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Old 02-05-2008, 09:35 AM   #1 
edenrivers
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2 Male Bettas, 1 Tank, 1 Failed Divider. Ah!

I have two male bettas, Max and Wahoo. In the past I have successfully kept bettas in a bowl, but Wahoo has not been liking winter. As a temporary solution, I had a desklamp over both of their bowls.

My permanent solution was to purchase the MiniBow 2.5 gal tank, with a divider -- marketed as being "perfect" for housing two bettas in the same tank. I also purchased a heater designed for a 2-5 gallon tank.

The first day seemed great... but Max has found his way to the other side three times now. I even tried fitting a plastic lid (with holes punched) on top of Max's side of the tank, thinking he was jumping. He's not. Late last night, they had actually switched sides. Poor Wahoo was hiding behind the filter. So Max came out and went back into his bowl, and Wahoo is enjoying his warm home.

I'm pretty sure the ONLY way they're getting through is by squeezing past the small space between the divider and the tank wall. Any suggestions on how to seal up that space or prevent them from swapping? Possibly another divider? I feel like poor Max is being punished by being sent back to the bowl, and I'd rather have them both happy.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-05-2008, 09:49 AM   #2 
okiemavis
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So sorry for your troubles! Unfortunately, a lot of pet stores misinform people, making fish care seem like a much smaller deal than it is. This means that a lot of fish live in poor conditions, and their owners don't realize all the fun they're missing out on if they had a healthy fish! Let me start off with a few recommendations:

-Bettas do best in 78-80 degree temperatures, and a tank with a filter, so I would recommend keeping them both in a tank with a filter & heater year round. They will live much longer, and be much less susceptible to illness.

-I'd recommend getting a new tank, or a second tank for the other fish, 2.5 gallons is really too small for two fish. The rule most fish keepers use is 1 inch per gallon. Both bettas grow to be 2.5 inches long, so you should have at least 5 gallons for them, although a 10 gallon would be better. If you wanted to separate a 10 gallon, you could get something like this: http://www.aquacave.com/detail.aspx?ID=1557#

-Bettas can really stress themselves out by being able to see another one, they will display regularly, which tires them out. It's probably best for you to have a setup that prevents them from seeing each other (or their reflection)

As for repairing the divider, I'm not sure what can be done for that, as it's not a standard tank size, so there aren't 3rd party dividers on the market. I'm glad that no real damage has been done to either fish, and you did the right thing in separating him until a permanent solution could be found. Feel free to ask if you have any further questions!
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Old 02-05-2008, 11:25 AM   #3 
edenrivers
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Thanks for your comments, okiemavis. I have been an avid fish keeper since I was a child, so I'm well aware of basic fish care, and your tips are dead on! I just have never tried to house two male bettas together!

Unfortunately, another tank is not really an option. (Money, space, etc.) I live in Florida, so the temperature is pretty constant and this is the first betta I've had that I've NOT been able to keep in a bowl, with a lamp etc.

I thought I'd done plenty of online research, and pet stores are usually not full of information, with the exception of aquatic-only stores. Part of me wants to just send the entire tank back!
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Old 02-05-2008, 11:54 AM   #4 
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Glad to hear you know what you're talking about! Most people who come on this site with problems like yours have come straight from the pet store where they got all their information.

As for the tank, go ahead and return it! It's defective, they advertised that it worked for two bettas and it didn't. I don't know where you got it from, but my friend got the same tank from Wal-Mart, and after using it for a few weeks, she took it back. I was under the impression that Wal-Mart takes returns, even if it wasn't bought at their store? I could be wrong, as I don't live anywhere near a Wal-Mart, and have only been to one once, but there's my tip, if your vendor won't take it. I'm sure there are some other cool betta tanks you could get- check out craigslist!
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