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betta gone bad?



 
 
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  #1  
Old February 22nd 05, 03:06 PM
John D. Goulden
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Default betta gone bad?

A somewhat unusual tank: 10 gallon with one male betta, one female betta and
three neon tetras. The tank used to be divided but the male and female were
spending all of their time hanging out together at the mesh divider, so I
put them together to see what would happen. No fighting, no flaring, no
nipping, and for the last six weeks or so they've been pretty tight,
sticking close to one another and swimming together almost all of the time.
They both ignore the neons. During that time her horizontal fear /
submission stripes have faded and she's become a nice light red (he's bright
red). Neither have shown any inclination to make red baby bettas.

Two evenings ago I gave them their midnight feeding and bid them "good
night." Both were happy (as demonstrated by the usual Betta Dance) and all
seemed well. Next morning at 6:00 AM I found the male betta dead with all
his fins chewed away.

This morning one of the neons was dead and also somewhat chewed upon.

She's back to grey with horizontal stripes. Remorse after murdering her SO
and pet?

My other betta pair (both dark blue, and she's nearly as dark as he is - I
haven't seen her stripes for months) is doing fine in their 10 gallon.
They've been together much longer than the red pair. Like the red pair, they
also show no desire to make baby bettas. They CAN tell the difference
between the can with flakes and the jar with bloodworms, though.

--
John Goulden


  #2  
Old February 22nd 05, 03:55 PM
IDzine01
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Hi John,

I'm sorry to hear of your loss. It's very sad but not all too shocking.
It's pretty unconventional to house males and females together because
of their tendency to fight until severely injured or even dead. Even
when breeding the pair is closely watched and then quickly removed
after spawning to avoid serious injury. In the wild females and males
come across each other for mating purposes but do not share the same
space at all times. I suspect one or both of them felt threatened and
it lead to the death of your male. Those girls can be quite the
fighters too.

It's a real gamble keeping them together. :-/ I am sorry to hear it
though.

  #3  
Old February 22nd 05, 09:20 PM
Tynk
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I must disagree with you.
It's not unconventional to house a male in with females, if both
personalites allow for it, and the tank situation allows it
too...meaning size, decor, tank mates, etc.
If it's not a breeding set up situation, 99% of the time you'll never
have them spawn in a community tank.
There have been a couple rogue pairs that I've heard of not giving a
hoot and spawning anyway. However, the eggs are always eaten by tank
mates.This also almost never happens too.
You cannot compare breeding behavior with that of typical male and
female Betta behavior in a community tank.
It simply is as different as night and day.
I don't think in his situation that the female killed the male at all.
Personally, I think he died of other reasons, such as old age, disease,
but not from an attack by her. Of course post mortom any fish in that
tank will start to eat him, and sure thing that bymorning he'd be all
nipped and chewed on, just like he was. That just happens, it doesn't
mean that fish was killed, or that the damage seen was done before
death by an attacker. My bet is it was done post mortom.
They don't live peacefully for that long and then all of a sudden
decide to kill the other one.
Quite often you will find males and females living closely to each
other without any aggression what so ever.
However, put those same two in a tank by them selves, lower the water
level and raise the temp to 83*f and it's a new ball game.
The male becomes aggressive and starts courting the female. If she is
unreceptive (has a headache) or isn't ripe with eggs yet, he will chase
and nip at her in order to drive her away from his territory..thus
allowing another female a chance to spawn with him.....however, being
in a tank she cannot flee and becomes attacked relentlessly until she
is removed.
He would actually only be doing what his instincts are telling
him....even though they had lived peacefully in a community tank for
that long before.
It's two different situations that can't really be compared.

  #4  
Old February 22nd 05, 09:45 PM
steve
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Tynk wrote:
They don't live peacefully for that long and then all of a sudden
decide to kill the other one.



Obviously you aren't married.


steve

  #5  
Old February 22nd 05, 09:45 PM
IDzine01
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Well, I'm not totally disagreeing with you TYNK. The postmortem thing
is totally possible but so is the possibility that the female killed
the male. It is not uncommon for fish to become aggressive to each
other after some time. I just split up my community tank after many
months of operation because all of a sudden my male betta was being
harassed. It does happen. These changes in personality (fishonality?)
could have developed because of changes in the tank parameters or one
or both of the bettas could have come into sexual maturity. Any number
of reasons could have lead to new aggression issues. I suppose if there
were signs of illness before that night then the postmortem theory
would be pretty likely.

As for housing males and females together, I stick by my statement of
it being unconventional. I do know of people who do it, you, John and a
couple of others but the majority do not keep both together. I wouldn't
say it's wrong I just think it's less common and may come with
consequences. Surely I'm not the first to give warning on this subject.
It's common practice to keep them separated.

  #6  
Old February 22nd 05, 10:38 PM
Ozdude
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"steve" wrote in message
ups.com...

Tynk wrote:
They don't live peacefully for that long and then all of a sudden
decide to kill the other one.



Obviously you aren't married.


LOL!
Oz


  #7  
Old February 23rd 05, 04:07 AM
Tynk
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I just split up my community tank after many
months of operation because all of a sudden my male betta was being
harassed. It does happen.

Please clarify whether your male was getting harrassed by a female
Betta (which is what we were talking about) or different type of tank
mate?

I do know of people who do it, you, John and a
couple of others but the majority do not keep both together. I wouldn't

say it's wrong I just think it's less common and may come with
consequences. Surely I'm not the first to give warning on this subject.

It's common practice to keep them separated.

Of course you're not the first to give warning, but it's probably
because for some many years people were conditioned into thinking that
you cannot house them together in the right situation.
Heck, look how often even today that folks don't have a clue that
Bettas can go into a community tank without killing every fish in
there.
People still think they're killing machines.

  #8  
Old February 23rd 05, 04:08 AM
Tynk
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Yeah yeah cute guys. = )~
I have, by the way,been very happily married for the last 20 years.

  #9  
Old February 23rd 05, 07:11 PM
IDzine01
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No, he was being harrassed by other tankmates, not a female. My point
was just that temperments do change over time due to many variables.

There are always exceptions to the rule too. You yourself TYNK have
successfully housed males and females together, no? You also said it
needs to be done under the right situations. I would have to agree
there, but determining the right situation will increase the risk. By
keeping them separate we have no chance of one injuring or killing the
other. We have to determine what the reward is and if it's worth the
risk. If the reward is we don't have to put up the money to buy a
separate tank for our females then I seriously question our priorities.
If the reward is bettas live a longer, healthier life when both genders
cohabitate, then maybe there's something to it. Unfortunately I don't
know of any formal studies and only have years of caution offered by
generations of betta keepers to go by. Maybe you will be able to issue
the first formal study of males and females being kept together.

  #10  
Old February 25th 05, 05:16 AM
Tynk
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Oh man, I love keeping a resident male in with my females.
In 26 years, I've only had several situations where they wouldn't
co-habitate.
One of those is the present. I happen to have a bunch of spawn sisters
and they are full of **** and vinegar! They will rip a male to shredds
in a second.
This is just how they are and I accept that with this batch of ladies,
unless in a spawing situation, I cannot put them together.
It has been so many years since I've not been able to.
For odds sake, it's the females that are usually the culprit doing the
nipping. Only, I'd have to honestly say about 3 times in all those
years that I've had a male be so overly aggressive that he couldn't be
housed with the ladies.
To see a male interacting with females on a daily basis is exciting (to
me anyway). The males are so funny....they'll be totally ignoring a
female that is just trying her best to strut her stuff, and he'd rather
go flare at his reflection in the background.
Of course there are times when dominancy issues come into play.
However, they are mostly posturing, with a possible chase. No damage at
all.
The hierarchy between all of them together is also quite interseting to
figure out. The females all have their own pecking order, yet the male
fits into it in a different mannor.
He's not always the alpha in the order either.
The reason pet shops and other Betta hoobyists have it pounded into
their heads that you cannot keep them together, is because of how often
it's done wrong, and the person doing it doesn't k now what to expect.
To me, I'd rather tell a person the whole truth. Not just a half truth.

 




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