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Old 02-28-2010, 09:50 AM   #11 
Eolith
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It is funny how much interest they take in what is going on around them. My betta Jack used to be so skittish that I couldn't feed him without freaking him out. Now he eats the pellets from my fingers and loves to come visit when I'm doing my homework at my desk. His tank is also pretty close to the door, so he gets to watch my roommate and I come and go, which I think he enjoys.
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Old 01-07-2015, 09:00 PM   #12 
Savannah416
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I'm resurrecting this very old thread because this question occurred to me recently about my own little guy. Does he get lonely? Does he feed on the attention I give him every morning and evening?

I've determined, at least based on the anecdotal evidence offered by my one and only fishy, that they do thrive on attention and interaction. I left my fish at home alone for 4 days and when I returned he was very quiet and to himself. I made a point of talking to him and just hanging out by his tank and after 3-4 hours of my return, he was dancing every time I approached his tank.

The change in his energy level and happiness was so evident after I came back that now I always make it a point to spend time with him every evening.
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Old 01-07-2015, 09:18 PM   #13 
Stone
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Well this is one of those subjects that can not really be answered, I do know that science has been taking a beating as new and better research methods are being used. They used to claim fish only have a 3 second memory, well now they are saying 30 days, and fish learn faster in groups because they watch each other, that when given the choice they will go be with a group of fish they have been with before vs a group of fish they have never seen before, I have been questioning a lot of what I was taught by my observation of all sorts of animals let alone my fish, I do not know if it is them being "lonely" or if it is the lack of stimulation and they are "bored" . this is something I am afraid we may never know the answer too, is it loneliness or the lack or enrichment and boredom. plus you need to keep in mind some fish interact with us, like my bettas, angelfish, and mollies, but like my cory cats and plecos could care less if I was there or not, I will always wonder about the level of intelligence in other animals.
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Old 01-08-2015, 10:40 AM   #14 
VivianKJean
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I kind of have an interesting thought to add to this.

For a while I only had two bettas - my girl Stella and Ronnie. Stella had her own bedside table but Ronnie was on my desk. He seemed very happy and would always be active. Then after I feel in love with a purple EEPK at the store, I got Perry. I moved Ronnie's tank to a small table next to my couch that was in the center of traffic in my small studio apartment. He hated it, he always looked stressed, he was always hiding and it took me months to realize why. So I switched Perry and Ronnie's tanks so that Ronnie was back where he originally was and he is completely happy and Perry loves being in the middle of all the action.

So yes, bettas are solitary fish but I do think that it depends on the fish. Some love being the center of attention while other do not like it at all.
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Old 01-08-2015, 11:11 AM   #15 
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Originally Posted by VivianKJean View Post
So yes, bettas are solitary fish but I do think that it depends on the fish. Some love being the center of attention while other do not like it at all.
It makes complete sense that Betta's have different personalities and preferences-- I've seen the same between my Betta and that of my brother's. I love reading stories like yours.
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Old 01-08-2015, 11:13 AM   #16 
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Originally Posted by Stone View Post
Well this is one of those subjects that can not really be answered, I do know that science has been taking a beating as new and better research methods are being used. They used to claim fish only have a 3 second memory, well now they are saying 30 days, and fish learn faster in groups because they watch each other, that when given the choice they will go be with a group of fish they have been with before vs a group of fish they have never seen before, I have been questioning a lot of what I was taught by my observation of all sorts of animals let alone my fish, I do not know if it is them being "lonely" or if it is the lack of stimulation and they are "bored" . this is something I am afraid we may never know the answer too, is it loneliness or the lack or enrichment and boredom. plus you need to keep in mind some fish interact with us, like my bettas, angelfish, and mollies, but like my cory cats and plecos could care less if I was there or not, I will always wonder about the level of intelligence in other animals.
This is true; we really can't ever know if they are lonely. To an extent I do always wonder if I'm just projecting my own human feelings onto the little guy. Either way, I get a rush seeing his excitement at seeing me, so if it's out of relief from boredom or loneliness, I'm pleased to see him happy. =)
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Old 01-08-2015, 04:49 PM   #17 
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I think they may not be lonely for other fish but that they enjoy contact with their humans. I picked up a girl from the pet store yesterday. While she's still shy about fingers, she already recognizes my face and swims over to study me when I'm at my desk. My male fish always swims over to greet (well, beg for food) me whenever I'm in the room. I always make sure I interact with them for a few minutes whenever I'm in the room. I find it interesting that the original poster was able to help her fish with fin-biting just by having him by her desk where he could interact with her more.
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Old 01-08-2015, 07:11 PM   #18 
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One of mine got lonely/bored if I didn't interact with him enough. Another one of mine completely doesn't care.

You get this behavior in all sorts of animals. There are cats who need to be petted and paid attention to every few hours, and there are cats who don't care that you exist, they just want food in their bowl. (Then there's mine, who will beat down my door to be with me at every possible second and then demands that I feed him half the bag of feline Greenies even though they make him sick. That's another story.)

Bettas are intelligent pets. They're intelligent enough to require interaction and stimulation, and they're also intelligent enough to have individual personalities. That's what makes them fun. :3
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Old 01-08-2015, 08:03 PM   #19 
LittleBettaFish
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Being that bettas are predominately solitary fish by nature, I personally wouldn't use the term 'lonely'. I think like most animals, bettas benefit from an enriching environment and mental stimulation. Bettas are highly inquisitive with a strong territorial instinct, so it's natural that they would be interested in what's going on outside of their tank.

My male really thrives off his daily flare sessions. I think the majority of bettas are hard-wired to defend their 'territories' or nest sites, and I think it's important to meet these needs.
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Old 01-08-2015, 08:29 PM   #20 
Tress
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When I first got Aris he was my only betta so he got all the attention (plus he came sick so he had lots of fussing over him). Then I got Lux and Lux's tank was on my desk. My attention was then divided and now my back was turned to Aris most of the time. He would spend 90% of his time in the corner of his tank closest to me. Then I moved my furniture around and he was parallel of me, on my dresser. I had the tank tucked against the wall and the short end of it was facing me - and thats where he spent all his time again.

I started to notice that he was watching my eyes. I'm not kidding. He would be calmly resting and as soon as he caught me looking at him from the corner of my eye he would start wiggling. I did a few experiments with it to see what he was reacting to and I really think it was my eyes.

They say manta rays recognize people by their eyes, and if they like them will let them touch or ride them. They did a test with a person that the manta would not let touch them, covered the person's eyes in glasses wrapped in tin foil, and the manta let them touch and ride them. I know these are two very different species, but it still makes me wonder.

Btw, Aris is now not so fussy as he's in a divided tank and has other bettas to distract himself with. He also lets me pet him.
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