it all depends on the betta. i've had two other bettas in my molly/platy/ADF community (not at the same time!) and they did fine, but my newest is having more trouble adjusting, he's calming down now but he was nippy and chasing for a while. some bettas do well in a community, some don't. i'd float him in a cup before introducing him, see how he reacts to other fish.
When I float my betta in a cup, what things should I be looking for to indicate possible problems?
Is there a certain length of time I should float him before introducing?
Also, once he is introduced, what things do I look for to indicate incompatability?
If I notice he isnt mixing well, how do I intervene to separate?
the amount of time to float a betta is something of a point of contention between owners...i personally gave him about an hour or so.
what you should look for is fairly simple: either excessive flaring to indicate hostility, or clamped fins and erratic swimming to indicate intimidation. once he's in the water, if he spends an undue amount of time either hiding or chasing the other fish, he might be a problem in there. if you see him actually strike another fish, observe him as closely as you possibly can, and if it continues either remove him to a solo tank, or return him if you don't have room for another fish by himself. if he continues to chase the other fish, but doesn't strike them, he may just be "marking his territory" and it will pass once he's used to his surroundings. think of it kinda like a criminal just getting out of jail: going from being cooped up by yourself for so long in a cup (cell) and then freed into the big tank (world) it takes time to adjust, and even an initially hostile betta can, with a bit of time and care, become a safe, beautiful addition to your community.
sorry if this seems long winded, i just recently had this problem with a betta of mine so i've been reading up on it a bit.
The pleco and mollies are set up in the 20g now.
Alpha the betta is still hanging out in the other room in his 2.5g tank.
Im planning on introducing Alpha by floating him first and then seeing how he acclimates. My spouse and I will both be home tomorrow to observe things, and I'll be home all day Monday as well.
Should I buy sinking pellet food for him, seeing as the tank is too new to have algae and bacterias growing yet?
i wish pet stores would be more forthcoming about just how big plecos get...every day i see someone online who's bought one, either just as a pet, or as a "utility fish" and doesn't know that it's gonna take over his tank in a few months...even the bristlenoses can get to be six to eight inchs long, and require more space than the casual fish lover is prepared to devote to them.
Well it looks as though one of the black mollies is sick. There is a sort of subtle fuzzy white outline to him and hes just sitting at the bottom of the tank. Does this sound like "ick" or another fish disease?
I plan on getting back out to the pet store asap --- to treat the illness and buy driftwood.
Needless to say I wont be introducing Alpha until I'm sure the tank is healthy.