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FAQs on Betta Compatibility 1

Related Articles: Anabantoids/Gouramis & Relatives, Betta splendens/Siamese Fighting FishBetta Systems, Betta Diseases,

Related FAQs:  Betta Compatibility 2, Bettas in General, Betta Behavior, Betta System, Betta Feeding, Betta Reproduction, Betta Disease,

Pic of Add's Bettas, a breeder in Thailand: plathai@hotmail.com

New Print and eBook on Amazon

Betta Success
Doing what it takes to keep Bettas healthy long-term

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Betta temperature and possible tank mates 6/7/10
Hi all,
<Hello,>
I had a 5g. tank that I gave to my mom. Helped her set it up and she got herself a Betta. The tank is between 80 and 82 degrees. My thermometer shows "safe zone" is up to 80 degrees.
<Does depend on the species of fish. For some, like Neons and Corydoras, 22-24 C/72-75 F is optimal. For others, like Angelfish and Discus, 28-30 C/82-86 F suits them better.>
I read on a couple sites that 82 was too high for them.
<For Bettas? No. 28 C/82 F is fine.>
So I was having her float ice cubes.
<No real need.>
I finally remember this site because I wrote in a few times when I first set up my 40 gallon and I prefer the information this site gives out.
<Cool.>
I see on this site that even up to 84 degrees is ok for a Betta.
<It is indeed.>
So I just want to double check that I am correct on what I have read on this site.
<It is.>
Also assuming it is, she is wanting to get tank mates for it.
<Don't. Bettas are best, and should only ever be, kept alone.>
She is thinking of neon tetras.
<These will be overheated in your aquarium, and even if they weren't, they'd nip the fins. Plus, a 5-gallon aquarium is too small for any fish other than a single Betta. At most, you could add a few Cherry Shrimps.>
Would this be an issue with 82 degree temperatures?
<Much too warm for Neons.>
And the L.Pet.S. said that 5 is ok for that tank.
<They're talking rubbish.>
but wouldn't that be too much for the 1 inch of fish per gallon?
<Below 10 gallons, the "inch per gallon" rule doesn't really work. Small tanks like your 5 gallon one are just too unstable for most fish, and there isn't the swimming space they need. Tell your mom that adding anything other than Cherry Shrimps is a really dumb idea.>
I was thinking more like 3 of them.
<See, Neons have to be kept in groups of at least 6 specimens. They're social. Keeping 3 would be mean, and in all likelihood they'd be stressed and/or aggressive. Have your mom read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_5/volume_5_3/stocking.htm
If she wants to keep Neons, she needs to get an aquarium just for them, at least 10 gallons in size.>
Take care
<Cheers, Neale.>

How do I tell the difference between (a betta with) shredded fins from fin and tail rot, and shredded fins from an overly aggressive blue paradise gourami?   8/23/06 < I'd wager it is more likely from violence. > I've been trying to help the betta and the gourami get along, but they seem to be incompatible. < I cannot seem to come up with a way to achieve this insurmountable task. It is direct competition, and the betta is ill equipped for the job at hand. If he were a true fighting betta with short fins, he might stand a chance. > I think I'm just going to have to give one of them away.   < That sounds like a great idea. > They're in a 5 gallon aquarium with physical, chemical, and biological filters (AquaChem Hex 5, I think).  Tank chemistry is still a little squirrelly, but I'm working on that.  Temperature is steady around 80 degrees.  They have live plants and a "cave" (coffee cup) that they both use. At first the betta was aggressive, chasing and biting the gourami, so I sequestered him in a breeder net for a few days.  After I let him out, the gourami became aggressive.  He's been chasing the betta, even sneaking up on him so as to have a better chance at doing some damage. < That's typical for Gourami types: Ambush style tactics. > I came home from work the other day to find that the betta was missing about half his plumage.  All shredded and ragged looking.  The gourami is now sequestered as a result.  I suspect the gourami has been tail nipping, but I saw pictures of fin and tail rot that looked just like the Betta's condition.  What should I do?   < When in doubt, do partial water changes. If the water quality is causing the infection, dilution will correct the situation, and allow the fish in question to heal. Fin rot usually has well defined white edges, while damage from violence is more erratic. > Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks a bunch! < Hope I helped some. RichardB > Susanne.

Re: Betta and Gourami   8/24/06 Thanks, Richard, for your reply. < You are very welcome! > Very helpful. < Not all would feel that way, but thank you! > I'll give away one of the fish, and move the Betta to a large bowl in the meantime. < That is a wonderful idea. Remember to do partial water changes at least once a week, to ensure water quality. Good luck! RichardB > S.

Do Bettas chew live plants?  8/2/06 <<Hello, Yvonne. Tom>> Our Betta at work, Bill, seems to have "chewed" the roots off of his live plant. Is this possible? <<Physically, sure, though this seems a bit "odd". Bettas are top-feeders, looking for insects, and the like, to fall from the heavens, as it were. If, however, he's not being fed as frequently as he'd like, he might just go "scrounging". Bettas also "blow" quite a bit of food past their gills. Looks like they're eating voraciously until you notice that just about as much "food" is coming out as what's going in. Mine's like this with flake food...spoiled brat! :) Bill might be bored or, there may be organisms collecting on the roots of the plant that he finds "tasty".>> Thank you for your help. Yvonne Boise, Idaho <<As long as he's happy, Yvonne... Tom>>

Betta/Corydoras Comp., Sys.   8/2/06 I love your site! It is so helpful and the best one I have come across.  I have a new male Betta in a 3 gallon, filtered tank. It has silk plants. He refuses to eat anything but frozen Brine Shrimp <Need to expand this diet... not nutritious completely> and it an active little sucker.   My question is .. . is a 3 gallon too small to add a Cory catfish to? <Mmm, no... is not too small for a small/ish species of Corydoras> I am concerned about the size of the tank and how active the Betta is. Being that Bettas are territorial, I worry that adding a Cory is not a good idea. What are your thoughts? Thanks! Dawn <Should get along fine. There is an occasional "super mean" male Betta that comes along, but most are so "autistic" that they leave such armored cats be. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/betcompfaqs.htm Bob Fenner> Hi There, <Hello again!> Sorry, I found the answer. I kept reading and reading and found the same question. Whew! Thanks again! Dawn <Welcome. BobF>

Bettas, community tanks, and dividers   7/28/06 Hello: <<Hello. Tom here.>> I have a fully cycled 29 gallon tank that I do a water change on every weekend. I have five danios, two male guppies, four Corydoras catfish, and five neon tetras. <<Sounds nice.>> I recently purchased a male Betta, but not before getting a Penn Plax divider in the tank. The other fish have two thirds of the tank now and the Betta has one third, so on the Betta's side his section is higher than it is wide and he swims up and down a lot. <<He wants/needs to breathe surface air, as you probably already know. It's a lot of activity for a fish that's accustomed to not having much room to move around in.>> He was friendlier when I first got him a week ago, but he is now acting afraid of me when I come up to the tank. <<I suspect all the exercise is leaving him a bit exhausted/stressed. You've done great by giving him plenty of space but it really needs to be a lower/longer setup.>> A friend of mine said that he is stressed because he can see the other fish that he probably wants to kill and can't get at them. <<Your friend needs to do some homework. Your Betta isn't the least bit interested in fighting with, or killing, your other fish. In fact, your tank divider wouldn't really be necessary if you could trust the others to not go fin-nipping on him. A big reason for not mixing Bettas and other tropical fish is that Bettas prefer warmer temperatures than tropical fish typically like. He'd be quite happy at 82-84 degrees which is much warmer, relatively speaking, than your other guys would tolerate without problems.>> I was wondering if I should buy him his own tank or get rid of the other fish and let the Betta have the whole 29 gallons to himself. <<I'd go for a separate tank for the Betta. 29 gallons is far bigger than he needs by himself. Much as we stress "bigger is better" where aquariums are concerned, in this case, it would be "wasteful". Besides, why get rid of your other fish when you can very economically set up a really nice tank for the Betta?>> Thank you <<You're welcome.>>

More Than One Betta in a Tank...Uh-Oh! - 07/25/06 I just recently introduced my female Betta to my male.  However, he chases her around and doesn't even allow her to eat. <<The two are not compatible.  Male Bettas can not be kept with other members of their species regardless of gender.  Even during mating the female usually takes a bit of a beating and must be removed immediately after spawning>> He flares up at her and swims sideways to "capture" her up against the fish tank. (which is only 1.5 gallons with live bamboo in it). <<Mmm, while better than many of the tiny displays associated with this fish, a larger (10 gal.) vessel would be better for long-term health/happiness>> Peety has chased her around so vigorously that somehow he has ripped his fins and is no longer as attractive as he was when I bought him.  What should I do? <<Remove the female>> And why does he do that. <<Territorial to the extreme>> HEEELLLPPP!!! Thank You, Tiffany Najera <<Regards, EricR>>

Friends for Bettas, too small of tanks 7/15/06 Hi! <Hi> I just got a tank that came with a divider so I purchased two male Betta's (an aqua/dark blue one named Jewels and a red one for my brother named Clifford). Jewels took awhile to get used to his new home but right away you could tell Clifford was no fraidy cat! <Different personalities for sure.> So today we went back to where we got them and asked if you could place any types of fish in with them (they share a 2.5 gallon so they each get 1.25 gallons each) and they said absolutely not but we tried many other places and one person said you can put Platies in with them but then from the same place they said not unless we had a bigger tank that was 30gallons or more (we live in a semi-detached so we don't have enough room). <Bettas only in this sized tank.>  I read from many places you can put them with African Dwarf Frogs but after reading another persons response one of the members said in other words that they poop a lot. <Not appropriate tank mates, especially in such a small tank.> So I thought perhaps guppies but I am worried about their tails (both the Bettas and the guppies!). <Nope both aggression problems with the Betta and the tank is too small.> I was wondering if any specific type of Guppies were not a good idea other than fancy ones. <No guppies is the only good idea.>  Also are Siamese Flying Foxes to big for the tank size I have? <Yes> I wanted to add smaller fish because my Betta is more relaxed than Clifford. <The tank is too small for any more life.> He only flairs up when they are eye to eye, as for I don't think it would be a good idea to put other fish with Clifford. But would Clifford get mad if Jewels had any in his side????? <No> Please e-mail us back at XXXXX@XXXXX.com your help is greatly appreciated! Thank You! Sydney <No more fish for this tank, sorry.> <Chris>

How do I care for my new Betta? New Tank Problems, Poor Stocking 7/11/06 Hello there at WWM, <Hi> Thank you for the wonderful site. <I think its pretty cool too.> I have a male Betta, Rory and a female Betta Caoimhe (pronounced Qeewa), two glow-light tetras, 5 neon tetras, one cardinal tetra and a couple of guppies called Heera and Panna. My tank is a Juwel-make, about 80L, well-equipped and about a month old. <Way too much for a 1 month old tank and incompatible fish.> A week ago, I bought 4 Bleeding-heart tetras. The next day I noticed that one of the neon tetras took a bite off my beautiful Rory's fins. <One reason I don't suggest keeping Bettas with most other fish, those long fancy fins are too much temptation to fish with any nipping tendencies.> I was horrified. By the evening I noticed that there were actually four neon tetras doing this dirty deed. <Getting their shots in until likely end inside the belly of the Betta.> So I took the four tetras to a pet store and explained the situation. The man took my tetras and offered to test the tank's water. It turned out that there was too much nitrate. <Numbers?> He was reasoning the tetras' erratic behavior was due to this. <More likely common Tetra behavior.> The following day one of glow-lights tail was bitten off whole. I saw one of the bleeding-heart tetras go after the glow-light. <Nature, kill the weak. Initial attack could have come from any fish.> So I brought all the four back to the store.  But all this seemed to have upset my Rory. I noticed that he was very lethargic, didn't go to play with the bubbles from the air-pump, didn't swim around the tank marking his territory, laid at the bottom of the tank for long periods and his fins were cramped as well. He also has a lump, like an air bubble at the bottom of his body. <Water quality issue.  Water changes needed.> I changed 50% of the water for four days now, adding salts, Stress Coat and Zyme each time. He seemed fine today morning but the lump is still there. <Takes time to heal.> Is there anything else I can do for him? <Improve water quality, diverse food items.> Was I right in giving away those 'hyper' tank mates? <Yes> What tank mates do you recommend for him, rather for my fishes (male and female fighters, male and female guppies, neon tetra, cardinal tetra and glow-light tetras)? <I keep Bettas in tanks alone, they tend to be nasty to smaller fish, and slow easy targets for larger fish.>   And I read on one site that one can put a finger in the tank as if beckoning the Betta and he will swim right up to you and rub against your finger. Is that safe for the Betta? <Not really, removes slime coating making infections more common.> Thank you very much, Kind regards, Beena A <Give these a read http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/betta_splendens.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettadiseases.htm > <Chris>

Re: How do I care for my new Betta? New Tank Problems, Poor Stocking Part II 7/12/06 Dear Chris, <Hi> Thank you very much for your prompt and informative reply. I just have a couple of questions please. <Sure> About the lump on my Rory, <Improve water quality, diverse food items.> I was feeding flakes daily and bloodworms twice a week before but haven't done so in the past week. Rory prefers bottom-feeding and because the guppies are so greedy I had to be generous with the helpings. I think this is one of the reasons for the high nitrates; <Probably> the pet store man didn't give me any numbers, sorry. <Always best to ask for them, what they say is fine may not be, or get the test kits and do it yourself, really pretty easy.> I am thinking to continue with twice/week treats except that I will do the water change the very next day. Do you think this routine will help keep the amount of nitrates to a minimum? <Will help, also make sure the flakes you are using are of high quality.  One of those things where you really get what you pay for.  Mixing brands and maybe pellets as well often is best, where one brand makes up for what another may be lacking.> I want to add live potted plants but the pet store man advised me to wait for 6 months before I do that. <Nah, as long as you pick a hardy species, you should be fine.  An Anubias might be a nice one to start with.> And what you said about my tank, <Way too much for a 1 month old tank and incompatible fish.> I learned about that incompatibility a little too late; <Often the case> see my fishes were a present to me and would you believe it, they came in a 30x30cm glass vase with plants in it. <I find those things disgusting.>   My friend was even advised there is no need to feed any of the fish because they all live on the bacteria produced by the roots of the plants!!!!! Pardon my use of exclamations, but I find it very untruthful. <Outright lying in my opinion.> It may have hurt the fish. <Can be overcome with the right environment.> Thank you again for everything, <Sure.> Kind Regards, Beena A <Chris>

Bad Betta, comp.    7/7/06 Hello WWM Crew! Thank you for taking the time to read this email! It is greatly appreciated! I recently bought two tank mates for my betta (Beethoven is his name). I bought a rummy nose tetra and a gold cloud. I have a 2 1/2 gallon filtered and heated tank for the fish. I put the new fish in with my betta and all seemed well. The betta was chasing the tetra but I figured they were just establishing the pecking order. After a while things calmed down and I left. I came back about an hour later and I was just in time to see the betta peck out the tetra's eye, needless to say the tetra died. The gold cloud is fine and I took the betta out of the tank and relocated him to a bowl. Is this unusual behavior for a betta? < Ya that sounds like a betta. Bettas are very territorial and don't like fish in their area. Smaller fish are soon soon killed and sometimes eaten as well.> Everyone else seems to have no problem with keeping rummy noses and bettas together. Should I put the betta back in with the gold cloud? < You betta really doesn't like company so for the sake of the gold cloud I would not risk it.-Chuck> Thank you for your help I really appreciate it! Katie, Indianapolis Indiana

Betta Behaviour - 07/04/2006 I brought a male fighter about a month ago and he was doing fine, so following the advice of a book I went and got 2 females to go with him. <Uhh, what book?  Please verify any information you glean with more than one source....  this was, simply stated, very bad advice, book or no.  Female Betta splendens cannot be housed full-time with male Betta splendens.> 3 days later and they have pecked most of his fins away. Could you tell me what's gone wrong? <Nothing's gone wrong.  This is normal behaviour.  A female should only be housed with a male when both fish are prepared to breed, and even then, only during breeding.> Regards Sarah <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Re: Goldfish and Bettas - 6/11/6 Hi, <<Hi.>> I recently emailed you about goldfish and bettas. If the temperature was about 24 degrees Celsius, could they go in the same tank? <<No.  Mixing a tropical fish like a betta with cool-water species is very poor fish keeping, and detrimental to the health of your fishes.>> Is the temperature the only reason? <<They are entirely incompatible species.  They require entirely different conditions.>> Or will the betta nip at the goldfish's fins? <<Certainly a possibility, but only one of many factors.>> Is there a food available that they will both eat? <<Im sure they will both eat the same food, but the have very different nutritional needs.  Goldfish need lots of roughage and plant matter in their diet, while bettas need more meaty food.>> I have heard that bettas will eat flakes.  Also, I have a red cap Oranda (very small only about 1 1/2 inches) that just seems to have a red spot on his head, no wen! Will a wen grow? Is this because he is young? <<Possibly.>> Thanks for all the information you've given me you've been sooooo helpful! (By the way, not ALL people can afford tanks that you tell them to buy!) <<Then those people should not keep the animals they cannot properly care for! Lisa.>>

Re: Goldfish and Bettas   6/10/06 Hi, <<Hello, Rachel. Tom here.>> As I read in a previous email, my fish will get sick and die (3 small goldfish in a 10 litre tank, I KNOW ITS TOO SMALL), and that's just why my small orange bubble eye fish did. <<Sorry to hear this, Rachel.>> I am now very upset, and my mum is finally letting me get a bigger tank. (I am unsure how many litres this new tank will be). <<Please plan on about 38 liters of water per Goldfish. Also, consider any additional Goldfish (note the emphasis on "Goldfish") that you may choose to add down the road when you make your purchase.>> I was also wondering if once we got the bigger tank could we put a betta in there? I really love Betta's and would love to put one in with my goldfish. <<Not what I would recommend, Rachel. A Betta would be just fine in the 10-liter tank, well-heated (26-29C) since they do best at warm temperatures. These temperatures are much warmer than your Goldfish need or will tolerate. Additionally, their dietary needs are quite different. I share your admiration for Bettas but mixing these fish simply isn't advisable.>> Thanks for all your help you've given, you've been so helpful! Great site! <<Thanks for the kind words, Rachel. My best to you. Tom>>

Betta and Corys  6/5/06 <<Hi, Chris. Tom with you.>> I have recently added a Betta with 2 Cory catfish in a 10 gallon tank. Sometimes the Betta chases the Corys around the tank.  I have seen the Betta take a nip at the Cory but the Corys have been fast enough to get away.  Could this be the Betta just setting up his territory?   <<Most likely the case, Chris.>> I have read Bettas and Corys are compatible.  Is my Betta overly aggressive? <<Could be the "alpha" type but, as a recent addition, I wouldn't be concerned.>> Anyway to calm him down?   <<With good conditions, he should acclimate without much else being done.>> Also, are there any other tankmates suitable? <<A ten-gallon tank is, typically, a bit large for a Betta but I wouldn't hurry out to find more "tankmates". They'll do very well "solo" and I'm not a fan of mixing these with other fish. (The Corys, which I adore, are pretty inoffensive in any tropical tank so I would discount these as "other fish". :)>> Thanks, Chris <<Any time, Chris. Tom>>

Betta tankmates  6/5/06 Hello, <Robert> Someone in my family was recently given a Betta as a birthday present,  and someone else who didn't like to see it in it's pathetically small cup moved it to an old 12 gallon Eclipse tank with java moss and Anacharis. <Good for the second someone> As someone who has never kept freshwater fish before, I'm really not  sure what species would work with the Betta. <... see WWM re Betta Compatibility> I was thinking of 5  or 6 turquoise danios (first choice), tetras, or harlequin  rasboras.  I'd really prefer the danios, but have read mixed  reviews as to their compatibility with Bettas.  I'm also planning  for a Cory cat or two, a few ghost shrimp, and a mystery snail.   Any thoughts? Thanks a lot.   Robert <These are all great choices for tankmates, this size, type system. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Bettas and Guppies ... comp.  - 06/02/2006 Hi WWM! <<Part of it, Helen. Tom here.>> I know Bettas and guppies shouldn't normally be kept together as the Betta may confuse them for other males. <<True. Additionally, a Betta doesn't require "mates" ("buddies", for our American readers) :)>> Wherever I've read this though the tank in question has had only a few plants or is relatively small. <<All a Betta requires...>> In a 125l tank with many, many places to retreat and no other occupants except ten guppies and a pair of catfish would it be possible to safely keep a Betta? <<What kind of Catfish, Helen? Some might think Guppies are "food". As to your question, it's generally not recommended to keep other fish with Bettas. Additionally, Guppies are easily stressed. Easily! A Betta will be tickled to death with a 20L tank, all by itself, and the Guppies will be happier for it.>> My main concern isn't that it could successfully hurt the guppies but that it might stress itself through constantly trying. <<My main concern, Helen, is mixing fish that shouldn't be "mixed".>> Thanks, Helen <<You're welcome, Helen. Tom>>

Betta Compatibility, Cherry Shrimp - 05/20/2006 Hey WWM crew, you guys have a pretty awesome FAQ going here. <Thanks for the kind words!> I went through the Betta compatibility FAQ and searched online but I did not really find an answer to my question so I was hoping you guys could help me out.  I currently have an eclipse 12 (12 gallon, 150 gph, bio-wheel) that has a relatively dense group of plastic plants around the back and sides with a cave and 2 ornamental decorations with some holes in it. The tank is cycled and currently houses 6 harlequin rasboras and a Betta. They get along fine and for the most part seem to ignore each other. The Betta seems to enjoy going around the tank and occupies all levels of the tank. My rasboras tend to stick to the middle to upper levels so I was thinking of getting something to occupy the bottom of the tank.   <Sounds great.> I know Cory cats tend to get along well with Bettas. However, I think a group of 3 Cory cats might be pushing my tank to the limits <Mm, you'd probably be okay with a few of one of the smaller species.> so I was thinking of maybe housing some cherry shrimp instead with the Betta and rasboras. <Cherry shrimp are great.> I know cherry shrimp live about 2 years long but I'm worried that my Betta might try to eat them for food. <It's possible.  I have a particularly aggressive female Betta that has killed shrimp much larger than cherries.  I think most Bettas would be fine with them, though.> However, they are about an inch long <Surprising.  They rarely get this large.  It might be a different species that you're looking at; maybe C./N. sp. "zeylanica", which can look similar but gets larger.> so I was hoping that the Betta would leave them alone after a while.   <You could try getting just one or two shrimp at first and see how the Betta responds.> What do you think, should I add a group of 3 Cory cats to the tank or add like 6 or 7 cherry shrimp to the tank?   <I, personally, would try the shrimp.  I think this would be better for the tank in terms of bioload, also the shrimp will eat algae, also shrimp are a lot of fun to watch.  Start with just a couple to see how the Betta reacts to them, and if there are no problems, get the rest.> Thanks for all your help.  -Xiaosong <Glad to be of service.  -Sabrina>
Re: Betta Compatibility, Cherry Shrimp - 05/21/2006
Hey Sabrina, <Hi, Xiaosong!  Incidentally, you have a beautiful name.> Thanks for your help! <And thank you for giving me the opportunity to help!> You were right about the size of the shrimp; they are more like 3/4th of an inch. So I had a quick follow up question. Once I get the shrimp, do you think it would be better to pull the Betta out of the tank for a day or two to let the shrimp get acclimated to the tank or should I just put the shrimp in with the Betta right away? <I'd get just a couple to start with, and go ahead and put them in.  That'll give you the best idea of how the Betta is going to respond to them, I think.> When I first introduced the Betta to the tank with the rasboras, I put the Betta in the tank in a breeding net on the side for a day but I didn't think it made a difference in the end with the rasboras. <Sounds like a plan, then!> Thanks! <Any time.> Xiaosong <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Misbehaving Betta 5/16/06 Hello- <Hi>    I have a 29 gallon filtered tank w/ heater (78-82 degrees F).    I recently purchased a male Betta (Skyler). The first couple days he hid near the bottom and around the plants. <Normal>  However, the past couple of days he has been chasing my seven platies around and flaring at them. He stays near the top right corner and mostly chases them when they come near his corner. Is he just protecting his territory? And when should I get worried about his aggressiveness? <Can be normal for Bettas.  I have noticed quite a wide range of "personalities" in these fish.  Some are timid as can be, others are just plain old mean.> I have a huge rock shelter and about six faux plants on one side of the tank and six on the other. Thank you for your insight. Sarah <As long as no physical damage is being done I would give it a few days to see if the aggression subsides.  May be that a new pecking order needs to be established and then all will be fine.  If his behavior does not improve, or the platies become physically damaged the Betta will have to be removed.> <Chris>

A friend for my Betta? - 5/8/2006 Hi! <<Hello!>> I wish I knew more about fish owning before barging in and asking potentially ignorant questions, but I was landed with a Betta unexpectedly when my boyfriend bought me one for last Valentines Day. <<Pets make bad presents!>> Napoleon (my "unexpected blessing" of a fish) came in a teeny little cup but after reading up on Betta systems on WWM, I have moved him to a 3-gallon filtered tank. <<Great to hear!>> I had some cycling issues at first, but now that everything is under control, I wanted to get Napoleon a buddy. This is not so much because I think he's lonely as because I would like to have another fish to put in the tank. I read that I could put a Cory catfish in with Napoleon, but I also read that Corys get "lonely" and "waste away" without other Corys. I don't think my 3-gallon tank can handle more than one, so can I get away with just a single Cory? <<I wouldnt personally.  How about a dwarf frog or some shrimp?>> Thanks, Katherine P.S. if and when I DO get Napoleon a friend, is there something I can do to ensure that the newcomer does not give Napoleon any diseases contracted in the pet store? <<Yes, quarantine the newcomer before introduction.  Search WWM on quarantine.>> Thank you very much for your time. <<Glad to help.  Good lick with your new wet pet! Lisa.>>

Betta Community - Thoughts on this mix  - 04/27/06 Hi, I've been reading and reading but can't determine if the potential community I'd like to set up is likely to work or not, so I decided to write to you and get your opinions on my particular conditions. I have a 35 gallon (35L x 12W x 18H) tank that is currently cycling using a fishless cycling method (just waiting now for the nitrites to finally fall !).  It is decorated with two 11H x 7L x 5W "cave" walls (plastic), another artificial decoration (9H x 6L x 4W) and a piece of artificially driftwood with three 11 - 14 inch plastic plants and 4 3inch plastic plants in various locations.  I designed the tank to provide sufficient cover, hiding places and visual barriers to (hopefully !) keep everyone happy and non-stressed. I have a filter designed for a 60 gallon tank and a 12 inch bubble wand against the back wall in one corner. Here is the mix I'm contemplating: 1 male Betta 3 clown loaches 2 Mickey mouse platies 2 black mollies 12 fancy guppies (mix of male and female) 6 giant danios Any thoughts you could provide on this set up is appreciated. Thank you JoAnn <These should all get along... though I would keep an eye on the Betta's fins... the Danios may nip/push this fish about a bit... and make it difficult to feed. You might consider a device (e.g. a hurricane lamp cover glass) set in this tank to isolate and protect the Betta. Bob Fenner>

How many FW livestock... in a divided tank? Dear Crew, <<Hi Carol.>> I have read much of the freshwater/Betta info on your website and have found it very useful.  Thanks so much for your time and interest in giving such good answers to so many of us! <<Our pleasure, thanks for reading.>> I have a 10-gallon tank, which is divided into 3 "equal" areas, and have a male Betta in each section. (Their names are Bait and Switch, and Cosmo.) One section also includes a mystery snail.  Is it possible to add any other fish to these sections?  I'm aware that by dividing it, I just have 3 gallons of SPACE, but still have the 10 gallons of WATER, so am confused about how many 'bodies' I can safely have in each area (re: filtering, bacteria, and room). <<I wouldnt add any fish in here, personally.  Divided tanks can be hard to filter properly, and the 3-gallon sections are too small to house more than your Bettas, in my opinion.>> Also, if I CAN add some more fish, which ones would you suggest? (Pet store people don't seem to have a clue -- this isn't a dig -- just frustrating!) <<Yes, fish stores can be maddening!  Like I said, I really wouldnt add any other fish here.>> Just as more information, so that it'll be easier to answer my questions, I have a double sponge filter and a good heater, keeping the temp at between 74 - 76 degrees.  This is a really new tank (I didn't realize that I needed to cycle it before I added the fish, but they seem to be doing fine). <<If there are detectable nitrites or ammonia in the tank, I assure you, they are not.  Bettas dont die as quickly from ammonia poisoning as other fish, due to breathing air, but they still suffer and will have their lives shortened.>> I do water testing on a semi-regular basis, particularly after the weekly water change. <<What are the readings?>> I've had it about a month, now.  At this point, I only have plastic plants and a little clay pot in each section for hiding places. The light is not fluorescent, although I'm thinking of changing that. <<It is incandescent, Im assuming?>> I only leave it on for a few hours each day, so the temperature doesn't get too out of whack. Thanks for all the help you can give me, ...carol... <<Glad to help.  It sounds like a really nice set-up to me.  Get the cycling taken care of, and youll have three beautiful, healthy fish.  Lisa.>>

New Betta Fish and aquarist   04/17/2006 We just got my daughter her first fish, a male crowntail, and a female betta. The lady at the pet store said this would be fine. <Male and female Bettas cannot be kept together.  The male will terrorize the female literally to death.> I did all of the water conditioning and put them in a 6.3 liter tank with a filter. I noticed right away she was being very aggressive. She would puff up and chase him around the tank. I turned off the light and did a few house chores, when I came back his beautiful fins were chewed all up!!!! <To be expected.  Defending herself from the male's advances.> I pulled her out. My questions are: will his fins grow back, and if yes how long will it take, and two, is this normal behavior, or are they not compatible? Thanks-Kristyl <They can never live together.  Please do some reading on Bettas: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm ...And since it sounds like you're new to fishkeeping, on cycling an aquarium, too.  If you don't know, cycling is the single most important part of setting up a new aquarium, if it is skipped it will very likely lead to the death of your pet: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm Good luck! Jason N.>

Bubble Eyes and Bettas    3/31/06 Hi, I'm having problems with my two bubble eye goldfish, X and  Deepthroat. We got them a week ago and they live in a 10 gallon tank  with an Oranda and a Calico (fantail? I'm not sure). I am upgrading  their tank to 20 gallons tomorrow. <Better... but will need much more room than this in time> Anyway, one of X's eye bubbles has  become clouded and it's been suggested to be that he might have an infection. <Possible, but much more likely this is resultant from environmental insult, stress> What's the best way to cure it and what can I do to prevent  it from happening again? <Salt use... detailed on WWM, and good environment, maintenance and nutrition will prevent> The other bubble eye seems to have injured one  of his eyes - it's looks a bit bloody. <Yes, not uncommon... just from water quality difference/s, being netted...> Both fish are active and eat  well, though they do like to spend time resting on the bottom. Any  advice?   <Yes... posted on WWM>   Also, when I get the 20 gallon tank I'm moving my Betta from his 1.77  tank to the 10 gallon. Since he'll have so much room I'd like to get  him some tankmates, and was thinking of five danios or tetras. Would  that make for a good community? <Depending on the species chosen, yes... there are some too large and aggressive of both groups...> Regardless of what fish I get, would it  be ok to add them to the tank at the same time as the Betta? Or should  I get the tank, move the Betta, and the wait for him to become adjusted  to his new home first?   <Much better to wait, do the latter. Bob Fenner>   Thank you!     ~Torey

Cherry barbs and Betta comp. Dear Bob [or whoever happens to get this email :)], Thanks for the advice on adding the extra charcoal to my filter. A few weeks after I added it my Betta's tail seemed to be growing back quite nicely! <Ah, good> Now that my tank is cycled and I know that my water is fine I added a few more fish. My tank is 5 gallons with a bio-wheel filter, 79-80 degrees and all of my water parameters are zero. 2 weeks ago I added one rummy nose tetra and two male cherry barbs. At first everything was going well then after about a week the barbs started nipping my Betta's tail. <Very common in such a small volume> Now his tail is beginning to look shredded. He has not been aggressive towards them at all and the tetra ignores them all and happily and actively swims all over the tank and his nose is blood red so I think he must be very happy! I had read many different things on your site saying that cherry barbs would be ok with a Betta so now I'm kind of confused as to what type of fish won't be aggressive towards him. <More than "species A and B" to this equation... particularly environmental size, make-up...> The fish store I bought the barbs from just went out of business so I'm hoping I can find another store that will let me trade them in since they are very healthy. Do you have any other suggestions as to one or two other fish (other than Corys) I can put in with my Betta and rummy nose tetra? Thanks! Catherine <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/betcompfaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Platy vs. Betta   3/25/06 Hi, I have a male Betta in a 10 gallon tank and I just bought 2 platys 2 weeks ago, a male (he's yellow) and a female (a Mickey mouse). The guy who sold me the fish didn't tell me they could have so many babies, now my female platy looks pregnant but the thing is, I don't really want the babies because I don't have time to take care of them. Also, I've read that Bettas will eat the babies plays, is that true? <Yes... all he can catch...> My second problem is that my Betta is being very aggressive with my male platy and the male platy is being very aggressive with my female platy. What should I do? Mel <Mmm, maybe try adding some decor items... live and faux plants, a castle perhaps... Things to visually break up the environment... If no obvious damage is being done, I would not be overly concerned otherwise. Bob Fenner>

Chinese Algae Eaters Eating Bettas Fins. - 03/18/2006 Hello ,I have a 5 gallon eclipse system cycled tank (3 months old), cycled with Bio-Spira. All the levels in the tank are great (ammonia, nitrites) ph 6.8 constant temp. of 70 degrees. To my problem, I started with a Male Betta, love these beautiful fish and built the tank for him. Tank has been doing great fish have been doing great, till today. Came home from work and the male Bettas' fins are mostly missing. The spines are still there for the most part but the "fleshy" part of the fins are gone.  I have him isolated and using melafix on him. He comes up for air but is pretty hurt, lays/floats sideways. In the tank I have him his tankmates are, a female he has been with for 3 months (they get along well, no flaring), a julii eye catfish, 2 medium Neons, a small American frog and a shrimp. Last week I picked up 2 inch algae eaters with sucker mouths. I thought they would be good for the algae growing on the glass. I would like to know what you think  the culprit is. I am very sad that this happened to my buddy and am hoping to nurse him back to health , but would not like something to attack him again (if it was an attack). It does not look like fin rot, no discoloration at all, just as if the  flesh was sucked off the spines. Any help would be appreciated. Sincerely Stephanie < While algae eaters do eat some algae, they will not pass up a meaty meal like the slim on larger slower fish or on the long flowing fins of Bettas. They are the ones who caused the problem.-Chuck>

Tankmates For A 12 FW Set Up   3/15/06 Dear Wet Web Media Crew, I'm new at the whole aquarium business.  My only experience is that I've had a one gallon tank with a male beta and a ghost shrimp for about six months. They're doing fine.  I was thinking about getting a larger aquarium (12 gallons), and have done all of my research, but I don't know if the number of fish I'm thinking about getting is too much for the tank. I'm considering getting the following in a 12 gallon tank.  If it is too much, can you please reply with the proper quantities of fish I should have in an aquarium this size? 5 Neon Tetras,3 Fancy Guppies, 4 Dwarf Corydoras Catfish,1 Female Beta,1 Mystery Snail. Thank you very much for your help! < All should do fine. The female Betta may push around the smaller fish and nip at the guppies tails. This depends on the temperament of the particular Betta you purchase.-Chuck>

Female Fighter in <small, unfiltered, unheated> Marina <brand> Betta Tank   2/14/06 Hi there, Recently I saw two beautiful female Siamese Fighting Fish in two separate aquarium shops, and I bought them both. One was bright blue and the other is dark blue (looks more like a crown fish). I tried to place them both in a Marina Betta kit tank which holds 1.84 Litres. The dark blue female tried to push the light blue female out of the tank. So I placed them each in a separate Marina Betta tank. I thought they only needed to live in a small area like the male fighters. <... at times> I was advised that female fighters prefer to live in groups in a larger tank with a filter. <Actually... can be crowded... but this is not a natural condition> I cleaned out their Marina Betta tanks each week and conditioned the water. But sadly, my light blue female developed ammonia poisoning and died. <Better to store water ahead of use for a week or more> I felt terrible! I had started her on Melafix treatment <Worthless> but it was too late. Please tell me more about ammonia poisoning. <Please read on WWM re> Since then, I bought an airstone ball for my remaining female. She likes to swim through the rising air bubbles as if she were enjoying a spa. Should I transfer her to a larger tank to prevent stress and illness? <Yes> If yes, what would be a healthy tank size for her to live in? <A few to several gallons or more... heated, filtered...> I am cautious about placing her in a tank with other fish because she seems quite aggressive for such a tiny fish. She likes her BettaMin Tropical Medley flakes each day and seems quite active - flirting with the large male fighter in the tank next to her. Thanks. Sharon <And please read re Betta Feeding as well... Bob Fenner>

Siamese fighting fish mainly comp.   2/2/06 Good Morning <And to you> I wonder if you can help i have had a look at your FAQ and probably know the answer to this question I have a fairly new <Cycled?> tank with heater, filter , live plants 2 plastic plants and 2 Neon Tetras, 1 red Platy, 2 orange Platy, 2 Yellow balloon Mollies, 1 moonlight gourami, 2 widow platy and 1 loach and 1 Siamese fighting fish, today i bought 2 more Mollies , 1 black  and 1 Dalmatian and 2 X-ray Tetra <The mollies are brackish...> since i have had the last 4 fish my Siamese fighting fish has been going mad chasing just the black and Dalmatian Mollies and occasionally one of the widow platy who seems to like to wind him up? <Happens> because it's the evening and the shop is closed i have attached a mirror to the side of the tank trying to keep him amused and away from the  new Mollies which seems to be working quite well but the black Molly has got fed up and is hiding under the wood i have in there, would you say this problem may right itself and he's just making it known that he lives in the tank too or do you think i need to do something else , I have read on another site that they can live in bowl without a heater as long as the room is kept warm but that doesn't somehow sound right ? <... please see WWM re: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm> any advice would be greatly appreciated i don't really know what to do i didn't want to get rid of the Siamese fighting fish or return the Mollies whether the shop would accept them i don't know ? <Likely can/will get along if the system is large enough, not crowded... in time, though hard to feed Bettas in such mixed communities. Perhaps an inside "hanging" barracks for the Betta... Bob Fenner> Thanks very much Alison Vass

Betta, snail, together - 1/30/2006 Hi Crew, <Mario> I was thinking of introducing a snail in my 2.5g with heater/filter/java fern and a male betta. <Okay> Is this a good idea, what are the pros and cons? <I think it's a good idea... is posted... on WWM> Will they eat the java ferns? the waste on the glass/bottom? <Some will some...> Do they require a separate food that you buy at the LPS? <Nope> I do not have a cover will they crawl outside the tank. <Unlikely> Which ones do you recommend that are compatible with a betta? <An Ampullaria sp.> Thanks, Mario D. <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Adding fish To A Betta Tank.   1/26/06 Hi, Now that my tank is up to the correct temperature, do you think it's ok to add two Cory catfish to the 2.5 gallon tank, or would that be too crowded? Thanks, Elizabeth < Try adding just one and see how it goes. Neither fish requires much oxygenation but the Cory will help eat food that settles to the bottom.-Chuck>

Betta Tankmates   1/7/06 Hello, I would like to start my own aquarium, and I am very interested in a male Siamese fighting fish. What easily kept fish would you suggest I keep with this fish? Best regards, Jenna < There are a couple of problems associated with Bettas. First is that they really don't like company. Bettas come from slow moving streams and small pools. Any fish found with them is considered competition and is chased away. Faster fish, that Bettas can not catch soon nip at the Bettas long flowing fins and pick on the Betta. You are going to have to try a few fish out to see if they work. For the top of the tank you could try some hatchetfish. Watch out as they like to jump. For the middle of the tank you could try a small school of medium sized tetras or rasboras. Try to get fish in the one to two inch range. Bottom fish like algae eaters Cory's and Plecos are pretty much ignored for the most part. Sometimes communities of fish work out and sometimes they don't. Much of the success depends on the individual personality of the Betta you chose. Search the WWM website for articles on keeping Bettas.-Chuck>

Friends for a female Betta  12/22/2005 Hi all, I have a female Betta that has been on her own for about 6 months and I would like to know what type of fairly cheap (just in case) fish I could put with her. She is in an about 12L tank that has a filter, heater, light, plastic and live plants and a couple of snails. At first she was with a male, but he died from a very toxic, plastic plant (now in the bin!). Then I tried two white clouds. She chased them and chased them, and after two days, one died. So I took the other one out. I would now like to put some other fish in with her, but I am worried she will be too territorial and kill them. Can you suggest a type of fish I could add? Do you recommend guppies? <Not too super-fancy tailed (male) ones... perhaps some Lender's livebearers... and there's always small Corydoras catfish species... Please read here for more: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/betcompfaqs.htm> Also, she is full of eggs and I have been told that she needs a male to come and 'squeeze' her, but I don't want to get a male as I don't want to be worried about taking her out when he has done so. Can she get sick or anything from being full of eggs and not getting rid of them? Thanks for your help, Rhiannon. <Good question... not likely a problem. The female will resorb the egg material in time. Bob Fenner>

Housing bettas together - 7/12/05 Hi There, <Hello Trevor> My girlfriend has an orb tank with some neon tetras , ruddy nose tetra and some tiny suckers. She also has a female Siamese fighter and here is the problem. She has introduced a male fighter initially followed by the female. <That is a problem... it is generally a bad idea to house females and males together permanently... the male will usually be (fatally) aggressive toward the female.> The male was a bit lethargic and then disappeared completely without trace. After a while she got another one which was much more lively and the pair seemed to be getting on well , there were lots of bubbles on the surface and the odd bit of chase me. Then all of a sudden this one has gone without trace too. Could the female really have eaten both males and left nothing. We have emptied the tank both times and NOTHING. <Mmm this is a strange turn of events! I do not think your females are eating your males. Is the "orb" covered? Bettas are able jumpers -- so do check on the floor around / under the tank. Are you also testing for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates? If not, perhaps the Bettas died due to water quality issues, and had their corpses scavenged... perhaps by the "suckers"? Best regards, John.> 

Our Betta is grumpy? 10/9/05 I have been reading through your very informative site, but cant quite seem to find the answer I am looking for. We have a large community tank - about 200litres, which we have had set up for about 4 months now. We have filters, light, heater, live plants, gravel bottom, under-floor filter tray etc etc. We have the following fish at the moment: Plecostomus, 4 swordtails, 4 platies, a loach (the eel like one that burrows under the stones), a rainbow /red tipped shark and a cobalt blue male Betta. The Betta doesn't get nipped at all, his tail is still beautifully intact and the other fish don't seem to bother him as they seem far more interested in making babies of their own (we currently have 3 fry (1 got eaten by adult) living in a floating breeding trap that are half swordtail half platy by the look of it!). <Can happen> However the Betta and the shark take turns chasing each other, though it is predominantly the Betta that literally stalks the shark! The shark just keeps swimming frantically out of his way, despite being a good half body length bigger than the Betta! The Betta puffs up his gills (by the look of it) and stands all his fins and tail out, and I swear his blue colour gets brighter then he lunges at the shark. He has even gone to the length of hiding in the ship wreck (which USED to be the sharks home) and waiting for the shark to go past, and then racing out and having a go at him!!! Are these two going to damage each other or are they simply males trying to sort out the pecking order in the tank? <As long as it's the Betta going after the shark, and not the other way around, no problem... the minnow-shark is much faster> We wonder if getting a female Betta would alleviate the problem, or just give our grumpy Betta another victim? <Much more likely the latter> We don't really want to separate him into one of those horrible little bowls, as he otherwise seems quite happy. We feed them flakes, died blood worms, Pleco has large tablets and also have smaller tablets for the loach. Is the problem the shark or the Betta? <Not a problem... just natural behavior> Neither bothers any of the other fish, so we are not sure which if either we should separate! Thanks for your time, worried parents!! ;-) <I would not change the livestock dynamic here. Bob Fenner>

Probably Another Dumb Betta Question (No, Just a Rude, Not-following- the- directions- to- write- us One) 10/9/05 I have 2 Chinese fighter fish both in their own 10 gal. tanks- were together in one with a partition but thought they would be better in own tanks. Both tanks dirty quickly and I was wondering if a plecasamus (spelling Issue) {plecostomus} or algae sucker would be compatible in their tanks. <Nope, neither one... as you'd know if you read on WWM> Both have BEAUTIFUL tails and are purely gorgeous- don't want to hurt them or spend good money for them to just kill another fish in their territory. Any suggestions or should I just continue to clean tanks regularly? Thanks- sorry if it's a repeat question. <Could use snails, filters... please read on WWM re. Bob Fenner> 

Mystery Shark And Betta Compatibilities - 09/30/2005 I have a black fin shark <I can only assume you mean one of the fishes here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/minnowshks.htm > and a Betta, can I have both of them in the same tank? <Not knowing precisely what your "shark" is, the short answer is "I don't know".  Find out what the fish is, how large it grows, and its compatibilities, then decide.> I just got my black fin shark what are the best foods to feed it? <Likely prepared flake, pellet, or frozen foods will be fine.> can you e-mail me the answers to XXXX <Done>   Thank you for taking your time to answer my questions. <Please read about these fish on our site.  Much of the information you seek is already archived.  Start here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/betta_splendens.htm .  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Betta Bowlmates  9/26/05 Hi, Could you please advise what type of fish would live happily with my  Beta, I have  a 30 litre BiOrb which has a capacity of  12/18, I was thinking of 4/5 large fish with a few smaller  ones, I would like a exotic, unusual and selective display if  possible. Regards Lin Hazell <Please see here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/betcompfaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Betta Buddies  9/19/05 I work from home and decided that I wanted some company.  Picked up some (six) stalks of 'lucky bamboo' (which I realize isn't bamboo at all) and placed it into a large vase.  Yesterday the wife and I picked up Bob the Blue Betta and placed him in his new home.   Bob is active and is eating and seems alert and 'happy' (at least as happy as a fish can be, I guess. My wife insists that Bob have a buddy or two.  Pet store owner said one or two females could be added with no problem.  After reading a bit on your site, I realize that was wrong. So, can I add one small fish to this 2.5-3 gallon, unfiltered, unheated 'home'?  I don't have problems doing frequent water changes, and I could add a small submerged filter, like: http://www.shopping.com/xPF-Elite_Stingray_Underwater_Filters_by_Hagen Can I add another fish?  What breed of fish?  Can I add one (or more?) female Bettas?  Or some other breed? Can I just add a Blue Shrimp? or a Ghost Shrimp? http://aquatic-store.com/en-us/dept_307.html Thanks in advance for your help, George < Your betta actually does better by himself. In the wild they are found in small ponds that dry up almost to nothing every year. Males fight to the death over territories and resources. You betta is actually doing what he does naturally and is waiting at the surface for some insect to fall into the water. Females would be constantly chased by the male. In your little bowl there is no place to hide so if she is not ready to spawn then he would kill her. Invertebrates would be eaten when they shed their exoskeleton. Other fish would be chased or would be picking on the bettas fins.-Chuck>

Minnows killed Betta 8/25/05 I recently added 5 small minnows to a 15 gal tank with 1 male betta. <Err> Some appeared to harass the betta at first and I found 1 dead every day for 4 days (never found the 5th).  On the 6th day the betta was dead.!  Could the betta have died from eating the 5th minnow? <Mmm, maybe... but more likely from stress, being harassed by the minnows> I have replaced the betta and wonder how a pair of clown loaches would do? Thanks Jim Martin <Can you find out the species of minnow here? There are many... and a bunch of these species are inappropriate for a tropical fish tank... I would wait on the loaches till we discern the species, requirements of the minnows, their compatibility. Bob Fenner>

Re: Minnows killed Betta  8/30/05 Hi Bob and thanks for your quick reply. <Welcome> I went back to Petsmart to check out the species and the tank is now labeled Rosie Red goldfish. <Mmm, not goldfish, a different species, but both are minnows... family Cyprinidae members> They look like the minnows I bought and are not red. <Are red when in good health...> Having read your comments on goldfish, I'm not going to replace them, so how about a clown loach or two with the betta? Jim <A good choice if you have enough room... see fishbase.org re. Bob Fenner>

Cohabitation of Male and Female Bettas? - 08/17/2005 Hi! <Hello!> You have some great info on your website.   <So glad you find it useful.  Thank you for these kind words.> I just have a question regarding keeping males with females (with a petition) <A petition?  I infer, from the rest of your email, you mean a "partition", as in a divider of some sort, yes?> I have two male bettas and one female in the same tank (about 7 litres) but they have they have their space divided with glass partitions (it's designed specifically for bettas)  Looks a bit like this: http://www.petfish.net/bettafry.jpg <Ah, yes, I'm quite confidant at this point you mean "partitions".  7 liters.... divided by three bettas.... 'bout 0.62 gallon per fish....  smaller than I'd like, but do-able.  You might consider something larger, when/if possible.> although it's smaller and not in separate pieces, it's all joined (let me know if you're not sure what I mean, you've probably seen them though) <I have a rough idea.> My question is, is it ok to keep them together?  They obviously can't breed but they do pay each other a bit of attention and the female is starting to get fat and has that little tube sticking out slightly from her belly.  Is this harmful for her or them?   <Likely not.> They seem to get on well and seem happy and healthy but I wondered if this is not good long term?. They do have quite a few live plants in there so they can hide and stuff if they want to though. <Long term, I would prefer to see them each with a few gallons of their own....  even in a divided tank (with partitions).  But as for them living in such a situation, yeah, they'll not harm each other.  The general caution against keeping males with females is because the male will either harm/kill himself or the female with prolonged contact.  Keeping them in separate compartments in the same tank is fine.> Thanks in advance for your advice!  -Lauren <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>
Cohabitation of Male and Female Bettas? - II - 08/17/2005
Thanks a lot for your quick reply! <You bet.> I would like to get a bigger tank for them, I looked in a lot of places but that was the biggest one I could find.   <Surprising!  Even a standard 10g tank will do; dividers are available at some/most stores separately.  At least in the US....  Not sure where you are, or what's available there.> I guess I'll have to keep looking.  It was a great deal bigger that other tanks they had (some about as big as a big glass of water) which disgusted me a bit. <Agreed....  At our local fish club, such containers occasionally come up for sale in our auctions, and almost invariably are referred to as "Betta Torture Chambers" by our auctioneer!  Your current system is FAR better than such a device.> Anyway, sorry to ask again but back to the female....  I figured if she's getting fat then she must be full of eggs.... <Likely> so what happens if she doesn't release the eggs?  Can this have some toxic effect., or are they just reabsorbed... or is it just normal for this to happen? <She will either release them, reabsorb them, or (possibly) become egg-bound, which can be fatal....  I've not seen that happen to any females I've had.  99% of the time, their bellies waxed and waned, presumably the eggs were simply reabsorbed.> Thanks again! <And thank you for writing in.> Lauren <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>
Cohabitation of Male and Female Bettas? - III - 08/23/2005
Thanks Sabrina!   <You bet.> Fran's not as fat as she was so I presume she's sorted the whole egg thing out.   <Ah, good.> I'm in Australia by the way, and I did look around for big betta house but no go - I will eventually buy a big standard tank and get the plates of glass made up for it.   <Sounds like a plan.  There are also commercially made dividers for standard-sized tanks available online and in some stores; you might look for these.> Oh, and have you heard of a product which puts natural bacteria into the water, to keep levels of ammonia low? <Mm, Marineland's Bio-Spira is one such product, perhaps the best....  but it is no cure for water changes....> Is it safe to add this while the fish are in the tank, <Yes.> or should it be put in without them there so it settles?   <Water changes are really your only good natural defense against the buildup of wastes.  "The Solution to Pollution is Dilution", as it were.> Thanks again :) <Glad to be of service!  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Dory and Suckie weren't lovers... Dory is a male betta or so i have been told by the store. He is dark blue. I am fairly new at having a fish. I have notice a weird behavour from him. For about 2 weeks he lays under the pump on his side and sleeps. It looks like it anyway. I keep tapping the tank to see if he is alive or not. He shares his tank with a bottom feeder. I call him Suckie. <Keep your eye on this fish... may give Dory a deadly hickie> They both eat the same food. Dory eats from the top and Suckie from the bottom when the food falls. Sometimes, mostly when i go to feed Dory, he will see me with the food in my hand and he will stay in one spot and shake his head back and forth. I have read that bettas are curious and performers. Should i be worried or not.                             Angie <Re the Betta's behavior? No... the presence of the CAE? Yes.... please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/betcompfaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Bettas, Snails, and Glass Cats - 08/04/2005 Hello, WWM Crew!! :) <Hello, Stella and Jared!> First off, thanks so much for all the work you put into getting this info. out there! I spend *way* too much time reading things on this webpage. <And thank you very much for your kind words; this is much appreciated.> Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find answers to everything I was wondering-- maybe I just didn't look hard enough. <No worries.> Currently, my husband and I have two tanks set up.  One is the Eclipse 3-gallon and it houses a happy, fat Betta fish, 3 Ghost Shrimp and various live plants.   <Sounds perfect.> I was thinking about adding some Java Fern and getting a Golden or Black Mystery Snail for this tank. The shrimp do a fine job cleaning up, but I think I'd like a snail, too. Would that overload this tank? And how can I make sure that the snail won't come with a bunch of baby snails? (I suppose I could get a male...?) <Mm, honestly, I would not add a mystery snail to this small system.  Too much potential for pushing out more biological waste than the tank can easily support.  Do-able, though, if you are very meticulous about testing and changing water.  Do please take a look at http://www.applesnail.net , though, for lots of snaily information.> The other is an Eclipse Hex 7, which has... one Glass Catfish and various live plants. (The other Glass Cat we bought died the morning after it was brought home.)  Normally, there is a Betta in this tank too; unfortunately, he seems to be sick.  I pulled him out, placed him in a vase (I don't have an "official" QT tank yet), tried to get the water temperature a bit warmer than his water (82F) and a little extra salt. I also added a half dose of CopperSafe. The sick Betta has feathery stuff flaking off of him, almost from beneath his scales.  He seems to be doing much better, blowing bubbles and swimming around happily. Maybe he prefers having no tankmates... He's been quarantined for 2 days now-- how much longer should I keep him out of the 7 gallon? 3 weeks? <A week or two after he has regained health completely is probably sufficient.  A side note - DO NOT add CopperSafe (or ANY other copper-based medication) to aquaria with invertebrates, as it is highly toxic to them.> As for our lonely Glass Cat (who still won't eat much!!), <Try offering frozen meaty foods, such as frozen bloodworms, or live foods like mosquito larvae, just after lights-out on the tank.> how many more Glass Cats can we put in the 7 gallon tank without overloading it? I know they do much better in a shoal/school, but I'd really rather not make them all miserable in a small space. <This animal is easily capable of reaching six inches in length....  In all honesty, I would plan on a larger tank (20 gallons or more) and aim for at *least* three of these fish; shy schoolers like this really seem to be more "at ease" in numbers.  Please consider the 7g tank a very temporary home.> By the by, I was also considering getting a Black or Golden Mystery Snail for this particular tank. Would having snails mean less gravel-vaccing? <No.  Snails, like other animals, produce waste; you'll still need to do the same regular maintenance.  I see no problem adding a snail or two to this tank.> We're still set on having 10-15% water changes/testings once a week, but we're afraid too much gravel vacuuming is bad for the plants... <Well, yes, there *is* a happy medium.  Try not to vacuum too much at the plants' roots, but in areas absent of plants, vacuum all the more.> Lastly (I'm sorry! So many questions...!!), <Really, no worries!  I'm glad you're asking, rather than not!> since we have smaller fish, what size tank would be adequate for a QT? <As above, I would like to encourage you to think about a much larger tank for the glass cat(s)....  They might be "smaller fish" right now, but they won't stay so.  Ahh, in fact, here's the fishbase entry on 'em:   http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=10920&genusname=Kryptopterus&speciesname=bicirrhis .  If you do a much larger system, the 7 would make a fine QT, or a cheap 10g setup would serve just as well.> It's been difficult finding a heater that works well for such small size tanks. <A small, 25w heater would be fine for the 7.  I even use a 25w in my own 3g eclipse; works great.> Thankfully, we live in San Diego, so the temperature of the tank water rarely drops below 77. <Ahh, very good indeed.> Thank you so so much in advance! Look eagerly forward to a reply :) --Stella&Jared <Thank you again for your kind words!  Wishing you and your fishes (and future snails?) well,  -Sabrina>

Bettas, compatibility 8/2/05 I have a little Betta tank that is split with a piece of glass down the middle. It didn't have a lid on it, though it does now. <Yes, jumpers> Now I had a female, and male Betta in this little tank, the female managed to jump over the glass as far as I could tell as she had been in with the male for what I could tell to may be hours. They didn't hurt each other at all, just kinda postured at each other showing their gills. Would it be a bad thing to put these two in together into a bigger tank? <Can be done... but often results in the female hiding all the time, injury> I know Bettas are hard to breed, and I'm not expecting to. Just wondering if its a bad idea. Polara_Blues <Not hard to breed... in my estimation... and a lot of fun. Bob Fenner>

Bettas compatibility 7/31/05 Hello,         I just set up a ten gallon  aquarium about a month ago.  I currently have three head and tail light tetras, two black mollies, and one Chinese algae eater occupying it. <Keep your eye on the last> I was  wondering if it was ok to put one Betta in with these fish. <Should be okay... watch that the CAE doesn't start "riding it" though> I feel sorry for them when I see them at the pet stores and they are in those little  tiny cups.  I feel that putting them in those tiny living  quarters is extremely cruel.   <Mmm, moving, displaying male Bettas in such is okay, keeping them in small, unheated, unfiltered settings is cruel IMO> I was hoping I could save one from  a terrible life. I have heard that Bettas are very aggressive but only  towards their own kind.  Some people tell me that it would be fine and  others say that a Beta would kill my other fish.   <... please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/betcompfaqs.htm and the linked files above, where you lead yourself> I know that tiger barbs  are fin nippers and not to put them in with Betas, <Ah, yes> but are any of the fish in my  aquarium fin nippers as well. <Not generally... w/ the exception of the CAE> Could you also tell me which fish are  nippers.  Thanks in advance.                                                                     Catlady <Meow! Bob Fenner>

Betta tankmates 7/10/05 Hello.  I believe I have a 15 gallon tank it's either 10 or 15.  In it I have 2 gold dust mollies and 2 female bettas.  I was wondering if this was a good combination or are the two fish not compatible. <The female bettas the mollies should get along fine> I watch them regularly to make sure the bettas don't bite the mollies and so far they seem to be getting along fine. My female molly had babies, but sadly they died.  She had them a day after I bought her and I was not expecting them.  When will she have her babies again? <If you have a female and male molly, quite soon (a few weeks most likely) but if not, then not at all> Thank you for your help! <Anytime.  In the future, please use proper spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and grammar, as these emails are archived for future viewing> -Kylie <M. Maddox>

Snails & Bettas Hi, highly informational site. I've learned a lot more than I originally intended to from sifting through the site. <Ahh, our intention> Though, I either missed or have a new question that I haven't really been able to find a specific answer to... I have a healthy and very active Betta in a 10 gallon tank, he's been there for about 6 months and he loves it. He's always spicy. Anyways, I recently bought a gold mystery snail for the tank and the Betta has been nipping at the poor guy every time he comes out of his shell. My question is... Will Betta's normally get tired of the snail and leave it alone? <Usually, yes... you may want to add another "dither" organism... something else it can chase about> If not/so, will one of the larger baseball sized apple snails be less prone to being nipped at by the Betta? <Perhaps> My thinking was that the Betta is picking on the little snail because he (the Betta) is bigger and feels like something is invading his territory, but he'd leave a bigger snail alone.... So, those are the questions that have been plaguing me for days. Anyways, thanks again for the site. <Thank you for being part of, adding to it. Bob Fenner>

Betta, Ghost Shrimp, and Corys Hello, I hope this is the right place to ask. I recently got a male Betta in a 2 gallon tank + filter. I've added a total of 4 small ghost shrimp and within a couple weeks, one by one, they all started to disappear. The only conclusion is that my Betta ate them! I read that Corys are compatible with bettas. So I went to the pet store and bought 2 albino Corys (very entertaining fish). They all seemed to get along. One day, I came home and one of the Corys was laying sideways at the bottom of the tank and barely moving at all. One side looked raw and pinkish red. Then I noticed that one of his eyes is missing! Again, I think my Betta was the culprit. Should I have my Betta live by himself?  Or should I get some other types of fish that is more compatible? Thank you for your time. Sheila <If you are sure the damage you see is from a fight and not infection then this is a Betta that needs to be alone. Most will accept other fish in their tank, but not all. Seems you have one of the more aggressive Bettas. Enjoy him for what he is. It's just the nature of the beast. Most likely they did a tag team on the shrimp. The Betta may have killed them, but I bet the Corys took care of the remains. They love shrimp but will not usually kill them. Don>

Betta In a Community Tank (Chuck's go) Dear Mr. Fenner, < Chuck with you this time.> My son started a tropical aquarium in January this year which has been mainly successful  with a temporary outbreak of whitespot in the initial stages. This was successfully treated and things have been fine since until recently. The fish which were introduced to the tank initially were  male and female guppies,5 neon tetras, and the blue male Siamese fighter. The guppies provided 'live' food for the Siamese fighter soon after. As the guppies hung around together so much we decided to buy a female for the Siamese fighter to keep him happy. A month or so after we bought an algae eater which was roughly the same size as the male fighter and this lived harmoniously in the tank for ages. The problem is that the algae eater has disappeared without trace, presumably fallen victim to the fighter. The male fighter is without doubt the boss of the whole tank and the other fish seem to be fast enough to keep out of the way as he chases them frequently. The male guppy has now disappeared and a tetra was found dead half eaten at the bottom of the tank. Strangely the male seems to dislike the female even more than the other fish as he chases her more violently than the others. Is it purely territorial behaviour from the male fighter or is it that we are not feeding the fish enough. He didn't seem to be nearly so aggressive at first and now we are wondering if he has a blood lust and is going to finish off the others one by one. Your advice would be gratefully received Yours sincerely Mark Fraser < Betta in a community tank can be very difficult. As you have already found out that they prey on smaller fish and really don't like anybody else around. The male Betta is trying to get the females attention so she will spawn. This is pretty unlikely to happen in this tank so she should be removed before she jumps out or is killed.-Chuck>

Male Siamese Fighter really living up to his name (Bob's go) Dear Mr. Fenner,                            my son started a tropical aquarium in January this year which has been mainly successful, with a temporary outbreak of whitespot in the initial stages. This was successfully treated and things have been fine since until recently. The fish which were introduced to the tank initially were a male and female guppy, 5 neon tetras, and the blue male Siamese fighter. The guppies provided 'live' food for the Siamese fighter soon after. As the guppies hung around together so much we decided to buy a female for the Siamese fighter to keep him happy. <Mmm, not necessary...> A month or so after we bought an algae eater which was roughly the same size as the male fighter and this lived harmoniously in the tank for ages. The problem is that the algae eater has disappeared without trace, presumably fallen victim to the fighter. <Mmm, unlikely... they're quick and tough... probably "jumped out"...> The male fighter is without doubt the boss of the whole tank and the other fish seem to be fast enough to keep out of the way as he chases them frequently. The male guppy has now disappeared and a tetra was found dead half eaten at the bottom of the tank. Strangely the male seems to dislike the female even more than the other fish as he chases her more violently than the others. Is it purely territorial behaviour from the male fighter or is it that we are not feeding the fish enough. <Likely mostly the former> He didn't seem to be nearly so aggressive at first and now we are wondering if he has a blood lust and is going to finish off the others one by one. Your advice would be gratefully received   Yours sincerely   Mark Fraser <It does read like this particular one is indeed overly agonistic. Fancy tailed guppies do have troubles with male Bettas at times, and females can be pursued to exhaustion, death in small systems. Perhaps a "time out", hanging in a net in the corner or a floating plastic colander will  knock this specimen down a notch. Bob Fenner> Antisocial Betta After months of keeping my Betta Butch in a small glass bowl, Ive recently gotten a 10 gallon set-up with a heater, filter and bio-filter. Butch seems much happier, less lethargic, and content. <As he should! Bowls are not exactly the best habitats for bettas. They are often-misunderstood fishes.> I bought four black skirt tetras and a catfish today (at the pet stores recommendation) and Butch is being VERY aggressive towards them.   <Bettas are certainly individuals. Sounds like you have an aggressive one. This is exactly the reason why Bettas are not often recommended for the community tank setting: they a re either too aggressive or too peaceful. Rarely do you find a perfectly sociable Betta.> He is chasing them non-stop and bumping against them with his mouth.   <In others words, attacking and biting them?> He leaves the catfish alone unless he happens to move into his line of sight.  The tetras dont seem to be provoking the aggression or instigating further aggression. I previously had three swordtails and four neon tetras in the tank with him and he never displayed aggressiveness towards those fish. <Again, bettas are individuals. It is hard to predict how one will behave, or why he/she does what he does.> Unfortunately, one of the neon was sick and it ended up affecting the other fish (with the exception of Butch). Do the black skirt tetras exhibit some characteristic that would provoke a Betta (i.e., size, speed, color, fin shape, body shape, etc.)?   <Seems as if they provoke yours, though it could also be that they swim at a strata he defines as his territory.> Should I give them a little while to get used to each other and the situation will likely improve or is it a hopeless cause?   <I would remove one party. If you do remove Butch, however, I pray you do not sentence him to another bowl.> I was very upset at the loss of my other fish.  I just dont want any more deaths on my watch.  :-)   <Glad to hear it. Good luck, Mike G> Thank you in advance for your help. Diana

New fish With Betta Hello, I have a 22L (10 gallons I think) tank, with a filter, light (which is on 10 hours a day), and heater (keeping the tank at a comfortable 78F).  Which currently houses my Betta (Skitz) and his 2 mates which are Siamese flying foxes (Cheech and Chong) to help with the house keeping, all get along grad.  Would it be OK to add a few glass fish or will they end up being lunch for Skitz.  As I was going to add a few neon tetras until I read on your site that they wouldn't last long.  Also, my plants in the tank (which are all live) are starting to get red freckles on them, is this due to having not enough iron in the tank or having too much light. Thanks for your knowledge. Andrew < Glass fish would be fine. If they are painted glass fish the paint will soon wear off and the will be clear glass fish. It may be iron. Try a plant fertilizer with iron and see it makes any difference. I use Fluorite by SeaChem as it is high in iron.-Chuck>

Prom Night Betta pt 2 Me again. I got Fishy a new tank, and gravel, and a live plant that he loves. He's in a tank with a light and filter, got a dechlorinator, gravel. It came in a starter kit. I'm excited. Another question. Another fish came with my live plant that we had no clue about until we got home, it looks like a catfish, but much smaller. It's ugly. Would be okay with my Betta? Thanks. <That would depend on the species of catfish. Most, such as Corys, make great tankmates. There are others that get huge and will eat anything that will fit in their mouths. You'll need to do a little research. Make sure he gets his share of the food. You may need to feed him a sinking food after lights out. Glad to hear up upgraded him, thank you. You did not mention a heater. If one was not included, that's your next purchase. And please read the link in my last answer. This new tank will need to cycle before it is fish safe. Bio filtration is the single most important thing you must learn to keep your fish alive and thriving. You should get tests for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Then do water changes to correct spikes. No chemicals, except dechlorinator. Good luck with him. Don> 

Betta Sex/Tankmates Hello. I have recently checked out your website and found it very informative. I do have a couple of questions. How can I tell if my Betta is male or female? Can my Betta be put in an aquarium with 2 mollies, 1 dwarf gourami, and 2 tetras? Thank you for your help. Erin D <Male Bettas have much longer fins and brighter colors. Some Bettas are too aggressive to be kept with smaller fish. And some small fish will nip your Betta's fins. You can give it a try, but be prepared to remove him if problems develop. Don>

A Betta to the Mix? Hey crew. Do you think a male Betta could peacefully live with my 9 neon tetras and my 3 platys in my 10 gallon freshwater planted tank? Thanks! <Nope, sorry but two problems here. The dozen fish you have now are about the limit of a 10 gallon. And the Betta will turn a small Neon into lunch. A big (?) Neon will just get harassed. Maybe to death. Don>  Betta Companion Dear Sir/Madam: My name is Matthew, I am ten years old. I just got a Betta fish, and would like to know what type of fish would be a good companion for Rainbow? Thanks. Matt <Well Matt, that depends on the tank size and if you have a heater and filter. If he's in a bowl then you can't add any more fish. But if you have a 5 gallon tank (or bigger) with a heater and filter a small group of Cory catfish would be a good addition. Don> 

Betta is a Bully My lovely new Beta, at first shy, is nipping at his tankmates. 40 gallons of peaceful community fish. He's taking over more and more territory, chasing the others away. Today I put him in a plastic barge designed as maternity ward for live-bearers. He's floating in what was his favorite part of the tank.  Is there any hope that after a few days in the barge that he might benefit from his "time out"'; or might it be best to give him his own tank separate from the others? < You could try the isolation ward for awhile and see what happens. You have nothing to lose.> Could the floating barge be an effective long term solution? <Depends on the size. I like to give the Betta a little room to move around and exercise.> I did enjoy watching him swimming in the large tank. Might another beta have a more docile temperament? < Bettas do indeed have individual temperaments , but another Betta could actually be worse!> This warlord is the classic blue/purple. My yellow guppies tend to be more gentle than the darker colored guppies. Might this be true with Betas? Thank you - Susan < No not really. Bettas are so inbred for the hobby that the color really has no bearing on the behaviour.-Chuck>

Guppies and Bettas Hi, I would like to transfer my 4 male guppies into my larger fish tank. But there is a male Betta in there. There are other fish too including 2 female Bettas. Will my guppies be ok? EM <Mmm, likely not a good idea... too much chance the male Betta will chase the colorful, long-tailed male guppies and definitely eat the young. Bob Fenner> 

Betta Stocking I just bought a female Betta and 2 small cloud fish.  <White Clouds??>  They are in a 2.5 gal fish tank with filter. I have a couple small fake plants and some gravel in there with them to hide in. I want a male beta as well. I have read you web site about Bettas and I am still not sure. If I get a male beta and put him in there too. I dont want to breed them I just want a little more color. Can I put a male beta in there? Or even another female and male so I'd have 2 females and 1 male. Thank you for your time. Please e-mail me back. Thanks. <It's not suggested you keep the males and females together fulltime. Some males are mellow enough to allow a female in their tank without aggression, but that's the exception. And some females can also be too aggressive. You do not mention a heater. Without one I would stick with the White Clouds. Bettas are tropical fish and need to be kept warm. In a 2.5 gallon unheated tank I would return the Betta and pick up another pair of White Clouds. If you have a heater the three fish you now have are about the limit for this size tank. Don>       

Gourami-Betta compatibility Hi, I recently got a male Siamese fighter in a 2 foot tank and thought he looked lonely in there, so I put in some more plants for hiding spots, and got several dwarf Gourami and placed them in with him. So far they seem to be getting along fine doing their own thing. I figured that if the Gourami were going to show any aggression putting a 4 in they would hopefully take it out on each other and not the Betta. I shall let you know how it progresses. <Please do... sometimes Gouramis and male Bettas mix, sometimes they don't. Bob Fenner> 

Betta Compatibility Hi I have question and I want to know if a Betta can coexist with an African dwarf frog and 2 ghost shrimps in a 2 gallon tank? <I see no problems with this mix, aside from the fact that Dwarf African Clawed Frogs have been known in some instances to nip at the long, flowing fins of male Bettas. Compatibility aside, 2 gallons of water is not enough for the community you describe. Dwarf African Clawed Frogs are heavy waste producers, and I don't think 2 gallons would be suitable for the frog alone. Ghost shrimp put out hardly any significant waste.  Bottom line: A Betta and 2 Shrimp sounds like a splendid community, provided you change the water regularly. I would leave out the frog, though, if I were you. Good luck, Mike G>

Re: Betta Territoriality And, while I'm at it... thoughts on compatibility of an Apistogramma agassizii with Betta, gouramis? <Great fish... should get along... will need the larger quarters. Bob Fenner> 
Re: Betta Territoriality
Bob, do you mean the larger quarters as in the larger of the tanks I have (12g), or as in the larger one I don't have... yet? <Sorry for the confusion... the 12 would do... just not the 3. BobF>

How many fish can a 5-gallon carry? Hey...I been reading around on your site and found it most informative. At the moment, I keep a sapphire blue Betta in a 5-gallon Marineland Tank with Eclipse lighting and filtration [bio-wheel]. Now, through your site, I've learned about the many other types of fish I can opt to include with the Betta. I plan to maybe put some Corydoras catfish in my 5-gallon with my Betta. <A nice addition> Yet, I think I've heard/read somewhere that Corys are community fish... but with a 5-gallon, I could only accommodate so many fish at a time. <A couple of a smaller species will do fine> Yet, as I've mentioned, I'd like to put some in with my Betta to enhance my aquarium setup. So, if possible, could you please advise me as to exactly the number of fish (Corys, in particular) that I could put in a 5-gallon with my Betta? Thanks in advance for your answer!!! <Depending on the species of fishes... a handful of smaller types could be added... as long as they're of easygoing temperament. Bob Fenner>

Fishes to go with female Bettas Hi I'm sorry if this isn't the right place to send a e mail having a question about fishes but I was wondering if you guys have a list of any type that shows what types of fishes are compatible with a female fighting fish. Thanks for any help you can give and sorry if this e mail is of any inconvenience. Zanty Tesorero <This is the place, we are the folks to answer such questions... actually, a good deal of other freshwater fishes can go with female Bettas... as long as they are not too large, aggressive, fast-moving... most all livebearers, danios, small rasboras and barbs... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/betcompfaqs.htm  and the freshwater subweb of www.WetWebMedia.com re selection, other fish groups compatibility. Bob Fenner>

Kuhli Loach and female Betta I have a female Betta in a 2 gallon tank. I want to purchase a Kuhli Loach, and was wondering if these two would get along. I don't want the Loach to be attacked by my Betta. Also, is the tank too small to keep the two in? Thanks, Meagan <These two fish species will get along fine... in this size system... IF it is heated, and kept warm... like with a small wattage aquarium heater. Bob Fenner>

Good fish for small tank? Hi, Am loving your site. I wrote in a few weeks ago for help with my ailing Betta. I'm happy to report that he is now in a slightly larger and HEATED tank, and doing as well as can be expected for a very old Betta. <Yay!> My question now is, now that I have a free small tank, is there any fish I can keep in it that doesn't require heat? I looked at white cloud mountain minnows but since they are best in schools, I don't think a small 2 gallon tank would be suitable. Hope this isn't a silly question...I appreciate your site and your help! <Mmmm, if the space is warm enough for your comfort... am given to suggest you look at some other gourami relatives... Macropodus... place this genus in your search tools... Bob Fenner>

Betta Compatibility Hello Bob; <Randy> Having Recently Purchased a Home I decided it was time to upgrade my Bettas Fish Bowl. I acquired a 37 gallon Tall Marineland tank with Eclipse lighting and filtration (Bio-Wheel). <How nice!> I set it up with Aquarium Safe gravel, a few decorations, several live plants an air curtain bubble stone for the Rear wall, 150 watt Heater and one medium size peace of drift wood. Then filled it with R/O water tuned to a pH of 7.0 Treated with AquaSafe and FloraPride (phosphate free) and ran for two weeks before touching it. My chemical levels check out Great my NH3/NH+4 are at O ppm NO-3 O ppm, NO- 2 O ppm with a pH still of 7.0 and a temp between 78-80 degrees. I started (after researching this and many other sites) with a Pleco Cat Fish and Bamboo Shrimp, The next Day I added 2 Blue (More Silver Gray) Platies and My Bright Red Betta, Stopping here as I want a few more but also want my tank to cycle and to give my Betta time to adjust. He does not like the Platies. He flares up, chases them all over the tank Charges them with an open mouth. (He took a chunk out of one of them.) I dont understand The Shrimp (3) and Pleco (3) he doesnt bother them. <They're tougher, larger> The Platies (1.5) he hates. Is there anything I can do or Just put him back in his Bowl where he makes his Bubble Nests and is happy ( ½ Gallon changed twice a week, feeding him Wardleys Betta food and dried blood worms as a treat. ) Any Help or Advice would be great.  Thank You. Randy C. <You might try temporarily confining the Betta... my fave is a tall "chimney" of glass or plastic... upright, in which the Betta can reach the surface (where it breathes)... for a week or so... Otherwise it will very likely calm down in a few weeks concerning the platies, other fishes. Bob Fenner>

Bettas together Hello, recently my Betta passed away (RIP Sushi), he lived for about 2  years in a little fish bowl (I'm not good with the gallons, its about 9 inches  long by 8 inches tall) and I would feed him the Betta pellets and clean his tank   about every week with tap water that I would let sit for about 6 hours (not bad   for a first timer) <Needs to set out a lot longer nowadays... like a week to be safe... chloramine used as a sanitizer most everywhere is far more persistent than chlorine> But now, I adore bettas. I recently have a new Betta   (Shark bate!) He's little, looks like a baby! I was just wondering what I can do  to maybe keep him alive longer than Sushi was, and him be happy. Sushi was a   very energetic Betta, always swimming around his tank like a mad-fish! But this   one seems a little more mellow, so is there anything I can do to keep him happy  and healthy with out moving him to a bigger tank? Sorry so long! Ohh another  thing, My mother has a 4 foot by 1 1/2 foot tank that right now has 2 little  goldfishes in it. We were talking and she said that she would like to put Betta  fish in there, Can I put females together -- and what would I need for that  tank, and can I put the female bettas with other fish (goldfish, suckerfish,  etc). THANKS SOOO MUCH! -Nicole <Not a good idea to keep goldfish and bettas together... they're temperaments, water conditions are too different. Please read here re Bettas: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/betta_splendens.htm and the linked Related files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Betta's Tail Eaten by Puffer  11/01/04 <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I'm sorry about the Betta fish where the puffer ate the tail.  I did take him out and put him in a little bowl.  Is he is pain?  Where can I get the salt?  Please tell me what I should do. <Your Betta is best in a tank of 2-3 gallons all by itself.  If you can find Melafix, that should repair it's tail.  You can add a teaspoon of table salt to it's water.  Make sure you use dechlorinator in his bowl.  I don't think he is in any pain, but is very uncomfortable.  You should never keep a puffer with any fish with long fins.  Actually, most puffers are best kept alone.  What kind of puffer do you have?  How big is the tank & what other fish are in there?  ~PP>

New home for Betta I am planning on getting a 10-20 gallon fish tank. <Get a 20 long. Couple of bucks extra, but well worth it.> I currently have a beautiful male Betta who has a very good temperament. I was wondering how many fish I could fit in a tank of that size. <General rule of thumb is one inch of fish per gallon. But that is based on the adult size of the fish. Please research before buying. It is always better to have fewer, well kept fish than shooting for the max> I was looking at any combination of the following: Corys <Great, best in groups of 3 or more>, tiger or cherry barbs <Stay away from barbs with a Betta. The Tigers especially. They will rip his fins to shreds>, white cloud mountain minnows <prefer cooler temps than most tropicals. Great for a small unheated tank>, paradise fish <May fight with Betta>, platies <Good>, guppies <Good, but the Betta will try to eat any small enough to fit in his mouth>, butterfly loaches <Great>, and angelfish <No. May work for a while, but angles get big and aggressive. Will also nip a Betta's fins>. Also, in your experience, what combinations have worked best? I currently have Ezekiel (my Betta) in a smaller fish bowl, which he seems to be doing fine in, but I don't really like seeing him in such a small home. <Good> I know he's happy, though, because he's constantly building bubble nests. :) I plan on keeping the fish bowl just in case things don't work out in the bigger tank. Any other suggestions? <Throw out the bowl. Even a little 2.5 to 5 gallon tank with a heater and sponge filter is far better than a bowl. Stay away from incandescent lights in a small tank. Will cause large swing in temp> Thanks bunches!! Jacqueline <If you end up with a ten, I would add the Betta and 3 or 4 Corys. In the 20L you could also add a few platies or swordtails. Stay away from most tetras and barbs, known fin nippers. A few Cardinal tetras would be OK in either tank. Make sure you get a filter and heater. Your Betta needs to be kept at a steady temp in the high 70's to thrive. Something that just can't be done in a bowl. Read up on "Fishless Cycle" and do not add the fish until your tank and filter are established. Good luck and thank you for upgrading your Betta's home. Don>

Betta beliefs re compatibility Well...there's been a development.  While observing things yesterday, I noticed that one of the front "long whiskers" on the Gourami (don't know what they're called) was at the halfway mark, and that there was also another tiny bite out of that same tail area.  In addition, a new marbled angel had a frayed section in the middle of her plumage as well.  Upon close observation, I have concluded that one of my young angels has gotten old fast and has also gotten in touch with his aggressive side. He seemed to know not to display this in front of me, but I saw just enough of his crowding their space (for lack of a better term) to know that's it's probably him. I had just cleaned gravel yesterday to start a quarantine tank for just such problems which would be a third tank), but the only other tank up and running currently is the 10 gallon with the Betta.  I had to do something, so, with a 1/2 gallon jar available in case of emergency and a quick prayer(!), I transferred both the angel and the Gourami to the tank with my Betta. (Just to refresh your memory at this point, all 3 of these fish have fin damage-2 from tank aggression and the Betta's from the "light falling in the tank" disaster, so they are all 3 in need of MelaFix treatment-another reason I thought it might be worth a shot to at least try housing them together) I watched them for a couple of hours to make sure they didn't kill each other, and their behavior has been interesting, to say the least.  The marbled angel seems to be neutral ground for both the Gourami and the Betta, and they seem to have no interest in all in him.  As for each other two, although the Betta has been displaying like mad, both she and the Gourami have been relatively tolerant of each other, with both of them playing the slight aggressor, but neither one being dominant.  Strangely enough, my Betta seems to like their company.  Of course I realize that their complacence is probably temporary, and that a 10 gallon isn't remotely close enough size-wise to be sufficient to hold them, so I am going to get the 3rd tank up and running today.  I plan to do a 50% water change on the 10 gallon and use that 50% in the new tank, plus 2 used filters from my 38 gallon tank, in addition to a cupful of gravel.  I know that won't cycle the tank, but at least it will speed things up.  I'm going to move my Betta into the new tank, as she's the hardiest of the three, I think. I was thinking about putting the angel in there with her. They seem to like each other just fine, but I suppose that could change when the Gourami is removed. Let me know if you have any better ideas or thoughts on this latest turn of events.  Cyndy < Betta and gouramis have special organs that allow them to take oxygen out of the air. As long as they are kept warm the could be put into a glass vase or bowl for awhile instead of setting up an entire new tank.-Chuck>
Re: Betta beliefs re compatibility
Update on an earlier e-mail sent today....the wonderful owner of my local aquatics store was kind enough to let me return the Gourami, so he is no longer rooming with the Beta in the 10 gallon due to aggression in my other tank.  Marbled angel is back with the gang in the large tank, and is doing fine.  Betta is once again solo, and he seems content.  He did seem to enjoy the angels' company, though.   It's hard to imagine any kind of animal that doesn't enjoy some type of companionship, although I know the experts say that the Betta does.  Your thoughts? < Don't get duped by the beta into believing that he enjoys other fish . Given enough time I am sure you would have had more problems with torn fins.-Chuck> Cyndy Monarez/Thomas Nelson

Siamese Fighters 8/2/04 Hi Robert, <<Or Gwen :)>> Some advice please!. My son  has recently had to return Simon the Siamese fighter from whence he came  as he was slowly devouring (haranguing to death to be totally accurate!) all of my daughters much,  much loved and named guppies ( male). However he did so with head hung low and with a sad heart as he and Simon had grown close this last ten months. I was so proud of him as he offered to do the deed to save his 7 yr old  sisters feelings,  he is though himself disabled and though money is tight I am thinking of re-claiming Simon as a surprise for my son. Do I have to go to the expense of acquiring another tank to home him, or can he be cured of his psychopathic tendencies? I look forward to receiving your pearls of wisdom! Many thanks and kindest regards, Louise. <<Louise; I doubt Simon can be cured of his "tendencies"...:P Unfortunately, fish can be quite aggressive  and territorial, and Simon appears to be both. You can keep Simon in his own small bowl, however,  as long as you change his water frequently. The smaller the bowl, the more often you will need to change the water.  Bettas do not require filtration, but he will require clean water, good food, and the occasional bout  of interesting conversation with his owner :P -Gwen>>

Water Frogs with Bettas I have a Betta fish named Gamma Ray Pigfish.  I was worried about how bored he might be in his little tank, so a coworker of mine gave me an aquatic plant, and a small aquatic frog a few weeks after the plant.  Gamma has done just fine with the plant, but he and the frog (Frogger) did not get along at all.  I finally separated them after a day of Gamma trying to nibble on Frogger's feet, and Frogger finally latching onto Gamma's back tail fin and not letting go.  My coworker assured me that they get along, since she bought the frog from a mall stand that was selling both Bettas and the frogs.  So, my questions are: What kind of frog is this?  Does it really get along with Bettas?  What the heck does it eat? Basically, how do I care for it?  The frog is very small -about 1-2" long.  He is slightly green on top, and whiter-green on bottom.  He has tiny front legs, and delicate webbing between each toe.  He seems to enjoy spreading his tiny body near the water surface, and floating there like that.  I wish to keep him, separate from the Betta, but do not know what container to keep him in, what food he enjoys, what things to possibly put with him in the tank, etc. < Sounds like you have a floating frog. They float on the surface eating small insects that fall into the water. They appreciate an area where they can get out of the water. Frogs are always hungry and will eat anything they can get into their mouths including betta fins. A little terrarium that is half sand and half water will work just fine. Crickets and mealworms are easily purchased at pet shops. You can get a better idea of the terrariums that are available at your local fish store or pet shop.-Chuck> Thanks, Chelsea

Betta not feeding, but being fed on hi guys, <Hi! MikeD here!>     I'm new on this website and I noticed a few things I had no idea about my Siamese fighter, but talking about him I am getting increasingly worried as I have had him around  a week with some other fish {because my water was fine so I could get some more} but I have not seen him eat. All my other fish swim to the top and grab the flakes but he just stays in his area not even looking at the food. <<Bettas don't really "like" flake foods, need more substantial, meatier foods to be healthy. RMF>> I have also seen that he has lost a chunk out of on his fin and has lots of little bite marks were it looks like the end of his tail has died off!<That's likely what is happening. Many fish, such as tetras and barbs are well known fin nippers that keep biting that tale.> I do know that they don't like new tanks but I can't stand to see such a beautiful creature suffer! My friend has lent me a special like sick box to put him in with a pea<Why a pea? I can see no reason a pea would make any difference at all, other than to decay.>> to make him better is this right?    In my tank I have 1 neon tetra, 1 albino shark, 1 catfish, 2 female Siamese fighters, 1 silver tetra, 2 sail fin mollies, 2 mollies, and two others that I can't spell, but any way do you think they are the problems<Yes. Many of these fish, including the female Bettas can and will attack the flowing fins of a male Betta.  He's probably staying in that corner in hopes of building a nest to attract a female, or else he's hiding there for self protection from whatever is attacking him. Often male Bettas do not make good community fish residents for this very reason. My suggestion would be to remove him to his own aquarium.> is it the filtration system that might  be sucking his fins in cause that is were his area is!<No>    please help from Amy

Why Can't They Get Along Good morning crew, Thank you for such a great website.  I have a 30G planted tank with 1  male Betta, 3 Corys and 5 cherry barbs.  Everyone gets along well except my  Betta and the 3 Corys.  I know that bettas are territorial, but I thought  only with other male bettas.  I also thought, possibly mistakenly, that  since a male Betta would probably inhabit the top of the tank, my 3 bottom  dwellers would be perfectly fine...at the bottom.  Apparently, my Betta has  annexed the front bottom corner of my tank, while the 3 Corys enjoy the  adjacent back corner under some green Cabomba.  Every once in a while the  Corys swim to the front corner to eat and frolic.  The Betta, who doesn't  like this at all, seems to hide close to some rocks and plants in order to  ambush the Corys.  The Betta routinely shows his gill membranes and while  not always nipping at the Corys seems to always whack them with his tail fin  (which really freaks the Corys out).  Why don't the Corys move to the other  side of the aquarium (where in my opinion there are more hiding places and  "room")?  Should I break up the territory by moving things around?   I've searched WWM and couldn't find anything.   Please help. Thanks, Chris <<Dear Chris; All fish will guard their territory to some degree. Some more than others. Your Betta is just being himself. He can't hurt them, and they are probably oblivious to him, so leave well enough alone. You can rearrange your tank if you like, but I highly doubt it will change anything, except temporarily. I recommend you simply adjust yourself to fish behaviour...they will NEVER do what you want them to :P Oh, and you may want to add a few more Corys. They will be happier in a larger group, say 6 or 7 total. Have fun and don't stress out! -Gwen>>

FW Tank Compatibility Hello, I have had a rainbow shark in a 2 gallon tank for 1.5 years and a male Betta in another 2 gallon tank for 8 months.  I would like to consolidate to one 5 gallon tank and I'm not sure if the two fish are compatible. < Unfortunately the nice flowing fins of your Betta become too much of an attractant for most fish including your shark. I think the shark will constantly nip at the fins of the Betta making his life unbearable.-Chuck> Thanks, Rhonda

My male Betta died! i have a community tank with a male beta female beta 2 lemon tetras 2 guppies and they got along very well they've been together for 2 months now and when i woke up this morning my male beta was attacked he had no more fins had trouble swimming and then he died and I'm pretty sure it was the lemon tetras if there's any information to help me out I'd appreciate that  <Bettas always seem to have problems in a community aquarium. Their long flowing fins are an attractant for other fish. So you get the fish picking on them all the time. I would be surprised if the lemon tetras turned out to be the cause of death though. I think that your Betta might have been ill and when he could no longer defend himself that the other fishes just finished the job and added to the stress. Sometimes Betta like to jump when they are startled and hit their head on the top of the tank and knock themselves out. Since they need to come to the surface to breath they end up drowning. Then the other fish gorge themselves on the fresh meat. The tetras may have added to the stress but not a direct cause of death.-Chuck>

Betta Info Please Hi guys - great website you've got here - I've read the other articles re. the Betta compatibilities etc.  Please tell me if   I  can have 6 females plus say one male in the same tank , with other compatibles off course. Regards, CP    <<Dear CP; here is a website that may help you: http://www.bettasrus.com/ Have fun!-Gwen>>    

Hi-Fin Tetras with male Betta? I have a male Betta in a 2 gallon and 2 hi-fin tetras in a 30 gallon tank (they are separated in a breeder net from the general population due to fin nipping). I would like to move the Betta into the 10 gallon along with the hi-fins.  Can I do this? Which fish would work best for cycling the tank better?  < Either fish would work fine for cycling the tank but the tetras would surely nip the bettas fins if they were placed together.>  The hi-fin or the Betta? How long should I let this tank cycle before adding any fish at all?  <Place some gravel from the 30 gallon tank into the new 10 gallon tank. The bacteria on the old 30 gallon gravel will now start to grow in the 10 gallon. Check the ammonia with a test kit often. It may or may not spike. Overall I think I would leave the Betta in the 2gallon tank and place the tetras in the 10 gallon after a few weeks then you could add some new fish. I would use a 5 gallon for a quarantine tank because most medications are dosed out in 5 and 10 gallon increments.-Chuck>  The reason for moving the Betta is that I would like to use the 2 gallon tank as a quarantine tank in case of illness in the future.

Brutal Betta  Hi there...  <Hello.>  Three days ago I bought a small fish tank with a blue Betta and a platy. I have heard that they make good tankmates, but the Betta keeps chasing the platy round the tank, very aggressively.  <Some bettas are just downright mean. I have a *female* Betta that I cannot house with *anything* - she's even trying to kill the ghost shrimp I recently put in her tank!>  He is also not eating. I have tried giving him flakes and fresh bloodworms but he is not very interested and usually just ignores the food or spits it out.  <This is so, so common with a new Betta, don't worry. He might refuse to eat for even a week or more. They can be very, VERY picky, especially when you first get them. Stick to one food, and offer that two or three times a day, and be sure to remove what he doesn't eat. When he does finally start to eat, though, remember that it is EXTREMELY easy to overfeed a Betta; feeding a small amount once a day is plenty.>  I'm worried that he is stressed out and is making the platy upset by constantly chasing him.  <Yeah, I'd worry about the platy - sounds like your Betta will be best alone. Best to return the platy or find it a new home.>  The water temperature is fine and the water has been changed every day since I got the tank. Any advice?  <Just as above; it sounds like you're doing great so far. Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

New Fish, What Kind To Get? What if i were to forget about the Betta Fish and just do tetras? Is there a fish that will go well in a 5 gallon tank that will do well tetras? All i want is to have sum pretty fish in my tank that will do well! Also what are the appropriate levels for he ammonia and nitrates or whatever and if there are high how do i take care of that? <<Hello. Good fish to keep with bettas would be white cloud mountain minnows. Nice, red fins and pretty stripes. The appropriate levels for ammonia and nitrites are zero. For nitrates, as low as possible, not higher than 50ppm. If they are higher, you need to do more partial water changes until they are within range. -Gwen>>

Bettas and Cichlids I have a 10 gallon tank with a Betta in it. I would like to add either a Tropheus duboisi or a frontosa. Is it possible or will certain death occur. < Unfortunately the cichlids will eventually destroy your Betta. The Tropheus duboisi comes from Lake Tanganyika and has teeth for scraping algae off of rocks. They would tear into those nice flowing fins in a few minutes. The frontosa also comes from Lake Tanganyika bur gets up to 12 inches long and would eat your Betta hole as soon as he got big enough. He would also outgrow your ten gallon in no time at all. The fins of your Betta are just too much of an attractant for cichlids and barbs to nip and bite on. Small dwarf cichlids like rams or Kribs may be worth a try. -Chuck>

Female Bettas I bought 2 female bettas about a week ago. Put them in the same 3 gal tank. They fought and hurt each other. So i put a divider between them in a different tank. Now they are acting really weird. Swimming up and down the side of the tank and trying to root under the rock. as if they are wanting out. When they were in the first tank they seemed happy. And even swam up to me at feeding time. Did i make them mad? Will they be okay? Can i put live plants in my 2 gal. Etta tanks? and if yes, what kind? Linda May >>Hello Linda; Good idea on the separator. They will be okay if you do proper waterchanges, depending on the size of the tank and the number of fish, in your case, I would say 50% of the volume per week. Make sure you use a good dechlorinator and that the temperature is the same. Yes, you can put live plants, make sure you buy some low-light plants, like anubias, java fern, or java moss. Your bettas will love them :) -Gwen<<

Bettas and Paradisefish - 02/18/2004 I have a question. <Okay> Tell me please can I put in my 20 l aquarium 1 Betta (male) and one Macropodus (male)??? <This may be do-able, depending upon the temperaments of both fish.  If both are relatively laid-back, it should work out fine.  I have seen particularly aggressive Paradisefish (Macropodus sp.) terrorize fish more than three times their size, but I've also seen a few that are quite tolerant of most any tankmates.  Same with bettas, some are very peaceful, some are terrors.  I would say try it, and be prepared to remove one of the fish if you see any serious aggression.> Thanks! <You bet!  Wishing you and your anabantoids well,  -Sabrina>

Male and Female Bettas Hi, <Hello.> My name is Nick Cook, and I was wondering about something, Can you put a female Betta and a male Betta in the same tank?  If you can, ok.  But if you cant why not? <A male can't really go in with a female unless it is specifically to breed them, and even then, have to be watched pretty closely.  Males are pretty aggressive during breeding, and pretty much constantly want to breed; all too often, putting a male in a small tank with a female will result in him killing her.  'Course, there is occasionally the very aggressive female that might hurt the male pretty badly, too.  After breeding, the male will care for the eggs very diligently, and may harm or even kill the female if she is still in the tank with him.  I have heard of instances where putting a male in a rather large tank with several females being successful, but I imagine it would work best if the tank was well planted with lots of hiding spots.  If you're interested, you can do an internet search for "Breeding bettas", and you'll find lots of great information.  There are also several books available on the subject.> Please email me back and tell me at XXXX.  Thanks for your time!   <Any time, Nick!  Glad to be of service.> Sincerely, Nick Cook <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Cherax quadricarinatus - Red Claw Crayfish/"Lobster", Molting Issues, II (01/31/2004) I am sorry for e-mailing you back here it's just I don't know what XXXX means. <Since we post these questions and answers for all our readers to read, and you had posted your email in the text of the message, I removed it; that's all the X's were for.  While on this note, though, the text sent back with this reply was very, very jumbled; I hope that it made it through to you okay.> My lobster has been laying on it's side for 3 days and only a little bit of it's shell is off. It looks like he is trying really hard to get the rest of the shell off. What should I do? <If there are any other animals in the tank with him, it'd be a good idea to quarantine him separately to help him recover.  Then I would certainly add iodine (I use Kent marine iodine at a rate of one drop per ten gallons) to his tank; this might help him out.  Further, you should definitely check your water parameters (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH), and ensure that ammonia and nitrite are zero, and that nitrate is as low as possible.  If not, do water changes to correct the issue.  Any of these values being too seriously out of whack could cause harm to your crayfish.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Tankmates for a Betta I have just started my freshwater fish hobby and decided to get a very nice blue and red Betta. <A *wonderful* first choice!  Welcome to fishiness!> I have him in a 10 gallon tank and want to add more fish but from I'm not quite sure what are compatible with the bettas.   <Ahh, you have lots of options available.  Some of this will be determined by the Betta's temperament; some bettas are very, very docile and tolerant of most anything peaceful, and some are very, very aggressive.  Usually, though, they'll get along great with peaceful community fishes like platies, guppies, and other livebearers, which I strongly recommend for their variance in color and ease of care - platies especially.  Kuhli/"coolie" loaches are a great whimsical fish - they're very active, easy to keep bottom dwellers, and are lots of fun, too - or perhaps Corydoras catfish would be more preferable to you/your tastes as a bottom fish, another active, fun critter.  If you like small, fast, schooling fish, maybe white cloud minnows or cherry barbs.  Really, there are a lot of good fish for you to choose from.  Stay away from the more "nippy" types of barbs and tetras, as these will dine on your Betta's fins and tail.  Mostly, get a feel for what you like, observe at the fish stores, and research the fish you want before you get them, make sure they're suitable.> And what will make sure my Betta stays happy? <Here, I'd like to mention water quality.  The best tools you can have to help you ensure the health of your tank (besides research) are test kits for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH.  If something starts to go wrong, these tests will help you to determine what's going on - or help you catch problems before they even start.  Be sure to test your water occasionally, do regular water changes with dechlorinated water, and have a good, easy to maintain filter (I like hang-on-the-back "power" filters, especially for beginners).  Lots of information here to help you get started and keep going:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsubwebindex.htm .  Wishing you well with your new tank,  -Sabrina> Thanks, J Doyle

Tasty Tail Thank you very much for being so helpful with my last question! <You bet!> Unfortunately I now  have a new one.  Last night I discovered one of my platies had had about a third of his tail bitten off. He is my most aggressive fish so I think he probably was harassing my Betta; normally the Betta is very peaceful but there's only so much he can take. Anyway, I'm worried about my poor fish and I wonder what I can do to help him heal? I have already added stress coat and I always keep aquarium salt in the water, although I could probably add more. <Maintain excellent water quality and watch closely for any signs of bacterial infection setting in.  If the fish is in good health and the water is healthy, he'll probably be fine.  Keep an eye on the Betta, as well, and consider separating him from the other fish if he's too aggressive for them.> I usually feed TetraMin flakes and freeze-dried blood worms.  Thanks again for all your help! <Hope your platy has a quick recovery!  -Sabrina>

Female bettas - tankmates? Hi, <Hello!  Crewmember Sabrina here for you today> Obviously I got your email address from wetwebmedia.com, which is - for me that is - the most complete site for aquarium hobbyists. <Thank you for these kind words, much appreciated.> I am planning to set up a freshwater aquarium (100x40x50cm with 30 gallons of water), and I would love to fill this with beautiful fish like a couple of Betta Splendens females.   <Wonderful little creatures.  I recommend keeping at least five or six female bettas, as they do nip/chase each other; any less than that, and one will bully the others, possibly to death.> It is here that I'm a little confused. On the Betta page there is stated "getting along well for example with Angels, the smaller Gouramis, livebearers like Swords, Mollies, Platies" but on the page of the Angels there is stated "can bedevil slow-moving, long-tailed fishes like fancy guppies and bettas" ... so my questions towards you: can you confirm me the best tankmates for bettas?   <Well, the female bettas probably wouldn't have problems with angels at all.  Back in my college dorm in Kansas, I only had room for one tank, so my Betta was in with my two angels and suffered no problems at all, until they bred - but I have certainly heard of angels and male bettas having issues.  In any case, I think the easy answer for you is that a 30g aquarium is probably too small to keep angelfish in with other fish happily.  I'd skip angels for now, due to tank size, and instead keep something smaller.  A handful of swordtails or platies would provide some active, colorful critters, perhaps some Corydoras cats or some Botias or other loaches for activity at the bottom of the tank.  I also love the 'pygmy' Gourami - almost the same shape as female bettas, but have a very distinct coloration, cute little fish.  There really are countless combinations you could go with.> Loving animals like I do, I would find it horrible to see fish eating/killing each other. <Understandable.  Wishing you and your future bettagirls well,  -Sabrina> Kind regards, David

Betta Guys or Betta Gals? I have a question regarding my bettas.  I bought two of them.  A red one and a white one.  I do not know if they are boys or girls or a combination or what.  They are in separate aquariums though.   <Best to keep 'em that way, even if they are females.  Females in groups of, say, for or five (or more) will do okay, but just two or three females will beat up on each other.> The white betta seems more aggressive and the red more peaceful.  How can tell if they are boys or girls? <Male bettas will usually have long, elegant fins, and females will have quite short fins, comparatively.  There are such things as short-fin male bettas, but they're not seen nearly as often as regular long-finned males.  Also, males are typically much more colorful, though some females available now are stunningly colored, too.  Almost anywhere that sells bettas in cups sells only males that way; usually they'll have a tank where they keep several females together.  Though, I have seen a couple of instances where females are sold in cups, too.> Thank you!  Have a wonderful day! <You too!  -Sabrina>

Hello, I was just wondering if I could put some neon tetra's in my 2 gallon fish bowl thingy with my male Betta? Thanks <If your fish bowl is filtered then you will probably be OK with just one or two (no more, you'll overcrowd the tank). If it's not filtered then no. Ronni>

Betta ?'s what other type of fish can live with a beta?<bettas are best kept singly in their own little bowl or such, IanB>

Betta Females In A Community Tank Hi There..... <Hello, Ronni here again> If you are Ronni, thanked you for your advice on my Madagascar rainbows. If you are not, can you pass the message ? Thanks. <Youre welcome, I hope it helped!> I have another question. <OK, I might have an answer!> I have a 45 gallon aquarium with penguin tetras, zebra Danios, cardinal neons, tiger barbs, juvenile Bolivian rams and of course, the Madagascar rainbows. FYI, the tiger barbs are kept mellow by the rams. <Sounds like an interesting mix!> I have recently came across some beautiful female bettas and I am thinking of getting some. How plausible is this? I understand that female bettas can be kept together and they are tougher than the males. <You will probably be OK here but do keep an eye on them, they might get picked on a bit.> Thank You. <Youre welcome>

Betta Compatibility I have a 1 1/2 gallon fish bowl with a Betta--would like to put several little fish with him just for interest.  I tried ghost shrimp with another Betta but they were eaten (of course!).  Can you recommend any fish that would survive with him? Becky <In this size bowl, you are best with just the Betta. Adding anything is going to overcrowd the bowl and all of the fish will be uncomfortable. Ronni>

Freshwater Aquarium question I have a 10 gallon tank with a Betta, some Fancy tailed Guppies, a couple of Platys, a Pleco, 4 neon tetras and 2 catfish. When I first started the tank, I had live plants that came with a few small snails, but the fish kept eating the plants so I put plastic ones in the tank. Well the snails reproduced and I often took a few out and got rid of them. Well lately, they have been dying off and now there are none. The fish seem fine, but I have noticed some tiny what looks like white worms crawling on the glass. Are these baby snails or something that has killed all the snails ? or are the Parasites ?. Also I have a 5 gallon tank that I transferred a coupled of snails to and they have multiplied 50 fold, but don't seem to be dying. Thanks, Keith <How long has the Betta been in the tank? Many Bettas love snails as a treat and will often do a very good job of eliminating them completely. The white worms are completely unrelated and also completely harmless; they are seen quite frequently in tanks and will often disappear on their own. Take a look at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwinvertfaqs.htm theres some more info on them there. Ronni>

Betta Not Hey Guys, <Hello> Just a quick question.  My mums heater for her Siamese fighter broke the other day and she was wondering if she could board her fish in my tropical freshwater tank.  I have a 1 year old neon, two other clear tetras (don't know they're name, they have a red/orange back fin. they are quite large compared too neons) <Ah yes, Paracheirodon reddy/orange, one of my favorites. :-)> and a red tailed shark.  It is a 40 litre tank with glass lids, filtration, heating, aeration, plants and 1 teaspoon of aquarium salt per 10 litres.  If not can i put him in a breeding tank inside my tank.  How big would it have to be? <In all reality, it would probably work, but don't get mad at me if the fish dies, or adds some weird disease to your tank.  If the water parameters in the two tanks are the same the transition will not be too shocking for the Betta.  Separating him from the general population would be best so that he does not get picked on, the commercially available breeding containers will be fine, they can live in tight quarters.  I'd go pick up a new heater for the Betta and save the trouble of moving him.  Or, take a small bowl use the same water that the Betta is currently in and float him in your tank.> Also will my red tailed shark eat my plants? <They are known to eat worms, crustaceans, insects and plant matter so it is possible.  Best Regards, Gage>   Thanks in advance

Female Betta in Community Tank Dear WetWebMedia: I have an Eclipse System 6 Gallon with a few tetras, a female Betta, a guppy couple, and 2 Hatchetfish. I have had the tank since December and everything is going good. About 1 month ago I added a female Betta. Two weeks later I added a male and a female guppy. The tank is well planted and if any fish go near one plant the Betta chases them out, but with the female guppy she chases her all over the tank attempting to bite her. The guppy was never bit. Do you think I should remove the female Betta, she only bothers the guppy female (Not fatally, I think)? <Hello Bob, I think we should rethink your stocking plan all together, you have a range of fish that have different water quality needs.  The guppies prefer hard water, bettas like their water somewhat hard, and tetras prefer soft water.  Check out fishbase.org for information the needs of each type of fish you currently have, keep your favorite and move the others to different tanks, or possibly trade in at the LFS for other fish that prefer the same conditions as your tank.  -Gage> Thank you Bob Najdek

Siamese fighting fish Dear Robert, i would like to talk to you about the Siamese fighting fish. I would like to purchase a male and a female. My tank is 289 Litres approx. I have an AquaClear 300 aquarium power filter (the one that is like a waterfall) & a Clearflow undergravel filtration. I also have a Tronic 200 watt heater and it is set to 28.5 degrees Celsius but my thermometer reads 26.5 degrees Celsius (i have 2 thermometers). I have 1 teaspoon of aquarium salt per 10 L of water in my tank. pH of about 6.9 or 7.4-can't really tell.  My tank has platies, swords, mollies, guppies, 1 black phantom tetra, 1 neon tetra, and 3 young Bristlenose cats. They are very healthy.  <All sounds fine so far.> Could i possibly fit a 2 Siamese into the tank?  <Not two males... even though the system is seemingly large enough, unless you have them physically separated (lots of ways to do this) they will find each other and fight enough to do damage. But I do give you good odds at having just one male, and a female.> Assuming that they got along well, would the water conditions, 'salt level', temperature, and water flow (very rigorous-in 1 area) affect them in breeding terms? <Hmm, possible. But better by far to move/spawn them in a much smaller, shallower still system (to facilitate the making, sustaining of the male's bubble nest, his collection, storing of eggs in same... raising, moving of young...>  I have a magazine and it says that the swords & platies & guppies will get along with the Siamese fighters, is this true? <Yes, though some individual swordtails do take to picking at, bumping into male Bettas to move them out of their way.>  It said that the mollies and Siamese don't get along. What happens, do they fight? who starts it? <They should cohabit just fine.> Does the Siamese fighter just attack any other fish? <Sometimes they'll go after other similar appearing fishes, like Colisa Gouramis... and will eat very small fishes, like tiny neons...>  Could i keep it in my tank if it was kept in one of those breeding traps? <Definitely, or any one of types of glass, otherwise non toxic containers in your tank . As long as the bettas can reach the surface to breath.>  thanks <Welcome, Bob Fenner>

You Betta believe it! ok this maybe a really stupid question but I wanted to know the answer. I have  a male Betta and I was wondering if I could put any more fish preferably  bettas into the same tank along with it? <Not that can come in direct contact with your male Betta. They (males and males and males and females) tussle too much to get along in a community aquarium...  Now, alternatively there are some ways to place them in the same system and have the bettas not be able to "get to each other". There are Betta "Barracks" and breeding traps, dividers, even floating jar contraptions that are real possibilities for keeping them physically separated. Something to think about...  Many other fishes can be placed with bettas. The two principal criteria are that the "others" not be too big, fast, mean (lest they pick on the slower, longer-finned Betta to get it out of their way), neither too small like little neon tetras (lest they become snacks), nor too similar to bettas (like the Colisa genus, aka Dwarf, Gouramis), lest they be mis-identified by the Betta. Bob Fenner>

Betta MIA Hello, I bought a Siamese fighting fish a while ago and now it has disappeared I have it in the tank with other fish neons silver dollar, and was wondering if they ate it? <Could be the Silver Dollar... might have just perished, dissolved (happens quickly)... or more likely jumped out... Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/betta_splendens.htm and the FAQs beyond. Bob Fenner> What do i do It was so pretty and I want to get another one. PLEASE HELP

Question on Bettas I have a 10 gallon community fish tank, and I have a Betta that I keep in a fish bowl. Can I add this Betta into my 10 gallon tropical fish tank? Some one told me that he may eat the other fish or bite them. Thank You, Freddie Zielinski <Hi Freddie, It really depends on what fish you keep in the community tank. Sometimes it's the other fish that pick on the "plumage" on the Bettas. The same can be true for Angels, Gouramis, etc. Check out WetWebMedia.com for more detailed info on freshwater stocking by species. Craig>

Bettas and Goldfish Hi, I have a pet Betta at home. He lives in a one gallon tank. This is because the lady who gave it to me said that the biggest tank that they needed was a half gallon. She also said that they are very aggressive.  <that part was at least somewhat true... they are very aggressive towards each other> Then I asked her if a gold fish could go with it. She said of course. <mistaken... they are not at all compatible. Goldfish are coldwater and bettas are tropical for starters... many other reasons> At three different times I put a goldfish in but every morning it was dead. Was the lady at the store not shore or is there something wrong with the Betta or tank size? <the two fish are incompatible my friend. Goldfish are best not mixed with any tropicals. Please look through the articles on our web site describing each of these fish and see which you prefer and how to care for them best. Good luck, Anthony>

New Print and eBook on Amazon

Betta Success
Doing what it takes to keep Bettas healthy long-term

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

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