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Old 07-18-2022, 05:04 AM   #1
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Betta Behavior

Hi everyone. (long post)

For 3 years I've kept a 300 litre tank that's doing well.

6 months ago I set up an old 32 litre nano tank for the purpose keeping shrimp.

I did a fish less cycle for 5 weeks and bought the shrimp online. 3 weeks in and it was going perfect, apart from a copepod and worm investastion. I learned that this is normal in shrimp only tank's and I identified them as harmless.

Anyway. 3 weeks with the shrimp thriving and breeding, loads of babies and going great. The filter cut out and stopped working.

So I rushed to the nearest shop and bought a new filter. Keeping some of the media from the old. I couldn't keep much though as the new filter had compartments etc.

So Needless to say I fought but it was in vein. A new small cycle caused all shrimp to die.

I continued to cycle the aquarium for a few more weeks.

Once I was happy with the readings, I went to the shop and found a really cool elephant eared betta.

I've actually been partially feeding him the shrimp sticks I bought. Seems to like them.

He also loves tubiflex. He also eradicated the main copepod colony.

Anyway. I feed him once a day at 7. 30, whilst the Mrs watches emmerdale. Virtually hand feeding him and I make him chase the shrimp sticks. Probably a bit less than I should. He seems healthy and his colours have came out alot especially on his tail which were pure white in store but are now red with a tiny white tip

Anyway. He's in the bedroom. So we watch him in the morning. Check on him in the afternoon, feed him at 7.30. Turn the light off and then watch him when we go to bed.

Heres the thing.

He's fine all day but when it's feeding time. He gets extremely excited. I see him dive bombing to the bottom. Sometimes whacking himself on the substrate. He gets in such a tizz, I have to wait a minute before feeding him so he spots the sticks.

I have read up what I can but I've noticed that all the dive bombing betta posts involve a black substrate!

Is this the reason or do I need to be worried.

Any advice would be appreciated

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Old 07-18-2022, 10:56 AM   #2
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He's a beautiful fellow, congratulations!

Bettas are sweet and friendly to their humans, while being aggressive hunters to foes and food. Mine have great live food to supplement the packaged stuff: mosquitoes breed at the water line, and blood worms are in the substrate.

They actually leap out of the water to snag the mosquitoes.

They rear up, then dive down into the rock to get those blood worms. My substrates are different colors - white, blue, none are black - and they dive hard, burying their faces in the rocks to hunt their prey. So substrate color makes no difference.

I can tell when they have a lot of live food thriving because they have little to no interest in the store bought stuff for a day or two - they're full. Still, I try every day just in case they want variety or have exhausted the live prey.

Does yours wag his tail when he's excited over food, or seeing you? it's such an endearing quality. They do get overexcited sometimes, so waiting and watching until he sees and eats what you've given him is a good practice. As well, because continuing to add food when he hasn't eaten what you just gave him will cause waste, rot, mold, and bacteria.

Sounds like he's being a young, thriving, happy betta.
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Old 07-18-2022, 12:38 PM   #3
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Forgot to mention--if you give him floating pellets made for bettas, you'll solve the substrate problem for once and for all. He'll feed at the water line.
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Old 07-18-2022, 04:56 PM   #4
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Thank you for the reply. When he sees me he's wagging his whole body and the elephant ears are just crazy. Fly about everywhere.. Makes me smile everytime he does it.

Yeah I am very careful with how much I put in. The tubiflex floats so no issue there.
With the tiny spirilina sticks I give him, I place one tiny stick at a time in and watch him chase it as it drops or he gets it whilst it's floating for a few seconds.

I bought freeze dried blood worms and he doesn't touch them.

Gotta ask.

How did you breed mosquitoes. Definitely something I would do for both tanks.

Do they not get out of the waterline and into the human domain causing issues?

I am presuming they wouldn't breed in the UK
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Old 07-18-2022, 06:03 PM   #5
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Mine don't touch freeze dried worms either, or daphnia, or...a number of other things I've spent good money on, only to see them literally turn up their noses and turn their backs on me. Other people have had success with variety, but mine are fussy. The color pellets are all that's accepted.

About a year after the first tank was established I saw mosquitoes. I thought it was a bad thing but an experienced friend corrected me that it's a very good thing. I live along the US gulf coast where they're ubiquitous. Even in my temperature controlled house they somehow found their way into his 80ļ environment. In a humid place, bugs will find a way.

There are never more than 6-8 at a time. 2-3 sometimes do escape when I lift the lid; they fly to the wall behind the tank and sit figuring it all out, and that's my chance to smash them. Mostly they stay in at the water line unless disturbed, even when the lid is lifted. But the occasional one...no denying that there can be a pest on the loose once in awhile.

I guess if you've never had them, you probably won't. One way to find out would be to let a bucket gather rain water (chlorinated hose water discourages them) let it sit in a shady spot for a couple weeks to see what develops. I've been reading about the hot weather you're having, so this would be a summer to give it a try. If you get any, skim them off with a net and shake them into his tank. Since 78-81 is the betta's comfort temp, that should set the ball rolling.

If nothing, try searching for "live mosquito larvae" online. No doubt there are importation restrictions between countries, but I have seen them for sale out there.

With a betta that responsive to you, check out the YouTube videos of people who taught theirs to play games. You can actually buy a tiny basketball set made for them, and other games (not sure about golf ). You might have a real performer there, eager to literally jump through hoops for you.
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Old 07-19-2022, 06:05 AM   #6
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Haha brilliant. I will search YouTube later tonight. We all love a performer!

Yeah it's very sweaty here. Mrs is complaining but I love sitting around in my boxers!

When it rains, I definitely will do that. I tried collecting rain water once for the big tank, hoping to reduce pH to induce breeding.

I knocked the bucket over, left barely a cup full.

Didn't work lol.

I'm considering getting some fully grown shrimp so when they breed, he keeps the numbers down. A little afraid he might just have a very expensive snack though!
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Old 07-19-2022, 01:39 PM   #7
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Since his tank was already established, have you looked closely at the substrate? Wondering if you have any little red bloodworms wriggling around in it. That would be very attractive for a diving betta.

My old man betta has developed such a taste for them, he's altered his nocturnal behavior and now hangs around at the bottom most of the night. It would be easy to think there's something wrong with him - they aren't considered to be bottom fish - but close examination revealed that he's cruising and napping, and when I spot a worm, well, he's on it already with a big flurry of action. This has become an obsession with him lately, sort of like a new hobby, I guess. It's given the old man new energy! And if I had any worries that he might be going blind, that's put to rest.

You said yours gets excited about the sinking spirulina sticks; I'm wondering if he's also discovered substrate hunting after you turn the lights out at night.
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