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Old 07-02-2004, 07:40 PM   #1
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new tank, betta question

I just bought a new tank from someone off of ebay. Its is an already established tank, and looks like its about 40 gallon. First of all let me list the fish that it came with.

1 6" cichlid
1 8" black shark
1 8" pleco
1 serpae tetra
2 cory cats
1 3" catfish
2 3" giant danios
1 red tailed shark
1 2" looks like a cichlid, I'll post pics later
3 2" unidentified fish
2 blue gourami
3 looks like a mix between silver dollar and albino barb
3 raspboras
1 ruby barb

first of all, this seems fairly overstocked to me, and I don't understand why he had 2 8" fish in the same tank, but I'm a newbie. do u think it would be wise to return the pleco and black shark to the lfs and get some corys and more fish for the schooling fish such as serpae tetra and giant danios?
My other question is that I have a betta that I would like to add to the tank. Unfortunately the giant danios nip at his tail 8O . What I don't understand is that they leave the blue gourami alone, when he has those 2 tentacle fin things below him. Will the danios eventually leave him alone, or will they eventually kill him? Also, the cichlid doesn't seem to like the betta very much either, he will get him in a corner and get all poof his fins up, but the betta usually just swims off. Is the cichlid just trying to scare the betta, or is he looking for a fresh meal? Should I take the betta out of the tank and sentence him to live in a 1 gallon tank? There are 3 rocks and 4 plants in the tank, so he has some hiding space, but the redtailed shark has one, and the catfish (which I never see, so I assume hes down there), black shark and pleco share the other main hiding spot. Theres a decent one left in the main rock, but its more open and close the the red tailed shark domain, and they don't fight, but don't seem to like each other. Sorry if this is confusing, I want to give you as much info as I can.
Any comments or suggestions on either my tank setup or especially my betta question will be appreciated.

Chris

P.S. I'll post pics of my unidentified fish, and the whole tank as soon as I can borrow my moms digital camera!
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Old 07-02-2004, 09:17 PM   #2
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congrats on the new tank. I believe that cichlids are labyrinth fish...as are bettas. This may be causing the problems with aggresion. Also that bettas don't really take well to many tank mates. If the danios are nipping, it may be that the tail and fins of the betta are very nice looking...they will probably not leave him alone(I recommend putting him in his own tank)

The tank has alot going on....and looks overstocked. I do not have alot of the fish there so I will wait for better knowledge on that. There may be alot of change in the near future for you. Good luck on the new tank though....cant wait to see pictures.
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Old 07-02-2004, 10:56 PM   #3
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Hi Chris . I'm glad you came here and are asking these questions. Some of what I tell you, you might not want to hear but I know you want to learn. Perhaps the most common pitfall that new aquarium owners have is buying any fish they think is cool and mixing them with fish they shouldn't. I'm sure this is what the person you bought this set up from did.

This isn't just a case of your new tank being way over stocked, it's also that the fish in that tank won't get along together. Individual species have different requirements, behavoir, and feeding habits. Definitely remove the betta.

Which fish from that list do you like the best?
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Old 07-03-2004, 02:18 AM   #4
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hmmmm, thats a tough decision. The cichlid is a really neat "centerpiece" for the aquarium, and he gets along fine with all the other fish but I"m worried he'll get aggressive, and it limits my choice of fish to only medium sized so as not to give him a free meal. The red tailed shark is really cool, I like the bright tail on the jet black body, and hes active, but sometimes chases the other fish away, I don't know if this is playful or bad. Those two are probably the 2 that I wouldn't want to lose, although the cichlid may become a burden eventually. However, I'm not interested in a semi-aggresive tank, I'd rather have a peaceful one. I'm very glad ur willing to help me and give me some advice. What do u think I should do about the cichlid, do you think he'll be alright since he seems to be okay with all the other fish, or do u think its just a matter of time before I wake up with a fat cichlid and no other fish. If you think I should ditch the cichlid, can you recommend another semi-big colorful fish to be my centerpiece?

The giant danios are very active, so I would like to hang on to them, but I hate them nipping at other fishes fins. The albino barb/silver dollar looking things also seem to enjoy a fin treat.

Please keep the comments and suggestions coming, I appreciate all of them.

Chris

BTW- you guys are very right about my poor beta. I put him in there, and the fish wouldn't touch him much, and he seemed to be getting along fine for 30-45 minutes while I was there. Well I had to go to work for a couple hours and when I came back he was hiding in a corner and has taken noticable damage to his fins. He doesn't seem badly hurt, but he may also have some wounds on his head. I don't know what happened while I was gone, because he seemed to be doing just fine. He hadn't been in any fights or been nipped at for a while. They had to do it when I wasn't there! I feel bad, but I'll get my betta's tank a little bit nicer than it was. Also, before I moved him into my 40 gallon tank, he was bright blue, but was losing his color, and his fins were becoming an ugly rust color, as if he was sick. He was getting a lot more of a pale color. I thought some swimming room and swimming mates would do him some good, but that went bad. I feel bad, but what I was trying to do had good intentions. I learned my lesson the hard way .
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Old 07-03-2004, 03:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keeper
I believe that cichlids are labyrinth fish...as are bettas.
Incorrect, the cichlids are just mean
Quote:
Originally Posted by cghill
I learned my lesson the hard way
We all do!! Fish have a habit of looking okay while we are around, but the second you turn your back, something goes wrong Is your betta bleeding from the fins?

Please post pics of the cichlids so we can help ID them. Then you can get info on temperament.
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Old 07-03-2004, 03:31 AM   #6
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Hi Chris,
I don't know too much about tankmates for bettas in a community tank. I have bettas in their own tanks. A cichlid and a betta are definitely not a good match, IMO!

It's not hard to give the betta his own tank. I think that a betta should be in a minimum of 3 gallons. My bettas' tanks are 5.5 gallons. I have a 25-watt heater, a sponge filter, and some silk plants in the tanks. Plastic plants can rip a betta's delicate fins, and some HOB filters, in a small tank, can make too much current than a bettas is comfortable with.

If your betta looks badly ripped up, I would treat with some antibiotics. My one betta (bad fishy!) won't stay out of the bubbles coming from the sponge filter, and he gets ripped up occasionally. It's only one or two tears, and they heal quickly, so I usually don't treat him. But if your betta has lots of damage, I would treat now and stay on top of things, rather than wait and let infection set in. Some antibiotics that I've used successfully in the past are BettaMax, Kanacyn, and Maracyn I and II.

Also, lack of color can be a sign of stress, which is also why I would treat with some antibiotics now. Injury plus stress is not a good combination. I think the betta would be happier in his own tank. Good luck!
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Old 07-03-2004, 03:34 AM   #7
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I didn't see any blood at all on my betta. There are just some white spots on the top of his head, like some flesh was damaged, but nothing too terrible I hope. Unfortunately I don't have a digital camera, but I can try to describe the cichlid. Here goes:

He is a dirty gold color
He has faint black lines about 1/8th of an inch thick running vertically alongs his body, getting darker the farther back they get.
The very last black stripe has a black spot at the top and bottom.
His back fin is dark grey/black
He has faint blue spots by his eyes, and the tips of his top fin are blue
His bottom fin is bright orange
as for a body style, he looks like this fish:
http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/p...21&pCatId=1573

I've looked at that site and fishprofiles.com and haven't seen one that I thought he really looked like. I know this description isn't that great, but if you see something it might be, plz post it. If you have any info this cichlid plz let me know.

Chris
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Old 07-03-2004, 11:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Keeper wrote:

I believe that cichlids are labyrinth fish...as are bettas.


Incorrect, the cichlids are just mean
oops...i got my fish mixed up. Sorry cghill for the incorrect info. *slaps self on hand*
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Old 07-03-2004, 01:41 PM   #9
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what are labyrinth fish?
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Old 07-03-2004, 01:54 PM   #10
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that means they lived in polluted waters so they evolved new "lungs" so they can breath out air.

dont touch it its my air

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Old 07-03-2004, 02:53 PM   #11
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Labyrinth Fish such as the betta and gourami, have a special organ called the laryrinth organ that allows them to breath air through the surface of the body (this is why bettas can live in bowls and cups in the store with no filter). In their native habitats, the water they lived in usually consisted of very little oxygen content. Check out this site, for more information:

http://labyrinth.aquariumsite.org/

Good luck with the tank.
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Old 07-04-2004, 12:43 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the help with the betta guys. Now, are there any more comments or suggestions for my whole tank. From what I've heard I need to change a lot of the fish that are in there, but I haven't heard where to begin or what needs to be changed. Thanks again

Chris
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Old 07-05-2004, 06:59 PM   #13
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R U CRAZY!!!!!!!!!! U need a pleco, they eat algae. do NOT put a betta in with cichlids.
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----20 gal with Penguin 170 Filter- 2 angels

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Old 07-05-2004, 07:37 PM   #14
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cheezysquirrelz~Welcome to our site! Clearly cghill is not crazy and has come here for help and support.

cghill, the first thing is to decide what type of tank you want--semiaggressive, peaceful....Then we can tell you who should go, who can stay and which fish you might want to add.
BTW~dwarf cichlids and bettas can coexist in some circumstances.
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Old 07-05-2004, 11:02 PM   #15
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It would be best to get rid of the cichlid. Dont put the betta in.
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----29 gal with Emperor 280- 2 longfin zebra danios, 3 cories(albino-Speedy, 2 unknown), upside down catfish, 3 neons, 4 glow lights, blue gourami, Female betta, male betta (Otis), small pearl gourami, 2 flying foxes

----20 gal with Penguin 170 Filter- 2 angels

----10 gal-Leaf fish, clawed frog

----5 gal eclipse hex-betta, 2 young mollies

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Old 07-05-2004, 11:17 PM   #16
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you should get the betta a small tank or a bowl and the larger tank should only have about an inch of fish per gal!!! good luck
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Old 07-06-2004, 12:04 AM   #17
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thanks for all the input guys. Menagerie, I was more interested in a peaceful tank than a semi-aggressive. If thats the case, I imagine I'll have to say goodbye the the black shark, large cichlid and smaller cichlid. I would be disappointed to see those fish go, since the black shark and large cichlid are the centerpiece of the tank. Suggestions for another larger colorful peaceful fish are definitely welcome. I was also thinking about replacing the pleco with some more corys, since the pleco hides all day and the corys are fairly active. Another dissapointment with the black shark is that he is shy and hides whenever I'm present, but will come out if he can't see me. Just let me know what other info you need to help me out. Thanks for all the help and support.

Chris
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Old 07-09-2004, 10:52 PM   #18
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You need to take the betta out of the tank and put him in a large bowl or vase with some substrate like those glass marbles or small rocks. He'll get eaten alive in both of your tanks- no doubt. I have seven bettas all in seperate vases/bowls with no plants or filtration of any kind, and they all do wonderfully. The trick is keeping the bowl clean. You should feed your betta twice a day max, about four pellets or brine shrimps at a time. As for the cleaning of the bowl, I clean my betta bowls completely once a week and don't have any trouble. Don't forget the water conditioner, though! And when you change the water, make SURE the new water temperature is within the same range as his old water. (You can dip your finger in the water before you change it and know how cool/warm it is. Adjust the new water accordingly.)

Sounds like a lot of trouble, but it's really very simple, and it works!
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Old 07-09-2004, 11:36 PM   #19
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Re: new tank, betta question

Quote:
Originally Posted by cghill
3 looks like a mix between silver dollar and albino barb
could that be a hatchet? or a marble hatchet?

A common pleco can get REALLY big and if you don't like the fact he is noctornal a cory cat is a great idea. Yeah, plecos eat algea but they aren't neccesity

Have you thought about an angel fish as your center piece? (once you get rid of the major aggressors).
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Old 07-10-2004, 12:03 AM   #20
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For a lovely peaceful tank, I suggest getting rid of the evil fish and keeping the happy fish :
1 6" cichlid
1 8" black shark
1 8" pleco :|
1 serpae tetra
2 cory cats
1 3" catfish :|
2 3" giant danios
1 red tailed shark :|
1 2" looks like a cichlid, I'll post pics later
3 2" unidentified fish
2 blue gourami :|
3 looks like a mix between silver dollar and albino barb :|
3 raspboras
1 ruby barb

Some fish I just don't know enough about, hence the :| . Gouramis can be great, or can fight. They usually only fight each other, but YMMV.
I would start this tank with only fish that you know their IDs. Fun fish for a community tank can be found in my profile--look for the 50 gal community tank. I do not have a "show piece/center piece" fish. However, many members are falling for various rainbow fishes. Webmoose and madasafish have larger rainbows (I'm sorry, I can't remember names, but check their galleries) and I keep Celebes Rainbows (2") in a brackish tank, but they can lead a full life in FW.
I was hesitant on the catfish, because they will fit whatever fits in their mouths and if it gets big--watch out!! I was neutral with the pleco because I really like them, but if it is a common pleco, be should go to a bigger tank, especially if you want to make room for fish you can see.
Definitely go with more cories--they like to be in groups and you can mix species, they don't seem to mind hanging out with distant cousins. If you decide you like the looks of the serpae tetra, get a few more, they do like to school. Mine are not nippers, but some will tell you they are nippers.
Once the community tank is established, you can try to add your betta. Personally, I like female bettas for community tanks because they can move quicker and don't attract the fin nippers as much. Anyway, establish a small area with java fern near the surface that would make a safe-heaven for the betta and see how he does. Pull him immediately if the other fish pick on him--it will not get better.

If I missed anything, let me know!
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