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My betta fish (Parker) has never flared.
He's a year old now, and he's never been sick or shown any signs of stress. His tank is heated to 25-26 degrees (Celsius) and he's had plenty of tankmates come and go. But he's never flared.
I presented him with a mirror and he was more shocked than riled up, and swam over to my hand instead of flaring. I recently got a sorority tank, and I thought I'd let him see his future mates and he still didn't flare. I have another betta fish (Caspian) who flares at everything that moves, even dust (he's a wuss deep down).
Parker is very friendly and mellow, the only thing he's ever attacked was a shrimp and an unfortunate mosquito that landed in his tank (rest in pieces). Heck, I have females that flare more than him!
Is his non-flaring going to be a problem when I breed him? He's healthy and his tank is fine, so I'm certain it's not a health issue. I'm more curious than concerned, he's my sweet boy.
 

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I personally keep my bettas at 28 to 30°C, being too cold might be what is making him act sick. Having that said I have one beautiful male dying from stress lately even tho I did everything I coud to make sure there was nothing that could stress him. He was in sunlight only in a hospital tank fully planted, in a place we barely passed by (cuz of the kids). Eventually he starved himself to death, sometimes there is nothing one can do about it.

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Older Bettas sometimes are reluctant to flare, especially if they were never flared regularly or was never threatened by other Bettas. But don't be fooled. That doesn't necessarily mean they won't fight when threatened. And that doesn't mean they will be mellow when breeding.

If he is too passive, it may be a problem. The female may attack him (better because he will fight it out) or in the least, take sucker bites which will eventually stress him (not good). So keep an eye on him if you ever decide to breed him - weather passive or aggressive.

The main problem might be getting him want to breed. Usually you'd need to manipulate him more than aggressive Bettas. One method is placing him in a smaller tank next to a rival. Then tap his caudal with a long thin stick. This will imitate or make him feel he is being attacked. If he responds, keep doing it until he fights back. Otherwise, try other methods as this may stress him.

Another method is letting him see or let him be with a flirting female. If he responds, whether to fight or breed, he can be bred, after more manipulating of course.

Don't wait for bubble nests, because he will unlikely make one until he is actually breeding. Look for body language signs - flirt swimming.

*** raise temp to 28°C.
 
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