Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Kim 07-31-2008 11:53 AM

Vacation problem
Well, my 15 gallon tank finally cycled. My problem...going on vacation. I was planning on putting a small school of about six small community fish as tank mates for my betta. I was going to add them first, wait a week to make sure none are sick, and then add my betta. Now, if I do that, I will only have about one day to watch them and make sure they get along before I leave. Do you think that even if they get along at first, there would be any aggressions later on? Is a week long enough to quarantine them? So then I thought I would just put my betta in there, keep the 5.5 gallon running, and use that as a quarantine tank when I get back. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that most of the extra bacteria would have died off by that time, possibly causing a mini cycle when I add the new fish. I thought maybe I could do it the other way around and get the new fish before vacation, put them in the 15 gallon, keep my betta in the 5.5 gallon, and introduce them later. But, if they don't get along I don't think that I can return them after 2 weeks. What do you think? Thank you.

girlofgod 07-31-2008 12:09 PM

okay, first of all, I have to ask, what fish are you putting in with a betta? cause bettas don't do well with most other fish. they will be overly agressive, or extremely stressed. neither is good. and because you only have a 15 gallon tank, it really limits the amount of fish you can have anyway.

second, if the tank is primarily a set-up for your betta, then I would make sure that your tank is properly cycled (test your water) and then add your betta. i would monitor your betta over the next week or so, and wait to purchase any additional fish until you come back from vacation. then i would add 1-2 fish at a time over an extended period of time, so as to not over-stress the beta. you shouldnt have to worry about your tank not having enough ammonia to sustain the bacteria if the betta is in there.

i dont have bettas anymore though, so my info might be a little outdated...but this is all based on my personal experience.

Tyyrlym 07-31-2008 01:06 PM

Well if both your tanks are cycled I'd just leave the community fish (what kind by the way) separate from the betta until you return and can observe them. When you get back introduce the betta into the 15 gallon and see how things shake out.

Kim 07-31-2008 02:33 PM

Well, I was thinking about either neon tetras or cherry barbs. I have read that both are peaceful and can be kept in the same environment as bettas. I was going to put a school of 6 along with my betta. The tank has already completed a fishless cycle, so it should have a decent amount of bacteria. I cycled it using enough ammonia so that when finished, it would be able to support the fish that I had in mind. I was still going to play it safe though, and only get 3 new fish to start. I am worried that my betta will not produce enough ammonia to sustain all of the bacteria, and they will die off before I get a chance to add the new fish.

As for bettas and other fish, I don't think that my betta is very aggressive at all. He is happy, but doesn't flare at everything (only at himself if I use a mirror, and even then not so much) and will not attack anything that I use to try to play with him. I have heard of a lot of people who have put bettas in community tanks and they are happy. Actually the only reason I thought about putting other fish in there is so that he will have something to look at during the day. There is not really much activity in my room. If of course anybody has any negative experiences to share, I would rethink it. I don't really have a problem with him being in there by himself, just thought that it would be more interesting for him if he had some other peaceful fish that would not bother him to watch. Thanks.

SheyFirestar 07-31-2008 05:11 PM

ive known a lot of people who have kept bettas in a community tank so i know its possible. it really depends on the fish. you dont want anything flashy,long finned, or aggressive. even if the betta isnt fin nipping it will probably bully the tank mates in other ways, taking over their hiding place or trying to run them off when they are eating.

this may be a silly question but if you wanted the 15 gal to stay cycled while your gone couldnt you just have someone add some more ammonia to it while your gone? then you could be there for the whole thing. and you have 2 tanks so if the betta needs to go back to being alone thats still a possibility.

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