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companion for betta



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 8th 05, 01:52 PM
ash
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Default companion for betta

hi

i have a fish bowl for the past 1 month. it is fairly large, can fill
approx 3.5 gallons. i have a single male betta fish in the bowl, we
have a heater for the temperature. Me and my family are quite
frustrated with the absolute inactivity of this betta fish, it mostly
comes up near the top and hangs around the air bubbles (there is a
water plant). is it possible to say add maybe 2 guppy fish in this fish
bowl. we are not interested in a fish tank and would like to keep the
bowl only.

would like to know from you people if it will be possible to add 2
guppies (of the same sex) to our current setup without any undesirable
results. or if the guppies are not a good idea then any other fish
which could help us out of our predicament.

all your feedback will be appreciated, thanks.

Ash.

  #2  
Old March 8th 05, 02:39 PM
Bill
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On 2005-03-08, ash wrote:
would like to know from you people if it will be possible to add 2
guppies (of the same sex) to our current setup without any undesirable
results. or if the guppies are not a good idea then any other fish
which could help us out of our predicament.


Guppies are not a good idea -- with their largish, colorful tails, they
look too much to the betta like another betta, and he'll attack them
(from what I understand). With such a small aquarium, you will be
rather limited on how many other fish to put in it, or else you would
need to do water changes more often.

At least one fish comes to mind right away, but it's a schooling fish
and there's not enough room in your setup for half a dozen of them.
Anyway, I'm interested in the outcome of this thread as well, since I
want to get a betta. I saw a beatiful little red and blue fella last
night, but I was good and didn't get him since I didn't have anything
set up for him yet. I was considering an Eclipse Three system, but I
found out that the current is too fast for most of them. Back to the
drawing board.
  #3  
Old March 8th 05, 02:40 PM
John D. Goulden
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i have a fish bowl for the past 1 month. it is fairly large, can fill
approx 3.5 gallons. i have a single male betta fish in the bowl, we
have a heater for the temperature. Me and my family are quite
frustrated with the absolute inactivity of this betta fish, it mostly
comes up near the top and hangs around the air bubbles (there is a
water plant). is it possible to say add maybe 2 guppy fish in this fish
bowl. we are not interested in a fish tank and would like to keep the
bowl only.

would like to know from you people if it will be possible to add 2
guppies (of the same sex) to our current setup without any undesirable
results. or if the guppies are not a good idea then any other fish
which could help us out of our predicament.


First of all, this is not normal behavior for a betta. They usually are
quite responsive to activity outside their bowl and will greet anyone who
comes by with the "betta dance" even if the visitor doesn't feed him. If
your betta is languid he might be ill. However, if he's blowing bubble nests
this is a good thing; male bettas make bubble nests when they're happy. Is
your heater set to about 78F? That would be about right for a betta; they
can be quite inactive if the water is 74F or cooler. If the water is warm
try showing the betta his reflection in a mirror for a few moments each day;
that might jolt him out of the doldrums.

Second, male bettas are solitary fish. Some will do OK with small tankmates
such as neon tetras, ghost shrimp, or snails but many will not. My own
experience is that many of my bettas developed quite an appetite for snail
and/or shrimp but got on well with neon tetras while others preferred to
have the tank to themselves. Don't put in anything with large flashy fins
that look too much like a male betta (like fancy guppies or mollies) or
other fish known to be fin-nippers (like barbs or tetras) or there will be
trouble. If you really want to add some fish I would try a couple of small
neon tetras first. Bettas and neons generally just ignore each other, and
even if the betta flares at them on occasion the neons can easily scoot
away. However if you are going to put a few neons in with the betta 3.5
gallons is probably too small. If you really want to see active bettas get a
10-gallon, put a mesh divider down the middle, and put a male on each side;
bettas often thrive when they have a "flare buddy" with which they can
interact. Give each one a nice broad-leaf plant and some cover so they can
avoid one another if they wish.

--
John Goulden
mostly guppies, goldies, bettas, and swordtails


  #4  
Old March 8th 05, 06:28 PM
Lisa
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I would also suggest adding a mirror to the back. Sometimes a single
betta will really respond to having a "flare buddy" - even if it's only
his own reflection.

I agree that bettas are very active fish if they have optimum
conditions (very clean water - meaning lots of water changes! - and
warm = 80 degress F). Mine zoom all around, but the single betta I
have is a lot less "swimmy" than the two males I have in a divided 10
gallon.

HTH,

- Lisa

  #5  
Old March 8th 05, 09:15 PM
winddancir winddancir is offline
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First recorded activity by FishkeepingBanter: Jan 2005
Location: California
Posts: 105
Default

Mr. Betta, meat Mr. Guppy, Mr. Guppy becomes meat for Mr. Betta. And guppies can get pretty nippy on tail fins as well. I have 5 in a 5 gal tank, and two of them would have gorgeous tails... except for the dominant two pick on all the others. For non schooling fish, the pecking order is mostly non existant, but there are exceptions.
Maybe a large snail might work. Or put his bowl next to another tank/bowl/whatever.
I agree with Lisa. Mirrors can help. And it seems as if a large number of male bettas like having the occasional "flare buddy".
  #6  
Old March 9th 05, 03:18 AM
Lisa
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I am surprised how much my two divided male bettas seem to enjoy each
other's company. At first, I was concerned that they might both stress
themselves with trying to flare so much in the presence of another
male. However, mostly they ignore each other (although the crowntail
seems a lot more concerned about the brilliant red than the red seems
to care about the crowntail). They flare on occasion, but then go back
to zooming around, seeming quite happy. I have them divided in a
10-gallon with an UGF outlet on each section. Also a heater. Who
would have thought that bettas could be so active? Upping the temp to
79 F did it. They are so beautiful and have such brilliant colors -
too bad you can't have more than one male in a section. Wouldn't a
school of male bettas be something to see? Sigh.

I was hesitant to get bettas because they always seem so droopy and
listless in a pet shop. I didn't want listless bettas hovering at 68 F
- those extra 10-12 degrees make a huge difference, along with a little
aquarium salt and really clean water. They are more active than my
community-tank gouramis - but not my cory cats. LOL

- Lisa

  #7  
Old March 11th 05, 06:13 AM
ash
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hi everybody

thank you all for your replies. well this is what i did . . . it may
not be elegant and we probably threw out of the window everything we
have read up on the internet and newsgroups.

the LFS guy convinced my brother to take home some swordtails. so we
have put in 2 red/orange color swordtails, about 1 inch ones.
we also put the bowl in front of a mirror, although i am not too sure
whether the betta is looking at itself in it.

the setup is only 1 day old, the report upto now is that the betta is
not showing any aggression towards the little ones, the swordtails on
the other hand may be hasseling the betta, they sometimes swim next to
the betta and the betta scoots away.

the swordtails seem to be eating well, the betta is not eating even if
the food is right in front of it (i cannot be sure whether it has
anything to to with the food we are putting in the bowl, it is chinese
food pellets, the floating variety).

the betta's activity level does seem to have gone up a little. it is
still blowing bubbles.

let us see how this shapes us. one thing for sure i cannot have the
swordtails for too long, i.e. once they are upto 2 inch long i will
have to return them maybe... what do you folks think?

thanks

ash

  #8  
Old March 11th 05, 06:49 AM
Elaine T
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ash wrote:
hi everybody

thank you all for your replies. well this is what i did . . . it may
not be elegant and we probably threw out of the window everything we
have read up on the internet and newsgroups.

the LFS guy convinced my brother to take home some swordtails. so we
have put in 2 red/orange color swordtails, about 1 inch ones.
we also put the bowl in front of a mirror, although i am not too sure
whether the betta is looking at itself in it.

the setup is only 1 day old, the report upto now is that the betta is
not showing any aggression towards the little ones, the swordtails on
the other hand may be hasseling the betta, they sometimes swim next to
the betta and the betta scoots away.

the swordtails seem to be eating well, the betta is not eating even if
the food is right in front of it (i cannot be sure whether it has
anything to to with the food we are putting in the bowl, it is chinese
food pellets, the floating variety).

the betta's activity level does seem to have gone up a little. it is
still blowing bubbles.

let us see how this shapes us. one thing for sure i cannot have the
swordtails for too long, i.e. once they are upto 2 inch long i will
have to return them maybe... what do you folks think?

thanks

ash

Sounds good so far. A bubblenest is a good sign. Watch the bettas fins
to be sure they aren't being nipped at at all.

I don't know whether you have any filter in your bowl. To keep the
betta and grown swordtails, you will need a biofilter of some sort. I'd
recommend a small air-driven sponge filter since it won't agitate the
water too much for the betta. You can conceal it with silk plants, or
live ones if the bowl gets sunlight. Avoid plastic plants as the betta
will tear his fins on them.

As long as you have a filter, don't overfeed, and change water once or
twice a week, you might be able to keep the betta and swordtails even
when they're grown. You can tell how the water is doing with a nitrate
test kit. If the nitrates keep going up and up, you have too many fish
and/or are not changing enough water. If your nitrates stay steady,
then you're doing just fine.

--
__ Elaine T __
__' http://eethomp.com/fish.html '__

  #9  
Old March 11th 05, 03:40 PM
Richard Sexton
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let us see how this shapes us. one thing for sure i cannot have the
swordtails for too long, i.e. once they are upto 2 inch long i will
have to return them maybe... what do you folks think?


Are there are any other fish stores near you?

Sword are great fish if you have a few of them by themselevs
in a largish tank but they can be extremely aggressive. THis
varies from fish to fish but I've seen at least one that
could knock the wind out of a pirana her own size. They're
about the last thing I'd put with a betta. In fact I really
can't think of too many fish I'd put with a betta. I've
many of them over the years and they really do seem to do better
in a smallish container with the water changed very frequetly.


--
Need Mercedes parts ? - http://parts.mbz.org
http://www.mbz.org | Mercedes Mailing lists: http://lists.mbz.org
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  #10  
Old March 11th 05, 03:51 PM
IDzine01
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Ash,

Bettas are one of the very few fish that can live in an uncycled bowl.
(Though they greatly benefit from a cycled tank) Generally, if you want
to have tankmates for your betta, it will require a tank with aeration,
filtration and substrate. I can't stress enough the importance of
researching a species before purchasing it and ALWAYS quarantining new
fish for approx. 4 weeks before mixing them in with healthy fish.
Statistically there is a good chance of exposing your betta to any
number of communicable diseases if your don't first quarantine your new
fish.

Tank cycling and fish quarantining are commonplace in the hobby and all
fish keepers should understand their importance.

Swordtails generally do best in 10 - 20 gallon, cycled aquariums,
heavily planted with lots of light. They need lots of room to swim
around and get to be about 4" when full grown. They are not appropriate
for a 3.5 gallon bowl.

I urge you to return your swordtails and begin researching into the
Nitrogen cycle before choosing any tankmates for your betta. Also, I
have to agree with John, if your betta isn't being active and
interactive, then there may be something wrong. Since your bowl isn't
cycled you should be testing your water several times a week for
ammonia and other toxins as well as pH. Perhaps your fish is being
exposed to the invisible, yet deadly toxins commonly present in tanks
that haven't bet cycled.

To get you on your way, here's some information on the Nitrogen Cycle:
http://www.nippyfish.net/nitrogencycle.html
and choosing tankmates for your betta,
http://www.nippyfish.net/tankmates.html

I'm pretty sure you'll be able to keep your 3.5 gallon bowl and make
things work. It just takes a little careful planning. ;-)

 




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