Petulant Betta

poefox

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Well, it's sort of official. Rusty is only interested in food, and nothing but food. I've never had a betta in a 10g tank before and he seems to be awfully arrogant. He sometimes swims to the top corner where I feed him and if I'm nearby and not feeding him at that moment he swirls away in what I can only describe as anger. He seems suspicious of the catfish if I so much as check them out and swims over to see what they might have been given.

I'm not sure how to tame this fish. I'm not unhappy---he's very healthy and vigorous, and seems interested enough in his surroundings. Maybe a betta needs limited stimulus to be more human friendly? If he's happy enough I'd rather just leave him be.
 

chickadee

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It is certainly true that the more stimulus they have from around them the less they NEED us. The more fish and activity mine have had the more independent they became as well. But they do each have their own little personalities and you will be surprised and happy that when you least expect it that he will all of a sudden decide that he loves you again. He is upset about the time that you are spending with the others and only USING you for the things he cannot do without, food, clean water, and such. You will come to the higher on the hit parade if not first again when he has gotten over the new additions, but be prepared for it to last a long while, they can be stubborn little cusses. Marty is in the bucket waiting for his tank to be cleared of "bad snails" and he has the Otos and Mystery Snail with him and he is more affectionate than I have ever seen him and almost lets me pet him. I fully expect him to revert to the stand offish little snot when he gets back into the big tank but he is not only capable of love but is willing to show it when it suits his purpose and I can live with that.

Rusty will come around when he needs the affection, unfortunately LOVE as so many things with Bettas is on their terms.

Rose
 

SunnShadow

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Dante is the opposite, chickadee.... when the tank was full of fish, Dante was his most affectionate, letting me pet him, swimming to the glass whenever I walked over, etc. But when I got rid of the guppies, swordtails and platys, he seemed truly upset and began slighting me. He'd stay on one side of the tank, "pacing" up and down, and would only move to the center to eat. If I tried to pet him he swam off in a huff. So I added two gouramies and he seemed happier, until one of them tried to chase him..... Now I have only one gourami, the peaceful one, and Dante is back to his old friendly self.
Maybe it is change that upsets them. Maybe it is just the personality of some. Floyd and Little Boy aren't as friendly as Dante, and Dante is not quite like Fred was.........
We just have to accept them and love them the way they are.

S.
 

chickadee

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Well it is very, very true that all Bettas have different personalities and they are also easily depressed. It can be that when they shun us that they are exhibiting a form of Betta depression because if they are like their environment as they are with food they do not much care for change.

I know Marty was totally upset after Noel was not anymore in the tank next to him even though he had never really had any contact with him and was hardly eating for several days (and anyone knowing Marty knows that is not Marty!!!!)

I am so happy for you having a loving little guy like Dante. He sounds like a sweetie.

Rose
 
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poefox

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Rusty is at least eating normally now. He's so different from Darth, who used to spend most of his time hanging out under the duckweed out of some sense of security perhaps. Rusty is all over the place, usually in the middle to upper levels but also sometimes at the bottom investigating whatever the catfish have found interesting. He seems to be a lot like Marty in that he loves to eat. I try spending time with him that is non-eating time but it still seems to annoy him unless I'm doing a water change, which he finds fascinating.
 

chickadee

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Rusty is just full of life and full of mischief. He is constantly checking things out. He loves his home and is going to "watchdog" the whole place. I will have to admit to having a good chuckle over the idea of him getting fascinated by the water changes, Marty does exactly the same thing, even getting in the way to the point of getting water dumped on his head. I guess you just be happy that he is obviously very healthy and active and always on the go. You must be doing everything right or he would be having less energy and be not so healthy. Any parent can have a challenging child and it does look like you have found yours. I still think the two of you share a special bond or why would you have developed that rapport so fast at the LFS that day. He knows you are there, he just wants you on his terms. Marty is just a bad boy and I have a feeling Alex is on his way there also. I do think it may have something to do with finding them when they are younger perhaps. Both of mine now are babies (or Marty was) and they act entirely more independent than Azul did who was older and had been in a cup. Neither of these bad boys ever made it to the cups. Perhaps Rusty was not in the cup for very long and it did not "break his spirit" the way so many of them are.

Enjoy. He is a handful it seems. I love my little bad boys.

Rose
 
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poefox

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Thanks for the encouragement again Rose. It's also nice to hear about someone I trust describing their betta keeping. Gradually I think as the routine of the catfish being fed at the dark periods and Rusty at the light ones sinks in I think he will be less suspicious that I'm going to feed someone else. Sometimes it really is like having a small aquatic kid in the house.
 
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