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OK. So I am not a total newbie to bettas. I think I had my first betta when I was about 7, and I have had them on and off since then...and I am closing in on 30 :shock::shock::shock::sick:. I used to keep them in pretty small tanks/bowls, always a gallon or less, unheated...they had to have been freezing. Probably cleaned out the tank MAYBE once a week. MAYBE. Most of those bettas were always interactive, seemed happy, lived 3 + years, and built huge bubble nests regularly.

Fast forward to a few years ago, when I decided to do the betta thing again. This time, I am careful to follow all the rules, provide more space, heating, cleaning, high quality food, etc... and every betta we have had has moped around, and I have not gotten one passed the one year mark. And NONE OF THEM has EVER built a bubble nest. What the heck???

Our current betta, "Ariel" (a boy), lives in a TEN GALLON tank, filtered, heated, planted...and he just sort of mopes around, no nests, and now he has fungus.

I am getting frustrated! LOL
 

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Some have theorized that colder waters slow down their metabolism :) and therefore they live longer. I'm not so sure, I just think that sometimes a scientifc method doesnt always work :) try what ever works for you, if their health improves in a small bowl(1 gal?), I dont see why not :)
 

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Though heat is still important, regardless of tank size. :)

I should add that it is also totally dependent on the individual betta. I think that many bettas available in bulk to petshops these days are becoming less healthy as they are bred en masse - you see the same thing in neon tetras here. Some will be unhealthy regardless of housing - others will seem to thrive in anything.

Also remember that bubblenests don't equal happiness. :) My boy Odysseus is perfectly healthy and active, but only builds nests after a water change, and only if I add IAL to the water, spoilt little brat that he is.
 

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It all depends on the Betta.. Some like smaller bowls while others thrive in larger aquariums. You also have to remember that just because they aren't building a bubble nest doesn't mean they are unhappy. It depends on the fish and how territorial they are. Sometimes it takes another male Betta placed next to them in order for them to build a nest showing that it is their territory. But it might not happen then either.. Don't fret over not seeing any nests, sometimes they just don't want to build them, they do take quite a bit of work to make and keep up on, you just might have a lazy fish lol.
 

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The cold water metabolism thing sounds completely baseless and unscientific to me. Cold water should lower immunity, if anything, and make them more susceptible to illness. People who live in Alaska don't live longer because they are in the cold, so I don't see why the same would happen to a very environmentally sensitive fish.

If anything, it depends on the genetics of the fish and previous store conditions.
 

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The cold temp thing is a catch 22. Yes, it does slow their metabolism down, theoretically making them live longer - but in a more dormant way. Also, yes, their immunity lowers. So all in all, they probably aren't going to live longer.

I don't know if bettas have "breeding seasons" but mine makes bubble nests for about a month once a year - right around august. And I know it's not the heat, as his tank is heated to constant 80 degrees.
 

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I find this info intriguing considering mine just built his first bubble nest and the temperatures have been warmer lately, allowing for his water to stabilize at a higher temperature. I won't rule out the fact that he may be coming of age but it is rather coincidental.
 
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