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Betta fish in planted nano tank. Maintenance help, please?

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Hi all! :)

First of all, I'm new here, so nice to meet you!

I started a 2.5 gallon planted nano tank two weeks ago, and by now is more or less cycled enough to add my red dragon betta fish, Shakespeare.

My plants started "melting" at some point to adjust to the new environment, so I added an Amano shrimp and red cherry shrimp as a clean up crew. But once my betta was in the tank, he just kept attacking the shrimp! Shakespeare actually sticks his head and body into the amazon sword plant to scare the shrimps out of hiding!

I left them overnight, hoping it was just an adjusting process. But in the morning, I decided to take the shrimps out since the betta's assaults have not stopped. The poor RCS had turned pale from stress!

I would really really love to have at least one shrimp in the tank, for the sake of cleaning up the plant detritus. I'm hoping to re-introduce the amano shrimp after a few days. But I'm worried my betta wouldn't stand for it!

Has anyone had any success keeping a betta and clean-up shrimp in a nano tank? Or if not, any advice on how I can clean-up/reduce/maintain a planted tank without a clean up crew?

Thanks so much guys!
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I had 5 ghost shrimp in my 5g nano tank with my betta. He made snacks of them all. After that he wouldn't even eat regular betta food and would only eat freeze-dried mysis shrimp and frozen blood worms.

I think your shrimpies need a new home without a neighbor who will eat them. :)
 

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Yikes! X_X

Sad to hear that. Funny this happens to us, but my sister has a 2.5 gallon tank housing 1 bette, and 4 amano shrimps. No fights at all...

How unpredictable these betta personalities are...
It's true! And my current Betta won't touch mysis shrimp, so I wonder if he'd be ok with small shrimp in the tank...but I won't risk it.
 

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Sid's mostly just gotten curiously close to one of the new shrimp in his tank. They get defensive and tell him to shove off. I think he mostly gets near them to show who's boss. Though, I won't be angry if he eats one of them...trying not to get attached!
 

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I introduced approx. 15 RCS to a 5G betta tank over the weekend. It is heavily planted with a carpet of S repens, driftwood with anubias and java fern, and stems of ludwigia palustris/repens that perfectly match the shrimp's red coloration. I figured there would be plenty of hiding spots, but......

The little bugger immediately went on the hunt, and so far has managed to eat at least half of them. And it isn't just opportunistic - he actively stalks the edge of the S repens carpet just waiting for them to poke their head out before striking. His success rate is low (half moon, so relatively poor swimmer) but he makes up for that by being at it constantly, even after lights-out.

He does not seem to be particularly aggressive under normal circumstances, but he is *extremely* food oriented, even by betta standards. I guess this was the red flag...... :/
 

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I introduced approx. 15 RCS to a 5G betta tank over the weekend. It is heavily planted with a carpet of S repens, driftwood with anubias and java fern, and stems of ludwigia palustris/repens that perfectly match the shrimp's red coloration. I figured there would be plenty of hiding spots, but......

The little bugger immediately went on the hunt, and so far has managed to eat at least half of them. And it isn't just opportunistic - he actively stalks the edge of the S repens carpet just waiting for them to poke their head out before striking. His success rate is low (half moon, so relatively poor swimmer) but he makes up for that by being at it constantly, even after lights-out.

He does not seem to be particularly aggressive under normal circumstances, but he is *extremely* food oriented, even by betta standards. I guess this was the red flag...... :/
Ha, sounds just like my late Half-Moon. I never once saw him flare at any of his tank occupants, but he loved shrimp. I didn't get too upset, mostly envious. I developed a crustacean allergy in the past decade, so at least one of us got to enjoy shrimp. ;)

Bump:
Lots of people successfully keep otos with Bettas
Not in a tiny tank, though, maybe...? Don't Otos require 10 or more gallons? That was always my understanding, otherwise I'd have one in my 5. Instead I have a nerite snail who does a decent job of keeping the glass clean. I vac the gravel with weekly water changes.
 

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My male betta stressed my Amano shrimp to death, and my female betta swallowed a male cherry so big that the tip of his head and his antennas stuck out of her mouth. It took her 8 hours to digest enough of him to be able to close her mouth again (yes I kept track).
I know people who have Cherry, Ghost, or Amano shrimp in with bettas, but so far I haven't had luck. I'm guessing larger shrimp might stand a better chance than smaller ones, but even the larger ones can get stressed to death if the betta doesn't leave them alone (like my male's Amano). I'm guessing it's hit and miss - though if your betta goes for one type of shrimp he will probably go after larger ones too, and while he can't eat them as is he may be prone to nipping at their antennas/legs/tail and kill them that way.

Personally I'm considering adding ramshorn snails or horned nerites to my male betta's tank (my female has a zebra nerite cleaning up).
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Everyone! thanks for your amazing response!

From the sound of it, looks like betta personalities are hard to predict, though safe to assume they would be aggressive. It baffles me, because my sister's 2.5 gallon tank houses one betta and 4 amano shrimp, and nothing is happening!

Funny thing though, later that night when i removed the shrimps from the tank, I caught the betta nuzzling into the amazon sword plant, like he was making it his bed. This is now his preferred spot to rest.

So now it got me thinking, maybe he was attacking the shrimp because he wanted the amazon sword spot for himself. The shrimp also loved it there, because it was the biggest, and most dense aqua plant. Anyway, I figured this meant planting more dense stem plants and the like, perhaps it would placate the betta's aggression (which may have been linked to territorial preferences).
 

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From the sound of it, looks like betta personalities are hard to predict.
Very true. My Betta was too slow to catch the RCS I had in with him (5 gallon) and it ended up stressing him out more then the shrimp. Was patrolling back and forth and trying to chase any kind of movement (even if it was a leaf). Swear he never rested.

Separated them and all is well. Fine with just a nerite in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Entz,

do nerites eat detritus and dying plants? because that's what I need, as the tank is newly planted and some plants are melting off the old for the new.

I've never had snails before, because they freak me out. And I heard they eat live plants, which would hurt my planting...

Thanks!!

Bump: By the way, some might be interested to know: I spoke to a reputed betta seller in my city, and he had an interesting explanation for why some betta are more aggressive/territorial than others.

Some breeders, like Thai breeders (who make the best of the best bettas), tend to raise betta fry and juvies in small individual jars. This makes them easier to groom one by one, but it also instills a more solitary nature in betta fish. Hence towards adulthood they become very territorial, aggressive to all other livestock.

On the other hand some breeders, like the guy I'm talking to, raise their betta fry and juvies in community tanks. Usually, bettas kept in the same tank during their hatching are not as aggressive to each other, and can cope with co-existence. This isn't the most efficient when it comes to grooming, but it "trains" bettas to adapt to community tanks...

'hope you guys found that interesting! :)

Bump: whoa! 15 rcs is a lot for a 5 g tank! O_O

I had an assumption that the smaller the number of other entities in the tank, the less aggressive/stressed a betta will be...

I could be wrong. But that's what I have heard from some tankers..
 
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