A story of fishy friendship...
In my quest to find Romeo a tank mate that would not only add interest to his solitary life, but also act as a live-in "housekeeper", I tried a few ghost shrimp, but it quickly became apparent that that was a bad idea... Because I have no stomach for bloodshed, I had to go in for the quick rescue before a massacre ensued.
Desperate for something to clean up Romeo's table droppings that I could not thoroughly clean up (he takes "picky" to a whole new level, but that is another story... suffice it to say, he's training me well). I went and picked up a little albino cory. I have a spotted cory in my community tank and he's really cool, but of course I wanted a little variety in my little fish world, so I thought I would try one of these. I have to say, I think he/she/it is a little creepy looking, but they kind of match each other in body color, so I went along with it.
Well, they have apparently become BFF's. I don't know if it's because, clearly, the albino is totally and completely blind, and therefore non-threatening, or if he just feels sorry for the little guy and has taken him "under his fin", but they rest side by side for hours (yes, I can stare that long). Romeo also seems to feel compelled to go check on him periodically. The cory (I'm still waiting for the right name to claim him) often sleeps listing to one side, and I fear he's dead half the time, but Romeo will go give him a little bump, and off he wiggles.
It's just an interesting relationship between the two, and I am happy it worked out so well, as I can't afford therapy for either one of them. I just thought this might be an option for other people looking for a productive, compatible tank mate for their Betta as well. I am a beginner at being a fish mom, but I am enjoying taking care of my fishies in my two smaller tanks (4g and 6g). I'm looking forward to moving up to larger tanks as soon as the budget allows. But until then, everyone seems happy and healthy, and there is peace among the ranks.
P.S. Just to satisfy the fish police and/or "worriers", the critters are healthy (I mean, other than one needing a "seeing-eye fish") - Not a blemish on them - Water tests every week are excellent - Partial water changes twice a week - A variety of high quality frozen foods are fed (along with appropriate floating and sinking food for everyone, of course) - Several healthy live plants, and places for the critters to hang out in their own space, Etc... (all ditto for the second tank... knock on wood!)
Happy to be here and to read everyone's interesting and informative postings!
"If my fish doesn't like you, then neither do I"