single male betta in 3.5 gallon tank, needs friends!! - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-26-2012, 02:48 AM Thread Starter
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Question single male betta in 3.5 gallon tank, needs friends!!

Hey guys,

I have one male betta (red delta tail if you're curious!) He's about a year old. I recently upgraded him from a 1.5 gallon tank to a 3.5 gallon tank and he adores it. Tons of swim room and he's soo happy, but the tank seems way too big for one single fish. I'm thinking he needs a friend but I am not sure what the best option is. Something small probably, because it is still just a 3.5 gallon tank, but the one betta in it just seems empty....

Is there anything that will get along with him, yet not be overcrowded with him in the tank?? It's a round 3.5 gallon that's taller than it is wide. I have a filter/pump, so oxygen isn't an issue. It stays, obviously, at tropical fish setting, usually around 80-82 degrees.

I was thinking snail? But I just feel like it would be hard to get a snail out of there to clean x.x Maybe this is just my opinion since ive never had one before...

But what about fish?? Something not too dirty, yet nice enough to be my bettas friend despite the fish species differences? lol No prejudice fish wanted!!!

Proud owner of Rudolphus the fish!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-26-2012, 02:56 AM
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I have a mystery snail in both my 2.5's

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-26-2012, 03:30 AM Thread Starter
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mystery snail?? and they get along well enough??

Proud owner of Rudolphus the fish!
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-26-2012, 05:31 AM
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Snails poop a lot. The bigger snail, the more ammonia it produces, of course. Personally, I wouldn't keep large snails in a small unplanted, unfiltered tank with fish unless I was prepared for a rigorous water change schedule of several times per week.

I keep a few cherry shrimp with my female in a 3.5 which is heavily planted and filtered. She does snack on them occasionally, but that's to be expected. They have a very small bioload (they don't make a lot of ammonia) but I upped the water changes anyway to compensate for the extra.

The biggest battle in a small tank is keeping ammonia/nitrite levels at 0. I figure, why add to the problem with poopy snails?

Bettas don't need company, they are not social fish. IMO, better to use the money to enrich his environment with some plants/ornaments instead.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-26-2012, 07:43 AM Thread Starter
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My tank is filtered though. but pooping snails don't sound fun after all... and how can my fish not be lonely??? i mean.. he has a giant dinosaur in the tank with him and some little toy fish that bobble along the top of the waters surface... but other than that his only company is me. people might say hes not lonely, but he cant tell me hes not lonely. and id rather him have a friend he doesnt have to talk to than suffer loneliness... right?? then again I have warped views on animals... I do this with my cat too, which is why I have two cats... and why I have two dogs... and two hamsters... when I had rabbits I had two of those too. the thought of one animal all alone for its whole life just seems depressing...

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-26-2012, 07:47 AM
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3.5 gal is not to big for one Betta. There are many people (including myself at one point) that have one Betta in a 10 gallon tank.

You can get a snail but you will need to do more water changes. To be honest, most bettas would care less about a snail. It's more of a thing for you. :)

Bettas are not like Cat's and dogs. Most prefer to live alone anyways.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-26-2012, 09:10 AM
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You can try giving a companion... Via shrimp or a snail. But that is it. Snails poop lots though haha! Plus the pond ones can reproduce at a drop of a hat :/

Shrimp are more difficult... You should get moss, live plants (java fern is hardy!) for them to hide in, but most bettas when they see shrimp will nom them.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-26-2012, 09:32 AM
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What teeny said, re not needing company.

Bettas are aggressive, territorial, predatory fish. If they can't eat it/mate with it (no, they can't be kept in pairs, the male and female fight until one dies often.. in the wild one would be chased out of the territory after breeding) they don't give a toss.

They -do- enjoy the food-hands (us) offering them a bit of stimulation via playing chase-the-finger and here-have-a-treat etc, but really? They can do without that too if their environment is enriched with hidey/explorey places.

My fish eats the shrimp, when she can catch them. They are not in there for 'company' but to keep the algae on my wood down..

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-26-2012, 09:39 AM
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Even tho the tank size is upgraded, I agree, unless you are going for a 10 gal and lots of places to hide, a lot of plants, then some compatible fishy's would be fine, there is a list on here for that..I beleive, but I have just moved our Sammy into a 5 gal for himself, out of a 3 gal, and he is the King of his new castle, he got the full run of the place, and I beleive he's fine, If, and when I do another upgrade, I may give him a tankmate or 2 but not now..I think he's fine all by himself..(The master of the domain):)

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-26-2012, 10:27 AM
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Company For a Betta = Either a snack or a fight waiting to happen.

A betta can't really get 'lonely'....but if you still want to get something else because you feel the tank is empty, I'd say more silk plants (or maybe a few live ones) and a shrimp or two. Preferably a species of shrimp that won't take a nip at your betta.

Hiding places are not negotiable on that though, otherwise your betta will consider the shrimp a snack. If you try to get any other fish, I'd say good luck with that...your betta may seem like a good boy now, but once you stick another fish in his territory he will attack it, or they will both be stressed enough to get sick and die.

Just remember that shrimp eat algae (if the petstore people say they eat fish poo, you smack them. Smack them HARD. No fish on this earth eat other fish poo) and you'll need to buy them Algae wafers. I don't know how often you feed them though.

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