Betta community? Possible or impossible??? Let's see how it goes. - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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Betta community? Possible or impossible??? Let's see how it goes.

***Before starting I would like to say this topic is controversial and everyone here in the fish hobby has a different way of doing things, this is the way I'm doing it, let's see if it workes. Hope this journal/ experiment helps shed some light on betta aggression and companility***

Alright so let's start with the back story. I had aquire a 55 gallon tank for a South American cichlid community I had in mind. After choosing the wood and sand that would go into this tank i threw them in to sink the hard scape and get a good look how the tank would turn out. After letting it cycle of course, the fish I was looking for where not available. So I thought to place one of my betta girls in there just to give the tank life while I looked for my other fish.( note that things are still sinking and all wood in under rocks to keep them there)
She looked quite small, as you would imagine. So I added a few fry ( mostly females 1/2 an inch in length). Again they looked tiny compared to the water volume. Sooooooo I took a precarious step and added one full grown male ( the fancy koi). I stared at the tank for a while, bitting my nails as they got closer and closer. As you would expect he saw her and flared, rushing towards her and stopping in his tracks to flare and "wiggle", she flared back but no aggression was exchanged. This kept happening over and over, like it would normally in a spawning thank. My experience with cichlid pushed me to add more since aggression (if it would ever happen, and it will eventually) wouldn't concentrate on one fish but it would disperse any attacks.

So I added one more male.. the "resident" male seemed oblivious of the new male in his town. For a while no one notice each other until the koi male saw the tri-colored one. He came rushing and flaring (no attack) to the tri-colored, let's called him "big T" for the sake of this, he got the message and moved away.

This brings me to the present, Jan 3,2018 at 3:00 pm. They have been in there for about an hour or so. In my experience bettas flare for a while and then turn aggressive after measuring each other. This in fact happened. Both big T and the female have torn fins but this is normal since they are setting up their place in the tank. As of right now the koi male is the dominant one. Everyone avoids him and dashes away at a first sight of him. If things get too stressful I will defiantly cancel the experiment. I have hospital tanks available and ready for an emergency.

Oh I almost forgot, the fry flare amongst themself but not aggression, the adults chance them here and there but they hide in the woodwork and are quickly forgotten
3:26 pm everyone seemed to be chilled no fight no flares they are just spread out. Note two things, the number of fish in total is 7 (3 adults and 4 fry ) and this won't be a permanent thing, just as of right now, they will go back to their own tank once I get the new fish.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 04:04 PM
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IMHO you are asking for trouble. To have even a small chance of success you need to heavily plant that tank, with lots of plants at all levels of the water column. There's a reason that it's never advised to house 2 males together, and a reason that their nickname is Siamese Fighting Fish. I'm betting that once those fish become acclimated to the tank you'll see a lot more fighting.

As a teenager I had a 10 gal community tank, I had some tiger barbs, zebra fish, angel fish, a blue gourami, and a betta (yeah, yeah I didn't know about over stocking!) I was in my local LFS and spotted some beautiful fish called Jack Dempsey's, without researching I bought 2 and put them in my tank. All was well for the first couple days, the Jacks seemed shy but were settling in nicely. Day 3 I noticed that the Jacks had started to seriously bully their tank mates, and were doing damage to them. I pulled out my fish book and looked them up, and learned that they are very aggressive fish that should not be in community tanks... Oops... That's what I think will happen with your bettas, they are going to settle in and then start fighting. Why chance it?
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 04:30 PM
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I totally agree with Rainbo. You are asking for trouble. Even though they are doing OK doesn't guarantee anything. I would put them back in their own tanks ASAP.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 08:20 PM
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I'm sorry but even if you say 'it's just a fish' it's wrong. You cannot watch them 24/7. You're setting it up for a creature(s) to be tortured and most likely killed. Kinda like dog fighting but maybe you'd be ok with an experiment on that too.

Members on here try their hardest to keep their fish out of harms way, sometimes spending a lot of money on meds for sick fish to get them healthy and you're going to experiment with their lives. SMH

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-04-2018, 08:37 AM
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Regardless of one's opinion on what you're doing, you have an insufficiently planted tank and a high-stress, unnatural habitat. Personally, I wouldn't subject any living creature to a life of high-stress and subsequent disease and death.

However, you do what you feel is right for the welfare of the Betta and if you're successful that's great. BUT...if it fails I sincerely hope you will be upfront enough to come back and admit it.

Why not remove the males and have a sorority in that tank? With a more properly-planted habitat, of course. If you don't the likelihood is the females will eventually gang up on and kill the males and you'll wind up with a sorority, anyway.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-04-2018, 10:36 AM
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As many others have said, I wouldn't risk it. Even though there have been - very few - success stories of having 2 males in the same tank, your tank just isn't heavily planted enough for that, or even for a sorority. What I'd do is put them (the males) back in their individual tanks, then really heavily plant your big tank. Then just make a sorority.
Not trying to hate on you, just trying to give you what I believe is the best option for you and your fish.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-04-2018, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Rainbo View Post
IMHO you are asking for trouble. To have even a small chance of success you need to heavily plant that tank, with lots of plants at all levels of the water column. There's a reason that it's never advised to house 2 males together, and a reason that their nickname is Siamese Fighting Fish. I'm betting that once those fish become acclimated to the tank you'll see a lot more fighting.

As a teenager I had a 10 gal community tank, I had some tiger barbs, zebra fish, angel fish, a blue gourami, and a betta (yeah, yeah I didn't know about over stocking!) I was in my local LFS and spotted some beautiful fish called Jack Dempsey's, without researching I bought 2 and put them in my tank. All was well for the first couple days, the Jacks seemed shy but were settling in nicely. Day 3 I noticed that the Jacks had started to seriously bully their tank mates, and were doing damage to them. I pulled out my fish book and looked them up, and learned that they are very aggressive fish that should not be in community tanks... Oops... That's what I think will happen with your bettas, they are going to settle in and then start fighting. Why chance it?
Oh no no I'm defiantly not putting a JD or any big cichlid in there. Just an Angel and a few Bolivian ram, something like an Amazon riven basin biotope.

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Originally Posted by ryry2012 View Post
I totally agree with Rainbo. You are asking for trouble. Even though they are doing OK doesn't guarantee anything. I would put them back in their own tanks ASAP.
Oh yeas defiantly understood it was a mistake. Just yesterday by watching them I realized that I was putting them through unecessary stress by doing this, so I moved them all to their 10gs and places some aquarium salt and meds in their water. Thankfully I took them out in time so the biggest injury was a torn ray, the rest had little to no fins missing. Sorry guys for the big scare but I did see my mistake and everyone is safe. With a few water changes every three days they should regenerate their fins.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-04-2018, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bettalovinmomma View Post
I'm sorry but even if you say 'it's just a fish' it's wrong. You cannot watch them 24/7. You're setting it up for a creature(s) to be tortured and most likely killed. Kinda like dog fighting but maybe you'd be ok with an experiment on that too.

Members on here try their hardest to keep their fish out of harms way, sometimes spending a lot of money on meds for sick fish to get them healthy and you're going to experiment with their lives. SMH
I never said "its just a fish" and I will never say it either. These are my pets but sometimes I think they should be seeing at least another fish like in the wild so I had a big tank to try. DEFINITELY did not work and they are much more happy in their own tank. I think I got a free pass seing the injuries this time, these fish are from my 'passive' line.Meaning I've been breeding them to what I thought to be passive bettas. My 30 gallon sorority (just females from this line) have worked with no inguries at the start but males will be males. To end this i will say that yes DO NOT do this if you're planning to, it will not work. Take my experiences as a lesson and just stick to females if planning to do a community (although some might not be successful so keep an eye out). I asure everyone all the 7 fish are fine and well in their own tanks. The fry are still growing out so they went to their 20 grow out tank with not a single scratch.
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