I have a spare 20 gallon, and I have been wanting to do something interesting with it. One idea I really like is to have a community tank with a betta as the "centerpiece" fish. If I do this, I know that the betta will have to be separated from the other fish if he can't get along with them. I would make sure to minimize the chances of this by providing lots of cover and putting the betta in last.
This may be a dumb question, but is there anyway to predict at the store which bettas are more likely to get along with tankmates? Do bettas that seem to flare a lot at the betta in the next cup tend to be more aggressive in general? Just wondering if there was a way to predict that.
The water where I live is very hard and alkaline (pH about 8.2) and I have had trouble keeping tetras that require softer water, such as neons. Anyway, here is what I am thinking in terms of stocking:
1 male or female betta
7 of some kind of schooling fish (from what I've read, bloodfin tetras might be a good option because they are high pH tolerant and don't seem to be fin-nippers. I also like the idea of harlequin rasboras but I've read they need softer water so I'm hesitant to try them)
5 pygmy cories (I like what I've read about them on this site but it seems that they might have trouble in hard water. I don't know much about them at this point. Also, the tank already has gravel and they would probably be happier with sand)
3 nerite snails
If anyone has other suggestions for stocking or suggestions in general, I would love to hear them!