Aquarium filled with beta fish possible if all brother/sisters? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-07-2016, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
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Aquarium filled with beta fish possible if all brother/sisters?

Hello.

I vaguely remember someone telling me that you could actually have an aquarium full of beta fish as long as they were all brother/sister fish which were in the aquarium since they were hatched.

Does anyone know if that is true? If you have a breeding pair and simple keep the baby betta in the same tank, they will all get along and not have the normal fight to the death normally associated with multiple male bettas ?

Thanks.

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-07-2016, 08:37 AM
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You have to leave the male in to maintain order as the fry grow. The male fry usually won't fully develop their fins unless they are separated. You can read about it here.

Some people have had success with multiple unrelated adult males in large tanks with lots of cover. But it's very risky. I've often wondered what would happen if you bred bettas to be less aggressive. I know fight breeders breed for aggression, so I imagine it could be done in the opposite direction, culling the most aggressive fry until you had broods that didn't need the father to keep the peace.

It's worth noting that in the wild, bettas do not fight to the death. The loser leaves the winner's territory and goes on to challenge another day. They're a lot like cichlids - territorial, not murderous. You'll get the same problem if you let angelfish or rams spawn in too small of a tank. They kill the other fish because the tank is too small for the others to get out of the claimed territory and stop triggering the attack instinct.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-07-2016, 04:44 PM
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I've heard lots of stories, but haven't seen much proof that it works over time. I've 'heard' of people putting one male in with three or five females and it works. I've 'heard' of a couple of females in with many males. My bet is that it is a major risk, likely to end in deaths unless they are watched almost continuously, and it probably falls into chaos within months unless there are mitigating factors, such as large tanks, changes in scenery often, major amounts of cover throughout the tank, other more aggressive fish in the tank they are scared of, and taking out the aggressors to change hierarchy before putting them back in after a week or so. Over the years I've had successful sorority tanks, but only after I take out the offenders and play 'musical chairs' with hierarchy over a period of weeks, adding fish sometimes, giving other fish away because they are bullied too much and will be killed if I left them in the tank. It's a hot potato of a subject! Most people have day jobs and cannot watch their fish all day. So it isn't going to be common practice at all.

I'm currently running a test tank 55g with 7 male bettas. I would not call this tank a success at all, because in the month or more that it has been running, I have had major issues and had to pull all of the fish out and separate them for a few days before adding them back in or else they would have fought endlessly. Currently, it is so edgy of a tank that I have to watch almost 24/7 to make sure there are no deaths/fights. If it settles down over time, and runs for a few years without issue, THEN it may be considered a successful tank.

I'm sceptical that it will ever be successful. I doubt they know the difference between a brother or a 'nuther'.

Last edited by AWolf; 03-07-2016 at 04:58 PM. Reason: edit
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-07-2016, 05:08 PM
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Bettas are Siamese fighting fish, they got that name because they were bred for generations for aggression-given the instinct/inherit disposition to want to attack and kill another betta when put together. Though they are *mostly* bred as pets now that aggression is still in them, male and females alike. Putting them together is ill-advised and I really can't believe will end well.
The fact the breeders serape males (and even females sometimes as there are more aggressive ones) while still fry/young juvies to individual cups/jars/whatever is a good hint you should keep them apart. Why would breeders put out the extra effort/cost of separating if they didn't need to? Because trust me, they would not if they could keep them all together instead, would save sooo much more time, money, and space.. but that's not the case.. and breeders typically (speaking of breeding farms-massive breeding programs overseas) just want to get them grown enough to sell, they don't care about comfort of the fish, just keeping it alive.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-07-2016, 07:51 PM
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Bettas weren't bred for aggression. Originally, Thai people didn't breed their fighters, they caught them, 'trained' them (swirling the water in their bowls so they had to swim against a current), fought them, and them put them back in the wild. Eventually they started breeding them, but they would still take fish from the wild, as well as put captive bred fish back. In that way, the wild bettas have been influenced by captive breeding, but their aggression is innate and existed long before people discovered it.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-08-2016, 04:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpaceLord View Post
Hello.

I vaguely remember someone telling me that you could actually have an aquarium full of beta fish as long as they were all brother/sister fish which were in the aquarium since they were hatched.

Does anyone know if that is true? If you have a breeding pair and simple keep the baby betta in the same tank, they will all get along and not have the normal fight to the death normally associated with multiple male bettas ?

Thanks.
Yes you could actually have an aquarium full of Betta as long as they were all brother/sister fish which were in the aquarium since they were hatched. Yes I know that is true because I have done it 3 times already. No you don't keep the breeding pair and the baby Betta in the same tank, at the very least you must remove the female. Yes they will all get along. There is no "normal fight to the death normally associated with multiple male bettas." Given the opportunity the losing Betta will flee.

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Originally Posted by Fishly View Post
You have to leave the male in to maintain order as the fry grow. The male fry usually won't fully develop their fins unless they are separated. ...
No you don't have to leave the male in to maintain order as the fry grow. That sounds like a child's bedtime story or some John Lennon song. Male Plakat fry fully develop their fins regardless of whether or not they are separated. I can't speak to the long-finned variety, I've only bred them to use their eggs as feeders.

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Originally Posted by AWolf View Post
I've heard lots of stories, but haven't seen much proof that it works over time. ...
Then why don't you try it? I'll warn you though, the more 1st hand experience you gain the more you'll realize that this Internet thing is increasingly becoming awash with armchair experts regurgitating hogwash.

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Originally Posted by AquaAurora View Post
...
The fact the breeders serape males (and even females sometimes as there are more aggressive ones) while still fry/young juvies to individual cups/jars/whatever is a good hint you should keep them apart. Why would breeders put out the extra effort/cost of separating if they didn't need to? Because trust me, they would not if they could keep them all together instead, would save sooo much more time, money, and space.. but that's not the case.. and breeders typically (speaking of breeding farms-massive breeding programs overseas) just want to get them grown enough to sell, they don't care about comfort of the fish, just keeping it alive.
Not true. Read the last 9 paragraphs of the following webpage: Siamese cyberAquarium, Types of plakatthai Yes it concerns Betta smaragdina specifically and not Betta splendens, however it can be applied to any of the 7 species in the Splendens complex, which are all interbreedable.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-08-2016, 06:53 AM
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We aren't warning the OP about betta aggression just because we want to spoil his fun or suppress the growth of the hobby. We want to prevent him from making a mistake that could cost him his fish's lives.

Can you tell us in detail how you raised your three spawns and how you kept the fry together without fights breaking out?

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Last edited by Fishly; 03-08-2016 at 07:24 AM. Reason: Typo
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-08-2016, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by jaliberti View Post

Then why don't you try it? I'll warn you though, the more 1st hand experience you gain the more you'll realize that this Internet thing is increasingly becoming awash with armchair experts regurgitating hogwash.

.
Now that it's springtime, and I can work outside with more tanks, I just might. My armchair is making my butt hurt.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-08-2016, 03:05 PM
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I have kept many species of fishes that juveniles got along fairly well, until such time as they became sexually mature.
Then thing's can get very unpredictable.
I believe the expieriment would have fairly predictable outcome as the fishes mature.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-08-2016, 03:16 PM
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I have kept many species of fishes that juveniles got along fairly well, until such time as they became sexually mature.
Then thing's can get very unpredictable.
I believe the expieriment would have fairly predictable outcome as the fishes mature.
That's what I'm thinking. There were no updates or articles about these tanks over a year period. The amount of chaos and competition between males trying to breed with the females would be off the charts, and I can imagine a tank of brothers and sisters turning into a nightmare of fighting. A pond of 10,000 gallons, would probably work for one family of fry.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-08-2016, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by jaliberti View Post
Not true. Read the last 9 paragraphs of the following webpage: Siamese cyberAquarium, Types of plakatthai Yes it concerns Betta smaragdina specifically and not Betta splendens, however it can be applied to any of the 7 species in the Splendens complex, which are all interbreedable.
Your link talks about breeding/rearing for aggression and fighting, how does that prove you can keep betta splendens in a tank together peacefully?
before last 9 paragraphs
Quote:
From the struggles for life, to living with various predators, this time in the wild gradually teaches the green fighter how to defend its territory and fight. Only the strongest survive. The weak shall die.
in last 9 paragraphs:
Quote:
The breeder just leaves the fighters to struggle for survival on their own. There is no food supplied by the breeder. Only the strongest of the fighters are preserved and continue to flourish.
If anything the link proves my point more. It talks about the breeder leaving all the fish together and letting them duke it out to survive by fighting and killing/starving out others.
Perhaps you copy pasted the wrong link? Because it seems to prove my point rather than dispute it.

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-08-2016, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by jaliberti View Post
Yes you could actually have an aquarium full of Betta as long as they were all brother/sister fish which were in the aquarium since they were hatched. Yes I know that is true because I have done it 3 times already. No you don't keep the breeding pair and the baby Betta in the same tank, at the very least you must remove the female. Yes they will all get along. There is no "normal fight to the death normally associated with multiple male bettas." Given the opportunity the losing Betta will flee.
In a 55g tank, would you say that you could keep about 10 males and 10 females from the same brood, throughout adulthood? Or would it have to be less? When you did it, did you keep them for years, and did they try to breed? So many questions! Thanks!
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