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This thread is for those who have/had either a female sorority tank or a male betta in a community aquarium. There seems to be a lot of contradicting information on the subject. People seem hell-bent on insisting that ALL bettas be housed alone. I currently have two bettas, a half moon double tail who shares a low tech 29 with 4 corys, 6 nerites, 1 oto, and 10 black neon tetras. I also have a marble king male who is housed in a 5.5 gallon low tech with 2 nerite snails. The King used to be in a 20 long community with cory cats but that tank was tore down and he was moved to my 5.5. The king is aggressive, patrols his territory, and attacks anything (living ir not) with bright colors. The half moon double tail is extremely passive, lounges amongst the foliage in the community and let's the cory cats lay all over him. Tell me about your tanks! Your expirence with community bettas. Anything you learned as a result? In my personal opinion stocking with a betta is similar to stocking with any other aggressive/semi aggressive fish. I see the most success being in tanks that ate 20 gallons + and planted. I also have had more success with long finned bettas in the community due to their slow moving nature.
 

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Kinda Success
One of my betta 'community' tank is a 2g cookie jar with a very mello delta tail male betta (he's NEVER flared in his life) and a few cherry shrimp. He's eaten shrimplets (as the population has not really grown, but I've seen babies in the past) but doesn't aggressively hunt the adults, though he will follow them if they do the darty backwards swim-more curious about the sudden movement than thinking 'food' from the way he acts. Been going for 1.5..2 years?

Fails
I kept 1 male double tail halfmoon betta in a 20g long densely planted community tank for a few months until I set him up a separate solo tank. Not the best combination but I had him in with white cloud mountain minnows.. they're not really comparable temperature wise but I split the difference at about 74F tank temp while the betta was in with them. This was while the white clouds were still adolescent/juvies.
During his time in the tank the betta stayed on the calm side of the tank away from the filter. He had no issues eating his own food and ignoring the white clouds meal (betta's food was usually better) unless he finished early/I fed white clouds later than him then he's steal a bit of theirs. He did not bother the white clouds and they didn't seem to notice he was there.
I saw no issues until the white clouds got to sexual maturity, then they started going after the betta's fins. His fins were already looking rather rough because he liked to trim them himself to make it easier to swim, but I watched the white clouds nip him at feeding time several times and so I moved him. Took the heater out when he left the 20g and the white clouds got right to work making babies!
The betta now has a heated filtered 2.5g tank to himself on a windowsill with lucky bamboo, pothos, and philodendron sucking up nitrogen. He's quite happy but still keeps his caudal (tail) fin at plakat length =.=

I tried keeping large shrimp (ghost shrimp then amano) with an elephant ear halfmoon male betta in a well planted, cycled/aged 6g bowfront tank. This betta is very aggressive unlike my delta and killed the ghost shrimp I put in (I watched him guard and eat one of them (already dead) for an hour before removing it) within the first day. Waited a week and tried again with amano, same thing... well didn't feel like buying him a 'lobster dinner' each week so no shrimp for him! He also hunts all snails including trapdoor snails like MTS so I have to periodically add new snails to his tank to clean the diatoms before they become an escargot snack.


The thing is every betta is different in personality and that can change. I've spoken with a woman that had a betta in a continuity tank for over a year just fine then one day it started hunting the other fish and had to be removed. No changes in tank stock (flora or fauna) it just.. became uncompatible with others.

IMO its best to house them separate as a precaution or at least keep a spare tank and heater (and ideally filter) ready in case a betta needs removed from a community. If you keep long finned bettas you need to be mindful of the other fish stocked with them, as there are several nippy species like danio. Keeping the other species in larger groups helps, 6 is minimum school/shoal size but get 10-12 if you can without over stocking.
Bettas are delicate fish but awesome pets, like underwater puppies, and each have their own personality, so having a single betta in a tank is still a fun tank, hell I have 8 they're so addictive! All in their own planted tanks ^^
 

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I've had three different bettas fail in a community tank because gold tetras (basically shiny neon tetras in behavior) outcompeted them for food and/or stressed them into hiding constantly.
Also, ghost shrimp are bad with bettas because they often attack the fins. That, or the bettas eat the shrimp.
Dwarf orange crays are not compatible with bettas, either.
Ideally, you want an extremely docile betta and calm roommates.
 

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I realize this is an older thread but I just wanted to share my experience with housing bettas with other fish/inverts. I currently have three male bettas in three separate tanks.

Betta #1:

The oldest male betta is about 2-1/2 to 3 years old. He is currently living in a 10 gallon planted tank with 7 Chili Rasboras and about 30-40 RCS (at least...started with just 10). Previously he lived with some juvenile White Cloud Mountain Minnows (not temp compatible i know). He has never bothered any of them and considering how prolifically the shrimp have bred I don't think he even goes after the shrimplets. He does occasionally flare up at the glass.

Betta #2

Second oldest betta that is about 6 months to 1 year old. He was previously housed with the Chili Rasboras and ignored them. Currently he is in a 5.5 gallon tank with some RCS and a mystery snail. He threw the mystery snail around a couple times when the snail first went in but quickly lost interest. I've never seen it but I'm pretty sure he snacks on the shrimp occasionally as their population has stayed pretty low (around 10).

Betta #3

The youngest betta that my significant other convinced me to save from the local Petco. He is in a 55 gallon planted community tank with 15 black neon tetras, 10 cardinal tetras, a pair of GBRs, a rainbow shark, 2 amano shrimp, and 2 zebra nerites. The rest of the fish ignore him and most of the time he floats around or lounges in the large amazon sword. I've occasionally seen him flare up at the other fish but they ignore him as they are fast and he is very slow. I've never seen anyone bother him. Some times he can be seen hanging out at the top of the tank begging for food along with the female GBR.
 

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I had a VT in a community tank and it was a pain. He was in with Harlequin Rasboras. He is peaceful and marked a part of the tank as his. He would occasionally chase fish away but most of the time they all knew their own areas and stuck to them.

The issue was feeding. When being fed the Harlequins were much faster than him. They would rush to the top and he would also come up for everything. They kept on accidentally nipping his tail while trying to go for food. I also struggled to get the right amount of food to him. Because they were much faster sometimes they would finish what was on their side and eat some of his. Sometimes they would ignore theirs and eat his first then theirs. Sometimes he would ignore his and overeat by going to the other end and eating theirs and then eating his own. He would also hide algae tablets meant for panda garras and eat those and become very fat.

In the end his tail was suffering so he moved to his own tank and thankfully it is now growing back.

I house two other very aggressive Ines alone. I don't intend to mix a betta into a community tank going forward as it is much easier looking after him now he is by himself. He is growing his tail back and looking much happier and healthier with dedicated feeding.
 

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My problem was also with feeding. I had a plakat in a 20L with at first zebra danios, then cherry barbs, otocinclus, snails and siamese algae eaters. He was fine with all those fish- would eat zucchini with the otos and SAEs. He did not like blue platyfish- same color as him- bit their tails, so I removed them. It was fine for a year but then he died because of the food- I forgot one day to break up the shrimp pellet into little crumbs for all the fish to share. The barbs would pick at a shrimp pellet until it softened and fell apart, but this betta choked down the whole thing in one bite and it killed him.

The bettas I've had since then are only ok with snails. I have tried keeping them with platies, otos and pygmy cories- and it didn't work. Betta chased the other fish constantly threatening to bite. I have always kept them solo now, in a 10g.
 

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Ive had many Bettas!

Betta 1: I had a Blue Veil Teil almost 4 years that died this year, He lived in several tanks from a 5g by himself then to a community 15 gallon with CPDs, Rasboras and colony on 100 breeding Cherry Shrimp.

Betta 2-10: I also had a 9 Betta Sorority in a 20 Long that went swimmingly for the first few months. Then every couple of weeks one would VANISH! eventually I had 3 left...

Betta 11-13: Then I added 3 New girls to the sorority and that Group got along much better. But after a few months I had a tank failure and could only save 1 female

Betta 13: That female Betta is thriving in her 15 Gallon Planted Community with 10 Ember Tetras, 6 Strawberry Rasboras and an army of Assasin Snails and Cherry Shrimp. Still running to date.

Betta 14: My first Male Dumbo Ear has a violent temper and has eaten all his tankmates... (Rasboras, Fully Grown Cherry Shrimps and some Snails. He is my favourite fish so he gets his own Fluval Spec V all by his lonesome.
I have since added 3 amano Shrimp that he has left alone (thankfully) and that tank is up and running to date.
 
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