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Old 05-20-2009, 06:18 PM   #1 
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Join Date: May 2009
Smile New owner, a few questions


I recently purchased a new little crown tail beta and had a few questions about him. For background info i have had him a week now and he was bought with 2 oto catfish. Before purchasing him i read this forum for a few days trying to learn what he needed. He is currently living in a 10g tank with a heater that keeps it 78 and some silk plants for looks . He has also taken to blowing bubbles all around the top of the cage, which i am taking as a good sign from what i have read.

My first question was kinda related to the catfish. I purchased them to help keep the waste down between cleanings ( i plan on doing a 50% water change once a week, unless it looks like it needs it more often). I intended on buying a plecostomus (this is what we always had as kids) but the owner of the pet store advised me that the oto might be a better choice as thats what she used. She said that two for a 10g tank would work well.

Now here is where my problem comes in. The oto were fine this morning and then about 2 hours ago i went up and they were both dead. I have been reading about them since then and believe their death was due to the fact that they didnt have enough algae to eat. This was my fault as i believed that they would eat "anything" like the lady said and therefore would eat the beta food that my boy didnt.

So i am now left with one very tiny beta (hes probably only about an inch and half long max) who seems to be happy enough but nothing else. I read that i could supplement the oto's diet with either algae blocks or fresh veggies but didnt want to buy another oto and start feeding it these things if they will hurt the beta? Would you even recommend getting an algae cleaner fish to begin with? If not i have read there are a few other species of fish that you can pair with the beta without them fighting, would you recommend any of them to a new owner?

And my last but not least question is this. I was at the store a few days ago and saw that about 5 of their 15 beta's were dead and the others looking like they were on deaths door. Having a huge heart ( and an extra 10g tank and gravel) I bought one that looked in dire need and brought him home. Since having been put in clean water and getting warmed up he to started to blow air bubbles this morning. I have read online that you can put 2 males betas together in a tank if there is a tank divider. Is this possible or should i just let them live out their lives in 2 seperate tanks? The reason i ask is that they look lonely in those big tanks all by themselves.

And if you are still reading this i thank you very very much for your time. I know its a lot of words but i wanted to give as much info about my setup and questions as possible from the beginning. Any tips and/or constructive critism on my new boys keep is welcome.

Thank you again
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:50 PM   #2 
aunt kymmie
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Hi there and welcome to the forum!
Congrats on your new fish and I'm sorry you lost your otos. They are indeed delicate fish and do require algae and stellar water parameters. I keep otos with my betta. I knew they would fare well as the tank is an established planted tank with algae. My otos will not eat algae wafers but love to chow down on the spinach that I provide them.

When keeping bettas I prefer to have bottom dwelllers as tankmates. I know there are plenty of others who keep other types of fish w/ their bettas but I tend to be overconservative w/ my selections.
I'm glad your LFS steered you away from the pleco. It's too bad they weren't as up to par on the oto info. Pygmy cories would be excellent tankmates as they are bottom dwellers and act as a mini clean up crew. I'm not up to snuff on the regular cories and how many you could keep in a 10g but I do know they like to be in a group in order to thrive and be comfortable.

How long has your tank been set up and do you have a test kit? A test kit is an invaluble tool as far as fishkeeping goes. If your tank hasn't been set up for too long it's possible the otos expired due to ammonia and/or nitrite poisoning. If you have a kit will you post your water parameters?

Also, a single betta is not a lonely betta. They are perfectly happy all by themselves and I suspect that's their preference as they are a very territorial fish. As far as dividing your tank(s)...I see no reason why you can't do this. I wouldn't have been able to do this with my bettas unless I was able to block their line of sight. My bettas would crash at the sides trying to kill each other and I'm sure it was only a matter of time before one of them hurt themselves banging into the sides at full ramming speed. All bettas differ in personality, some are more mellow than others. Hope some of this info helped.
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Old 05-21-2009, 05:36 PM   #3 
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Thank you for the reply

My tank has been set up for about 2 1/2 weeks now. I knew i wanted to get a beta so i had bought the heater and some water conditioner about a week and a half before hand to get it ready. I do not have a water test kit but the thought that maybe their death was an early warning sign had crossed my mind, i will look into it in the next couple of days.

My fiance and i were going to go look at potential tank mates Sunday to introduce back into the tank. I will be making sure to read up on any species i think would be good matches this time though, and i will be sure to keep your recommendation of bottom dwellers in mind.

I will post the water specs once i get the test kit

thanks again
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Old 05-21-2009, 05:39 PM   #4 
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Location: Colorado
Unless the tank is uncycled then 50% water changes is unneccesary.
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