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I would like to hear peoples opinions and experiences with divided tanks. I currently have 2 20 gal long tanks both divided into 4 sections. The main reason I decided on them was so I could have more fish and the other reason was because they look their best when they are flaring and they rarely flare when they are housed alone. I now feel like that decision was very selfish of me and not in the best interest of the fish although in my defense I really didnt know how stressful a divided tank could be to them when I set them up. Now that I have had some time to observe them I feel like they are harmful to the fish and I wish I never decided to go that route but now it is really to late to change it because I would have to either get six more tanks or get rid of six of my fish neither which is really an option for me. I have the life with pets dividers with holes, I tried covering the holes but they still saw each others reflections in the glass. What are YOUR thoughts on this?
 

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What makes you think they are stressed? They will always flare at each other from time to time which is to be expected. I've had plenty of fish live long happy lives in divided tanks, including some white and clear dividers where they can easily see each other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What makes you think they are stressed? They will always flare at each other from time to time which is to be expected. I've had plenty of fish live long happy lives in divided tanks, including some white and clear dividers where they can easily see each other.
Mine dont flare occasionally they flare pretty much constantly. I had 2 young ones die unexpectedly, one bite off his tail , one tear off a gill flap and one scrape up his head by banging it into the divider trying to get his neighbor. It seems some can handle it and others cant
What makes you think they are stressed? They will always flare at each other from time to time which is to be expected. I've had plenty of fish live long happy lives in divided tanks, including some white and clear dividers where they can easily see each other.
Also not one of them in the divided tank have ever made a bubble nest but the 4 that I moved into a single tank all made one very soon after they were moved
 

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My boys still made bubble nests in the divided tanks. I did notice that one was stressed from constantly smelling the hormones from the other males and I moved that guy into his own tank. My biggest complaint is water quality. My 20 long divided into 4 sections always needs more water changes. The divided 10 gallon tanks spit into 2 sections are better. Even with filters in each section I still change water waaaay more in the 20 long. Males will build a nest and then release hormones into the water and wait for a female to come along. I do think it can stress out bettas. Some bettas are just more chill than others. They really do have individual personalities and what works for one betta might not work for another.
 

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Interesting thread. I've never done a divided betta tank though have often been tempted. I read all of your comments with great interest.
 

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I know there are Betta that might not do well in divided tanks just as there are those that don't do well in tanks larger than 2.5.

I've had divided tanks for 40 years with few stress and no fin biting issues (I assume this is the nexus of your thread). Some lived alone for a year or more before they bit. 99% of my biters had exaggerated finnage. I've had Betta in divided tanks build bubble nests; I've had Betta that lived alone never do so. I've even had dying Betta build them.

In my current divided tanks (2 10 gallons x 2) for the first week or so they flared at each other quite a bit. First at their tank mate and then at the guy next door. Now they flare once or twice a day but not continuously. FWIW, breeders and sellers flare their Betta at least once per day to exercise and to keep them in condition. It is believed by many this is necessary to help prevent fin biting.

With critters I've always found it difficult to determine if what I observe is an anomaly, anecdotal or supports what I believe. Too bad these little suckers can't talk!

Forgot to add: Most of the Betta we buy online have been kept in either divided or side-by-side tanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My boys still made bubble nests in the divided tanks. I did notice that one was stressed from constantly smelling the hormones from the other males and I moved that guy into his own tank. My biggest complaint is water quality. My 20 long divided into 4 sections always needs more water changes. The divided 10 gallon tanks spit into 2 sections are better. Even with filters in each section I still change water waaaay more in the 20 long. Males will build a nest and then release hormones into the water and wait for a female to come along. I do think it can stress out bettas. Some bettas are just more chill than others. They really do have individual personalities and what works for one betta might not work for another.
I also do way more water changes in the 20 gal long divided tanks than i do in my single 10 gal tanks and I have hair algae in both 20 gals but none in the other tanks, boy do I hate that stuff it is so hard to remove. I have noticed my CTs seem to handle the stress better than my RTs and HMs and that may be due to the CTs having lighter finnage so probably less physically exerting to flare. Did you see what Diablo did to himself ? I feel terrible about it and feel like its my fault somehow.
20210607_094539.jpg
 

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I’ve noticed that water changes trigger bubble nesting behavior for a few males I’ve had. They build one but it dissipates fairly quickly if they don’t keep maintaining it so it’s pretty rare I find one before water changes come around but boy golly do they get busy after fresh water added haha. It doesn’t happen with all they males I’ve gotten to observe so far.
 

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and I have hair algae in both 20 gals
hair algae is a real nuisance for tanks that don’t have algae eaters, but hey... you’ve got to “season” your tank for a great little eco-system. As long as it isn’t killing my plants or covering the front glass so I can’t see I kinda look at algae as a good thing. ( at least it isn’t the brown or black kind) As your live plants really get established you’ll go through stages in your tank. Hopefully it will balance itself out and the live plants will out compete the algae for nutrients.
 

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double tailed bettas have shorter bodies, thicker heavier dorsal fins along with the long fins. Lotta fin weighing down that short body. Sounds like a tough choice to make with the way you have everyone set up. He might have to be your special guy with his own tank. I hear ya though. Having a lot of tanks can be overwhelming. I’ve personally decided that I’m getting rid of a tall bookshelf to make room for two 40 gallon breeders for my latest project. Don’t make your fish hobby a job you hate. Stay within your budget, dote on your fish and try to keep the experience a good one instead of a snowball of anxiety rolling down hill. 💜
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks I ordered him a new tank today (Fluval Flex 15 gal) this will be tank #7 and the last tank I will get. Even though it is a good bit of work taking care of all of them it is totally worth it to me as I enjoy them so much. The only reason that this has to be my last tank is I dont have any more outlets I can use lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Also I have corys, ottos and snails but they dont eat the hair algae do you know what fish does?
 

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It's not your fault that Diablo went after his fins. There's no way any of us can know what will trigger the behavior...if anything. So please don't beat yourself up or feel guilty.

Amano and Neocaridina shrimp and Nerite snails will eat hair algae. One site says Horned Nerites won't but the others will. I have both so am not sure.

Using a pipette you can spot treat with hydrogen peroxide. Turn filters off so the peroxide stays where you put it. Turn back on after 30 minutes. More fast-growing stem plants will keep it gone.
 

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Don’t blame yourself for Diablo. He just decided he needed a haircut to move faster. I check out Mando everyday to see if he has given himself one because his tail is so long and it weighs him down. Looks like he has to really work at swimming. I feel bad because I didn’t know it was going to get so huge. Just thought it would be proportional to his body like it was when I got him. Oh and Mando built a nest when I first got him but since he got all finny he hasn’t built one since.

Now on the divided tanks. I never have had one but was thinking about doing one at some point. Can you make the dividers where they can see each other like blacken them out? Do you have to have bigger hole then teeny hole? I’m assuming the holes are for water flow. Another question I wonder is less males in divided tanks better since they put off hormones? Thanks for this thread because I have so many questions about this now.
I am so sorry for your losses and Diablos fin biting. I hope you get the answers you need. And your guys are so pretty and well cared for.
 

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Quick question: Did either of you use sponge filters? I'm wondering if that makes any difference? I've always used HOB and maintenance the same in my divided tanks as non-divided.

And @TripleK I think you are right about the CT. Can't remember the last time a member reported one biting.
 

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Honestly, I feel if you want to breed bettas that divided tanks are the way to go. I have 2 - 10 gallon divided tanks and when I had Highlighter and Motley in the same divided tank, Highlighter's bubble nest was pretty much the whole half of the tank. Both were more active and not stressed. Yes they flared, but not to the point of being stressed. I like divided tanks.....actually thinking of getting a second 20 gallon long tank but like someone said, running out of outlets and room since I will be jarring my spawn in a few months too.
 

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What makes you think they are stressed? They will always flare at each other from time to time which is to be expected. I've had plenty of fish live long happy lives in divided tanks, including some white and clear dividers where they can easily see each other.
Same here.
 

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I'm using these and really like them MARINA Aquarium Power Filter, 10-gal - Chewy.com

I also am very happy with these FORZA 5-15 Power Filter PFE-1 - 45GPH

Both are adjustable. The only reason for switching is the Marina is self-priming. We have frequent power outages which is fine when we're here; not so much when we're traveling. I have always used a separate filter in each compartment, too.

It would be interesting to know if filtration makes any difference.
 
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