Critical Thinking: Open Debate: Do Bettas Really Enjoy Tank Mates? - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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Critical Thinking: Open Debate: Do Bettas Really Enjoy Tank Mates?

We've all heard it. Male bettas perfer to live alone. My crowntail, Spike, is a very aggressive fish. I currently house him in a 5.5 with TONS of floating and tethered plants.
I battle alage quite a bit in this set up. So I decided to make a calculated risk. I introduced a baby common pleco. Everyday for a month I checked water parameters. They stayed perfect.

During that month the two were getting aquainted. A bit of chasing on both sides. Mr. Clean had some aggression of his own. Soon they became buddy buddies. Well we got a lid for the 75 gallon. I began heavily planting this tank. Then I got some mollies to stock and start cycling the tank. I also plopped Mr. Clean in the 75 gallon as it is supposed to be his long term home.

So now Mr. Clean is in the 75 gallon. And Spike is alone. What's Spike up to recently? Tail biting. And mopping. He is destroying his beautiful tail and looking so depressed!

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 04:45 AM
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It could be another problem. But if you get your betta a ten gallon some small short finned colorful unagrassive fish. Remember bettas have different personalities when it comes to tank mates. My betta is very aggressive he attacks anything that has a backbone. What kind if Plecoptera anyway? Common plecos can grow two feet.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 09:48 AM
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personally, i believe they're happier alone. some can live peacefully with other fish, but since they can't tell us 'i want tankmates' or 'i would rather live alone', it's up to US to decide that.

personally, i had a betta live with tankmates. he was in a divided 10 gallon. he had a small portion, and a trio of male guppies had most of the tank. one day, he wiggled onto their side, and attacked my dark blue gup. no reason. Mickey was doing guppy things, wasn't even the most colorful one there, nor did he have the biggest tail. he could have went after Phillipe, who was MUCH more colorful and had MUCH more fin, or Angeal, who was slower in swimming, but he went after the black and blue one, so it wasn't color, nor finnage that prompted the attack. needless to say, Gackt was put in a .5 gallon while i fixed the divider and tried to save Mickey(he passed on soon after the attack, though)...
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 02:22 PM
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So sad. My betta can only live with an apple snail.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 03:23 PM
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I am pretty sure all animals exhibit different temperaments. It is similar to those cases of animals "adopting" different animals (i.e. the Tiger adopting piglets, dogs adopting kittens, cats adopting puppies, etc.). While some are capable of doing so, others are not. Humans are the same, there are some people who enjoy the company of others and some who do not.

However, fish are not higher functioning animals so we can't really objectively conclude their behaviour. Is it genetic? Possibly, possibly not. Thai fighters breed only their strongest, so aggression may be genetic. Our fancier fish are bred for colours and finnage, not for aggression, so they may have mixed traits for aggression.

I would also assume that the smaller the territory, the more aggressive they would be, considering the amount of patrolling that would occur. If say you had a 100 gallon long tank, you could *possibly* safely keep a betta in there with other fish without long-term problems (keyword: possibly). However if you're going to stuff the most harmless creature into a 1 gallon with a betta, problems may occur (keyword: may).

I would also guess that PKs would be able to patrol a larger territory because they don't require as much effort as an HM to move around.

Decorations would be another factor. If your betta feels safe and protected in a heavily decorated/planted tank, it may refrain from all out aggression to mere protection of property

I think (speaking purely from an evolutionary pov), Spike is a bit unnerved at the fact that Mr. Clean is gone possibly because he thinks a predator got him, indicating the area isn't safe? Have you tried totally rearranging Spike's home?


Regarding tankmates in general: I prefer to keep my bettas solitary, but if I really wanted tankmates then I must be capable of rehoming them if things don't work out. I don't get a tankmate because my fish is "lonely" or my tank looks boring. If I wanted to have schools if fish flying around I would have just made a tropical community tank; not a betta tank and risk the lives of other fish for my own entertainment and whim, lol.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 08:52 PM
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I would think some bettas would like some company but I really think they prefer to be alone and only tolerate tank mates. It kinda gives them something to do though sometimes my betta will chase a cory for about 3 seconds then just go back to swimming around aimlessly around the tank.

But my betta LOVES my ghost shrimp He completely ingores him until he starts to molt then he waits and waits just to eat the shedding lol.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 08:13 AM
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Aww, he misses his pleco buddy!
Like others said, all bettas are different. My first boy, Fishie, attacked my Mystery snail twice within the first half hour of putting him in his tank. I won't try shrimp because he's too aggressive. But I put shrimp in with my girl, and she just ignores them whenever she comes across them, which I noticed is not too often.
But I read on this board I think about someone's betta being friends with the snail- sleeping on the snail when it was on the tank wall near the top, poking at its shell in the morning to wake it up... it could just be curiosity and play rather than thinking of the snail as his friend, but he still seems to enjoy having the snail in his tank and is not aggressive towards it. I read of someone else who have a few female bettas but two of them are like friends and are always swimming next to each other and eating together. So I think it's possible for bettas to enjoy company. Some are indifferent, and some either don't like it or would rather eat their company.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeAugust View Post
Aww, he misses his pleco buddy!
Like others said, all bettas are different. My first boy, Fishie, attacked my Mystery snail twice within the first half hour of putting him in his tank. I won't try shrimp because he's too aggressive. But I put shrimp in with my girl, and she just ignores them whenever she comes across them, which I noticed is not too often.
But I read on this board I think about someone's betta being friends with the snail- sleeping on the snail when it was on the tank wall near the top, poking at its shell in the morning to wake it up... it could just be curiosity and play rather than thinking of the snail as his friend, but he still seems to enjoy having the snail in his tank and is not aggressive towards it. I read of someone else who have a few female bettas but two of them are like friends and are always swimming next to each other and eating together. So I think it's possible for bettas to enjoy company. Some are indifferent, and some either don't like it or would rather eat their company.
I agree with Orange. Individual animals are capable of a wide variety of interactions.

I would try to find another hardy tankmate for your betta if I were in your position.

My girls get bored if they don't see me. I move my reading chair so I spend equivalent time sitting beside their tanks!

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 11:26 AM
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I think it depends! Bettas all have such different personalities.


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 02:25 PM
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I know some bettas can't stand tank mates or tolerate them. I'm sure your boy may miss his pleco buddy from what I can read.

He misses his form of entertainment D:

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