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Sanguinefox 05-31-2012 12:24 AM

Going to be getting my 20 gallon back: Stocking questions
 
So it looks like the old 20 gallon long I gave to someone is going to end up back in my hands. It has a nice top and single tube light (don't remember what kind though). I plan to set it up in my work room and replace the five gallon.

So far I know Vieltail Betta I have is going to go into that tank. I'd like to build up around the Betta so I don't encourage male aggression from the critter. So far I've talked with a few others and would like more opinions.

Right now the stock wishlist is 2 Honey Sunset Gouramis and a small school of Rasbora Hetermorpha Danio. This will be a planted tank with a sand substrate. I'm open to other fish suggestions and opinions about stocking these two species with the Betta.

Byron 05-31-2012 11:05 AM

I am in the rather large group of aquarists who do not consider male Betta as community fish. I know some say they have combined a Betta with this or that and supposedly had it work, but the cost to the fish from pheromones and such is unmeasurable until they die, prematurely, so I take such reports with the proverbial grain of salt.

I would leave the Betta in the 5g where it will be happier than having to contend with other fish, and they will likely be safer too. A 20g long is a nice size for the other fish named. Or a group of several species of small shoaling fish, with nice plants; a beautiful aquarium indeed. Lots of fish options, depending upon water params.

Byron.

Sanguinefox 05-31-2012 09:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Byron (Post 1101492)
I am in the rather large group of aquarists who do not consider male Betta as community fish. I know some say they have combined a Betta with this or that and supposedly had it work, but the cost to the fish from pheromones and such is unmeasurable until they die, prematurely, so I take such reports with the proverbial grain of salt.

I would leave the Betta in the 5g where it will be happier than having to contend with other fish, and they will likely be safer too. A 20g long is a nice size for the other fish named. Or a group of several species of small shoaling fish, with nice plants; a beautiful aquarium indeed. Lots of fish options, depending upon water params.

Byron.

I respect that many people don't keep betta's with other fish(males at least). I can understand why many would advise against it (I would imagine the first temptation of many would be to put it with other bright flashy fish). I had thought however if you were careful with your selection (going without fish that have flowing fins similar to the betta as well as fish that are not brightly colored) that you can increase the chances of everything turning out okay

I plan to keep it sand substrate, planted, and it will have a good light. Water is quite soft around here judging by the newest water quality report.

Olympia 05-31-2012 09:17 PM

Alright, though Byron doesn't recommend it, and I usually don't oppose his word, however I do keep cories with my betta. I'm not going to argue over who is right about what. I'm more of a cory + betta person, since they don't get in each other's way, but I will advise you on some other fish. Personally I have seen the betta laying in the sand surrounded by cories, the cories show no fear of my calm betta. I know it can't be seen as a true indicator of what's happening, but to me it seems enough that they show no fear of him. So, on I will go with the advice I give to everyone...

Never ever mix a betta with another anabantid. It will end in the death of one species (usually the betta). These fish live in the same habitat in the wild, and in their shallow waters they compete with each other for resources, like good bubble nesting spots. Correct me if I'm wrong about this, Byron, but I think that since they are so closely related, they can smell each other and instinctively know that they have to compete for the same resources in the wild. Quite a few male betta have been killed by gourami (usually dwarfs but the idea is the same).

Personally I would add some cories in place of gourami. The rasbora should be fine.


My last warning- you have to closely watch your betta. Some males are just far too aggressive to be kept with other fish, and will pursue them without end. Such was the case with my crowntail, he would not leave the cories alone, so even with his seniority he got a smaller space, while my newest betta got more space. I have a sort of thought going that how long a betta has lived in a tank on his own will -somewhat- determine whether or not he will be okay with other fish. Keep your 5 gallon empty and be prepared to have to evict the betta.

Sanguinefox 05-31-2012 09:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Olympia (Post 1102133)
Alright, though Byron doesn't recommend it, and I usually don't oppose his word, however I do keep cories with my betta. I'm not going to argue over who is right about what. I'm more of a cory + betta person, since they don't get in each other's way, but I will advise you on some other fish. Personally I have seen the betta laying in the sand surrounded by cories, the cories show no fear of my calm betta. I know it can't be seen as a true indicator of what's happening, but to me it seems enough that they show no fear of him. So, on I will go with the advice I give to everyone...

Never ever mix a betta with another anabantid. It will end in the death of one species (usually the betta). These fish live in the same habitat in the wild, and in their shallow waters they compete with each other for resources, like good bubble nesting spots. Correct me if I'm wrong about this, Byron, but I think that since they are so closely related, they can smell each other and instinctively know that they have to compete for the same resources in the wild. Quite a few male betta have been killed by gourami (usually dwarfs but the idea is the same).

Personally I would add some cories in place of gourami. The rasbora should be fine.


My last warning- you have to closely watch your betta. Some males are just far too aggressive to be kept with other fish, and will pursue them without end. Such was the case with my crowntail, he would not leave the cories alone, so even with his seniority he got a smaller space, while my newest betta got more space. I have a sort of thought going that how long a betta has lived in a tank on his own will -somewhat- determine whether or not he will be okay with other fish. Keep your 5 gallon empty and be prepared to have to evict the betta.

That makes sense with the Gourami. I've really been thinking about just keeping very small schooling fish. Things that can easily dart into the plants and hide. I would definitely keep an eye on the behavior of the fish. Though if it he starts being too aggressive I might just put up a divider? Give him about as much space as he had in the five gallon, and separate the area with some good plant cover around the divider so he cannot see the other fish?

Olympia 05-31-2012 10:02 PM

Personally, I'd stick with the rasbora. They will grow a bit larger and may not feel as threatened as a smaller fish would.
I'm not sure how it works but if he is aggressive, putting up a divider they will still share water and may be frightened. Going by the assumption that fish learn from experience, which I'm not sure is totally true.
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Sanguinefox 05-31-2012 10:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Olympia (Post 1102190)
Personally, I'd stick with the rasbora. They will grow a bit larger and may not feel as threatened as a smaller fish would.
I'm not sure how it works but if he is aggressive, putting up a divider they will still share water and may be frightened. Going by the assumption that fish learn from experience, which I'm not sure is totally true.
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Well the Five Gallon won't be going anywhere any time soon. So if it happens I'll reset it up and use a divider while getting the five gallon ready. Do you think the Betta would bother things like fancy colored shrimp? I thought about maybe going with some Cherry Shrimp, or something else that isn't fish but would add life to the tank.

Byron 06-01-2012 10:04 AM

Substrate fish are different. Upper level fish however should not be housed with male Betta. You asked for advice and I gave the best I could, with the best interests of your fish and your success in mind. If I bothered to track down sources, I could find many knowledgeable authors who do not recommend Betta in community tanks.

This is one of those areas where there is a generality that fits 95% of the time, with the rest the exceptions. No one knows why some individual fish behave differently from the norm. So do dogs, and horses, and hamsters, and people... just one of those things. But to ignore the "norm" is asking for trouble.

Sanguinefox 06-01-2012 10:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Byron (Post 1102659)
Substrate fish are different. Upper level fish however should not be housed with male Betta. You asked for advice and I gave the best I could, with the best interests of your fish and your success in mind. If I bothered to track down sources, I could find many knowledgeable authors who do not recommend Betta in community tanks.

This is one of those areas where there is a generality that fits 95% of the time, with the rest the exceptions. No one knows why some individual fish behave differently from the norm. So do dogs, and horses, and hamsters, and people... just one of those things. But to ignore the "norm" is asking for trouble.

*Got off and thought about this for a bit.

I've had multiple people I talk to on a regular basis tell me they have no issues with it. However what I am most likely going to do is relocate the tank to another room since I cannot run two tanks in the work room where the betta tank currently is and I don't want to deal with the potential of stressing the Betta out with trying him out in the tank knowing he will most likely not get along.

Then I will stock the 20 gallon with the consideration that I no longer have to worry about a betta going crazy over it's neighbors. So is there any kind of cat-fish that can go into a 20 gallon Long? What is the max size fish that you recommend for this kind of tank?

Olympia 06-01-2012 12:09 PM

Cory catfish, whiptail catfish, farlowella catfish, south American bumblebee catfish (there's a larger African species that it can be confused with). Off the top of my head. :-D
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