Originally Posted by ravenwinds
I don't know...I would never have tried anything like this but....I had a 10gal that I divided with one of those firm plastic craft screens(looks like cross stitch material enlarged to use yarn??). The screen was covered with live moss and the tank fairly heavily planted. I had a blind copper HM in one side by himself and needing room, I put 3 almost mature females in the other side. They couldn't see each other and everything was fine...until about 1 mos ago, I came home from a 4 day trip(my husband was taking care of the fish) to find that the girls had found a crack in the divider (or they pushed it open...it was in those binder slots that you silicon into place)....and they were all coexisting happily! The male, Jasper, is a nervous tail biter...eats his fins whenever he gets stressed, which is quite often as he is blind. He is doing fine, fins are the longest they've been since he arrived from Thailand in one or those tiny bags with his tail in shreds!
Needless to say, I monitored situation pretty much constantly since returning home to this. They are all aware of each, I have seen no signs of aggression at all, they swim with and around each other, and they continue to do great now that they're all sexually mature. I removed the divider and moved the plants around a bit. The girls have made a bubble nest and they all swim around it. I call it Jasper's harem...but: I believe this works because he is blind.
Again: do not try this! I believe this works because 1) the male is completely BLIND, 2) the tank is heavily planted, 3) the females were introduced to this environment before they became sexually mature!
I shudder to think what would have happened if it was one of the other males, especially an aggressive one, such as Tear.
I still monitor the situation on a constant basis!
I've read about this a couple of other times, even with two non-impaired males existing peacefully together after having been divided for some time. I don't know enough about betta behaviour to say for sure, but I know with land animals if they have time to get used to one another and to some degree to establish dominance over one another (even if divided, they are still aware of each other and they establish these relationships) and this makes it much easier when they are actually put in together.
I'd assume the same thing would be the case with bettas who accidentally got together, though, as has been repeated many times (but always bears repeating again!) DO NOT TRY IT just because you can. If it happens by accident that's one thing...but do to it on purpose is quite another.
And as for your blind guy, he may feel more secure with having other fish in there with him. I would think that he probably feels safer with other fish, which decreases his tail-biting and allows him to be less-stressed and healthier. I'm glad he's doing well though, and what a great solution for his issues! :)