Our story begins yesterday morning, when I wake up to find my PK male, Vimes, ripping one of his ghost shrimp up. He's been tankmates with the ghost shrimp (8) for about a week now, but two days ago he received another tankmate-- a red claw crab being temporarily homed with him until I can set up a brackish water tank this weekend. I'm guessing that's what produced this little bout of violence anyway, because he hadn't bothered them before.
So anyway, I don't just mean he's killed this little guy-- he's picking him up, shaking him back and forth rapidly dog does when he's 'killing' a toy, then throwing him down, picking him back up again and repeating the process. It was downright vicious, and he kept doing it for 3-4 minutes until he dropped him long enough for me to scoop the dead shrimp out. I've never seen a betta go quite that ballistic before.
Meanwhile, all the other ghost shrimp are merrily swimming around the tank like nothing's wrong and I'm thinking 'run for your lives you little morons!', but they've already stopped being afraid of him, lol. After I take out the dead shrimp he starts circling out the tank and flaring at everything in sight (shrimp, crab, thermometer, food pellet), thankfully they seem to mostly be too fast for him.
Clearly he needs to be separated, so I spend that night setting up and emergency 10 gallon (an old tank of mine). I go to bed and wake up to find...the tank is leaking. I know I should have checked for that, but it was an emergency, ya know...lesson learned. I clean up as best I can, but I have to go to work. Heartbreaking fact: he'd already built a bubble nest in the 10 gal overnight.
I have a 5 gal that I know is in good condition, but I don't have a lid for it, so I stop at the petco on the way to work and pick up what I need. I get home from work and spend the next hour setting up a 5 gallon for him...he gets major stress stripes while I'm setting up, but seems to be back to full color right now.
For those counting at home, this little betta has gone through 3 tanks in 2 days. I'm dead worried about all the changes in water params/temperature that he's probably gone through. That said he built a bubble nest in tank #2 and lost his stress stripes only a few minutes after being introduced to tank #3, so I'm hoping this little adventure was more stressful for me than him. Cross your fingers for me.
Anyway, I just needed to talk about it here because everyone I told about it in real life was all 'oh no, did water get on your floor?'
TL;DR: Betta goes crazy violent and wacky hijinks occur while trying to set his new tank up.