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Old 03-02-2011, 11:29 AM   #1 
RiverStoneBetta
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Can Bettas have Seperation Anxiety?

I recently began thinking about that after yesterday. I had a busy day with school, a dinner with my old roommates, and a major Scout meeting. I barely spent any time home, so I asked my mom to feed my boys. She said that Boba was spastic as always, but Quinn seemed mopey. She said he came up to eat, then went to lie on the ground of the tank between plants. I was terrified he might be sick, so I cut my dinner a little short to check on him. The second I stuck my face in front of the tank, Quinn darted up and puffed his gills at me and blew a bubble (I call them kisses) and promptly began strutting around the tank like he always does when I'm home.

Quinn is always hiding somewhere or laying low when I come home from school, but he picks up his activity after I'm settled back. I usually tell him when I'm going to go, (I also tell Boba not to set the house on fire) so I wonder if he knows when I'm really gone, and when I'm just around the house.

Or maybe I'm over-personifying. What do you think?
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:49 AM   #2 
Luimeril
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i think they can. my delta, Dante, is normally quite cheery, swimming around, fins spread a bit. but, when i go out, like to hang out with friends or on shopping sprees, he chomps his tail to bits! now that he's not on my computer desk, he's clamped more than usual, as well.
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:56 PM   #3 
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I don't believe bettas are capable of that emotion.
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:34 PM   #4 
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Why not? Bettas experiance depression. It's a well-documented phenomenon in the breeding industry. You remove a father betta from his fry after the become free-swimming, and he goes into a depressive slump.

While I agree that bettas don't have self-awareness like we do, I still think they experiance basic emotions. Contentness, insecurity, depression, and I would even say elation. More complex emotions like happiness or anger, I say they can't. But to say they cannot feel emotions whatsoever is kinda cutting them a little short. We fall in love with them because of their ability to act and show expressions mimicking basic emotions. I know I overpersonify a lot, but a betta has more emotional capability than a lot of people give them credit for.
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:54 PM   #5 
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Yeah but it's still anthropomorphizing. Males aren't *sad* that they are taken from their fry. The "depression" sometimes seen is from shock of being separated from their off spring. Removing a male from a fry tank is very upsetting to the male.

Picture it from the fish's point of view.. net= predator to a betta (generally). So now you're putting a "predator" into the environment of a fish who is already over stressed from trying to take care of 100+ fry. Then your taking the male and putting him in another tank. He doesn't really know how he got there.. all he knows is he used to have fry and now they're gone. STRESS. After a day or two most males are fine and have completely forgotten they ever spawned.

A betta's world is pretty much enclosed to his tank. Sure if your close enough that they can see you (which is only about 12 inches from the tank) they'll interact with you but if you leave.. they forget. They don't sit in the corner of the tank waiting for you to return.
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:11 PM   #6 
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I dont think fish has the brain compacity to reconize one human from another. My fish dont care what human stands in front of their tank cause they think they are about to get fed (I assume). to them a big large giant opening the tank lid = food. This is called classical conditioning (learned it in school ) think of it like a mouse learning how to get their food but only by stepping on a button stepping on a button = food

just like 1f2f said

I believe what you think is emotions is their natural instincts everyone is born with it including animals and fish

Thats just my take on it!
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:20 PM   #7 
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I can see what your saying. Any maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part, but I still think they are capable of more than that. That same reasoning is the same argument that people use to justify the "They're just fish" case of care. That just doesn't jive with me.

If I were into the breeding aspect of bettas, where I have to predict instincts to get a good spawn, perhaps I wouldn't have these kind of humanizing thoughts. Maybe I'm just silly. But it makes me feel closer to my scaly babies.
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:29 PM   #8 
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I would never use that argument. I love all kinds of animals including fish. My mother taught me to love all living breathing things and I would not have the heart to hurt anything (except nasty bugs). I have love for them even if they cant love me back. I guess it is selfish of me but they make me happy and keep my spirits high but in return I am giving them a good quality of life so I guess it is a win win situation.

Does anyone know if there has been testing on this kind of stuff?
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:31 PM   #9 
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I thought some kids in Cambridge were going to test it, but I never saw results. I know there was a test to prove that fish have enough of a nervous system to feel pain, but that's about it.
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:45 PM   #10 
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I think my fish has seperation issues, she hides in the cup when I`m not home but when I come home, she meets me at eye-level and goes crazy. (maybe its the opposite, maybe she doesn`t like me, ohhh I hope not!). I wonder what`s going to happen when I go on my 1 week holiday in the summer.......
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