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Gumballtiger

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HI there! I have a Betta and I would love to ask a few quick questions about my set up and the tank mates I can get. You can read my long little story and explination, or you can just scroll to the bottom and check out my questions. But I would really love some comments.

I got my betta, whose tentative name is Prometheus, from a breeder friend of mine when he heard that I had always wanted a fish (pretty much any fish) but had never been able to keep any alive for more than a few days. So he brought me one of his fish that was pet quality and he couldn’t sell. So I took my little guy home and searched the web for how to transfer and acclimate him into a tank properly (you know, without killing him?) I have read about some really good set ups and some really bad setups, but I haven't found anything similar to what I have so I am still not quite sure that I am keeping my little guy happy. All the set-ups I have read about are 5 gallons and smaller.

So I transferred and he is still alive after a week (a record for me), so I am pretty happy. I have him set up in a ten gallon tank (I don’t have a lid yet so I only put in 8 gallons so he won’t jump out), with a 5-15 gallon water filter that is off to one side so it doesn’t give him a lot of turbulence. I have a little heater set up in the bottom of the tank sort-of in the middle towards the back, and a thermometer that is set up to get the middle range of the tank temp. He seemed a little bored so I went to the store and bought a fish rock(that I checked for sharp edges) and a couple plastic aquarium plants, with some of those clear colored stones sprinkled along the bottom(I will add that I rinsed and washed all of this stuff and didn’t use soap). I have one of those multi-colored painted lights behind his tank, and I turn it on at night and off in the morning. I alternate feeding him freeze-dried blood worms and betta pellets, I think you know which one he prefers*grin.* He seems to like the set up… But I want to check with some other people who have more experience.

The filter doesn’t seem to bother him much; in fact sometimes I see him go over to the filter and purposely swim around in the area where the flow is the strongest, and I have even seen him go over to the little intake tube and lay against the basket. The first time I freaked out because I thought he had died! But I stuck my face against the glass and I guess I scared him, because he pulled himself off without any problems and swam away while giving me a look. He sometimes does the same thing with the heater; he’ll go lay next to it or under the plastic piece on the end. I guess he is sleeping or relaxing or something. Once I had put the rock in he seems to hang out more in the rock cave instead of by the filter basket and the heater, so I kinda solved that problem. I even got one of my old make-up mirrors and I show it to him every now and then, because I read that letting him flare keeps him mentally stable and happy and stuff like that, because it is like a brain exercise keeping him entertained…

So here are my actual questions:
A) Does this sound like a good set up for him?
B) Does he sound happy to you guys?
C) Am I doing the right things with him?

And my next question has a shorter explanation. I am researching a few other fish, so I can give him a few friends if he stays alive. I am looking at neon tetras. I know I am supposed to get fish that won’t get bigger than him and that aren’t fin nippers, and I want some that are also kind of cute. So finally:
D) Are Neon Tetras a good tank mate for Bettas?
E) And, if neon tetras are not a good match, what fish would you guys suggest?
 

fish101

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Hi,

To your first question yes your set up seems adequate. However neons are not the best fish to put with betta's and most believe betta's do not need the company of other fish to be happy they prefer to be on their own.

Secondly most will agree these fish are compatable though: Bala Shark, Corydoras Catfish, Glass Catfish, GloFish, Molly, Pearl Gourami, Platy, Rainbow Shark, Red Tailed Shark, Swordtail, Three Spot Gourami, Upsidedown Catfish and Zebra Danio.

However there is no fool proof rule , monitoring the behaviour of the fish after introducing them to the tank is crucial and adding fish to a betta in an already established environment is not prefrable betta's would normally be introduced after other fish.

Hope this helps
 

Jendayi

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He sounds like a happy fish. Mine like to hang out around the filters and heaters, too. I think it's part of their behavior to try to squeeze into small spaces and make you scratch your head about why?? I don't have a whole lot of experience either, but there are a couple things that I can add.

I have found that silk plants work better than plastic ones for bettas. Because they like to rest on plants, there is a chance that the plastic one can damage their long fins. I have found a few silk plants that are tall enough to reach the surface so that my fish don't have so far to swim to the surface to take a breath when they are resting on them.

Also, you didn't mention what your water change schedule is like. It sounds like this is a new tank, and hasn't been through the Nitrogen Cycle yet (https://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm). You need to be monitoring his water quality very carefully. Ammonia builds up very quickly, after only a day or two, and can poison your fish. So you need to get a water testing kit and monitor the values frequently. I use the one by API which can measure Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, and pH. It is a little expensive, but it much more accurate than the dipping strips I started with.

The Betta care guide here is a good place to start () and the members here are VERY knowledgeable and have helped me out immensely.

Good luck with your new little boy and welcome to Fish Lore
 

genie

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What is your tank temp? It should be 80 degrees F. A 10 gallon is a great size. I reccomend the Cory Catfish they are small, but don't get them until your tank is cycled. Read the article about the Nitrogen Cycle at the top of the beginners board. Keep up on your water changes!

And bettas LOVE human attention-- so "play" with him. And don't do the mirror thing-- it stresses them. ;D
 

Phloxface

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Sorry fish101, but I have to disagree with all but one of your tankmate choices. Corydoras are great as well as Otos. ANY type of GouramI is out as they are aggressive and will fight with the Bettas. Many of the other fish resemble female Bettas, such as Mollies and this may make the Betta aggressive towards them. Sharks swim fast and this much activity will stress a Betta. Danios can be fin nippers. There are so few fish that are almost always compatible. Some people have made it work with othe types of fish but there is no guarantee and if it doesn't work you are forced to buy another tank to separate them.
I would suggest for a 10 gallon tank you get either 3 Corydoras or maybe 4 Otos (they are also great for cleaning algae once your tank gets it). You really can't put too many fish in a 10 gallon anyways. Bettas are fine alone. All he needs is some ornaments to play around and some live plants would be good. Bettas are very mellow and don't like the activity of a community tank.

Also please put something on top to prevent him from jumping. Even having less water in the tank doesn't always help. They are remarkable jumpers! I used a large piece of cardboard with a couple small holes punched in and a book on top for a while until I got my lid. It may save his life.

Good luck with your new Betta and keep us updated on his progress.
 

COBettaCouple

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phloxface is right.. basically if you want to be happy and have tank mates for a Betta - it's otos and corys. sometimes a betta will get along with peaceful livebearers like platys or mollys, but that's at best 50/50 and can result in missing fins before you know what's happened. Bettas really don't get lonely and prefer your company to other fish.
 
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Gumballtiger

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Thanks a lot you guys! I don't mind keeping him alone, but I am gone most of the day and only home at random times during the day (I'm a student at a community college) and wanted to give him more action, but if you think it's fine I'll leave him alone.

You guys mentioned playing with him, how do I do that? do I like get him rings to play with or what? I read about someone useing a pinpong ball that floated on the surface, would that work?
 

Phloxface

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Get him some type of tank ornament that he can swim through and explore. Make sure all holes are big enough for him to easily get through and that he could turn around or go out a back exit so he won't get stuck inside. Also, make sure it has no rough or sharp edges that could tear his delicate fins. A bubble stone attached to a gang valve so you can turn it down a little also provides many Bettas with some amusement. Mine love to play in the bubbles.
A pin pong ball might be fun for him. I have been wondering about that myself. I'd like to get some for my fish but don't have a clue where you'd get ping pong balls...
Two of my Bettas have/had Mystery snails as tankmates. You wouldn't think a snail would be that fascinating but my Bettas do seem to enjoy them and I often found my male Betta following his snail all around the tank and sleeping next to him. One of my females has one now and she lays on the gravel and stares at him endlessly waiting for him to do something. She gives him a poke every so often to coax him.  ;D  After hiding in his shell for almost 3 weeks he has finally decided that she won't hurt him and is crawling around a little with her keeping a close eye on him. Snails do poop a lot though so you do have to keep on top of those water changes to keep the water and gravel clean. Also, only one Mystery snail or else you will have hundreds soon. Don't get any other type of snail because most types can reproduce even with only one snail. Mystery snails need a male and female.
Whatever you decide, your Betta will be happy in a large tank even alone.
 

COBettaCouple

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Phlox - look in the sporting good area at wallyworld or target.. the ping pong balls are over by darts and things like billiards supplies, etc.

We also found that our bettas like caves with lots of holes to swim in & out of like phlox suggested.. the neon rainbow ones at walmart (while not looking exactly natural) seem to be betta-safe and popular with our bettas.. and at 2 bucks each, they're not a bad buy at all.

Also anemone toys and bridges (the ones without jagged holes) go over well:




And some bettas seem to have an endless fascination with those glass thermometers that you stick to the inside wall of your aquarium.. useful for you also.

Plants with long leaves to swim through are good too. Silk or live ones.
 

Fishface

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i'd personally take out the fake plants and get some live anacharis its cheaper AND healthier. its seriously impossible to kill - you just let it float
 

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Neptune has a bridge and he loves it. However, I ordered one from F&S for Storm and it is very sharp inside so I am sending it back. I have one of those root thingees too, I just have to get over the border to pick it up, I think Storm will like that. They also like low, broad leafed plants to hide/sleep under or on top of. It is like interior decorating for fish!
 

COBettaCouple

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voiceless_kat said:
Neptune has a bridge and he loves it. However, I ordered one from F&S for Storm and it is very sharp inside so I am sending it back. I have one of those root thingees too, I just have to get over the border to pick it up, I think Storm will like that. They also like low, broad leafed plants to hide/sleep under or on top of. It is like interior decorating for fish!
Sora loves his little bridge - it's just a small arch bridge so eventually I want to get him that big bridge with all the arches. Those are the bridges I like to get, they tend to be smoother and if there are rough spots, they're easier to file down.
 

antisen

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I'm not sure if this is a typo, but did you say you turned his light ON at night? His light should be on during the day and off at night, so he can get some rest.
 

COBettaCouple

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I just re-read your original post and I would recommend leaving the lights off at night, running them for a while in the evening is fine but your betta will appreciate a totally dark time to rest. ours will start to look really tired if we're up late watching tv. LOL

On a side note, if you're up before them and there's enough light in the room, you'll find they have favorite spots to sleep.
 

the_dukeman

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FYI I placed a yellow happy faced ping pong ball in with A.B. a couple weeks ago and he totally ignores it, even though it glows when the light is on. Since I had to buy a six pack I'll add a couple more and see if that makes any difference. My local PetsMart has medium size bridges with gentle curves. Guess what's next on my decor list!
 

COBettaCouple

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the_dukeman said:
FYI I placed a yellow happy faced ping pong ball in with A.B. a couple weeks ago and he totally ignores it, even though it glows when the light is on. Since I had to buy a six pack I'll add a couple more and see if that makes any difference. My local PetsMart has medium size bridges with gentle curves. Guess what's next on my decor list!
Yea, the ping pong balls are hit or miss with them. Only our newest Betta has shown any interest in them. I've seen the bridges at petsmart and think I know the ones you're talking about. Something I do for Sora to make the bridge he has more fun is scoop out the marbles under the bridge's arch so he has an even bigger spot to swim thru or hover in.
 
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Gumballtiger

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Thanks so much you guys, this really helps! (I have started turning the light off at night and only having it on when it gets dark in the room during the evening, but the sun is still out.) I am going to put up pics when I get a chance. Do you have any recommendations on how to get good pics? And I'm going to post another topic about his but, I have another question, sorry. I have had him a few weeks now, and I'm not sure if I have been paying attention to him or getting used to him or what, but I have notices something about his fins. the little line parts, the spines I guess they are called, go past the rest of the fin. I have been looking at pictures of fin rot to make sure it isn't that, but I can't really tell. Do their fins grow more, and if they do, do the spines grow first and then the webbing fill it in? I don't want to stress him out by treating him for fin rot if he doesn't have it and I have checked the symptoms, but he doesn't have any as far as I can tell. His fins aren't changing or becoming discolored and he is active and eating fine.
 

Sparkling Diamonds

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It doesn't sound like finrot to me. The firs thing that comes to mind is that he's a crowntail, or combtail betta actually. Has he always had those long spines?

As for the pictures, i'm still discovering this myself, and can't seem to find out how to take pictures that aren't so blurry, i'm thinking people use digital cameras. And if that's the case, then all you have to do is upload them in a free photo place, like photobucket, and copy the picture link and put it between the code for pictures. Example: [img ] Place your picture here [/img ] But without the spaces in the brackets. Aaaannyways I think I went too far into that answer haha. I've been using my cell phone, and i've tried it with the webcam. I founf the webcam gave nicer pictures, and my cell is good for 4 minute videos. haha

He sounds lovely and the tank sounds fun!! I just got a 5 gallon tank, and i'm waiting for the next paycheck before adding all the fun stuff. Until then, my Neil shall enjoy swimming in the current of the filter. He, too loves to swim against the current of the filter and test his strength.
 

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