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Old 02-16-2012, 10:14 PM   #1 
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2 fish behavior questions:

We have a new female Betta (named Roberta, after her predecessor) after a 6 month gap.

She seems to be adjusting pretty well; didn't eat much the first few days but eating well now.

I have a heater for her tank, which I didn't have before. It's a small flat 15W plug-in heater that sits on the bottom of her 1-gal tank, under the glass rocks. She likes to hang out as close as possible to the heater and has actually sort of burrowed herself a little cave to get closer to the heater (cave is under the lip of the larger piece of coral that her plants are stuck in.) I worry whenever I see her hanging out near the bottom, but then she comes up and swims around well -- so I think it's just preference (warmth and maybe hiding?) Wondering what you think and whether other fish do this?

Thermometer shows water temp between 70 and 75 degrees F

Second question is about females making bubbles. I know from threads on here that males do that when they're happy but couldn't find anything about females doing it. She has about 8-10 bubbles on the top of her tank. Not all in a cluster. But they're pretty viscous and stay for a while.

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Old 02-16-2012, 11:16 PM   #2 
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The reason she is burrowing is because her water is too cold (which surprises me, with a 15 watt heater...that should heat your tank very easily). Bettas like it between 78 and 82F. Anything under 76 is pretty much too cold. Also, that fluctuation on 5 degrees worries me a bit. That is quite a jump and fluctuation is bad for fish - it can be worse than a temperature that is too cold. I'd invest in a new heater, or a bigger tank (more water = more stable temperature) or both.

As for the bubbles, males don't do it because they are happy or healthy - it just shows readiness to breed in case an attractive little female happens to swim past. It's a "hey girls, check it out" thing. Breeding them in captivity is a little more complex, though. Anyway, girls do it too, just not so much as the boys. Some girls make amazing bubblenests (my girl Athena did), some blow scattered bubbles, but most won't do it at all. :)
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Old 02-16-2012, 11:19 PM   #3 
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I would definitely look at a new heater. Temperature fluctuations of 5 or so degrees in that small a tank is going to eventually cause issues.

Also the bubbles could just be from where she sleeps at night. I have a few fish that sleep up near the surface, and bubbles form when they take a breath. It eventually forms something that resembles a bubble nest, but isn't.
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Old 02-17-2012, 07:22 AM   #4 
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Our house is cold and the house temperature fluctuates from 62-68, because we turn the thermostat down at night.

The temp fluctuation hasn't been a full 5 degrees. I meant it hasn't been colder than 70 since the heater went into the tank. The thermometer is on the opposite side of the tank from the heater so I think the spot where she is burrowing is probably warmer.

I had thought about getting a larger tank, but was afraid the heater would be even more limited in its ability to heat more water. Hadn't thought about larger tank being able to retain temp better.

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Old 02-17-2012, 07:26 AM   #5 
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I would upgrade to something like the Hagen Elite heater. Cheap but effective. My guys are happiest at 80 degrees.
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:26 PM   #6 
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You're right, for some reason the flat Hydor heater just is not working the way it's supposed to. I have no idea how it would keep an "up to 5 gal" tank warm; it can barely get my 1 gal tank up to the mid-70's. I'm ordering a Hagen Elite; it does have good reviews on Amazon.

In the meantime I put the heater on top of the gravel rather than under, soon as I realized it was not going to overheat things and that way more of the surface is in contact with the water. With that change and wrapping a scarf around the tank at night, temp is steadier and around 75. Our little betta has become a complete cave-dweller -- spending almost all of her time right under the filter. She does swim well (up to the top to breathe or eat, and sometimes playing with her reflection) so I don't think she is sick. Just trying to be warm.
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Old 02-25-2012, 04:00 AM   #7 
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What type of water do u put in the tank? Do u use water conditioners? What do u feed ur bettas?
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:03 PM   #8 
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A tip to try to get the heater to work properly, when replacing water from a water change, using a glass aquarium thermometer get the new water around 80*.
Sometimes those preset heaters will only heat up to a few degrees more then the room temp, so a boost sometimes helps.
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