Bickering betta :(

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Bickering betta :(

Post by Flute on Fri May 18, 2012 2:23 pm

Last night I noticed one my females had a massive chunk missing from her tail. I know betta bicker amongst themselves, so I thought nothing of it. Checked this morning though and another two have damaged tails. I know I have one male for definite, and I suspect there's a second male too. I was told last night that we can't afford to set up a 3rd tank, so it looks like I'll have to re-home one, if not both of them soon if this carries on. I don't want to wake up one morning to find a tank full of battered females. The larger male generally seems laid back compared to the second suspected male, but it's difficult to see what goes on after I switch the tank lights off Sad

Bit gutted, as the definite male is absolutely stunning Sad Also not too sure as to how to go about re-homing both of them Sad
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Re: Bickering betta :(

Post by sjones_1 on Fri May 18, 2012 4:15 pm

As a temporary fix it seems you could use dividers or floating plastic holders that are used for livebearers. If it turns out you do have more than one male and can't set up another tank for them then re-homing is probably the only option.

In my grow-out tanks I have only males left, in a range of sizes and aggression levels. I tend to see one male (usually the largest) dominate over an area. In my tank it's a crack in a piece of bog wood which they seem to like to sit in. As long as no one comes close then he's completely relaxed. However, he will aggressively chase away any males that encroach on his area.

Almost every single fish has some nick in their fins due to sparing with other males but they soon heal and I've not seen any serious issues. My males left the female alone. They would flare to her but never really cause her any damage.

It would be great to see some pics of all the fish to see if we can help confirm the sex of some of them. A pic of them in full flare (I use a small clear plastic tank with a mirror next to it for pics) would be best.

Sam
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Re: Bickering betta :(

Post by Flute on Fri May 18, 2012 5:07 pm

Hmmm, it seems like I might get away with another tank after all Razz We'll have to wait and see later Very Happy

They're absolute pains to photograph, and I couldn't get either to flare at the mirror, although I have seen both of them flare in the past. AS I was photographing them I saw the smaller of the two start on all the females around "him".

Definite male:











And second possible male, although I'm hoping it's just a foul tempered female. There's no ovi spot, and this one has quite a big beard when flaring too, like the other male. Does show faint stress stripes at times, compared to the other male who never shows stress stripes.









Lots of photos sorry, and a shame I couldn't get them flaring, although they were fascinated by their appearance Very Happy Oh and they've all got right fat bellies after dinner last night; no food tonight I think! Razz
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Re: Bickering betta :(

Post by sjones_1 on Fri May 18, 2012 5:20 pm

Ok here goes;

Your definite male is definitely a male! Smile

Your 'possible male' is also a male! :s

In your fifth picture from the top I can see the two males already mentioned, 2 (possibly 3) females and an unknown. Two definite females in that image both showing egg spots. I believe we can see one of them in the second from last image (bottom right) who looks like a steel blue or turquoise female.

In the final image male 1 and 2 are correctly identified as males. There is a female in the foreground (can see an egg spot and looks a bit bigger in the belly). The steel blue female i've mentioned is behind the 'male 2?' writing. The two fish behind male 1 are hard. The one further away could be another male and the closer one a female but I'd need better images.

Hope I've helped, More pics of the other fish in question would help me sex them.

Sam
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Re: Bickering betta :(

Post by Flute on Fri May 18, 2012 5:35 pm

Thanks Sam Smile I only have a 35 ltr spare with a water fall filter, so I don't know if I'd be able to split the tank for the two of them. And I think 17 ltrs each would be too small for them really?

I've got to say I'm really chuffed with male 1 though- I know he's nothing fancy but he is such a pretty betta Smile

I'll see if I can get more pictures in a minute of each fish for you Smile For now, here's what I can see for definite:

The rest of the fish in the tank have dinky little ventral fins, where as the two males have much longer ones which is what made me think that they could be males. They all have much more dull colouration than those two, easily get stress stripes and I can see ovi spots on four of them. One that I can't see an ovi spot on looks like a typical female- really short fins, and is quite round. There's also a really small one that I'm a bit worried about- I've had these guys for weeks now and she hasn't grown at all.

Give me a moment and I'll get some descriptions and some photos for you Smile
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Re: Bickering betta :(

Post by Flute on Fri May 18, 2012 6:17 pm

Right oh, sorry for the double post and yet more photos.

Quick description of each possible female as well to go with the numbered photos Smile

Female 1- Dull grey body, blue/green fins. Visible ovi spot, very short ventrals.
Female 2- Very small, dull body, always shows stress stripes. Blue and purple fins, which are quite short.
Female 3- Largest female- grey body with red and blue fins. Visible ovi spot, very round body.
Female4- Grey body but very colourful fins. Red tail and speckled blue dorsal. Ovi spot present but has longer ventrals than the other females.
Female 5- Grey body, red fins. Visible ovi spot.
Female 6- Brown body with red fins, visible ovi spot.











Sorry about the crappy quality and the dirty glass >.< I can never seem to get it clean! Hope these are clear enough though Smile I can see ovi spots on all but the runt (I know that ovi spots aren't a perfect indication though).
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Re: Bickering betta :(

Post by sjones_1 on Fri May 18, 2012 7:02 pm

It's so tough with pics, if I was their I'm sure it'd be no problems. I'll tell you what I think but bare in mind I'm not actually there so could be wrong.

Female 1 - Agreed = Female. The steel blue/turquoise I referred to in my earlier post.

Female 2 - I think this is a young male but it's too small to tell. As you've mentioned it not growing much in the last few weeks and it looks a little thin in the pics I'd say it's getting bullied off the food. It might be worth placing it in a floating breeder trap (if you have one) and feeding it loads of food. (See bottom of post for how I feed mine up).

Female 3 - Female.

Female 4- Can only see it clearly in one pic (second in your new post) but my initial thoughts were male. However, the stress strips on a fish bigger than male 2 might suggest a female.

Female 5 - Again, Initial thoughts were male but then with a grey body and stress strips on a larger fish suggest female.

female 6 - Female

They need to get a little bigger for me to be totally sure.

For feeding up your 'runt' - I'd separate them in a floating breeding trap and hand feed them defrosted bloodworm twice a day until they won't take any more. Normally around 2-3 worms in smaller fish. They should all have a really full belly at least twice a day for good growth. You may have to increase the number of water changes.

Sam
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Re: Bickering betta :(

Post by Flute on Fri May 18, 2012 7:29 pm

Cheers Sam Smile I'm really hoping that they'll all prove to be female. I'm going to have a job re-homing one of the males as it is >.<
There's a small independent fish shop down the road from me who might take one of the males, but they display their betta in plastic cups. Sad All it would take would be for me to see him in a cup and I'd buy him back.

I don't have a breeder trap at the moment but they're easy enough to get hold of. I'm always so wary of over feeding betta because it takes so little for them to get hugely bloated. I remember when I was in uni and I'd ask dad to look after them, I'd come back and they were like balls. Lost a couple of them because of it. But I'll give it a go and up their feeding.

Thanks again!
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Re: Bickering betta :(

Post by Flute on Mon May 21, 2012 8:23 pm

Happy to report that the smallest is already gaining weight Very Happy And the two males seem to have settled down a little bit for now too, so things are calm for the moment Smile
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Re: Bickering betta :(

Post by Flute on Thu May 31, 2012 10:56 pm

Although she its still the smallest betta, she's almost doubled in weight and size and is no longer struggling to compete for food Very Happy
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Re: Bickering betta :(

Post by sjones_1 on Thu May 31, 2012 11:13 pm

I'm glad they're doing well now. Betta are such pigs. So glad she's gained weight.

Sam
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Re: Bickering betta :(

Post by Flute on Thu May 31, 2012 11:20 pm

Haha, yeah they definitely are! I say she at the moment, there is an ovi spot, and very short ventrals so fingers crossed Smile

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