Introducing Betta to New Fish - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-14-2013, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
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Introducing Betta to New Fish

(I'm sorry if this isn't the right place for this question, I wasn't sure.)

Hello everyone. I was wondering if you guys had tips for introducing new fish to a Betta. I already have two Cories with my boy, Benny, in a ten gallon. I discovered after getting the Cories that they prefer larger groups so I am planning to get a few more when I can afford to. However, I'm not sure how well Bettas deal with new fish being added to their tank. Benny and the Cories were added to their tank at the same time so I never had trouble with them. Benny seems to be very tolerant of them and seems to enjoy their company, often looking around in the gravel with them to grab any scraps of food they miss. But he has never attempted to harm them. He has very briefly flared at them a few times but only because he gets very close to the Cories when they eat and a couple times it looked like they accidentally got his tail trying to suck up food. Benny is very happy, healthy, and calm so I don't think I'll have any problems. However, I would like to do my best to avoid any problems. I don't want anyone getting hurt or stressed. This is my first time having a Betta with other fish, so I'm a bit unsure of how these things should be done.

2 Boys: Benedict (VT), Ramses (King PK) 3 Girls: Gylfie, Sonata, Alice (all VT) 5 Cory Catfish: Sherlock, Watson, Mycroft, Howard, Gimpy
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-14-2013, 03:25 PM
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Hey there LittleDeer :)

Okay so when you get the cory's, I would say no more than 2 more since they can have a large bio-load and actually won't help your tank very much. But when you get them, let them float in the 10 gallon with all the fish, Benny will probably come up and inspect them, or flare at them, whichever.

Let the cory's acclimate (get used to the temp and then add in half a cup of the tank water to their bag every 10 minutes or so so they get used to the new tank water. Then dump out half of the water in the bag down a sink or something [make sure they don't jump or fall out] and then continue adding in half a cup of tank water to their bag while they float in the tank. I use a Chip Clip to keep the back at the edge of the tank so they don't float away or the bag tips)

After that, take Benny out and keep him in another container, a cup or an extra tank or something while you put the new cory's in. Give them some time to explore the tank and get used to their new surroundings, 15 minutes would probably fine, if you want to wait more that's fine too.

Move a few things around, any decoration or plants or whatever you have there so that when Benny is introduced again he won't have a "territory" and the new cory's won't intrude on his "territory" to make him angry.

And that should be it! :D Good luck to you ^^

RJ (H. Lifalili), Acara (EB)
Ghost, Tuxedo, Trip (Angels)
Leopards: 1:3 Hawkeye, Luna, Astrael, Dorian
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 05:52 AM
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A note to add to lilnaugrim's advice: make sure all you cories are the same type! E.g. if you have peppered cories, get more peppered. If you have bronze, get more bronze (or albino). They should be in groups of the same type. :)

It's also worth looking at upgrading: cories are pretty active fish and do better in larger tanks. :)

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 07:24 AM
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I always get asked this question and my answer is always the same, the best companion for a betta, is breeding time to another betta, bettas can live withother fish however it isn't a good life for the betta, most times they are in a community tank with nippy types like Danios, or tetras on top of that your male betta wil view anything with long fins as a sparring partner not to mention the fact that most filters have far more current than a betta likes so my answer is none, there is no happy way to keep a betta in a community tank.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 09:18 AM
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I first fell in love with bettas when, as a child (many long years ago, when dinosaurs still roamed the earth), my family had a ten gallon community tank. There would be the usual fish....some guppies, neon tetras, swords, zebra danios.....and one betta. Oh, I was entranced by those beautiful pet store veil tails (no HMs or CTs back then).....the colours, the flowing fins, the way they would swim up to you and look right at you. But, they never lived very long.....6 months maybe.....and then we'd be back at the pet store picking another one.

And now that I'm a mature (on a good day....) adult with a ton more knowledge and experience with these gorgeous fish I love, I would not ever keep one in a community tank. Now, I know some people do it successfully.....it's not impossible by any means.....but I don't think it's the best choice.

Have you thought of maybe dividing the tank and getting another betta? :)

Currently over 100 males and females (mostly from Aquabid)....and I have now completely (almost) sworn off Aquabid...lol....waaayyy too addictive!
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 08:16 PM
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I have to disagree with Darth completely, although Catwoman does provide a nicely balanced look at the issue.

Cories are totally compatible with bettas. In the wild, bettas will share their water with bottom feeders (not cories, obviously) but things such as loaches, snails and other crawlies. They ignore bettas. Bettas, for the most part, totally ignore them. Those of my bettas who don't ignore them actually swim with them and even seem to enjoy investigating.

Cories aside, all of my females have lived very happily in community tanks with mid and top swimmers as well as bottom feeders. After their initial investigation, they totally ignore the other fish (except to occasionally eat the Endler fry). Their behaviour indicates that they are no less content than they were in individual tanks.

Your generalisations simply don't apply to plenty of people, Darth - bettas can do extremely well in communities provided that the betta is calm, the filter is gentle and the community fish are well-chosen (e.g. not nippy, not long-finned).

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-16-2013, 07:09 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you guys for all your tips. I respectfully disagree with the posts about not Keeping Bettas with other fish. My Benny seems to have grown somewhat attached to the Cories and I have no intention of separating them. I would rather not divide my tank either. I wouldn't feel right taking space away from Benny after moving him to a nice big tank from that awful tiny bowl at the store.

I do very much intend to upgrade my tank at some point. I just need to make sure my 30 gallon holds water still. But it's a heavy tank so I can't do it myself.

I think I will definitely follow lilnaugrim's method of introduction. I don't foresee much trouble though. Benny seems very tolerant of the current Cories and has never seemed unhappy or stressed out. He sometimes even "cuddles" with the Cories.

Every Betta is different, however. If you have not had luck with keeping Bettas with other fish, it may have just been your specific Betta. In the end, I know that I know my boy best. I can judge how he will react the best, because I know how he behaves and reacts to certain things. I want what's best for all my fish, and I do believe keeping him with Cories and adding a couple more will be the best for the entire group. And if not, I am prepared to make necessary decisions to move the Cories to another tank or return them if need be.

I do thank you all for your concerns and advice, though. Even though I may not agree its still helpful to see what other people think.

2 Boys: Benedict (VT), Ramses (King PK) 3 Girls: Gylfie, Sonata, Alice (all VT) 5 Cory Catfish: Sherlock, Watson, Mycroft, Howard, Gimpy
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-16-2013, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleDeer View Post
Thank you guys for all your tips. I respectfully disagree with the posts about not Keeping Bettas with other fish. My Benny seems to have grown somewhat attached to the Cories and I have no intention of separating them. I would rather not divide my tank either. I wouldn't feel right taking space away from Benny after moving him to a nice big tank from that awful tiny bowl at the store.

I do very much intend to upgrade my tank at some point. I just need to make sure my 30 gallon holds water still. But it's a heavy tank so I can't do it myself.

I think I will definitely follow lilnaugrim's method of introduction. I don't foresee much trouble though. Benny seems very tolerant of the current Cories and has never seemed unhappy or stressed out. He sometimes even "cuddles" with the Cories.

Every Betta is different, however. If you have not had luck with keeping Bettas with other fish, it may have just been your specific Betta. In the end, I know that I know my boy best. I can judge how he will react the best, because I know how he behaves and reacts to certain things. I want what's best for all my fish, and I do believe keeping him with Cories and adding a couple more will be the best for the entire group. And if not, I am prepared to make necessary decisions to move the Cories to another tank or return them if need be.

I do thank you all for your concerns and advice, though. Even though I may not agree its still helpful to see what other people think.
I think in your case, it would work just fine.....you already know your betta's personality and you know which fish would make good tank mates. I think those are the two key ingredients in doing it successfully. Not every betta is suited to community living (some are just way too aggressive to anything and everything) and not every type of fish would be ok living with a betta and leaving it alone (not nipping its fins, etc.). But, if you get those two things right, you're set. Good luck!

Currently over 100 males and females (mostly from Aquabid)....and I have now completely (almost) sworn off Aquabid...lol....waaayyy too addictive!
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-16-2013, 11:19 AM
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I have really enjoyed watching 1 of my bettas with his psuedo community of corries. I did get to know his personality really well before I added him with corries and he was the calmest of all my bettas and seemed really interactive with me and the tank beside him of community fish. He now has 3 corries(would like more but not till they are moved to the 20gallon). He got each rommie at different times and they all integrated peacefully but he is most interested in the albino. They seem like best buddies. They are a super active group that searches the bottom all together all day long. I think given that yours already enjoys the corries I think you'll be just fine.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-16-2013, 12:00 PM
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Bottom feeders do not seem to be an issue, it is other fish platys, swordtails, neon tetras etc etc stuff pople usually have in a community tank, I am just offering the opinion of someone who has been a betta breeder for 30 or more years.
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