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Discussion Starter #1
I have never kept wilds before but was looking to set up a 10-gallon biotope for a male/female pair of Betta mahachaiensis. The tank would have a divider, allowing five gallons each. It would be blackwater and stocked with plants native to Asia, and I was wondering if there were any species of shrimp that could tolerate a pH potentially lower than 6.0 and the would be naturally encountered by wild bettas. I am also looking for some plant recommendations.
 

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Personally I wouldn't keep a male and a female in a divided tank. Only because the female can get egg bound. Plant recommendation I would say java moss, and java fern.
 

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Plant wise Java fern, Asian water fern, amazon sword, Anubias, basic stem plants that you can float for overhead cover. The advice given by WinterSoldier Is the same response I and most on here would have given. Keeping wilds is just like keeping any other betta.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for the advice, alternatively, would I be able to keep a Betta Hendra pair or group in a ten? Can Hendras actually live in groups or is that a myth like other wilds?
 

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A pair of Betta hendra would do fine in a 10 gallon aquarium.

You can keep a group of B. hendra in a 10 gallon aquarium. But they are still an aggressive and territorial species, and depending on the fish, there may be fighting. Also, if there's any breeding activity, the breeding pair will bully the other fish and it becomes quite stressful for everyone. I only keep my wild bettas in groups out of necessity.

Dark substrate (I like to use aqua soil), dim lighting, tannin stained water, and plenty of plant cover is what I recommend for coccina complex species. A lot of breeders don't really care that their fish only look their best during courtship and spawning, or that they spend most of their time hiding.

Java moss, Java Fern,Water Sprite, Asian Wategrass, Duckweed, and various Cryptocoryne species are all plants that I've successfully grown in my very soft water.

One thing I do recommend is a very secure fitting lid. If there's even the smallest gap, a wild betta will find it an jump through it. Even if you drop the water level significantly. It's not a matter of if, but when with them. Even experienced wild betta keepers will lose fish after forgetting to replace a lid. I personally use cling wrap for my smaller wild bettas. Only time I've lost a fish while using it, is when I've forgotten to replace it after a water change or there's been a hole torn in it, and I haven't noticed.

I will say that even a species as small as B. hendra may harass or even kill your shrimp. I added shrimp to my B. livida tank once and they were dead within minutes.

I've kept essentially all members of the coccina complex at some time or another, so if you have any further questions about them, feel free to ask. I have only general knowledge regarding most of the other wild betta species.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
@LittleBettaFish Wow, thank you so much, I never expected to get such detailed and reputable information! Are you aware of any sails native to the same region and able to live in the same pH as Hendras? I'm looking for some cleaners.
 
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