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Old 02-02-2012, 08:05 AM   #1 
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beta pair??

Hello everyone!

I was wondering if it is possible to keep bettas permanently in a pair (male-female). Frankly i know this is probably not a verry good idea, but my situation is as folows: my girlfriend went to a pet shop on a whim and came home with a fish bowl, some gravel, plants and two bettas; a male and a female. The store owner had repeatedly assured her that these where cold water fish and that she needed two, because one would get lonely...
I told her ofcourse that these fish need warm water and she eventualy agreed to let me buy a heater (although she doesnt like the sight of the cable).
The male is not realy agressive, but often flares at her and when she swims away, will chase her for a few seconds...i dont think he actualy physicaly harms her, but it might cause allot of stress...

I was wondering what my best option is:
a. Leave as is: he will leave her alone after a while
b. Get seperate housing for the female/try to return her to the store
c. ...suggestions are welcome :D

Thanks for anny help in advance!
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:26 AM   #2 
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I am glad you managed to get them a heater. But they really need to be separated. You could end up with an unwanted spawn, or 1 or both could end up killed. I would suggest separate housing. If you want to keep the female you could get a 5 or 10 gallon and divide it and they would both have there own separate areas or you could buy the female her own tank and heater. But I would get the female or male out asap as you never know when things can go bad! In a bowl your basically just waiting for the bomb to go off! betta's are solitary fish and do not get lonely!
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:31 AM   #3 
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yeah...thought that would be your answer
looks like i'm gonna have to confront the missus!
she absolutely wanted a bowl because she likes the look of it and she thinks rectangular aquariums look awful, so a 5 gal with a divider will probably be out of the question...we'll see how it goes!

Last edited by MrIdidit; 02-02-2012 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:44 AM   #4 
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sadly some people see bettas as decorations :(
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:59 AM   #5 
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They can be very nice. Maybe put a back round up so you don't see the cords, add live plants or silk plants and make a nice landscape. Another option would be 2 2gallon bowls or tanks. You can make tanks look very nice. Go and look at the betta housing thread. There are some very beautiful tanks, and maybe it will change her mind once you see some of the really nice tanks. You can do two bowls as long as they can be heated. Most people on here would not recomend it, but I keep a female in a 1 gallon and she is very happy. You just have to do a few more changes during the week.
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:08 AM   #6 
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Another thing I just thought of is there are some very nice tanks that are seamless and look beautiful nothing like your basic aquarium. You are also looking at a big price tag for them. But if you are willing to pay she may agree as they are beautiful.

These are just a few examples of the nicer looking tanks. But again you are looking at a higher price than your basic 5 gallon.
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:32 AM   #7 
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Personally I think a well cared for aquarium looks better than a cruel fish bowl any day! Please separate the bettas ASAP...your girlfriend is the newest victim of petstore misinformation. Also, it might not hurt to sit with her and have a chat about how fish can get hurt too, and like any pet as the owner it's her job to take care of them and meet their basic needs. Bettas make such great pets when cared for right. Once she sees how fabulous their little personalities become when they're happy, she'll fall in love. (;
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:01 PM   #8 
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Agreed, she definitely needs to forgo what she wants and start thinking of what the fish actually need. People seem to slack off in responsibility when it comes to situations like wanting a 'better looking bowl' than a more functional, actually less maintenance tank because 'they're fish'. Hopefully, you can manage to get her out of that mind frame- maybe show her some beautiful looking tanks that are square, but suitable for their size as well as going over how often she'll have to maintenance a small bowl in comparison to a larger tank. From what I can tell, unless the situation improves in some way, she's going to be set up for failure, or at least disappointment because she won't truely see how lovely betta's are unless she can help them to thrive instead of just surviving... If anything, maybe you can talk her into a community tank or maaaaybe a sorority (if either of you are up to making sure all the females get along). While a betta doesn't get lonely and are aggressive, some bettas are chill enough to at least tolerate other tank mates, it's just a matter of figuring out what tank mates you want and what size tank you're willing to get, as well as making sure they don't get stressed and aren't bullies to their tank mates- it helps to have a lot of cover.
Here are some lovely pics of large tanks all decked out (they don't all have bettas, but you can divide a large tank and as I've said before, you can opt for a community or sorority to make it more livelier)- maybe you should show her some and let her see what she'll be able to do with a larger 'canvas' to paint instead of a dinky ole bowl... (and no, I don't think bowls are bad, but if you're keeping them with more than one fish then that's a different story):
Here's a video. These are more for contests, which is why they're so extravagant, but even so... I find it's worth watching:
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Old 02-03-2012, 05:21 AM   #9 
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option d... find the petstore rep and slap him/her senseless

sorry, it's just quite amazing that anyone could mistake fighting fish as needing to be kept in pairs. Males and females can both be extremely aggressive, and have both been known to die as a result of spawning. A divided tank is your best option, a 5.5 or 10 gal are both good options.

If you want a good deal you can check craigslist or kijiji (if Canadian) for used tanks. I got a 10 gal with everything I needed (save fish and came with crappy decor) for 25$. Just remember, they do need a heater, my boy is thrilled with his 80 degree temp
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:52 AM   #10 
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lol I like option D ;)

Even kritter keepers from Petco, a 3 gallon is roughly $10, get two of those, they are heater safe, and plenty of space to decorate them.. can use a lamp to light them :) It's what I use for mine- simple, cheap, easy to clean.

There are some large bowls and other containers out there.. you don't have to use specific tanks- This is a neat idea that I saw when going through Walmart one day and saw a large glass cookie jar.. the problem is the heating of it, she will have to get used to a cord in there, but at least you can hide it with plants.
Cookie jars
A 1 gallon is enough space for them, I would go a little larger if you could for the fact you can do more with it.. but with weekly water changes, they are just fine.
Bettas don't need filters, but you would have to do a weekly water change of a 100% if you forgo the filter.

But definitely separate them, they haven't fully adjusted yet, one is most likely thinking they are in the territory of the other- so they haven't gotten to the part where they will stop chasing and start biting each other yet. A small bowl with both of those in there will cause them to feel "trapped", as males will stay in a spot and mark it as their territory, whereas females move all over the miles and miles of expanse waters, only going near a male when they are ready to breed, then immediately leaving.
So once the male tries to set up territory in the bowl, you're looking at a female who will get hurt, and who will turn to the male to protect herself and hurt him.

Unfortunately, people don't understand that these guys don't live in puddles, they have miles and miles of water, and they come from areas such as Thailand, where it's hot. Silly store clerk just wanted a sale. I suggest not going back to that particular store when you go to get the other tank, don't give them any more money- most likely the store clerk new exactly what they were saying and knew that within a week or so, you would come back to either get a replacement fish, or another tank once you learn the truth and would get even more money off of you from their misinformation.

Good luck with everything.
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