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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
10 gallon community question

So unfortunately I've run into a bit of a problem with my fish.

I have a 10 gallon cycled freshwater tank with live plants and a large piece of Malaysian driftwood. I originally put in a pleco and then my betta fish as tankmates. The betta fish seemed fine with the pleco at first, but then he would occasionally chase the pleco around and the pleco would hide behind the filter intake. There was no real physical harm being done to the pleco, but I didn't want him to get stressed out and not be able to reach food easily. So then I felt it might help to have a community of a few more fish to help reduce competition between the betta and the pleco.

In hindsight I probably should have created a community of fish and then added the betta later, but I wasn't sure how he would react.

I then got 3 neon tetras and slowly floated them and introduced them to the tank. The betta seemed surprised at first to find others in the tank and he chased them around for a few minutes, but he then left them alone and they can approach the betta now with no problem.

However, the next day I noticed the smallest of the tetras was now missing the bottom half of his fin. At first I was worried that the betta had attacked him, but then as I watched carefully, the medium sized tetra was chasing and biting the smallest one. I have now separated out the aggressive tetra and things seemed ok, but then the small tetra with the bitten fin will occasionally chase and bite the big tetra! :confused:

I really am perplexed, and I don't know what the problem is. Is it just the temperament of the tetras or are there not enough tetras to create a "school"? I was originally thinking anyway of possibly having 6 tetras instead of 3.

Also to top it all off, once the betta got used to the tetras, he still will occasionally chase the pleco! I'm not sure what to do. I really would like to have a variety of fish in a community, but I don't want to create stress or overcrowd.

Also I attached a picture of my tank before I took out the aggressive tetra.

Sorry this is so long, but I would really appreciate some advice.

Thanks! :)
 

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Betta's are fin nippers. Since you're Betta has identified the pleco as a target, he will continue to chase it. You will have to remove the betta or the pleco. I would remove the pleco anyhow, I dont know of any species that will do well in a 10g tank. As to the neon tetras, yes you will need at least 6 to have a school to spread the normal bullying around.

With 6 neons and a betta in the tank that will fully stock you.
 

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Bettas are not the fin nippers. They are the ones that get nipped. Plecos from what I've heard are tough fish. It should be able to withstand some bullying...
 

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Bettas will nip fins, I've watched them do it. The thing with a Betta is that it first has to be able to catch up to the unfortunate victim. They go fast in spurts, but not much more than that. I'm surprised the pleco hasn't fought back. They can be little buggars as well.
 

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I should have said, bettas are different, some are fin nippers others aren't... I've never had a fin nipping betta...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If I took out the pleco, could he be replaced by a Cory or Otto? Would the Cory need another one or more to school with it?
 

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Yes you could put in cory's instead if you wished. You would need at least 3 preferably 4 or 5. Oto's would work in an established aquarium but if it is is a new tank then they can be hard to keep alive. If your pleco is a common pleco taking it out is doing it a favor. Give it to someone with a huge tank.
 

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Are you looking for a cleaning fish? Theres really no such thing. Some fish will eat certain types of algae but thats about it. You still have to feed them according to their diet.
 
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