What's Actually Compatible???

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poefox

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Generally the 'official' word is that bottom dwellers such as corydoras catfish and otos are the most compatible with bettas, and after that possibly livebearers like mollies and platties. Some say no gouramis at all, while others say that larger gouramis can deal with bettas okay.

The thing is, I'm coming to the conclusion that no one really knows for sure. At least two people who post on this forum keep bettas in community tanks with large numbers of fish, while for instance Rusty mercilessly bullied the catfish in 'his' tank. The guy I deal with at Petsmart (who also keeps fish) actually looked shocked when I told him that. Bettas strike me as being so individual that there are precious few hard and fast rules beyond: nothing that is LIKELY to nip the betta to death, nothing that resembles either a male or female betta, nothing big enough to swallow the betta, nothing small enough for the betta to swallow.

As I've said before, sometimes this kind of thing is like an experiment...which brings me to my next point. Recently I got some bloodfin tetras and put them in my tank when things were ready. And...they pretty much ignore the betta,(though they cautiously swim away when he comes to investigate them) and Rusty is vaguely curious about them but treats them about the same as the snail. He still bullies the catfish, but interestingly not quite as much. The dynamic of the tank has changed in some subtle way.

Go figure.

I encourage others though who have had success with bettas in community tanks or with maybe unusual combinations to post about it. While I agree, with Rose, that bettas are intelligent creatures that deserve the best of care I have to honestly admit for my part that I am an amateur in this and don't want to have my position stuck in a box that errs solely on the side of safety.
 

chickadee

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You are most welcome to your opinion and I do wish you and Rusty and all your fish well.

The fish that have been named as being incompatible by me are not just on my whim, I assure you. Either we have had members who have had SERIOUS difficulty with the pairing of the species be it with the Betta or the other species, or the knowledge has come from someone in the busiiness professionally (like writers, vets, or someone else who has done a lot of research).

I am of the opinion myself that there is really only one answer and it has been used to answer a LOT of questions in this board of the forum... it depends on the betta. Know your betta. If you have a betta that you feel has the personality to try to have other species in the tank and you want to try then go for it. It would be my advice to any betta owner though, that you have a back-up plan in case it turns into a thing that neither you or your fish can handle. (be it betta or other species) This is not a place of hard and fast rules in many areas. The Nitrogen Cycle is pretty much a hard and fast given, not overfeeding is pretty much a real bad thing to do..but no one is going to call out the fish police if you do it...your fish will just suffer for it. But making your fish a home and chosing what to have there and what fish to have with them, that NO ONE will tell you unless it is just to try to give advice on information that you may want to consider.

Yes, there are Bettas in community tanks, but there are also Bettas who have killed other fish as well as Bettas who have been killed by other fish. The answer remains...Know YOUR Betta.

Thank you, poe.

Rose
 
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poefox

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Actually Rose if I at all implied that you were being whimsical I want to assure you that that was not my intent--I was just pointing out that you will usually err if anywhere on the side of focusing on good care for the betta in particular. I can't really fault that, since obviously we post here because we love the critters. You have said yourself that you prefer not to take a chance with other species and that's fair enough. For anyone new here I assure them that Rose probably gives the best advice about bettas and their environments of anyone on this forum.
 

chickadee

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I did not take any offence and I agree with you. No I did not think that is what you were saying.... I said it was not the case but it was not because of what you had said. I was just kind of letting people know that everything I am saying is not totally based on my total inability to withstand those little black eyes and cute little faces .

There are members of the forum who have lost fish TO bettas put in community tanks and there are members who have lost Bettas to OTHER fish in the tank. It is not wrong for anyone to try, but there is nothing wrong in giving a small caution if someone knows of any previous red flags that have been raised. I expect that. Each and every person has to make up their own mind but it is part of my responsibility to be in some way more conservative and let folks know the possible problems. Then the facts may be used or interpreted as they wish.

As I have said, the answer is going to have to remain...Know YOUR Betta (and have a back-up plan if you don't know for sure).

Rose
 

Stradius011

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I personally think that it depends onthe betta. If the betta has a savage personality, then it attacks its tankmates. The more gentle ones, will get along better.
 

Marc

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I keep a Betta in my 55 gallon community tank. Absolutely no problems from him, and I've had pretty much most of the other fish (other than the cichlids) in this tank at one point in time. Though I've learned that Pictus Cats absolutely shouldn't be in the same tank, regardless of how big they are at the time.
 

gammerus

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it all depends on the betta indeed. My last betta Autumn got along with everything under the sun, My current betta julian however seems to attack everything but corys and even then he does alot of flaring.
 
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poefox

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My last cory died of the swim bladder illness. Anyway...in a couple of weeks I'm thinking of maybe trying a kuhli loach--they seem to spend a lot of time hiding under gravel and they might be decent for the tank. Rusty has begun trying to chase the tetras but they're too fast and tend to hide in the plants or decorations when he's near. Unfortunately he's also laid claim to the snail's veggie clip as a resting place.
 

chickadee

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I am so sorry to hear about the cory. I was hoping that he would recover and be okay. I wish Emma was on. I know she has kuhlis and so does Butterfly and I think they are really cute.

Rusty is just a little dickens. I thought perhaps when you redecorated that he would think he needed to behave like he was in someone else's home but he must have been too smart for that. At least the tetras have escaped so far. Don't worry about the snail. If it wants its veggie it will just "lift" him off. hehehehehe

Again, I am really sorry about the cory.

Rose
 

0morrokh

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I think Kuhlies need to be kept in groups. And since they get like 3 or 4 inches, I think a 10 gallon would be too small for a group of them.

Sorry about your Cory poefox. :'(
 
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