Good Betta Companions? - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
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Good Betta Companions?

If I was to get some tankmates for my betta, what would be some good choices for stocking?

I have a 5.5 gallon tank and one betta. This is my first fish, and I only got him a few weeks ago, but from what I can tell, he seems like he's pretty passive when it comes to temperament.

I don't know if I'm going to start a community tank anytime soon, but if I was, what fish should I get, how many, and what do I need to know about them when it comes to care?

Would I need to upgrade him to a larger tank, or is a 5.5 gallon enough for only a few fish?

Thanks :)

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 06:00 PM
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Is it filtered/heated/planted?
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 06:22 PM
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Not fish. Thats too small for almost any type of fish. But you could possibly try an African Dwarf Frog in there. Do a lot of research first, because they can be aggresive with a betta. Also, favorites for betta tanks of mine are ramshorn/pond snail, (get 1 and it will stay that way, get two or more and you'r gonna get overrun!) ghost (or glass) shrimp, (you could keep about 4 or 5 in there) Apple snails (two at the VERY MOST, I reccomend one) nerite snails (I'm not sure how fast they breed, but I'd say space-wise no more than 10), also, you COULD try an otto in there, however it would need a filter, do you have one?
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 06:24 PM
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Otos arent a good option sense thy only eat algae and dead plant matter and need at least 3. ADFs do best in groups so i would skip that. I would do 1 ramshorn snail and 5 ghost shrimp.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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I have a filter, and the tank is heated. I do have a ten gallon I can use at some point, but right now my gerbil's living in it. If I were to upgrade to that, what would my options be for tank mates?

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 06:34 PM
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Well if you plant it the options are much greater.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 07:16 PM
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Let me break down your options a bit:

5.5 Gallon Unplanted
2 African Dwarf Frogs (Yes, there is space for them they have very low bio loads) OR

Nerite Snail
1 Apple Snail
up to 12 Ghost Shrimp

5.5 Gallon Planted
Cherry Shrimp
Amano Shrimp
Bamboo Shrimp
Cardinal Shrimp
Ninja Shrimp
Probably other Shrimp
And anything mentioned above will do better in a planted 5.5

10 Gallon Unplanted
Common Guppies
Platties? (I'm not sure on these but other members have told me as much)
Neon Tetras (will need at least fake plants)
Cardinal Tetras (Again, fake plants)
White Cloud Mountain Minnows (would appriciate some fake plants)

10 Gallon Planted
Dwarf Cory catfish
Salt and Pepper Cory catfish
Pygmy Cory catfish
And anything mentioned above will do BETTER in a planted 10 gallon

OVER 9000000 Gallon
Kraken
Levithian
Another Male Betta
Loch Ness Monster
Jörmungandr
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 07:16 PM
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M&M is absolutely correct: A 5.5 gallon is too small for any fish except a Betta as Otos and other Micro/Nano fish need a minimum of six for optimum health. People do it all of the time but IMO it's not fair to schooling fish to have fewer than the minimum any more than it's fair to put a Betta in a half-gallon aquarium.

You could try Ghost Shrimp as long as the tank is densely planted (as in no wide open spaces ) so they have places to go to avoid your Betta. He may appear to be chill but he's alone; he may surprise you if you add some other critter. Do have a backup plan if it doesn't work.

As far as snails, I wouldn't recommend Nerites as they need natural algae and are very picky eaters. Most won't eat algae wafers or touch vegetables. But if you do decide to try them (I love mine), only get one; two at the most in a 5.5. Fill a small container with driftwood, rocks or marbles and place in a window sill. This will grow the algae you need for your Nerites.

African Dwarf Frogs are great and are not aggressive towards Bettas at all. Unfortunately, they take the hit for the extremely aggressive and much larger African Clawed Frogs. ACF are often sold as ADF so make sure you know the difference. Since froggers recommend one per gallon, you could easily have two or three ADF with your Betta. Actually, many frog sites recommend Bettas as the best fish tankmates for ADF.

The special care ADFs need is make sure they get enough food. Since they are almost totally blind, they hunt/feed by smell. (If they grab a Betta it's purely by accident.) Because the fish would grab their food from them, I target feed Esmeralda and Clayton frozen bloodworms with 12" long planting tongs. I alternate with HBH Frog and Tadpole bites which can be dropped to the substrate since the fish can't steal them.

Now the 10 gallon....there are some possibilities. Just make sure you doubly clean it to get 100% of residual Gerbil urine and feces residue.

You could have a seven or more Neon Tetras or Rasboras, male Endlers or Guppies (it's a myth that Bettas see colorful male Guppies as another Betta). Since it's your first try at fish keeping, I would wait to get anything like Pygmy Cories.

Here's a really good site with all the information you need on Micro fish possibilities. I trust this site over others as Rachel O'Leary is a nationally-recognized authority on Micro fish and frequently lectures at fish keeping conventions. Hover over the photo; the little square with the arrow is where you'll find the information you need.
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Last edited by RussellTheShihTzu; 09-02-2014 at 07:21 PM.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 07:18 PM
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Oh, and I want to point out that I put Ghost shrimp in the unplanted category only because at their price losing a few is likely to be acceptable. Don't expect a 100% survival rate out of them in an unplanted tank.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you very much!

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