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Old 01-23-2012, 01:53 PM   #1 
BettaBadger
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Question 2 Bettas with divider issue: Really could use advice

I have two betta fish that I put into a homemade tank with a divider. I worked pretty hard at making the divider stable and prevent the fish from seeing each other. However, there seems to be a problem.

The fish are obsessed with putting their bodies sometimes in a vertical way, along the side of the divider. This is a picture I captured: http://i.imgur.com/gIXuA.jpg but it doesn't express it perfectly. They would literally go on the side of the divider in a vertical way.

They would flare up, even though they couldn't see each other. It just seemed as if they knew the other was there. At least once, the blue guy jumped over the divider into the other side of the tank. I put plants around the sides of the dividers and did everything possible to limit the tiniest of cracks between the wall of the tank and the divider.

So now I am worried. They would spend several minutes, every hour, seemingly sensing the other and flaring up. They would either vertically line up on the divider, or be horizontal, but clearly seem aggressive -- as I suspect, sensing the other fish was just on the other side. Thus, I removed one from the tank to reduce tensions.

Is this normal? Is it even healthy? Or could the stress cause fin rot and other problems? I just don't know how to gauge this behavior. Any advice would be appreciated.

Because of some limitations, I am thinking about giving one of the bettas to a mature friend in hopes the betta has a better life, removed from the stress of constantly being under the threat of attack. But if it's not a big deal that they keep trying to sense the other one, then maybe I will keep them both in this set up.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:15 PM   #2 
chrissylee13
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hmm... well i actually have 3 males in a 10 gallon. they do come across each other every now and then, but i wouldn't say they're obsessed with trying to find each other. i just recently introduced one, and he's not too impressed with his neighbors and seems a little agressive but he's slowly getting used to it. my others seem to care less. the one is more worried about his bubble nest, and the other just wants my attention. lol.

i honestly think maybe you just happen to have a couple of aggressive/territorial bettas! well, more than mine are at least.

but another member on here gave me the idea of laminating a piece of paper i could slide in between 2 dividers so that they couldn't see each other if it did become a problem.
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:20 PM   #3 
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They may calm down in a few days, so I wouldn't sweat it just yet. What size tank are they in? If there isnt enough room to put other decorations in with them to distract them, that may be a factor.
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Old 01-23-2012, 06:27 PM   #4 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bettafish15 View Post
They may calm down in a few days, so I wouldn't sweat it just yet. What size tank are they in? If there isnt enough room to put other decorations in with them to distract them, that may be a factor.
They each have 1.5 gallons. I know some people on here may say that is small. I wonder if that size is simply not enough for each betta fish with a divider because they're basically forced to be near one another.

I have to stress, the divider is pitch black and they could only theoretically see a tiny, tiny, tiny sliver, maybe a mm or two, around if if they smash their head against the side of the tank. So I am wondering if this is a temporary thing or something serious. Right now, I am leaning towards giving one betta way in order to prevent them from stressing out and/or killing each other.
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:16 PM   #5 
nel3
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you can also make a jumping guard on top of the main divider with the same type of materials as the main divider. i put on on my tank but they never bothered to test it out.
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:37 PM   #6 
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Even though they may not fully see each other, the small holes that you described could allow them to see MOVEMENT, which is what they are reacting to.

As previously stated, they will eventually tire of each other soon, but I suggest perhaps maybe either dropping the water level a bit so it is impossible to jump over, purchase a new tank to house them separately, or rehome one.

I have had some success with simply lowering the water level to prevent jumping, I have a VERY jumpy female who is an expert at the high jump, haha
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Old 01-24-2012, 01:05 AM   #7 
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bump for more responses
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Old 01-24-2012, 01:32 AM   #8 
thekoimaiden
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I have home made dividers in all of my tanks, but I don't trust them to just "stay there." I glued them in with aquarium sealant. Another piece of advice I can give is to give each betta little more room. Dividing a 10 gal will give them much more room and many more things to get distracted with. If you can't get a larger tank and aquarium sealant then the least you can do is put lots of plants along the divider. And a jump guard isn't a bad idea either; I have those in all my divided tanks, too.
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:29 PM   #9 
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This is how I did my dividers in any tank I decide to divide. Suction cups are fine for mine, there is a very small gap where the males can see each other, but they seem to have fun spitting the dummy now and then, I don't worry about it, they are brothers(not that they know this) mine also play in the bubbles from the plastic hose, so *shrug* so much for still water, unless they nest.
http://mycoffeelounge.net/pixup/43833-2151.jpg
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