I think he's lonely - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-07-2013, 04:40 AM Thread Starter
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I think he's lonely

I just got a new beta. I've had them before and they're always content to live alone. This one seems lonely and I'm not sure what I can get to live with him with their reputation, plus I had two once before and they gradually ate each other's fins to the point I had to get rid of one.

Can I get another male? What about a female? Is there any other fish that can be in the same tank?

He seems to not be eating, I've tried pellets and blood worms. Found out he HATES blood worms haha... and the pellets he spits out. Going to try flakes, but I wonder if it's just because he's lonely?

He is making the bubble nest at the top of the tank, I think he's very happy with the tank.

Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-07-2013, 09:55 AM
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How long have you had him and what size tank is it.

Males are naturally aggressive to each other and you're actually lucky that they didn't kill each other! Females are also a big no-no, they will tear each other to shreds basically.

The pellets might be too big for him, try cutting them up with your fingernail or something and try them then. When they spit them out it's because they're waiting for them to be softer so they can properly chew and digest them.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-07-2013, 11:18 AM
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Hi sbgrn the only thing you would ever want to keep with your Betta is a snail or shrimp, they are called fighting fish for a reason as they defend their territory and will fight or even kill to chase off another fish that comes into their territory or tank. Your Betta may also not even like a snail or shrimp living it him, you would have to be very careful and watch him closely to see if he would accept it living in his home. He is not lonely Bettas like to live alone, he could be sick or bored though. Do you have any items in his tank like cave or plants, anything he might enjoy swimming around to explore and to keep him interested in his surroundings ?

Do you have heater in his tank ? Bettas are tropical fish and their water needs to be at a stable temp at least 78.

How long have you had him ? Many times a new Betta will not eat while till he adjust to his new home. Keep offering him the pellets to see if he will eat them and if not take them out so his water doesnt get dirty and spoil in his tank. He may like flakes better some Bettas do, I think it could depend on what they are used to eating before you get them and yes as lilnaugrim has said they could be to big for him so you could try cutting them in half or maybe even crushing them up and see if he eats them better that way.

Good luck and keep up updated on him he is doing and do ask if you have anymore questions.

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Last edited by Destinystar; 06-07-2013 at 11:26 AM.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-07-2013, 11:22 AM
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Also, what size is your tank?
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-07-2013, 11:39 AM
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I agree with the other members, we need more info to help you. Please let us know the size of your tank, filtration, temperature, etc.

Bettas are generally not the best fish comparability wise, but they certainly can be kept with other fish. I have to respectfully disagree with perseusmom, bettas definatly CAN be kept with other species, and the reason they are called fighting fish is due to their behavior among their own species. Contrary to popular belief, bettas will not confuse guppies with other bettas. Quite a few of mine are with no issues whatsoever. Be careful if your fish is over aggressive, and only stock fish that are not fin nippers.

Last edited by MattsBettas; 06-07-2013 at 11:43 AM.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-07-2013, 01:00 PM
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Oh goodness I didnt mean to turn this into a debate Matt...lol I should have said for the beginner fish keeper to kept another fish with a Betta would not be good idea and if you do try to keep a Betta with another fish like a Guppie isnt there proper ways to try and do that, such as putting them in the tank together at the same time ?

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-07-2013, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all your replies! First, I'm not new to bettas, I got my first one about 10 years ago. He lived for years in a small tank with a light in the corner of my kitchen and was a joy to watch. (It was in college that I tried having two and learned it was a bad idea!)

Yes to one question, I did go out and get a silk plant to put in the tank. When I bought the larger tank with the light and filter it was because the tiny betta tank I had before just got dirty too often. But the betta was very happy in it. In the meantime, I had a friend's daughter fish sit for me with that one and she loved him so much I let her keep the whole thing. So when I got this fish I got a bigger tank with the filter and light. I also bought the live betta plants that are in the bottom and still very small but growing. I added the silk plant because although I'm sure he likes how warm the water gets with the light, he hid under the filter a lot so the plant allows him a place to hide that doesn't suck his fins in haha.

I know from what I've read on here what people believe about tank sizes, but I've always had a small, maybe 1/2 gallon betta tank. I've upgraded to a 1.5 gallon tank and he seems to love it. He makes his little bubble nests on the top all the time. I was just concerned that he doesn't seem to want to eat, so I'm trying different options. I also wondered if his making the bubbles indicated that I should get a female, but I don't think I could keep them together in the same tank and that was why I was asking.

I really appreciate all the comments, it's fun to see other betta lovers!!! Thanks, and keep em coming.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-07-2013, 04:17 PM
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Actually, I think its more of a personality thing. Some bettas don't do well with anything and others are more tolerant.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-07-2013, 04:24 PM
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Bettas are really quite solitary fish. The nesting behaviour is instinctual. Even males in dirty cups at the pet store will nest. It does not really indicate the need to mate.

Spawning these fish is not something to do on a whim and requires quite a lot of research to be successful. It is rare that you will find males and females that will cohabitate peacefully. In most instances, you will end up with stressed, maimed or even dead fish.

From your initial post, it sounds like you are somewhat anthropomorphising your betta. That is okay, as everyone does it to some degree. However, just remember that fish don't really have human emotions like 'loneliness'. Particularly semi-aggressive fish like bettas, that would normally not spend much time in each other's presence even in the wild.

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-07-2013, 04:24 PM
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I have a male (in a 1.5) who tends to get lonely also. My solution? To get him a pretty neighbor! They're tanks are next to each other, they get to see each other, and interact (which they both seem to enjoy), but I'm not putting either of them at risk for injury.

There is nothing wrong with a 1.5 gallon as long as it's clean and warm enough, some fish even prefer smaller spaces, and will tail bite, or refuse food if you put them in larger spaces. (that depends on the individual though)
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