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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a 10 gallon with 5 neon tetras, cory and male betta. Everyone got along, happy community. But I then (almost suddenly) that my betta's stomach was swollen terribly. It was obvious he was overfeed and was going to go sideways soon if I didn't do something. Normally I would feed him first (pellets), wait a bit, and then drop some flakes in for the neons. Guess who else was eating them? My betta. Like crazy, eating everything! I moved him to a backup 2.5-gallon tank, didn't feed him for a few days, his tummy went back to normal and he has been eating regularly.
I'm thankful he's healthy now but he's such an active little guy, he deserves more space :-(
So the question: How can I keep my betta with my neons without him eating ALL the food?
 

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You can separate your betta during feeding. Or switch all your fish to pellets.

As for your stock, cory need 6 in a group and not all are appropriate for a 10 gallon tank, most need 24" by 12" of floor space. Some hobbyists that have been here a while would never put any cory in a 10. Neons are a little touchy. I am comfortable with them being in a 10, others say a 15 or 20 is the minimum, either way you need at least 6 of those as well.
 

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Neons don't love going to the surface for food. In fact it can cause sbd. I feed my neons hikari micropellets which is a good size for them. I soak a small amount in water so they don't float and then pipette it slowly. The neons will catch the pellets on the way down, but if I'm impatient I just dump it all in there and the neons do a good job of cleaning it off the substrate. With your cory you don't have to worry about fallen food anyway. The betta will sometimes take chomps at the falling pellets but mostly he's too slow/they're too small for him to bother about :p Then I feed the betta at the surface while the neons are eating off the substrate. If my betta isn't quick though sometimes a neon will grab a pellet or two from him. He looks very indignant when this happens :p
 

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Neons don't love going to the surface for food. In fact it can cause sbd. I feed my neons hikari micropellets which is a good size for them. I soak a small amount in water so they don't float and then pipette it slowly. The neons will catch the pellets on the way down, but if I'm impatient I just dump it all in there and the neons do a good job of cleaning it off the substrate. With your cory you don't have to worry about fallen food anyway. The betta will sometimes take chomps at the falling pellets but mostly he's too slow/they're too small for him to bother about :p Then I feed the betta at the surface while the neons are eating off the substrate. If my betta isn't quick though sometimes a neon will grab a pellet or two from him. He looks very indignant when this happens :p
Great info! By getting sinking pellets your betta couldn't possibly eat all of them!
 

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+ to lookinawave

The other option is to cup your betta and have the cup float in the tank during feeding time. This will keep him away from the tetras food while you feed the tetras.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone for your responses. I've had Panda Corys before in a group (they lived about 3 years, their passing had to be old age). I've always noticed when I feed the neons they fill themselves up and head back down to the bottom so maybe flake isn't right for them. I was thinking of adding more neons, I do have an Albino Buenos Aires Tetra with the 5 neons and they school together. The Albino Aeneus Cory Cat was a purchase I made in an effort to have a bottom feeder, I didn't think of having a group of them. I'm afraid of overstocking. I really want a bigger tank - 30gal is the largest I could go with the space I have. But as I'm sure others struggle with this as well - money. I just don't have the funds right now. I have a spare 5 gallon, so maybe I could split them up somehow? I feed my betta the regular Hikari Pellets, I should try the micros for the neons. Maybe it'll work, although my betta is quite quick and alert (especially when it comes to food lol). Worse comes to worse, I'll cup (or maybe put a separator in shortly) him a little and feed him.
 

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I have a similar problem in one of my cichlid tanks. The voracious tetras eat all the pellets before they can reach the slow, bottom feeding Rams. To remedy this I have a piece of rigid airline tubing about an inch in diameter that I drop the pellets into so they can reach the bottom without being eaten. The Rams know that as soon as the tube goes into the water it's feeding time and they wait next to it for the pellets to drop.
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I keep Black Phantom tetras along with Rummynoses. The Phantoms will feed from the surface, where the rummies like their food about mid-level. I found that if I release a pinch of pellets underwater, about 2-3 inches down it keeps the surface feeders off of them long enough for the other fish to get their fair share.

Omega One Color Micro Pellets are fantastic for a tetra. They are super small and even my smallest fish has no problem with them. I also use NLS small fish formula. Both pellets are excellent for a betta, so you won't have to worry if he gets a hold of any.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That's also a great idea MikeG14! I will update the thread when I find the method that works. Side note: I'm also looking into making my own bottom feeder fish food - interesting to research.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
This is a very late update but better than never - this dates mid-late august. (I apologize mods)
Unfortunately the betta passed away. He would get better - eating a normal diet - and then swell again. I tried a few different foods here and there. I'd have to give a pea, fast him, the whole works..many times. But it just kept coming back until he was just in terrible condition - exhausted- he eats, gets sick, loses strength while also slowly starving. I left the room for a minute and came back in and he was gone :(
I had converted the tank to all eat pellets by then. It took some time but they ended up on new life spectrum and have become addicts.
This is the fish food recipe I choose to make. Neons love it, pleco, cories...or they're just pigs and will eat anything (even mom's cooking). [Link]

Thank you everyone for your help! In short, I think if your betta has this problem you must convert everyone to the same diet, always vacuum and do not over feed! If your betta has reoccurring swim bladder, in my own opinion, he must be housed separately and fed very carefully. Sometimes that's just the way it is. :/
Don't overfeed no matter how they beg and love your fishies <3
 
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