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I have an empty 40 gallon tank currently cycling, what could I put in there that would work with my Betta? So far I was thinking
10 Lemon Tetras
5 Red Phantom
20 Neons Tetras
5 ottos
5 Panda Corys

The tank is well maintained and has
Good filtration. I can decrease the size of the schools of necessary, but I want something with more size... Gourami? Or maybe even a more docile cichlid. Obviously nothing that will nip at the Betta, any suggestions?
 

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No Gourami or any other Anabantoid- Bettas and Gouramis are both territorial about the upper area. They are closely related and have many similar behaviors.

I would not get 3 schools of Tetras in this size tank. 2 are OK.

Do some research about the Lemon Tetras. When I had them they were peaceful enough, but I have seen some people report nipping.

Make sure the store does not sell you Serpae Tetras instead of the Red Phantoms.

'Docile' is not a word usually associated with Cichlids, but perhaps a pair of Bolivian Rams? They are territorial about the bottom, and just in the area where their nest is.
 

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Depending on the temperament of the Betta, it may not get along with anything else in the tank. Some are just plain mean ans will hunt/harass/kill other fish. If you're lucky enough to have a docile/tolerant betta, know that they can flip at any time and start hunting/chasing other fish (a better owner on another forum reported this after a year of eh same betta +school in a tank, no changes.. suddenly ti started hunting and killing the others). DOa lot of research on the other fish you want to use, do not use anything to darty/hyper and nothing that has any reports of being nippy. I've read the larger/broader tetra and barb species tend to be more nippy than the torpedo shaped ones.. but have heard reports of neon tetra nipping too. The phantoms would worry me from your stocking list.
Also be mindful about hardscape/decor as betta fins are ridiculously delicate (rub a nylon stocking over anything that is not live plants/substrate int he tank, rub at every angle over every inch of it. If the nylon snags slightly or full blown rips, betta fins will shred on that. Small pointed/dub tips of branch-y driftwood can also catch and rip fins even if not particularly sharp.
 

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It all depends on the Betta's personality. From reading different blogs and information, I'd say you should pick fish that swim in a different part of the tank than the Betta. Since they are labyrinth fish, they'll prefer to be near the top, but can also traverse most anywhere in the tank. So out of your selection, I would say get quiet, peaceful fish like Corys or Otos. Shrimp and/or snails may be a better choice because they will be good in helping to maintain algae control and they aren't fish that might threaten the Betta's swim space.

Also, making sure that your tank is heavily planted and that there are plenty of hiding places for your other fish is very important.

So far, from my personal experience, I have a 10 gallon heavily planted tank with 1 Betta male, 3 Juli Corys, and several Amano shrimp. I introduced the Corys and shrimp first to give them the run of the tank for a few days. Then I introduced the Betta - in a breeder basket. That way he can see the other fish, but can't get at them. From this point, this is how I would gauge his personality towards the other fish. If he was super aggressive, then he definitely would not go in the community tank. However, the one I have flared a bit at first, but then he seemed to accept that he is not the only fish in this tank. And so far, I've had a successful community. The Corys will swim into his space sometimes when they go up and down the tank, and he just ignores them.
 

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In my clinic office we have a Betta with 1 male and 3 female platies. Everyone gets along fine. (except the betta jumped out the other day and tried to die, silly fish).

Ben
 
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