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Just wanted to verify you have a heater in the tank? Bettas are less active in cooler waters. They prefer 78-82F. My guys (and gal) lounge occasionally but for the most part they're out and about trying to get my attention or exploring/foraging.
 

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Yes! He is much happier. All of them are in good homes and appear very fit, now that they have grown back their fins...The stories they will tell...:frown2:
I'm so happy to hear they all healed up. I've had infection problems in the past due to injury. I lost my favorite Betta ever after he was attacked by an Otocinclus. I was worried about your fish.

Your guys are like little Gladiators. Pretty darn tough!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Just wanted to verify you have a heater in the tank? Bettas are less active in cooler waters. They prefer 78-82F. My guys (and gal) lounge occasionally but for the most part they're out and about trying to get my attention or exploring/foraging.
I'm @76-78F. So it could be that the tank is a bit chilly for him. It depends on the level. 78 near the top, and 76 bottom. It's a 18 inch tall 55g, so there is the thermocline. But he is a very full halfmoon, fuller/longer than others I've seen. Maybe that makes a difference too. He lays in leafs near the surface where it is warmer too. I put a saucer in the tank today and he bedded down in that quickly. I believe he needs to be in a more shallow tank because it really does look like he is laboring to pull that long cape up to the surface from the bottom. Another crazy thing he does is lay over where bubbles come up out of the coir and let them bounce him on his side. Super silly looking. I still haven't named him yet, but his antics are telling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
So I tried searching for your Betta experiment posts and couldn't find them. I'm intrigued!
Or...you could be angry after you see what I did. I put 8 male bettas together in a 55g. You can find it on my blog: aquariumexperiments.com, or search here in projects for 'Many Male Bettas ....' I guess I should have put the link here, but I'm already typing. Ok, here it is: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/12-tank-journals/989209-many-male-bettas-55-gallon-tank.html
 

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Or...you could be angry after you see what I did. I put 8 male bettas together in a 55g. You can find it on my blog: aquariumexperiments.com, or search here in projects for 'Many Male Bettas ....' I guess I should have put the link here, but I'm already typing. Ok, here it is: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/12-tank-journals/989209-many-male-bettas-55-gallon-tank.html
Thank you for linking to me! I am not at all prone to take offense, and really appreciate your work. I often think information is passed down as reliable only because it's been repeated frequently without any actual experience. Sometimes things don't work but only because of a single variable. Change that and it might!

Perhaps you should consider contributing to the "overstocking aquarium" thread. I posted a question concerning exactly this there. I've so often wondered why this is possible and common with cichlids but not bettas. I know that different species have different levels of testosterone- the bull shark having the highest levels of any animal. Now that you have experience with both would you say that the more fragile fins of the betta make it so or that bettas exhibit more aggression than cichlids?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Perhaps you should consider contributing to the "overstocking aquarium" thread. I posted a question concerning exactly this there. I've so often wondered why this is possible and common with cichlids but not bettas. I know that different species have different levels of testosterone- the bull shark having the highest levels of any animal. Now that you have experience with both would you say that the more fragile fins of the betta make it so or that bettas exhibit more aggression than cichlids?
Really good question. A combination of finnage and aggression I think. If you consider the wild bettas, with less finnage (new word?), there seems to be less aggression from what I've read. Today's hobby Bettas have all that fin and more aggression. Breeding them to fight each other is something cichlids don't have in common. So since we no longer breed for fighting aggression, I wondered if it was lessened in the latest generation. I learned that would not be the case.

P.S. A similar situation is seen with pitbull dogs. Breeding them to fight stays in the DNA somewhere, and it can appear without notice. My Aunt was killed by two random pitbulls taking groceries out of her car on the street.
 

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Really good question. A combination of finnage and aggression I think. If you consider the wild bettas, with less finnage (new word?), there seems to be less aggression from what I've read. Today's hobby Bettas have all that fin and more aggression. Breeding them to fight each other is something cichlids don't have in common. So since we no longer breed for fighting aggression, I wondered if it was lessened in the latest generation. I learned that would not be the case.

P.S. A similar situation is seen with pitbull dogs. Breeding them to fight stays in the DNA somewhere, and it can appear without notice. My Aunt was killed by two random pitbulls taking groceries out of her car on the street.
The aggression is there in different levels despite finnage and color. I have a black Plakat. When my other Betta (red halfmoon) sees him, he reacts. He knows it is a male Betta who is a rival despite the short fins, current drab color and distance between tanks. The Plakat still has a pit bull mentality despite his breeding (koi genes) His nick name is Mr. Bitey. He jumps out of the water a la Shamu to bite things. I am glad my Betta tanks have lids otherwise I would have an accidental Betta experiment.
 

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Bettas are surface breathers too. He's probably extremely tired from gulping air at the surface because of the long swim to the top. I mean, all other comments about that dragging cape of a fin are right, it's probably much like trying to swim in jeans and a t-shirt... Lol.
 

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I just wanted to add one more thing. Laying around is a halfmoon thing. The fins and tail grow so long and heavy that they tend to scoot instead of glide when they swim. Balancing on things and laying down are preferred over exercise. That's why it is important to find ways to help them keep active. I found out that Finn loves to prance around in front of a mirror. He can only do so for a few minutes before he gets winded. Here is what he normally looks like.




 

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My guess is just like any other animal, they have a personal boundary limit and a territory limit. Ever watch a flock of birds land on a telephone line, every one of them is nearly exactly the same distance apart and they will let another bird know if they get to close. The size of the tank would matter the most in the amount of Betas one could keep in it. I had a 5 gallon tank with a divider, blue one on the left, red on the right. The blue one spent his day starring at the red one through the screen then one day found an opening. The red beta lasted all of 30 seconds.
 

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B. splendens are bred to fight. If you put two of them in the middle of a lake together, they'll attack each other. It's apparently started to ease up somewhat in recent generations, but they are incredibly aggressive.
If you want a group of bettas, get the wild ones. They're still territorial, but within reason- you can actually keep a group if they have space to establish territories, and they won't murder each other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I just wanted to add one more thing. Laying around is a halfmoon thing. The fins and tail grow so long and heavy that they tend to scoot instead of glide when they swim. Balancing on things and laying down are preferred over exercise. That's why it is important to find ways to help them keep active. I found out that Finn loves to prance around in front of a mirror. He can only do so for a few minutes before he gets winded. Here is what he normally looks like.
He's a gorgeous boy. Is he red or orange? Super Beauty.
 

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He's a gorgeous boy. Is he red or orange? Super Beauty.
He's a Strawberry red.

I call him my ugly duckling. Between my middle aged eyesight and those tiny cups they put him in, all I could see was a tiny red rose tail teenager. I got him home and released him into his tank. He had this ugly pointy head, strange stripes on his face and two big gashes on his head. (I think someone dropped him on his head). I was worried the cuts would scar over. This picture is a couple of weeks after I got him, his head was healing and he already put on weight and size, but he was yet to blossom.



Here are some favorite photos of what he looks like for a few minutes each day (when he is not sleeping or lazing around). He is quite impressive.



 

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B. splendens are bred to fight. If you put two of them in the middle of a lake together, they'll attack each other. It's apparently started to ease up somewhat in recent generations, but they are incredibly aggressive.
If you want a group of bettas, get the wild ones. They're still territorial, but within reason- you can actually keep a group if they have space to establish territories, and they won't murder each other.
Which Wild Bettas have you kept? (I know I have read about your fish before, but I can't remember). How many did you keep and in what size tank?
 
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