Aggressive Betta - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-04-2012, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Aggressive Betta

I've noticed Lex has gotten a bit more aggressive. He hates water changes. Being switched from one container to the next. After each water change, he always tries to bite my finger when it's above him. He actually jumps from the water to try to get at me. I don't think he likes me very much anymore. He slowly gets over it the next morning when I am feeding him, but I don't want to cause him more stress with each water change. He's afraid of the blue net...and he isn't so fond of the cup either. Always tries to run way from it. The only way I can get him out of the container is by luring him to the top with my finger, or with food if it doesn't work, and being sneaky with the net.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-04-2012, 11:55 PM
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Bettas are predatory fish. Naturally aggressive, which is why they are called 'fighting fish'. High levels of aggression are actually a very good sign, it means they feel 'fighting fit' and are therefore in good health. A sick or stressed betta will become lethargic and therefore more 'peaceful'.

They don't actually 'like' or 'dislike' people as cats and dogs might, either. More like 'hey those big meaty things in my tank mean suppertime!' -- that level of recognition is about what they are capable of, emotionally.

The finger-biting means he associates your fingers with food, and his appetite is obviously very good!

For reducing stress at catching-time, try using a small container and 'scooping' him into it by dipping it in behind him and allowing the water to suck him into it. I use a pellet to coax my less-than-easy fish to the surface, and whoosh them into a container which I then quickly lid. Then I do the water change, make sure the temp is roughly even and tip them right back in, water and all (unless the water chemistry in the tank is dramatically altered for some reason, like I've added IAL or it's a new water source, etc).

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-05-2012, 12:09 AM
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hello i'm new to this just got my first betta but i was wondering how do i add ppl on here just set my profile up and trying to get the hang of things because i have so many questions about my little guy just want to keep him happy and tips on knowing how to do friend request so i can no more about my betta thanks

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-05-2012, 12:18 AM
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You might want to start your own thread in the section for new members so this person's issue can be focussed on here. Welcome the forum!

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-05-2012, 12:24 AM
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thank you so much just found this site and i cant begin to tell you how much i have read from others and has answer some of my questions

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-05-2012, 07:51 AM
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Betta fish do not like or dislike people. They do not have the ability to love, hate, or be angry. The biting is most likely unrelated. Betta fish were originally bred for their aggressiveness, so that is where such behaviors stem from in domesticated breeds.

As for water changes, how large is his tank? Being removed from the tank can be very stressful for a fish.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-05-2012, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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He has a 1.5 gallon. When I'm doing the 100% water change, I move him to a half gallon container. I empty out about 25% of the 1.5g tank water into the .5 container, then I move Lex with the net. I rinse out the tank with warm water and refill the tank. I add the stress coat (since he's was tail biting), wait a bit, and then start placing a bit of that new water into the container every 5-7 minutes. After 20-30 minutes, I add him into the clean tank with the net.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-05-2012, 10:05 AM
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Try using a cup or a ladle (lol!) :) I find containers less stressful for fish than a net because they do not leave the water.

Finger biting is good! Means they have a hunger, they are rambunctious and willing to "fight". An unhealthy betta will sulk, be lethargic, and most unwilling to at least investigate fingers.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-05-2012, 10:22 AM
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I know some here don't like it when their bettas bite them, but it always amuses me when mine do! Hai there little piranha wanna-be! The males like to show me they mean business by attempting to take my finger off. If they were like...10x bigger they might have a shot My little girl will come delicately, almost politely nip. Just sounds like your boy is feeling feisty!

I fourth or fifth the cup recommendation. I get them at the top, distract, put the cup under behind them and suck them in. This works great on my big finned males. Its more challenging with Sapphire - she's *fast* and can swim out even against the current if I'm not super quick. They don't particularly like being cupped, but a pellet while they wait usually mollifies them

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-05-2012, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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Hey everyone, thanks for the comments.


I was using a cup before, but stopped because it took forever to get him inside. I felt it stressed him out more. I'll try to be sneaky with the cup this time and grab him while he is eating a flake. Let's see if he is as aggressive after using the cup method :)
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