Lava has a roomate!

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Phloxface

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I've put the divider in Lava's tank today. I bought a glass canopy for the tank and the divider goes right to the top with no space for anyone to jump through.

When I put it in Lava kind of freaked out. He lay on the bottom and his gills were pumping like crazy and he just stared straight ahead. He wouldn't respond to me at all! I didn't know if he was having a panic attack or was just mad at me. I put Karma in the other side and she went wild swimming around so fast I thought she'd hurt herself. She was so happy to be in there! Lava kept lying there and didn't notice her (nor did she notice him) for the first 10 minutes or so. Then suddenly Lava snapped out of it and noticed something darting around on the other side and he slowly swam over to see. They touched noses through the divider and Lava wiggled and tilted his head to one side (he does that when he's being flirty) and they swam back and forth slowly together. There was no flaring or aggression. They are ignoring each other mostly but occasionally they watch each other or flirt through the divider.

Lava seems to be okay with the smaller quarters now that he has a crazy little fishy to watch and entertain him.
Karma is so active it's insane!    Maybe she'll settle down when she gets used to the new place but right now she's really having a lot of fun. Hard to believe she is the same half dead fish I brought home! She's very healthy now!
 

cherryrose

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I am so happy for Karma! What I nice recovery she made. I'm sure Lava and Karma will be very happy watching and flirting with each other.

CherryRose
 

Timesdragonfly

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I'm very happy to hear she is doing do well! It's wonderful that she has such a great home now!
~J~
 

chickadee

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I am so glad that they are getting along together. Perhaps the other two can make good little tankmates too.

Rose
 

AesSedai

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Oops, I missed a post or 4 somewhere I think. Karma I know but was Lava known by another name before? Is Lava the other lil girl you rescued with Karma?

I'm beyond pleased with how things turned out for you and them!!

((Phloxface))
 
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Phloxface

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;D

Lava is one of my boys. I have 5 Bettas altogether now. My first two are boys, Lava and Phlox, the three girls are Aenara, Karma and Noelle.
 

AesSedai

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Yes, Noelle. That's the other girl!

((Phloxface))
 

Stradius011

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Hey that's a good idea! I should get a divider for my 10 gallon aquarium and keep 1 male and 1 female.
 

chickadee

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I really hope that this does not become a trend unless the dividers are not the type that they can see through.  It does upset them to be able to see another betta and not be able to get to them and as you will hear in another post, she has not left it that way but considered changing the bettas about so that the females would inhabit the 10 gallon and the male would go to the 5 gallon tank.

This is just an idea that sounds great, but as she found out, does not work as well in practice.

Rose
 
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Phloxface

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Yes, it's a good idea in theory but not in practice.  Lava shows no aggression at all toward her nor her toward him but Lava has been peering through the divider looking SO sad because she won't come play with him. She ignores him and he can't understand why he is not allowed to go to her and play. I am quite sure if they were together he would be very gentle and sweet (not that I have any intention of trying that) but eventually they would spawn and then he would do what instinct tells him to do, which is chase away or kill the female to protect the fry.
It hurts me to see the sad look on his face when he stares through the fence and wiggles his hips trying to get her attention. 
Lava will be better off in the other tank where he is free to go anywhere in the tank and not be made to feel like a freak being separated from the other fish.


I'm turning the 10 gallon into a female tank. I've already brought home two adorable little girls to add to the 3 I already have. I did some research and talked with people who have female Bettas together. They suggested 5 girls in a well planted 10 gallon with lots of caves and hiding spots. One lady has been keeping female Bettas together for years and said she has never had luck with less than 5.  Even three is bad because sometimes two will be bullies and kill the third. They also said odd numbers do better than even, though I have no idea why since I doubt fish can count... ??? She has several groups of 5 females and has no problems with them.

I went to the fish store this morning and observed for a long while, the females they had together in the large tank.  I tried to spot the dominant fish and the least dominant. I chose the two girls whom everyone was picking on and chasing away. One of my new girls has a chunk bitten out of her tail from a very bossy Cambodian female in the tank. She seemed to be the Queen Bee so although she was beautiful, I didn't want her. She was also a crowntail and they are known to be more aggressive. All my girls are Veiltails except Noelle who is part Crowntail. I have a feeling she'll be the bossy one...

I'll observe them and if anyone gets too aggressive and won't calm down after some time, she can be removed and put into solitaire. I have several extra tanks.

The two new girls (who have no names yet) are different colors from the ones I already have. I wanted them to all look unique so I can easily tell them apart. One is white with irridescent turquoise fins and splatters of other colors on her body ,like someone shook a wet paint brush at her, (she's the one who's tail was bitten) the other fish is red. Will post pics when I can.
Hopefully they'll all get along and I can have fun watching them play.
The girls are relaxing in their quarantine tanks while I get the new tank all set up. I have a new cave ornament and more plants.
It will be fun but nerve wracking watching them after I release them all and they see each other for the first time.
 

chickadee

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Oh, you are such a wonderful Betta mommy it will be okay and like I said the first 30 days will tell you all you need to know.  If they make it that long without the terrible aggressive behavior toward each other and you do not recognize anyone being prevented from eating on a consistent basis, you are pretty well home free to leave them to their lives.

It will be interesting to hear how it goes and it would be nice if you would open up a tank blog like some of the members have that is personal to them so you can keep a type of diary on the progress of the tank for future members who are contemplating opening a female betta tank to refer to.  (as you are the first one that I know of who is really seriously going to do it with a seriously large compliment of females.  This way you can tell everyone the behavior of each little one individually and let us know what to expect when and if we decide to do one in the future.)  If you decide to do this just ask Mike to set up the blog for you and I am sure that He would be most happy to do it for you.  Then let the forum have the link to it here so we will be sure to watch.
 
I would really appreciate the time and effort you would put into it.  It would be a real asset to our information on the forum.

Rose
 

Timesdragonfly

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I want more fish tanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It sounds like your community tank is going to be GREAT. Please keep us posted on how it all goes!!! I'm sooo jealous! lol 8)
 
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Phloxface

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Yeah, a blog sounds like a good idea. I'll get that started on sunday maybe. Right now I'm still Xmas shopping and running off to the fish store (Big Al's, not Petsmart) to pick up lots more live plants. They have really great Java Ferns and I want to get a few for Phlox's tank to help with the Nitrate problem. The girl's tank is getting almost a complete makeover with lots of plants. I already have a nice cave ornament and the tree root will stay as it's too big for the 5 gallon and it gives the girl's more hidy places. I saw a mini version of the tree root at Big Al's last time I was there so if they have it today I'll pick it up for Lava for the 5 gallon Hex. He loved his tree root so maybe he won't feel so homesick if I make his new place look more like home.
I'm getting some minature hairgrass and planting a patch of it in the girl's tank. It should provide nice cover for the less agressive fish. Hopefully Noelle will not be too aggressive or be a fin nipper. She attacks her food like a shark! She's fearless and swims back and forth with an air of authority. She will no doubt be the boss. I hope a nice boss... If she doesn't play well with others she will go back in the 4 gallon tank and live there alone.
The two new girls have eaten today and seem healthy. The white/turquoise fish with the bite out of her tail is so pretty (you'll see what I mean when I get a pic) She is watching and listening to me and swimming around happily.  The red fish, who is actually a Cambodian with a lot of red wash on her body, is VERY timid and skittish still.  She ate a little but approached the food very slowly. I think she's stressed from travelling home from the store. I'm just letting her rest and get used to things. When I move too quickly she darts around in a panic. I'm trying not to startle her. She's starting to come to the top now when I look in on her but very slowly. It will take some time to gain her trust. Feeding her seemed to help.  I bought some Hikari Daphnia today since I've never tried it on my fish. All of them loved it except of course my problem child, Aenara. She tasted it and then shook her head and looked at me like she had just bitten into a lemon! It smells sweet so I don't know why she doesn't like it. The others gobbled it up like it was a tasty desert! Aenara seems to prefer scavenging around on the bottom of the tank for pellets that have dropped or that she previously spat out. Maybe she is having trouble chewing hard food? That doesn't explain the Daphnia though which is a fine soft powder.

well, off to the fish store for plants...
 
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Phloxface

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Thought I'd snap a few pics of the divided tank before it gets renovated for the females. As you can see, the divider really ruins the look of the tank. Lava is on the right side and Karma is the tiny blur on the left side. You can clearly see here just how tiny my girls are compared to the males. They are usually blurry too because they are always swimming. I've noticed females are much more active than the males.
 

chickadee

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Just please remember that you need to get ahold of Mike (support@fishlore.com) to get a Tank Blog assigned to you. He will be glad to do so, I am sure.

Rose
 
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Phloxface

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Yup, don't worry, as soon as I get the tank set up (on Sunday maybe?) I'll contact him and start reporting. Hopefully it will be fun and informative with no injuries or tragedies. :-\ Keeping a record of everything was something I planned on doing anyways so I may as well share what I learn with others. I would make me happy if others learn and are able to rescue cup-dwelling females and give them nice homes in tanks.
I'm doing my best to pick the brains of others online who have had success keeping female Betta communities.
 

chickadee

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I am so glad that you are going to do this. It will help others I am sure.

Merry Christmas to everyone there..!

Rose
 

AesSedai

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((Phloxface))

Like Rose said, you're a wonderful Betta mom!! It sure comes through luv. You're so patient and gentle. Have you ever thought of boarding Betta's for those who go on vacation? KIDDING. LOL. I know you have too much going on now but I was thinking, while writing this post, that I would certainly trust Zen to you.......or Rose or others here. Soo many wonderful Betta parents here.

I'm excited to watch and see what happens with your female community tank. I'll definitely be following along in the blog (great idea!).

Namaste
Karyn
 
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