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Old 01-26-2012, 11:32 PM   #1 
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Female Betta nearly killed the male!

Does anyone know why a female veiltail (Splenden I guess) Betta would hide out from the male when he's trying to coax her to the bubble nest, and would act totally shy and then all of the sudden turn on the male and attack him so aggressively that she nearly kills him? She wouldn't let go of him, just kept biting him and pulling on his fins until I broke up the fight with a net! Then she sank to the bottom of the tank chewing on his fins that she had bit off!

I've been conditioning them both with Microworms (every few days), some Live Baby Brine Shrimp (once, because I used an in tank "Hatch n'Feeder") and dry Betta pellets every day, for almost 2 weeks before putting them together.

She was by herself in a 30 gallon planted tank and he was in the breeding tank. He had started to build a bubble nest but then seemed to loose interest in it, so I put a "Penn Plax Betta Condo" on the inside of the breeding tank set up with only 1 partion in it (see below for example).
Then I put the female in it and covered the tank with a towel for the day/night. I checked it periodically and the male began showing off and flaring at the female then going back to building his nest. She got the vertical stripes almost right away.

I came back the next day and he had about half of the Styrofoam cup (that was a half a of cup floating on top of the water so he could build his nest in it) full of a bubble nest! She seemed excited to get out of the Betta Condo, so I released her into the tank (this was around 2:00pm) and sat down to watch. He chased her around (not very aggressively) for about 15 to 20 minutes nipping at her side occasionally, and trying to lead her to the nest. She did end up there with him a few times and he tried to spawn, but she would swim away again and go hide.

A few times she sort of attacked the nest and scattered some of the bubbles, but it was a pretty thick nest, so that didn't create any holes in it or anything.

After about a half an hour though all of a sudden she turned on him and attacked him really fast, biting off a strip of his fin, she then sank to the bottom and ate it! I figured well, since people have said it could get vicious in there, (mostly I assumed it would be the male attacking the female though, not the other way around), so I decided to give her another chance....bad idea. A few seconds later he approached and she spotted him and chased after him, going all around the tank until he sort of got stuck trying to go under a plastic decoration, that had a too small of hole for him. And then she pounced again, biting him and not letting go till I tapped the glass frantically and she finally let go to chew on whatever she had bit off! :S

I then put her back into the Condo thing and looked at the male, he had turned pale and was sitting on the bottom of the tank. After a little while he went up to his nest and stayed there for a while before resuming swimming and flaring at the female again! :P

I left them alone all day until 9:00pm then I examined the male and determined he didn't look all that bad, just a small fit of finage was missing, and he kept trying to flare and show off for the female, she on the other hand didn't show any vertical stripes, but I can definitely tell that she her ovipostor (a white spot between her ventral fins) showing, and she appeared to be pretty calm so against my better judgement....I put her back in with him, not 10 minutes later she attacked him with such vigor that I had to bump them with the net to get her to stop! It looked like she was trying to eat him! :S So after that I quickly caught the male (he was easier to catch) and removed him to a container that fit in the tank (keeping part of it above the water level). I added about a 1/4 tsp. of salt to it to help protect his wrecked fins from getting fungus or anything.

So now she's in the breeding tank examining every inch and trying to attack the male through the plastic container that he's in. :P And he seems to be doing alright now.

So I guess I should separate them into two tanks again (I've been doing a TON of research on breeding them, and may have jumped the gun a little). And after about a month, maybe I'll try again, once they've had a chance to heal (she barely has a scratch on her though) and condition better.

Anyone have any suggestion though? I'd also like to know why she attached him so viciously...

I don't know how old they are, (bought em at Walmart a few months ago) I thought they were about the same size or so though, so I didn't think one would overpower the other.

Sorry for such a long winded post, I just wanted to give everyone a good idea of what I've done.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

One more thing, yes I know all the work breeding Betta's involve, and I'm willing to do it, yes I have a "grow out" tank set up and ready with live plants, gravel, etc. and I have the containers for the babies. And YES I'm expecting to get up to a few hundred babies at a time. :P I have Infusoria going and Microworms, and have plans for B.B.S. too. Anyone have any other questions let me know. :)

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Old 01-27-2012, 03:55 AM   #2 
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This sometimes happens. These kind of females usually need a very aggressive and active male. If the male is in anyway "slow" she will attack him - even when embracing has begun.

Another possibility is that the female might not have been in breeding mode. Yes she showed breeding bars but was she flirting? And how did she take the first bite from the male (sometimes this could change a female's mood)?

Next time, make sure your male is very active and aggressive - flaring like crazy when ever he sees another betta. So when a female bites him, he will immediately bite back and hopefully send her to hiding. You could also try using IAL or oak leaves which should calm them down a bit.

Sorry about your male. Better luck next time.
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:05 AM   #3 
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did you say you conditioned them with BBS and microworms?? how is that possible? feed them bloodworms and pellets maybe that will help

i agree indjo he/she must be 100% right about it, if you don't have an aggressive male save your money if you can
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:44 AM   #4 
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As a rule of thumb, males like aggressive females, just not THAT aggressive! She might not have been totally ready to spawn.
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Old 01-27-2012, 11:35 AM   #5 
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Okay, thanks for all the replies. Yes I tried conditioning with Microworms and gave them some Brine Shrimp once. I don't know how it's possible, :P they seemed to really like the Microworms! They gobbled them right up, as well as the Brine Shrimp.

My guess is that the female wasn't ready, or maybe she just didn't like the male. :S I know not all Bettas will match up with whichever one you put with them. I'll probably end up getting a new couple.

Thanks again for the help.
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Old 01-28-2012, 11:04 PM   #6 
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It wasn't love at first bite. lol I hope your male is recovering from the attacks.
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Old 01-28-2012, 11:10 PM   #7 
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Haha, nope I guess it wasn't. :P He seems to be doing okay, I moved him to my planted 30 gallon and he looks to be enjoying him self. :)
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Old 01-30-2012, 06:06 PM   #8 
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I'm glad he's doing better. Poor little guy.
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Old 02-08-2012, 06:23 PM   #9 
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Hi everyone...I'm back. :D

Okay, so I've gotten some frozen bloodworms (thankfully I found out our local pet shop carries them). And I got a lot of Brine Shrimp eggs online, so I'm going to be giving my Bettas live Brine Shrimp too. I also have a few different kinds of dry Pellets.

My question is what should my feeding schedule be?

I gave them some frozen (thawed) B.W. today which they gobbled right up (the female especially). And I've started my Hatch n' Feeder again with the Brine Shrimp in their tank.

What I have them set up in, is a 10 gallon with a homemade partition thing (screen material over a wire frame) dividing the tank in the middle, so they both have a half of it. I did this so I could save on space and not have to set up another heater, filter, etc. in another tank (since I'm running out of space to plug anything else in). :P

They can see each other through the screen, and the male's been making a bubble nest in there and flaring at the female. The female basically ignores him for the most part, flaring or fake charging a few times.

So what schedule should I put them on? I also have the microworms I could incorporate once a week or so.

Thanks in advance for any help!
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Old 02-08-2012, 06:28 PM   #10 
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What a sav! Love those sassy ones, but sorry your male got damaged. I would recondition them and keep her in a chimney, vase, whatever for a few days before releasing her even if she looks ready.
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