everybody has an opinion, sadly those who voice theirs loudest are often those who are the least informed, myself certainly included
I have no qualms about admitting my intensity of character, nor do i have an interest in polishing my words, or dumbing them down to make them more accessible or amenable to others. Only remember if indeed my semblance strikes you as that of one who is offensive; that we merely see in others those things which we know from their presence in our own hearts and minds. Ergo the offended are the offensive just like the bored are the boring.
If I then strike you as a jerk, then that reflection is illustrative of all this gross irony entails, for I am a complex character and you will find in me whatever shape or form you wish to see, as human as I am, so pass your petty judgments and label me as you will, it avails me not yet has become a door of meager expectation through which many cannot pass, their judgments blinding their judgment itself.
My reasons for being here are informational, not social, I am not seeking personal validation for my existence through joining a fish forum. I love anabantoids, Bettas in particular and found this to be a resource of information, although like anyplace online it has a wealth of apprant and dramatic opinion as well as its own consensus, or mob mentality, as do all forms of community online or off.
Luckily I am a very simple person who is not smart enough to take part in the social games in the way that most do. My words might flow a little strangely but I am more a child than most, being autistic, it is as if I am forever a child, and so having an insatiable curiosity and hunger for information I am merely an older version of the child whose lips have asked why as many times as there are stars in heaven. Though like any curious child i still meet the reluctant and dismissive answers of the adult population with an awareness of the deep flaw in relegating causation to custom as opposed to function. For this reason there are those who respect me, and there are those who do not. However, I cannot say truly that I think we are all equal in the value of our judgments, nor can I say that any of our opinions is guaranteed to remain unaltered over the course of our lives, so I will remain as I am, as indeed I was born as my parents and grandparents can attest and I will give up on worrying about the approval of people, which means nothing to one so long outcast as I.
I have children who watch the tank, and a wife who watches the tank, so I will be notified of trouble even when I am not around and as I said, there are containers on standby ready for any trouble.
It occurred to me the other week, well before joining this forum, that I should like to breed a Betta for myself that lacks the fighting aggression and is a bit more ritualistic and less injurious, behavior including aggression is a subject that I am very interested in, I find tremendous parallels between the behaviors of all vertebrates, including fish, and one of them is in terms of territorial behavior of the biological unit, which is a group with social animals like us, but can be a pair or even an individual capable of reproduction like parthenogenic lizards.
I have noticed, and I am sure others have as well, that aggression of an individual fish tends to be distribute unequally among its tank-mates. This aggression is predictable but aspects of it are less so, for example a male or a female may be aggressive towards one female and tolerant of another. As if they have some method of discrimination, I do not mean in the gross sense of recognition, this is assured to be the case with these intelligent creatures, rather I mean they seem to have some method of judgment themselves, an innate or developed sense of preference. More than this, behaviors have the capacity to change, indicating that in at least some cases a form of choice may be occurring where the fish choose to be more or less tolerant due to some event which they recall. Clearly they have memories and can recognize things and even be trained to a degree. They appear to be primarily visual communicators in a call and response method, using color, posture and motion to signal eachother. Interesting to this is that most Betta fish seem to warn other fish about of their aggressive intent, it is as a dog growling.
The aggressor typically puffs up and freezes, then the would be victim either freezes or ignores the aggressor and just moves along, the victim which freezes is watched for a disconnect, this is a sign of when to strike, if this does not show up the aggressor tends to moves on, however if the subject turns to run the aggressor strikes, and if the subject disconnects, like a hesitation inside the freeze, then the aggressor strikes
a defending fish employs the presentation of its body at specific angles to the aggressor, effectively reducing the ability of the aggressor to bite the body and fins, as well as being ready, like a spring under compression, to flee as a right angle to the line of attack. This occurs in Bettas and Gouramis that I have seen.
In chase the aggressor will typically be evaded by a sharp turn, by chasing a turning fish the aggressor makes an arc through the water with a larger radius than the fleeing fish does, the solution to this problem is that when the chased fish begins to turn the aggressor pauses and rotates to an intercept angle for the new line the fish has taken and then pounces, this results in an effective hit, which can only be neutralized by the defender freezing and presenting the hard to bite body angles.
I have seen false aggression as well, where the puffing up of the aggressor was backed up by zero action. And while my males try to attack each-other ferociously if they see each-other in normal situations, neither one displays the same aggression for their reflection that they do each-other, indicating that some level of awareness is occurring that informs them of the difference between a reflection, perhaps in terms of position, and of another fish. It seems movement cues play a major role in this and never does a reflection do what a defender does, it never flees or moves first when the freeze standoff occurs, the Betta seems to pick up on this and regards their reflection with passionate curiosity in my case, while reserving naked aggression for fish that move of their own volition.
Last edited by Josh Young; 05-21-2010 at 09:38 AM.