So I have my sorority. Which was working out GREAT. There were no problems.
Natalya was really shy, but she was smaller than everyone else. She chilled out in the plants near the back and in the hole in the driftwood, etc., etc. Well... it's been a month.
My tank is planted, there are TONS of hiding places. I do weekly cleaning. And get this. The past few weeks, there have been bubbles at the top of my tank. Now, I didn't think anything of it. I even thought, "Haa, cool, that protein film on top must be keepin' these from popping." I have a bubble maker in the corner, mind you, a little one. Now, I turned down the bubble maker because it was making a mess of the plants, and now its just teeny bubbles every now and again. So basically: No surface movement, save a teeny bit from my filter (which has the DIY plastic-bottle-flow-stopper thing).
I went to go and clean my tank today, and noticed a few things.
1.) The bubbles took up about a quarter of the tank, and centered primarily around where the cabomba hit and went above the water (the plant is growing like a weed, and today was trimmin' day of course) and where my recent-dislodged dwarf grassy stuff is floating.
2.) Natalya is guarding these bubbles like white on rice. The other four ladies can't get anywhere near it. She chases 'em away. It's kind of horrible - she's torn Muriel apart doing this (Muriel usually chills in the center top of the tank and "rests/sleeps" in the curve of the cabomba).
3.) It looks like Natalya is adding to the bubbles? I don't know how to explain it. I looked on Youtube and it looks like other male bettas do when they make/are keeping a nest.
Now, I do have to say that Natalya has DEFINITELY "filled out" since I got her. She was my "rescue" if you will. I just thought she was flourishing. But her fins have DEFINITELY grown. Not like, super-grown, but definitely grown. And her oviposter was never SUPER-notice-able. It was kind of there, but nothing compared to the other girls.
This is Natalya before.
These are the bubbles, with Natalya underneath the bubbles.
This is Natalya now.
Natalya has made a little bit of a mess of Muriel's fins. She's pretty much torn Muriel apart, so Muriel is going in the quarantine tank to clean up. It's really, really bad. I feel so bad. I look at these girls every day, and Muriel was just kinda torn into, but it's like... Natalya's bubbles are right above where she swims. These two fight over that place like mad. And when Muriel swims into Asia's area, by the front driftwood (took out the pot, it caused gang-ups and fights), she gets torn up by Asia. And when she swims into Beatrice's area, Beatrice chases her throughout the tank, and that just seems to tire her out. It's really bad. She's in a no-win situation with everyone but Mara (who doesn't really care, because she's the biggest/fattest and no one bothers with her).
Now, I do have bubbles in the tank, but they BARELY come out. Literally just a few teeny-tiny bubbles every once in a while to break up the protein film on top. It's literally NOTHING. So I KNOW this isn't a buildup of those bubbles. They're "sticky" if you will. They don't pop easily. It's weird.
And I know that some females make nests. But she literally seems to have NO oviposter now. I'm really concerned. But I'm not sure if this is normal or not. I kind of what a second opinion before I throw together a tank and put her in an uncycled one.
Which begs another question. I'm taking Muriel out tonight for quarantine, and I will be tanking Natalya out if y'all think she's a he. Do I have to worry about re-arranging the tank at all? I know it's recommended you re-arrange a tank before adding fish, but what about taking them out?