Advice on tankmates needed, please - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-29-2017, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Advice on tankmates needed, please

How do I know new tankmates are good with each other? How do I know they're not stressing each other out? What behaviour should I be keeping an eye on? And how can I know it's going well? And also, should I take the fry out?

Some background and further explanation for this:
My Betta boy Ciel has been nipping his tail recently and I've been trying to make him stop. I provided him with more top coverage, more plants and more places to hide, made sure the water is 100% okay for him, but it didn't seem to effect the small nipping. He doesn't do it anyhow drastically, I've seen other posts with bettas who nipped way worse in way less time. So in a different forum, we agreed it also might be just boredom. Since he does it just whenever he feels like it and only a little. I tried distracting him with floating toys and colors, but again, not to much effect. Today, I finally took a deep breath and decided to get him tank mates. I member suggested it to me and when I googled it, I saw that it helped a few people before. It keeps the betta distracted. Knowing his nature (curious, but also incredibly calm and gentle compared to my boyfriend's fierce betta), I decided to try and go for it.
I chose three Ember Tetras. The lady accidentaly gave me a fourth one, a little fry which I am the most afraid for. Look how incredibly tiny it is on his hammock leaf!

I put them into the tank in their plastic bag and let him observe them. Then, when they acclimated to the water, I cut the bag open and let them swim out. It happened really smoothly and they seemed calm. He chased them around for a tiny little bit. I'd say for about 10 minutes. But he didn't ever seem agressive. He wasn't trying to nip them or dart at them even, I feel like he was just swimming after them to inspect them out of pure curiosity. He still occasionaly wants to take a good look at them, but I really don't think he's trying to attack. But it's been just a few hours and I feel like it's really natural for him not to know what's going on yet.
After two hours or so, they stopped being afraid of him. The Tetras stopped swimming in a school and spread around the tank a bit more. Ciel would just "pass them by" sometimes, looking at them, but not coming after them or changing his direction because of them. The tiny fry keeps hiding. I think I noticed him swim out about three times and each time, Ciel swam to him and scared him again.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-30-2017, 11:50 AM
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I would grab more Ember Tetras. They're great with all the Betta's I've had them with, even Paradise Gourami (very aggressive), a young Angelfish at one time, Sparkling Gouramis. They go well with a lot of anabantoids. But, they do feel safer in groups of 6 or more is what we usually recommend. Your tank will be fine if you add another 3 as well, looks like it's a 10?


That baby is a Guppy fry. I wouldn't worry about it. Take it back if you want but if your Betta hasn't gone after him aggressively then he'll be just fine.
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Wilds: Wajok, Rutilans, Siamentorialis, Hendra
Leopards: Luna, Astrael, Dorian, Cullen, Gallifrey
Gargoyle: Cloudjumper
African Fat Tails: Nox and Lux
Bearded Dragon: Stormfly
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-30-2017, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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20L tank, realistically 14 L of water in there.
Do you think Harlequin Tetras might school with them? I spent a lot of time reading about Tetras as Betta's companion instead of sleeping (hah) and Harlequin Tetras seem to be native to the same natural habitat and in the wild, they meet with Bettas on a regular basis and do not mind each other.
Would you think it'd be a bad idea to add 3 harlequins instead of more embers?
I'm not sure how well tetras school with other, different tetras, but from what I've seen, they seem to sometimes?

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Originally Posted by lilnaugrim View Post
But, they do feel safer in groups of 6 or more is what we usually recommend. Your tank will be fine if you add another 3 as well, looks like it's a 10?
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-30-2017, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DucktorHannah View Post
Harlequin Tetras seem to be native to the same natural habitat and in the wild, they meet with Bettas on a regular basis and do not mind each other.
Would you think it'd be a bad idea to add 3 harlequins instead of more embers?
I have to correct myself, I later realised harlequins are rasboras and not tetras. Too bad for me :( I really like how they look.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-31-2017, 05:16 AM
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Yeah, even other Tetra's won't actually school with each other. They may do it in times of great fear but otherwise, they do need more of their own group.
I've found no issue with Ember Tetras and betta's so you have a few choices. You could just leave them and they might be okay. You could get 3 more Ember Tetras. You could return those and get 6 Harlequin Rasboras or Espei Rasbora (smaller than Harlequin but look similar). So it's up to you in the end and what you think will be best.
I currently have 6 Ember's with an HMEE Betta of mine and they all get along fantastically as I've done in the past as well. Embers are one of my favorite Tetra's and usually fairly easy to get, some other nano fish aren't always easy to find.

Wilds: Wajok, Rutilans, Siamentorialis, Hendra
Leopards: Luna, Astrael, Dorian, Cullen, Gallifrey
Gargoyle: Cloudjumper
African Fat Tails: Nox and Lux
Bearded Dragon: Stormfly
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-31-2017, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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I think I will simply get three more Embers, they seem to be getting along well.
Now, I have a question about getting more : I was stupid enough to forget to quarantine my new fish and putting my poor Betta boy to the risk of any diseases or infections they might possibly bring with them. Today is day three of them being together and all seems fine, but I know it might possibly not be, even though I do not want to think about it.
Should I quarantine the new three ones if I buy them from the same store, same tank? Or should I keep my fingers crossed and let them have a comfortable group size as soon as possible? I'm not sure how to approach this.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lilnaugrim View Post
Yeah, even other Tetra's won't actually school with each other. They may do it in times of great fear but otherwise, they do need more of their own group.
I've found no issue with Ember Tetras and betta's so you have a few choices. You could just leave them and they might be okay. You could get 3 more Ember Tetras. You could return those and get 6 Harlequin Rasboras or Espei Rasbora (smaller than Harlequin but look similar). So it's up to you in the end and what you think will be best.
I currently have 6 Ember's with an HMEE Betta of mine and they all get along fantastically as I've done in the past as well. Embers are one of my favorite Tetra's and usually fairly easy to get, some other nano fish aren't always easy to find.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-31-2017, 08:52 AM
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I personally don't quarantine fish. For me, if they get sick, they get sick. But for the most part I also only buy from stores I trust and know. If you see sick fish in the store then it's likely no good so either QT or don't buy. If everyone seems fine then it's probably a better store.
You can if you feel like it's needed but it isn't absolutely necessary. Or rather, some will say it is and some will say it isn't. It really comes down to how comfortable you are with the fish and the store. If you feel the need, then go ahead and do it
Chances are though, that if the fish you bought are still okay and not showing any signs (lethargy/not active as they should be, not eating, pale) then I wouldn't worry much.
Almost every disease is treatable with the right knowledge and medications

Wilds: Wajok, Rutilans, Siamentorialis, Hendra
Leopards: Luna, Astrael, Dorian, Cullen, Gallifrey
Gargoyle: Cloudjumper
African Fat Tails: Nox and Lux
Bearded Dragon: Stormfly
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-02-2017, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Alright! Bought three more today, same store same tank. But in comparison to those I have had for four days, the new three ones are SO PALE!
Is it similair to bettas? Will the color come back once they acclimate or something?
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-02-2017, 03:47 PM
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It is likely due to stress. Their colour should improve once they are in the tank and settled. Most fish will show paler/washed out colouring when they are first introduced into a tank.

As an advocate for proper quarantine, I do want to disagree with Lilnaugrim that almost every disease is curable with the right medication and treatment. For example, I had a particularly virulent strain of velvet go through my fish room and multiple medications were not enough to kill it off in some tanks. Another example would be columnaris. Some strains of columnaris can be capable of wiping out an entire tank of fish in a day or two, so you may not be given the opportunity to treat it.

It's all about what you as a hobbyist feel is appropriate risk. For me the risk of introducing disease into my fish room far outweighs the inconvenience of quarantine. However, a hobbyist with only one tank may feel differently. I did want to add the disclaimer that even though I encourage hobbyists to quarantine their fish, I don't think you're wrong for not doing so. I just want to ensure that people (especially those new to the hobby) are fully aware of risks involved.


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-02-2017, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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@LittleBettaFish , thank you for your input. :) I think I would quarantine any other fish I would buy in the future, but as for now, since I already forgot and they seeemed fine after three days (even thought I know some stuff could take longer to show, but I don't want to always think of the worse), I went ahead and put them in as fast as possible so they have a comfortable group number.


They already schooled, but the biggest one of them is really, really pale.


Do you think it looks normal?

Last edited by DucktorHannah; 11-02-2017 at 04:01 PM.
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