Can Bettas Drown?

Mert16
  • #1
Well I was at my lfs a week ago, to buy a divider for my 5 gal. tank. I have my betta in there, and I felt bad because one of my other bettas was in my community tank in a breeder. She asked me why I was purchasing it and I told her it was to allow my betta, Dozer, more room to swim because I felt bad having him in the breeder. Now I've learned from this site not to go on what they tell you at the lfs. So I just listened to what she was saying, but I was wondering how much truth there was to it. She said that:

1. Bettas liked small spaces, that they feel more protected that way

2. that they were not good swimmers.

3. that if they had too much space, they could drown.

So I told her that I would prefer to have him in a bigger space. My betta Rowdy, the one in the 5 gal, has never had problems and that he seems happy in there. besides uh fish swim. that is what they do. Can they die if they don't breathe from the top? I would hate for there to be some truth to that. but I can't believe it because i've seen many betta owners here that have their bettas in ten gal tanks by themselves. Man these people don't know squat.
 
Martinismommy
  • #2
My boy Will is in a 55 gallon tank by himself with no lifeguard and he hasn't drown.....

People can be so (well I can't say the word)
 
Mert16
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
That is what I thought too. They should hav esome type of training before being hired, huh?
 
tzqng8
  • #4
1. Bettas liked small spaces, that they feel more protected that way

They like to have some smaller places they can HIDE in. Like holes in decorations and little caves. People believe in the myths that Betta's come from mud puddles or from rice paddies in Japan. They don't. The wild one's don't and the farm bred one's SURE don't!

2. that they were not good swimmers.

They are not extremely strong swimmers, but this is usually said in connection with the strength of the flow from the power filter you use in their tank! They can swim fine on their own in whatever size tank. They don't needs floaties.

3. that if they had too much space, they could drown.

They must have a space above the water line and below the hood of their tank so that they can surface and take in oxygen from the environment or they will drown. They won't drown in the water unless the surface is so dirty or full of tension that they cannot breach. This is because Betta actually have an organ that allows them to take in oxygen from the air, not just their gills.

Hope that helps!
 
Martinismommy
  • #5
Yes....Unfortunatally, they don't...Thank Goodness for forums like Fishlore.com!
 
Mert16
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
So if they take in oxygen from up top do they still breath under water using there gills?
 
tzqng8
  • #7
So if they take in oxygen from up top do they still breath under water using there gills?

Yes ma'am. They do both. They are anabantoids.
 
Allie
  • #8
My boy Will is in a 55 gallon tank by himself with no lifeguard and he hasn't drown.....

People can be so (well I can't say the word)
words you mean, lol
I would have told her to go look them up on the internet and she learn a whole different.
 
sirdarksol
  • #9
1) Partial truth. They prefer areas of dense vegetation. This is what provides them with feelings of security. They still want plenty of swimming room, they just like having it broken up by plants.

2) True, though this is, as someone said, more with regards to strong currents.

3) Partial Truth. If a betta's home is too deep, it can drown. This is usually at night, when it is sleeping on the bottom. Returning to the surface to breathe can take too long. Usually, though, this is just uncomfortable for the betta, not fatal.
This is another reason that bettas like planted tanks. My little Sun Ce can arrange himself so that his mouth is above water while he sleeps, draping himself over several fronds of water wysteria.
 
Mert16
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
thanks all. I'm going to plant the tank some more. and i'm sure 5 gallons is not deep enoughto drown, right. its nice to know we have the people in this forum to rely on.
 
tzqng8
  • #11
Like Martini's Mommy said, she has ONE Betta in a 55 gallon tank, so I think you're okay man! But, it would be a good idea (or so I've read) to have a tall plant in the tank that your Betta can sleep in and get to the surface quickly when needed.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #12
LOL..
1. Bettas love more space
2. They're good swimmers, albeit slow swimmers.
3. They can only drown if they're unable to get oxygen and the amount of space doesn't matter as long as they can get oxygen.
 
pepetj
  • #13
IMO, not all LFSs personnel are fish-oriented, if you find one that is, treasure him/her, there could be a lot of knowledge there, otherwise, it's the opposite: ignorance not acknowledged, just sale-oriented.

My female betta have different sleeping places in the 10gal she shares with a school of young zebra danios. I have seen her resting (sleeping) in different places: supported by the thermometer, supported by a dense bundle of anacharis (planted) or just laying at the bottom in any of three sand-only areas that are "quiet" in terms of water movement. And, until recently, not supported but underneath the upper leafs of anubias barterI (I moved that plant to another tank last Friday).

as for swimming, she enjoys going against the current stream from the HOB (quite strong); she places herself (as the danios do too) in an open space where she is driven slowly backwards by the current (which is slowed down by the plants) they all do that quite often either by themselves or in company; and other times she just remains around the "quiet" areas (either planted or open spaces).

as for hiding, since she is really curious, gets in/out everywhere (hides so well I have had trouble finding her). I rearrange the aquascape weekly as I do maintenance (trimming/moving/changing plants, shifting the angle/orientation of the "Chinese-Wall" decoration, piling up some gravel) but keep some areas intact (like a bumpy sand-only area around the right-side front corner behind a bunch of planted anacharis).

as for breathing, she has spent a lot of time without surfacing at all (dissolved O2 in her tank is likely high).

It is quite surprising how many different scenarios can be found/created in a small tank. I didn't plan for any of this to happen, I have just discovered this by sitting around, watching them go their own business. I guess every single fish has his/her own individuality, and that goes way beyond being or not aggressive, reaching certain size, and certainly in terms of inter-species compatibility (other issues like breeding, intra-species behavior, tank requirements, ranges of water parameters, seems to be quite predictable, as far as I know).

Tall tanks are probably not a good idea for bettas, but I am quite certain that they rather have room to choose from than not.

Pepe
Santo Domingo
 
ThisGuy
  • #14
My boy Will is in a 55 gallon tank by himself with no lifeguard and he hasn't drown.....

People can be so (well I can't say the word)

1 betta in a 55 gal tank he must be very happy
 
Blub
  • #15
I like to keep some Hornwort around the tank for my Betta. It spreads ripidly though... But its really good for the Betta because it floats on top so they can easily find shelter near the surface.
 

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