Hi again guys! Tank cycle completed, all fish alive and well!!
Hiya folks, you may remember me from that very long post about my new tank, my useless pet store that sold me less than ideal fish...
So, my 3 Blue Rams, my pleco and my single red tailed black shark, that were used to cycle the tank (store had refused to take back the rams), are all still alive and doing very well, exhibiting normal behavior and eating well. No signs of stress or distress at all. I realise, I have probably shortened their natural lives due to the cycling process, but I was doing frequent large water changes (at the expense of the speed of the cycling process), which now after nearly two months is finished.
I have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and the nitrates are slowly rising.I'm changing a third of the water every 2 weeks. As I say, all fish are doing well, I'm very happy. No drama at all so far.
My next question is not as simple as giving me the textbook answer (I have read and ingested from multiple sources TONS of information about my fish and the fish I am thinking about introducing, and just wanted to know *IF I AM LUCKY, and I realise luck will play a role, that I can go ahead and try something based on my observations and assumptions)...
My Blue Rams are very peaceful and have established territories in the tank. They never bother the shark, nor the pleco, nor are bothered by the other fishes. In fact, they often go for the same piece of food sittingat the bottom without any drama at all. My pleco is very active and apparently very happy too, he goes about his merry business, sticking himself to all sorts of stuff at odd angles, and never bothers the other fish unless they try to take bites from his pellet when he's eating it, in those cases, he just turns and looks at them and they very quickly retreat. He even plays throughout the day, especially in the filter flow. The shark is the biggest surprise of all. SHE (I think, grey belly, rounded dorsal tip) behaves entirely as if she was alone in the tank, no intereaction whatsoever with the other fish, neither to avoid or approach them. At the moment, my tank is the picture of tranquility...
My girlfriend really wants a Male Betta. Before everyone starts going 'NOOOOOOO!', consider this...I have read that you can get lucky with the Betta and get one of a more peaceful disposition than most. Also consider that I appear to be lucky with my Rams in that they completely ignore any fish not of their own breed, and the shark is also a very peaceful example of her species.
Is it possible, given the prevailing conditions, that I would have no issues at all putting a betta in the tank? Or is it a 100% certainty to cause problems? I am also thinking that because all my existing fishes are mid to low/bottom dwellers, and the Betta is a top dweller, that conflicts will be kept to a minimum.
I also realise that it will SEVERELY limit my future choices for top dwellers, and that fancy guppies and the like are completely out, and probably most tetras too, since they tend to nip flowing fins.
So the next question, assuming that the answer to the betta question is 'it's worth a try, but be prepared for trouble', which is my current assumption based on what I've read, what schooling mid to top dwellers could I even begin to consider.
OR, given that I know that if you plan to try a Betta in a community tank, it should be the last fish you add (as it does not take well to newcomers), is there a schooling fish you could recommend that I could then add a betta to after?
Any thoughts and insight welcome, thanks for taking the time to read this (another) essay from me. :)
I used to have a male betta in my community tank. He did fantastic with all my fish except a gold colored Rainbow fish. For some reason they had to be separated because Mr Betta felt threatened by him for some reason. However, I had the shark and tetras in the same tank for months with no problems. I had no problems with him at all, except for when the gourami attacked him when I first got them both. The gourami got sent back and the Beta lived out his life very well before I went a different direction. In my experience it is completely and utterly possible that you could get a peaceful beta. However, he can get a nasty disposition towards other fish. Minimize the aggression by fin nippers by having a larger school of them. I had 10 neons and 14 Serpae tetras housed with my beta at one time with no aggression or nipping on either part. Good luck!
I had a Betta that ate neons. Loved them.
Fish within a species do often behave differently, just as do dogs--or people come to that. But the inherent trait is there in the species and you cannot remove it. Sometimes environmental factors trigger it; sometimes is remains dormant longer. Or of course the fish dies prematurely anyway.
It's up to you in the end, as it is your tank, but I don't believe in risking fish just to prove that this or that works/doesn't work. You may think your shark is fine now, but I can almost guarantee that will change. Partly depends upon tank size, and other fish. Rams do tend to ignore others, except if they spawn.
I know it's risky. The betta thing may still never happen. I'll go for a dozen neons or other small schoolers first and see how things go.
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