Belle and Bessie

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cherryrose

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I bought my girl, Belle, a “friend” before I found out about all the problems Phloxface had with her girls. Bessie turned out to be quite the bossy girl. She got along with Belle okay at first, but then decided she was the #1 betta girl and started chasing Belle whenever she saw her. Soon the chasing changed into fin nipping so, since it was time for bed, I removed Bessie from Belle’s tank and put her into my 5-gallon isolation tank, as I didn’t want to wake up and find that Bessie had murdered Belle during the night.

Yesterday I took some of the plants and other decorations out of Benji’s tank and some from Barney’s tank and put them into Belle’s tank. When I was sure that Belle had lots of places to hide and feel safe in, I reintroduced Bessie to her tank. I watched them all day yesterday, and I have been watching them all day today, and so far Belle seems to be fine. Bessie still chases her, but Belle just dives into one of her hiding places and Bessie can’t figure out where she went. Sometimes Bessie just postures and flares at Belle before moving on. I hope, that given time, I won’t have to worry about them anymore. I have the isolation tank on standby, though, just in case I need it. Here are some pictures of them. Belle is blue and Bessie is red/orange. Oops--I forgot the attachments
 

Phloxface

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You might want to seriously consider separating them permanently. Female Bettas need to be kept in groups of at least 3. Two together will sooner or later end in death for one. Believe me, they may "seem" to be okay now, but the Alpha female will begin harrassing the other and stressing her to the point of death. It will only be a matter of days before you wake up and find Belle missing most of her tail. (My little Aenara is a sorry sight indeed) Even with hiding places Belle will become very stressed (stress can cause finrot and other disease) and may stop eating. Rose can tell you that with a smaller group of females the level of fear the fish face is much higher. Without multiple other females, she will be the focus of ALL the Alpha female's aggression. I found out that even with 5 fish the aggression was too intense. Females also get more aggressive as they get older. If you have them in a 10 gallon maybe you could buy a tank divider and keep them "together" but safe from one another. Just make sure the divider comes right up to the top of your cover with no space for either to jump to the other side.
The girls in my divided tank are getting along fine now. They each have their own space and no one needs to worry about being chased or bitten. They seem to enjoy each other's company through the "window".
 
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cherryrose

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Okay. I didn't know that there had to be at least 3 girls. Thanks.

CherryRose
 

chickadee

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Cherryrose, I had 4 females and they just ganged up on one and then another and another until all I had left was Emma and then she even killed 2 of my cories. I am really beginning to think that the idea of a "female tank" is a myth and cannot happen. I talked to a couple more friends yesterday and they both knew of people who had tried to have groupings of females and it was disasterous in each case. One of the women even put her 3 in a 30 gallon tank by themselves thinking that if they had a lot of room and lots of hiding places they would be okay, but she said all that happened was they had a "hunting party" and everyone got beaten up.

With the fiasco that Phloxface and I both had and now the reports from friends who knew of similar experiences, I am not going to recommend that you keep these little ones together. It is heartbreaking to lose a fish but to have one fish you love kill another fish you love is terrible.

Rose
 

poefox

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I'm going to second that. Bettas are actually not really social fish except with others who are either small, fast and peaceful or are not even vaguely competition with them for space and appearance. Some people have successfully kept them in larger community tanks but I've noticed that consistenly those are at least 20 gallons or more. I know they keep young females in groups in the stores but if you watch them carefully you can see them flaring at one another.
 
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cherryrose

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I separated Belle and Bessie.  I certainly don't want either one killed. I appreciate everyone's concern.   Now I have 4 TANKS. Also, the only quarantine tank I have is the 2 gallon critter keeper, which will be very difficult to heat.  Does anyone know a good way to heat a 2 gallon?  I would like to know a safe way to heat it before I need it. Thanks.

CherryRose
 

chickadee

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A 25 watt heater like a Visi-therm Stealth or some heater of really good quality could handle the Critter Keeper as they have a very good thermostat and I would place it diagonally on the back of the tank and set it for a couple of degrees cooler than you actually want the tank to be. Also never run it without a thermometer of some kind. This cannot be a permanent fixture and a tank that runs on a continual basis but you can always run a sponge filter for it in the background of one of your other tanks to always have a cycled filter for the tanklet. It just takes an airpump and a airline with a valve to control air flow and the sponge filter. I use them and they are cheap. (about $5 - $6 for the filter and $2 - $3 for the replacement sponges) You just let the filter bubble away at the back of the tank and it will cycle itself. Then when you need it just transfer it to the hospital tank. If the fish are very ill or die and you do not feel good about putting it back in the big tank, just discard the sponge and put a new one on and when you put it back in the big tank to "bubble" some more it will cycle itself in the background and your fish will never know. The rest of the filter can be cleaned up easily and the sponge is very easy to replace. You never have to replace the sponge just routinely and my fish adore sleeping on them. The cories even nibble on them.

Hope I have helped a bit.

Happy New Year.

Rose
 
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cherryrose

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Thanks, Chickadee.  I have read a number of times about using a sponge filter, but am unsure what it is.  Where can I find one?  I have an air pump, tubing, and an airstone.  Where do I get the sponge filter? I will go online and see if I can find it and a Visi-therm Stealth heater at drsfosterandsmith. 
 

chickadee

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Here are the links for the filters I use... they are both really good but I like the black ones as they do not show up in the background and are easier to hide.


These are for the smaller tanks:






Here is the heater: they have it on sale now.



Hope this helps.

Rose
 
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cherryrose

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Thanks for the website information on the filters and heaters.  I really like the looks of the sponge filters. I have a little corner filter (you know, the kind that is ugly and likes to float up from its corner), that I am going to use if necessary until I can get one of the sponge filters.  I am a little short on money right now, so am hoping that I will have the necessary funds before I need to use an isolation tank again.  My 4 bettas are doing great.  They love their freeze dried blood worms as well as crumbled up flakes.  I will be feeding them their dessert of peas tomorrow.
 

chickadee

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Oh and how are they doing on the pea treats? Have you had any trouble getting them to take them? I am just curious as my little guys are good at taking them but I hear of people having trouble and wondered if you had any. It has become a game of "chase the peas to the bottom of the tank" sometimes but the Otos eat anything that escapes the bettas.

I know of the corner filters that you are talking about, and I have heard that they can be a problem and hassle. They do the job but are hard to get to stay put.

Rose
 
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cherryrose

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All my little betta kids love their peas.  The boys went after them the very first time I fed them, however the girls took longer, as they are a little more choosey.  I don't know if that's a female trait, or just a trait that my girls exhibit. 

It was absolutely adorable watching my boys with their peas tonight.  After they had gobbled up their own pea morsels, I put extra pea halves in their tank for the otos and catfish.  Both Barney and Benji grabbed one of the extra pieces of pea and swam around balancing the large pea halves on their mouthes.  They couldn't eat them since the peas were so big, but didn't want the otos and catfish to eat them either.  They both looked like little clowns. It reminded me of trained dolphins balancing balls on their noses.  It will be interesting to see if my girls ever do the same.  ;D ;D ;D
CherryRose
 
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