Hiding otos - add more?

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New Member
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3 years
I have a heavily planted 10 gallon (fully cycled with perfect parameters - I check almost every other day sometimes) with a male Betta (Neptune) and 3 ottos. At first, Neptune spent a couple of hours trying to bite at the ottos, then seemed to accept that they were there but still wants to try and intimidate them. First, Netpune LOVES algae pellets and even though I try to sneak them behind the driftwood (where the ottos hang out) after lights out he still finds it and keeps sweeping back through for more which makes the ottos move again. He also likes to hover over their piece of zucchini (which I've also seen him purposely poop on as well). He's not aggressively picking at them, just intimidating them. So instead of being able to eat and play in peace they have to constantly be on guard. I guess that's a Betta for you!

Therefore, my little ottos seem to always be hiding during the day. I can usually spot them hanging out by the driftwood but they wait until after lights out to venture out for a little food, but I almost never see them out in the open. Every now and then, first thing in the morning, I'll see them playing together in their little corner that they've claimed but otherwise I rarely see them active. They have nice round little bellies but I'm not sure if they're happy or not. I've had the ottos for almost a month now so I'm not sure if Neptune will get tired of this little game of his after a while or if I should add another otto or 2 (I would really like to have a group of 5 eventually). Do you think that creating a slightly larger school for them might give them more confidence against Neptune? I was kind of hoping to wait until I can get a 30 gallon (not sure when that's going to happen financially right now). If I do add 2 more ottos, I can't add anything else but if it's the right thing to do - then I'll just do it...

Also, as an aside Neptune's bullying has gotten slightly worse since his favorite plant that he liked to nest in suddenly melted and had to be cut back to a small twig to regenerate (which it does seem to be doing). I'm hoping that when the plant (a fast growing temple plant) grows back and he has his "castle" again he'll be content to leave them alone.

Has anyone else had anything similar happen? Any suggestions?


Fishlore Legend
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More than 10 years
Some times Betta's adapt to having other fish in the tank and sometimes they don't. When they don't adapt they can make the little one lives miserable. If he is still trying to intimidate them after a couple of days I would say it's not gonna get better and best to remove the Otos. I don't think adding more will make it better. Just my thoughts.
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