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Hawkie needs friends

  • A dull platie addition

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We've had Hawkie, the Betta, for eight months. His friends include three cory cats and three (possibly 4) dwarf plecos. Everyone has been in the same 5.5 gallon tank for at least two months. One day Hawkie stayed under a rock for nearly the whole day, and I knew there must be a toxic air bubble that is allowing him to stay under for so long, as I removed the bubble, Hawkie became terrified as somewhere in the mix, his top fin tore off. It was so depressing.
The next day, I bought freshwater salt and a one gallon hospital tank. When I put the net in the water to transfer him, he first played dead, yes, he was jumping up as if he was choking and falling over. Once the acting was over, he came to terms with me and swam willingly into the net and sat in there until I was sure he wasn't scared. Well the one gallon ruined his life and every routine we had. I tried to do the first water change with him in the tank and the rocks on the bottom nearly collapsed on him, now I only siphon the water. He hated me for a while.
When he moved back into his home, things still were off, he still didn't want to eat. His one eye looked a little off, maybe still swollen? So I didn't take him out of the tank for further treatment. Rather, I put bettafix in the tank for an entire week. By the end of the week he had trouble swallowing pellets so we continue to stay with pellets and bloodworms, sometimes even flakes, but it is hard to track weather or not they are eaten. He still runs and hides when the lid is lifted to feed him. He does like when I talk him into eating, that is the only way it seems he'll eat. We're getting there... Anyways I have another larger tank to transfer any fish I may need to rid of from the Hawkie tank. But it just seems like Hawkie needs a little more coaxing. I have so many bottom dwellers, my betta even is found at the bottom when he is in better moods. I am staring at my dullest colored platie and thinking maybe I should put one of those in the tank to chirp up this drowsy mood.
My 5.5 gallon has two albino, small corys, one pepperjack cory, and you barley ever see the dwarf plecos (do they even count in the inch of fish per gallon rule?) I really just want Hawkie to be happy! I'll do whatever it takes! He used to be so interested in everything, now he is STILL recovering. By the way, my one albino consistently looks like he is feeding at the surface of the water... what is going on? I know they like to jump up for air, but he is always up there!
 

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If you think Hawkie is ready to go back in the tank, you may want to get a nerita snail and remove the other fish from the tank. Bettas don't always need buddies. A brightly colored snail can provide hours of fun. The Betta will flair at it and display his fins. Other fish could be stressing him out which could be why he was hiding.
 

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Yeah leave him alone in his tank
Bett as are territorial and don't like crowds specially in such a little tank

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If you really want him to be happy (as well as your other fish) bring all the other fish back or put them in another (LARGER) tank. As far as Hawkie, give him some live plants, get rid of any decorations with sharp edges that could hurt his delicate fins, and if you are really set on him having "friends", get a snail.
 

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No pleco should be in a tank that small, especially not 4 of them! The inch per gallon rule doesn't work, plecos make a lot more poop (biol load aka ammonia) than the same length in.. ANY other fish, only one comparable to it in poop-monstery is the oscar. The smallest tank a small breed pleco (single) shoudl be kept in is in the 20g range and going up fast from there to give enough water to dilute all that poop.
As for corys, unless its pygmy/dwarf (which yours are not) they need to go too, they need 20+G and a group of 6 or more. I would not even advice 6 pygmies in a 5g.. better to have a 10g.
Putting a female betta in the male betta's tank with the intention of permanent resident will lead to one of them being dead. Betta are very territorial and aggressive. When they are bred, females are only introduced for a short period and monitored carefully to avoid someone getting shredded or killed. They are removed immediately after mating, as the male will get very protective of the bubble nest full of her eggs, and kill her.
 

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Agree not all bettas like company... they are territorial and the other fish stress them
Anyway it is too much bioload for such small tank
 

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An albino cory constantly at the surface is gasping for air. That's bad. It means something is preventing him from breathing properly... test your water. Also, how warm is the tank? Bettas like it too warm for cories.
Your tank is overstocked. Definitely remove all the other fish. Also, the other fish need much more space, and the cories need to be in groups.
A male betta will kill a female if he's not interested in breeding or if she doesn't go away after breeding.
In a tank that size, the only potential betta companion is a nerite snail or two. Bettas are fairly solitary fish, they don't make friends.
And yes, something counts on the bio-load even if you don't see it.
 
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