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Old 05-10-2008, 09:51 PM   #1 
Eeyore
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Why do betta fish fight?

Hi. :D I just got two betta fish(one boy and one girl). This isn't my first time with betta fish so i kinda know what i am doing. I was just curious if anyone knows why betta fish fight? i was also wondering that if somebody puts a boy and a girl together if they will fight. I don't want them to fight if anybody is worried about that. I really like fish so i don't want them to get hurt. I'm not going to put them together anyway because they don't need to be together, i'm just really curious.
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Old 05-10-2008, 10:01 PM   #2 
tophat665
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Bettas are highly territorial. They stake out a portion of the body of water they inhabit, and anything of the appropriate size and composition that falls on the water is their food. Male bettas are particularly territorial in that they are competing both for females and food, but, when either the female or the male is unready to spawn, the female is simply competition for limited food resources.
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Old 05-10-2008, 10:12 PM   #3 
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Re: Why do betta fish fight?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eeyore
Hi. :D I just got two betta fish(one boy and one girl). This isn't my first time with betta fish so i kinda know what i am doing. I was just curious if anyone knows why betta fish fight? i was also wondering that if somebody puts a boy and a girl together if they will fight. I don't want them to fight if anybody is worried about that. I really like fish so i don't want them to get hurt. I'm not going to put them together anyway because they don't need to be together, i'm just really curious.
Betta males fight to defend breeding territories, which in their natural waters are floating plants. Larger the clump of plants with the showiest, most robust male, gets the girl. Betta splendens, by many, many leagues the most common Betta in the hobby, build their bubble nest under the floating plants.
So you can't keep two male Bettas together in all but the largest tank. Otherwise, they will fight until one of them retires, and the victorious male will harass him until the loser is removed or dies.
You can keep unlimited female Bettas together, as they don't fight. Occasionally, the male will reject the female, which may happen with your pair, and will kill her.
You can keep a male with a group of females, the larger number of girls the better. That way, he can choose and have a happy union, and won't vent his wrath toward the rest of the group of females.

Dave
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Old 05-11-2008, 01:19 AM   #4 
It'sJames
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You can't always keep females together. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't - just depends on the bettas. If you wanna give it a try, then provide lots of hiding places for each female, but still be ready to remove any "unfriendly" females from the mix. I've had limited success when keeping females together. I would never keep a male with females... tried it once, wouldn't ever think about putting one of my bettas through that again. It was actually the male that got the worst of it. The females tore him to pieces - I didn't even recognize him right away. Maybe if you had a huge tank (and a lot of luck), but other than that, don't mix males and females.
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Old 05-11-2008, 01:50 PM   #5 
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James, that is so sad! I can't believe that girl bettas would do that!! I have a question, how big of a tank should bettas be kept in?
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Old 05-11-2008, 03:01 PM   #6 
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Ya, he looked terrible. I felt awful - it was obviously my fault for keeping them together. They did great for a couple weeks, and then turned on him. :( He's doing a lot better now, all on his own. Fins are growing back, but they'll never be how they were before. I guess I'm just one to learn things the hard way sometimes.

Bettas should be kept in a minimum of 2.5 gallons. I think 5 gallons is a little more reasonable though. Gives you more space to work with and your betta a little more freedom.
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Old 05-11-2008, 05:50 PM   #7 
Eeyore
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Wow. I didn't know that. If bettas are supposed to be kept in bigger tanks, then why are there little tiny tanks for them at the petstore?
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Old 05-11-2008, 06:27 PM   #8 
It'sJames
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Because they'll sell more bettas if they can be kept in cute little bowls on the kitchen counter. They look easy, so more people are likely to buy them, thinking it's not that big of a responsibility. Plus, busy parents are more likely to let their kid get a little bowl than a tank, becuase they'll often be the one caring for it. Convenience and making more money really. In the long run, it's easier to care for a 5 gallon tank than changing the water in a bowl every other day - at least it seems that way to me.
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Old 05-11-2008, 06:56 PM   #9 
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Bettas have something called a labyrinth organ which they use to breath atmospheric air. They don't use gills to breath dissolved oxygen like most fish. This means that they can be kept in sub-par conditions with no surface agitation. They'll stay alive long enough that people think it is a nice decoration, entertainment, pet etc. Unfortunately, it's really not fair to them. All fish produce enough waste to turn a small amount of water toxic very quickly. The ammonia in their waste will build up and actually burn them.

If you haven't read about cycling a fish tank, I'd recommend looking it up, it will be very informative. Just look around this site or google "Aquarium nitrogen cycle"
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Old 05-11-2008, 07:24 PM   #10 
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Bettas still use their gills to breathe dissolved oxygen! Their labyrinth organs just allow for an oxygen supplement. Also, just like people, bettas have to exhale CO2 waste. This also happens through their gills.
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