Are these stress stripes? (Betta) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-12-2020, 06:15 AM Thread Starter
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Are these stress stripes? (Betta)

Long story short, this is a 3 month old female.

Many thanks in advance.

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-12-2020, 07:09 PM
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It appears to be pre-breeding/aggressive vertical barring pattern. The female seems to be an interspecific hybrid. I look forward to your making the short story longer...which may shed light on your question.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-12-2020, 08:17 PM
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I second the breeding bars.
But donít think about breeding a betta without have homes for 300 or so bettas. Itís a lot of effort.


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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-13-2020, 03:36 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply @mjwgh2 . I thought they might be breeding stripes but it seems strange.

Long version - last October I picked up a male "Alien" hybrid betta at an Expo called The Aquatic Experiencnce in NJ. I didn't intend on buying fish that day, but you know how it goes.

This male is a bit shy and retiring. In five months he's never built a bubble nest and a mirror doesn't bother him too much. He's perfectly healthy and has practically doubled in size. He lives in a 10 gallon planted tank.

Last month I happened to see a tiny blue female version of my male. I've always wanted a female - not necessarily to breed - at least not now (yes I'm aware it's labor intensive!).

Out of curiosity, I put her in a tank adjacent to his - they could see each other. The little female (she's less than half his size) immediately began pacing up and down the side that faced the male's tank. The male just flared and acted belligerently until he gave up and ignored her.

After a week I put cardboard between the tanks so they couldn't see each other. This didn't stop the female from relentlessly pacing up and down the cardboard side, which she's *still* doing!

The male didn't attempt to build a nest during this time.

One day out of curiosity, I put the little female in the male's tank for about a minute. I was really wondering what he'd do, since these "wild types" are allegedly "peaceful". Or at least not so aggresive.

She started following him around like a little puppy. Pestering him. The male didn't appear to appreciate the attention. He kept flaring at her and chased her off, cornering her behind the filter. That's when I noticed the stripes and removed her (she's as small as ever; if she's gravid I can't see it).

I'm not sure how to interpret what I saw. Since their brief encounter the male has been acting totally different. He spent the rest of the day and the next day out in the open "patrolling" his entire tank (he's never done this). He was calm, but very thorough. Next, HE starts glass surfing on the side blocked by cardboard! WTH? This fish has *never* glass surfed. Does he "know" she's on the other side?

Finally tonight he's mellowing out but still more active than usual. The little female stops pacing long enough to eat live daphnia, but then back to pacing. She's not exploring her tank at all. She can't see him so I don't know why she's fixated on that cardboard divider?

The reason I thought the female's stripes were stress stripes is #1 the incessant pacing (since she was new I left the tank light off for a few days - it didn't help) and then #2 the brief encounter with a big flaring male.

I hope the above clarifies things a bit. You mentioned pre-breeding/aggressive stripes - would you mind elaborating?

I thought breeding stripes signaled readiness to spawn - but if that were the case wouldn't she be obviously gravid? If the stripes were signaling aggression, then why was she shadowing him? (not stalking, more like "playfulness").

And finally, any idea why the male has never built a nest even with an apparently willing female next door?

Thank you much for any insight.

Apologies for crappy photo quality, but if you zoom in on pic #3, you can see them "facing off" behind filter intake and the size difference is readily apparent.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-13-2020, 03:44 AM Thread Starter
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Oh I hear ya!

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-13-2020, 02:55 PM
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Do they know whatís behind the cardboard? Yes, though they may be itty bitty fish with itty bitty brains, but those brains work really well, especially with regards to what belongs where.
Ever seen your betta get excited when you move to pick up their food container? Just like puppies Bettas know, itís got food inside it. Your fish know there is a betta behind the cardboard. Just wait them out, might take s few months but they will ignore it eventually


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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-13-2020, 03:50 PM
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I'm not a betta guy at all , but that is a really nice looking pair.
But for many of us, we are not very good at knowing what we are seeing in our fish and we can often think of them as "dumb" since they don't do things the was we do them.
But if we watch closely, we might see that they are far more developed in their thinking than we might think. It is not really too easy to pass on the genes but yet they get it to to survive. So knowing, remembering, sensing, or some way getting the idea is not beyond my expectations for them. Maybe there is a perfume in the air that we don't know about???
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-13-2020, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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@PlantedRich gee thanks. They're not your standard issue ornamental betta, but "wild type" hybrids which is why they don't have long fins.
I don't know why they're called "Aliens" Lol.

I totally "get" what you're saying. I highly recommend a book called
"What a Fish Knows; The Inner Life of Our Underwater Cousins".

Sorry I forget the author right now, but he's a well known fish advocate and behavior specialist - it's a fascinating read. Fish are far from dumb and lead rich, complex lives. I couldn't put the book down.




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For a fascinating read on the rich complexity of fish behavior check out the book I mentioned in reply to above post.

Obviously the female knows the other fish is a male betta, but the male hasn't shown any sign he recognizes her as a betta, never mind an interested female!

Isn't it weird he's never (ever) blown a bubble nest?

She was very relaxed until she spotted him in the adjacent tank. Since then she hasn't stopped pacing even though she can't see him anymore.

I associate pacing with stress, so I don't know what to make of her behavior.

If any fish whisperers out there can explain the non-stop pacing, I'd be mightily appreciative.


Fwiw, today the male is behaving normally again, which means I can't easily see him as he's lurking around the driftwood or hidden by plants. Whatever it was he was doing for a couple of days - openly swimming all around his tank (patrolling?) I don't know but it sure was funny as he's never done that.

Maybe he's just a weird fish.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2020, 01:48 AM
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>>I hope the above clarifies things a bit. You mentioned pre-breeding/aggressive stripes - would you mind elaborating?

I thought breeding stripes signaled readiness to spawn - but if that were the case wouldn't she be obviously gravid? If the stripes were signaling aggression, then why was she shadowing him? (not stalking, more like "playfulness").

And finally, any idea why the male has never built a nest even with an apparently willing female next door?
I thought breeding stripes signaled readiness to spawn - but if that were the case wouldn't she be obviously gravid? If the stripes were signaling aggression, then why was she shadowing him? (not stalking, more like "playfulness").

And finally, any idea why the male has never built a nest even with an apparently willing female next door?<<

It occurs to me that the fish are perhaps seeing their image or movement on the glass (especially if the dividing paper is dark). Bettas may run the glass for many reasons. They're not always a fish which sit in place and do nothing - especially pla kat types with less finnage and often, more attitude. Live foods to hunt down, non-aggressive tankmates and other distractions may help to alleviate repetitive behaviors.

The same stripes occur in young to adult females which are reproductive or nearly so. Your female is mature enough to breed now. Young females don't carry huge numbers of eggs - young spawns may be quite small. Groups of female splendens or similar hybrids show barring in aggressive, dominant individuals, especially if they are near or in spawning condition. They also develop vertical patterns in the presence of males who display - which may turn off or redirect some of the aggression of the male, allowing breeding to commence without bloodshed.

Building a bubble nest is pretty individual, but good feeding, temp. about 80 F. and a styro cup (cut down middle) floating in a quiet, non turbulent tank area will encourage it, if you wish to observe it. Dropping the water level to about 4-6" is also conducive to nesting.

I concur w/ Trahana about breeding. You cannot imagine how much is involved in rearing large numbers of males in jars & females in colonies. I once had 60 gallon jars of males to change 2x weekly...and their sisters in rearing tanks. I have to say that the hybrids (smaragdina is almost certainly involved) are very attractive animals (I am partial to blue). Enjoy them!
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-15-2020, 02:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjwgh2 View Post
>>I hope the above clarifies things a bit. You mentioned pre-breeding/aggressive stripes - would you mind elaborating?

I thought breeding stripes signaled readiness to spawn - but if that were the case wouldn't she be obviously gravid? If the stripes were signaling aggression, then why was she shadowing him? (not stalking, more like "playfulness").

And finally, any idea why the male has never built a nest even with an apparently willing female next door?
I thought breeding stripes signaled readiness to spawn - but if that were the case wouldn't she be obviously gravid? If the stripes were signaling aggression, then why was she shadowing him? (not stalking, more like "playfulness").

And finally, any idea why the male has never built a nest even with an apparently willing female next door?<<

It occurs to me that the fish are perhaps seeing their image or movement on the glass (especially if the dividing paper is dark). Bettas may run the glass for many reasons. They're not always a fish which sit in place and do nothing - especially pla kat types with less finnage and often, more attitude. Live foods to hunt down, non-aggressive tankmates and other distractions may help to alleviate repetitive behaviors.

The same stripes occur in young to adult females which are reproductive or nearly so. Your female is mature enough to breed now. Young females don't carry huge numbers of eggs - young spawns may be quite small. Groups of female splendens or similar hybrids show barring in aggressive, dominant individuals, especially if they are near or in spawning condition. They also develop vertical patterns in the presence of males who display - which may turn off or redirect some of the aggression of the male, allowing breeding to commence without bloodshed.

Building a bubble nest is pretty individual, but good feeding, temp. about 80 F. and a styro cup (cut down middle) floating in a quiet, non turbulent tank area will encourage it, if you wish to observe it. Dropping the water level to about 4-6" is also conducive to nesting.

I concur w/ Trahana about breeding. You cannot imagine how much is involved in rearing large numbers of males in jars & females in colonies. I once had 60 gallon jars of males to change 2x weekly...and their sisters in rearing tanks. I have to say that the hybrids (smaragdina is almost certainly involved) are very attractive animals (I am partial to blue). Enjoy them!
Sorry huge tangent but your avatar caught my attention! How old's your corgi? Love them (have a tricolor gal)

Due to photobuckets new bs cost for use of images on forums I have deleted all photobucket accounts. I apologize if you enjoyed or found my photos helpful.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-15-2020, 03:14 AM
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@PlantedRich gee thanks. They're not your standard issue ornamental betta, but "wild type" hybrids which is why they don't have long fins.
I don't know why they're called "Aliens" Lol.

I totally "get" what you're saying. I highly recommend a book called
"What a Fish Knows; The Inner Life of Our Underwater Cousins".

Sorry I forget the author right now, but he's a well known fish advocate and behavior specialist - it's a fascinating read. Fish are far from dumb and lead rich, complex lives. I couldn't put the book down.




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For a fascinating read on the rich complexity of fish behavior check out the book I mentioned in reply to above post.

Obviously the female knows the other fish is a male betta, but the male hasn't shown any sign he recognizes her as a betta, never mind an interested female!

Isn't it weird he's never (ever) blown a bubble nest?

She was very relaxed until she spotted him in the adjacent tank. Since then she hasn't stopped pacing even though she can't see him anymore.

I associate pacing with stress, so I don't know what to make of her behavior.

If any fish whisperers out there can explain the non-stop pacing, I'd be mightily appreciative.


Fwiw, today the male is behaving normally again, which means I can't easily see him as he's lurking around the driftwood or hidden by plants. Whatever it was he was doing for a couple of days - openly swimming all around his tank (patrolling?) I don't know but it sure was funny as he's never done that.

Maybe he's just a weird fish.

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I've had males that simply only blew bubbles once. Picky fish are very picky indeed. I often talk about Bettas like they are dogs, expecialy since they are carnivorous hunting fish. Each betta has their own personality. Your male could be picky, or maybe not interested in females, or this particular female
He was patrolling either because he was looking for the fish he saw, or because he saw a fish invade his water.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-15-2020, 04:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you kindly for taking the time to write such a detailed and interesting reply!

Far as live foods as "distractions" these fish are spoiled. I've got a tubful of daphnia outside and black worms in the fridge (my LFS has them).

I know the glass surfing has to do with these two being neighbors because neither of them did it before. The divider is a light color, but it's solid. No way they can see each other.

I not overly concerned that the male's never made a bubble nest, more curious because I know they do this instinctivly even in the worst conditions (like in those Petco/Petsmart cups).

Far as tank mates the male's too aggressive for anything besides snails and shrimp. There was a guppy living in the tank and when I first put the betta in, he immediately began flaring & stalking the guppy causing it to jump out of the tank in fright.

I cannot even *imagine* changing 60 1 gallon jars of water twice a week - OMG. What did you do with all the fish?!

I think if I were ever to attempt breeding I'd want some type of barracks system set up.

You've probably seen the videos of the betta farms in Asia? No luxurious gallon jars for them, only rows and rows as far as the eye can see of very small jars.

Anyway this has been instructional so thanks again. I was just so surprised this little female was so instantly smitten with her neighbor. I figured she'd want to explore her tank or whatever but NO she immediately fixated on the male.

These "wild type" hybrids come with a learning curve but it's been rewarding. Funny what you said about short fins = more attitude, LoL.

They seem healthier than the long finned ornamental type Splendens. I hear so many stories about short lived Splendens....indeed I lost one myself to dropsy within 5 weeks of his arrival. I never figured out why because his params were pristine - indeed he was in the same tank as the current male betta who's been thriving for five months (I used to call it the The Tank of Doom haha).

Cheers and hope you have a great weekend!


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Or he could be a confirmed bachelor or perhaps flying the rainbow flag *wink*

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Last edited by Darkblade48; Today at 02:31 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-16-2020, 12:18 AM
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Thank you kindly for taking the time to write such a detailed and interesting reply!

Far as live foods as "distractions" these fish are spoiled. I've got a tubful of daphnia outside and black worms in the fridge (my LFS has them).

I know the glass surfing has to do with these two being neighbors because neither of them did it before. The divider is a light color, but it's solid. No way they can see each other.

I not overly concerned that the male's never made a bubble nest, more curious because I know they do this instinctivly even in the worst conditions (like in those Petco/Petsmart cups).

Far as tank mates the male's too aggressive for anything besides snails and shrimp. There was a guppy living in the tank and when I first put the betta in, he immediately began flaring & stalking the guppy causing it to jump out of the tank in fright.

I cannot even *imagine* changing 60 1 gallon jars of water twice a week - OMG. What did you do with all the fish?!

I think if I were ever to attempt breeding I'd want some type of barracks system set up.

You've probably seen the videos of the betta farms in Asia? No luxurious gallon jars for them, only rows and rows as far as the eye can see of very small jars.

Anyway this has been instructional so thanks again. I was just so surprised this little female was so instantly smitten with her neighbor. I figured she'd want to explore her tank or whatever but NO she immediately fixated on the male.

These "wild type" hybrids come with a learning curve but it's been rewarding. Funny what you said about short fins = more attitude, LoL.

They seem healthier than the long finned ornamental type Splendens. I hear so many stories about short lived Splendens....indeed I lost one myself to dropsy within 5 weeks of his arrival. I never figured out why because his params were pristine - indeed he was in the same tank as the current male betta who's been thriving for five months (I used to call it the The Tank of Doom haha).

Cheers and hope you have a great weekend!


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People inbreed fish like inbreeding doesn't effect fish! This is why some splendens are more fragile then others, because breeders see continuous color results by breed daughter to father and sister to brother. Thus both good and bad genetics are breed to be dominant by breeding within the genetic family.

On the otherhand, I also think poor water conditions are accumulate, meaning being in bad water several separate time has the same effect as being in bad water over period of time. Example: I bought a baby betta at petco five years ago, she's very healthy, only one incident of poor water after a vacation. From that event she got some slight fin melt which solved itself after water changes. She's never been sick since. She is the healthiest fish I've ever had, possibly because she's only once been subject to poor conditions.

I've also had frail fish that get sick at 20 ppm nitrate, and can get finrot at the drop of the hat. This male splendens, name Cowlick, is a typical red halfmoon but is petite and can't even bite a betta pellet! This is breeding fish with poor genetics and possibly in poor water quality too.

But Wild types are currently genetically diverse as they haven't been breed for centuries like splendens, which is why they are healthier fish. Sounds like your girl is over the moon for your male! Make sure your tank lids are tight, bettas can and will jump through cracks as small as a 1/2 inch. They are the trajectory experts, only beaten by killifish and a few others in their jumping aptitude and willingness to jump.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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You've got a five year old betta congratulations! I think you're right too much line breeding has weakened betta. Also agree they need pristine water params just like other fish.

I don't think they necessarily need a 10 gallon tank, but it's a lot easier to maintain than anything smaller (I don't like to fuss with tanks).
I'd originally planned for a small school of Rasboras in the 10 gallon but I don't think this male will tolerate it.

Yes I've heard they're jumpers - the male's tank is covered with floating plants and he's never shown the slightest inclination to jump but I still cover the tank when I'm not around. He could still get out if he really wanted to, but he'd be winning a Darwin award since he's got a pretty cushy set up.

I'm pretty sure these "wild types" are still in the Splendens complex, right?

I'm pretty sure they're not as "interactive" as their ornamental cousins....at least not at first.

Yes indeed this young female is over the moon but since she's a fraction of his size I don't see how it would work Lol. If I lived in FL and could keep tanks outside it would be interesting to see if a pair like this could spawn. Assuming the first batch would be small. No way I'm changing 60 jars 2x a week and I'm guessing you've got to do that for about two months?

Unless it were really worth my while...but I'm pretty sure there's a glut of Bettas out there.
Although not too many "Aliens" in the U.S. and the Thai imports are stupid expensive. I think the male I picked up at this Expo was over priced at $40.00 but I loved his color despite him looking like he was on his last legs (or rather fins)

Plus I got to meet Rachel O Leary



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