Our household beta population has grown to 4, and with everyone except poor Red doing well 1-3 months in, I'm back with more questions!
Is it good for a male betta to (have reason to) flare at least sometimes? My desk buddy will flare nicely for me when he's following my finger, but the other three are reluctant to flare much at all. Two have built at least one bubble nest since we've had them. They all appear in good shape. I've seen the little floating mirrors, would one of these be good to get to put in for a few minutes daily or weekly or ____ly?
Are there any other things that your bettas seem to enjoy playing with or investigating? I've got a small stock of decorations and plants for each tank that the kids and I have been changing out every couple of weeks so they have different stuff to look at...is that a good or bad idea?
And do those "betta hammocks" actually work - will they hang out on them as advertised? (silk leaf on a suction cup, supposed to attach it about 3/4 inch below the water)
Some of my boys flare at everything and others could care less. It depends on the betta. I have tried getting those little plastic balls that kiddie toys come in (usually 25 or 50 cents) and floating them in there but mine dont seem to take much interest. Changing up the plants will keep them on their toes but watch for stress stripes, if you start to see them hole back on changing out the plants.
First off, I tried that that hammock and all it did was cut my betta's fins. Nice idea and everything, but I have live plants he likes for those kinds of things (so one suggestion would be to get him live plants-if you have the right light for it, they will last a LONG time, I'm actually starting to get overgrowth so I can transfer some plants to a new tank!).
Floating plants are also good so he's more likely to build a bubble nest. I've noticed that whenever I change something about his tank (I only make small changes every once in a while), he takes an intense investigative interest in it and can't help but swim around/through/on/etc the new thing. Usually this involves plants. He loves the primrose and the amazon swords and this one tiny java fern (I think the java fern is his personal favorite for whatever reason) that I have there and spends much of his time around those plants when he's not in his little den.
Hiding places! Get a decoration with no sharp or pointy corners, you want mostly smooth surfaces that won't damage fins. Bettas want their privacy and a place they feel comforted in. One or two at the very least is good.
I have my betta flare at a mirror once a week for about a minute or two, that way I don't stress him out and he thinks he is protecting his territory.
I hand feed my betta pellets and brine shrimp and he tends to follow my finger or the eye dropper I use for brine shrimp. So sometimes, I will have him chase his food and he seems to enjoy the activity.
Also, I've grown into the habit of talking to him and he reacts to my voice. I also will touch my nose to the tank and he's been conditioned to touch the tank where my nose is when I do it (he used to back away but has since done the opposite).
Also, with feeding, I sometimes have him jump for his pellets stuck to my finger. He's gotten decent to the point where he can jump a good inch to get the food. His teeth feel weird when he misses and bites my finger instead. I have a top on the rest of the time so I don't worry about him jumping out.
That's how I entertain my fish anyways. I'm sure there are numerous ways including getting tank mates (my guy won't tolerate it currently and he pays no attention to the snails).
Hope this helped!
Last edited by True Indigo; 05-07-2012 at 08:31 PM.
I have a couple leaf hammocks and my fish use them sometimes. A family member has a fish who loves his. I've been using mine for a year with no problems.
Some members have had really good experiences with them, and others have had very bad experiences.
A year back a member here said a wire poked out of the leaf hammock and cut up her fish. The above poster said it cut fins. I guess if you decide to get one, make sure you inspect it regularly for signs of wear. Make sure the wire is covered completely and not sticking through the plastic coating anywhere.
I have not tried one yet, but the zoomed floating betta logs seem to be popular here. They work like the leaf hammock but are a log cave instead. Many people have pictures of their bettas with one of the logs in the picture.
If you have both bettas next to each other make sure you block their view of each other. (Card them.) They tend to get bored of their neighbor. Then instead of the mirror just take the card away and they will flare at each other in their separate tanks.
I had to move one betta who was tail biting to a high traffic area of the house. With the added activity and lots of things for him to watch he stopped tail biting and almost has his fins completely grown back. (This may not be a cure for everyone, but it worked for me.)
I bought a floating mirror for my passed VT, Piccolo a while back. He responded quite well to it, flaring whenever he saw his reflection. Galileo isn't partial to it at all, he's look at his reflection and hover for a second or two and then dart away. The most I've gotten him to do is puff out his gills, but no full spread of the fins.
Galileo does use the betta hammock, but not as much as I'm sure it's intended for. I think I'll look for the log that other people have mentioned, I don't want Gali's lovely fins to get cut!
Speaking of betta entertainment. Does anyone have any suggestions for betta hideouts that are either natural looking or quirky? One of the best things I've found is this little stone looking den (with two floors that Gyarados seems to enjoy and switch in and out of):
I was just wondering if anyone had other preferences/suggestions?
Thanks for the suggestions! My little girl is nuts about Squinkies, so I might have to look into stealing a few of the little balls they come in and see what the bettas think of those.
I'll pick up one of those mirrors next time I'm at the pet store *Note to self, do NOT look at the poor cupped bettas or bad things may happen* *Ok, well maybe good for the betta, but I would get a *LOOK* from hubby if I brought home any more tanks*
I've seen the logs, they would be too big for the kids tanks, but they do look nifty.
On changing things up periodically...I would not know a stress striped betta if it bit me, in all likelihood - what does this look like? I try to keep at least one live plant in each tank, but so far I've only gotten two true water plants, so the kids tanks are lacking perma-water-plants atm. Since I got a pack of "Betta bulbs" a while back, I'm seeing if they will grow. I think the seller is going to get a letter to the address they provide for replacements in case of non growth. 5 days in and the only growth I saw was what looked like mold on one, which was promptly thrown away.
As far as things to hide in, any plant, silk or real that is very leafy seems popular. My little boy got an Eiffel Tower decoration from Petsmart that his smaller betta (Lavatail) likes to hide under, and Chicory likes his "jug." (Petco, about $5)
I went to the hardware store and got PVC pipe connectors. My little Remus likes to swim through them sometimes. I also got a bubble wall, but I don't think he really likes it... I think some bettas and other fish enjoy them though.