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30 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone!

I am currently treating my tank to be restocked after i lost my veiltail :-(

I am wondering if anyone has any tips for what to put in my tank as well as how to pick a betta that is calm and able to live in a community tank?

I have 2 local pet shops which stock bettas, one stocks them in small (cruelly small) tanks on their own, the other stocks them in a tank with a large shoal of fish (usually neons). Would the bettas stocked with the neons be better with tank mates? I was thinking i would get the betta and 10 of whatever fish he is in with?

Any tips would be appreciated! I'm really keen to have tank mates this time as my last betta was a fish muncher haha :p

116 Posts
All bettas have different personalities. Some owners here cannot put ANY tankmates with their bettas. My betta tolerates 4 little ghost shrimp (yay!). In a 15 gallon, you can probably comfortable fit a betta and 10 small fish. You can get 10 small shoaling fish, or 5/5 of two different types of fish. Personally, I'd go with 5 pretty neon tetras to swim in the mid-range level of your tank, and 5 julii corycats, otocinculus, or a small pleco (check the adult-size on these, because some get big) to give your tank bottom-dwelling algae-eaters. This grouping provides variety to your tank and distributes the fish along different levels of the tank, which look aesthetically more interesting. Check out algae-eaters here:

And be sure to cycle your tank before adding all these little guys. Maybe even get the betta last so he doesn't have the chance to get territorial with the tank first, but instead learns to share right off the bat :)

21,480 Posts
IME, the most important factor when planning a Betta-based community tank is that it be heavily planted. Most fish (including Betta) don't live in open water but for some reason we humans force them into such an environment. If you turn the tank lights off and leave them off for 30 minutes to an hour after you introduce the new fish you shouldn't have any problems. I currently have three Betta-based community tanks and had no issues with the Betta being the first residents.

Here are some observations:

1. I do fish-in cycling with a Betta
2. I use Seachem Stability to help cycle my tanks and to add when introducing new fish
3. Heavy planting is a "must." It gives the smaller fish a more comfortable environment and places to dart if the Betta gives chase
4. All Betta will occasionally chase tank mates; doesn't mean they are trying to catch and kill. If they do manage to catch and kill is it *usually* a fish/invert that is already compromised or dying
5. A *minimum* of six or seven shoaling fish
6. Don't add new fish until the tank has had an established cycle for a month
7. Test water every to every other day when new fish are added

Here's a great tutorial on cycling:

You have a lot of options in a 15 gallon as long as you have plenty of filtration.

Although I love Neon Tetra and keep them I am not a proponent with Betta as I find them to be fin nippers. Even my Plakat has sustained Neon damage.

I would suggest a minimum of six:
Rasbora (any sort)
Ember Tetra
Habrosus Cories
Pygmy Cories
5 Dwarf Orange Crayfish
5-6 Male Guppies (females, too, if you don't mind a population explosion)
5-6 Platies

In a 15 gallon aquarium, if heavily planted, you could have three shoaling species if they are Micro/Nano fish which stay around 1" in size.
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