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Old 09-08-2011, 01:22 PM   #1 
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I just added two new fish to my tank and thought I'd get some takes on some interesting behavior.

I've had bettas before, but this is the first time I've included them in a community tank setting and kept a male and female within the same tank. Now, I know some of you are looking at the fish that are making up my "community" and that some of the fish probably shouldn't be put together, but I done extensive research and talked to a lot of people and thought I would try this on an experimental basis.

I added a male crowntail betta and a female veiltail betta yesterday and so far none of the other fish have minded much. The angels gave the male a couple experimental taps (as if to see if he was a fish or not), but have since cared less. One of my female platies will occasional chase the male around, but not frequently.

What I wanted to get your take on was this: the female betta will swim to the male, seemingly non-aggressively, and he will flare and chase her off, but as close as he gets to her he does not make contact. And as soon as he stops chasing her she will begin swimming toward him again, but not as though she's trying to chase him. She makes no attempt to bite or nibble she just keeps wanting to swim with or near him.

Just wanted to know if this was normal behavior or if it might calm down once they get use to the tank a little bit more. Also, the male betta seems to be a little bit cranky with the other fish, in your opinion do you think he will calm down?

Keep in mind I am observing very closely just in case things get violent or too aggressive. As of right now, NONE of the fish are showing any signs of distress.

Thanks for any feedback!!
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Old 09-12-2011, 12:07 PM   #2 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Central Texas
Hello and welcome to the forum. Males and females should never be housed together except for breeding purposes only. Things may seem okay now but can change pretty quickly. Bettas are solitary fish and IMO should be housed by themselves. But really it depends on the personality of the betta. Some tolerate tankmates pretty well and others don't.
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:05 PM   #3 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Welcome to the forum......I agree with dramaqueen in regards to keeping this species....

Its just a matter of time before things go wrong in a poorly stocked tank, however, it is an experiment and I am sure you have a back up plan and plans to stock it properly...

I see several thing wrong...but really easy to fix....

In a 35gal tall-heavy planted with live plants...perfect for the Angelfish, the platies will provide a good source of free range food if one is a female....the Pictus catfish...neat little fish-but they will do much better in a small school since they are a social species-plus you get to see the really neat behaviors they will display when kept in a group of 3-5...really playful fish-sadly 35g tall is not ideal since they like lots of swimming space longer rather than tall...then the two Bettas.....which really shouldn't be kept with angel or pictus in a tall tank and mixed sexed-good that you have a lot of movement-this might buy you some time....but overall.....stocking should be based to meet the needs of all the species of fish and sadly 35g tall doesn't meet the needs of some of the species of fish you are keeping even at a juvie may work for awhile...but doubt it will work long term-its a matter of time before the stress in a poorly stocked tank start to compromise the immune response.....

As for your question.... the behavior the female is displaying may be pre-spawn behavior and if the male refuses to spawn with her she will most likely kill him or tear him to bits-she is much faster than he is especially in a large tank with filtration-he will have trouble getting away from her or any other fish for that matter-then the space alone may cause fin damage, stress and shorten his already short life span......

Even though Bettas are thought of as aggressive fish-this is mainly with it own may not be the Betta that hurt another fish- but the other fish hurting him....

But as you posted in the beginning....this is an experiment and you plan to watch them closely and make changes as needed....

Good luck.....

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 09-12-2011 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:13 PM   #4 
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^ I agree with Dramaqueen and OFL. Make sure you have an extra tank on hand (with heater!) for your girl (or boy) when/if things go wrong.
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Old 09-12-2011, 03:25 PM   #5 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Please keep in mind that not all aggression is physical. I know you've said it's an experiment, and since you sound like you've done a lot of research I know you will move them the second you think it's necessary. Bettas are prone to hormonal stress, meaning hormones released into the water as a sign of aggression. And not just by other bettas, angelfish are notoriously nasty. I've also had experiences with male platies chasing my female betta in a community tank. I've got to say I agree with the others- while it's an experiment for you to see if it can be done and you're doing your research and watching them closely, it's at the expense of your fish. By the time you realize they are no longer able to coexist, it will mean that one of them is injured, stressed, and picked-on.
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Old 09-12-2011, 05:14 PM   #6 
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Thanks for all the responses

Hey everyone, thank you for all the responses. Sorry I haven't posted much in response until now, internet issues.

Yes I have a back up tank ready and I am still carefully monitoring the situation, but as of today the male has seemed to have cut back on his aggression. The female is still in pretty good shape, I'm not seeing tearing in any of her fins, nor is she showing stress bars (I know not a 100% indicator). The male is a crowntail so he kind of started out looking raggy, but I haven't noticed anything more so than normal. Once again I'm NOT letting my guard down though!

The angels are still really small and I'm prepared to start moving them out to my LFS should it be necessary (the guy was totally ok with this plan). I was prepared to have a big problem with them, but they've been the MOST docile fish in the whole tank. I've been testing my parameters once a week and everything still seems ok, but I also do regular water changes.

My female blue platy has become the "bully" right now. She sometimes even chases the pictus around which is funny because of the size difference. She chases the male blue platy around the most.

Thank you again for all the input and the precautionary advice. And thanks for actually reading what I posted before saying anything in response to early. I'm taking all of it to heart. Will keep you posted should anything else occur.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:49 PM   #7 
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Good to hear your taking heed of what everyone said and have a back-up plan! ^__^ Good job! *thumbsup!!!!*
Just make sure to watch all the fish carefully- bettas can be picked on a lot. :)

Good luck!!
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