Bettas in community tanks?

Gargoyle
  • #1
Okay now I'm not looking to start a fight here but I have to ask some questions...

1) Bettas don't like other fish / bad for community / only get along with bottom dwellers
2) Bettas don't like current / water flow

These are the 2 I disagree with the most. Almost 100% disagree. And the only reason I do is because our betta is in a community tank and has been in one ever since we got him over 9 months ago.

He is with Guppies.. Yes male ones, Swords, Lyre tails, and a few other fish. The tank previous and current have had good water movement. I also always make it a point to create a dead spot or two for resting.

Now unless my Betta is some crazy freak of nature which I am beginning to think from reading some posts here about them some of these posts are simply not true.

My Betta goes for the current on purpose!! And swims all over the place. He will then rest for a few seconds and do it again. He has NEVER attacked any of my fish. He has flared a few times and still does but has never attacked. He is also with Danios... Notorious fin nippers.. They must be crazy to because they don't bother him at all.

So unless I have some sort of holy grail of fish tank here where everyone gets along (which I doubt) I have to ask... On what information are these posts being made??

Thanks for helping me clear this up as I am very confused about this. If you would like I can put up video of him and the other fish getting along well and also him swimming in the current of the output of a Magnum 350.
 
Allie
  • #2
There are the odd betta who do well in a community setting. I have a male here I have been considering trying him in a 30 gallon community. Also there are betta who love current too. Your betta IS one of the rare ones which makes him quite special. Most of my betta are too excitable to put in with other fish. It all depends on the individual betta in my opinion.
I had my Nigel RIP in with dalmatian mollys, swordtails, zebra danio and white cloud minnows, plus a common pleco...mind you it was a 20 gallon and over stocked. The betta did well for months. But I got a pair of kribs & knew he wouldn't do well with them, so put him in his own 5g.
I think that some betta need less filtration due to fin rot issues, like my Jasper.
Over stocking, or being in a tank with more than just a couple of fish, may be a factor in lessening aggression in all types of tanks, not just African cichlids. As long as you can put extra filtration, keep up with cleaning, do extra water changes, and have time to observe how the tank is getting along. I think the combination could work.
Betta do thrive alone, being the center of attention too. Like I said with community tank and filtration flow... it depends on the betta.
 
sirdarksol
  • #3
I think that part of the problem with the current is whether or not there's a place to rest. To be sure, there are going to be currents in the rice paddies where they live naturally. These things can drain from streams/rivers just like other bodies of water.
In a large community tank, there's likely to be dozens of places where a betta could rest that wouldn't have a current. Sun Ce is in a tank with a HOB that has a pretty strong output, but there's a ton of water wysteria acting as a baffle, so he gets to choose when he goes into the current and when he's tired.
As far as the betta living in the community, that's a hit-or-miss. It looks like you've got a particularly peaceful betta, as you've got him in with guppies, which generally have long fins. Bettas tend to respond to long fins as possible threats. It's something that can be tried, but anyone who tries it should have a backup ready in case the betta needs to be pulled from the tank.
 
lovemyfroggies
  • #4
I have a male betta that has always been in a community tank with male guppys, mollies, platys, tetras, apple snail, ghost shrimp. There is current in the fish tank and he likes to play in it. When I bought him he was in a tiny cup. Now he plays all day and is very happy. I have never seen him flare up. I am lucky to have him. I really think every betta is different.
 
aprilrain85
  • #5
My first betta (Bob) was in a community tank with mollies, plattys, and feeder guppies (shorter tails and no colour). There was also a HOB filter with tons of current, but dead spots as well. Bob was happy. He did not fight with the other fish, and they did not fight with him. In fact, they mostly ignored each other. The only problem was that Bob would chase other fish away from his corner at feeding time. Bob also liked playing in the current. However, Bob only lived about a month due to a constipation issue that at the time I did not know to watch for. An arguement could be made that a factor in his death was stress due to being in a community tank - but at this point, it is only a guess. I would consider putting another Betta in this tank; however, I would make sure to have a backup plan if they did not get along. I have so much more fun having Geppetto in his own tank, that I would prefer to have bettas alone rather than with others. It is a lot easier to spoil them with attention when they are all by themselves.
I think it all depends on the betta and the fish in the community tank that they would be with.
 
luna
  • #6
From what I've seen/read:
1. That depends on the personality of the fish, but they have instinctual behaviors that create risk factors.
2. It isn't that they don't LIKE current (and I have yet to see anyone state that as fact), it's that they aren't always strong enough to handle current if they've been in a Cup of Death for a prolonged period of time (lack of use can make muscles atrophy, assuming they had a chance to build them in the first place)...and that they need to be able to rest and surface for air, especially the boys, because those big fins wear the poor things out. From what I've seen people say, and what I've seen myself with my little girl, more often than not they enjoy playing in the current.
 
sirdarksol
  • #7
In addition to atrophy, a betta's body just isn't made strong enough to take river currents, especially the long-finned variants, whose fins create extra drag that makes fighting the current even more difficult.
 
Gargoyle
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Thanks a lot for the responses!

This does help me understand things better and some of the posts being made. I have to be honest when I first brought him home I watched him like a hawk for the first 48 hours. After that we took shifts for the remainder of the first week of him being in with other fish.

Since then he has been great, healthy, and very active! Fast swimmer too! I have since moved him to the new community tank I have recently set up and he has become even less aggressive and more active. I have not seen him flare once in over a week and he doesn't even give the other fish a second look. I even watched a male guppy with the biggest tail fin out of the bunch swim right in front of him as he was going from one side of the tank to the other. Our Betta stopped.. Then went around the male guppy.

Anyway I am glad you have all helped me understand this better. I just have a special one which is fine by me!!
 
capekate
  • #9
HI Gargoyle
One of the points mentioned about Betta's in community tanks that was not addressed here is that its not so much we worry about the Betta attacking or being aggressive with other fish, its the other way around. There are fin nippers that would just love to go after a bettas flowing long fins, and a betta will rarely retaliate, but try to move away. I'm glad that yours is working out for you. I also had a male betta in a community tank. He was fine with the fish, other than the gouramis and we are all pretty much in agreement that these two species should never be mixed. It was bad and they both did fight with each other. I have videos of it before I separated them and gave my male betta his own tank. I have had a female in a community tank and she was fine as well (no gouramis). But I ended up giving her, her own tank as well. ;D

~ kate
 
Gargoyle
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
HI capekate..

I have never housed a Beta with another or a Betta with a Gourami. Way to much risk there for me to even think about it much less try it. That would be like housing a guppy with an Oscar and calling an Oscar a community fish in my book..

I am just trying to clear the air about these wonderful fish. Topics like these are what makes this site so great and helps people learn. I just read post after post with my 2 points above being represented in such a way that I had to at least start the topic to get some feedback on what I was thinking.

I do have 2 fish that do not get along well.. Actually one that likes to bully another. The larger tank did help but he still bullies.. Believe it or not it's a pineapple swordtail that is my most aggressive fish.
 
Gargoyle
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Well.....

When I am wrong I have to admit it... It seems that my Female Swords thought the Betta's fins were some sort of food. After I spotted the second attack and saw them pursuing the Betta he has been moved back to the safety of his 10 gallon tank.

Like I stated before the Betta was not the aggressor here. Although he did try to intimidate his way out of trouble the Female Swords did not care. Sadly the peaceful community of my tank was disrupted by this. I was pretty close to flushing the Swords I was so mad at them. But the Betta is safe and alone now.

My daughter felt bad for him so she read him a few books to make him feel better while he was settling back into his original home. Makes me very happy that I did not take the tank down. I was still cautious over all the fish getting along well and it looks like it paid off to keep that tank running and in good order.

I think that without the Swords there would have been no issue but at this point I think he is better off where he is now.
 
chickadee
  • #12
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Rose
 
Allie
  • #13
Well.....

When I am wrong I have to admit it... It seems that my Female Swords thought the Betta's fins were some sort of food. After I spotted the second attack and saw them pursuing the Betta he has been moved back to the safety of his 10 gallon tank.

Like I stated before the Betta was not the aggressor here. Although he did try to intimidate his way out of trouble the Female Swords did not care. Sadly the peaceful community of my tank was disrupted by this. I was pretty close to flushing the Swords I was so mad at them. But the Betta is safe and alone now.

My daughter felt bad for him so she read him a few books to make him feel better while he was settling back into his original home. Makes me very happy that I did not take the tank down. I was still cautious over all the fish getting along well and it looks like it paid off to keep that tank running and in good order.

I think that without the Swords there would have been no issue but at this point I think he is better off where he is now.
There is always something that will disrupt harmony in any tank. Betta will usually do betta alone. I guess better to be safe than sorry.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #14
It's true that Bettas love currents. Ours will swim straight into the current for exercise and sometimes let the current take them on a ride until they decide to swim out of it or get to the 'quiet' corner.

It seems that most often, the Bettas are picked on in a community tank. They're just slow swimmers and have fins way bigger than wild bettas, which just makes them even slower. They really are pretty much peaceful fish that would rather avoid a fight.

I hope your Betta's fins will quickly heal. For fin damage, I like to use Fish Protector 2x a day, Vita-Chem 1x a day and if I think they might get fin rot - Rid-Fungus 1x a day. Plus 25-40% water changes every other day and a diet of just thawed frozen bloodworms. (HikarI brand is all we buy on those.)
 
Chief_waterchanger
  • #15
I agree with the posts about bettas doing well in community tanks as long as finnippers don't get em.

One of our bettas is in a 55 gallon tank with 2 breeding pairs of bristlenose pleco (L107), a ton of cherry shrimp, kuhlI loaches, and 2 platies of an uncommon strain. This tank has run smoothly for months and continues to. (The betta flares at the snails, which is humerous, but other than that nothing else is flared at.)

I will venture to say that most everyone on the site care for their fish (bettas included), but that some people maybe go a bit further than the rest of us and enter that range of 'over-protective parent mode'. Better to stay on the side of caution, though, so whatever works for you.
 
Gargoyle
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
I don't get to protective.. I figure naturehas always been a touch harsh so when 2 fish go at it I let them be. But when one fish is being stalked and basically ripped apart then I choose to step in. I was surprised to see what I saw from the fish that was doing it but I guess they all have their thing.

Betta is doing well now in the 10 gallon. I changed about 80% of the water and cleaned it up good before putting Betta in. He looks good and is eating and swimming around so I think we are good. Keeping an eye on the fins for infection though.
 
sirdarksol
  • #17
I'm like that with my cats. They fight all the time. They've drawn blood, and I have had to take one to the vet for an infected paw. I let this happen as long as the fighting doesn't reach a particular pitch. Once the yowling goes beyond "I'm going to get you" and reaches the "DIE DIE DIE" stage, I step in, grab at least one cat by the scruff, and separate them.

If you break the fights up too quickly, they don't get their little pecking order figured out, and the fights will continue. A particularly bad fight might happen while you're not around, and rather than dealing with a bloody nose (a scary thing with a cat, by the way. They sneeze if they have any fluid in their noses. I was cleaning blood off of the walls, ceiling, and couch for a week after that), you're dealing with serious muscle harm or, in the case of fish, missing fins/eyes/scales.
 
Gargoyle
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
I have a Jack Russel Terrier... I used to have a cat...

Um... Do I need to say anymore??
 
Allie
  • #19
I'm like that with my cats. They fight all the time.
I feel like between my 4 cats, my angelfish pair not getting along and our african cichlids beating the poop out of each other. Well I am a ref for them all. Forever breaking up scuffles.
 
Jake the Fish
  • #20
I've been reading around on the internet and they say you can keep bettas with some community fish. I'm not sure which ones but could you keep them with tetras like Black skirts, Black neons and glowlight tetras? I wouldn't mind having one but I don't think I could keep one in a 2.5g again. I know you can keep some female bettas together but they are aggressive for a while until they decide whos boss.
 
Nick G
  • #21
Keeping a male Betta in a community tank is hit and miss, some people say it's fine, others advise against it. A lot depends on the other fish in the tank. Say if you were going to have a 15gal, with a male Betta, a few Corys and a couple of Platies, that might work out ok, depending on the Bettas temprement. On the other hand, the same tank with a Betta, neons and Kribs, would probably end up with the Bettas fins getting shredded. Overall, I'd recommend against it, espeicially if you're planning to keep it with tetras, who can be quite nippy. If you do decide on getting a betta for a community tank then I'd advise you have another tank set up as a back up plan.
 
catsma_97504
  • #22
Bettas in a community tank depends on the temprament of the betta. I've had bettas that were perfectly fine in a community tank with neons and black skirts, but it must be well decorated with plants and hiding places. And, I've had bettas that were removed from a community tank after a short time due to aggression.

If you plan on adding a betta to a community tank, you'll definitely need a backup plan to move quickly. Otherwise, you may have fin damage or unexpected fish losses.
 
Aquarist
  • #23
Good morning,

Personally I don't recommend Bettas for a community tank. I've seen more horror stories than I've seen favorable ones. I wouldn't risk it.

Ken
 
blkdeath75
  • #24
I personally had a Male Betta in my community when I first started it which I think was a bad idea because I was new to the hobby and don't think it was cycled completely, but he went from a goldfish bowl(about 1 gal) to a 38g.....he died within days of adding him and the other fish were fine....may have been the shock of 3 years almost in a goldfish bowl to a filtered heated environment.

I'm currently trying again in a 10 gallon setup with 12 neons and so far things are going good, but I couldn't give you a definite answer as it is a fairly new setup.
 
FriendsNotFood
  • #25
Neon tetras with a betta should be fine. Certain tetras are nippers and will attack him. You will need a school of tetras though, because even neons can turn nippy if they don't have a school. Do not keep a betta with barbs.
 
Shawnie
  • #26
there are many members who have had/have bettas in community tanks..males and females alike....some work, most do not....bettas thrive much more in a single tank where humans are their contact and friends....surviving isn't always thriving ...no matter what decisions we all make with this betta advice, always PLEASE have a back up tank IF it doesn't work...these fish are just so amazing that IMO, you do not get their full effects in community tanks and the one on one interaction, isn't as fun ...sometimes their colors aren't as vibrant and their fins aren't as beautiful....all contributed to community stress IMO......good luck in whatever you decide
 
JRDroid
  • #27
I thought about adding my betta to a 10 gallon community at one point. Instead I went and got it a 2.5 gallon filtered aquarium. They really do have pleanty of room and are quite happy in a 2.5 gallon
 
devoo
  • #28
I have my betta in a community tank he seemed confused and angry for a bit now he just ignores everyone in the tank I have 2 bronze corys 2 blue rams 3 guppies and my betta
 
lea
  • #29
I think it depends on the betta - mine is very happy with his white clouds and snail. He has also been cool with other tetras and even colourful guppies, thought they weren't cool with him (some tetras particularly were fin nippers). I think snails are the best option - and if he leaves a snail alone he may be happy enough with others.

I've also heard people here having success with corys and ottos.

Good luck
 
LyndaB
  • #30
Good morning,

Personally I don't recommend Bettas for a community tank. I've seen more horror stories than I've seen favorable ones. I wouldn't risk it.

Ken

+1
 
bassbonediva
  • #31
Neon tetras with a betta should be fine. Certain tetras are nippers and will attack him. You will need a school of tetras though, because even neons can turn nippy if they don't have a school. Do not keep a betta with barbs.

+1. The fin nipper tetras tend to be the black skirts, penguins, and other larger tetras. Neons are generally fine, but like Lilwystynyra said, keep them in a school so if they do pick on anyone, it'll be each other instead of the betta.

I'd also like to +1 the people who have said that it depends on the betta. I have a few males (my fancier males, like my halfmoon and super delta) who have to have their own tank because they freak out even when they're just in a divided tank with neighbors. I have had other boys who could care less about other fish. Same goes for females.
 
Aquagirl1978
  • #32
I don't think I could ever trust a male betta in a community tank.....it took me a looooong time to trust my female in a community tank but she found her place. my very large golden gourami chased her for a couple of days but now they are fine. She has even done well with her new tank mates which surprised me but once there was a pecking order things just fell into place.
 
lucky strike 21
  • #33
can bettas go into my community tank? currently there's 5 neon tetras 2 white fined tetras and 1 male guppy and female guppy that I can't seem to find I was thinking female Bettas I wanna help some out at a store I went to there water is filthy and they want to get out so I'm gonna help them
 
Cichlidnut
  • #34
You're going to get mixed feeling on this.

In my Opinion, they should not go in to community tanks. I tried it once and my Betta died after a couple months. I feel that they are better off alone. I'm sure there will be people with different opinions though
 
caykuu
  • #35
How large is the tank? I'd say if it is 20 gallons or larger, it will be fine.
Depending on how large and colorful the male guppy's tail is, it may cause problems- your betta might believe that the long fins is that of another betta, and become aggressive.

All in all though, the larger the tank, the better and more peaceful the community will be with a betta.
 
lucky strike 21
  • #36
How large is the tank? I'd say if it is 20 gallons or larger, it will be fine.
Depending on how large and colorful the male guppy's tail is, it may cause problems- your betta might believe that the long fins is that of another betta, and become aggressive.

All in all though, the larger the tank, the better and more peaceful the community will be with a betta.

its 40 gallons but I thought female bettas aren't aggressive
 
lucky strike 21
  • #37
You're going to get mixed feeling on this.

In my Opinion, they should not go in to community tanks. I tried it once and my Betta died after a couple months. I feel that they are better off alone. I'm sure there will be people with different opinions though
that sucks I feel bad for the bettas though oh and I still want that jd lol
 
Cichlidnut
  • #38
Female bettas can indeed be aggressive!

Get the 150 gallon Cycled and and she's yours I'm very protective of my babies!
 
lucky strike 21
  • #39
Female bettas can indeed be aggressive!

Get the 150 gallon Cycled and and she's yours I'm very protective of my babies!
see this is why I don't trust advice from pet stores they said female bettas are never aggressive lol of course I'm gonna put the filter media from the 40 gallon in the 150 so it insta cycles
I would never cycle with a fish in a tank that's just cruel yeah can't wait for the jd
 
divanina
  • #40
I was in a pet store a few weeks ago waiting for my BF to be helped. While I was waiting, I watched the "non-aggressive" female betta kill two other bettas and a tetra. It happened incredibly fast.
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
18
Views
1K
Dave125g
Replies
23
Views
2K
ProudPapa
Replies
15
Views
84
DaniosForever
  • Locked
  • Question
Replies
14
Views
575
Jennie2021
Top Bottom