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I'd like to add some critters to my 2.5 gallon betta tank to help control algae. I'm considering adding some Malaysian Trumpet Snails, which I suspect will work. I'm also wondering about adding some Amano shrimp.

Questions
1. Will my betta make a meal out of the shrimp? Bettas are carniverous, after all. On the other hand, they're surface feeders and not aggressive when it comes to eating. Anyone have any betta/shrimp experience?

2. In a tiny 2.5G tank like mine, would adding shrimp be pushing the bioload to its breaking point? According to the 4" of fish per square foot rule, my tank (at half a square foot) is already fully stocked.

Any advice would be much appreciated. You guys rock.

Scott.
 

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Yep, it depends ~ mostly on the temperament of your betta. I have four bettas that will kill ANYTHING that gets near them (for Sarge, my red veiltail, this includes fingers ;) ). But I have two that are so laid back they won't even bother ghost shrimp and, from what I understand, ghosts are a lot smaller than amanos. I'd say get a ghost shrimp first, and if it's not bothered by your betta, get the amanos.

Re: the bioload ~ I doubt a few shrimp would add THAT much to the bioload. Not sure about the snails, but would think they wouldn't add that much either, provided you don't get a population explosion. Can you up the filtration if needed? I'm talking about more filter media and capacity. If you have plants, wouldn't that help up the "fish per gallon/cubic foot" rule? (For the record, I don't know a lot about those stocking rules and don't go by them much since I have bettas.)
 

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Having the tank planted and other ditterfish will keep your betta from going after the shrimp, but if your betta is in a 2.5 with not much plants, it may start toying with shrimps. So I too recommend trying some ghost shrimps first.
 

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Ok, i know they will "try" to eat cherries, but i rescued them first.
ghosts are a good choice to try out, they're cheaper.
I really wouldn't think a betta would hurt the shrimp.
bettas are not even aggressize, they are to other bettas, but that's it, you can put them with about anything that won't hurt them, but sometimes they confuse color and shape and attack someone out of aggression for their oown species.

they may try to hunt the shrimp, but something tells me a full grown amano shrimp wouldn't be in danger, the small ones will though.

RE:Bioload-
a 2.5 with no plants could handle a betta, some snails, and 3 or so shrimp, as long as you're regular with waterchanges.
A 2.5 with moderate-heavy plant load could probally handle a betta, and oto, 3 or so shrimp, and snails.
Shrimp and snails add very very little bioload, especially shrimp. snail poo is mostly algae and plant matter, pretty much the same with shrimp.
MTS(malaysian trumpet snails) i don't know too much about, but i do know they stay in the substrate, so i don't know how good they'd be at algae warfare.
 

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I had a betta in a spacious (for a betta) 5 gallon hex. He continued to pester and chase around the group of 3 corydoras. I thought it would calm down...no! I removed the corys. When I tried to introduce nerite snails, he flared at them for several days and chomp off their antenna. I removed the snails.

Oh, yeah, before he got his own home I tried him in a 75 planted community tank. I took out the female guppies after he tore two of their tails. The betta earned his very own 5 gallon after he took to sizing up and flaring at my 4" Congo tetras, who are easily three times his size. (Stupid betta!) Fortunately for him they just went about their own business and ignored him.

Sometimes I think it doesn't matter how much a fish, (or snail) resembles other bettas. Certain bettas can be very anti-social! It seems to be a complete "crap-shot" as to which kind you'd end up with.
 

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I concur- the temperments of individual Bettta splendens are rather variable. I once had one that would systematically pick off the antannae, followed by the pincers, and then the legs of shrimp, just to do laps around my little aquarium with the poor invertebrate in its mouth. He was obviously pretty proud with himself, but he was a bit scary...:eek:

The shrimp he attacked were nearing the size of full grown Amanos, so I don't know how well even the largest would fare against a determined betta...

On the other hand, I have had a betta that would actually "school" (if you will) with a group of three cherry shrimp. I've had some pretty odd fish...

So, the basic moral of the story is: nobody knows... :icon_cry:
 

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bettas, like most anabantoids, are teritorial by nature. it might be wise to introduce the betta last for this reason. otherwise they will claim the tank and tend to guard it all as their own. any newcomers be warned...
 
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