I did something really dumb last night.
I found a whole heap of live bloodworms in my outside tub yesterday evening so I scooped them out and put them into my apiapi tank for the female to hunt down.
Only when I looked in I could not see the female anywhere. It was then I noticed a small hole near one of the cords and I started to freak out.
At first I just pulled out some moss and IALs. However, when the female still failed to turn up, I removed the sponge filter to have a look inside and took out the java fern clumps she liked to hide in.
By now I was really thinking she had somehow jumped out. This was when I decided it would be a good idea to tip out the male and his nest of eggs to make sure that the female wasn't in with him. Unfortunately, the only thing that fell out was the male and his nest of eggs.
By this stage I had written my eulogy for the female as I had taken almost everything out of the tank, and I thought it was impossible for even a small fish like her to still be hidden.
Turns out I was wrong.
The whole time the female was hiding in a small piece of java moss I had checked over but not removed from the tank. So I had tore apart the tank and disturbed the male and his nest for absolutely nothing. Fortunately, by the time I put the towel over the top of their tank (so they don't spook in the night) and went to bed, the male appeared to have settled down and was back to tending his nest. At least I suppose I got a good look at the eggs and there are a lot more than I originally thought.
This was my apiapi female after I put everything back in the tank. I swear wild bettas can turn themselves invisible. I manage to lose and find at least one fish a day in some of my tanks haha