I have looked around and haven't seen any threads that suggest that the shredding is due to them biting each other's fins through the divider... I am looking for thoughts and opinions on the matter. I moved my boys to their new home last week, hasn't been a week yet and they were fine when I went to be last night. Shimmer has the side with the aquaclear filter running, baffled in the output as well as set to low. Blewie is on the heater side. I have seen Blewie almost laying on the divider, that is to say that it looks like the current from the output has him sucked to the divider. Its not very strong and he seemed to like being there. I have since added more plastic plants on each side to give them more area to have to go through to get to each other at the divider. They have been flaring at each other constantly, and themselves in the glass too. Shimmer has a smaller tear in his fins, but Blewie looks like he has had a huge chunk bitten out. If he was laying against the divider, couldn't Shimmer have bitten his fins that were just sitting there, hanging in the holes? All I have found in other conversations is about them jumping over, or biting themselves. I have had them long enough to know neither of them are tail biters, and I have another piece along the top to keep them from jumping.. Any thoughts? Oh, and my water, last test was - and . Its a fully cycled gallon
What do you mean? The current isn't strong enough to pull all of his tail through them, and the other fish also has a tear, he is a CT, so its harder to see his. The CT does not look like he has been bitten, just one tear but the other has a huge chunk missing, here is a pic I took today
Also, would anyone happen to know if it is normal for their color to darken when territorial? I asked someone about him looking like he is black over his head and along his spine, but he only looks this dark when he is flaring with his neighbor, now that I am able to see clearly his colors...
might be they see their tails and think it's the other fish and go after it, or just be stressed from the change. they'll probably eventually get used to each other, or you can get some black craft mesh and add that into the divider to make it harder for them to see each other
thanks to you both for responding, I have just witnessed him chasing his tail. He spun around 3 times and took a bite! I have never seen him act this way. I guess he is off to a salted QT tank, at least for a few days until I figure out what to do next. He has never done this before, I am so upset that I made him upset/stressed enough to start it now. Now what do I do? I will look at the black mesh, but I am not thrilled about changing the size holes, as the only colored ones I found were 7 count and I like the 5 count for better water flow through. Any other suggestions? They both have clay pots to hide in, but neither of them use it... One has a cave, the other a rock.. Maybe he needs the cave?
Hi tlyons01 - I'm so sorry that your boys are having problems! I have a couple of boys in a divided 10gal too. I know that all bettas have different personalities and sometimes the mix just doesn't work. But I wanted to share my set up to see if anything I've done might help your situation. I've attached a photo so you can see it. My divider is a Pennplex. The mesh isn't very big - quite small actually, but they don't have a very clear look at each other. They only flare when they both happen to be near the divider at the same time. I've read on other threads that you can go to a craft store and get black mesh and completely block their view. You mentioned you were concerned about water flow, but my tank has been thriving with live plants so the flow seems to be working fine. All of the live plants you see have grown at least 2" since this photo was taken a few weeks ago. I also have two big caves for them to hide under, as well as their own betta logs. They use all their hiding areas! Especially their logs. I set up the plants in the back for interest and I float a few for more hiding spots. I also float a Catappa Leaf for each boy ie. IAL. They both immediately started blowing nests when I put them in. They seem to spend more time staring at their works of art vs. flaring at each other. I think the large mesh may be one of the main factors for the stress your guys are experiencing. Swap it out and see if it makes a difference.
flowerslegacy is right. Some fish just are not cut out for a divided tank. Not sure why, but I guess we are putting two fish in the same area that want to kill each other...
But hiding areas really do make all the difference. Breaking up their line of sight gives them less visible area to defend from the new baddie. Good luck!