Flirt...or claim territory. I think that bettas don't exactly flirt with the same sex. If you can elaborate more in what you mean, I'd love to understand it from your point of view.
My point of view with this is that they are intelligent enough to know the difference from the sexes when in the same tank. I believe that they let out 'signals' in the water. Maybe hormones of some kind.*
When they are in separate tanks and both males are long finned and they both show interest in flaring at each other, they might be able tell the gender by how the next betta reacts to the other. Of course USUALLY females are short finned so that might also be a distinction that they recognize.*
Like if its a male in one tank and a female in the other tank next to him, he will flare at her and if she reacts as a shy female or flares back, but shows much less aggression, he may make his choice as she is a female. Than if it was a male since a male would be much more aggressive toward another flaring betta.
This also may seem incorrect and 'not possible'. I'm not sure and it's also an idea of mine.
About the two fish being in the same tank with no barrier. When it's two males in the same tank with no barrier, my theory is that the two fish let out hormones like when spawning. Of course the hormones are going to differ from male and female. So if both males let out the same hormone, they can tell it isn't a female and will have no interest with 'flirting' but with displaying territory as well as making itself look bigger meaning a tougher opponent in a fight.
Indjo, what do you think about that?
Originally Posted by indjo
When sexually mature and healthy, they wouldn't care if the fish in the opposite side is male or female. They will flirt with any sex.
I. One tank*
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