Four days ago I got 3 bloodfin tetra as tankmates for my betta, at the suggestion of the store worker.
When I first got my betta he seemed more aggressive than the last betta I had--he used to flare at ANYTHING I accidentally placed near the tank, even his food when I dropped it in. Over the past few months, I figured he got more "comfortable" because he rarely flares anymore, generally seems happy. Normally he is a very active fish.
The first 2 days of having the tetras with the betta everything seemed okay, maybe I am humanizing my betta too much but I am not sure he is happy with them. They seemed to avoid him and vice versa, although yesterday I noticed my betta has been hiding in the corners, trying to bury himself beneath things, hiding in plants. I know the "hiding" is normal to an extent, but I have actually found him lodged stuck under things in the past few hours and I have to UN-lodge him. This morning I noticed one of the tetra was missing, and found him stuck behind the cave sort of bloodied under his gills and missing an eye, dead. It seemed fine/active/happy last night so I am assuming my betta attacked it and it hid behind the cave where i found it.
Since then my betta's weirdness has increased, but the other 2 tetra still seem fine. he has been at the bottom of the tank most of the day.
what are the chances he is sick vs. him being unhappy with tankmates, or even maybe him having caught something from the tetra? is betta with bloodfin tetra not a good match? I've read of some "fin nipping" but I haven't seen that, since they really do not interact and my betta seems to chase them away if they come near (which they really don't)
I HAVE to do a water change since that one fish was dead and the tetra food is dirtying up the water super fast. I am about to go get betta revive...but I found it curious there were such drastic changes in a two day span, so I'm not sure whether he is very sick, or very stressed, or very sick because he is very stressed..etc. Any suggestions would be appreciated....let me know if i am making some OBVIOUS mistake please.
and tank info if needed: 10 gallon tank, filtered, heated at about 77-78 degrees. 1 real, 1 fake plant.
I'm no expert, but it seems like your betta probably killed the tetra. They say that if you want to start a sorority, then the more plants the better. I think that rule applies with just about any community with a betta. Especially if the tank mates will be sharing some of the same space (mid to top). Bottom feeders are less likely to be an issue from what I've read. But it always depends on the betta. I would get a bunch more plants if you want to try and keep these guys together. You should have a back up plan as well. Just in case he's one of those bettas that prefer to be alone.
Welcome to the forum and sorry you are having problems....I take it you didn't QT the new fish for 3 weeks....right....if its an option....I would take the other Tetras back.....
In the 10gal filtered tank with 1 live plant-what kind is it and how long has the tank been setup, how much and how often are the water changes normally, temp 77-78F...any other tank mates, what kind of filter are you using, do you have any water pram numbers....what kind of additives are you using....has the Betta ever been sick and/or treated in the past 2 weeks.
Good that you plan a water change-its always a good idea to make water changes after a death
To me, he sounds sick AND stressed.
The bare tank doesn't give him much cover from the other fish's movements. This, causes stress. stress can lower the immune system - and having a dead fish fouls the water. Do a water change immediately... This also may help perk up your betta.
Tetras, need groups of 4 or more to feel comfortable. In a tank that bare, neither the tetra nor the betta are able to escape each other. Some tetras are mean little buggers - but, under the right conditions CAN live in harmony with a willing betta. I highly suggest, if you can, just for now bring back the tetras... Then you can work towards getting the tank stuffed with plants, fabric/silk and live, hidey holes (like sunken ships, skulls, tiki towers, etc), which will benefit the betta (can hide from the active fish) and save the tetras from any direct attacks from the betta - and each other.
I found, in my own experience that tetras get Neon Tetra Disease easily (this is very common, in all species of tetra), and prone to ich. It's always recommended to quarantine fish beforehand, to avoid other fish (and the tank!) from contracting such diseases and parasites.
thanks so much everyone!! really appreciate the input.
i did a water test after my post and changed so much since the 24th. the ammonia levels were about .75ppm and the pH was probably 7.4. i have some "emergency water"--conditioned that, checked the temp, water test came back with 0ppm and 7.0-7.2 for pH. moved them over, after a couple of hours my betta seemed to be in a little better shape, although i am still keeping a close eye on him. added some stress coat and he is slowly seeming a little better, though i am still concerned. he and the tetra seem a little more "integrated" though i DO plan on getting a lot more plants and maybe even 2-3 more tetra--since someone posted that they should have at last 4 in a group.
did a 100% water change of the 10 gallon tank--conditioned the water, rinsed EVERYTHING, changed the filter, the water test came back 0ppm for ammonia and pH was again in the range of 7.0-7.2. trying to let that cycle a bit....
and to answer the one question--no i did not QT the three new tetra, i just googled it and wow! i had asked the guy at the store what to do, he said to put the bag in for a couple of minutes, then dump them in. i'm mad at myself now because i always like to check online first, or check against what the store recommends, but i didn't even think twice this time :(
i opened the bag slightly at the top but kept the tetra in the bag in the tank for a couple of hours, mostly to let the temperatures adjust and to see how my betta reacted. at first he flared but after awhile, he seemed okay. when i mixed the tetra in he seemed okay with them, checked them out, hung around them, but no aggression of flaring...though i am now reading to probably QT you have to do it for a few weeks!! i guess if i get more tetra i should QT for a certain period of time? should i take out the 2 remaining tetra now and QT them?
I highly recommend ignoring 99.99% of store associates (sorta like sanitizer kills 99.99% of germs o.o store associates do the same. with fish.) if you ever need to ask about how to introduce fish, or compatible fish for a betta we are here I personally owned and bred balloon mollies, platys and danios all around the same betta (Spartan)!
I highly suggest quarantining them, if you have another tank (minimum cycled 5 gallon filtered and possibly heated for best health of the fish) so that anything can clear up, or you can avoid your betta from getting any disease from them.
I highly recommend ignoring 99.99% of store associates (sorta like sanitizer kills 99.99% of germs o.o store associates do the same. with fish.)
LOL I had to tell you this made me genuinely laugh out loud. 's true, though.
As far as your betta goes, I've had some that did fine with tank mates, some that immediately killed tank mates, and recently, one that did fine with tank mates for a few days before he managed to kill one (read: he probably wanted to kill them from the get-go, but they were too fast at first).
I've had a betta with tetras live successfully for a couple of years, but he was a pretty mellow betta and there were 9 tetras, so they schooled pretty closely together. It's worth a shot (after QT) if you get more plants, but it's also worth having a plan ready for the remaining tetras if he doesn't turn out to be the cuddly type. If you aren't able to return them/set them up in another tank, don't do it.
It's easy to 'humanize' betta, and I think we all do it! Just remember, activity doesn't necessarily mean happiness. He might be moving around a lot, but that doesn't mean he 'likes' the new fish-- seeming curiosity often comes before a hunt. Even with the betta I did successfully keep in a community tank, he mostly seemed to ignore the other fish unless he absolutely had to acknowledge them.
The only betta I have successfully kept with a range of fish, instead of biting anyone during feeding time (danios ate too fast for him to even get scraps) he would ram them Each have their limits, and expectations I guess hehe