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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Everyone!
You guys might of seen me around the tropical fishes side of things. If not, well hello! :) I'm an australian - incase you didn't guess - and I happily go by the name aussie (it's what a lot of people call me)...
Of course, I am a proud owner of a beautiful betta!
My backstory begins when my beautiful 7g shrimp tank begins to leak. Of course, family just wanted to "patch it up" with some silicone but I was all, why not by a new tank? (And upgrade in the progress!) Obviously the fish gods where looking out for me as an awesome 25g tank (31/80 x 16/40 x 12/30 inch/cm) comes across my feed in FB. Some plants, gravel and MTS included. So of course I had to snatch it up!
And then as I was at the pet store (buying a filter pad for a hamburg matten filter) they had a new shipment in. And of course, they were opening the betta box right in front of the counter where I happened to be buying my goods. :) As a long time betta lover, I had to stop and look!
Then the one caught my eye. A beautiful angry blue betta with a white face that seemed to shine under the aquarium lighting. Without even thinking about it, I quickly pounced on the poor employee! :lol: So I left with my foam, betta (as well as a few supplies for the betta including a box filter, heater and air pump.)
Pretty much running/speed walking back home (30 mins in 27c/80F) I quickly set him up in my "spare" hermit crab water bowl. (which is around 2.5g... it's really a rubbermaid container). Of course, I seeded the filter with some from my current tank(s)... Just in case you thought I was clueless about cycling.
Once I finished setting up the 25g (3 days after getting my betta) he moved in (seeding that with my current tanks as well!).

So far the tank includes:
- 1 betta (called Marbles after his genetics... He is a "fancy" plakat)
- 1 baby bristlenose (most likely going to be "swapped" with a bunch of oto's)
- 2 cherry shrimp that hitchhiked
- MTS

Plants include:
- Java moss
- Creasted java fern
- mini java fern
- java fern
- needle leaf java fern
- anubias nana
- anubias nana petite
- cryptocoryne (thinking wendtii)
- val
- duckweed (I love this stuff, all my other tanks kill it :| )
- water sprite

(So quite a list)

Pics (sorry for the fuzziness, he constantly paces around the tank... Is that normal?)
Tank pics (and some fuzzy betta)





And fuzzy fish







Questions:
- I've noticed that near his nose he is missing a patch of scales (is visible in pics)... I assumed that he might of scraped it at the pet store (found out when "we" were at home)
- He hasn't built a bubble nest yet? My tank conditions are perfect (ammonia 0ppm, nitrate 0pmm nitrite 10ppm... Ph around 7, temp 26c/78F) when I checked last friday... If needed, I will check again, but I pretty sure it's still ok.
- He managed to bash a ramshorn that I placed with him (eyestalks and chunks of the foot gone). Is that a sign to keep him alone as he might not be fish safe?
 

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He's beautiful aussie!

The missing patch of scales is entirely normal! He's a Dragon Scale/Metallic which means that his scales are thicker than normal. You can read more about this all here: Let's Talk: What is a Dragonscale? and then I made a little correction later in the thread: correction

Bubblenests are not necessary. It's just part of the three basic needs (food, shelter, reproduction) and does not mean that he is "happy". Fish do not experience emtions the same way we do of course. He can be content with his new home but really, it boils down to: if the other two basic needs are met, then he'll want to reproduce and build a nest. However, this does not mean you should throw a female in with him!!! He does not NEED to reproduce!

Did you seed this tank? I assume you did?

Betta's are amazing carnivores, shrimp and snails are not safe with him. PK's especially (short fin) because they tend to have more energy; less is wasted on hold up large fins. However, this doesn't mean he won't be fine with other fish. Betta's are territorial as we all know so try to keep away from top dwelling fish as that is where his territory is. Instead, go for mid-bottom and bottom dwellers! You could do a nice school of Ember Tetras if you have them around, some Rummynose Rasbora, Cardinal Tetras would look amazing in that set up! Smaller catfish like corydoras will be great for him and the best tankmates!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks guys! :)
lilnaugrim thanks for the links. I was thinking he might of been a dragon scale however I read that blue bettas aren't dragon scales, they just metallic blue fancies/marbles. However with all the new varieties, who knows?
I had a feeling that bubble nests aren't the only sign that they are healthy, however I'd love to have one. :) I assumed he is happy as he is constantly pacing/swimming around and looking for the blackworms that I seeded the tank with.
As for seeding the tank, I used plants from my existing tanks or plants I got with the upgrade, bogwood pieces, existing substrate (was partially moist, plus the MTS where mixing it up even though it was sitting outside for a few days... Most likely most of the BB died but it should bounce back quickly). Not to mention existing filter media from my shrimp tank (which has been running for 4 - 5 months that was cycled from my 64g tank)... So at most, I should be looking at a mini cycle until the tank (and the hamburg matten filter) establishes properly. But with such an understocked tank and somewhat heavily planted it should be ok.
The MTS so far have been ok, I assume that they should do well in the tank. However the shrimp, I tried to take them out but I nearly have to destroy the tank in the process. If they become fish food no big deal, if they survive and breed... yay!
I was thinking of adding some micro rasboras, embers I heard can be a bit nippy. True this is a plakat, but still.... Rummies I already have in the 64g, but personally I would keep them in anything less than a 55g. They really need space IMO.
However pygmy cories and/or otos are something that I really contemplating on getting. If only they (the otos) didn't cost $15-20 each or pygmies didn't cost $10 each!

Fanatic thanks for the support. Yep the shrimp wasn't planned but the snails, meh. They (MTS) have been doing ok plus I love these guys. So they staying unless Mr. invert terroriser decided to have fun with the MTS.
 

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Yes, Blue's aren't called Dragons, however it's all the same thing, just different names is all. So white thick scaled fish with different color fins are [color] Dragon. A fish with blue thick scales is [color] Metallic. Your boy is a Turquoise Metallic Monster. Monster just means he has a white head however, he will likely change as he ages and that will color up to blue as well.

The marble gene is actually different than the one that causes thick scales (it's a trait). Marble is often seen with the dragon/metallic however, it's not explicitly linked. Fancy is just an aquabid term, it's not really a real term, you can use it of course but it doesn't really mean too much.

Actually, it's the opposite! Embers aren't nippy but some Rasboras are. However, if you have an appropriate sized school (6 or more, micro fish feel MUCH safer in larger numbers. I actually recommend 12+ in your tank ^_^ I had 16 in my 29 and it was beautiful) then you won't have to worry about that. I've kept Embers for over two years now and with various other fish, long finned betta's, short finned, all types of gourami, plus other random fish with the Embers and have never seen any sort of aggression, chasing, nipping, nothing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
*snip*Your boy is a Turquoise Metallic Monster*snip*
Ahh thats good to know! I thought he might of been a turquoise too, which you clarified to me. I think one of the links you posted talked about turquoise bettas which display the royal blue undertones (which I can see under certain lights) and green "patches" (which i can also see). Not to mention the metallic part, he does have a copper banding in his finage as well; which I pretty sure one of your links pointed out!
lilnaugrim, do you think he is a marble? I assumed he was a marble due to his colouring and also he was "labeled" as a fancy. Which I read on here is common for marble bettas to be marketed as.
My observations come from the LFS. They normally have embers in (stocked with other micro fishes) and I normally see them terrorising their mirco tankmates! Maybe its another case of "dealer tank not showing off the fishes qualities"? However, I think I'd like to keep this tank somewhat biotope-ic.
Hence the suggestion of micro rasboras (I believe my LFS sells B.merah or B.brigittae... can't remember which, I just know they red!). Do you think a shoal of them - around the amount you suggested - would work with a betta? Or would it become betta food?
But if they don't work, I think I will go with embers. They are really stunning, and I think they would contrast the betta nicely. They would be a great option B that I'm not to fussed about and eager to try! :)
 

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The Monster trait is part of the Marble gene so yes. However, he isn't likely going to be doing any striking changes on you other than coloring up his head blue eventually like the rest of him. After that, he'll just be a regular Turquoise Metallic. I would not label him a Marble simply because he does not have the "Marble" coloration of splotches and patches but he still holds the gene. There's a bit of a grey area there for most but I only call it a Marble if the fish has that splotchy coloration, but it doesn't mean that another fish who is solid, doesn't also carry the marble genes. Does that make sense or no? I know it's a little confusing in that area.

If you go with B. Merah or B. Brigittae then you definitely need to have at least 15-20 of them if they will be the only fish plus the Betta (I don't count the shrimps or snails, their bioload is fairly low). This will make them feel comfortable and likely the Betta won't do anything to them. Smaller schools of under 12 in that size tank, they'll start to feel vulnerable and scared and hiding more.

As for becoming Betta food, it all depends on the fish. Each Betta is very different in it's personality, the calmest betta may be the most vicious with other fish around and the reverse is true as well. It's all a gamble so just keep a watchful eye out and provide plenty of plants for the fishes to hide in if they feel threatened and you should be good!

I've had Giant's in with my Ember's and they never cared about the Embers (though, I feel Giant's tend to be a little more gentle around other fish for whatever reason) as well as regular Betta's and they've never harmed them. I have my current school of Embers who are 2.5 years now in with my female Betta sorority and I've no issues with them attacking or bullying :) but it's also a jungle of plants, can't see through to the other side which is ideal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Don't worry, I learnt a little about genetics last year in Bio so I understand the jist of what your say. They just carriers of the marble trait, which if paired up with another betta of the marble trait has the chance of producing marbled bettas.

...he isn't likely going to be doing any striking changes on you other than coloring up his head blue eventually like the rest of him...
Thats a bummer, I quite like looking at his white face; it's rather amusing to see this white thing "bobbing" around. Oh well, he will still be my baby and as long as he is healthy, who can complain?
But that leaves a name change... Marble doesn't really suit well anymore. Thankfully it was an easy fix, I decided to choose Aqueous (nickname: Aq) as he lives in a aqueous environment, is the colour blue & white (commonly associated with water) and he seems to love swimming.
(Probably a bit dorky, but meh...)

Well, last night I decided to see how my betta reacts to other fish (besides a BN). One could say it was an experiment to see the betta's behaviour.
I added one small emperor tetra from my 64g tank - who had been a real pain. Straight away was very curious about this "foreign thingy" and in the first time that I've seen, flaring! In fact, I think I have a HMPK on my hands, his tail did spread the classic "D" shape thats HM have. Anyway, at first he would constantly flare at the tiny thing and then proceed to run and hide in the plants before running up the the tetra and repeating the "war dance". He even took a few 'lunges' to judge the "newbie". Fearing for the worst, the emperor proceeded to hide in the plants. However as the afternoon/night went along, one could notice that my betta was flaring less until the point where he would see the other fish and maybe stop to check things out before doing what he wanted to do.
Today it was common to see the two happily "schooling"... But when I got home, I noticed that the emperor was getting a little to comfortable and was starting to show his old tricks. So before things got too back, the emperor was back in my 64g...

I did notice that the introduction of a new fish, my betta was pacing a lot less, and seemed more chill. Instead of pacing along a wall (of his choice) it was common to see him drift about in the tank, investigating areas and places. It was a totally different fish. Looking back, there could be to possible reasons for this.
1 is that the emperor was starting to be a royal pain - again... that thing picks on rummies twice its size - and might of caused the betta to be less active
2 the emperor was my betta's dither fish and made him feel a lot safer in his tank.

Whatever it is, it was interesting to note. Maybe anyone has had similar experiences and might be able to give a brief comment? Is the pacing behaviour is a sign of stress or can be a sign of boredom? My fish expertise lie in other tropical fishes, so with bettas I'm clueless.
 

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Oh good, glad that all made sense to you! Sometimes I'm good at explaining and other times I simply fail, haha!

Love the name! I think it's rather dashing for him!

Yeah, he's likely an HMPK, I wouldn't be surprised ^_^

Yes, it usually takes about 2 weeks for a Betta to become disinterested with it's new tankmates. That's just average time, some take longer some are shorter depending on their nature. But overall, he'll flare and chase likely, that's all normal. What you want to watch out for is really biting and latching onto the other fish, if the other fish is also confrontational (not normal in small schoolers like Embers or Chili's of course!) then you might see body slamming and constant chasing. Those are bad signs. He'll do those but if they result in injury, that's when you know that you've got a fish who doesn't enjoy or tolerate other fishes and should stay alone for his life. If he lets up like it seems like your fish has done, he's likely good. This doesn't mean that he'll tolerate every single fish, but he has more of a chance to being peaceful at least :)

The pacing is what we call Tank Surfing. Very common for new fish to new homes or if they can see their reflection which he likely can. Providing more plants along the walls can help deteriorate this behavior as well has providing other distractions like you noted; the Emperor was a distraction for him ^_^ And yes, just be careful with other fishes, not all schoolers are Betta compatible: Serpae's, Silver Tip, Emperor, Skirts, etc. those are all known to bite at Betta fins or any long finned fish. I know it was just an experiment and that was totally fine! Just wanted to say that not all fish are good with betta's too in case anyone else is reading ^_^
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
torileeann11 thanks for that! I'm glad others think so. :)

lilnaugrim thanks for that. Tank Surfing... thats new. I'll see what I can do about it. I was hoping for a - somewhat - open tank. I understand that they enjoy densely planted tanks, however in such a low light tank fast growing plants aren't an option. Not to mention, my bank account might not agree with me spending - a lot - on plants! :lol: Besides using backgrounds, other fishes and plants, is there other ways of reducing the reflection coming off the glass? (Like positioning of the light?)
I was always under the assumption that plakats would be able to tolerate fin nippers, as their fins are shorter than most varieties. However I guess fin nippers would also pick on the slower moving fish as well... But my betta can move really fast - which surprised me, as the ones in the stores barely move! - so it would deter the others somewhat. However I don't think I could ever mix a betta and emperor long term, those little guys are worst than tiger barbs! I really don't like my emperors. But yeah, that logic does make sense. It's like saying that a piranha (since they are schooling) will be able to mix with a betta... If there was a divider in the tank! :-D Anyway, slight deviation.
Even as an experiment I don't think I would try this combo again. Who knew how long it took before my emperor turned into the little _____ (*fill the blank*). In less than 12 hours, I pretty sure it was sizing up the betta as a good punching bag!
If I was ever to experiment with a betta and another fish again, I think I would go with female guppies (younger ones). Easy to breed (bound to always have one), can be as small/big as you want and can sport a bright colour to see how a betta reacts to another fish with a vibrant patch.
 

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Yeah, you can try angling the light! That may work. You can always get some anubias species down the line and java fern if they're available to you, nice easy plants that would grow well in your tank and take up some more space. Anubias can be floated as well! Or you can attach to suction cups to position higher in the tank, you can then hide the suction cup with some plants from the bottom or whatever.

Yeah, experimentation is all good! I wasn't berating you, just letting you know is all ^_^ It's good to find out what the temperament and personality is of your Betta :)

Yes, PK's can generally move around quicker due to shorter fins but it doesn't exclude them from being fin nipped, lots of fin nippers like Emperors and Tiger Barbs can move just as quickly!

I understand what you mean about the Emperors, I have long fin Serpae that look nice but man are they mean as all get out! I only have two left in my 45 and I recently redid it all and I meant to keep out the two of them to send to a store or whatever. One apparently snuck his way back in and there was NO way I was going to go back in and ruin my tank just to get him again. So, knowing that he'd bug the crap out of my other fish if the other wasn't in there, I put the other back in as well. One day, one day they'll be out of my tanks lol. They look nice, just....not a fish I'd keep again.

And sure, guppies are always good too. It's a big myth about Betta's going after other fish of bright color or because the tail reminds them of other Betta fish; Betta's know what guppies are and they know what another Betta is. If the Betta goes after the guppy, it's because it doesn't appreciate other fish is all, not because it's a guppy and is flashy. Granted yes, long finned guppy males are slower and easier to catch but all the same. I've kept guppies and betta's successfully before as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
lilnaugrim, I recently got a LED unit, so the angling of the light might be a bit hard. I think it's best if I go with the dither's, which I plan to get on friday. Hopefully with new additions he should be less likely to surf.
I would go with the plants, however low light plants cost soo much in Australia. To get a Anubias coffeefolia or java fern (with around 3-5 leaves), it can cost up to $25, maybe $15 when discounted. I get they a low light plant and all, but really?! Cheap plants can be hard to find in australia, unless you get someones "off-cuts".
I totally get what you mean by serpaes, they are amazing (visually) and can be somewhat entertaining, but they not worth the trouble. Had a largish shoal (around 8) a few years back in my 64g tank, they were almost as bad as the emperors. I think they are a species to do well in a species only tank. A good alternative is the red phamtoms if you come past them.
I know what you mean by the experimentation thing, I was more getting at if someone was thinking about doing the same and gave some insight into what can be improved. Of course, there comes the risks of a unsocial betta, but everyone can make their own risk assessment.

KrystalBetta, thanks for that. :) I'm personally not happy with how it looks, I think the big stone in my betta tank will be moving back to my 64g. Thankfully I have another stone in might and it should work better, but we shall see. :) Hopefully it turns out to how I envisioned it.
 

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It's that expensive here in the states as well. Sometimes you can get a cheap small one for about 10-15 bucks but it's usually very small and takes a long time to grow. That's really why they're expensive, they take a long time to grow :)
 
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