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Discussion Starter #1
I saw a forum for "wilds* but it's not active and Rigel isn't a wild fish but a wild "type" hybrid (domestically bred).

I'm not sure about the best tank size for him? He'd spent his entire life in the breeder's bare half gallon container, right?

Since he's never known a tank, how would he know what he's missing?

Maybe it's a wild type thing, but he seemed pretty overwhelmed by a (heated, filtered etc) two gallon drum bowl. It's like he didn't know what to do with all that "space" and for him it was quite an adjustment.

I don't want to be dealing with constant water changes so he's headed for the 10 gallon, but based on his current behavior I think it's going to freak him out.

It's weird but he seems to prefer a small space.

Anyone experiencnce this before?

It's a good thing there's daphnia outside because this fish was clueless when it came to pellets. He's learning but he's slow.

OTOH with daphnia he moves like lightening it's funny. By the time the water freezes over I'm hoping he'll be completely weaned to pellets.









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He probably just needs time to adjust.

Even though he's a hybrid, wild bettas do prefer tanks that provide plenty of cover. While I know many breeders keep them in small, relatively bare tanks, I often see the same people complaining about their fish being shy, and personally I think they miss out on getting the best colouring, and most natural behaviour, from their fish.

A heavily planted tank, with dark substrate, dim lighting, and tannin stained water, should give you a happy fish, regardless of tank size.

Also, I'm not sure if anyone has told you, but when keeping wilds, or wild hybrids, you need a lid with absolutely no gaps in it. Not even gaps around the filter or heater cords. With wild bettas it's not a matter of if, but when they jump, and it annoys me when I see people continually posting on FB that their wild bettas jumped out.

I personally use cling wrap, and just replace it when it starts to wear out. It's not particularly environmentally friendly, but it ensures that there are no gaps.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
@LittleBettaFish thanks so much for the Pro Tips! Apologies for so many questions....

With respect to plants, in his temporary quarters he's got 4 different kinds, including floating. He can literally vanish in there.

In the new 10 gallon tank I'm using Aquasoil and it'll be planted with small swords, a crypt, nano Vals, an assortment of rhizomes and some Creeping Charlie. Plus some mosses. For top cover I've got red root floaters. He should be happy, no?

Today I finally figured out how to keep the Spiderwood grounded so I'll be planting soon.

I know that wilds jump so I kinda figured the "wild types" may as well, so thanks for mentioning it. I've got Pothos growing out of his temp quarters so it'll be hard to keep it 100% covered but I'll try the plastic.

What's interesting is he hasn't shown the slightest inclination to jump - but I take your word for it I don't want to find out the hard way.

Would you be able to hazard a guess as to what goes into these "Alien" hybrids? Sorry I don't have very good pictures yet (need real camera) but to me he looks like Mahachai with maybe some Smaragdina and/or Imbellis in the mix?

I don't know much about wilds just guessing. Supposedly there's domestic "Splendens" in there but I don't see it?

His color completely changes depending on the light he can look turquoise, a deeper blue, or green. It's very cool.

When you say he needs time to adjust, do you mean more so than a strictly domestic betta? Is it because of his wild DNA, even though he's been domestically bred?

Personality wise so far he seems to be like a Coy dog. First couple of weeks shy and skittish but he's slowly coming around. He surprised me yesterday when I was lowering the daphnia loaded pipette towards the water he jumped out and lunged at it LoL. So he definitely knows where his chow is coming from.

I got him by happy accident. I happened to see him at that expo The Aquatic Experiencnce in Meadowlands NJ a couple weeks ago and couldn't resist. The importer didn't seem to know very much about him. It did take him a good week to recover from the experiencnce of being at the EXPO - he seemed very fearful and hid for a week but I can only imagine his travels from breeder to middleman to being on display under garrish lights....

I'm also unsure of his age but he's a very small fish so who knows?

Thanks for your insight.

p.s. Just one more question promise - with respect to jumping - there's nothing stressful in the fish's environment seems like it would be paradise compared to where he's from? So if there's nothing to escape from, lots of plants and live foods, then why would he jump out?

I know they're programmed to jump in nature when things get tough (dry season, etc) but this guy's got it easy.


This is the same fish taken with cell phone camera sorry about the algea/crappy shots but he's elusive and fast.



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Many who know about Wilds do not visit the rest of the Forum. So I've moved your thread to where they will most likely see it.

Sadly, this section has little activity because not many members are interested in Wilds which means, IMO, they've missed such interesting fish. :-(

Well, after thinking about it, moved back to Care. Perhaps those who don't know about Wilds and hybrids will be inspired to further investigate these interesting relatives.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, but he's not a wild fish. He's domestically bred. Depending on who you ask, part of the hybrid is supposedly what we think of as a "traditional" domesticated betta Plakatt.

Google image turns up Mahachai. (Photo #1)

Who knows?

Aliens and Monsters - who thinks up these terms? Our other fish was described by the vendor as a "monster Nemo" lol.

So many betta....(photo #2, of a poster hope it's in focus).


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With wilds, you often won't see them jump until the day you find them dead on the floor. I would say it's one of the highest causes of mortality in captive kept wild bettas.

Not all of them will jump. When I first started keeping wilds, I had two tanks that were left completely uncovered and none of the fish ever jumped out. However, the risk is always there, and after I lost a number of fish, I decided it's not a risk I'm willing to take.

Plus, it's such a terrible way for them to die. There's nothing worse than finding them dried up on the floor, and knowing it was a completely preventable death.

I don't know why they jump. Probably the same reason some of them don't stay away from the end of the siphon when I am cleaning their tanks, in spite having been sucked up it multiple times.

I didn't mean that because he was wild hybrid that he needs longer to adjust. Simply that all fish are individuals, and some may need longer than others to adjust to a change in environment.

I have very little experience with splendens complex species, and as I'm a 'purist' when it comes to wild bettas, I don't know much about what goes into the making of the various hybrids.

There's something like over 70 species of wild betta, not including all the undescribed species being discovered all the time. Particularly those from the unimaculata complex.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The syphon comment is funny LoL.

My point was that supposedly there's standard issue Plakatt somewhere in these Aliens but I don't see it. What I see is Mahachai.

He's slowly coming around but it took weeks as opposed to a couple of days. By shy, I mean I didn't see him for a couple of weeks. I could coax him out with daphnia which he'd devour and then make a run for it. He seems to be slowly figuring out there's no threat. Regarding the 10 gallon the plan is to add a school of Chilli Rasboras - I wonder if those fish would make him feel less afraid ? Well everyone else is swimming around so it must be safe, right?!

The "pure" wilds are neat looking. I saw some big ones at the Aquatic Experiencnce expo. Those wilds were actively trying to jump out of their tanks right in front of me. I suspect they were both terrified and uncomfortable bcs the holding tanks were way too small.

Perhaps wilds jump because despite the lack of predators and abundance of regular food maybe they don't like being in captivity?





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I've bred wilds in the splendens complex as well as hybrids... Wilds in my opinion are "shy" as in defined as lack of self confidence or showing nervousness, especially when kept in the typical aquarium with little or no plants/structure.

Why? Because they are wild, relatively feral, or removed only a few generations and act in a manner that helps them avoid being eaten, therefore not swimming around in open water, or fleeing when they see something that may eat them/catch them.

Adding plants/structure/hides may boost confidence and wilds may swim around the tanks more. Small tanks boost confidence because fish are aware that no threats are around them, but are more likely to jump in search of food/mates.
 

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I will agree that newly purchased/arrived wilds can be timid. Especially in an unsuitable tank environment. But my wilds have never been shy in terms of fleeing when they see me, even when I've had to move them into a bare quarantine tank. When I still had my original wild-caught breeding pairs, there was no way of telling them apart from their captive bred offspring. They exhibited zero shyness.

The best trick I've found to taming wilds, is to gently tap on the glass before you feed them. And when I do feed, I use tweezers to target feed them so that there's an even stronger association between myself and food. Even wild-caught fish will very quickly associate the tap on the glass with my presence, and my presence with food.

Also, spending a lot of time in front of their tank helps. I often think a busier environment is better for shy fish, than an empty room.

I doubt wild bettas jump because they dislike captivity. Killifish are also adept jumpers, and some of those species have been tank bred for many generations. I think it's partly natural instinct, and partly the fact that their response to being startled is a tendency to go up and out of the tank.

Sometimes dither fish can help with shyness. I've never needed to use them personally.

Try the tap and target feed and see how it goes. It's never failed to work for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
@LittleBettaFish apologies for sounding dumb but are you categorizing the *Alien Hybrid" as wild? He's domestically bred for who knows how long.

What I meant was I think I see his wild heritage, and I guess the hybrid "recipe" is still up in the air or whatever.

This fish definitely knows who feeds him. He'll lunge at the pipette that contains live foods, etc.

He's coming around for sure, just took a while which surprised me. Could just be his personality.

He's showing his quirkiness little by little... he's been acting all "excited" for the early a.m. feeding - I wake up a lot earlier than he does.

He's even discovered that he loves the Dr Bassleer BioFood he's eating all the little pellets and waiting for more. It's like a lightbulb went off lol now that he understands what it is he's into it.

He's not in a room by himself he gets a lot of attention which I think he's finally appreciating. .

And FINALLY the driftwood is waterlogged so the big tank is ready for planting yay. It doesn't seem like it'll be too big for him anymore.

This guy was a learning curve but it's all good ;)







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I was using wilds in response to RickyTan's comment.

In the hobby, the term 'wild betta' tends to be used in relation to every species of betta, save the ornamental form of Betta splendens. Even if the fish have been captive bred for multiple generations.

Because it seems like your male may have a high percentage of wild blood, I was just suggesting the methods I use to make my wild bettas feel more at ease in a new environment.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ohhhhhh I see, thanks for the clarification.

Yes I just ignored him for a while until he felt like coming around, and now he seems to be enjoying the view and starting to follow me.

The ornamental type Splendens seem unphased by anything.

I'm wondering if his wild DNA will be protective against so many afflictions the orrnanentals seem prone to? Time will tell.

He's very different in disposition but it's refreshing and rewarding when he started warning up it felt like an accomplishment ;)

He's a voracious eater but when he's full he stops and moves on, so that's a good thing ;)



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In the new 10 gallon tank I'm using Aquasoil and it'll be planted with small swords, a crypt, nano Vals, an assortment of rhizomes and some Creeping Charlie. Plus some mosses. For top cover I've got red root floaters. He should be happy, no?

Today I finally figured out how to keep the Spiderwood grounded so I'll be planting soon.
 
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