Bubblenests vs. Male Agression - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-09-2011, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Kirkland, WA
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Bubblenests vs. Male Agression

Has anyone who has a community tank with a male betta ever notice any corrispondence with their nesting and their aggression levels?

My situation is this, I have a 10 gal that I would like to turn into a community tank with one of my two boys. Beast, in his 2.5 planted tank, has never made a nest. Merlin, in the 10 gal half filled, makes some pretty awesome nests. I noticed this morning, after he had created a new nest, he seemed more protective of his territory, patroling the area with spread fins and even flaring at me. Both fish flare at their reflection but this is the first time Merlin flared at me or anything else.

I'm wondering if Beast might be the better candidate for the community tank since he doesn't seem to nest and might be less territorial. Or should Merlin be fine if I completely revamp the tank like I'm planning and add him back last?

(Another factor to the equation for those that don't know, Beast is at work and Merlin is at home and that's a 50 mile drive so switching them would be stessful on both boys. However, if Merlin is not a good choice for the community tank, it is an option.)

"All men are equal before fish." - Herbert Hoover

My work crew: Beast - M. Deltatail
My home boys: Merlin - hmpk

RIP - Domino, Lumier, Kraken & Makara
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-09-2011, 06:46 PM
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Location: Lake Havasu, Arizona
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My sister just added one of her males into a 5 gallon with two mollies (We've been watching him interact and he's almost puppy dog like in his interest. He dances for the mollies instead of trying to chase them or anything, but we knew he was gonna be social when we first set him up in quarantine next to the molly tank).

while that male was in quarantine he built huge nests while maintaining his friendly demeanor and general interest in his surroundings. I'll let you know if I observe any changes in him if he starts a nest in there, but I do believe they'd be a little more protective since a bubble nest is more of a territory thing. whether they go into aggression or defense is probably decided by the fish's temperament and stress level.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-09-2011, 06:57 PM
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It could be an indicator. One of my bettas Horton has never made a bubble nest and he actually does so well in his community tank that he's raised two cory fry on his own. Another betta Hugo made smaller bubble nests but rarely flared. He did well with cories. I picked Gatsby at the pet store because he had the biggest bubble nest and flared a lot. He hunted down my cory and kept biting him. Even after I added so many plants that he could barely find the cories and a second cory he still targeted them. Frost makes giant bubble nests and flares at pretty much everything. I'm not even going to risk putting him with other fish.

Mind you this is all my personal experience and only done with cories which are really peaceful fish that don't occupy the same swimming space as bettas. It might be worth a shot to attempt the community tank with the betta at home. I would take the betta out, rearrange all the decor, add the new fish, and then add the betta to give the community tank the best chance of success. Even then it might not work but you won't know until you try.

While a 50 mile drive is stressful it's definitely doable for a fish. Hugo made the trip from college in New York to home in Nebraska and back again to New York without any problems.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 03:03 PM
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It might be an indicator, but there are other factors for sure. My boy Smaug (red fish) builds huge bubble nests, while my boy Kamehameha (blue fish) doesn't even know what a bubble is. Kamehameha is very aggressive and I won't risk even a snail in the tank with him, but Smaug is totally cool with his snail curiosity.

Remember that the tank your fish lives in is his or her's whole world. Ask yourself this question, and answer it honestly: would you choose to live there?
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