suggest putting a betta with a tetra known for nipping fins... that's what got me into trouble with Atticus. Now he's unfriendly and I'm going to have to separate him from the platies he seems to think are my old rosy barbs.
 
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TracyLeeAnne

TracyLeeAnne

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Thank you for all three answers. My guru at my LFS thinks it will be fine. The Embers aren't really known as nippers and they're so tiny and fast compared to the slow lumbering Betta (half-moon); however, 12 to 15 seems like pushing it to me and may be sensory-overload.

I'm going to try it just with fewer Embers (I have another community for them if it doesn't work out), and I'll create a space he can call his own at one end, opposite the filter and be a good view of the room.

Do you think there's any merit to the concern about Bettas eating sand? You can always find a crazy neurotic fish, but not too many folks are reporting this problem. I prefer sand for the plants: which way would you go?
 
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TracyLeeAnne

TracyLeeAnne

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Just checking back in to report developments: So I used gravel, alls good there; unfortunately, the Ember Tetras did not work out. They were with the Betta for a week and everyone seemed happy, until yesterday. They came up with a fun new game, 'follow-the-leader.' As small as they are the leader's idea was harmless enough... take a tiny bite out of Poseidon's dorsal fin... but 4 hours later it was in tatters.

They went back to the store. Now Poseidon is friends with 3 mystery snails and 4 glass shrimp. If he eats the shrimp I'll assure him they were meant to be his treat... you know, I'm sure he already feels bad enough.
 

Lucy

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Sorry it didn't work out Tracy.
Good for you for watching them closely and taking action when necessary.

Hope your betta heals quickly.
Extra clean water, Garlic Guard and vitachem should help!

Good luck!
 

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If I was to ever try to put a betta in a community ever again, I would stick to slow, non-aggressive, non-territorial fish, no larger than a betta, and that look nothing like another betta. This eliminates a lot of fish. And even then you are likely to run into trouble. Mollies and platys are among those who cause FEWER problems. But I will probably not test this ever again with a male betta, possibly a female though.
 

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Bettas really do best kept alone. When I had mine, I loved watching them cruise through their tanks, with their gorgeous finnage flowing behind them. They are a beautiful species and deserving of their own space. Why add stress where you don't need to? That's my theory.
 

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