Best peaceful yellow fish?

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Exactly, it's just not worth the risk. As fishkeepers, we have the moral responsibility to do our best regarding the health and wellbeing of the creatures we look after. And those who say, "it's just a fish" are more than likely in the wrong hobby.

I wonder if those people would also choose to home a breed of dog known for its high prey drive with small rabbits and such? Just because today they're tolerating each other doesn't mean that tomorrow that dog won't won't grab it round the neck and give it a good ragging before ripping it to shreds...and even if tomorrow it doesn't happen, that poor rabbit or cat will forever live in fear knowing its toast
And it's not doing the betta any good either. It'll be stressed out but the presence of other fish in it's territory.
 
Honestly, I think the “naturally aggressive fish” argument is kind of outdated now. You’ll find the odd one, but unless you make a choice to intentionally buy from Thailand or someplace where they still breed for those traits, you’ll rarely find a fish that’s extremely aggressive.

Also, keeping a betta alone in a 5 gallon…it’s better if you have one that hates all companionship and tries biting your hand off every time you feed it. And you can’t say your fish is sad because a human would be sad, as fish aren’t humans.
However, if someone here tried telling us that a dwarf gourami, from the same family and living in very similar areas, was happy alone in a 10 gallon with no other fish, everyone would be all over them.
At least hopefully. Dwarf Gourami aren’t quite the same, since they’re schooling/shoaling fish and the betta aren’t unless in a big aquarium.
 
Honestly, I think the “naturally aggressive fish” argument is kind of outdated now. You’ll find the odd one, but unless you make a choice to intentionally buy from Thailand or someplace where they still breed for those traits, you’ll rarely find a fish that’s extremely aggressive.

Also, keeping a betta alone in a 5 gallon…it’s better if you have one that hates all companionship and tries biting your hand off every time you feed it. And you can’t say your fish is sad because a human would be sad, as fish aren’t humans.
However, if someone here tried telling us that a dwarf gourami, from the same family and living in very similar areas, was happy alone in a 10 gallon with no other fish, everyone would be all over them.
At least hopefully. Dwarf Gourami aren’t quite the same, since they’re schooling/shoaling fish and the betta aren’t unless in a big aquarium.
I think with the greatest of respect, that you need to educate yourself a little more.

Betta fish are naturally aggressive. Thats because in their natural habitat they are top of the food chain. Just because you take the fish out of its wild environment doesn't mean it changes its natural instinct to dominate and claim territory by fighting sometimes to the death. And by its own natural right, it wants to dominate anything and everything.

Putting a Betta with anything else will cause it a great deal of stress because of it's fierce natural instinct to protect and defend its territory. They are highly strung fish with a major attitude problem, that don't want to share or compromise with anyone else. Imagine being in a constant state of fight or flight, high adrenaline and stress. Sound like fun? It takes a massive toll on the Betta's health and drastically weakens their immune system leading to premature death.

Betta fish are not schooling fish, even in a big aquarium.

And just for your information, neither are Dwarf Gourami!
 
I think with the greatest of respect, that you need to educate yourself a little more.

Betta fish are naturally aggressive. Thats because in their natural habitat they are top of the food chain. Just because you take the fish out of its wild environment doesn't mean it changes its natural instinct to dominate and claim territory by fighting sometimes to the death. And by its own natural right, it wants to dominate anything and everything.

Putting a Betta with anything else will cause it a great deal of stress because of it's fierce natural instinct to protect and defend its territory. They are highly strung fish with a major attitude problem, that don't want to share or compromise with anyone else. Imagine being in a constant state of fight or flight, high adrenaline and stress. Sound like fun? It takes a massive toll on the Betta's health and drastically weakens their immune system leading to premature death.

Betta fish are not schooling fish, even in a big aquarium.

And just for your information, neither are Dwarf Gourami!
There are serious errors in this post. Bettas are the top of no food chain. They eat mosquities, and everything eats them. There are predatory insects in their environment that pick young Bettas off. That's why they are shy. They are targets. They defend feeding and breeding territories against other male splendens. Ideally, they get to do this if a bird doesn't pick them off.

Their survival strength is the labyrinth organ, that allows them to colonize low oxygen swampy zones larger predators avoid, because in shallow water, birds have a clear view. Larger predators get predated. They share with some tiny Bororas types, who handle that environment by staying small. But pet shop Bettas were removed from that environment hundreds of years ago, and cultivated for gambling. They've been jarred for centuries (not good in my eyes, btw - just a fact).

If you read the thread, which it appears you didn't, I have kept wild caught splendens. They were relatively unaggressive. I have also watched go pro footage of them, taken by a forester friend. They hover , sometimes with other males in sight. They look up, for bugs. They conserve their energy. Conflict is fin flaring, and the invisible barriers are generally respected. You'd need a four foot by four foot one foot deep sandbox tank thick with Pistia or water hyacinth to see this if you had wild caughts not bred for gambling or mild plakats raised together to see this at home. I've only ever seen one tank like that, run by a friend who had my plakat young in it. They had grown up together, as I had handed them over at under an inch. The tank ran for several years as a real conversation starter.

There's a hobby folklore/fishlore that says these fish are mad killers. Put them in a 5 with other fish, and yes, they can be. Most males though will take a zone and stay in it, and posters will ask why their Betta or 'beta' isn't at the front of the tank all the time. Are they better alone? With the bad breeding that creates the oversized fins, the fish is visibly handicapped, and may not be able to thrive in a community. I will never buy another longfin as my experience with wild caughts convinced me keeping fancy Bettas isn't ethical.

Hundreds of years of selective breeding created fighting lines for gambling. That's a problem. The percentage of "good fighters" was always low, which is a good thing. Decades of hobby breeding created fins that slow them down, and a Betta usually learns to live and let live quickly. When you buy them, they have been jarred since very early, as soon as their sex could be guessed at. This is to protect their fins because if they squabble, they tear them and we don't buy them then. It also increases aggro temporarily, as they have never shared space. Most Bettas adjust in a day or two. Then they are grumpy things, not stressed wannabe serial killers.

My sample is about 35 Bettas over 56 years of fishkeeping, with a another few hundred that I raised and sold or gave away when they were unsexable juvies. Lifespans for single Bettas in communities ran at about 5, although one got to 7 having lived in both types of setups. I used no tiny tanks except when I was a kid starting out and not knowing better. Even those fish were chill though. Not one of those bettas ever killed a tankmate. They barely chased them after 2 or 3 days in the tank.

In a properly chosen community, they tend to be the victim of fin nippers, not the killer. Some will show the breeding for gamblers still, and are usually the ones fighting with the reflections all around them. Avoid those ones.

We all need to constantly educate ourselves more, and I read every paper I can get on the Betta group, even though I don't plan to keep them again. If I were to stumble across a coccina group one, or picta - yeah, I'd bite. No more splendens for me. The issue isn't their aggression, it's ours. We feel free to create misshapen fish bred for aggression since some of us like to gamble on death. We have screwed a cool fish up outrageously. But in large enough tanks here with carefully chosen tankmates, they seemed very unstressed, long lived and calm.
 
Screenshot 2023-05-25 at 7.45.35 AM.png
 
There are serious errors in this post. Bettas are the top of no food chain. They eat mosquities, and everything eats them. There are predatory insects in their environment that pick young Bettas off. That's why they are shy. They are targets. They defend feeding and breeding territories against other male splendens. Ideally, they get to do this if a bird doesn't pick them off.

Their survival strength is the labyrinth organ, that allows them to colonize low oxygen swampy zones larger predators avoid, because in shallow water, birds have a clear view. Larger predators get predated. They share with some tiny Bororas types, who handle that environment by staying small. But pet shop Bettas were removed from that environment hundreds of years ago, and cultivated for gambling. They've been jarred for centuries (not good in my eyes, btw - just a fact).

If you read the thread, which it appears you didn't, I have kept wild caught splendens. They were relatively unaggressive. I have also watched go pro footage of them, taken by a forester friend. They hover , sometimes with other males in sight. They look up, for bugs. They conserve their energy. Conflict is fin flaring, and the invisible barriers are generally respected. You'd need a four foot by four foot one foot deep sandbox tank thick with Pistia or water hyacinth to see this if you had wild caughts not bred for gambling or mild plakats raised together to see this at home. I've only ever seen one tank like that, run by a friend who had my plakat young in it. They had grown up together, as I had handed them over at under an inch. The tank ran for several years as a real conversation starter.

There's a hobby folklore/fishlore that says these fish are mad killers. Put them in a 5 with other fish, and yes, they can be. Most males though will take a zone and stay in it, and posters will ask why their Betta or 'beta' isn't at the front of the tank all the time. Are they better alone? With the bad breeding that creates the oversized fins, the fish is visibly handicapped, and may not be able to thrive in a community. I will never buy another longfin as my experience with wild caughts convinced me keeping fancy Bettas isn't ethical.

Hundreds of years of selective breeding created fighting lines for gambling. That's a problem. The percentage of "good fighters" was always low, which is a good thing. Decades of hobby breeding created fins that slow them down, and a Betta usually learns to live and let live quickly. When you buy them, they have been jarred since very early, as soon as their sex could be guessed at. This is to protect their fins because if they squabble, they tear them and we don't buy them then. It also increases aggro temporarily, as they have never shared space. Most Bettas adjust in a day or two. Then they are grumpy things, not stressed wannabe serial killers.

My sample is about 35 Bettas over 56 years of fishkeeping, with a another few hundred that I raised and sold or gave away when they were unsexable juvies. Lifespans for single Bettas in communities ran at about 5, although one got to 7 having lived in both types of setups. I used no tiny tanks except when I was a kid starting out and not knowing better. Even those fish were chill though. Not one of those bettas ever killed a tankmate. They barely chased them after 2 or 3 days in the tank.

In a properly chosen community, they tend to be the victim of fin nippers, not the killer. Some will show the breeding for gamblers still, and are usually the ones fighting with the reflections all around them. Avoid those ones.

We all need to constantly educate ourselves more, and I read every paper I can get on the Betta group, even though I don't plan to keep them again. If I were to stumble across a coccina group one, or picta - yeah, I'd bite. No more splendens for me. The issue isn't their aggression, it's ours. We feel free to create misshapen fish bred for aggression since some of us like to gamble on death. We have screwed a cool fish up outrageously. But in large enough tanks here with carefully chosen tankmates, they seemed very unstressed, long lived and calm.
I wasn't talking about birds, and no I didn't read your thread. The OP wasn't talking about wild caught anything, I assumed they meant the typically bred Splendens you buy in a cup? The wild Betta you describe being watched via GoPro, although within each others sight, had the opportunity to move away from each other and other fish as there's lots of room in the wild...not so much in a glass box, even if it does hold 200l.

You are respected for your experience and knowledge Gary, you've done your research. But I don't think encouraging those who are not that informed in the subject to try something risky like this is wise, in my very humble opinion.

In my own limited experience a lot of the Betta readily available have been victim to the selective breeding you're talking about, where aggression is a problem. Of course there are always the exceptions. I've kept a few Betta in my time but I certainly wouldn't risk the potential upset by putting them together.

I'm by no means a fish guru or highly knowledgeable about anything in particular but I love to learn and will read up on everything I'm interested in and like any good student, do so with humility.

So I stand corrected and take back my serious errors
 
They eat mosquities, and everything eats them. There are predatory insects in their environment that pick young Bettas off. That's why they are shy. They are targets. They defend feeding and breeding territories against other male splendens. Ideally, they get to do this if a bird doesn't pick them off.
The predatory insects are dragonfly larvae and the like. They hide among aquatic plants and are well camouflaged, and will grab tiny fry that come close to them, but if they expose themselves to Daddy betta guarding the bubble nest then they will be attacked and eaten by the betta. I wouldn’t say aquatic insects are the reason the bettas are shy.
 
Yes, I have a way to pick them to avoid aggression. You pick your top five or six bettas and set them on the shelf. Make sure they can see each other. Anyone flaring? Immediately out. Anyone just puffing up a bit? Immediately out. Then, once you’re narrowed down, walk over to the portion of the store with the tetras and such. Does the betta flare at them? Down. Anyone who doesn’t flare at either and isn’t sick is the betta you want.

And I actually do believe they’re at least shoalers: if your sorority is being kept correctly (ie, no nipped fins, no/very little visible aggression), you’ll oftentimes see the girls stick together at the surface of the water. Guys will never shoal or school, and they are not social fish. I do think they like the occasional stimulation, but it’s wise to understock your tank and add many floating betta logs if you’re keeping a dude in a community. Girls are social fish, and do quite well in communities.
And, I’ve kept a DG pair: they do indeed stick together. I’m never keeping less than six DG again now. Betta sororities are different, but at one point I do believe they were all shoaling fish. Both are definitely social, even though they aren’t described as true shoalers.
And, side note: I’ve seen the victim-of-a-community thing. Tried hides. They failed. I made the awful decision of putting black skirt tetras in the thing and was forced to put him in the backup tank. He wasn’t even a longfinned betta: he was just a plakat, but apparently those particular tetras have some kind of death wish. Yeah, never doing that again. My plan here for managing it is to pick mostly middle-to-low end swimming fish and letting the betta lord over the top.
 
I wasn't talking about birds, and no I didn't read your thread. The OP wasn't talking about wild caught anything, I assumed they meant the typically bred Splendens you buy in a cup? The wild Betta you describe being watched via GoPro, although within each others sight, had the opportunity to move away from each other and other fish as there's lots of room in the wild...not so much in a glass box, even if it does hold 200l.

You are respected for your experience and knowledge Gary, you've done your research. But I don't think encouraging those who are not that informed in the subject to try something risky like this is wise, in my very humble opinion.

In my own limited experience a lot of the Betta readily available have been victim to the selective breeding you're talking about, where aggression is a problem. Of course there are always the exceptions. I've kept a few Betta in my time but I certainly wouldn't risk the potential upset by putting them together.

I'm by no means a fish guru or highly knowledgeable about anything in particular but I love to learn and will read up on everything I'm interested in and like any good student, do so with humility.

So I stand corrected and take back my serious errors
Look, dude. I’ve done this before. I get apprehension, but it works really well if you execute everything correctly. Keeping a backup tank for the betta is a must.
You are right, though: way more betta than normal are aggressive. Mostly because Petsmart and such usually buys the rejects from Thai fish breeders, which still breed fighter bettas. However, they’re not all fighters, and the same fisheries often also line-breed the fish to be less aggressive, although for pretty bad reasons, as these unaggressive betta are usually used to train a aggressive male to fight, and if you get one that hasn’t been bred solely to bite the tar out of everything else, they often do better in communities than in a five-gallon. They’re much more active, and can claim much larger portions of territory to patrol. Oftentimes they’ll allow your fish to swim through their territory, unless of course you have picked the terror in a cup to be supreme tank lord.
 
There are serious errors in this post. Bettas are the top of no food chain. They eat mosquities, and everything eats them. There are predatory insects in their environment that pick young Bettas off. That's why they are shy. They are targets. They defend feeding and breeding territories against other male splendens. Ideally, they get to do this if a bird doesn't pick them off.

Their survival strength is the labyrinth organ, that allows them to colonize low oxygen swampy zones larger predators avoid, because in shallow water, birds have a clear view. Larger predators get predated. They share with some tiny Bororas types, who handle that environment by staying small. But pet shop Bettas were removed from that environment hundreds of years ago, and cultivated for gambling. They've been jarred for centuries (not good in my eyes, btw - just a fact).

If you read the thread, which it appears you didn't, I have kept wild caught splendens. They were relatively unaggressive. I have also watched go pro footage of them, taken by a forester friend. They hover , sometimes with other males in sight. They look up, for bugs. They conserve their energy. Conflict is fin flaring, and the invisible barriers are generally respected. You'd need a four foot by four foot one foot deep sandbox tank thick with Pistia or water hyacinth to see this if you had wild caughts not bred for gambling or mild plakats raised together to see this at home. I've only ever seen one tank like that, run by a friend who had my plakat young in it. They had grown up together, as I had handed them over at under an inch. The tank ran for several years as a real conversation starter.

There's a hobby folklore/fishlore that says these fish are mad killers. Put them in a 5 with other fish, and yes, they can be. Most males though will take a zone and stay in it, and posters will ask why their Betta or 'beta' isn't at the front of the tank all the time. Are they better alone? With the bad breeding that creates the oversized fins, the fish is visibly handicapped, and may not be able to thrive in a community. I will never buy another longfin as my experience with wild caughts convinced me keeping fancy Bettas isn't ethical.

Hundreds of years of selective breeding created fighting lines for gambling. That's a problem. The percentage of "good fighters" was always low, which is a good thing. Decades of hobby breeding created fins that slow them down, and a Betta usually learns to live and let live quickly. When you buy them, they have been jarred since very early, as soon as their sex could be guessed at. This is to protect their fins because if they squabble, they tear them and we don't buy them then. It also increases aggro temporarily, as they have never shared space. Most Bettas adjust in a day or two. Then they are grumpy things, not stressed wannabe serial killers.

My sample is about 35 Bettas over 56 years of fishkeeping, with a another few hundred that I raised and sold or gave away when they were unsexable juvies. Lifespans for single Bettas in communities ran at about 5, although one got to 7 having lived in both types of setups. I used no tiny tanks except when I was a kid starting out and not knowing better. Even those fish were chill though. Not one of those bettas ever killed a tankmate. They barely chased them after 2 or 3 days in the tank.

In a properly chosen community, they tend to be the victim of fin nippers, not the killer. Some will show the breeding for gamblers still, and are usually the ones fighting with the reflections all around them. Avoid those ones.

We all need to constantly educate ourselves more, and I read every paper I can get on the Betta group, even though I don't plan to keep them again. If I were to stumble across a coccina group one, or picta - yeah, I'd bite. No more splendens for me. The issue isn't their aggression, it's ours. We feel free to create misshapen fish bred for aggression since some of us like to gamble on death. We have screwed a cool fish up outrageously. But in large enough tanks here with carefully chosen tankmates, they seemed very unstressed, long lived and calm.
I really try to avoid getting the wild-type bettas, as I’m fairly sure they’re endangered and I think most of them are wild-caught. Every betta I’ve kept was a splendens, with one imbellis pawned off on me by a friend. Imbellis was cool, awesome in fact, but I still don’t want to support wild-catching a endangered species, as that’s what nearly drove cherry barbs to extinction. Closest I’m willing to get is something like a alien betta.
How old did your normal betta, not in communities, get?
And yeah, I rarely see my community betta in the front long-term, unless I’m feeding them. The one time I did frequently, I had to also place his betta log in the front, and it was so ugly and made it super hard to do maintenance.
Wow, show me the four-foot by four-foot tank: that sounds awesome. Did he just put the whole spawn in or carefully pick them out?
 
It took me 50 years to find a wild type, and they came from someone who found them locally where she was. They taught me a lot about aggression and nature, versus breeding for aggression. If you are going to talk about innate aggression, it's like talking about long fin growth - not natural. That's how it came up. It's not a question of avoiding getting them. They are simply rarely sold. At one point, it was assumed wild forms were extinct and had been replaced by escaped cultivation versions. They only survive on the edge of their range.
I can't see where you'd say I was encouraging Betta communities. That's a misreading.
I explained where the guy got his Bettas for his extreme set up. I gave him very young juvies I'd bred, and they grew up together and sorted things out.

I used to move my Bettas out of communities for breeding, and back in when the deed was done. I only bred longfins to see how it worked - just for the experience before I had ever seen shortfins.
 

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