Question Why do I keep getting different info on who and what bettas can live with?!X

krissy86

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I've just stated in the beginners area how my male betta is chasing my honey gourami quite often. They were both purchased together and I already advised the aquatic shop that I already had 5
neons.

Pets at home advised me that the neons may nip the bettas fins but what seemed a very professional aquatic store advised
me that this was very unlikely and said that the betta would be fine along with the honey gourami and the danio that was bought to join the 5 neons I have.

I've got a 130L tank so there's lots of space but the betta seems to keep chasing my gourami and has now caused it to hide behind the spray bar and inside the ornaments or around the plants.

I've now been advised by other users that I was give bad advice and I have a bad mix of fish?!

So can anyone please tell me why various pet stores and aquatic specialists state that male fighters are peaceful community fish as long as not home with another male fighter?!

I find may quotes like this ' Bettas may be kept in a community tank as long as the water conditions are met' on various pages throughout the net.

It's making me very confused and a little annoyed as I don't know where to look or who to speak to for correct info?!

Many thanks,

Krissy
 

Meenu

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The best thing you can do, in my opinion, is to reseaerch as many sources as possible. I generally don't trust the stores too much, because they make money off the advice they give. I tend to research fish site, forums, and ask questions here if I need information on fish.

Bettas really do best in a 5g by themselves.
 

LyndaB

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Sadly, many of us have experienced clerks at fish/pet stores that are only interested in selling you something..... anything. If you express interest in fish that are not compatible, they really don't care (most, not all clerks don't have the knowledge to really help you).

Then you have personal experiences. I had a male and female betta living together, but the vast majority of times that does not work so you would be advised not to do it.

There will always be difference of opinions in fishkeeping. There are people in this forum with decades of fishkeeping experience. They will look at the experience of the person they are trying to help and give advice based upon that, their own experience with that species and the research they've gathered. In my very humble opinion, that's the best advice you can get.
 

Charlemagne

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Hi Krissy The reason your Betta and Gourami can't live together is because they are too closely related. (At least that's what everyone tells me) I had a Betta in with adwarf gourami, and they fought almost constantly. I had to take the gourami back. I think you should either take the gourami back (although, I'm not sure if the neons would be a problem) or get a separate tank for the Betta. I've kept 2 Bettas in community tanks, and while they loved the space, they both ended up hiding from fin-nippers most of the time. My current community tank Betta's fins keep getting shorter and shorter, so he's getting his own tank today! Then I'm going to divide it to put my other Betta in when I'm sure he's not sick. In my experience, fish store people generally do not know what they are talking about. I wouldn't trust their advice all that much. I hope you find a solution to your problems, and I'm sorry for the confusion. Good Luck!
 
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krissy86

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Well the thing is, the guy who owns the shop is a friend of my next door neighbour so I was shocked to find this happening. I've now
contacted him and he's told me to separate the betta with a container in the tank until tomorrow when they can sort something out for me. He seemed
quite shocked about it?!

Just makes me feel all very nervous about it all due to 1 website saying 1 thing and others saying something else.

I literally just want to keep the 1 tank so I'm guessing it would be best to remove the betta as he may restrict what I can stock in future :-( Very sad news to me
as he's beautiful and seems quite happy darting around in his current pad!

I've also read that some gourami's can also clash? Was really interested in some dwarf gourami's but again some websites say differently about the clash of gourami's?

Any suggestions on what else could quite happily live in my tank? I don't fancy too many tiny fish i.e tetras, dianos etc. Although I'm very fond of them, I'd like something a little bigger and different. Quite fond of the pure black and pure white mollies. They look quite eye catching!
 

Shine

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Definitely--do your own research first, then cross check the info you get off of knowledgeable sources. I'm glad the owner is concerned with what you were told in this case

You'd think that a pet store would inform their employees but sadly; as stated above that isn't the case. Lots of the people working at the lfs know next to nothing about fish, beyond that they live in water. Occasionally you will find a employee that knows what they are talking about, but they are few and far between.

Example: I asked someone about getting a catfish to go in a goldie tank and if it would work. The employee told me in no uncertain terms that it would NOT. As catfish need warmer water then goldfish. He further stated that the only thing that 'might' work is a pleco, but went on to tell me that they grow to be at least 12 inches, and produce huge amounts of waste so he wouldn't advise it.

Fast forward a month+ and lots of reading on my part. Same store, different employee. A girl was asking about getting a algae eater for her goldie tank (10 G), the employee told her that the size was 'fine' for a pleco (YEAH RIGHT!). I cut in and 'mentioned' the size plecos get... the customer backed off plecos, and the employee then told her that a cory catfish would be perfect for her tank and would eat algae.

--Right. One cory. A fish that like to be in groups, not single. That DON'T eat algae, and that need warmer water then a goldfish--

.......Anyway, my long winded stories aside; you have to be very careful of whose opinions and advise you take in a LFS
 
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Shiba

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The reason advice is so varied, is because people use their experience to give advice.
For example, the pet store worker said that a couple of ADF's ate all of a betta's fins, and i've kept them with a betta for about a month and no nipping.
Bettas, like humans, all have different personalities, so your betta might not be good for a community tank because he doesn't like gouramis.
If you absolutely have to have only one tank, take the betta back so he and all your other fish can exist.
But, wal-mart makes a decentish 1 gal tank that i've kept bettas in and they did fine, you just gotta waterchangewaterchangewaterchange
 

midthought

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Hi Krissy. Most of us have simply learned to take fish store employees' advice with a grain of salt, if at all. There are of course exceptions to the rule, such as those stores who refuse to let customers buy certain fish based on the customer's tank size. Those are the rare ones though; most will be happy to send you home with a goldfish and common pleco in a 5g tank. And beyond that, there are most *definitely* those who give advice with the best of intentions. In particular, I've witnessed many employees give advice based on setups they've had themselves, even when those setups are not advised for beginners and lie outside the norm, such as keeping bettas in community tanks or keeping betta sororities (multiple females in the same tank).

Such arrangements are definitely not unheard of, but they must be approached very carefully because the harmony of such a tank could crash at any moment. Fish sexually mature, for one thing, and may become far more territorial or aggressive than they were when you first got them. Dynamics in the tank can also change when new inhabitants arrive or old inhabitants die.

Most here would advise you to never put a betta in another tank with: another male betta, a female betta, other fish with long, flowy, colorful fins, or nippy fish who are liable to pick on bettas. There are exceptions, but generally speaking bettas in any community tank setup can never be a "set it and forget it" kind of deal. For the long-term safety of your tank inhabitants, it definitely sounds like taking the betta out will be best. And as far as I know, honey gouramis are typically very peaceful fish, but you may find better advice in the other section of the forum where others will see it.

Good luck with your fishkeeping. I hope this experience doesn't turn you off too much from the hobby, though I know how frustrating it is to be given bad advice and have it affect a whole community tank of inhabitants. The others here are right when they say the best thing you can do is research, research, research on your own. It's simply not safe to trust just one source of information, whether it be one website or one LFS employee.
 

jerilovesfrogs

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yes i've had conflicting advice from lfs people as well. i'd get, yes a betta could work with some fish....other times, no way, don't put a betta in a comm tank. i just did my own research and things became more clear. in time things will be for you too.
 

pamd

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I literally just want to keep the 1 tank so I'm guessing it would be best to remove the betta as he may restrict what I can stock in future :-( Very sad news to me
as he's beautiful and seems quite happy darting around in his current pad!
I think you're right to remove the betta. It would be nice if you can get a separate tank for him so you can keep him, but at any rate, he probably needs to come out of that tank even if you have to take him back to the store.

You're fortunate to have direct contact with the owner, who offered sound advice to separate the betta for now and seems to want to work with you to find a solution. I would be very surprised if the owner, after doing some research on his own, will say, "Oh just put the betta back in the community tank." This would rarely be a good mix. (But not 100% always.)

Bettas and gouramis are both "labyrinth fish," which makes them closely related enough that they can perceive each other as too much the same -- almost like trying to house two or more adult male bettas together. One will probably win and some will lose.

The neons, being fin nippers, are also not generally good companions for a betta.

There are probably lots of reasons for conflicting advice. Some people just get lucky with their betta's individual personality and the personalities of all the other fish in a community tank. They post when things seem just fine. Then aggression can hit hard and quickly. I'm guessing that many unfortunate fish owners won't post after a disaster, by which I mean serious injury or death, thus having to admit a mistake was made.

Pet shop employees may have some first- or second-hand experience with these kinds of scenarios, such as having a male betta in a community tank for a couple of weeks and seeing the community looks peaceful. Thing is, they don't see what could happen in a few weeks or months when the fish mature.

You're also lucky to see the early signs of aggression and smart to find out how to divert it before disaster strikes.

Please let us know what happens, and enjoy your fishkeeping!
 

Tigerfishy

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Hey Krissy!
I can't really add to the advice above. All my bettas are separate from each other and they are very happy. My local LFS is a Pets At Home too. They come across as quite knowledgeable, but when I was first starting out nearly a year ago, I followed their advice, lost fish, got into bother with it all and ended up here. Since then, I'm much better informed and I realised why my betta was acting funny in the community - he was upset at all the movement. Noone was pestering him, but he didn't like so much going on around him. Even when I divided the tank and kept him in a section to himself, he still moped and did nothing until he got his own tank. Had I not been here and told to try it, I would have gone back to the LFS, been given meds that wouldn't have worked, he would have died from not eating (as he wasn't doing that either) and I would have had to buy another one and the pattern would have continued. Be careful of what they tell you...
 
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