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I am currently cycling a 40 gallon tank for my dad's office so I want to have kind of a preliminary list of fish that I can start tracking down while its cycling. His two requests are that they are compatible with his Betta, and that he can always see fish when he looks at the tank. Suggestions? I've never had a Betta in a community tank so I'm not sure what they will go with.
 

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You'll want peaceful community fish, then, that won't try to nip the betta's fins and ones that won't stimulate the betta's aggressive instincts. Platys might be a good choice, with the upside that they'll nibble on some forms of algae.
 

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+2 on the platies. Swordtails are pretty cool too. Some of the color variants available for both on Aquabid would make really flashy / peaceful displays to go along with your dad's betta. If at all possible try to get either from private breeders or places that buy from private breeders. Wholesaled livebearers can be a horror show at times.
 

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are you planning to have a betta in that 40g? whats the height of the tank? I have a 42g which is 1.5 ft in height and bettas dont make it in there, they die as they cant swim up to the water surface for their periodic gasp of air.
I fear something else is killing the fish in your tank.
Healthy fish have no problem swimming to the surface, or away from filter intakes.
 

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Agreed with roadmaster. I have kept bettas in virtually all of my community tanks for years without ever running into issues - and those tanks are all a minimum of 20" deep (and run eheim 2217 filters).
 

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I fear something else is killing the fish in your tank.
Healthy fish have no problem swimming to the surface, or away from filter intakes.
Lol. Horrible but I laugh because I've been pulling this ember tetra out of my filter screen every 8 hours for the past 3 days. He gets the idea that it is "scary" on that side of the tank... but I guess his memory is only about 8 hours... because then he's back on the ride. I think it's a back/muscle issue, but he has crossed over to the other side now :crying:

Sorry for hijacking, just seemed relevant!
 

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I am currently cycling a 40 gallon tank for my dad's office so I want to have kind of a preliminary list of fish that I can start tracking down while its cycling. His two requests are that they are compatible with his Betta, and that he can always see fish when he looks at the tank. Suggestions? I've never had a Betta in a community tank so I'm not sure what they will go with.
Ever betta's temperament is different, some simply won't share a tank with otehr fish, some will for a time but can turn on other fish and begin hunting them weeks..months.. a year after introduction (happened to someone on a bettafish forum recently), then some bettas could care less about what other fish are in the tank. You have to keep a close eye on the betta and other fish its with, prepared to quickly remove the betta and put into an acceptable separate tank if things go poorly.


are you planning to have a betta in that 40g? whats the height of the tank? I have a 42g which is 1.5 ft in height and bettas dont make it in there, they die as they cant swim up to the water surface for their periodic gasp of air.
Something else is/was wrong with your tank, its not tank height killing the betta. Tank height/size is not an issue as long as the fish is healthy and not being forced to the bottom (by a filter or other aggressive fish dominating the upper water column) it can get to the surface for air just fine.
There are plenty of breeders that use 55g (24"-2 feet tall) tanks as grow out for fry. If an adult couldn't handle 18", how are these fry able to survive and grow in a 24" tall tank?
 

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Ever betta's temperament is different, some simply won't share a tank with otehr fish, some will for a time but can turn on other fish and begin hunting them weeks..months.. a year after introduction (happened to someone on a bettafish forum recently), then some bettas could care less about what other fish are in the tank. You have to keep a close eye on the betta and other fish its with, prepared to quickly remove the betta and put into an acceptable separate tank if things go poorly.



Something else is/was wrong with your tank, its not tank height killing the betta. Tank height/size is not an issue as long as the fish is healthy and not being forced to the bottom (by a filter or other aggressive fish dominating the upper water column) it can get to the surface for air just fine.
There are plenty of breeders that use 55g (24"-2 feet tall) tanks as grow out for fry. If an adult couldn't handle 18", how are these fry able to survive and grow in a 24" tall tank?
Some species can really be head-scratchers to figure out and certainly bettas are right there. Aggression issues are just tough to figure out and fix.

My favorite: a batch of nickel-size angelfish has one individual that flips the switch one day and decides to spend the entire day hunting down any other sibling it crosses paths with. I call them "punks". If I can catch him easily, he's sent off to "reform school". The 180G planted is packed with my biggest and most assertive angelfish. Straightens them right out.

A change of scenery to a tank with larger but not aggressive specimens works wonders.
 
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