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Old 04-16-2012, 09:00 PM   #1 
True Indigo
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A Curious Question Regarding Long Fins, Short Fins, and Wild Bettas.

So I've been crazy about Betta fish ever since I got my first and second (the first died in a week and I was saddened but because of it, found a treasure trove of information before I have my new guy now who I've had for over almost two months now)

Bettas have been breed specifically for their beautiful colors and fins, but I'm wondering, do short-finned Bettas fair better than long-finned bettas due to better ease in movement that seems much more natural?

I've taken this into consideration since I'm currently questioning my current Betta's fascination with making his tail short instead of letting it grow out ever since I put him in a bigger tank.

Is tail biting more frequent in longer-finned bettas? Or perhaps does it only occur in longer tailed bettas? Do short-finned Bettas even attempt tail biting with the twist and turn on itself that's consistent with tail fin bitters?

I'm also wondering if shorter-tailed bettas generally live longer and better than long-tailed fins.

I'm also considering in the future purchasing a wild betta and am curious about their personality and health in contrast to Betta Splendens. Do they generally fair better or worse? Are they more perky and curious in their behavior or no?

I know this is a lot to answer but if anyone would like to take a stab at any and all questions, I'd be very grateful.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:39 PM   #2 
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In the wild, Bettas are short finned. Having long colorful tails is a pain in the ass for Bettas, it's like a human walking with a chain ball attached to its leg. The extra baggage makes it hard for them swim even little current.

Tail-biting isn't only exclusive to Bettas with long tails. Sometimes Bettas do it because they're stressed other times they just want to get rid off extra baggage.

I'm pretty sure short tailed Bettas like Imbellis and Plakats don't bite their tails. They couldn't reach it of they tried, it's like us trying to like our elbows. And can't answer the lifespan question.

Also I have a wild Betta right now, they're called Betta Imbellis also known as peaceful Bettas. Now these guys need different care than Splendens. They like diffused lighting, so, no direct bright light makes them feel unsafe. And you can house more than one of them in tanks, unlike regular Bettas. They're very any fish and like lots of hiding places. So dense planting and hiding spots are good for them.

They are wonderful little guys. :) Also they prefer softer water I believe. So make sure your water isn't that hard.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:01 PM   #3 
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Domesticated betta splendens are similar in that they prefer subdued lighting and dense planting. :)
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:56 PM   #4 
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I have several wilds, around 7-8 species, so I know a bit about their care. They do prefer subdued lighting. I usually don't use any artificial lighting over my wilds at all and just let the plants grow in natural sunlight.

They also prefer cooler temperatures, low to mid seventies rather than high seventies to eighties. Most prefer very soft to neutral water, but some species are less fussy than others. They also will generally only show their best colours in darker water. I use Ketapang leaves and a layer of boiled peat moss over the substrate in my tanks. They can get very tetchy with one another and they generally need a lot of cover to feel comfortable enough to come out.

Depending on whether a wild betta is wild-caught or aquarium bred, they may be very shy (I'm talking don't see them for a few weeks to a month shy) and may take some time to transition to pellets. Some of mine I've had a year and they still won't take anything but live/frozen.

My wilds are all very tame as I hand-feed and they have gotten used to me farting around with their tanks. They will wiggle dance at the front of their tanks and attack my hands/get sucked up the siphon during water changes.

Mine have had less issues health-wise than my domesticated splendens, but they do like clean water and I prefer to give them more room than necessary - 5 gallons for me is the absolute minimum for one of the smaller species.

Because the pH in my wild betta tanks is so low it won't hold a cycle. Therefore, ammonia will build-up unless you do regular water changes. I never do 100% water changes on my wilds as the water softness and pH is drastically different from what comes out of my tap. Instead I do 25% water changes with slightly cooler water (induces spawning) every 2-3 days.

I use normal tapwater treated with Prime as our water is ridiculously soft and of excellent quality. Otherwise you may need to invest in a R/O water system depending on what species you want.
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:38 PM   #5 
True Indigo
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Thank you for all of your answers. For now, my little guy will stay. I couldn't think of giving him up because I took on this responsibility and he has such a silly personality. As much as I dislike his tail-biting behavior (I miss his full fins!), he's still an awesome fish.

I'll definitely consider what all of you said in these terms. I don't want too shy of a fish, so I might end up going with a Plakat instead. I've seen how they move and they seem much more natural and some of them are amazing in color and personality but I'll still keep my mind open about wild bettas and just watch aquabid in the future.

Thanks so much again. If anyone wants to say something additional, please feel free too. :)
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