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Old 06-20-2011, 10:57 AM   #1 
52cherish
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Killing compatible tank mates

My two recently purchased male Bettas don't seem to like the usual compatible bottom feeding tankmates.
This all started when my female betta needed to be re-homed because she was eating too much of their tankmates food.
My set-up was one 10 Gal with the female, three cherry barbs and 5 NTs. The other 10 Gal was divided with two males (split 20/80). The CT was in the small section, the VT was in the big section with 4 albino corys.
I have my kids help with the feeding and they always had issues netting the female so she wouldn't pig out on the flakes for the barbs and NTs. So I moved her to the small divided section of the other tank after two of our NTs turned up dead. The CT went into her former tank. After about a month I realized the NTs were nibbling on the CTs tail and I put him in a 2 Gal QT.
When I went to the store to pick up some meds and food, I couldn't resist buying a DHM... I put him in his little cup into the tank with the barbs and remaining NTs for a day. The next day I released him and everything seemed fine. When I got up the next morning the three barbs were dead.
I put a divider in and had the three NTs on a 80 section and the DHM on the small section. At my next visit to Petco I consulted with the AQ rep and he mentioned getting some corys since my other tank set-up worked out so well.
Well... I added three Julie corys but didn't take out the divider right away. After three days they were all joined together and again the next morning two of the corys and one NT were dead.
The divider went back up and I went back to Petco. Replacing the lost corys and adding one more to have four (I just coudn't see that one guy being all alone). A friend took my two remaining NTs for her community tank. Since my daughter was with me, she talked me into getting a white male Delta Tail... he spent a day in the cup floating with the corys and then was released. It worked fine for a week and this morning the smallest cory was dead. The male is now back in a cup and I am ready to scream...

How long can I keep the Delta in the cup? I would like to keep the CT qt-ed for another week. After that I could move the Delta in the QT tank as his forever home and the CT can join the corys.
Any suggestions? I thought Bettas stay away from bottom feeders... Could it be the set-up? There are lots of live plants in that tank, sometimes I even have trouble finding the fish when they are in the back of the tank.
Thanks
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Old 06-20-2011, 12:18 PM   #2 
DarkMoon17
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Right. Well first off, your tanks are way overstocked which would lead to fighting. It sounds like there might be something else wrong though. Do the dead fish appear beaten up? Or do they have other symptoms?

I do not suggust keeping cherry barbs with bettas since they are barbs. Barbs are not compatible with bettas since they are fin nippers. Neon tetras are but if the pH is too high or if you don't keep the water super clean, they will die. They also become aggressive or stressed in overstocked tanks like yours.

First tank:
3 cherry barbs- 3 gal also, should be kept in schools of 6+
5 neon tetra: 5 gal - also, they should be kept in schools of 6+
1 female betta: 2.5 gal
10.5 gal: not horrible but the problem in this tank is there is too much activity and the schooling fish will become more aggressive when they aren't kept in proper schools. Bettas will attack things if they don't think they have enough space to themselves.

Second tank:
2 male bettas: 5 gal
4 cories: 8 gallons- should also be kept in larger schools
13 gal: way overstocked

What is your water change schedule?
What is the pH?

NT and julie cories are both delicate fish. They could have died from any number of reasons including failure to adjust, stress from other fish, and poor water conditions.
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Old 06-20-2011, 01:45 PM   #3 
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Every dead fish showed definite signs of bruising.
The water quality is in recommended parameters. I am using an API Freshwater liquid test kit and every weekend I am doing a 20% water change. Both tanks have Aqueon 10 Power Filters. I also have an Ehaim Ecco Pro vac, which I use in the well working Betta/Cory tank once a month and in the former barb, NT and Betta tank every two weeks.
AqAdvisor parameters for my set-up show enough filtration capacity and the stocking level is below 95%. The petstore associate recommended the initial 3 barb/5 NT set-up referring to many customers using this as a starter set-up. But that is now over a year ago and I probably wouldn't choose the same set-up again.
The set-up worked fine until I moved the female.
My feeling at this point is, that the Betta attacked the Corys because it wasn't trained yet to come up for its feeding. In both cases the Corys were in the tank prior to the Betta and the Betta was not costumed yet to where, when and how the feeding happens.
The other tank with the Corys had the Betta first and after he was well into all our routines the Corys where added.
I am definitely keeping the DHM in solitary confinement, since he pretty much attacked every other moving creature in his environment. Once the CT is out of the QT he will join the Corys and the Delta will go into the 2 Gal. or our empty 5 Gal.
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Old 06-20-2011, 05:55 PM   #4 
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You should not use AqAdvisor for stocking advice. Every person who has said they used AqAdvisor has ended up with an overstocked tank. It is usually good for finding compatible fish but it wants you to put way more fish in a tank then physically possible. I also haven't found a store employee who I would let stock one of my own tanks! Their only job is to sell you more stuff. Cories are typically good companions for bettas as long as the tank is not overstocked. You can keep 4 large cories in a 10 gal or 6 pygmy cories. You would only be able to keep a betta with them, no other tank mates.

Good luck, I hope your future set ups go better.
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Old 06-20-2011, 08:25 PM   #5 
52cherish
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkMoon17 View Post
You should not use AqAdvisor for stocking advice. Every person who has said they used AqAdvisor has ended up with an overstocked tank. It is usually good for finding compatible fish but it wants you to put way more fish in a tank then physically possible. I also haven't found a store employee who I would let stock one of my own tanks! Their only job is to sell you more stuff. Cories are typically good companions for bettas as long as the tank is not overstocked. You can keep 4 large cories in a 10 gal or 6 pygmy cories. You would only be able to keep a betta with them, no other tank mates.

Good luck, I hope your future set ups go better.
That is what I was trying to do after the DHM took out the barbs and NT. I gave the remaining two NTs to a friend and had only the Betta and little Julii Corys (about an inch each).
Thanks for you suggestion though.
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Old 06-21-2011, 08:42 PM   #6 
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If you have any more trouble with the jullie cories, it is probably because they are delicate, not because of the betta.
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:03 PM   #7 
Here Fishy Fishy Fishy
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52cherish,

It's been my experience that there are no compatible tank mates for bettas... just snacks... with names!

I have one betta girl who cannot have tank mates of any sort.. she kills them. She has a five gallon all to herself (except when I float QT containers in her tank). When the QT containers are in with her, she will rush at the containers and flare.

I also have a sorority with only bettas and cory cats now. There were neons (all disappeared completely, in one night, after several months of harmony with the bettas); also lost a guppy.

Save your money, and some fish. Bettas don't want tank mates... WE want them to HAVE tank mates. And what we call tank mates, they call SNACKS.
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Old 06-21-2011, 10:37 PM   #8 
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That's just the way they are, fighting fish. No matter what we read, no matter what we try to do, they decide. If you get a fish who decides he wants to be alone then that's what has to happen.

Tango used to be in my 16 with 4 corys and after a year and some months, he decided he hated them and spent all day chasing and bullying them. He had to be removed. He went from fine to insane. It just happens sometimes. It might still happen with your crowntail. Just be watchful.
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