Experiment - Betta with Honey Gouramis

GuppyGal7

I've recently upgraded to a 160L/40G that I'd like to stock with a few honey Gouramis. My old 55L /16G is still up and running and has my Betta in it (the big tank has guppies). I was planning on using it as a quarantine tank. When my Betta was younger she was fine with guppies but now she chases them so I separated her. For the reason, I'm apprehensive about how she'd do with honeys. Today I'm buying 8 Kuhli Loaches and a pair of honey Gouramis. I have a tank divider in case there is any bullying, don't worry, but I thought I'd document their behaviour since there's a lot of conflicting information about bettas with honey Gouramis, especially in smaller tanks. My Betta is not very aggressive. She's never attacked anything. She just chases the guppies every now and then because they're fancy. She's even fine with guppy fry and cherry shrimp. Ideally, I'd like all the fish to share the tank, but I'm more than willing to separate if there's any bullying whatsoever. Hopefully I won't have to.
 

BigManAquatics

Normally, bettas and gouramis are not a good mix. Honeys do seem to be pretty peaceful. If you try, i would make sure to have plenty of places to hide/break vision lines and to have a back-up plan. Always have a back-up plan with bettas because you never know when they may wake up and say "oh yeah, i am a betta! Time for me to be an aggressive jerk!"
 
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GuppyGal7

Normally, bettas and gouramis are not a good mix. Honeys do seem to be pretty peaceful. If you try, i would make sure to have plenty of places to hide/break vision lines and to have a back-up plan. Always have a back-up plan with bettas because you never know when they may wake up and say "oh yeah, i am a betta! Time for me to be an aggressive jerk!"
Don't worry. Tank divider on standby and I'll watch them like a hawk. I just want to throw my experiences with keeping them together for anyone else who is curious.
 
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MyFishAddiction

This sounds interesting. Keep us posted!
 
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Bettatakeover

I have a female betta in with 6 honeys. She occasionally flares at them and gives them a charge but has never nipped or even chased them beyond the original quick dart. They have more ‘spats’ (which is them circling each other and flapping their fins) with each other. 95% of the time they all hang out peacefully ignoring each other. I do have cardinals and rummynose as dithers. They’ve all been together for 6 months. And both the betta and gourami hang out all over the tank. Not just the top.
 
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GuppyGal7

I have a female betta in with 6 honeys. She occasionally flares at them and gives them a charge but has never nipped or even chased them beyond the original quick dart. They have more ‘spats’ (which is them circling each other and flapping their fins) with each other. 95% of the time they all hang out peacefully ignoring each other. I do have cardinals and rummynose as dithers. They’ve all been together for 6 months. And both the betta and gourami hang out all over the tank. Not just the top.
That's awesome! What tank size do you have?

The female ended up looking like a male to me, it had very pointed fins, so I just got one "male," but now I'm starting to think this one might be a female. The fins are moderately pointed but it's got a slight stripe. It's quite young too, so I'll wait to see. Any thoughts?

Update: When I acclimated the gourami (Bee) my Betta (peaches) started flaring at him. I'd learnt the guy had come to the pet store yesterday, so I didn't want to stress him even more, so I put the divider up with a 50/50 split because the kuhlis could get through it. Since it's temporary it's just plastic mesh canvas learning against the glass, therefore not kuhli proof. A few hours later, I noticed Bee had bypassed the divider and was with Peaches. I separated them again, but he once again went to be with peaches. She didn't attack of pay much attention to him at all. After a bit of exploring, he returned to his side. I'm leaving it like this because Bee can get through the divider but peaches can't. Thus, if bee is ever being harassed he can get away from her. They seem to be getting along quite well though.
 

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Bettatakeover

Honestly I’m so bad at genders. I go by fin colour and body shape more than fin shape. The females have more orange on their top fins and a rounder body. The males have a bright yellow top fin and get redder in the tail area in breeding dress. I have three babies and I suspect one is male and 1 is female. 50/50 on the last one. But Poppy (my female betta) doesn’t seem to focus on the male any more than the females. This is the best pic I have of my male and 1 of my females. The baby in the background is the biggest and I suspect female. The tank is 38G (36x12x19)
 

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ProudPapa

I have a little fat blue female betta in a 40 gallon breeder tank with 9 pearl gouramis and haven't noticed any interaction between them at all, even when there was only one or two gouramis in the tank.
 
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GuppyGal7

Honestly I’m so bad at genders. I go by fin colour and body shape more than fin shape. The females have more orange on their top fins and a rounder body. The males have a bright yellow top fin and get redder in the tail area in breeding dress. I have three babies and I suspect one is male and 1 is female. 50/50 on the last one. But Poppy (my female betta) doesn’t seem to focus on the male any more than the females. This is the best pic I have of my male and 1 of my females. The baby in the background is the biggest and I suspect female. The tank is 38G (36x12x19)
Awww. Also, wow, that's a stunning tank.

Update: Bee very happily comes and goes as he pleases. I these trying to court my Betta. She constantly tried to gently push him away to no avail. She even nudges and pecks him to try to corner him back to his side. She's really all bark and no bite, and Bee isn't nearly as timid as the guppies. They're both on their own sides now. If they get along fine for a few more days I might try removing the divider. Everything is going very well so far though. I'd even say they're getting along better because they're both anabantoids. My Betta usually has this attitude of every fish is a "lesser being" in comparison to her. Obviously she still has that with Bee, but I feel like it's less so. Will continue to update.
 
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Bettatakeover

Thanks so much for the compliment! Yeah I have not found my honeys to be shy or delicate. My Bolivian ram will often try to head butt them away from food and they completely ignore her. If you are looking for a schooling fish for your 40G I really recommend some cardinals...their colours really go nicely with the gouramis. I have 10 cardinals and 8 rummynose with them.
 
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GuppyGal7

Thanks so much for the compliment! Yeah I have not found my honeys to be shy or delicate. My Bolivian ram will often try to head butt them away from food and they completely ignore her. If you are looking for a schooling fish for your 40G I really recommend some cardinals...their colours really go nicely with the gouramis. I have 10 cardinals and 8 rummynose with them.
I was actually considering a school or ember tetras, but I want the tank to primarily be a guppy breeding colony, so I decided against it to make room for more guppies. Perhaps in the future though, that's for the suggestion.

Update: Took the divider off, they seem to be doing fine. No bullying or hiding whatsoever (I mean, my Betta likes sitting on the filter but she does that even when she's alone). I'm very pleased with this outcome. And I do plan on getting more kuhlis and some female honey Gouramis once these guys all go through quarantine, so it's good to know my Betta is chill with all of them. Maybe after this month I'll add her back in with the guppies to see if her attitude has improved.
 
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