no information on this behavior... quirk or...? - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-22-2010, 01:50 AM Thread Starter
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no information on this behavior... quirk or...?


So, I scoured the web for the answer to this question, and couldn't find it. I scoured this forum, and couldn't find it. So I decided to put out some feelers and ask.

First, some background.

I have a male king crowntail (Virgil) in a 10 gallon, heated and filtered tank, currently housed with an African dwarf frog, a loach, and an algae eater. Up until last week I was also housing a black molly, who for the most part (up until last week) was pretty chill in the tank with the betta. The molly had gotten much bigger since we had gotten him and was suddenly very aggressive toward the betta, tail-nipping and chasing around the tank. Virgil hasn't built a bubblenest since I first got him a few months ago, which he built in a one gallon, unheated, unfiltered bowl.

All the background aside, here is the most recent development. Virgil has started "hoarding" food. By hoarding I mean taking food after he has had his fill so to speak and moving it from one place in the tank to his favorite sleep spot. He is also diving after the frog's sinking pellets, picking them up in his mouth and dropping them in/near his bed.

This is unusual because it has started recently. I am not sure what it means, or why he is doing it, but it is interesting to watch. I am not sure if he goes back to the food later to eat it or not (because the frog moves in and snipes his food back).

Any help/information/insights into this would be awesome.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-22-2010, 07:50 AM
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I think (With The Food) is that you should feed the ADF's and the other fish in a different place at the same time so that the betta fish get's his fud and the other fish get theirs. I'd try that and see how it goes.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-22-2010, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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I do tend to feed them at the same time - he dives after the pellets after he's been fed.

The frog is a little slow in the mornings, and doesn't go after the food right away.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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Anyone else have any thoughts regarding this?
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 08:57 PM
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I think your choice of tankmates is a bit concerning--can you tell us what kind of loach and what kind of algae eater your betta is sharing a tank with? I'm also concerned about your molly--mollies can be aggressive to bettas and vice versa depending on their coloring. They are also a social and brackish hard water fish that should really be kept in a different environment than what a betta would enjoy with more of its own kind. Personally, I would return the molly.

How are you feeding the ADF? Most people that keep ADFs in community tanks have a very hard time feeding them, and often have to result to target feeding them with a pair of forceps. ADFs have very, very poor eyesight and hunt by scent. Often it takes them so long to find their food that it ends up getting eaten by other fish long before they get close to it. Most people put a flat rock or a small plate on the bottom of the tank and always put the frog's food in the same place, this way the frog knows that whenever it smells food, it should go to the same location. You should also keep in mind that frogs are social animals as well, and they need to interact with their own kind in order to feel secure and express their natural behaviors.

Unfortunately, I don't have much to say about your betta's eating habits other than to be more careful during feeding time. Like horses, bettas will not stop when they are "full" and may actually eat themselves to death. You may want to train him to swim into a trap or a cup during feeding time so that he doesn't get overfed.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-27-2010, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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As I said in the first post, the molly is no longer in the tank - after the nipping started I segregated the molly and beta and then took the molly to the aquarium shop, where they graciously took him back. The molly was generally a peaceful fish when we first got him; he was of similar coloring to the beta and they got along well. After the molly got big and matured into adulthood, he got aggressive, even though he had been tank mates with the beta for some time.

I have a Kuhli loach and an Oto algae eater along with the ADF. I know quite a good deal about the different types of fish I added to the tank, and their compatibility with each other and betas. As for natural behaviors, so far each is acting within the "textbook" definitions of what is natural for that species, even with tank mates of the same species; I attribute this to the fish and frog being happy.

I also know about over feeding fish, which is why I feed very small amounts to my fish throughout the day. I think it is safe to say that all fish, not just betas, are going to eat whatever it "put before them" so to speak. However, this is not the issue that I presented.

My beta is not eating the frog's pellets. He is picking them up and moving them to one particular area of the tank. He does not seem to go back and eat them, he is just moving them. If this were a dog, I would say the dog is taking bones and burying them in the same hole in the back yard. I was curious about the behavior; is this something anyone else had noticed with their betas, is there any documentation that is simply buried about this behavior? Is this something to be concerned about, or is it natural. So on and so forth; I am seeking information, help, and insights, as previously stated, in this particular behavior.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-27-2010, 03:30 PM
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It is an interesting behavior to say the my many years in this hobby I have never seen that type of behavior with any of the species of fish I have kept and very little scientific studies around based on feeding behaviors of this species...a lot on aggressiveness and breeding behaviors....but that doesn't help you much.......

I would video it...I myself would love to see have one unique Betta in my opinion....full of personality.....sorry I couldn't enlighten you......
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-28-2010, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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I will look into recording the behavior, but I don't have a video camera; I only have my cell phone. The quality might not be very good.

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