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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One day a few weeks ago, I woke up to find a "trench" the fish had apparently dug overnight. It was along the short side of the tank and he had built a little mound of sand. When I did my normal vac/water change, I smoothed it out again. But now he's done it again along the side and a little along the front of the tank. I don't really care if that's how he likes it. He must do it during the night because I've never seen him do anything to move the sand during the day. Could that be his sleeping space (never caught him "sleeping")? He seems completely normal/healthy so I don't think it's any health problem but I wondered if anyone else's bettas are diggers? :p
 

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Are you sure its the Betta doing this....its sand substrate correct....any snails in the tank or other livestock, filtration in the tank-if so, what kind-sometimes the overflow can create mounding or displacement of sand-in the area that is being displaced-do you have any decoration and/or plants that he may be getting under and in his attempt to swim causing the sand to displace/mound.....

The Betta is otherwise acting like his normal self, no flashing or rubbing on objects in the tank that you have seen, clamp fins, he is eating and swimming okay...etc....can you post a pic.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·


Hope that works to show you pictures of the tank & of "Shark." He is acting completely normally and whatever he is doing has not damaged his fins. It's definitely not the filter current because it has only happened on these couple of occasions so he is obviously doing it. It's like fish crop circles that just show up! lol There is nothing else in the tank--no other fish/animals/live plants--and he has plenty of room to swim around the plants so he's not doing it by trying to squeeze thru anywhere. The tank is heated to a very consistent 79-80 so that's not a problem either.
 

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I have a 5 gal divided tank with a male on one side and female on the other. The female digs. She is sure trying to find a way around/under the divider. Every morning I have to spread her gravel back out. I sat and watched her doing it the other day. It would be cute except the fact that if she ever succeeds she is going to eat my male.
:(

When you shut the lights off at night, is there anything putting out light on that side of the room? Maybe he is pacing along that side of the tank at night trying to get to the light? I don't think he's digging because that's a pretty wide space - but if he is pacing back and forth all night along the bottom of the tank on that end, the water would get a little current going and could displace the sand. Or at least I "think" it could.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hmmm, light outside the tank....there may be some light coming in from a street light outside (minimal b/c the light is in front of the house and his tank is in the kitchen in the back of hte house) but could that cause him to do this? I have seen him chasing his reflection on that side of the tank. He could not move the sand simply by "pacing." It would take more thrashing around to move the sand that much. I'm going to continue watching as much as I can to try to figure it out. Yesterday I did see him laying at the base of that green & white plant for a few minutes with his large fins laying gently on the sloped sand. Maybe he just likes it? I have no idea but would love to figure it out!
 

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If I am seeing that correctly...its doesn't look like a fish dig...looks more like displacement from an overflow....but I may be looking at the wrong area.....or if he is chasing his reflection in that section the constant movement could be doing it too.....
 

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My new male digs and his light is on all the time.. i have some small tank rocks on the bottom and hes made it a habit to dig a hole against the "skull" i have in the tank.. i though it was just weird because he is relativity new but is it just something they do? my other betta and the last one i had (for 7 years) never tried digging a hole..
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OFL, I can see why you think that but it's not possible. The filter is in the area behind that green/red plant and the sand is moving from the sides TOWARD that area. It has only happened on two separate occasions with no change to filter since I started up the tank over a month ago. The fish is definitely doing it. I just haven't witnessed it yet. Anyone have a night-vision camera we can set up for a sting operation!? lol Today is vac/water change day so I will flatten it out and see if I can catch him red-finned (aka red-handed).
 

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Idk if a betta can dig but since bettas have long tails some times they act like a broom and if they swim close enough to the sand/gravel there tails can sweep it from side to side.
 

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My new male digs and his light is on all the time.. i have some small tank rocks on the bottom and hes made it a habit to dig a hole against the "skull" i have in the tank.. i though it was just weird because he is relativity new but is it just something they do? my other betta and the last one i had (for 7 years) never tried digging a hole..
Your betta's light is on all the time? They need darkness to sleep as they have no eye lids. Maybe that is why he digs coz he needs to get away from the light to sleep.
 

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No need to worry, 4 of my female bettas dig all the time. At first I thought it was because of the flow 2 of my filters put out, but when I redirected and baffled the flow, 3 of the 4 females would wilt and lose their color almost immediately. However, when a let the strong flow resume, they would become happy and active again :S

If you ask me, I would think that digging is perfectly normal, as I wake up to find tons of trenches in my heavy gravel every time I smooth it out. To such an extent that every time my friend comes over, he would ask me if my bettas were trying to start a trench warfare =_=
 

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I was actually wondering about this myself, my betta just dug a hole/trench today. He has a little cave and some false foliage, and dug underneath the short 'plant' and rests in it. But it looks pretty normal, now.
 
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