Very active betta fish

AviculariaLover

Arachnoknight
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Oct 20, 2006
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The other day I decided to get a beta fish to keep on my desk in my dorm room. I've had bettas before at home, usually each in a really big 'goldfish bowl', and they would just float around, really lazy. This time I have an approx. 3 gallon tank with a pleco and some nice decorations and a small bubbler (I had feeder fish in it for my waterbug for a while).

So I went to the pet store and saw the usual suspects in their respective super tiny decorative bowls (theres no way a fish could be happy in a 3"x2"x4" oval glass bowl!). Obviously they didnt move much. But then I saw, against the wall, all the large tanks. And there was one 10 gallon tank that a beautiful black/grey betta had all to itself. And it was swimming around all over, like it really owned the place. Seemed to actually have some personality as opposed to the usual brain-dead look of the other bettas, so I took him home.

He is super active, just like any other normal fish, swimming around, occaisonally staying still for a while. Loves to explore the fake plants. He sometimes teases the pleco. And he REALLY hates his reflection! I put up a mirror by the side of the tank a few times and he went nuts, flaring his gills. He also attacks me if I stick my finger in the water.

Has anyone else had really active, angry bettas? All the bettas I've ever had/seen have been so lazy and unresponsive, this one seems like quite a character. Not as colorful but beautiful in his own subtle hues, and personality.

Do you think that perhaps our perception of what is acceptable as a habitat for a betta (tiny bowls) is really cramping their lives, so that even while they can survive, they would be happier in a larger, more stimulating environment? Or maybe mine is just weird {D
 

Never_2_Old

Arachnopeon
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Oct 3, 2005
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36
Oh yeah,
My Betta is in a ten gallon tank with a water fall type filter and decorations. He also has company...four tiny cory catfish and a small loach and he is very active!
He will occasionally threaten his own reflection. He takes time every day to bully the catfish just a little to make sure everyone knows he is the boss. Cory Catfish are good company for Betta's because the don't have any bright colors or long flowing fins which might cause the betta to attack it.
 

Mushroom Spore

Arachnoemperor
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Do you think that perhaps our perception of what is acceptable as a habitat for a betta (tiny bowls) is really cramping their lives, so that even while they can survive, they would be happier in a larger, more stimulating environment?
Everything I've heard, from people who've kept MANY bettas over the years on another forum, indicates exactly this. Filters, and probably the added oxygen from the bubbler, as opposed to the stagnant grossness of a fishbowl? Wouldn't YOU be much more active and happy? :)
 

SkorpNtrants

Arachnosquire
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just keep in mind, that they do poorly with strong currents, with their fins.

although males tend to be more beautiful, I love females more for the fact that you can have quite a few of them together.. well generally :)
 

Arachnophilist

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I have 4 bettas 2 regular 2 crowntail.. all of them live in bowl setups. I found even in a tank mine liked to stay at the top and try to make their bubble nests.. mine in the bowls are all very active and happy.. get excited when you come near them and will happily strike your finger if you get it too close to the water. I have seen websites suggesting tanks are a "happier" setup for bettas. I personally havent found them to be any better.. I find what makes the bettas "happy" in my house is getting attention and having appropriate water changes.. and of course nice thawed bloodworms :D
 

verry_sweet

Arachnobaron
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I don’t like those little bowls…Bettas are tropical’s and if you give them nice clean Heated water they should be active if you keep them in cool water then they wont do much at all.
 

joseofsa

Arachnosquire
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only dumb pet store people think a tiny bowel is a good home for a betta. i do not know how that myth got started. but anyone who thinks that should not own pets at all. ohh i breed show quality bettas and love the little guys.
here is one of the males i will be entering in the next local show.
sorry had to take down pic (see reason below)
 
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GailC

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beautiful betta, is he a delta tail? what would you call that color?
 

bugmankeith

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The myth got started that in Thailand bettas live in flooded buffalo hoof prints, I guess after a heavy rain when the rice patty fields flooded, and then the roads dry out leaving puddles from the buffalo prints, and the bettas get stranded in them. Still that's the wild, this is a pet store, they can afford a bigger tank!

Anyway a betta in front of a mirror will get very excited, and normally an active betta is a healthy one, although yours will be much happier in a larger tank, like you have him in now.
 

Arachnophilist

Arachnoprince
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thats a very interesting little piece of information. okay then seeing as Im not doing a good job with my bettas what is the tank setup suggestion from everyone here?
 

joseofsa

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at the time of the pic he was only 3 1/2 months and was super delta now he is a over halfmoon beauty. marbled copper is his strain. a 5 gallon setup is what i use for my males but i would say 3+ gallon setup will do. nice story! makes lot-o-sence.
 

joseofsa

Arachnosquire
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and just to be clear i only meant to insult the pet store people who give this info.
 

Arachnophilist

Arachnoprince
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:D lol no worries.. either way I know my bettas are happy and healthy. but I would like to set them up as best I can. thanks for your help. and do you have a website with your fish? I would be interested in seeing what you are doing :D
 

GailC

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I have my betta in a 5 gallon tank. I used to keep them in my community tank but they would always die within 6-9 months. I've had my big boy for almost 2 years now:)

 

AneesasMuse

Arachnoangel
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The bigger the better... have you ever seen the size of a "rice paddy" or the adjoining irrigation "ditches" and streams? HUGE!
Another common "myth" is their preference or stamina for room temp water... just isn't true. I keep my bettas at 78-80 unless they are CT (crowntail) and then it's 82-84. Use a filter in the tank and do regular water changes... they don't live... ahem, they won't thrive in stagnant water either.

They are individuals just like any other creature, so what one likes, the other may not appreciate... like bubble wands and strong currents (I have a couple that "dance" in their bubbler and 2 that really enjoy riding the currents), types of food, huge spaces vs. medium sized spaces (I had one gorgeous Black Devil HM male that was afraid of a tank larger than 2-3g... he would get sick and lay on the bottom.... RIP Nero *death not related to tank), foods, tank mates, etc.
A 5 or 10g tank, space allowing in your dorm room, would be a nice set up for him. A couple otocinclus, cuz your space is limited with #s of fish (inch per gallon "rule"), or maybe 3-4 cories in the 10g (remember, cories like to school so 5 and up is best actually). One of my giants was very fond of his snail friend, also a big boy... Shadow and Reka. I lost Shadow to old age and Reka is about to be a father for the first time with me. ;)

Anyhow, bottom line... Bigger is BETTER in this situation :D



P.s. NEVER feed your betta kid "freeze dried" anything! It can kill him by a very slow and painful death... first constipation, then swim bladder disease or worse. Feed Hikari frozen bloodworms, brine shrimp (on cleaning day and only as a treat... they're messy and rich), daphnia... OR feed LIVE foods like blackworms from a clean source (an LFS that sells "clean" worms), brine, bloodworms, daphnia, etc. A good staple pellet is the Hikari brand Bio Gold, 2-3 at each meal (I feed once a day for 6 days and fast 1). I also feed my bigger kids... the giants... Hikari "baby" Cichlid pellets (they fit in their mouths just fine) The reason I reccommend Hikari brand is for the lack of parasites and their sterilization/packaging processes... they cannot be compared. And ask if your live worms are from California Worms or something like that (I'll find the exact name and post it back here) Their worms are also "clean" and I have used them for the years that I've been breeding SQ Bettas.
 

joseofsa

Arachnosquire
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I have been working on a site but i just never have time. with 30 active breeding pairs, 65 single males and females, and some 600+ fry i have a lot of mouths to feed and so little time to do so. plus i have reptiles and a few scatetred arachnids in my house somewhere. lol.
@aneesas most of your info is right on the money and makes you sound like a seasoned breeder of bettas. im very impressed. however freeze dried blood worms is a staple diet around these waters and puts all of my breeding stock in breeding condition. and freeze dried daphnia helps keep my fish regular. and this is the case with most of the betta keepers i know.
well im glad to see some betta people here
ohh and nice apache VT waldo yeah most fish nip at the slower ones in the tank so a betta would be picked on alot.
 

AneesasMuse

Arachnoangel
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Ask Victoria Parnell or Phil Lafferty or some of the ol' school breeders what they think of Freeze Dried... and compare life spans, etc.

To each his own, but I've seen the results of feeding FD anything. When I had the time and used to moderate on a Betta Forum, we saw numerous cases with dying fish... cause? always FD in their diets, among other factors.

Your "active" breeders would condition much better on their natural diets... LIVE is best. I keep hatcheries and cultures going at all times for my fish, even when I'm not breeding.
 

AviculariaLover

Arachnoknight
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Oct 20, 2006
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Thanks for all of your input! I tried to get some pictures of my betta but he hates the camera! Started fluffing his gills and swimming around like crazy when I got it near the tank. This is the best shot I could get... he looks much prettier in better lighting and the front is much darker than it appears in this photo. I love the muted colors, I've always had red/blue bettas and I wanted to go for something different. And I love the neon tips on the front long fins :D And his beautiful blue eyes.

 
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