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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've done the research on bettas with other fish and know that sometimes they can get along and sometimes they don't.

I currently have a betta in a 20g with 7 neon tetras. I am looking to add some variety but am concerned with the beta getting along.

I've always loved some smaller gouramis, but with their color I am afraid the betta may attack.

Anyways, I am looking for some of your personal experiences with bettas and other fish; mollies, gouramis, platys and different types of tetras or any other fish or shrimp.

I'd rather not send in a "test" fish to see how the betta reacts, so how do you determine what a betta's temper is?
 

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As you may know it depends on the fish itself. If you have a mild tempered Betta then it should be fine with most fish. Now here are my opinions:

Mollies- Would work but Mollies prefer Brackish waters and Bettas dont.

Gouramis- I've seen this done with a Large tank but that were Dwarf Gourami's. I would not try it in a small aquarium, such as your 20g.

Platys- Work great unless you get a swordtail mix. Swordtail mixes get aggresive and tend to be fin nippers. Platys may also get a bit nippy so watch out for this!

Tetras- Most Tetras do fine. I would avoid the larger tetras such as Congo or Buenos Aires tetras as they get large and could harm the betta. Also avoid Serpae, Phantoms, Skirts(black and white), and other fin nipping tetras.

Shrimp-Depends on your betta. A good way to start is to get Ghost shrimp(2 or 3) and see how he reacts to them. Usually if he seems them he will investigate and the rest depends on him.

Other Fish- Cory Cats, Otos, Danios(in a large school and not Giant Danios), Rasboras, and Cherry Barbs work well. For Bottom Feeder a few Cory Cats (3 or 4) and an Oto or two and for accent(depending on your Bettas color) a few Cherry Barbs(male and female).

Does your betta mind the Tetras at all? I would stay away from anything that could possibly have long fins or may resemble the betta as he will try to kill it. Other than that its hit and miss and the most you dois watch the fish carefully.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Right, it is a male.

He has been good with the tetras over the month I have had them. I only witnessed one time where he chased one for a second or two.

I had swordtails in a previous tank and they really are aggressive, so I ruled them out immediately.

I saw a few very small species of gouramis that were very docile and non-aggressive, only I forgot what they were called!!! I was actually visiting some place when I saw them so it wasn't my LFS or I would get the names.

Can you tell me a little more about Rasboras and Cherry Barbs? I always thought that they were on the aggressive side and fin nippers? I always loved them but was too afraid of their attitude.

I think my betta is pretty chill, so I think the most important thing is fish that won't attack the betta.

I read that there are different factors for the beta attacking, but which plays more of a role? Fin size, color or overall size?
 

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Mostly Fin size and flashy colors are equal.

Rasboras(especially Harlequins) are a very awesome choice to compliment a Betta as they are a browish tank color with a little red on them(hardly noticeable though IMO). They stay around 1.5-2" and are an excellent fish to accent a Betta like I had said. Non fin nippers IME..

Cherry Barbs are quite misunderstood. People say they are fin nippers which is not the case, at least IME. Cherry Barbs are...well...red. Well the males are at least. The females are Brown and they tend to be easy to breed(perfect snack for a betta :) ). These are one of the best kinds of Barbs you could have with any long finned fish IMO.

Note: Do not add more than 1 school of fish to such a small tank. It will mak the tank look unsightly and unorganized. Stick to one, and since you have a school of fish already then just get a couple more accent fish!

Also Gourami's and Bettas are in the same family. Even though we do not see any resemblence between them they sure do. I wouldnt suggest adding a gourami into the mix. Besides you have a centerpiece fish(the betta). I would only suggest mixing the two in 40g's and up. Although some people had luck otherwise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Accent fish? Yeah that is a good idea. That is really what I am looking for.

I think I'll save the rasboras and barbs for my next tank.

What type of accent fish would be recommended?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Betta is blue, with a hint of purple and very small hint of red. Substrate is light brown, Schultz aquatic soil, with a front beach of light tan play sand. Will have some swords and microswords in the tank with driftwood.
 

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Ok, bettas are not aggressive fish, they only fight with other males. they should be fine with other fish. there are reports of gouramie and betta conflicts, but minorly.
 

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Hmm, maybe texas' bettas are less aggressive?
All my bettas kept with other fish have been very docile, i mean besides the usuall "get away from the food" chases.
 

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I have a male betta that is in a tank with a female dalmation/marble molly, 4 neon tetras, and 2 zebra danios(used to be a school of them, but after a water change I found 2 dead stuck to the filter intake). I have maybe 1 or 2 ghost shrimp and a couple dwarf crayfish as well.

None of the other inhabitants bother the betta, but the betta seems to pick on/play with(can't tell which they're doing) the molly, and he's eaten every shrimp I've put with him....some shrimp hide real good and they last a little bit longer.

I'd say mollies, zebra danios and the tetras you have should all get along. And if you'd like to have a small cleaner invert, then I'd recommend the dwarf crayfish since my betta seems to have no interest at all in them.

Hope this helps!
 

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I have a male betta that is in a tank with a female dalmation/marble molly, 4 neon tetras, and 2 zebra danios(used to be a school of them, but after a water change I found 2 dead stuck to the filter intake). I have maybe 1 or 2 ghost shrimp and a couple dwarf crayfish as well.

None of the other inhabitants bother the betta, but the betta seems to pick on/play with(can't tell which they're doing) the molly, and he's eaten every shrimp I've put with him....some shrimp hide real good and they last a little bit longer.

I'd say mollies, zebra danios and the tetras you have should all get along. And if you'd like to have a small cleaner invert, then I'd recommend the dwarf crayfish since my betta seems to have no interest at all in them.

Hope this helps!
Just one problem with this. Dwarf Crayfish(like many other crayfish) will be attracted to the fins and try to catch them. I have witnessed this personally in a school tank(Which I will never attempt again). The crayfish caught on to the betta's fins. Its not the betta you have to worry about in this situation but the crayfish.

Now the Molly may or may not be fine. Mollies require Brackish water(and its proven that they can be full marine!), unlike most other fish we would like to keep with them. Not to say that they wont and cant live in fresh water but the fact is that they have shorter lives. This is something I had figured out personally.
 

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Mollies do NOT have shorter lives in freshwater, but really they do best in brakish. They are fresh,brackish, and saltwater fish in one.

the crays aren't really fin nippers in my experience. i have endlers, a zebra blenny, and a cory in with my DC's and when a fish gets close they walk away. DC's (Camberallus shufeltii) are one of the most peaceful inverts in aquaria imo.
if you hold one in your hand, instead of pincing you, they push away from you with the claws.

Most fish the size of a batta would happily chow down a small soft inert like a shrimp, it's what they eat in the wild.

Zabak- if you are worried about your betta being aggressive, don't out anything with him that is small and slow enough for him to catch.
If he can't catch it, he can't harrass it.
 

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Mollies do NOT have shorter lives in freshwater, but really they do best in brakish. They are fresh,brackish, and saltwater fish in one.
That is from my experience as I had said :proud:. I had bred Mollies acclimatd half the babies to Brackish and the other half stayed in fresh. Now they were the same age. The water quality was in check(nitrates were under 10 ppm, nitrites were 0, and ammonia was 0. Im reading it out of my journal now!) There were no changes in water chemistry at all and no diseases had struck. The tanks were 20g's each so size was not a major stop in freshwaters lives. The fresh water lived 4 years and the Brackish Lived 5. My main Hypothesis was would different salinity's affect life and I had proven to some extent my hypthesis.

dufus said:
the crays aren't really fin nippers in my experience. i have endlers, a zebra blenny, and a cory in with my DC's and when a fish gets close they walk away. DC's (Camberallus shufeltii) are one of the most peaceful inverts in aquaria imo.
if you hold one in your hand, instead of pincing you, they push away from you with the claws.
Then that must have been one bad cray lol. Thanks for clearing that up!

dufus said:
Most fish the size of a batta would happily chow down a small soft inert like a shrimp, it's what they eat in the wild.
True, although some prefer to get the easier stuff(ie flake and pellet) ;)

dufus said:
Zabak- if you are worried about your betta being aggressive, don't out anything with him that is small and slow enough for him to catch.
If he can't catch it, he can't harrass it.
Agreed
 

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There are several species of dwarf crayfish that look like C.shuffeltii, a few of which i believe are aggressive.

Actually, i bet a fish would rather have a tasty shrimp than some cruddy flakes. It's like the difference between blackened tuna steaks and fish sticks.
 

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There are several species of dwarf crayfish that look like C.shuffeltii, a few of which i believe are aggressive.

Actually, i bet a fish would rather have a tasty shrimp than some cruddy flakes. It's like the difference between blackened tuna steaks and fish sticks.
I bet thats where the fin grasping dwarf cray factor comes into play.

Hmmm, maybe its just my Betta lol.
 
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