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Old 05-29-2013, 07:40 PM   #1 
xxRho
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Question Baby Betta Fish Tank Mates Help

Okay I am completely new to this forum (or any fish forum for that matter!) and I have had a quick look over some topics like the petco baby betta thread and some other compatibility topics but I was wondering what can be housed with a baby betta.

Don't worry I didn't purchase it from a pet shop; I never knew they sold such young fish anywhere (I'm from Australia and I know there are some laws regarding the sale of baby/juvenile animals). I got her (I think its' a she but it is really hard to tell because she's a wild type Betta splendens so I'll just continue with calling him/her a "her") from a breeder who had to urgently get rid of stock and since they trusted me to take care of an animal, as well as love it, they let me have her.

Okay she is really small, not like so small she doesn't have colour (as I said she is a wild type), but she is about a cm (0.39 inch) in length. She has a heated tank with a sponge filter, fake half log as a cave, a leaf hammock, java moss, some sort of aquatic grass that is native to Australia and a clipping of a plant I can't remember the name of. Her tank holds about 19 to 20L (the dimensions are like 36L x 22 x 24cm) and there is a large-ish (1.5 to 2 inches?) yellow Mystery Snail in there too (I've never owned an aquatic snail but I was given it). The reason for a tank that size is because the general consensus I've come across is that if they are kept in a tank too small (especially with other bettas) their growth gets stunted from hormones they release and that it is easier to heat/maintain. I also have read that baby betta fish like to school because it makes them feel safe (makes sense), however I do not breed betta fish and she is the only she, and the only baby betta I have (I do have 2 adult males bettas but I definitely know they can't/shouldn't be housed with her).

So my questions:
- can she have a tank mate
-should I let her grow a bit more before considering tank mates and if so how much
- should I get her a tank mate(s)
- if I were to get her tank mates what should the tank mates be (remember this is in relation to a baby)
- has anyone else given baby bettas a sort of "surrogate" school before
- will she benefit from having tank mates at this age


Also if a tank mate didn't work out I know to make sure there is a spare home for the extra fish.


p.s. correct me if I am wrong/seem to be doing anything bad/sugestions etc

p.p.s. I also wasn't sure where this topic belonged; sorry!
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:43 PM   #2 
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Hello from another Australia-dweller. :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by xxRho View Post
Okay she is really small, not like so small she doesn't have colour (as I said she is a wild type), but she is about a cm (0.39 inch) in length. She has a heated tank with a sponge filter, fake half log as a cave, a leaf hammock, java moss, some sort of aquatic grass that is native to Australia and a clipping of a plant I can't remember the name of.
That all sounds great. Remember that, when it comes to plants, especially with bettas, the more the merrier. :) They are natives of densely vegitated bodies of water, after all, and will always be more confident in a heavily planted or decorated tank. If you like natives, then AquaGreen is a good place to go, but if you are happy with pet-shop plants then lacefern, java fern, ludwigia repens, ambulia (I love this one) and anubias are all great. :)

Her tank holds about 19 to 20L (the dimensions are like 36L x 22 x 24cm) and there is a large-ish (1.5 to 2 inches?) yellow Mystery Snail in there too (I've never owned an aquatic snail but I was given it). The reason for a tank that size is because the general consensus I've come across is that if they are kept in a tank too small (especially with other bettas) their growth gets stunted from hormones they release and that it is easier to heat/maintain.
Ammonia is also a problem in a tank that is too small. Whilst bettas are more tolerant of small spaces than other fish, my personal minimum is also 20 litres (roughly 5 US gallons, which you'll find is what most of the measurements of this site are in), as I feel it is the absolute perfect size for an adult betta to explore. :) And you are right - because it can be cycled, it is much easier to maintain than smaller tanks.

I also have read that baby betta fish like to school because it makes them feel safe (makes sense), however I do not breed betta fish and she is the only she, and the only baby betta I have (I do have 2 adult males bettas but I definitely know they can't/shouldn't be housed with her).
Unless you are prepared to get another, larger tank (minimum 40 litres) and at least 4 or 5 other baby females, then you won't be able to fulfill her schooling preferences in a way that will be sustainable into her adulthood.

So my questions:
- can she have a tank mate
Yes, but this is a qualified yes. In her current tank, her only tankmates should be inverts (small shrimp and snails). If she had a larger tank (again, minimum 40 litres) you could look at other fish, either other female bettas or peaceful community fish.

-should I let her grow a bit more before considering tank mates and if so how much
Yes, definitely. You don't want to risk her getting eaten by a larger fish.

- should I get her a tank mate(s)
Personally, I wouldn't, except for inverts. Bettas are solitary fish by nature and do not need tankmates. It's purely for our own gratification that we add them. A single betta in a 20 litre tank is, I think, a spectacular display of beauty and personality without the need for anything else.

- if I were to get her tank mates what should the tank mates be (remember this is in relation to a baby)
Remember, this is in no less than a 40 litre tank, not your current tank! It would depend on your water parameters (hardness and pH) as different fish thrive in different sorts of water, but generally you would be looking at peaceful community fish such as dwarf cories, ember tetras or Endlers.

- has anyone else given baby bettas a sort of "surrogate" school before
Can't say I've ever been in a situation like yours, though what an amazing thing to see - a baby betta growing all the way to maturity. :)

- will she benefit from having tank mates at this age
Personally, I think the only tankmates should would benefit from would be other female bettas of the same size. However, since you can't guaratee her gender, or theirs, it would be a big risk.


Also if a tank mate didn't work out I know to make sure there is a spare home for the extra fish.


p.s. correct me if I am wrong/seem to be doing anything bad/sugestions etc

p.p.s. I also wasn't sure where this topic belonged; sorry!
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:32 PM   #3 
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Yay a fellow Aussie!
Thank you so much for being so detailed in your reply.

I would put her in my bigger 40L tank but I'm going to have an axolotl reside in there eventually =D and I live near campus during uni semester.

I agree; even though she is that green colour of wild Betta splendens she still looks gorgeous to me, especially enjoying the bigger tank (although she is a master of disguise especially at the size she is so I sometimes panic that she has somehow got out of the tank!).

I just wish I had two spare 20L tanks for my male bettas because they are in like the minimum for a fish their (adult) size (sadly only 4L per fish) but I was given one after one of my bettas died of dropsy and they were only being kept in like 1L =/

I was hoping to set up a community tank with a bunch of neon tetras and endler guppies, and maybe some sort of catfish like thing, like a corydora(?) with a betta but now that I look at her I'd be afraid of them stressing, or worse, eating her at the size she is...

I hope she is actually a she; it would be cool to mate her with my red crown tail (Zorro) =] (it would also be awkward if she wasn't a she because her name is Thumbelina haha).

Which of the plants are easy to maintain/grow (I'm too chicken to add fertilizer and stuff, especially since she is so young/small).

Thanks heaps =D
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:18 PM   #4 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxRho View Post
Yay a fellow Aussie!
Technically I'm a Brit. ;) But I live here, so I may as well own to being an Aussie. :p
Thank you so much for being so detailed in your reply.

I would put her in my bigger 40L tank but I'm going to have an axolotl reside in there eventually =D and I live near campus during uni semester.
I'd look into the axolotl a bit more - I believe that 40 litres is widely considered to be the barest of bare minimums and that many enthusiasts recommend nothing less than a 2ft (80 litre) tank.
Which uni are you at? I'm a student too. :)

I agree; even though she is that green colour of wild Betta splendens she still looks gorgeous to me, especially enjoying the bigger tank (although she is a master of disguise especially at the size she is so I sometimes panic that she has somehow got out of the tank!).
I think that wilds are the prettiest colours anyway, so no need to convert me! :p

I just wish I had two spare 20L tanks for my male bettas because they are in like the minimum for a fish their (adult) size (sadly only 4L per fish) but I was given one after one of my bettas died of dropsy and they were only being kept in like 1L =/
Can you afford (space or money-wise) just one 20 litre tank? You could divide it to house the two males. If you're short on money (I know I am!), whatever your local version of allclassifieds is will probably have some really cheap options, and in my local dump I have found an absolute treasure trove of old tanks that just need a bit of cleaning.

I was hoping to set up a community tank with a bunch of neon tetras and endler guppies, and maybe some sort of catfish like thing, like a corydora(?) with a betta but now that I look at her I'd be afraid of them stressing, or worse, eating her at the size she is...
Community tanks are awesomesauce, but not in a 20 litre tank. In a 40 litre, you could have your girl and one school; in an 80 litre, your girl + two or three schools, etc. In a 20 litre, it needs to be just her.
It's also not a great idea to mix endlers and neons, as they have different pH and water hardness requirements. I have both tetras and endlers in my tank, but mine have been locally bred over 15 generations or so to gradually adjust them to softer water.
There's also a lot of debate on whether neons are a good tankmate for bettas - they can be nippy. I prefer ember tetras - much more peaceful.
Cories are also schooling fish. :)

I hope she is actually a she; it would be cool to mate her with my red crown tail (Zorro) =] (it would also be awkward if she wasn't a she because her name is Thumbelina haha).
If you are serious about breeding, I'd wait til you are out of uni - you need a lot of space and money!

Which of the plants are easy to maintain/grow (I'm too chicken to add fertilizer and stuff, especially since she is so young/small).
All the plants I listed are low-light and will grow without fertiliser. :)

Thanks heaps =D
You're welcome! :)
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:46 PM   #5 
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Haha technically I'm duel citizen Australian/American (my mum is American, father Australian).

I'm at the University of Sydney; yourself? (if you don't feel comfortable announcing it you can always pm me) =]

Yes I've been in contact with an axolotl breeder, eventually I would want to upgrade but the length is what makes it okay =]

I'm so proud of my little one I wish I could show her off haha
That's a good idea. I know at kmart there is a starter fish set (20L with a filter I would never use lol) marked down to $20 and I could use the current tank the 2 male bettas are in (it is a barrack with 4L either side, water doesn't mix) as future quarantine tanks perhaps? So you can just buy dividers that allow water to mix in a 20L? =]

Yeah I wouldn't try a community in a 20L (I probably should have said that) =P
I never knew Endlers existed until like early this year *hides head in shame* and they are so gorgeous! But I'm not sore where to get them and know whether they are pure or not =/
(I think there is a theme of me really falling for the more natural looking tropical fish)

Since uni only takes up half the year (it seems so much longer!!) and I go back to the northern beaches where my family is I have a lot more room but it is still something I'd have to look vary carefully into. One of our family friends has bred fish on a large scale so I'd be talking to them =]

thank you so much for all your suggestions! I'm so keen to give my little guys and gal a good life =D
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Old 05-29-2013, 11:46 PM   #6 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxRho View Post
Haha technically I'm duel citizen Australian/American (my mum is American, father Australian).
How good is dual citizenship? :p I love mine, because it can get me anywhere in the EU. Now I just need to, you know, actually visit the EU. :p

I'm at the University of Sydney; yourself? (if you don't feel comfortable announcing it you can always pm me) =]
I might do that - my uni is a bit tiny. :p USyd, huh? I have some friends there. Visiting them next week, I hope!

Yes I've been in contact with an axolotl breeder, eventually I would want to upgrade but the length is what makes it okay =]

I'm so proud of my little one I wish I could show her off haha
That's a good idea. I know at kmart there is a starter fish set (20L with a filter I would never use lol) marked down to $20 and I could use the current tank the 2 male bettas are in (it is a barrack with 4L either side, water doesn't mix) as future quarantine tanks perhaps? So you can just buy dividers that allow water to mix in a 20L? =]
Sounds pretty good to me! Tanks are so expensive here, I refuse to buy anything new or not on sale.
Rather than buy a divider, I'd just make one. I've never seen dividers for sale here. You can get craft mesh in Lincraft or Spotlight and spine binders (the triangular ones) from OfficeWorks or similar. These things: http://israel-mart.com/uploadfile/d5...12599169-0.jpg


Yeah I wouldn't try a community in a 20L (I probably should have said that) =P
I never knew Endlers existed until like early this year *hides head in shame* and they are so gorgeous! But I'm not sore where to get them and know whether they are pure or not =/
Try looking up the Sydney District Aquarium Society (I think that's what it's called). I know that my local one, CDAS, has communication with them. If it's anything like CDAS it will be a fantastic place to get very healthy specimens, both rare and common, plants and fish, for stupid prices.
(I think there is a theme of me really falling for the more natural looking tropical fish)

Since uni only takes up half the year (it seems so much longer!!) and I go back to the northern beaches where my family is I have a lot more room but it is still something I'd have to look vary carefully into. One of our family friends has bred fish on a large scale so I'd be talking to them =]

thank you so much for all your suggestions! I'm so keen to give my little guys and gal a good life =D
All the best! Can't wait to see pictures. :)
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