Betta with shrimp

BarryH

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After Googling Betta with Shrimp, I found conflicting answers. Does anyone on here keep a Betta with their shrimp?

I’ve searched Google and there are conflicting answers
 

lilirose

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I did, once. I started putting Painted Fire Red culls in my favourite Betta's tank, because I thought he was too mellow to eat them. The shrimp bred quickly and the Betta stuffed himself with baby shrimp- I'd see him eating them frequently, and for a while I thought it was free live food and he'd be fine, but then his belly swelled. He died of bloat 11 months after I bought him and about four months before the shrimp went in (I drained the tank to remove the shrimp about a month before he died, but it was too late).

My Bettas usually live a lot longer than 11 months. I still have shrimp and I still have Bettas but they will be kept in separate tanks from now on.

That said, adult Amanos may be safe because they are large, but I've heard anecdotes of them deciding to make lunch of a Betta's fins while it rests. (I'm aware my story above also counts as an "anecdote").
 

sparkyweasel

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One of the reasons Bettas are so popular is that they have some personality; but that means they vary a lot in temperament, - hence the different opinions out there. People have different experiences with different individual Bettas. I would only try it if I had a spare tank ready in case I needed to separate them again.
hth
 

hypnogogia

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I once kept them together in a large tank (260ltr) and the shrimp were fine. I had lots of plants for the, to hide in and they could move much more quickly than than the Betta.
 

rubadudbdub

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Betta stuffed himself with baby shrimp... but then his belly swelled. He died of bloat 11 months after
That's interesting. I had a pretty chilled out betta in a well planted tank full of cull cherry shrimp I felt too bad to cull, but who had started breeding like mad. So I took the cowards way out and thought I'd try a betta knowing he may help with population control. He'd stalk them fairly unsuccessfully while I was watching. No doubt he ate a few, but I believed most managed to evade the betta.

However, at 7 months he swelled up and developed drospy like yours did, without any particular reason. I'd never even considered the shrimp diet as a reason for this.
 
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The other thing I should add, I didn’t see my four Amano shrimp for 4 months. Literally they would sneak out at night to try and feed. I only knew there was some in the tank from moult shell. What ever about the shrimp evading the betta, If he hunts they will always be on predator alert and unlikely to display. I won’t be keeping them together again. As they say I have lived and learned.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I'd never even considered the shrimp diet as a reason for this.
I'd be surprised if it was directly shrimp related. Shrimps are nutritionally pretty good, and would be very similar to the invertebrates a Betta would eat in the wild.

I haven't kept a Betta for a long time, and never with shrimps, but I fed Cherry Shrimps to my Apistogramma for a time without any problem for the fish, although I did eventually run out of shrimps.

cheers Darrel
 

lilirose

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Hi all, I'd be surprised if it was directly shrimp related. Shrimps are nutritionally pretty good, and would be very similar to the invertebrates a Betta would eat in the wild.

I haven't kept a Betta for a long time, and never with shrimps, but I fed Cherry Shrimps to my Apistogramma for a time without any problem for the fish, although I did eventually run out of shrimps.

cheers Darrel

I get that you are in doubt of what happened in my tank, but deliberately feeding shrimp to a fish, one at a time, is not the same as an endless buffet of baby shrimp with no human hand involved, except when I finally removed the shrimp.

The Betta tank in question is six inches to my left for most of the day, so I actually was right here observing what happened. The number of adult shrimp didn't increase (except when I added more culls), but they were breeding like mad as cherry shrimp do, and the Betta was eating all day long.

I'll admit that it's possible that the endless gorging was somehow unrelated to the bloat, but losing a Betta in less than a year is not normal for me, and I will not keep shrimp with Betta splendens in future.
 

frothhelmet

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My betta ate rcs size shrimp indiscriminately and terrorised a full grown amano into constant hiding / jumping if you put them together - it constantly tried to hunt and kill it even though it can't swallow it whole.
 

alto

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but then his belly swelled. He died of bloat 11 months after I bought him

at 7 months he swelled up and developed drospy like yours did

Did your Bettas happen to resemble Diana Walstad’s excellent photo?

https://dianawalstad.com/2017/04/27/mycobacteriosis-in-aquarium-fish/

Mycobacterium sp. presence in young Betta fish has been shown to vary from 40% - 70% (in a relatively recent study) - despite attempts at remediation (increased cleaning of vats, increased cleaning of live food sources, substitution of dried fish food for live foods etc), infection levels did not decrease as hoped, so then they examined the breeding fish - many females were positive despite showing no symptoms and even very young fry tested positive for Mycobacterium sp.

While Betta fish may live 10 years - the end of the experiment - given a proper tank and exercise (yes the grad students chased the fish to force specific amounts of exercise), most Betta purchased in recent years do not, instead a lifespan of 1-3 years is often observed (even in suitably kept Betta fish)

Unfortunately Mycobacterium is not limited to Betta sp.

Mycobacteriosis in fish is a chronic progressive ubiquitous disease caused by Mycobacterium marinum, M. gordonae and M. fortuitum in most cases. The aim of this study was to describe the morphology and distribution of lesions in 322 freshwater ornamental fish across 36 species. Granulomatous inflammation was diagnosed by gross examination and histopathology testing in 188 fish (58.4%); acid‐fast rods (AFR) were determined in only 96 (51.1%) fish from 19 species after Ziehl–Neelsen staining. The most often affected organs with AFR were the kidney (81.2%), digestive tract (54.1%), liver (48.2%), spleen (45.9%) and skin (21.2%); sporadically, AFR were found in the branchiae (9.4%) and gonads (4.7%). In 14 randomly selected fish originating from four different fish tanks, the distribution of mycobacterial infection was studied by culture examination of the skin, gills, muscle tissue, digestive tract, liver, spleen and kidney. In 12 fish, the species M. marinum, M. gordonae, M. fortuitum, M. triviale, and M. avium subsp. hominissuis (serotypes 6 and 8 and genotype IS901− and IS1245+) were detected; mixed infection caused by different mycobacterial species was documented in five of them.
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2761.2010.01202.x



Also,
A hexamitid flagellate infection (probably Spironucleus) in the Siamese fighting fish, Betta splendens, was reported by Ferguson and Moccia (1980). The infected fish became inappetent, had a lethargic behavior, developed a swollen abdomen, and usually died, often with a perforated stomach. The flagellates occurred in large numbers in the abdominal cavity, mesentery, liver parenchyma, spleen, and kidney, and they were closely associated with a chronic inflammatory response. Ferguson and Moccia (1980) found that nifurpirinol effectively eradicated the flagellates when administered as both a bath and a feed medication.



“Velvet” disease is often under-diagnosed in Bettas (and once established is quite difficult to eradicate)

Additional ectoparasites infesting the skin and gills of their fish hosts are the dinoflagellates Piscinoodinium pillulare and Amyloodinium ocellatum. Trophonts of P. pillulare occur on freshwater fishes and have an attachment disc with rhizocysts that embed in the cytoplasm of the host epidermis or gill epithelium (Lom and Schubert, 1983) and possess well-developed chloroplasts. Amyloodini ocellatum trophonts possess numerous filiform rhizoids and a stomopode which apparently aids in digesting host tissue, but they lack chloroplasts (Lom and Lawler, 1973). Life cycles of these organisms are similar, with trophonts withdrawing their penetrating processes, falling to the substratum, and covering themselves with a cellulose secretion. Cellular division produces 128 free-swimming dinospores which each divide once to form a total of 256 infective swarmers. The pathogenicity of these parasites is caused by the extensive damage to gill epithelial cells by the penetrating rhizocysts or rhizoids. The primary damage to host tissue in A. ocellatum infestations results from the injection of lytic or digestive fluids through the stomopode. Paperna (1980) has suggested that the severe histopathological changes in the gills of fishes infested with A. ocellatum might be caused by the excretion of toxic substances by the parasite, as is the case with several species of free-living dinoflagellates.
 
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alto

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All of my Bettas have eventually shrimp hunted, one very happy (berserker?) Betta killed over a dozen young adult shrimp in the time it took me to recapture him in the 5gal tank (OK he was a Plakat, but still :oops: :oops: :oops: )

But I’m persistent, I’ve had similar experiences with
- a tiny! male licorice gourami (he must’ve previously trained in shrimp killing as he was smaller than some of the shrimp he so efficiently dispatched), the female watched with apparent indifference
- a juvenile angel fish (maybe 1.5cm body), again he was only killing with no interest in eating (unless he was intending to return later :rolleyes:)

Fortunately these events were separated by some years, so I’ve managed to not kill all my shrimp with my (apparently) inherent poor judgement
 

lilirose

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@alto , without quoting the entirety of your excellent post- my Betta had excellent colour until his last week of life, and no visible lesions. I am familiar with velvet and the course of his illness didn't match. However, his eventual death appeared to be from an internal rupture, so the flagellate infection you mention is a strong possibility.

What I would like to know is whether anything can be done to treat any of these problems using medications available here. I have two living Bettas and plan to soon buy a third. When I lived in the States many years ago, I would have preventatively treated all new fish with a course of an antibiotic as well as an anti-parasite treatment, but I know that those meds are not obtainable here for very good reason.

Sorry to have taken this so far off-topic!
 

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