Getting your betta a 10 gallon tank is great, but there are a few things you need to know to keep them healthy and, just as important, happy. They live longer, fuller lives alone. It's not something a fish lover wants to hear, that their fish likes being alone, but betta do. That being said, it's fine to put a few things with a betta, but there are guidelines that experienced betta keepers use to keep their fish healthy. And don't worry if you get it wrong the first few times, this is a learning experience for everyone at first.
In general, most keepers on these forums and many other forums like to keep their betta in at the very least 2.5 gallons. This is for a single betta. He/she will get pretty big, some up to 3 inches at full grown, so he needs a lot of room for himself.
Then you have your other fish, shrimp and snails. Schooling and shoaling fish, like most tetras and danios need to be in groups of 6-8 fish to feel safe and comfortable. And each fish needs about a gallon of water to himself. (This is a general rule, some fish get larger then others and require more room per fish.)
Shrimp don't need as much room, but still produce a bio-load, so you want to keep it to no more then 2 shrimp per gallon. (Some people say one per gallon, depends on the person and skill level)
Pleco's are the same way, one-two gallons each. And they do better in groups.
Snails produce a lot of waste and you should keep them to a minimum. If they start breeding, don't be scared to toss extras in the garden.
Of course this is all a general rule, something most people follow, but there are some who do things different. I would suggest these guidelines for you til you've learned more about fish keeping in general.
And then there is the female betta. I know you think they are fine now, but this won't last, and you will loose one or the other betta eventually. You can't watch them 24 hours a day and I would hate for you to wake up in the morning or come home from shopping and find one of your betta shredded and dead. There is also the fact that a betta is a solitary creature and even if they don't kill each other, they're not going to be happy. Neither of them will live long. It's like putting you in a closet with 12 other people and your worst enemy. Sooner or later something's gonna give.
So how do you fix all of this?
Well first off, you need to remove your female fish. She can go into a smaller container for now, give her clean water and set her away from the male. She will show her colors better, will not get damaged fins from the male nipping her and will be, over all, a much happier fish. And happy fish live longer.
Second, look for another tank. If you got another 10 gallon tank you could easily split the fish you have in your current tank between the two, and have two very beautiful tanks.
Third, you do need to change your decor, but really you only need to put more hiding places. caves, thick grass like plants, a betta log or something similar will work. A lot of people use coffee mugs and terracotta pots (make sure it's new and clean, though) for hiding places. This will give your betta a place to hide and calm down if they get scared, and loud sounds, bright lights and movement can all stress a betta.
So in short, get another (10 gallon?) tank, put the girl and half the fish in the new tank, and add some hiding places. Not hard.
You might want to look up cycling your tank, though. I'm not sure if you have or not, but with a 10 gallon tank, it's the best way to go. Without cycling, you need to change your water often. And make sure you have a heater set to 78 degrees (or there-abouts) to keep the fish warm. I can't tell from the pics if you have one or not :)
Sorry about that, I don't mean to lecture, but happy fish make happy owners, right? And just so you know, I love the decor you have right now. I have a few zen themed pieces I want to use in a tank, but not til I set up a new one. I have 6 tanks right now.. hubby cut me off, LOL.
forgot the bamboo! While it is sold as an aquatic plant, it isn't at all. The roots can go in water, but you want to keep the leaves out of the water and watch for rotten spots on the stem. I would suggest finding new plants for the tank as soon as you can. There are very pretty real aquatic plants that would look very nice in your tank.
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Last edited by MollyJean; 07-26-2012 at 11:48 AM.