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Betta with what?

September 22nd, 2005, 07:13 PM
I have a 10 gallon tank, empty, which I'm trying to decide what to fill with. I was thinking I would like to put a betta in it because I always feel so sorry for them in tiny little bowls. I was also hoping to put something in with the betta but can't figure out what. I was thinking neon tetras would be fun, and heard that they can work with bettas, but also saw that sometimes the betta will eat them. I also saw platies could live with bettas, but I had platies this summer with a betta and the betta ended up dead (not exactly sure why but I have a feeling he wasn't getting enough food because the platies chased him).

If anyone has been succesful keeping a betta with other fish I would love to hear how you did it and what kind of fish you used!

September 25th, 2005, 12:20 AM
does it have to be a fish??
there's some water loving plants you can put in there and it'll fill up some space and look nicer.

I heard goldfish are ok with bettas. Or guppies.

"Try guppies, mollies, or any of the tetras. Algae eaters should be avoided unless necessary, as they may try to "eat" off your betta's fins. You may also consider other aquatic animals such as snails or African dwarf frogs. Regardless of how gentle a fish you buy to go with your betta, be on the lookout for any rogue fin-nippers and be prepared to move them to a separate tank. If your betta's fins appear ragged or broken soon after a new addition, take action to remove the offender and keep the water clean to prevent infection. "

not much choice. Looks like eitehr way they'll fight or get attacked.
good luck :)

September 25th, 2005, 03:57 AM
Hi there,
In a 10g tank, you actually have quite a few options.
Heres a few:
bottom feeders- Corydoras Catfish are quite neat fish, and the betta will generally ignore them. There are several smaller varieties suitable for 10g tanks. One is the Hasbrosus Corydoras, commonly called the dwarf cory, salt and pepper cory, and dainty cory, sometimes called a pygmy cory, though pygmys are a different species. They are cute, active, and only grow to about 1 inch, slightly larger in females. They should be kept in a group of 5 or more.
Panda Corys are also smaller, and again could be kept in a group of 5-6 in a 10g tank.

Small pleco- You could keep a small dwarf variety of pleco on your tank. Some that stay small enough are: Bristlenose Pleco, Candystripe Pleco, Clown Pleco, Rubbernose Pleco. Otto Catfish are also a good choice, stay small, and could be kept in a group of 3-4 in there. Keep in mind not all plecos eat algae, some prefer meatier foods and/or driftwood, like the clowns and candystripes.

Tetras- Bettas are unlikely to eat any tetras. A few good ones that would work are (keep in a group of 6 of course):
Cochus Blues
Black Neons

Rasboras would also work:
emerald green

Another option is pencilfish:
Dwarf pencils
1 Lined Pencils
Beckfords/Golden Pencils
Three lined Pencils

Cherry barbs could work for you.
Keep singly or in pairs

Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish, small, active, colorful
Celebes Rainbowfish

Some Obvious No's:
Guppies- well maybe, it is highly likely however that the flashy colors and big fins would be too tempting for a betta, and the guppies would end up dead.
Platys- well really they grow too large for a 10g tank.
Swordtails way too big
Mollies, aside from the deformed balloon belly mollies, all mollies grow to large for 10g tanks.
Goldfish- the common goldfish grows to 12-18 inches, and needs a tank 55 gallons or more. The fancy goldfish ranges from 6-8 inches for black moors, up to 14 inches for Orandas (fantails), 10 inches for ryukins and telescope and bubble eyes, and Shubunkins can reach 18 inches easily. All these fish need a bare minimum of 30 gallons for a single fish, though i wouldnt keep any in less than a 55g tank. Comets grow to be 36 inches and are strictly pond fish.
Gouramis of any kind, including paradise fish. These fish are closely related, and the betta will kill them.
Hatchetfish - for some reason bettas love to hunt and kill hatchetfish. I had 1 betta and 12 hatchetfish. The betta took out 8 of them before I noticed (about 6 hours) and I managed to save the others just in time.

Also, some non-fish critters that will work with bettas are:
Apple Snails
Large shrimps such as Bamboo, Wood, and Other shrimps
Not crayfish or crabs these will eat your betta
Small tiny shrimps like bumblebees or cherry shrimp would be eaten by the betta
African Dwarf Frogs ( be careful not to confuse them with African Clawed frogs which can grow to 12 inches) if the feet are webbed and the frog is tiny with eyes flat against its head (not bubbly or big looking) its likely an African Dwarf. You could keep a group of 4-5 of these froggys with your betta happily.

I hope this gives you some ideas, and if you want to look some of these fish up a great website for info is:

September 25th, 2005, 08:35 AM
Thanks a bunch for the info! I really like the neon tetras, but was worried they would become food for the betta. Does keeping them in a larger school make this less likely? I am planning on many plants and rocks to hide in too. Maybe I could do one betta, 6 neon tetras and one corydoras catfish, or would this be too much for a 10 gallon?

Thanks again!

Lucky Rescue
September 25th, 2005, 10:14 AM
IF this were my tank, I might put 5 - 7 Harlequin Rasboras (usually available). They tend to stay in the middle to upper areas of the tank and are very pretty! Agree with putting a few corys in the tank. They are very charming and they wink at you!:p

As for neons, I did try them with my betta, and the bright red and blue that is so close to betta colours seemed to make him want to fight with them. Same with male guppies.

Many fast moving tetras are notorious fin nippers, and will rip the slow moving betta's fins apart.

September 25th, 2005, 10:36 AM
I would go with a coolie loach and a couple frogs for the bottom. If you are wanting to put a male betta, place a bunch of plants in the tank so there are enough hiding places. You could put in several female bettas to 1 male. The bettas don't need a heater but any of the tropical community fish will need one. Goldfish should never be mixed with anything other than other goldfish. They produce far too much amonia that is dangerous to other fish.

September 25th, 2005, 10:52 AM
Goldfish should never be mixed with anything other than other goldfish. They produce far too much amonia that is dangerous to other fish.

I have White Cloud mountain minnows in with my goldfish and they are perfectly fine! They are all doing really well actually, & have never been healthier!!

As for bettas, I prefer them on their own in a 2 gallon tank - they are so pretty & seem to "blossom" more with all that space (& a plant of course!)

September 25th, 2005, 11:16 AM
As with anything to do with fish you may luck out every now and then with unlikely combinations but I still wouldn't risk it for the slight chance that they make it.
Remember this is going on a 10 gal tank which means toxins can add up quickly.

Lucky Rescue
September 25th, 2005, 02:26 PM
bettas don't need a heater

Since bettas need temps between 75 - 85 degrees, they definitely need a heater unless you live in the tropics or keep them in a very warm room.

Goldfish and tropical fish do not mix. White Clouds are also cold water fish, so as long as the goldfish don't swallow them, they should be okay.

September 25th, 2005, 03:09 PM
"Maybe I could do one betta, 6 neon tetras and one corydoras catfish"

No absolutely Not. Cory catfish as I stressed earlier are SCHOOLING fish. They absolutely NEED to be kept in groups of 5 or more.
You cannot keep 1 cory alone. Poor thing would be incredibly unhappy.
I would go with 1 betta, 6 neons, and 5 small corys.
That would be pushing the stocking a little, but for the health of the cory cats, either leave em out, or get 5. No less is suitable.

The following cory cats grow to large for a 10g tank (up to as much as 4 inches):

The other following commonly found corys that stay small(under 2.5 inches):
Hasbrosus/Dainty/Dwarf/Salt and Pepper

If you were to get Kuhli (not coolie) Loaches,
remember all loaches with few exceptions are schooling fish,
so much so that if kept alone they often die of loneliness.
They are also highly sensitive to water conditions, and
things such as dyes (malachite green, methylene blue, gentian violet etc) and other things like Salt, should never ever be used in the aquarium
with the loaches as they will die.

Yes, Bettas need heaters. They are tropical fish, from waters that get as warm as 86F. They prefer temps between 78-82 F.
And, if you plan to keep your betta with any other tropical fish, those fish will definetly need warmth.

Goldfish can be kept with other cool water fish easily, as long as the space is enough for them. If kept in an appropriate tank (30 gallons or larger) a single goldfish will be accepting of other tank mates, but keep in mind, white clouds are small enough to be eaten by a large goldie.

September 25th, 2005, 03:25 PM
Well I just got back from the pet store and the guy there told me that only goldfish would go with betta's, but not tetras, guppies etc because betta's are cold water and so wouldn't go with tropical fish. :confused:

This is why I ask questions here, people at pet stores never seem to know what they are talking about!

I ended up getting 4 neon tetras and some plants to start the tank off (this is my first heated fish community so I wanted hardy fish until I get better at fish keeping). Actually I got far too many plants and will have to throw some out, guess I overestimated the size of a 10 gallon, whoops :o

Does having a lot of plants make the water cleaner and allow for more fish, or do they allow for less fish because they take up space?

September 25th, 2005, 03:38 PM
Neons are very sensitive fish, you may lose them during the 1st cycle. The suggestion for the danio would have been a much better choice.
You don't want anything to spike any more than it has to so be careful not to over feed.
Male Bettas tend to kill other fish with long fins.

Lucky Rescue
September 25th, 2005, 05:30 PM
back from the pet store and the guy there told me that only goldfish would go with betta's, but not tetras, guppies etc because betta's are cold water and so wouldn't go with tropical fish

Yikes. Please do NOT listen to pet store employees. I've been keeping fish for over 20 years, and I learned the hard way early on not to ask them for advice.

I've heard some pretty bad stuff, but what they told you (goldfish with "coldwater" bettas) ranks near the top of Ignorant Advice.

Bettas like very warm and still water. This makes sense if you realize they live in very warm, shallow and stagnant pools in nature.

Goldfish like cool water that needs a lot of filtration which means it's rather turbulent. A large goldfish could easily swallow a betta, since one of the most important rules of fishkeeping is that "Big fish eat little fish".

Goldfish will not live long in a 10 gal tank. They pollute their water rapidly, and grow way too big (if they survive).

Male bettas do not like fish who have the same brilliant reds, greens and blues as they do. They are programmed to fight fish with those colours, and they will attack.

Sneakypete said:
No absolutely Not. Cory catfish as I stressed earlier are SCHOOLING fish.

Right. Never get only one of any schooling fish. The stress of being alone will cause them to sicken and die. In a very small tank, get 3.

Do not let petstore employees sell you 2 inch baby Oscars, even if they tell you the fish "grows to the size of the tank." That is false, and Oscars will grow to be a foot long.

Don't let them sell you ANY fish that cannot be kept in a very small home aquarium.

September 25th, 2005, 07:05 PM
No absolutely Not. Cory catfish as I stressed earlier are SCHOOLING fish. They absolutely NEED to be kept in groups of 5 or more.

Whoop's, missed that comment twice, sorry! Guess in my head bottom feeders are loners for some reason. Just out of curiousity what is so great about them? Everyone here seems to be very pro-Cory but I've never even heard of them!

Agree with putting a few corys in the tank. They are very charming and they wink at you!:p

They wink??? :crazy:

September 25th, 2005, 07:18 PM
Another question... Would different types of Cory's still socialize, and if I had 4 tetras, and 5 cory's, could i have anything else in my tank?

Lucky Rescue
September 25th, 2005, 07:56 PM
Just out of curiousity what is so great about them?

Simple. They're cute and adorable!!:D Funny whiskered faces and wagging tails!

Yes, corys all get along no matter the variety.

I would put 3 in a 10 gal. and I would add 3 more tetras. They look more natural in odd numbers. You could also add 3 Harlequins or 3 Cherry barbs (two females and one male) to this mix and that would be enough.

IF you want Cherry barbs, the males are usually bright red. Some petstore staff can't seem to tell the difference.

September 25th, 2005, 10:21 PM
Cory cats prefer to school with their own type
But will "get along" with all other corys, just may not
school together. I would go for 5-6 of the same type.
None of the following types of corys school together in my 75g tank,
as they all come from different areas, and dont look alike.
They all school alone with just their own type.

Let me show you a couple reason why corys are so great:

Reason 1: Hasbrosus Cory cats (less than 1 inch),
I have 5 of these little guys in my 10g tank



Reason #2: Trilineatus Corys (about 2 inches) I have only 2 of these guys unfortunately havent been able to find any more but if I do will add 2 more:

Reason# 3: Ambiacus Corys (about 2 inches) I have 3 of these, they are quite rare and I have been unable to locate any more:

Reason# 4: Pepper Corys (this female is a little over 3 inches)
I have only 2 of these, but have some on order right now

Lucky Rescue
September 25th, 2005, 10:40 PM
Beautiful pics and very cute corys! Have you ever been able to breed them?

Okay that does it. I NEED some corys!!!

September 26th, 2005, 10:21 AM
Cute fish! Where would I be able to get the Hasbrosus Cory in Montreal? I went to Safari yesterday but I really don't like supporting them. I just don't know where else to go!

As an off topic, my neon tetras are looking very well this morning, zipping around and looking quite healthy so hopefully they will survive the first cycle :fingerscr It will be hard to wait before I can add more fish!

September 26th, 2005, 06:50 PM
if you have any good quality small fish stores just go in
and have them order you some by name.
That way you can get however many you want, and
they will come right to you without having to fight for them!
Dont let them tell you they are "rare" or "unavailable"
these corys are very easily bred in captivity and should always be on the
"availability" list.