My MTS aren't burrowing at all - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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My MTS aren't burrowing at all

Received them on Friday and put them in my gravel tank it seemed like they were attempting to burrow but didn't/couldn't. On Saturday I tore the tank down and replaced the substrate with dirt and sand. I work from home and my tank is within eye shot pretty much 24/7. The MTS have not burrowed at all at any time of day (I also work unconventional hours and my tank light ends up being on until around 3am sometimes), I bought 8 and 7/8 have been on top of the sand at all times. I haven't seen the 8th in days and I'm convinced it died/escaped. I don't believe it's burrowing because my soil started getting anaerobic and I had to poke it so much this morning. I went back and read reviews for the seller and no one is complaining of their MTS not burrowing. So anyways how can I convince them to get in the dirt?


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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 04:59 PM
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They may be looking for food. Mine will come out of hiding and roam the tank looking for food. In my case, because I have so many, and my tank is well established, I don't purposely feed them. They eat dead plant leaves, left over fish food, and algae.

They are nocturnal, so what I would do is turn off the tank light and put in a bit of extra fish food, or a piece of algae wafer for them, leave the food in for the next 24 hours then remove any uneaten food. Hopefully by the next day they will have had enough food and be willing to burrow under the substrate. Aim to feed them once or twice a week but no more unless you want an MTS population explosion.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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They may be looking for food. Mine will come out of hiding and roam the tank looking for food. In my case, because I have so many, and my tank is well established, I don't purposely feed them. They eat dead plant leaves, left over fish food, and algae.

They are nocturnal, so what I would do is turn off the tank light and put in a bit of extra fish food, or a piece of algae wafer for them, leave the food in for the next 24 hours then remove any uneaten food. Hopefully by the next day they will have had enough food and be willing to burrow under the substrate. Aim to feed them once or twice a week but no more unless you want an MTS population explosion.


Thanks! I wasn't sure if I could purposefully feed them at all without having the population explode but it makes sense that they are hungry.


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 05:39 PM
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Thanks! I wasn't sure if I could purposefully feed them at all without having the population explode but it makes sense that they are hungry.


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Until you tank is a bit more established I'd feed them a bit. Just make sure to not overfeed, 2x a week at most should be fine.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
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Until you tank is a bit more established I'd feed them a bit. Just make sure to not overfeed, 2x a week at most should be fine.


I fed them a second time this week but they still aren't burrowing at all and for the past week they've honestly just mostly laid around. They move a bit but they no longer zoom all over the tank like they did. They pretty much never leave this one little area. I don't think there's a lot of algae for them to eat but I have a lot of plants and there is a little bit of dying plant matter that they aren't eating either.... did I maybe just get a bad batch? Is that a thing?


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 12:55 PM
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I've had MTS shipped to me, but didn't loose any, even the ones sent by the person who decided to put them in a baggy, no wet napkins or anything in there with them, and the baggy leaked water out all over the shipping box. On the flip side of that I recently had horned nerites shipped to me and out of 6 only 2 survived, and out of the 6 replacements that were sent 0 survived.

So long as they are not dead I'd not worry about them. If they are decent size they should produce babies and their offspring will more then likely burrow. I always see at least some of my MTS up above the substrate. For the longest time I honestly though they never burrowed, then when I went to switch out the substrate I discovered just how many of them were actually burrowing.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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I've had MTS shipped to me, but didn't loose any, even the ones sent by the person who decided to put them in a baggy, no wet napkins or anything in there with them, and the baggy leaked water out all over the shipping box. On the flip side of that I recently had horned nerites shipped to me and out of 6 only 2 survived, and out of the 6 replacements that were sent 0 survived.

So long as they are not dead I'd not worry about them. If they are decent size they should produce babies and their offspring will more then likely burrow. I always see at least some of my MTS up above the substrate. For the longest time I honestly though they never burrowed, then when I went to switch out the substrate I discovered just how many of them were actually burrowing.


Yes one of them had babies during shipping and I think continued having babies after being put in my tank. I've seen a few babies on top of the substrate. That's good to know that the babies are likely burrowing and good to know it sounds like basically the same thing was happening to you. Should I just continue poking my substrate?


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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 06:32 PM
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Yes one of them had babies during shipping and I think continued having babies after being put in my tank. I've seen a few babies on top of the substrate. That's good to know that the babies are likely burrowing and good to know it sounds like basically the same thing was happening to you. Should I just continue poking my substrate?


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I'd poke it a couple times a week to make sure gas bubbles aren't forming.
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