Those who have kept Bettas is a community tank...

ronaldmcdonald

Those who have kept betta fish as community fish, what is your secret? I'm in the process of cycling a 20 gallon high. Its a little bare right now, but I want a heavily planted tank.

I want a black centerpiece fish because it will look great with the dark substrate and other fish I want. I thought about mollies, but they require a group and that would take up a lot of space in my aquarium. A black betta seems like my best bet. I know people keep bettas in community tanks frequently, and plenty or articles and YouTube videos list them as a community centerpiece fish, but I also know it can also be tricky. Is there a certain way to interduce them to the tank to keep aggression down? Would a long finned betta be better because they are slower? Does male vs female actually make a difference?

Current Stock List
Aqadvisor says this is peachy but I'm open to any tips or suggestions!
 

connorjs1004

As long as you keep up with regular maintenance, that should be perfect for a 20 high
Also, take aqadvisor with a grain of salt and use it as a rough idea of stocking because there are a lot of other factors that contribute to what is considered an overstocked tank.
 

Shrimpee

i have kept betta with different tetras, corydoras..amano shrimps..guppies...golden algae eaters etc . there were never any incident where one attacking the other. they lseem to live peracefully.
yet...4 bettas..yes..4 one after another....died after about a month or 2. with no signs of fin tear, bloated etc. one day still looking good and the next...dead. dunno why. but since stop have them in my tank already.
 

Fisch

Bettas in a community tank are hit and miss and depends bery much on the personality of your Betta. My first male Betta stressed out and got sick > Plan B to move him into his own tank 20gl tank with 2 Nerites > Peace.
The female Betta was very aggressive and stressed the Neons and Cories. I noticed after she was gone that the rest of the fish seemed to feel liberated as I now I can see their real personality shine as they move through the whole tank and they are not always hiding in the plants anymore.
You can try it, just have a plan in your mind what you will do if it is not working out.
 

ProudPapa

As said above, it seems to depend on the personality of the individual fish. My experience with them is limited to a little fat blue female betta I had in my 40 gallon community tank, which worked out fine. She ignored her tank mates and they ignored her.

I understand that your chances for success are best if you add the betta last, so it doesn't feel like new fish are invading its territory (assuming it's one that would care).
 

ronaldmcdonald

Hmm, bettas seem a little risky. Any other black centerpiece fish people would recommend?
 

HKsai

Like everyone said it is a hit or miss. I put my first male betta with some ember tetra and pygmy cory. He wasn't aggressive but he was so stressed and hid behind the heater for days. I swapped my other male betta in the same tank and he had no problem whatsoever.
 

PowderHound

It's my opinion and observation that it comes down to the individual fish. I have read about people putting the bettas cups next to other bettas and trying to gauge how their community presence would be from their responses then. I have tried that once and don't know that it really made a difference in my purchase decision (or maybe I am just not the fish whisperer I want to be?). I will say that I bought a group of 5 baby "females" for a community tank and had more luck introducing them as young'ns. Two of them ended up being males, though. One I detected early on due to loss of egg spot and some increased aggression. One male stayed in with the female tank for over a year and the only reason I took him out was that one day I incredulously realized there was no egg spot on (him) anymore. Really messed up my tank situations-- had not expected that.

Personally, I would like to try a German blue ram, apistogramma, or gourami as my next centerpiece fish. Not sure if an apisto would clash with cories or not as I believe they like the bottom of the water column as well. The other two may be good considerations? (EDIT: so sorry, I missed the part where you said you wanted a black fish. smh)
 

HKsai

It's my opinion and observation that it comes down to the individual fish. I have read about people putting the bettas cups next to other bettas and trying to gauge how their community presence would be from their responses then. I have tried that once and don't know that it really made a difference in my purchase decision (or maybe I am just not the fish whisperer I want to be?). I will say that I bought a group of 5 baby "females" for a community tank and had more luck introducing them as young'ns. Two of them ended up being males, though. One I detected early on due to loss of egg spot and some increased aggression. One male stayed in with the female tank for over a year and the only reason I took him out was that one day I incredulously realized there was no egg spot on (him) anymore. Really messed up my tank situations-- had not expected that.

Personally, I would like to try a German blue ram, apistogramma, or gourami as my next centerpiece fish. Not sure if an apisto would clash with cories or not as I believe they like the bottom of the water column as well. The other two may be good considerations? (EDIT: so sorry, I missed the part where you said you wanted a black fish. smh)
I can say an apisto m/f pair in a 20 with cories with be a bad idea. They were extremely aggressive when the female started spawning. I’m thinking of trotting Bolivia ram next.
 

CHJ

When I have had a single male in my 55g shoaling tank there were never issues. He was slow so the shoal could just leave. They were small so they were not going to bother him.

The 60g betta community tank, the trick was to make sure they are all the same brood, raised together, and then just remove any overly aggressive males. If you want nice big fins on the males you will have to run a hormone filter or do daily water changes. It is also possible I can do this due to "Old fish dude" magic. No one will ever recommend putting lots of male bettas in the same tank.

20gal centerpiece fish that is black and not a betta? and will not kill any of the fish. Betta temp would work for a black ram probably not so good for the cories. Not sure if the ram would do in the tetras.
Macropodus ocellatusis is dark but not black, water should be cooler and your LFS's "guy" has to be better than my LFS's guy to get one. Might also be a problem for the tetras.
At betta temps (~84F) maybe a snowball or my fav a mustard spot pleco? These would hide though and not be very centerpiecey.

I can't come up with a black centerpiece fish for a 20g. A guppy is too small, a goldfish is right out.
If the tank was bigger you could track down an exotic black angel or a knife ghost knife or black piranha* for an even bigger aquarium and beyond that a black pacu or black shark (both of these can hit 3 feet) for a super huge tank.
With that I think I have run out of black fresh water aquarium fish that could work as a centerpiece.

*There are other issues like the black piranha I saw for sale on craigslist was huge and 1500$

I can say an apisto m/f pair in a 20 with cories with be a bad idea. They were extremely aggressive when the female started spawning. I’m thinking of trotting Bolivia ram next.
Yeah, I bred pandoros in a 55g full of cories and the female had an 8-12" agro radius from the cave. In a 20 you could maybe put the cave in a far corner but I'd prefer more distance for the cories to flee to.
 

Noroomforshoe

I had a male plakat betta in a cumminity 55 gallon. he seemed to be doing great, no aggression, It just seemed like he was not getting his share of food at feeding time. So I moved him to a 20 gallon.

I cant think of other black solitary fish. A single molly would be ok.
 

BigManAquatics

I have my betta in a 29g with a bn pleco and snails. Does ok with those. But when i had a school of scissor-tail rasboras in there, he was stressed out all the time. Moved them to a bigger community and betta is OK now
 

ronaldmcdonald

It's my opinion and observation that it comes down to the individual fish. I have read about people putting the bettas cups next to other bettas and trying to gauge how their community presence would be from their responses then. I have tried that once and don't know that it really made a difference in my purchase decision (or maybe I am just not the fish whisperer I want to be?). I will say that I bought a group of 5 baby "females" for a community tank and had more luck introducing them as young'ns. Two of them ended up being males, though. One I detected early on due to loss of egg spot and some increased aggression. One male stayed in with the female tank for over a year and the only reason I took him out was that one day I incredulously realized there was no egg spot on (him) anymore. Really messed up my tank situations-- had not expected that.

Personally, I would like to try a German blue ram, apistogramma, or gourami as my next centerpiece fish. Not sure if an apisto would clash with cories or not as I believe they like the bottom of the water column as well. The other two may be good considerations? (EDIT: so sorry, I missed the part where you said you wanted a black fish. smh)
no thanks for the help. I've looked at rams and they are knock outs but I hear a lot that they are an "advanced" fish. I kept fish as a teen but I'm only now getting back into it and consider myself beginner still. Maybe down the line I'll pick a pair up.

I love gourami's too. Unfortunately I'm drawn to the larger ones like the pearl (one of my future dream fish btw) but the sparkling gourami does catch my eye. I'll shop around. Thanks for helping me out. Love the community, everyone is nice
I have my betta in a 29g with a bn pleco and snails. Does ok with those. But when i had a school of scissor-tail rasboras in there, he was stressed out all the time. Moved them to a bigger community and betta is OK now
Sounds like I'd have to worry about the betta as much as or more than the other fish in most cases. Interesting. Thanks for the help.
I had a male plakat betta in a cumminity 55 gallon. he seemed to be doing great, no aggression, It just seemed like he was not getting his share of food at feeding time. So I moved him to a 20 gallon.

I cant think of other black solitary fish. A single molly would be ok.
Yeah? I love the molly look won't lie but I wouldn't want it to get lonely. Have other kept live bearers by themselves? Would a few platys make it feel better?

My only worry is that they could reach like, 4 inches and I couldn't fit 3 4in mollys. Never seen a molly that big though. It would be cool.
When I have had a single male in my 55g shoaling tank there were never issues. He was slow so the shoal could just leave. They were small so they were not going to bother him.

The 60g betta community tank, the trick was to make sure they are all the same brood, raised together, and then just remove any overly aggressive males. If you want nice big fins on the males you will have to run a hormone filter or do daily water changes. It is also possible I can do this due to "Old fish dude" magic. No one will ever recommend putting lots of male bettas in the same tank.

20gal centerpiece fish that is black and not a betta? and will not kill any of the fish. Betta temp would work for a black ram probably not so good for the cories. Not sure if the ram would do in the tetras.
Macropodus ocellatusis is dark but not black, water should be cooler and your LFS's "guy" has to be better than my LFS's guy to get one. Might also be a problem for the tetras.
At betta temps (~84F) maybe a snowball or my fav a mustard spot pleco? These would hide though and not be very centerpiecey.

I can't come up with a black centerpiece fish for a 20g. A guppy is too small, a goldfish is right out.
If the tank was bigger you could track down an exotic black angel or a knife ghost knife or black piranha* for an even bigger aquarium and beyond that a black pacu or black shark (both of these can hit 3 feet) for a super huge tank.
With that I think I have run out of black fresh water aquarium fish that could work as a centerpiece.

*There are other issues like the black piranha I saw for sale on craigslist was huge and 1500$


Yeah, I bred pandoros in a 55g full of cories and the female had an 8-12" agro radius from the cave. In a 20 you could maybe put the cave in a far corner but I'd prefer more distance for the cories to flee to.
Never heard of a black ram. They look stunning. I think I need a little more fish experience before I grab a few though.

I'm starting to realize that my current stock list is maybe not compatible. But hey, that's why I came here first, to get some feedback.
 

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