Betta Speak

AggieYen
  • #1
HI everyone,

So.. I was thinking. You know how our babies don't actually... speak? Yet some of you, particularly you guys who have had many many bettas over many many years, you know exactly when your boy or girl doesn't like something, or is sulking, or ignores you, or wants your attention. My Champion rarely ever flares at anything, so I really don't know if he hates the bubble wall I put it, or loves. He stays away from it, so maybe he's still making up his mind..?? So my question is really, how do you KNOW when...

1. The current is too strong for your betta?
2. Your betta doesn't like bubbles?
3. Your betta wants your attention?
4. Your betta is sulking?
5. Your betta LOOKS fine, but doesn't feel well?
6. Your betta is dead bored?
7. Your betta doesn't like something in his tank?
8. Your betta doesn't like something AROUND his tank?
9. Your betta LOVES something in his tank?
10 Your betta is really, really happy?

And all the other things that you KNOW about your betta's mood or behaviour or preference? How does he/she show it?
 
Amorinthe
  • #2
My betta indigo HATED the bubbles. I think that anything in the tank that took attention away from him was a thumbs down.

The biggest indication with him was the fins. They would droop and just sort of drag behind him when he was unhappy, or before he would get sick. That and he would ignore me. When he was happy and feeling good, he would come to the tank and smile and play.
 
valentine
  • #3
1. The current is too strong for your betta? he actually likes playing in the current when the filter is on high
2. Your betta doesn't like bubbles? never had this problem
3. Your betta wants your attention? he is a betta so he always wants attention
4. Your betta is sulking? anytime i'm not feeding him
5. Your betta LOOKS fine, but doesn't feel well? when he won't come out of the driftwood to have a chat
6. Your betta is dead bored? he always finds something to do
7. Your betta doesn't like something in his tank?he tries to eat it
8. Your betta doesn't like something AROUND his tank? he flares at the kitchen aid stand mixer
9. Your betta LOVES something in his tank? he spends lots of time with his heater and in his java moss
10 Your betta is really, really happy? swims really fast, shows off his fins and swims around more then shows off his fins
 
Barbrella
  • #4
One thing I know for sure is that one of my bettas, the grumpy one, doesn't like having the camera pointed at him.

I don't think it's hard to interpret THIS expression! Haha...if looks could kill!


196.jpg
 
chickadee
  • #5
Well there are a lot of ways but let me first say that just like with children it varies with every betta.

If one of my bettas is not well he generally will not swim to the top of the tank to eat. That is the first sign. When they do not eat they are sick. Other than when they have some problem that is visibly obvious like a swelling or scrape that was not there before.

If they do not like something they swish about in the water in an angry swimming motion like they are jerking themselves about. You can tell a temper tantrum in a betta when you see it. They do not glide through the water they tear through it. They would hurt themselves if they hit something while swimming this way. Or if they have tank mates sometimes they will bully the tank mates when they are angry about something.

If they do not like bubbles, they will go clear to the other side of the tank away from them and refuse to go near them and if they like them they usually do not let the other fish play in them as they are very territorial in my tanks. The one exception was Alexander and he loved his otos so he shared everything with them. He shared his bed and their bed and his plants and did not fight with them at all. Both Martys on the other hand were and are terrors and do not let anyone anywhere near them.

None of my bettas play the slightest attention to what is outside of the tank other than the TV and me. For some reason, it just does not seem to bother them. BUT let the TV be off and THAT bothers them. During the day they are TV fanatics and go right to the front of the tank to watch. At night when I would like to watch they just turn their faces to the back of the tank and hide them and all I see in the tanks are little behinds. (they will not sleep in their caves but on their plants)

I only have one betta who sulks and that is Marty Jr. who definitely takes after the first Marty. He is currently doing it up good because I am not at home with him all day. He is not eating and will not have a thing to do with me. In fact he is making himself sick. He will pout until he is really sick and can get very ill before he quits. He refuses to come out of the covered bridge and refuses his food and refuses to respond to me at all. I usually take about 3 days of this and put him in a quarantine tank just in case he is really sick and then he snaps out of it. But he can play sick fishy better than any betta I have ever had. The only problem with this is I never know when to medicate and when not to. I have been so upset that I have been ready to medicate him and then when I leave the room glanced in and seen him swimming gracefully in the tank. But when I walk back into the room he is almost lifeless again.

My little guys are all right together in the den and they watch me and they watch TV and they play all day and pretty much are always active. This is always how I tell if they are in trouble health wise. They get quiet and I know there is a problem. They are stinkers and it is not in their nature to be still. With the exception of when Marty Jr. is being a pest as I mentioned above, they are always swimming or floating or bobbing on a plant or watching TV or chasing someone in the tank or eating or wiggling or something to do. And someone always wants attention.

When my bettas are really happy they fluff out their fins and just kind of rest on the plants and give me the LOOK. Anyone who has had the look knows it and anyone who hasn't I cannot describe it to you. They look contented and when a betta looks contented you know it. It is a kind of babyface type look and it makes your heart melt.

Rose
 
COBettaCouple
  • #6
I find that if a Betta finds current or bubbles too strong, they'll avoid it. I like gang valves for bubbles so they can have the level of bubbles that they want.

They seem to have different ways of getting attention. Like Sweetie or Chloe swim back & forth real fast while Angel will swim in circles around her leaning pillar. Angel also likes to open & close her mouth when she's hungry.

When they sulk, they will avoid eye contact and swim away when you get close. Angel is our biggest sulker and used to sulk for hours after every tank cleaning.

When they don't feel good, they seem to droop or be kind of limp. Bored is kind of like that. With females, you can often see stress lines.

Flaring is usually how they show they don't like something in or around the tank and when they love something in the tank, they'll spend a lot of time on or around it.

Really, really happy - varies but is often a wagging of their back end. Kind of like a dog wagging it's tail. With females you can often see "happy bars".

Our Angel is like Rose's Marty Jr. - She will play sick fishy if she doesn't get her attention. And she'll last about 3 days too. She wouldn't eat and just refused to look at us after she went a couple days without her attention because we were at, ironically, a Betta show.
 
AggieYen
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Oh my, Barbrella, that is a beautiful picture of your boy there. Such a vibrant red, and such a gloriously grumpy face.

I guess I'm still learning about Champion.. and I so want him to be happy, so I get paranoid about everything he does. He doesn't show overt signs of anger or happiness, doesn't bubble nest or flare.. so I really don't know if he's enjoying himself in there. He mostly ignores the hamster tubes I've got in there for him, and he only ever hangs out with his best friend, the digital thermometer stuck to the inside of the tank.

He does come to me every time I'm near the tank, though. Then he does this back and forth thing - swims one way, then the other, then back again - and I can't tell if he's dancing for me, of if he's angry at me.. I think I'm just an over-paranoid mother.
 
Blub
  • #8
Hi!

What does it mean if he swims at the front of the tank all day, going up and down, a bit like a Platy might do?


 
COBettaCouple
  • #9
Sounds like he wants attention and food.

Hi!

What does it mean if he swims at the front of the tank all day, going up and down, a bit like a Platy might do?
 
Blub
  • #10
Sounds like he wants attention and food.
Hi!

No Malachai... I'm not going to feed you 10 times a day! So, if he wants attention do I just go up to him and let him play with my finger on the glass?


 
COBettaCouple
  • #11
That or talk to him, some like to chase your fingertip at the top of the water.. They each have ways they like to be entertained, but they all love being talked to.
 
Blub
  • #12
Hi!

I'll do that now. Oh woah! He loves chasing my finger over the surface of the water. He even tried to jump at my finder! I'll give him FD Tubifex tomorrow - see what games we can play with that! Thanks Dave.


 
COBettaCouple
  • #13
I don't recommend tubifex worms really. They are a food that can bring disease into the tank and freeze-dried foods can constipate Bettas easily. I feed ours only thawed frozen food that's triple-sterilized.
 
Blub
  • #14
Hi!

OK. I won't give MalachaI some, he can stay on Frozen and TetraBetta minI flakes. I really need some proper Betta pellets like you lot in the US have!


 
AggieYen
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
HI Hatchet,

Not sure if you have access to online shopping, but I found a link here that may help you where you are:



Looks like HikarI is coming back to the UK - maybe your parents will help you get these for Malachai? They really are the best, Champion won't touch any of the others. I have to get my HikarI online as well!
 
Blub
  • #16
Hi!

Thanks Aggie! Wait, I saw some of those HikarI sinking wafer in my LFS. Maybe I could ask them about Bio-gold?


 
AggieYen
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
Yeah. Even here, the LFS favour HikarI cichlid foods The betta children get no love. :'(
 
chickadee
  • #18
Do you have Ocean Nutrition or Atison's (same brand just different package) That is what I use more than the HikarI now. They are even smaller than the HikarI and just as nutritious. They are made for smaller bettas and baby bettas.

Rose
 
luna
  • #19
I learned, and had to exert a bit of willpower to resist (since my tank isn't ready), my first bit of betta-speak today.

"Buy me!" >_>
 
Blub
  • #20
Hi!

I'm on the case... Don't worry MalachaI - if all goes to plan you should be eating those foods soon!


 
COBettaCouple
  • #21
We use the pellets that Rose recommends. Even our smallest females are able to eat them easily. I do like HikarI for frozen bloodworms though. Our other foods, aside from cyclopeeze, are all Omega One brand foods.
 
MissMTS
  • #22
Back to the subject of reading your betta and knowing how they are feeling...I always know that Bubbles is happy when he builds a bubble nest at the top of the water. Swimming actively and puffing out his tail always lets me know that he is in a good mood as well.
 
AggieYen
  • Thread Starter
  • #23
I've seen Champion do a few half bubble nests, right at the corner of the tank, right next to the filter where it's quieter. I think my bubble wall is stressing him out. I really, really wish I knew what he was thinking. Came home today, and did my usual "Hello sweetheart" at the tank and he was 'hopping' around in front of the tank, with his mouth opening big and closing - I can't tell if he's 'wagging his tail and panting', or if he's panicking about something!!! *hophop* He seems to calm down when I walk away from the tank, but then I come back and he's back to the same 'hopping around'. Maybe he is just doing a happy dance for me.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #24
That's him asking for attention from you, his favorite person.

Do you have a gang valve on the line for the bubble wall? If not, I'd recommend one. Then you can control the strength of the bubbles and adjust it to the level that he's happy with.

I've seen Champion do a few half bubble nests, right at the corner of the tank, right next to the filter where it's quieter. I think my bubble wall is stressing him out. I really, really wish I knew what he was thinking. Came home today, and did my usual "Hello sweetheart" at the tank and he was 'hopping' around in front of the tank, with his mouth opening big and closing - I can't tell if he's 'wagging his tail and panting', or if he's panicking about something!!! *hophop* He seems to calm down when I walk away from the tank, but then I come back and he's back to the same 'hopping around'. Maybe he is just doing a happy dance for me.
 
AggieYen
  • Thread Starter
  • #25
I bought the gang valve... but then when I was trying to fit the airline tubing to the valve... it broke. I'll have to get another one this weekend. I came home last night and spotted him playing in the bubbles, but that could have been a fluke.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #26
That stinks, the store should replace that for sure. He could be getting used to them and more curious about the bubbles. Several of our Bettas love to swim into bubbles and let the bubbles push their back end up and they ride the bubbles to the top of the water.

I bought the gang valve... but then when I was trying to fit the airline tubing to the valve... it broke. I'll have to get another one this weekend. I came home last night and spotted him playing in the bubbles, but that could have been a fluke.
 
chickadee
  • #27
It sounds like you have a little stinker who just does not want to admit to you quite yet that he is enjoying the bubbles. He may be one like my little fellow who is going to learn the art of deception. When you are watching he will do one thing and when you are turned away he will do something else. I was really surprised at the antics I saw one of my little darlings doing when I brought out a mirror and watched while he thought my back was turned and he was playing "sick fishy".

They can be so cute and so funny and so devious...but so lovable at the same time. I do believe this one bears watching. He may just be a character...YAHOOO!

Congratulations you will have fun with him.

Rose
 
Tazmiche
  • #28
Hi!


OK. I won't give MalachaI some, he can stay on Frozen and TetraBetta minI flakes. I really need some proper Betta pellets like you lot in the US have!
I will PM you a site here in the UK that are reliable and sell HikarI Betta Bio-Gold! I have had 4 packets mail order from them now. Some stores do stock them.

One of mine is sulking tonight after a tank clean. He turned his behind to me and sat in a plant!

Give it time and you will very quickly learn their language. I remember that at first I thought it was my imagination, it's only a fish but 6 bettas later I realise they DO tell us stuff!!!
 
COBettaCouple
  • #29
VERY true! One of our Bettas, Aslan, would actually watch us and as soon as he thought we weren't looking, he'd swim fast over to some live plants in his tank and nip leaves off. If he saw us watching him, he'd look up at us and just swim away as if he hadn't done a thing. He ended up wiping the plants out, but he taught them a good lesson!

It sounds like you have a little stinker who just does not want to admit to you quite yet that he is enjoying the bubbles. He may be one like my little fellow who is going to learn the art of deception. When you are watching he will do one thing and when you are turned away he will do something else. I was really surprised at the antics I saw one of my little darlings doing when I brought out a mirror and watched while he thought my back was turned and he was playing "sick fishy".

They can be so cute and so funny and so devious...but so lovable at the same time. I do believe this one bears watching. He may just be a character...YAHOOO!

Congratulations you will have fun with him.

Rose
 
chickadee
  • #30
Go Aslan! Oh I can just see that. I was pressed into getting a rear view mirror for my desk for a while the Martys were such naughty things with their Otos until they chased some of them silly. When I started to turn my chair around everything got very docile and all was well but in the mirror I could see war going on in the tank. They were so naughty...but I just could not stay mad. I eventually moved the poor Otos.

Rose
 
Blub
  • #31
I will PM you a site here in the UK that are reliable and sell HikarI Betta Bio-Gold! I have had 4 packets mail order from them now. Some stores do stock them.

One of mine is sulking tonight after a tank clean. He turned his behind to me and sat in a plant!

Give it time and you will very quickly learn their language. I remember that at first I thought it was my imagination, it's only a fish but 6 bettas later I realise they DO tell us stuff!!!
Hi!

Thanks! I'll see if I can get some.


 
COBettaCouple
  • #32
LOL.. Yea, we should've been upset with him for killing all those expensive plants, but all we could do is just laugh and love him more. Being a stinker is just part of their character and part of why we love them. ;D

Go Aslan! Oh I can just see that. I was pressed into getting a rear view mirror for my desk for a while the Martys were such naughty things with their Otos until they chased some of them silly. When I started to turn my chair around everything got very docile and all was well but in the mirror I could see war going on in the tank. They were so naughty...but I just could not stay mad. I eventually moved the poor Otos.

Rose
 
AggieYen
  • Thread Starter
  • #33
VERY true! One of our Bettas, Aslan, would actually watch us and as soon as he thought we weren't looking, he'd swim fast over to some live plants in his tank and nip leaves off. If he saw us watching him, he'd look up at us and just swim away as if he hadn't done a thing. He ended up wiping the plants out, but he taught them a good lesson!

hahahahah... that's just adorable. I think Champion thinks he's a shark.. sometimes I dangle my little finger in the water... he circles my finger.. closer and closer than he lunges for it.... then tries again from another direction. Sigh. He's now full on frolicking in those bubbles!
 
LuvaBetta
  • #34
Oh yes, the bubbles. I hesitantly added a ceramic bubble stick 2 days ago - oh, now I know fish can grin! He's become a regular surfer boy! I turn it off at night, and the next morning he can't seem to wait for me to turn it back on!
 
COBettaCouple
  • #35
LOL.. great!
Oh yes, the bubbles. I hesitantly added a ceramic bubble stick 2 days ago - oh, now I know fish can grin! He's become a regular surfer boy! I turn it off at night, and the next morning he can't seem to wait for me to turn it back on!
 

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