I have an insane but aptly named betta called Ares. He will not stop flaring at the walls in his tank, an all glass 5 gallon. I have tried covering them, but he still bashes his head against the glass, trying to attack his "enemy". I thought he was a tail biter, because most of his caudal fin is gone, and the anal fin is starting to go as well. But when I was cleaning his tank the other daily, I noticed that as he was flaring and attacking the glass, his tail was falling apart, shredding and tearing before my eyes! Have you ever heard of this before? I assumed it was from the stress of constant flaring, so I had an idea about how to stop it. I would switch out him and my female Betta, so he would end up in a 3 gallon plastic Kritter Keeper. Do you think this could work, that a smaller, less reflective tank would make him more calm? Or do you think that it would just stress him out further? Please let me know what you think, thank you!
Hello, I would like to offer my advice and know-how on this subject. The reason your male is flareing like that has to do with one of a few reasons. He's bored, the move may have stressed him, and he's ornery. I would also put him to the smaller critter keeper 3g for now, and treat him for finrot. If his fins are torn, it's best to be preventative. Once he settles for a week or so, go ahead and remove the female, and add live plants/betta log and what not in the big tank for the male. They chase and attack there own tails out of boredom often times. I've had a male do that, and what I did was what I just reccomended, and put one of those cling scenery things on the back of the tank, added live plants and what not, and my male calmed down. also adding a few tank mates may relieve his boredom, but if he is really aggressive I'd wait a few weeks, see how he does when re-introduced. then slowly add tetras or something. I hope this helps!
I would try tannins in his water. If you can, naturally dried and fallen on their own oak leaves, or decaf green tea (with no added flavors) work good. It soothes them as well as boosts their immune system to help prevent stress related infections. Let seep for 30 mins or so with water conditioner then add into tank.
If that doesn't calm him down I would move him into the kritter keeper that is well planted (fake or live, it doesn't matter) to see if he calms down. It's his flaring and such that is tearing up his fins if you are seeing them literally fall apart. Add in Stress Coat+ if you have it. AQ salt can hamper fin regrowth, stress coat promotes it, as well as soothes him and keeps his slime coat healthy to prevent illness.
The flaring is due to him seeing his reflection, so you may want to try to maybe get a higher watt bulb for the tank, or move to a brighter area in the house to try to prevent glare.
Some bettas do better in smaller tanks/bowls/keepers, so it is worth the try, switching the two. Just make sure there is a place for him to hide in such as a cave, or a cup, unglazed/unpainted flower pot. He will feel more secure.
How long has he been in the tank? Normally after a week or so they tend to calm down and ignore the "other betta" or an actual other betta when divided. He just may be a feisty one as you said and the kritter keeper may be the only way to save him from himself. Good luck!
I have had Ares for at least a month now. I have been adding stress coat + to the tank, and I have been treating him for fin rot (as some of the edges are blackened). He has a decorative background. He also has a betta log and a ping pong ball for entertainment, and he has several silk plants. I can try the decaf green tea, but I think I will eventually switch him over to the 3 gallon if he doesn't stop acting crazy. I don't think my girl Freyja would mind being moved to a five gallon!
He does pace along the back wall, which is the one he likes to attack. He has never seen a female, but he might have seen my other fish Touchstone when he was in his cup. Their tanks are on the same dresser, but I make sure the sides are covered up so they can't see each other. He didn't start going flare crazy until about 2 weeks after I bought him.
I don't want to stress my other male out, though. I came back from college this weekend and found out that none of my tanks had been cleaned for over two weeks! He has fin rot now, so I am treating him for that and don't want to stress him too much.