I want to have bettas in my 50-gallon tank, which will consist of schools of fish.

Suppose I obtain a group of (maybe 4) female bettas and I have a shoal of 10 neon tetras in a 50-gallon tank. There are about 8 places for the fish to hide. Would they end up being compatible?

Suppose some of the tetras begin nipping one or a few of the bettas' fins? How should I resolve the situation? Would I have to get a new tank, which isn't an option, or would I release it back to a pond? What should I do? Can someone answer this from experience?


2 Answers 2


A lot of pet stores - particularly those dedicated to aquariums - will happily take unwanted fish off your hands. So if that ends up the case, and you can't put them in another tank, call around and see if any stores will take them. Often the fish just end up getting resold by the store. I've heard some stores may even give you store credit towards the fish you 'trade in', though I've never asked for such.

Never release them into the wild unless that's the habitat they came from. They'll almost certainly die right off the bat, and if they do survive, you risk introducing an invasive species (such as the Lion fish off the US East Coast and pythons in Florida) or a disease/parasite into the local habitat.

  • I have a friend to re-sells his fish back to pet stores for store credit, so I can corroborate this.
    – JoshDM
    Nov 15, 2013 at 19:49
  • 1
    (not said friend) I sell mine back to my LFS. They don't give me much, but my fish like to breed (not bettas sadly) so I often find I have more than I expected in my tanks.
    – rlemon
    Nov 16, 2013 at 0:00

I presume you've already sorted this issue out. However, I shall give an alternative for other's who have such issues. First of all having a group of Bettas is a bad bad idea. Specially 2 males and 4 females is even more bad.

Whether there are tetras or not the males with fight each other constantly. I've done such experiments in a much larger tank ( a bathtub) and the males fought each other for days on end to establish dominance and one of the males died and was ripped into pieces. ( I wouldn't be surprised if this happens in your case).

Normally after such a testosterone filled event the male will go build a bubble nest and will start courting females to lay eggs, here's another problem, this spawning ritual might end up in another ugly war where the male might kill all the females in a quest to save his brood.

Male Bettas fish are brilliant fathers and will kill to defend their brood. So I advice you keep them separate.

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