Looking For A Companion/s For My Betta...

Lucrezia90

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Hello everyone!!
I have a 5.5 tank, with a (beautiful) blue betta. The tank is setting up nicely, heater, filter, (fake) plant, caves, leaf... I'd like for him to have a companion, or even more. Considering that my tank is not big enough to have a proper aquarium... what is the best companion for a betta? I read that couple have a lot of "kids" (impossible for us for now) and 2 male don't got well together. What other fish can I add that
1) won't grow up to a huge size and
2) without crowding my tank too much, what is a realistic number of fish I can add? Is it 2 good? Max 3 or...?

Thank you and have a great day.
 

Demeter

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I wouldn't be adding any more fish to such a small tank with a betta. Maybe look into colorful snails (mystery, rabbit, ramshorn etc) or shrimp. Keep in mind that small snails and shrimp are often seen as food for a betta. My bettas don't seem to go crazy for shrimp and snails, but some do end up getting eaten.
 

fjh

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Not many fish can live with a betta. Usually the betta will be too aggressive or the fish isn't temperature compatible. If you are dead set on keeping fish with him, female guppies seem to have a decent chance of getting along with them. Just make sure they aren't too colorful or with large tails. Cardinal tetras are another good choice, but should be kept in a larger tank because they need the swimming space.

A safer option would be invertebrate. Snails almost always get along with bettas, even the most aggressive ones. Shrimp are kind of a hit-or-miss, but they add a lot to the tank. I think these are a better choice than fish.
 

Faytaya

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Agreed. Shrimp and snails are the best options. Even low bioload bottom dwellers like khulis get too big for a 5.5 I have the two in a five due to a mistake I made.
 

CHJ

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I really hate to say it but I would add nothing but plants and a nerite or other less edible snail for algae in a 5.5 with a betta, unless it is a mating companion who is only going to go in to breed and then leave (possibly with the current male).
As a rule I say 15-20 gal minimum for a betta. This is not due to tank parameters. This is because bettas are smart inquisitive fish who love to explore. Putting them in a tiny tank is like putting them in a prison cell rather than a house with a yard. Can you spare 20-29$? Do you have space for a 20 or better a 29gal tank? Petco is having a 1$/gal sale right now.
We all grew up hearing "A betta can survive just fine in a rain filled horse's foot print, that is how they live in the wild!" and we have seen big box stores with piles of cups that are too small for a decent scotch, filled with bettas. The bettas are not happy in these cases.
A lot of "kids" in that tank would equal a lot of dead fish.

There are a lot of things big box stores do not tell us about bettas like "You may have to prune your show betta's fins to avoid killing him." (sorry betta I though more fins = more good), and "bettas like the biggest tank you can get them". "Do not feed your betta every time it begs. and assign 1 person to feed the bettas". Sorry betta, you looked so cute when you said you were hungry.
I do not want to sound mean or discourage your love of fish, I just want to help make sure people do not repeat mistakes I have made. a 5.5 is WAY better than a shot glass.

For shrimp with a betta I'd pick the ones that taste best.
 

ShimmeryLuna

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Betta fish are naturally solitary animals (they don't school). In such a small tank, adding more fish/animals might actually stress the Betta. Betta fish don't get lonely unlike other animals. If you keep him by himself he'll most likely be happier that way.

Additionally, I wouldn't add another Betta, male or female. A female Betta will breed with the male, then they will fight and injure each other, most likely resulting in death in one of the parties. Then you will have baby Betta fish to deal with, which will be a whole new nightmare in and of itself.
 

jdhef

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I agree with ShimmeryLuna, I believe bettas are best in a tank of their own.
 

Allegra

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I have rummy nose tetra. The were suggested by my LFS and they get along absolutely fine with my betta. It probably is a gamble I guess but it worked out fine in my case.
 

Liam101010101010010101010

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not much could fit in a 5.5 I would upgrade to a 10 then u could add a school of fish
- herlequin rasboras
-neon tetras
-white cloud mountain minnows
 

jaysurf7

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I would say the tank is too small to add other fish,most bettas do well on there own, some can also be kept in a large community tanks with others it depends on the betta and do fine,you can also get a betta buddy they sell them in most pet stores near the betta section I have one in my betta tank its a fake fish that that keeps them company so to speak ,my betta seems to really like it I don't know if he thinks its real but it sure keeps him busy.
 

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Brizburk

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While some bettas do great in a community tank, others do not. A 5.5 gallon in my opinion is too small even for a single betta. There are as many opinions as there are people on FL. If you're set on adding more I'd suggest looking at the chillI Rasbora, it's a tiny schooling fish, but as tiny as it is your betta may eat them. Or not. Depends on your betta.
 

imba

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CHJ said:
I really hate to say it but I would add nothing but plants and a nerite or other less edible snail for algae in a 5.5 with a betta, unless it is a mating companion who is only going to go in to breed and then leave (possibly with the current male).
As a rule I say 15-20 gal minimum for a betta. This is not due to tank parameters. This is because bettas are smart inquisitive fish who love to explore. Putting them in a tiny tank is like putting them in a prison cell rather than a house with a yard. Can you spare 20-29$? Do you have space for a 20 or better a 29gal tank? Petco is having a 1$/gal sale right now.
We all grew up hearing "A betta can survive just fine in a rain filled horse's foot print, that is how they live in the wild!" and we have seen big box stores with piles of cups that are too small for a decent scotch, filled with bettas. The bettas are not happy in these cases.
A lot of "kids" in that tank would equal a lot of dead fish.

There are a lot of things big box stores do not tell us about bettas like "You may have to prune your show betta's fins to avoid killing him." (sorry betta I though more fins = more good), and "bettas like the biggest tank you can get them". "Do not feed your betta every time it begs. and assign 1 person to feed the bettas". Sorry betta, you looked so cute when you said you were hungry.
I do not want to sound mean or discourage your love of fish, I just want to help make sure people do not repeat mistakes I have made. a 5.5 is WAY better than a shot glass.

For shrimp with a betta I'd pick the ones that taste best.
This.
For long term success, 5.5g is really too small for any other fishes with a Betta.
 

Allegra

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imba said:
This.
For long term success, 5.5g is really too small for any other fishes with a Betta.
I can't wait to get my betta into my 35 gallon soon. He's in 5.5 with three rummy nose, they get along totally fine but I can't wait for him to get more space. Very soon
 

e_watson09

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I agree with others, I would not put any tank mates in there with him. Bettas and tank mates are really hit or miss to begin with. Some don't mind others it ends in the death of the "friend". In this size tank its really not big enough for anything other than a single betta and maybe an invert. Be careful with your choice of invert tho, cherry shrimp are usually a good choice but could get eaten. Ghost shrimp can nip at the bettas tail. Snails can be good but some, like mysteries, can have a huge bioload on the small filters that are usually on the 5.5g tanks.

With that being said I have had friends for my bettas in the past with success. Usually they were in larger tanks tho although I do have a single tiny baby BN pleco in one of my betta tanks right now while he's growing out a bit, I have really good filtration on that tank tho.
 

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