Hey, I've been thinking about this for a while and betta fish have always been territorial but they were also bred to fight. So do you think there could be a way to breed a passive betta fish, or tone down there territorialness? By taking two somewhat passive betta fish and mating them than 2 more? I don't think breeding works that way but do you think it's possible?
Someone once said that oldfish lady or some other breeder here has managed to breed some passive bettas capable of living in the same pond (with enough space and hiding spots) after quite a few generations. So I guess it would be possible, but it might take a long time.
While Betta splendens are pretty hostile, the most passive bettas I have had experience with, are Betta albimarginata and Betta channoides. They rarely displayed much aggression even between males and most of it is display rather than actual physical violence.
The only problem with your theory, is that it seems there is a certain amount of aggression needed during the actual courtship and spawning of bettas, regardless of species. This seems especially important to bubblenesters. By selecting the least aggressive fish and pairing them up, you may run into issues with successful spawnings in subsequent generations.
Also I have found that 'aggressive' fish tend to be the most outgoing and personable. In my experience, the more peaceful a fish is, the less individual personality it actually has.
yes that does seem to be the case dosen't it? I wonder if they would keep there personality if they lost there aggression? Although I would hate for this theory to be tested and there are bettas that come out abnormal or any other problems like you said, but still I wonder...
Oldfishlady houses almost all of her adults together, I think. She really should come on over and put in her 2 cents, but she's very busy I suppose. And I don't think that aggression, per say, is needed to spawn. My pair (a petco male and a hobbiest bred female with a known family history of gentleness) spawned just fine with very little chasing or fin damage. The female was one of the best mothers I've ever seen, helping to pick up eggs while not eating a single one, and even helping to build the bubble nest. My male was such a good father, I left him with the fry for nearly 3 weeks. The only reason I pulled him was because the shrimp I added as a cleanup crew freaked him out. I now have 75-100 of their 4 week old fry.
I house pairs and whole families together of various betta species and there is still the initial display and chasing that goes on during spawning. These are species untouched by hobbyists in terms of selectively breeding for traits such as aggression/form, so they are essentially raw material in terms of that.
I often wonder whether the 'aggression' shown during spawning is used as a way of testing the worthiness of each individual and whether or not they are a fit and healthy mate. The act of spawning, and subsequent care of the fry takes a lot out of both fish. I would assume if you are going to go to all that effort, you would want to know you have chosen the best match possible.
If you condition splendens correctly and get a compatible pair, they will generally not tear each other to shreds. I had a sibling pair I spawned three times (dad was an egg eater unfortunately) and they didn't nip or fight at all. Each time, spawning took place around 2-5 minutes after the female was let out of the jar.
However, before that the male spent a lot of his time flaring at the female and showing off to her through the divider. This to me is still some form of aggression/dominance.
I wonder why bettas evolved to be aggresive to eachother? Safety in numbers in the animal kingdom, right? Did they have other fish they had to learn to survive from, and that's why they were agressive? Or were they just made to be agressive?