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Discussion Starter #1
Hello! I'm new. I often Google specific info for helping care for my recent life partner, Peter the Fish, and wound up here so often I decided to register. I had been wanting to ask someone else with experience about my betta's exceptional rage.

I have had many bettas, and had several for many years, though I admittedly did not know what I was doing. I barely survived my undergrad - God bless the fishes who did. I did not keep bettas for a long time after my last one died when I just wasn't able to save it. I finally got Peter the Fish from a breeder (the first time I did that as well), and he is a righteous, mighty ball of man-fury.

Peter is a pink and cream dragon crowntail, and he is super attentive to his environment. Peter will follow, and murder any moving object mercilessly including: food, the thermometer, my finger, a moss ball, some dust I accidentally knocked in there once. I have had to utter the phrase "No Peter, don't eat your poo!" This is my fish. He is extremely vibrant in personality and will actually leap out of the bowl to bite my finger and he will HANG ON. (I do not do this excessively, as I do not want him to explode in a tiny fishy anneurism).

So I had a few questions for other lovers of violent fish babies.

- Peter does his standard male-beta fight-dance - shimmying his body, fanning his fins, etc - but has NEVER flared his gills. Not once. I know he wants to kill me, and he is FAR from mellow, but this one common thing he has never done. Anyone else have a rage-fish who doesn't flare his gills?

- Peter seems very healthy (minus a bit of fin-curl... our water leans basic, maybe 7.6-7.8 out of the tap, and I hear chemical pH treatments can be very touchy to make such subtle changes so I have yet to think of a safe solution) but he has only made his bubble nest once. I worry that he does not ever feel secure enough to do so again. The oddest bit (to me) is that I have had many bettas bubble, including Peter, in very small bowls. Peter is the first fish I have gotten a better tank for - still only 3 gallons and I do manual water changes and test the water often, so I was thinking of getting him in a 5 gal cycling tank, but that's all new to me. That aside, Peter did bubble in a sub-gallon, low, wide bowl with just a mossball and a few rocks when I first got him. Nowadays he rolls in a big bowl with gravel, driftwood, living plants, river stones (and still the mossball) and has plenty of places to hide and rest in and poke at and he just never bubbles.

I did move him to a quieter, darker room as all movement sends him into hyper rage.

Peter has been this way for, well, ever, which is since last November, and, again... he seems active, curious, smart, strong... just different from all the other bettas I met.

I appreciate any insight! :hmm: I want Pete to live, well, forever, but whatever his actual plausible lifespan is, as happily furious as possible.
 

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Some fish are more aggressive than others. Is the breeder breeding for aggressiveness? Some of them do, and that makes me wonder if yours was bred specifically for that.
 

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I love aggressive Betta. I consider you a lucky keeper. You should cherish that. Most Betta, like from a fish store, are not that active. More plants and hides might relax him some. IAL (Indian Almond Leaf) has been suggested as a way of soothing them.

All fish are better off in a larger cycled tank.
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/...ssories/cycling-two-sentence-tutorial-506714/

Bubble nests are not a matter of comfort or happiness. Just an indicator of his desire to breed. Even aggressive fish can be lackluster in that department. We're all different.

Welcome to the forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks! I do love Peter the Rage Fish. He is definitely a really curious and engaged little guy. I suspected it was just his personality, though I would not want him to be secretly super unhappy.

I'm looking into getting him one of these, it is true. It would be my first cycling tank. I've heard the current can be strong but betta owners put a bit of sponge in it to calm it down.

http://www.amazon.com/Fluval-Spec-A...d=1422901535&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=fluval+V

My water is a little basic (7.8) and Peter is a crown tail - he definitely has gotten curled fins, and I've read this is a likely reason. I'm going to try the Indian Almond leaves. When the water comes out of the tap it's also got (I think, the colors can be hard to distinguish) a tiny bit of ammonia (the lowest reading. .25ppm I think) that I wish I could safely neutralize. I've also heard that tap water can give some false ammonia readings due to chemicals cities put in the water however, so I've made no moves as yet. Would hate to make it worse. Suggestions welcome for both the minor pH and ammonia issues.

Thank you for your time!
 

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IAL will also lower your pH a bit, if your KH buffer isn't too strong. Other than that, cutting your tapwater with RO or distilled (these days distilled is Reverse Osmosis) will lower the KH and, along with it, the pH.

Prime water conditioner by Seachem detoxifies ammonia instantly. Dose 2-drops/gal/day as suggested in the tutorial.

As for the Fluval tank: many members here use them successfully. I prefer to build my own set-up from the bare tank on up rather than have to modify the filter or mess with the lighting to optimize it.

The Azoo Palm is a fine HOB appropriate to the tank -- cheap, quiet and adjustable. A sponge filter is ideal for a Betta tank.

A desk-lamp with a 6500K CFL works for me. There are a number of suitable LED rigs on the market.

There are other alternatives. These are just the ones I favor.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks! Another friend suggested reverse osmosis water too since I have a little trouble both with Ammonia and pH out of the tap, so I'm planning to get some today! Peter has a tiny pinhole in his tailfin, and since I change water pretty often, I'm thinking it may have as much to do with these factors as the water actually being "dirty". I never give it time to get dirty, but I know that the higher pH and ammonia factors can give him the fin-curl, and I think it's just starting to take a toll on him slowly. I do use a water conditioner - I've been using "Sera Aquatan" conditioner, but it hasn't had much effect on what seems to be the constant low level of ammonia, or the pH. (Sometime's it's not exactly clear from the bottle what parameters it should change... I've mostly heard that one needs this to neutralize Chlorine,and that most have a "calming" effect on fish, so I have always used some kind of conditioner.)

As a relative beginner, I think I'll start with the out-of box setup for the aquarium, but I could see myself getting more into it later. Thank you so much for your advice!
 

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I just Googled Sera Aquatan. Because of the bad translation from the German (it's a German product), it is not clear to me that Aquatan detoxifies ammonia. This is important in an uncycled tank and/or if there is ammonia in your water supply.

Most of us use Prime water conditioner (by Seachem) because it detoxifies ammonia instantly.
 
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