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Old 12-20-2012, 10:51 AM   #131 
Xeek
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Originally Posted by Viva View Post
Proven where? You can't really do a fair experiment unless you're using WILD bettas. As far as I know, there aren't many animals that exist on earth who fight with their own kind on sight, and ignore all other aspects. A living creature's purpose in life is to create more life, and fighting to the death with its own species seems kind of backwards from a psychological standpoint.
Betta fish will show aggression regardless of territory. I shouldn't have to prove that or cite references. If you haven't experienced that first hand then you haven't owned enough bettas.

Research studies with males always show that they will fight regardless of anything, with some exceptions. They tend to be more interested in foraging the bottom in some circumstances than fighting. Bettas without cover show more aggression then bettas with cover. It's also a fact that two bettas can be placed in a very large pond with more then enough room for both, yet both will still fight endlessly.

There are papers on this, but unfortunately most of us hobbyists are forced to just assume or go by what we've all heard and read from each other. Most of the research papers I have seen I've had to pay to download. That sucks.

Females are much more different and will setup a hierarchy. At various times I've noticed my females seem to prefer one part of the tank as if they have territory, but many days later she's keeping to another part of the tank and will chase others no matter where they are if she feels she's above them.

So I've had to rebuild my female population several times. I have tried rearranging the tank, adding them in order of aggression, just adding new ones in groups, adding a new one individually and I seem to not get any different results. As soon as I add a new girl depending on her aggression the balance is upset and they all rearrange the hierarchy! If the new female is more docile then I almost see no change in the pecking order and it's as if nothing had changed.

The only reliable method I have found in controlling their behavior was if I wanted to adjust the aggression of a female I could put her in a transparent box so she and the others have view of each other, but could not fight. The longer the female remained in the box the less aggressive she turned out to be when I released her. I've done this on 3 occasions. One female that was so aggressive she would attack all the others leaving their fins in ruin. I put her in the box for 48 hours and released her. She then began to only attack periodically but only the lighter colored females. I put her back in the box and kept her there for 7 days then released her again. Now she attacks no one and the alpha prior to her seems to be the only chaser. The previously aggressive female now seems to accept being much lower in the pecking order and on occasion is the one being chased.

Last edited by Xeek; 12-20-2012 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:24 AM   #132 
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I also meant to say females aren't showing territorial behavior in sororities. They're aggression is purely to establish dominance. This is proven and I will cite my source:

Aggressive Behavior among Females of the Siamese Fighting Fish, Betta splendens
Author(s): James C. Braddock and Zora I. Braddock
Reviewed work(s):
Source: Physiological Zoology, Vol. 28, No. 2 (Apr., 1955), pp. 152-172

The more females you have and the more confined the space the less fighting that will occur. So your goal in a sorority is to have more than 2, and enough in the tank so that all can see one another. If a female is aware of more females - she will be less aggressive.

For my 16 gallon tank, 6 seems to be the magic number. With 4 the sorority was still successful, but fighting was much more often. It's easy to notice when 2 females are preparing to fight and they become aware of a 3rd female in the vicinity, fighting rarely results.

Last edited by Xeek; 12-20-2012 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:30 AM   #133 
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Then explain why people have luck with 2 Bettas in a 50 gallon. Bettas are territoral. Thats why they fight fish that look like them.
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:42 AM   #134 
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Originally Posted by ChoclateBetta View Post
Then explain why people have luck with 2 Bettas in a 50 gallon. Bettas are territoral. Thats why they fight fish that look like them.
With sufficient space for the subordinate to escape and stay out of sight from the victor, that doesn't prove that there is established territory. There is also a requirement that both females show aggression and have belligerent tendencies. If one does not - fighting may not occur. You are more likely to have success in this scenario with 2 highly colored females since the whiter strains of genes tend to be more aggressive (which is why in Siam the whiter strains are preferred for fighting).

I had that backwards. I posted the cited quote below. The white strain is less agressive.

Last edited by Xeek; 12-20-2012 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:43 AM   #135 
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"While larger individuals usually be-
come victors over their smaller pair-
mates, size is not the sole factor in
deciding the outcome of a fight. For
years, in Siam, Bettas have been bred
selectively for fighting ability (Smith,
1937). Also, Noble (1938) stated that a
white strain kept in his laboratory was
inferior in fighting ability to a colored
strain, even when favored by superior
size..."
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Old 12-20-2012, 01:06 PM   #136 
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Choclate you can't argue with scholarly research.
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Old 12-20-2012, 01:12 PM   #137 
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No one has been able to prove a betta is territorial. Its true they make pick an area to keep their nests and t hey guard their nests, if it wanders elsewhere it continues to show the exact same aggression. The only thing that has been proven is that they are just simply absolutely totally belligerent towards others of their own kind and often to others fish species just the same.

A conclusion also is females tend to have other reasons for aggression than males. Females show more of a dominance or subordinate like hierarchy and the aggression is simply there to establish their position in that hierarchy.

Oh yeah and if you want to say they're territorial, they will be far more aggressive around the area the male has his nest. This isn't the kind of territorial behavior you guys were talking about though.

Last edited by Xeek; 12-20-2012 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 12-20-2012, 02:53 PM   #138 
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Originally Posted by djembekah View Post
Choclate you can't argue with scholarly research.
This is true, Choc. Published data is hard to argue.
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Old 12-20-2012, 03:02 PM   #139 
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The fish hobby world is.... very unscientific. From tank cycling to the assumed behavior of fish. Everyone is told so many things and its passed down. Most of any research papers or studies on fish and fish keeping aren't free to obtain and a lot of what I've read is extremely old!
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Old 12-20-2012, 03:09 PM   #140 
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Everyone, can you calm down about the territorialness of betta fish? Thank you. :)
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