So my betta fish is a tad territorial... - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-02-2013, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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So my betta fish is a tad territorial...

I bought a betta fish about 2 months ago, stuck him in a decorative bowl with a plastic plant, some gravel and crappy pellet food. I'd had bettas as a kid and they lasted at least 2 years each, so I figured this was going to be easy. Within two weeks I upgraded him to a 10 gallon tank, complete with better plants, a hidey hole and a heater. Poor guy was freezing to death in that tiny bowl in my basement apartment. So I cycled the tank as best I could (didn't want him to die a frigid death) and popped him in. Now he's happy and his colours have brightened right up. A month ago, after two weeks of him happily flitting about his too large tank, I popped in 6 neon tetras and an African dwarf frog. There was a brief territorial display by my betta (Oswynn) but that lasted maybe five minutes, and then there was peace for three weeks. Last week my first tetra died. There were chunks bitten out of it and since I found the AFD hovering over it, I naturally assumed that it had been attacked by her and eaten. But two mornings later I found my betta haranguing another corpse. Now I was down to four tetras. Yesterday morning I found another one dead, half eaten, and the rest of the tetras shying away from my betta, trying to be anywhere he wasn't. This morning, another two corpses. One lying on the rocks at the back and another being batted about by the betta. The single remaining tetra was hovering in a corner of the tank with what I can only describe as fish PTSD; its mouth constantly chattering in an odd way, flitting up and down rapidly, forward and then backwards before sitting still and chattering some more. Its fins were absolutely mangled and I ended up euthanizing it this morning.

I've been to other fish forums on the net, but everyone just keeps telling me about fish cycling and that they don't know anything about bettas, and I must be doing something wrong, or he's aggressive because I didn't do this or that. Anywho, I determined most of them just don't have the betta knowledge I need to be able to apply to my current situation.
What I'm looking for is a solution to my issue. Right now I'm torn between trying to find something more compatible with my betta and the possibility of having to buy a 5 gallon set up for him.

tl;dr my betta is a murderous jerk, do I buy him his own little tank so I can make my 10 gallon prettier or do I try to find him some better playmates?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-02-2013, 02:19 PM
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Some bettas just aren't meant to have tank mates... IMO it wouldn't be the best move to get him more.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-02-2013, 04:05 PM
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If you'd like to make your 10 gallon into a community type tank, I'd get your betta his own tank. Some bettas can live with other fish just fine and some won't tolerate anyone else in the tank with them.

Sometimes by providing enough hiding spots and plants to break line of sight in the tank it can keep other fish alive with an aggressive betta but the other fish don't live to happily hiding and trying to stay out of the way.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-02-2013, 04:14 PM
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Welcome to the forum!

Like the others have said, it's probably best not to get him any more tankmates. How does he behave with the frog? Do they get along?

Hello! I'm a former fishkeeper and with a rekindled interest in the betta hobby. I don't have any bettas currently, but I'm brushing up on my fishkeeping knowledge with the intention of eventually bringing home another finned friend. ^_^
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-02-2013, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I'm not going to put any more fish in with him. He has a bunch of plants and even a house, but tetras have been known to nip at long, trailing fins and tails, so I'm guessing that's what started it all. As for Oswynn's reactions to Slippy, I don't think she's even on his radar. Even when she chills at the top or flits around a bit, he completely ignores her. I'm thinking of picking up the Fluval V to put on my desk and I'll toss both of them in there. I want to pick up some panda platies for the community tank, but I find they tend to bully bottom dwellers like frogs and plecos.

Edit: Slippy is the ADF

Last edited by Aconyte; 06-02-2013 at 05:16 PM.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-02-2013, 05:07 PM
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-02-2013, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, sorry, Slippy is the frog, lol. Starfox reference.
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