Hi - I have a 75 gallon tank with 3 danios, 1 minnow, tetras (1 neon, 4 rummynose, 6 lemons), 3 gold barbs, rosy barbs (1 male/1 female), 3 platys and no one nips at each other and the tank is pretty peaceful. (not a lot of chasing going on)...question, I have a male betta who is very healthy and active in his 3 gallon tank..I put him next to the 75 gallon so he could see other fish and he immediately built a bubble nest. he seems to really enjoy looking at the other fish....question is...how do I tell what his temperament is? I have read a lot about mixing fish and it depends on their temperament, but does being active mean aggressive? What would be the best way to introduce him to the tank if I did? I have a lot of fake plants and fake wood, real wood, natural looking tank and it isn't overstocked. Should I put a floating betta log in the 75 gallon to give him a "territory"? He is just a very active betta (only rests at night as far as I can see) and again, wondering if it means his temperament is aggressive. Any advice would be great! Thanks!
I wouldn't say that an active betta means an aggressive one. That just means he's happy and healthy. I think the best way to introduce the betta into the 75 gallon would be to get the other fish interested in something else(feeding maybe) then let him in OR float him in a baggie and see what his reaction and the reaction of the others is. You'll probably want to keep an eye on him and the other fish for a little while to make sure no fighting or tail nipping is going on. Chasing is okay so long as they don't catch each other, some just do it for fun. I would, however, recommend putting in some live plants (I'm REALLLY big on live plants, but thats just me, I've found that fish play in them more. :) ) I would also recommend putting the betta in at a place where there is low traffic so he can find a place to call his own out of the way of the other fish. If he tries to mark territory where traffic is high that could spell disaster. If he appears unhappy and is adjusting properly you can always move him back to his previous home.
Thank you so much for your advice..as far as a quiet spot, the only thing I have is near the filter - I have an emperor 400, so there is water flow. The danios swim up there, but no one else. i wouldn't say it was a heavy flow, but a constant one. And I think Bettas like more calm water, right? On the other side of the tank where the water is more calm, is where I feed...Also, If the Barbs nip, will the Betta try to defend himself? I have thought about live plants...I do have quite a few of fake ones (probably 20 or so of different sizes). Would the Betta stay generally in the same area? Have you used a Betta log? sorry for a million questions. Also, should I put the Betta in the tank in the evening, when all of the fish are starting to go to their resting spot? I would be afraid something might happen in the night, so maybe daytime would be better.
Perhaps you should do some aquascaping and rearrange a few of your plants. Maybe designate a corner with a higher density of plants and then study the new trafficking behavior of the fish already in there. If the higher planted area is lower traffic the betta might love that spot. Generally he'll probably pick a spot he likes the most and claim it as "his" as they are very territorial. I don't think he's going to like hanging out near the filter one bit and in fact I'm willing to bet he'll stay away from that area all together because yes, they do like calmer waters. I can't say for certain wether or not he'll defend himself if the barbs try to nip at him but it's possible. Somebody with more experience on the matter might be able to help you with that. I've never used a betta log but I've heard great things from people that have used them. :) As for when to put him in, I would suggest during the day so you can keep an eye on the activity but thats just what I think. Someone else might be able to give you better advice on that as well.
I don't know if I'd recommend it in that particular aquarium. The reason I'm reluctant is that you don't really have any good, sizeable schools. Oftentimes, it's a large number of conspecifics that will keep fin-nippers from causing trouble.
If you want to do it, I'd suggest having at least 6 of all your schooling species first. That, on it's own, would be quite a cool habitat if you ask me! Throw in a betta to such an active and colorful aquarium, and that actually sounds like it would be one of the best 75-gallon setups I've seen! Based on an initial calculation, and some assumptions as the species of certain fish you named, your aquarium could probably handle 8-10 each of the danios, minnows, tetras, and barbs. You would need to supplement your current filtration with a large sponge filter at the other end, which is actually an ideal set-up for your betta (if you can set up the outflow to be above the water to prevent turbulence) and would maintain your current "feeding spot" (though with so many fish, you might want to spread it around a bit). You could throw in a school of 10 corys, too. Temps would have to stay at the low end of your betta's preference, like @ 76 degrees. But such a set-up is definitely doable. It would be active, pretty, and one I wouldn't mind having myself! In fact, now that I've spent some time thinking about it, I want one!!!!!!!!
true...one thing I don't want to do is for my betta to get hurt. He is a beautiful active fish and I feed him by hand (not that this has anything to do with anything here :)....anyway, I had intended to get 10 more neons (I started with 8 a few years ago and only 1 survived 2 moves :( , I started with 6 platys in my QT tank and 3 died so that is why there are only 3 now....I could get 3 more gold barbs too and 2 more Rummy Nose and maybe 3 more cherry barbs (1 male, 2 female)...but I don't really want any more danios (mine are actually pretty independent) and my minnow is 4 years old and has survived 2 moves! He hangs out with the danios (I actually think he thinks he is one - he flashes his fins at the female danio all of the time)...but one thing is that I only have a 10 gallon QT tank and I can only get a certain # of fish at a time and I always QT for 6 weeks with each batch...so I am looking at months of QT for fish, which is okay I guess. Just have to figure out if I want to maintain 2 tanks again. Anyway, I'll have to think about everything. Thanks for all of the advice - it's been VERY helpful!!!!