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betta community tank?

10249 Views 11 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Mangala
My parents have just bought me a 71 liter tank thats approx 16 gallons
i think.I'm so excited!!!
So want to get a few Betta females for that one. I need a little help as I want
that tank to be a community tank and am getting confused about tank
mates for the girls? So many sites conflict and now my brain
hurts.Which fish do you all suggest?
Also how many fish can a 71l take? How do you work that out?

Thank you any help will be appreciated:fish1:
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If this is your first tank, go with a small group of tetras. I would have no more than 4 tetras in a tank of 16g and then you can have a few cherry shrimp too! (which I read that you would love to have)
Make sure to give the tank and filter media time to create beneficial bacteria (at least 1 month) before adding fish. This will save you time and heartache in the future.

What filter do you have?
read up on fishless cylce saves you alot of work :proud:
smalll live bearers esp. guppys or platys do well. or I agree small tetras.
small corys
Sorority (female betta) tanks are a hit and miss. Sometimes they work great. Sometimes they don't. And sometimes they change between the two. Here's somethings to consider:

1. Can you tell the difference between a female and a short fin male? Most stores can't. They often sell short fin males as females...which of course dont work in sorority tanks and leads to dead fish.

2. Do you have the means to completely fill the tank with plants, decorations and what not? You will need a TON of GOOD hidding places.

3. Do you have a backup plan in case worst comes to worst? Even the best betta keepers fail at sorority tanks sometimes...because it really comes down to the fish...not you.

That being said, if you still want to try it then I'd suggest 6-10 girls for a 15ish gallon tank. And if you are new to fish keeping, I wouldn't do a community in that tank as 6-10 girls will pretty much stock it. Otherwise, otocinclus do well with bettas. An experienced keeper might try 6 girls and 3 otos. Not ideal, but not bad.

Personally I've kept male bettas for a long time, when I tried a sorority I failed because:

1. Had too few fish, only 3.
2. Had no good hiding spots, others could always see part of the fish they were chasing so they kept chasing.
3. One of the 3 was actually a male :p I lose gg.
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Sectoid command is right some girls won’t work in the tank. So you do have to have a plan “B”. I would ask the store what their return policy is. Big chain stores like Petsmart and Petco have 14-15 day return policy so if it doesn’t look like it is going to work out you can exchange them otherwise you are going to have a lot of bowls or small tanks around your house. The Petsmart near me has a tank with just females. If you can find a store that does that also it may be helpful to pick from that tank. At least that way you can watch the fish for a while and notice if they are really nasty. I know they have to occasionally move a fish out of that tank because they are just too aggressive.

I have heard that you should keep a lot of females but I had great luck with just having two in my 28 gallon community tank. They spared at first but once they figured out who was dominant they were fine and they were often together. I kept them with swords, platies, ottos, and rasboras. Don’t expect to have babies from the livebearers if you have bettas. My girls actively hunt down every fry and bettas love to try and fit in small spaces that would be a safe haven from most fish. The dominant one also killed shrimp while my male is fine with them in his 5 gallon.

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I have also had great success with a "harem" tank - where I have one male in with 4 or 5 females - pretty heavily planted with driftwood with holes in it and lots of fast growing plants. this was a 30 gallon tank with otos and some snails as well. I noticed having the snails to pick on seemed to reduce the aggression of the bettas towards each other. Frightened betta girls get horizontal lines and tend to try to hang out with the otos... Especially if they are small girls... um...

I'm not sure if a "harem" tank is great for all, however. This is with an older male who at first wasn't doing very well in his bowl and I thought he was going to die, so I thought, "well, we'll just put him in retirement until he does finally pass" and after a while, he got healthier from the extra exercise and he's STILL alive today (nearly a year later) which is a long time for a betta... Total time owning this betta is about 2.5 years, and they're usually around 6 months when you get them at the store. I keep expecting him to die in the night and he just doesn't. right now he's living with half-dollar sized angelfish and a single betta female doing just fine... It's so weird... His fins aren't even nipped off.

I've also had a single male with a single female in a 20 gallon tank with lots of plants.

Bettas don't really kill each other as much as everyone says they do.
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most people agree that a harem tank is a very likely way to get your females or males killed. they ussually ust dont work, and I would have to say that the male AND females would all have to be either raised together (and never seperated) or all by VERY calm and docile.

smallfry woods, if you are new to bettas, or fishkeeping in general then I def. wouldnt recommend a sorority tank, as they require being able to tell if the fish are ready to be introduced and also being able to treat for infection that will come from nipped fins. also keep in mind that about 35% of the time it wont work.

if you are new to fish keeping then try some live bearers and/ or tetras. in a 16g tank you could keep maybe 6 tetras and 6 guppies (all males if you dont want babies, or 2 males and 3 females if you dont mind them). or if you wanted to keep a betta then get a passive males and 6 harlequen rasboras, along w/ 4 panda cories or 6 dwarf cories.

if you do bettas then I would keep 6-7 females and 5-7 dither fish (danios, small tetras, ect). female bettas are much the same as males, just with shorter fins. any aggressive, fast moving fish are a no no (this leaves out nippy danios) and anything slower then them is likely to get picked on. also, heavily planting the tank would be a good way to keep aggression down by providing lots of territory.
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Bettas have very different personalities. I have had a betta that would ignore shrimp, and I have had a betta that would attack fish bigger than it.

I disagree with having 4 tetras in a 16g. I have 9 in a 10g. Tetras need to be in schools larger than 5, or else they feel stressed. As long as you stock slowly and plant heavy, it will be fine.

Read up on fishless cycling, get yourself a decent (dropper, not test strip) test kit. When you have your tank fully cycled, go get your fish, and acclimate them slowly. Read up on drip acclimation, this will save you trouble and money later.
I just read a nice article on the Toronto Willowdale Aquarium Society--

Basically, I learned that combinations of male / female bettas together in an enclosed space for prolonged lengths of time is never a good thing. They will fight to the death.

Remember, they come from rice paddy fields--even though they need very little water to survive in the wild, they still have room to swim and escape from other bettas after aggressive encounters.

Keeping them in community tanks, they will be prone to being nipped by most other fish because of their long, wavy fins. This either results in 2 things--1. the betta is so stressed out from being nipped it loses all its fins and dies prematurely, 2. the betta decides to fight back and becomes aggressive towards other fish.

In the end it's better to have them physically separate from other fish. I say keeping them together can work--but it takes a lot of balancing from the fishkeeper's part.
I've kept various female betta in my 30 gal community tank, and like it was said before, they each have their own personalities. Some did great together, and some not at all. At one point, I only had 2 female betta in the 30g tank and 1 was constantly harrassing the other. It got to the point where the other female betta was constantly in hiding, so I just took her out and put her in my office tank. Now I have 1 male betta in my community tank (w/ no females) and he's doing pretty good.
Just wanted to put a disclaimer on my previous post about the harem tank: I've been keeping bettas for years. really.

So when I had one that seemed listless, bored, wouldn't even bother an apple snail... THAT's when I put him in with the females... And, yes, very heavily planted with fast growing plants, driftwood, lots of hiding places, and honestly, 3 females and 1 male in a 30 gallon tank is a little more than the normal understocking. ;)

The effect was very pretty... lots of green with the occasional flash of bright red, blue, white or purple-ish. It lasted for a year. I'm down to just one of that group left.

No, I shouldn't have mentioned this option before... Not exactly the right kind of undertaking for a novice with Bettas.
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