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Problem: Betta Is Gobbling Up Tankmates Food!

Siren

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I recently started a planted 10gallon aquarium for my Betta and am using corner filters to reduce flow for his fins. He seemed to be pacing around and lonely, so I decided to get him tankmates. I ultimately decided on a school of ten White Cloud Minnows, who luckily have seen no aggression from my Betta, Piper. However, the problem arises at feeding time. I'll give my Betta Hikari Betta Bio-Gold pellets 2 times a day, with 4-6 a day depending on how active he is. He absolutely loves them, and he also receives one or two blood worms as a treat every Sunday. However, when I start to give my Minnows they're tropical flakes (Mine are Fluval), my betta jumps in while they're feeding and eats them all. His belly has grown significantly, and the Minnows are left scouring for food. I'm scared that my Minnows will starve, and my Betta will over eat.
 I really don't want to buy a new tank, as I am new to the hobby and it is not in my resources.

 
TL;DR: Betta's eating tankmate's food. He's obese, tankmates are starving.
 

Ninjouzata

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The white cloud minnows need cooler water than the betta, and bettas do not get lonely.
They also can have some issues arise from over-eating by taking their tankmate's food, which is why I no longer keep bettas with anything.
 
I would re-home the minnows or set up a separate tank.
 

DWC

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I love White Clouds but have to concur, their ideal temperature environment is significantly below a Betta's by a good 10F, indeed a temperate rather than tropical fish, but hardy so it may work though certainly not ideal for them. I have 6 Bettas each alone in a 10 gallon and they don't seem lonely.

Otherwise, a Betta, being a fairly slow swimmer, would be hard pressed to out compete a minnow for food. A small sinking pellet for the white clouds, Tetra makes them (and I'm sure others), would take the food off the Betta's preferred surface dinner space long enough for them to feed before be goes in search of more grub. Floating flakes are akin to chaining me to a buffet while on my diet and expecting not to partake.
 
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Siren

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Ninjouzata said:
The white cloud minnows need cooler water than the betta, and bettas do not get lonely.
They also can have some issues arise from over-eating by taking their tankmate's food, which is why I no longer keep bettas with anything.
 
I would re-home the minnows or set up a separate tank.
That's the problem. I can't. My beta is overeating, but it isn't in my budget to buy more tanks at the moment. The water issue came from the guy at the lfs, who also agreed that the water parameters weren't the same, but since both were hardy fish, I could keep my heater somewhere slightly colder than 78. I trust him only from my and others experiences.


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DWC said:
I love White Clouds but have to concur, their ideal temperature environment is significantly below a Betta's by a good 10F, indeed a temperate rather than tropical fish, but hardy so it may work though certainly not ideal for them. I have 6 Bettas each alone in a 10 gallon and they don't seem lonely.

Otherwise, a Betta, being a fairly slow swimmer, would be hard pressed to out compete a minnow for food. A small sinking pellet for the white clouds, Tetra makes them (and I'm sure others), would take the food off the Betta's preferred surface dinner space long enough for them to feed before be goes in search of more grub. Floating flakes are akin to chaining me to a buffet while on my diet and expecting not to partake.
Thanks for the advice, I'll go check them out. My beta apparently is faster, as he got constipated and bloated today, so I had to feed him a pea.


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Wildbetta

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Honestly the whole setup is not ideal.  The minnows really need a bigger tank with how active they are and especially since you have 10 of them.  10 is a great number to start with but is a decent amount over what your tank is made for unfortunately. 

Then of course you have the difference in ideal temperatures which pushes 1 or both species of fish to live at a temperature that is not idea for them.  In the short term you may not see any issues, but it could impact stuff in the long term like life span or ability to fight off illness. 
 
Third, keeping a betta with other fish is always a tight rope when it comes to feeding.  Bettas are gluttons and are amazingly fast when it comes to gobbling up food.  You might have to cup the betta when you feed the minnows for the time being until you figure out a better option as far as housing.  
 
My recommendation is to -- rehome/return the minnows or get a larger tank as soon as you can for them(20 gallon long is best).  You could get something as cheap as a steralite/rubbermaid container of 1+ gallons and keep the betta in that until you can sort out the minnows.  
 
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