Originally Posted by Wildbetta
Babystars -- I have kept pugnax before. I kept a group of 11 from early juvie age until almost breeding age before I had to rehome the majority of the juvies since I did not have the space to keep them. My remaining pair I never did get a chance to breed them though before I lost them in a heater malfunction along with my mac pair and a single female ocellata. In my experience they were beautiful fish but bullies. They were probably the worst to pick on each other of all my mouthbrooding bettas. Since they do get so large and they are bullies I think a tank the size of the one you are going to have for them will be excellent. Any other fish put in with them should be able to defend itself accordingly. BN plecos are good. Otos and farowella "twig cats" are not considering how docile natured they are. Just like all wilds they are big jumpers and since they are large fish, they can jump quite a distance very easily.
Good luck with your ocellatas. I love that species! Be aware that the spawns can be quite large which I didn't know until this male released when I received him. The spawn gave me at least 120 fry. Kinda hope he doesn't have that many every time he spawns. LOL
Thanks for the info! The batch of pugs I'm getting have lived together their whole lives, and the tank will be a heavily planted (well, eventually) NPT with lots of added hiding spots and nooks and crannies. So everyone should be able to escape and hide as needed. I do not plan to have any other fish species in the tank, I figure I'd rather not terrorize any poor tankmates. The seller warned me about them being jumpy when they get excited, but I'm used to rescuing jumpers. I've got that down to a science XD The tank will have its own hinged glass cover but I will be taping the back anywhere there's a space for cords coming out, that has worked well in the past.
And WOW to your ocellata spawn
My males are still quite young (they will be a year old in December) so I think that's probably why I haven't had a huge spawn yet.