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Discussion Starter #1
So I have 2 Bettas currently. 1 male crowntale and 1 male Dragon scale. They were each in 3.5 gal filtered tanks alone. I noticed that when going into the bigger tanks from the smaller micro bowls, my Crowntale became "antisocial" meaning all he did was hide in his cave and stick his head out for food then go back into his cave over and over again.

I tried different decorations and tank set up and nothing. Water and temps were perfect. and he was eating well but starting to look dull in his colors. I moved him to his smaller bowl and he perked right up again. So I decided that maybe he was just didn't like that big open tank alone. So I ran up to my local pet store that happened to have having a sale and picked up a few fish. knowing he would be fine in his bowl if he didn't take to the new mates I figured what the heck. I also decided that my other betta could also use some friends (again knowing I had extra tanks) so why not.

I went with a clean up crew in each tank.

1 Butterfly Loach (this was the wild card, I've never heard good things about loach and Betta but they were BOGO so figured why not)
1 Albino Cory (I've never had anything mess with a Cory so figured it was a safe bet)
1 Dwarf Suckermouth (used these in my betta tanks in the past and never had issues)

Reset the tank. and I'm now going on 3 weeks of peaceful bliss with all my mates. The cory and the Dragonscale seem to swim together a lot. and my Crowntale is way more social now. He is not nipping at anyone and just seems happy to come out and swim and patrol his friends.

1 thing I did notice... my crown tale was more of a bottom feeder. meaning when I drop the food in he wouldn't swim up to get it he was just wait for it to sink into the rocks and then search for it whenever he felt like it, usually at night when the lights were off. now with the cory on Clean up. he is having to come out and swim up and eat while he can. Not sure if thats a "good" thing. but it is forcing him to come out of his cave more and swim more. And its kinda fun to watch him and the cory searching the rocks together for food. no fighting they each kinda pick an area and just rummage around.

So overall, not to say this will work with everyone, I've had bettas a long time and I think I'm really good at judging personalities. So I knew I wouldn't have any problems. But if you have an antisocial Betta this may help you with options.

230 Posts
I spent an hour at the LFS discussing new tank additions for the 10g planted (but empty of fish) tank. Had the same general decision; if it doesn't work out when I put the betta in, then I'll split them up again no problem.

So good to hear they're all doing well!

Super Moderator
19,903 Posts
Did you put all of these in 3.5 gallon tanks? And you do know that "clean up crews" only eat leftover food; not poop? Some have that mistaken impression so I always like to ask.

I also like to think we care as much about tank mates as we do our Betta and also provide *them* with a proper environment. I know you said you have more tanks so I am sure you have plans to move them up. But don't keep in small tank too long or the result is stunted growth, deformities and death.

For those considering any of these fish as tank mates, note the following information taken from scientific species-specific studies. The information is not from social media opinions. Do not depend on pet stores to give you proper information.

BF Loach
Absolute minimum tank size 23 x 12 inches (60 x 30 cm) or approximately 10 gallons
As with all Hillstream Loaches, they come from fast-flowing streams and need good water flow/current and highly-oxygenated water. Do not do well, long-term, in low-flow tanks
Shoaling; need minimum number of six. As with most shoaling varieties, when not in a proper shoal they tend to become withdrawn and often sicken from the stress.

Albino Cory
Minimum tank size 32 x 12 (80 x 30) or a 20 gallon long
Fine sand substrate to avoid injury
Need varied diet; cannot survive on "leftovers"
Shoaling; need minimum of six for optimum health and longevity.

"Dwarf Sucker Mouth"
If by this you mean Otocinclus:
Minimum tank size (see BF Loach)
Sand substrate preferred but not totally necessary
Feeds primarily on algae; needs diet of both fresh (blanched cucumber, zucchini, etc.) and dried (algae wafers) food (I buy seaweed sheets and clip to side of tank)
Shoaling; need minimum of six for optimum health and longevity. Very shy and needs shoal for a sense of security. Will let other fish out-compete it for food.
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