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Old 09-19-2010, 08:36 PM   #1 
KeeperOfStarvling
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Betta, Goldfish, and Pleco Make Great Manfriends: Owner Soils His Knickers

Recently by accident, I came into an old Betta gentleman; he had been sitting there like a dead thing in an unheated twenty-gallon all by himself, with little cover and water in dire need of changing, owned but not loved by a one-night-stand who spoke of fishkeeping as if it were a mistake. So I took the little guy home, unprepared for his keeping; my old ten gallon was somewhere the attic, and since my tropical tank is inhabited by the sort of fish who would inhale a Betta on accident--and do worse on intent--I put him up temporarily in a planted thirty-gallon with my [ambiguously male] Dragon Eye Goldfish and my [very male] Bristenose Pleco while I got my ten-gallon set up for him.
This is the sort of set-up that any knowledgeable fishperson could call a 'problem.' The bristelnose gets angry when other fish tresspass around his driftwood, but otherwise is about as outstanding as bristlenose plecos usually are. Goldfish, however, like cold water; Starvling gets the upper end, around 73-74-75 degrees, because his owner is the sort of person who gets hypothermia on sunny August afternoons, and because aquarium chillers are a nuisance. This particular goldfish also has fins the length of his body once and half over, he's rather slow-moving, and he has no survival instinct to speak of.

But now that my ten-gallon is ready to be inhabited, surprisingly, I don't really see a need for it. When I got Bottom--that's the Betta--he was extremely lethargis; His previous owner had to poke him to make him move. About a week later he's flying around my goldfish tank like he loves his life, playing with things and exploring and doing whatever it is that fish do when they're happy. I've been watching him like a hawk the entire time, and I haven't seen him flare his fins or chase after or place a single nip at Starvling--even when Starvling was investigating him, pronounced 'asking for it'. What's more, sometimes they just chillax together, or swim around and rub sides and generally act as if they aren't very worried about each other, in fact, I'm beginning to suspect that what I'm looking are the first glowing embers of a passionate interspecies bromance. They're already beginning to learn which food is Starvling food and which food is Bottom food, and both are friendly finger eaters, so I can feed one adorable little fishy out of one hand and the other adorable little fishy out of the other hand, hence avoiding starvation for either individual. And I am a happy, happy fishkeeper.

After all that elaboration, my question comes to this--can Bottom's life get any better than it already is? It seems logical that moving him to his [very own] [heated] tank would be the best thing for him, but it looks to be that this particular Betta is thriving in all the wrong conditions. On the other hand, it could be that he's only half-thriving now, and if he should be given the real proper conditions I'll end up with the thrivingest Betta ever known to man. On the third hand, switching tanks might just be more stress on his poor Betta system, all trying to fix something that isn't broken. On the fourth hand, my Bottom tank already prepared, and is sitting there waiting to have its presence graced.

Any thoughts, opinions, insights, or speculations?
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Old 09-19-2010, 08:53 PM   #2 
CodeRed
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Move him, it's really in his best interest (: He may be happy now, but a betta is a tropical fish, and in order to truly "thrive" they need the warmer waters. If you truly think he's happier with company, maybe get him some cories for his 10 gallon. Just don't keep him with the goldy. Their temperature preferences are too different to keep them both happy for long.
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Old 09-19-2010, 09:23 PM   #3 
betta99
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Bettas are tropical fish and can't really live with coldwater fish because of different needs. If you find the ten gallon tank then that would be perfect. Then I would suggest getting a heater and a filter and some supplies. Someone else will come along and tell you more, but you'll need the basics, like gravel, plants that aren't sharp, and some decor.
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Old 09-19-2010, 11:03 PM   #4 
Adastra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeeperOfStarvling View Post
This is the sort of set-up that any knowledgeable fishperson could call a 'problem.'
You should follow your instincts. Your logic is telling you that keeping him in these conditions is not the right thing to do, and I hope it prevails. He is better for now simply due to water quality improvements, most likely, and while this is a huge improvement, it's not meeting all of his needs, and you are asking for an inevitable disaster to come. He will live longer and be much happier with a proper heater and a properly decorated tank to himself or with some suitable tankmates, i.e. at least 6 pygmy cories, as were suggested.

It would be highly beneficial to do a fishless cycle on the tank before putting the fish in so that you can add the entire school of pygmies at once before you add the betta. The cycle will only take about a week if you seed the filter with media from your goldfish tank, and putting the pygmies in first will minimize aggression since they won't be invading the betta's territory if they're already there to begin with, if that makes sense.

Your goldfish would also be happier if he could live with other goldfish, and while the 30 is a bit cramped for this, especially with the BN pleco, I hope it will be a longterm goal for you to get him some friends, since goldfish can live up to and above 15 years if kept properly. Believe it or not, while goldfish aren't schooling fish, they're an extremely social species that benefits from social interaction with their own kind.

You could use a temporary container for your betta until you find a suitable tank. For this I just use rubbermaid/sterilite plastic storage bins like you would find at target or wal-mart. These storage bins are suited to housing fish because of their shape, and they're totally safe to use with heaters. Best of all, a 5 gallon container is around $4. Can't beat that. It will be a good solution for you until you have the proper setup. An uncycled, unfiltered 5 gallon container will need one 100% change per week, though, so keep that in mind.

Last edited by Adastra; 09-19-2010 at 11:07 PM.
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Old 09-21-2010, 08:38 AM   #5 
KeeperOfStarvling
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Well, I can certainly see that people here read OPs carefully before they respond. Honestly-- all this buy-a-heater and find-a-temporary-container and at-least-five-gallons even when I've stated quite clearly I already have a heated ten gallon set up and waiting! Pardon my lack of gratitude, but it's really quite difficult to respect the advice of those who do not listen. If you've managed to miss multiple bits about the tank, then how on earth should I expect that you've not missed more vital information as well?

Nevertheless, I've gleaned the collective concern. Bottom is now in the aforementioned previously-set-up-heated-ten-gallon-tank; I'll re-evaluate once he's adjusted to decide if companionship makes any difference for him.
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:40 AM   #6 
BlueHaven
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Well, I agree that the betta needs to be in his own tank, but sometimese fish can surprisingly live with the most unlikely companions. I do not suggest people to do whatever they want, but sometimes it can happen like this story. Bettas are warm water fish, and 75 degrees is on the warmer side. If the temperature is kept at the that degree your betta and other fish are really healthy with it too, then I think it is okay to have him in there temporarily. Maybe just let him have his own home with warmer temps, and only put him in there when you need to do large water changes, move his home or rearrange things. That way he can have fun while waiting in a huge tank be with his new friends. :)


Since your betta has his own 10 gallon tank, that is big enough to get him his own companions too if you wanted to! It's big enough for some types of fish, like ghost shrimp, snails, or some types of smaller schooling fish. I think someone actually had a question about putting tank mates in a 10 gallon with a betta....not sure where it is.

Last edited by BlueHaven; 09-21-2010 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:56 AM   #7 
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You should probably move him to prevent possible disasters happening down the line- if only because their heating needs very so much. 75 really isn't that cold but about 5 below the 80 degree optimum that people suggest for the species so I think he's okay for now but the ten gallon is probably best.

It's always neat to see fish get along though isn't it? Particularly known aggressive ones like Betta. c:
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Old 09-21-2010, 12:08 PM   #8 
carpenter547
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i am going against my own impulses with this and apparently against the grain.

but happy fish interact with thier tanks thier keepers and if a social fish each other.

if you betta is swiming around the tank like you describe. and your gold fish is swiming around the tank like you describe. and they each are eating thier own type of food as you describe. then don't worry about it keep them together.

sorry to say this on a betta site but these fish only live a couple of years they max out at 5 tops 4 sometimes and 3 -2 is the common. if your betta had that ruff a life to start with and he makes it to 3 years with you then there is was will be no problem.

if he acts sluggish or shows signs of stress then toss him in the 10. also if the goldie starts to act funny and needs the water altered enough to mess with the betta then get the 10. but there are many ways of providing a hot spot or hot side for just the betta if you find the only problem is temp just get creative.

with all that said if you don't know what to do with stressed fish or don't know how to spot them then toss him in the 10 is the best bet. but if you have the skill then remember this :)

"It is your tank for your enjoyment. If the fish are healthy and normal then go for."

ps keep an eye on the pleco it might start to like your gold fish more than the log :).
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Old 09-21-2010, 12:16 PM   #9 
carpenter547
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also i just looked up dragon eye gold fish.

they are a telescoped eyed fancy gold fish.

so as long as your betta and your goldie sleep at the same time no way is the goldie going to eat your betta. and your betta unless brain dead will never confuse your goldie with another betta and fight on instince. they can't inter breed.

i mean the chances of your goldie getting betta soup is about the same as being run over by a steam roller that is traveling up hill and dragging another steam roller with no one sitting in the drivers seat LOL.
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Old 09-21-2010, 12:42 PM   #10 
Adastra
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Originally Posted by KeeperOfStarvling View Post
Well, I can certainly see that people here read OPs carefully before they respond. Honestly-- all this buy-a-heater and find-a-temporary-container and at-least-five-gallons even when I've stated quite clearly I already have a heated ten gallon set up and waiting! Pardon my lack of gratitude, but it's really quite difficult to respect the advice of those who do not listen. If you've managed to miss multiple bits about the tank, then how on earth should I expect that you've not missed more vital information as well?

Nevertheless, I've gleaned the collective concern. Bottom is now in the aforementioned previously-set-up-heated-ten-gallon-tank; I'll re-evaluate once he's adjusted to decide if companionship makes any difference for him.
I suggested a temporary tank to go along with my earlier suggestion of doing a fishless cycle on the 10G. It would be silly for me to suggest removing the betta immediately and then in the same breath suggesting that he not go into the 10G without it being cycled. Hence the suggestion to get a cheap temporary tank. I read your post, I think you just misunderstood my reply.

Carpenter 547, goldfish and bettas have completely different needs and are adapted to live in completely different environments. Goldfish are from cold waters with high oxygen content and do best in tanks with a decent current running through them for aeration. The filtration the pleco and the goldfish require would make the tank very uncomfortable for the betta, which is adapted to live in a still water environment. Goldfish and plecos do best with tank temperatures of the mid 60s to low 70s, too cold for a betta to function well at all. Bettas live in still, low oxygen, warm water environments--warming the tank to suit the betta is not an option because warm water does not retain oxygen as efficiently as cold water. Warmer water conditions would put chronic stress on the goldfish that would lead to eventual health problems. If he has a 10G he can use to house the betta, there is no reason to subject it to conditions that are unsuitable for it.

Also, interaction with humans is not a substitute for interaction with one's own species--that might work with some domesticated mammals like dogs, for instance, but not for fish. We can't very well swim with them and give them goldie-nuzzles, rofl.

Last edited by Adastra; 09-21-2010 at 01:00 PM.
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