Always loved keeping fish, but new to the hobby :)

AHB

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Hi all, I've had fish friends for many, many years, but mostly just one betta at a time in a 5 gallon tank. a couple years ago I starting keeping a small groups of neon tetras which went well, but I re-homed them when we had a major move last year. I getting really interested in the hobby but want some advice. In our new home I set up and cycled a 20 gallon, fully planted tank which at first just had one very small bristlenose pleco. I'd been interested in cherry barbs and my local fish store said I could keep 10 in my tank, so I have had these 10 with my pleco now for almost 6 months. There are four males and six females. Everyone is doing really well and seem really happy. My water parameters are always tip top. Lately I've been thinking about getting one female betta as an addition, but not sure if that will work, or if there isn't enough space for her. I'm happy to keep things status quo, but wanted to see what others thought. Any advice is greatly appreciated!
 

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I wouldn’t put a female betta in your tank, because some have longer fins, and though cherry barbs are know to be peaceful, when stressed or cramped, they may exhibit fin nipping behavior. 10 cherry barbs is also quite a few for a 20 gallon, but should be fine. You could get a Kribensis or a dwarf gourami perhaps, or some platies.
 
Mmm… general belief is that betta fish should never ever be kept in a community tank simply due to their unpredictable behavior.

I think with a 20 gallon with fast moving community fish could possibly work. I know a few other people have mentioned that betta release pheromones that could stress out the other fish in the tank even if their behavior isn’t bad. I don’t know how the pleco would fare though…. I temporarily had a female betta in a 29 gallon community tank (her tank broke and I didn’t know where else to put her) and she ripped the eye out of one of the cories in there, so I don’t really recommend slower bottom dwelling fish with a betta.

I would recommend broadening your search for a nice centerpiece fish unless you could have another tank to rehome the female betta fish if things started turning south.

I would recommend looking at gourami, kribs, or maybe apisto’s. I have a young pair of apisto’s in my 20 gallon right now, and they are very lovely.

Edit: not really related to the topic but I’ve bought three bristlenose pleco and ALL THREE ended up female. What were the chances LOL?
I love them, but dang I wanted a nice mustache.
 
Welcome to TFF... :hi:
If you really want to add a female betta, be sure she's able to find her own spot in the tank. Bettas prefer to have an own spot in the tank where the water is still.
I wouldn’t put a female betta in your tank, because some have longer fin
Most betta females have short fins. I say deliberately "most" for there are some fancy strains where the females have bigger fins. But at an average lfs, you'll only find the short finned females.
 
Welcome! As what they mentioned, there are some risks... I think the female might be stressed out from the quick-moving fish and get stressed. But I think it's possible. You can try introducing a female and thoroughly observing their behavior. Are the barbs bullying the female? Is the female stressed? Is the female actually bullying the others? Make sure you're ready to rehome the female if it ever goes wrong.

Welcome to TTF!
 
I wouldn’t put a female betta in your tank, because some have longer fins, and though cherry barbs are know to be peaceful, when stressed or cramped, they may exhibit fin nipping behavior. 10 cherry barbs is also quite a few for a 20 gallon, but should be fine. You could get a Kribensis or a dwarf gourami perhaps, or some platies.
Thank you, that was my hunch, but I really appreciate your feedback!
 
Thank you so much for everyone's feedback! :) I will plan to keep my tank as is, as my barbs and pleco are happy and thriving.
 

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