I've been doing a lot of research on this for a bit now and I'm taring my hair out.
I have a mature male betta (Asterisk) living for almost a year now in less then 1 gal of water--due to the rocks and such. I just bought a 5.5 gal tank for him which will be filtering for the next 24 hours. Unfortunately, my friend has to give away two of her guppies, one male (Loki) and one female (Thor) and I was the only person who could take them.
I have the problem now of housing them. I can't keep the two guppies in less than a gallon of water, and it just kills me to see my betta drift around in the cramped space, so I really want to get him into the 5.5 gal tank.
The first thing I thought of was housing them together with lots of plants for the guppies to hide, but I've never heard of that happening successfully with a tank less than 10 gal. I assume that as soon as Asterisk sees loki's big tail he'll go wild. I've only ever owned one other betta and he always looked half dead, so I don't know what an overly agressive betta looks like, but Asterisk will flare at me if I get within a foot of his tank.
Another option I have is to put a divider in the tank, but it disrupts the flow of the filter and would cramp the guppies.
And then, of course, I could keep my betta in his little bowl and put the two guppies in the 5.5 gal tank. I really don't want to do that though because it feels like wasted space on the two guppies and unfair for Asterisk.
Could I possibly house these three together with or without a divider? Would it possibly go smoother if I had other fish in the community as well, like tetra? I don't want to over fill the community, it's only 5.5 gal. What is my best option?
(sorry if I'm not doing this port-thing right, first timer)
P.S. I can't buy a bigger tank because I will be graduating high school in 2014, leaving my fish to my parents. They have never been very enthusiastic about my fish so whatever solution I come up with needs to be 'curmudgeonly-parents' approved.