Thanks Commander...I did just what you suggested with the "hard" water I was using, it sat for a couple days, de-chlorinated, salted, and bottled. I use Prime to de-chlorinate. It's entirely possible that my "theory" is still incorrect anyway...they went for about 10 days, no torn fins, new growth, and WHAM! One of the four chomped on his tail again! I surrender. You know, I was watching my divided tank yesterday, I noticed that the "lone biter" remaining is in the end compartment. That compartment is about 10 inches from my 55 gallon tank full of barbs. I watched him as HE watched the barb tank. Then he swam across the glass facing the other tank....he "seemed" a little shook up...Correct me if I'm wrong but, couldn't the furious activity in the barb tank be "disturbing" to the betta and thereby tail biting ensue? I'm really reaching, now! I'd really like to solve the problem...I like the divided tank...and I'd rather not have to seperate the fish.
I have had a 10 gallon divided into 3 and a 2.5 kritter keeper for Chance because he's a tail biter, but THEN Fishy and Fru (both in the 10g tank) started tail biting as well. And then I found out my new dorm only allows 1 tank so I took Chance to my boyfriends. He started pining and refused to eat, so I took him back with me and redivided my tank into 4. Other than tail biting, I LOVE my divided tank. Makes cleaning so much easier, takes up less space, looks very nice to me. My boys don't flare at each other but they do tail bite. They're a little stressed out by seeing one another I guess but other than that they're doing awesome. I'm thinking about getting some more plants to obstruct their view a little bit, maybe that will help. Just my 2 cents.
Having a divided tank is the same risk level as having a community tank, if one gets sick, they can all get sick, thats fish keeping for you.
I haven't seen pics of a properly decorated divided tank yet, it is always the plastic mesh dividers, with one plastic plant centered in each divide. I think there should be lots of plants, lots of hiding places, and definitely live plants if you can do it. I think a small piece of driftwood in each divide would be fantastic, but to each their own.
When I divide my 20 gallon long, however I choose to do it. I'll use plexiglass and drill holes in it for circulation, and sealant, and get java moss to drape down the majority of the glass with a clear spot in the middle for occasional viewing?
I have a square tank which is UK Gallon 15. I dont really care for it since its been divided. It used to house a black moore until he got too big for the tank and we put him into the 65 downstairs
I think the dividers are just ugly, and they limit you to what you can aquascape with aswell, as each section is seperated it can ruin the feel of an otherwise very nicely decorated tank. It can remove the atmosphere i feel, too.
I'm cylcing a tank for one of my boys so that i can have the 15 with one guy and a school of Neon Tetra's, which of course, also wouldn't be possible whilst divided because of the amount of swimming room that Neons need.
From what I can see this group seems to be split right up the middle on their feelings toward divided tanks. All individuals having good reasons for their preferences. One thing did "stick out" in the comments that I saw...everyone does somewhat agree that the use of "dividers" can/does cause stress in the fish. It also seems that some bettas are more inclined to be "tail biters" (genetics, personality, etc.) than do others. Like people...some are more calm than others. The solutions the group has come up with to eleviate this "biting" issue are..."camoflage" the dividers to block view, use black plexiglass instead of needle point cloth, decorate more for less boredom, or finally just seperate to individual tanks. Does that summarize the thread accurately enough? I've got a few of these things to try before I "throw in the towel" and get them seperate tanks.......thanks for your posts.