6 Gallon Tank w/ male betta. Best tankmate?? - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-12-2015, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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6 Gallon Tank w/ male betta. Best tankmate??

Hello all!
I have a 6.25 planted tank with one happy male betta. What would be the best tank mate(s) for him? I would prefer a small school of Tetras or Dwarf Cories (4 or 5 fish), but I've read that both need at least a 10 gallons.
I'm also open to the idea of a snail, but not as excited about it.
Thanks so much as always!
-PenelopeBetta
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-12-2015, 11:30 PM
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Male bettas are best alone but some like tankmates. They are carnivorous after all. If you are set on trying something in the tank your size go with nirite or mystery snails. Males are ok in larger tanks where others can get away and hide. I keep mine alone in planted tanks. Most tropical need 1gal per inch. So example... 1 neon needs at least 1.5gals and 4 would need 6gal. Of course this is a rule of thumb and some fish do well in less space n others like golds need more.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-12-2015, 11:35 PM
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If your not stoked about snails...maybe african dwarf frog. They dont look anything like another betta so fighting may never happen and they arent dirty. Just a thought.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-13-2015, 12:08 AM
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I have never had a Betta that didn't thrive in a community tank except three that were too aggressive for tank mates of any sort.

You can have seven Pygmy Cories in a six gallon. They are quite tiny and, at least in my tanks, left completely alone by the Betta. I have three Betta-based community tanks and have also had success with small Rasbora (Sundadanio axelrodi, Chili or Sparrow) in smaller tanks.

I would stay away from some Tetras as they can be very nippy. I thought I had a tail biter until I saw a Neon remove a chunk. While I love them I'm in the process of finding them a new home. The Ember Tetras don't seem to be as nippy as the Neons.

If you don't mind feeding live food, a wonderful, colorful little fish (and my favorite) is the Dario Dario aka Scarlet Badis. They are less than an inch in size but do require something like live Micro Worms to do best. They love moss. Do not feed frozen bloodworms as a staple diet.

An interesting alternative would be Dwarf Crayfish (Cambarellus patzcuarensis sp orange or Cambarellus texanus). You could have three or four as they are peaceful but can be territorial with each other. Do not get any other variety of Cray. I do not recommend shrimp of any sort.

Three African Dwarf Frogs would be work as their bioload is no more than a large Tetra. Target feeding is required if you choose frozen bloodworms. I feed mine HBH Frog and Tadpole Bites and the occasional frozen bloodworm (using tongs so piggy Random the Betta doesn't steal). However, they absolutely cannot have freeze dried foods as freeze dried will cause fatal blockages.

If you want colorful, you could go with five male Endlers or three male Fancy Guppies. It's pretty much a myth that Betta can't live with colorful, long-finned fish or see them as other Betta.

With the addition of any tank mates, keep an eye on water parameters as you may have to up the number or percentage of changes. And, as I'm sure you've seen it preached have a back up plan.

Have fun choosing!!!

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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-13-2015, 12:17 AM
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If your tank is heavily planted and has been cycled for a while, you could try shrimp. Some bettas will see shrimp as food, but long fin bettas often aren't fast enough to be any threat so long as the tank has enough cover for them. You also have to be very careful with your parameters.

As for the neons and cories, a bigger tank would be needed. Since both are shoaling species they need a min of 6 fish to be comfortable. I heard both need established tanks as well.

Personally, I love snails! If you're worried about having tons of baby snails, you can get Nerite snails. They can lay eggs but the eggs/young cannot survive in freshwater so you'll never have to worry about them reproducing.

Ooooor just listen to Russell xD

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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-13-2015, 12:35 AM
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Thanks, Tress. You are absolutely correct about the Neons; anything less than a 10 would be too cramped for them. And also about the minimum number of six.

There are several shoaling Nano fish that do well in anything five gallons or over: Ember Tetras, Pygmy Cories, Dario Dario, Dario hysginon, Sundadanio axelrodi, Sparrow Rasbora, Danionella dracula, Chili Rasbora....as long as the tank is well-planted so the Betta doesn't have a clear line of sight/chase.

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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-13-2015, 04:09 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much, everyone!!
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-13-2015, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PenelopeBetta View Post
Hello all!
I have a 6.25 planted tank with one happy male betta. What would be the best tank mate(s) for him? I would prefer a small school of Tetras or Dwarf Cories (4 or 5 fish), but I've read that both need at least a 10 gallons.
I'm also open to the idea of a snail, but not as excited about it.
Thanks so much as always!
-PenelopeBetta

You could check into getting a small school of CPD's--Celestial Pearl Danios. (Give them a google for photos.) They stay tiny at maturation, are very colorful, hardy and they are not fin nippers. (ie they won't go after your betta.) They also move quite fast so even if your betta would try to chase them they could easily get away from him.

Out of curiousity, what brand of 6.25 gallon is your tank?
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-14-2015, 01:35 PM
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I would not advise an ADF as they are nearly blind and it takes them a bit to find food in which the betta will eat it all, and for being hard at seeing they are very active. But some people don't have issues with ADFs and bettas.. so it may work.
I would not try shrimp as majority of the bettas will view them as snacks.
As for schooling fish.. most would not be good in there, simply because of it's size and the amount of fish that the school will need. Most people in the aquarium hobby would not recommend putting more than 2 or 3 small fish in a tank that size. I would advise not to get fish that require a school, as the tank is simply not large enough to handle the amount of fish needed for said school (generally you want a minimum of 6 schooling fish).

And it depends on the tank itself, is it box square or is it elongated? That will make a difference too.. if it's long and narrower, a few pygmy cories may be ok in there as it has a larger footprint.

If it were just the nano fish, then that is one thing, but mixing in a betta who can easily get stressed over lots of quick moving fish, who see anything smaller than it as a possible meal.. not ideal. I keep 6.6 gallon "bookshelf" tanks here at my desk.. either divided in half for two bettas, or have a king betta in it, or in one case I have two wild female Smaragdinas (one of the betta complexes) in with a single female Splenden in it.

One more thing to consider.. the longer the betta lives alone, the more aggressive they tend to become.

Breeder so I have too many to count and too many named to list here!


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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-18-2015, 05:29 PM
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I tried some small fish tankmates. No aggression... But the betta stopped eating, had stress stripes and bit his tail. No more tankmates.
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compatibility , dwarf cory , snail , tank mates betta male , tetras

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