Tankmates for an active betta? - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
 
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 07-09-2010, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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Tankmates for an active betta?

Hey, I'm new here but I've been watching the forum for a while. You guys have answered a lot of my questions. I'm sure this question is out here somewhere, but my betta is very active and I'm not sure how he'll react.

Anyway, I started out my lovely red CT betta, Gabe, in a small bowl. After about two days, I moved him to a heated, filtered, and clean 10 gallon aquarium. He's been living in it (alone) successfully for about a month now. He's extremely active and curious, way more than any other betta I've ever seen. He investigates everything, he swims to the front of the tank when I walk by, and he's always darting around, swimming through obstacles, and otherwise enjoying himself.

I'd like to get him some tank mates, but I'm also afraid of making him nervous or uncomfortable in his own home.

Should I get some tankmates for him? And if so, what?
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 07-09-2010, 04:17 PM
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His activity level may be a sign that he is a very territorial fish, and entertains himself by patrolling the tank. Because he is possibly a very territorial betta, I suggest seeing how he reacts to a couple of ghost shrimp before you consider getting actual fish. Since ghost shrimp are feeder animals and are only about 10 cents a piece, you have much less to lose--I'll admit it's not very nice, but losing a couple of shrimp is better than losing multiple fish. Keep in mind that bettas see shrimp as prey animals and are likely to eat the shrimp eventually--but you should still be able to get an idea of how he'll react to other fish by his initial behavior toward the shrimp.

The way I would do it in order to minimize his aggressive response to the shrimp would be to add the shrimp on water change day--remove the fish, do your water change, rearrange his decor a bit, and add the shrimp. The change in decor should distract him while he gets used to the shrimp. If you see him constantly chasing and pecking violently at the shrimp, he probably is not a good candidate for other tankmates. If he just pokes them a couple of times and swims off, you should be fine, though.

If he reacts well to the shrimp, I suggest a school of pygmy corydora catfish. This type of cory is very small, so you can fit enough individuals in the tank to form a proper school. These fish also have a lot of personality and give the tank a lot of movement without drawing too much of the betta's attention. Please research the needs of pygmy cories, or any other fish you're thinking of, before purchasing.
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