How to entertain a betta fish?

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biofish

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Hello all! My betta fish who’ve I’ve had for about a year is painfully bored and I’m not sure how to spice up his life. He’s healthy. He swims fine and has more than a healthy appetite and his water params are typical. He’s just a lazy grouch who likes draping himself over his decorations (“draw me like one of your French fish”)

I’ve tried putting post it notes on the front, trailing my fingers on the glass, putting treats on my finger tip and making him jump out of the water to get it. He’s most enthusiastic about the treats, but he quickly looses interest in following my finger/look at the additions on the glass

Should I change his decorations? Add some floating plants?

He lives with a snail in a 5g. Wish I could give him a fish buddy but he’s a brat.

I’d put on a drag and do the hula but I don’t think it’s be appreciated

Edit: he seemed happier in the 3g he was in a few months ago; but that tank had a pond snail invasion and honestly he was better pest control than my assassin snails. He had a high kill count and it was fascinating watching him rip the small pond snails off the glass and eat them. New tank only has a big fat snail who he can’t hunt. He was very disappointed when he discovered this.
 
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wasmewasntit

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"A lazy grouch" pretty much typifies a Betta......regardless of fin/tail type ;)

Floating plants are always a nice thing....my Fred likes Hornwort (a new batch is on the way for him to play in)....as its quite bushy and unlike frogbit, it grows into one very long length, my lad loves to swim through the loops of it and play hide and seek or just rest in it and watch the rest of the world float by or occasionally attacks it (like a dog with a pull toy)

Hornwort doesn't need to be planted, its more than happy to get long and bushy just on the surface, adds some interesting shadows and hiding places for an inquisitive Betta.

Other than that....and totally contrary to what Betta are meant to be doing....bubbles. Fred likes to play in the bubbles from the filter venturi (he also likes playing in the outlet despite it knocking him sideways). My lad is the Betta equivalent of a nutty Springer Spaniel in his behaviour. Past Betta that I have owned have been the polar opposite couch potato type that make everything an effort and "oh do I really have to get up and move?"

Betta are a funny fish....they are either laid back and cannot be bothered or they go after every single thing that happens to float past their nose. They are very opinionated and soon tire of human fun and games......when Fred has had enough he yawns at me and wiggles off into the back of the aquarium and curls up somewhere out of my sight
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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I loved this post! Both funny, and really sweet!
Sounds as though you need to cultivate a pond snail colony for him! I'm sure if you ask local hobbyists, people will be very happy to hand over as many pest snails as you want!
 

betta4ever!

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This post is so sweet!!🥰 Thanks for making me smile.

Can you post a photo of the tank? It'll be easier for us to recomend things if we have an idea of the steup.
 

GaryE

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Bettas are ambush predators. Their ideas of good times are:
to catch an insect that lands on the water;
to make a bubble nest and breed.

To do both, they need to hold a territory. They don't get around much, and their feeding station is their breeding station. Moving things that appear, like other fish, bubbles, toys, are stimulating the way autumn wasps are stimulating to us. Yeah, we react. But it's to annoyance, and not fun.

I've noticed they like food... Bugs, small spiders, shrimp - things like that. We may not like feeding them such things, but they like eating them. I cultured wingless fruitflies when I had Bettas, the laboratory type. That Betta group was constantly alert, as I fed them at different times every day. Swat a mosquito? Make a Betta happy.

There was a fad with putting ping pong balls in Betta tanks, so they could play. The poor males desperately tried to bump the things away so they could have a clear view of the surface, for hunting. They were in a life and death struggle (in their minds) and people thought they were having fun.

To make their habitat stimulating, I think you need lots of plants, as in nature. The fish likes its surface territory to be framed, so it doesn't have to defend in an endless circle. You need irregular feeding times, with tiny quantities spaced out. You might want to occasionally breed them, even if you don't keep the fry. Their instinct to take care of their larvae (for males) is very powerful, and we generally crush that.
 

Valkyrie_Lips

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He sounds like a typical betta to me. Bettas are not the most active fish and they do like to rest a lot. That doesn't necessarily mean they are 'bored'. My old betta Mick was king of resting in different spots throughout the tank and patrolling the perimeter. As long as he has plenty of things in the tank to interact with and rest on/in (decor, plants etc) then he should be fine.

I do second the bubble thing though. Depending on how bold your betta is, I like to "play" with my new betta during WCs. She likes to play/go after the bubbles when I pour water back into the tank, so I pour it into my cupped hand really slowly so she can get close to the bubbles. Other than that, she entertains herself by swimming around the tank or begging for food.
 

ChasingFish

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Hello all! My betta fish who’ve I’ve had for about a year is painfully bored and I’m not sure how to spice up his life. He’s healthy. He swims fine and has more than a healthy appetite and his water params are typical. He’s just a lazy grouch who likes draping himself over his decorations (“draw me like one of your French fish”)

I’ve tried putting post it notes on the front, trailing my fingers on the glass, putting treats on my finger tip and making him jump out of the water to get it. He’s most enthusiastic about the treats, but he quickly looses interest in following my finger/look at the additions on the glass

Should I change his decorations? Add some floating plants?

He lives with a snail in a 5g. Wish I could give him a fish buddy but he’s a brat.

I’d put on a drag and do the hula but I don’t think it’s be appreciated

Edit: he seemed happier in the 3g he was in a few months ago; but that tank had a pond snail invasion and honestly he was better pest control than my assassin snails. He had a high kill count and it was fascinating watching him rip the small pond snails off the glass and eat them. New tank only has a big fat snail who he can’t hunt. He was very disappointed when he discovered this.
As others have said, if he was enjoying hunting the snails I'd give him some small ones again in the new tank! My bettas love to swim at the top of my tank where I have branches with hornwort running through it. (See pic)
 

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biofish

biofish

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This post is so sweet!!🥰 Thanks for making me smile.

Can you post a photo of the tank? It'll be easier for us to recomend things if we have an idea of the steup.
1171BEB3-9860-4F10-8194-D776B3CE4065.jpeg

This is the little stinker current setup!

I’ll look to see if I have a spare bubbler I can use 👀👀
 
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biofish

biofish

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Bettas are ambush predators. Their ideas of good times are:
to catch an insect that lands on the water;
to make a bubble nest and breed.

To do both, they need to hold a territory. They don't get around much, and their feeding station is their breeding station. Moving things that appear, like other fish, bubbles, toys, are stimulating the way autumn wasps are stimulating to us. Yeah, we react. But it's to annoyance, and not fun.

I've noticed they like food... Bugs, small spiders, shrimp - things like that. We may not like feeding them such things, but they like eating them. I cultured wingless fruitflies when I had Bettas, the laboratory type. That Betta group was constantly alert, as I fed them at different times every day. Swat a mosquito? Make a Betta happy.

There was a fad with putting ping pong balls in Betta tanks, so they could play. The poor males desperately tried to bump the things away so they could have a clear view of the surface, for hunting. They were in a life and death struggle (in their minds) and people thought they were having fun.

To make their habitat stimulating, I think you need lots of plants, as in nature. The fish likes its surface territory to be framed, so it doesn't have to defend in an endless circle. You need irregular feeding times, with tiny quantities spaced out. You might want to occasionally breed them, even if you don't keep the fry. Their instinct to take care of their larvae (for males) is very powerful, and we generally crush that.
I have cookie blood so I’m always covered in mosquito bites. Acquiring such a snack will be very very easy 😂💀

I’ll have to ask around to see if anyone can spare a few pond snails. My little grump was so effective in wiping them out that there’s only one left in my newborn fry tank (who I call Demon because that snail was how I discovered waterwalking was a thing)
 

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I hear they like to play with a pingpong ball.
 

wasmewasntit

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I know I am getting a bit old but is your aquarium on the slant?

Just looking at the water level and it looks a tad off level

For reasons best known only to Fred, my lad seems to enjoy one specific corner of his aquarium.....its pitch black dark thanks to the frogbit and he loiters in there building impressive bubble nests for hours

So perhaps a dark corner away from human eyes might entertain your lad too?

Fred also thinks he has a surfboard....stands right infront of the filter outflow (fitted a new filter yesterday, a CF2 waterfall) and he sits there, mouth wide open taking in the flow, spinning round and repositions infront of the flow again...before retreating to beat up his mini moss balls
 
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biofish

biofish

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I know I am getting a bit old but is your aquarium on the slant?

Just looking at the water level and it looks a tad off level
My floors are very unlevel 😭😭

It’s a problem I didn’t notice until after I started keeping fish. I tried leveling it out with a hand made ramp but it was a bit of a wreck 😂
 

wasmewasntit

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My floors are very unlevel 😭😭

It’s a problem I didn’t notice until after I started keeping fish. I tried leveling it out with a hand made ramp but it was a bit of a wreck 😂
I am so glad it isn't my eyesight gone wonky then :lol:

That is one heck of a slanted floor you have
 

Rocky998

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All I need to say is: "Dry erasemarker, and some sort of cloth" LOL.
They really like swing stuff being drawn right onto the glass. The one I had was very very intrigued by it
 

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