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Old 01-09-2013, 10:45 AM   #1 
osromatra
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2 questions: activity level and bubble nest

I've had two betta prior, in small bowls, before I knew any better. they lived a while and seemed happy, but obviously, I won't do that again.

We got a 20 gallon for our kids, and we knew we wanted another betta. I wanted a community tank, so I shopped around and finally found a place that sold them in their own decent size space versus a cup. I picked one that looked healthy and didn't seem too aggressive nor too meek. I kept him in a bowl just long enough to finish cycling our tank and get the other tank mates in. there are two female mollies and one female platy. he gets along well with them, and eats well.

I'm somewhat concerned though- can they be too active? he is constantly playing. it's like he is running drills, he will swim in loops for thirty minutes, around a plant, or the heater, or spend thirty minutes just snaking up and down the thermometer, or dashing through the bubbles. is he bored or just having fun?

Second, the bubble wand is a necessity at the moment, our ph keeps wanting to run low. I've checked our parameters and they are good, so I'm thinking it's a buildup of co2, hence the bubble wand. it keeps the top fairly bubbly. he can get air, but I worry he won't be able to make his nest. Will it stress him out to be unable to keep a nest?

thanks and sorry if these are silly questions, I just want to do right by this one, we owe it to the memory of the first two.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:38 PM   #2 
Melodica
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I have a boy who is constantly on the move as well. He will swim back and forth in front of the tank or round and round the heater. I hardly ever see him not moving. He eats what I feed him (when he can take the time to stop zipping around) and he seems healthy. There are plants and other things to interest him in the tank, so I don't think he's bored. Maybe bettas are like people - some more active than others?
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:42 PM   #3 
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I took a video of his current "drill". They are elaborate. He picks out a pattern, with obstacles and things to swim through or around, and then just repeats it over and over. He's currently STILL doing his drill, and I shot the video about 20 minutes ago. I'm having trouble uploading it, I'll share when it's there though, it's fun to watch. Plus, I'm curious, is he cambodian or what. He's odd.
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:18 PM   #4 
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http://vimeo.com/57078114

Here's my video, I hope it works. He'd already been doing this "drill" for about 5-10 minutes. He would start by going to the upper left back corner, underneath the biowheel, and then he makes a downward slalom to the bottom of the heater in the back right, where there is a small leafy part of the plant back there (not seen in the video because of the ship) where he would do a backwards flip around that (sometimes a frontwards one, but usually backwards), then back up, pausing slightly to "ride" the bubbles up. Occasionally, another fish or something distracts him momentarily and he'll do something else, like snake around the heater or drift in the current, but he always has to complete the circuit before traveling back up to the back left so he can start it over again.

I had lunch with my kids and just now got back and he's resting in the plants.

I tried to take good pics, but he is just too busy for a good photo. When we bought him, he was more of a dull, brownish red, and it was all mostly the same color, and his tail, where you see the blueish tinges, it was only faint before. Now his body has brightened to an almost orange color, but his fins, the red part is a blood red, and the white is kind of variegated with the iridescent blue. You can see in the video, he has a spot on one side, I call it his tattoo. His face is darker, similar to his tail color, but close to his mouth, it's flesh colored, much lighter than his body.

We've had him 2 weeks, and he's been in this aquarium only since Saturday. I feed him Hikari pellets (not a fan, but it's all the LFS had), 3-5 by hand, twice a day. He likes being fed this way, and he knows when I'm feeding him. I have to do it that way or the white fish you see, she is a pig, she is hoarding all the food. She is the only one he bows up on, he actually halfway "schools" with the other molly or platy sometimes. They have some fry and I'm pretty sure he's ate more than one.

When I added him and the loaches, my tank restarted a mini cycle (I shouldn't have meddled with the gravel, a loach went missing so I got paranoid and went hunting for him. He's fine, but I think messing with my gravel messed with my cycle a bit). I've been doing small WC every other day to manage until it stabilizes again.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:45 PM   #5 
Melodica
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That looks kinda like what mine does. He seems to have a pattern as well. As long as they are resting sometimes, I don't see why it would be an issue.

I've seen a lot of people on here have advising that bettas should be kept in tanks without a lot of water flow as it can tire them because of their long fins - then again, I've seen others that claim their betta loves playing in it, so I'm not really sure what's best.

He is a very pretty boy though, very striking coloring. Your red wag platy is cute! My fiance has two of them that he got together that adore each other.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:18 AM   #6 
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Thats normal for some boys.
Most people expect that they should be lazy and dont move too much because they've seen them in tiny cups and bowls their entire lives and dont know any better.
But most boys when given a good amount of space will be active as just about any other fish would be with as long of fins.

I have both plakat and Crown tail boys that will surf glass all day long every day. The Crown tail is actually the more active of the two and more like sprints than swims.

Dont worry about him! He's just having a good time :)
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:29 PM   #7 
Myates
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I have one that never stops swimming.. makes me dizzy if I watch him for too long.
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Old 01-10-2013, 04:20 PM   #8 
osromatra
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I turned the wand down to lowest setting and now he just swims around surveying the tank, occasionally getting into a flaredown with his reflection. I guess playing his little games is more stimulating and better for him than flaring so much right?
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