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Old 08-23-2011, 10:13 AM   #1 
Quietsong
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Is it the betta or the shrimp?

I have a halfmoon doubletail male betta in a tank with four - actually, make that three - male guppies and a few ghost shrimp. I have not had any problems until a couple weeks ago when I started noticing that my guppies' tails were being torn up. My betta has never shown any signs of aggression towards the fish before, and he always ignores them. However, I couldn't think of what else was attacking them until today when I saw that one of my ghost shrimp had gotten hold of a guppy's tail and was eating it. Soon another shrimp grabbed the guppy from the other side and started chewing on his head. Within ten minutes of playing tug-of-war with their food, the fish was dead. I'm not sure if the shrimp are to blame for the entire thing though, because the guppy was pretty sorry-looking before this happened and they might have only sensed that he was already dying. Has anyone else had problems with carnivorous shrimp or bettas that pretend to be well-behaved?
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:17 AM   #2 
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Picture

Here's a pic of what happened. I think the guppy was still alive when I took the picture, but he was dead by the time I put down my camera. Unfortunately it's hard to see the shrimp, but that's because they are ghost shrimp.
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:41 AM   #3 
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Ghost shrimp are scavengers and will attack and eat the weak- dead/dying fish/livestock and their own kind as well as healthy shrimplets.......

How big is the tank....
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:55 AM   #4 
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It's a 6.5 gallon fluval chi. It's done very well until recently. Now all of my guppies have damaged tails, but I don't think it's the betta who attacks them. I have hardly ever seen him even look at them. Is it possible for the shrimp to attack healthy guppies? The shrimp have gotten pretty big...
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:08 PM   #5 
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There are a lot of different species of ghost shrimp and since they are usually sold as feeders....usually the pet shop will not have much information on them....some can be more aggressive than other, some need salt and other don't...etc......it is possible that the ghost shrimp are attacking a weaken guppy and shred its tail....especially in a small tank....6.6gal really doesn't provide enough space for guppys and a Betta then topping it off with ghost shrimp....either-or...would be fine to a degree, however, since guppies are a social species they do best in groups......either all male or all female or 1-male to 2-females...
In 6.6gal I wouldn't stock more than 3 guppies with ghost shrimp and some snails.......
The Betta needs his own tank or the 6.6gal and shrimp....even better would be a 10gal for the guppies, although the fancy tail guppies heavy fins can limit swimming space needs...

In small tanks that limit the livestock ability to get away from each other can often be the reason for injury/death, then you have water quality issues unless you have lots of live active growing plants to assist with filtration along with a properly maintain filter....

In the 6.6gal filtered tank-how long has it been running, how much and how often are the water changes, water temp, live plants, additives used, type of food and appetite of the fish, does the tank have an established nitrogen cycle, do you have a testing products (what kind) to post water pram numbers for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH......(no worries if you don't have test kit or numbers)

You posted that the guppies looked "sorry" to start...is this how you bought them or was this after they had been in the tank for awhile....
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