Tetras and Betta? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-12-2011, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
Tetras and Betta?

Hi everyone!

Let me just say I'm not planning on getting a tank any time soon, and certainly not before I've finished my research.

Sometime in the future, I'd like to have a tetra tank and I was wondering if it would be a bad idea to have a large tetra tank (maybe 55 gallons) with a single betta? I've read that tetras can be fin nippers and semi-aggressive, but that the bigger the shoal(s) and tank they're in, the less aggressive and fin nippy they become.

Thank you for your input.
DanielaMarie is offline  
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-12-2011, 02:33 PM
Yes larger shoals do reduce interspecies aggresion, .However Bettas are diffidult to place with tank mates. Sometimes they will do great, othertime even with the exact same species of fish they will fight to the death. I've heard of a person having a betta with a school of black skirt or Black Widow Tetra, which are notorious fin nippers for 3 years and not have a problem. There are certainly fish(like the black skirts) that you really should avoid but sometimes you get fish that should be ok, but it just doesn't work
ladayen is offline  
post #3 of 7 Old 08-12-2011, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
That's what I thought, but I figured I'd ask. Thank you.
DanielaMarie is offline  
post #4 of 7 Old 08-12-2011, 07:12 PM
I know everyone tends to like male bettas because they are more dramatic looking, but in a community tank I've had only good luck with female bettas. I think they are still beautiful and can be just as brightly colored, but they also have a LOT more personality. They are much more active and get excited every time I come near them. I've had them in community tanks with a variety of other fish and the only ones that I've ever had problems with were other aggressive fish going after the betta, not the other way around.

The best pointer I can give you, no matter what, is to put the betta in AFTER the tetras. If the betta goes in first it will get very territorial. If it goes into an existing tank it's less likely to be aggressive.
tf1265 is offline  
post #5 of 7 Old 08-12-2011, 09:29 PM
I agree with tf1265 about adding the betta after thge tetras. That way it won't "claim" thge territory before the tetras are added.
dramaqueen is offline  
post #6 of 7 Old 08-13-2011, 09:22 AM
I believe if you have provide plenty of plants, caves and other hiding places they should be fine in a 55 gallon..It does depend on the betta though...I have one that lives fine with tankmates and another that will chase down and kill anything in the tank..including snails.. If you choose to try this I would make sure to have a backup plan for the betta just in case things don't work out..Even if it is just a 3 gallon critter keeper or something.

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Littlebittyfish is offline  
post #7 of 7 Old 08-13-2011, 11:25 AM
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Yes, this is a real risk that i suggest avoiding. As noted, it can go either way. Some Betta [we are talking the common Betta splendens, the Siamese Fighting Fish] are downright nasty, others less, and any coloured fish can be targetted. In reverse, most small shoaling fish will nip if tempted, and a Betta with long flowing fins and sedate swimming is a great temptation. When I was beginning, I had a Betta who ate neons readily.

A Betta is really not a community fish; a single male in a 5g planted tank is best for the Betta and the other fish in the community will be better too.

I recently posted an article on the 10 worst mistakes made by aquarists, and having a Betta in a community tank was high on that list.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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