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Marine Betta

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So there is a little talk on the safety of small fish with marine betta. I have a small bone to pick with this. Let me preface by saying I have no way to prove this to anyone, so take it for what you feel it’s worth. My husband and I had what may have been a full size adult male in our 300 gallon fowl years ago in Florida. The tank was chock full of angels large and small, hinds, tangs, and wrasses. We wanted to see if a cleaner wrasse would exhibit its namesake with our hinds. After a short acclimation box stint where almost every fish swam to the box to investigate and to our surprise the hinds asking to have their mouths cleaned just like we had hoped we released the wrasse extremely nervously. Within minutes we were seeing the exact behavior we had hoped to see!!! It was amazing!!! A few days had passes and everything was going great! Then out of nowhere we couldn’t find the cleaner wrasse that was out and among the fish more than some of the angels and tangs where. To bring everyone out and see who may have had a full belly we fed the tank. The only fish that’s didn’t come out.... the betta! No way!!!! Upon flashlight investigation of his secluded hide, there he was! Caught red mouthed!!! Well more like blue mouthed, with the cleaners tail still partly out of his mouth! Now! This could be chalked up to under feeding. But I HIGHLY doubt that! This was a fish that would readily swim out into the tank during feeding(which was twice daily! And a LOT of food) to eat anything he saw to include large pellets a plenty! The other cause could have just been his size. He was easily every bit of 7+ inches nose to tip of tail. And the last potential cause may have been his level of defensiveness of his tucked away hide. At any rate we did try again, this time with a Hawaiian cleaner wrasse that lived harmoniously with everyone until the tank was broken down a couple years later. Just my 2 cents take it or leave it. I just felt it would be good to share our experience with one of the largest we have ever seen. @ThRoewer I’ll be watching this tread intently!!! I can’t wait to see you succeed!!! I’ll need to be added to this list as well please and thank you! Hehe
 
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So there is a little talk on the safety of small fish with marine betta. I have a small bone to pick with this. Let me preface by saying I have no way to prove this to anyone, so take it for what you feel it’s worth. My husband and I had what may have been a full size adult male in our 300 gallon fowl years ago in Florida. The tank was chock full of angels large and small, hinds, tangs, and wrasses. We wanted to see if a cleaner wrasse would exhibit its namesake with our hinds. After a short acclimation box stint where almost every fish swam to the box to investigate and to our surprise the hinds asking to have their mouths cleaned just like we had hoped we released the wrasse extremely nervously. Within minutes we were seeing the exact behavior we had hoped to see!!! It was amazing!!! A few days had passes and everything was going great! Then out of nowhere we couldn’t find the cleaner wrasse that was out and among the fish more than some of the angels and tangs where. To bring everyone out and see who may have had a full belly we fed the tank. The only fish that’s didn’t come out.... the betta! No way!!!! Upon flashlight investigation of his secluded hide, there he was! Caught red mouthed!!! Well more like blue mouthed, with the cleaners tail still partly out of his mouth! Now! This could be chalked up to under feeding. But I HIGHLY doubt that! This was a fish that would readily swim out into the tank during feeding(which was twice daily! And a LOT of food) to eat anything he saw to include large pellets a plenty! The other cause could have just been his size. He was easily every bit of 7+ inches nose to tip of tail. And the last potential cause may have been his level of defensiveness of his tucked away hide. At any rate we did try again, this time with a Hawaiian cleaner wrasse that lived harmoniously with everyone until the tank was broken down a couple years later. Just my 2 cents take it or leave it. I just felt it would be good to share our experience with one of the largest we have ever seen. @ThRoewer I’ll be watching this tread intently!!! I can’t wait to see you succeed!!! I’ll need to be added to this list as well please and thank you! Hehe
While they do not go after fish in my experience, there is always a small chance to come across one that has gone rogue. This is particularly the case if you got him as a larger, wild-caught adult. If you get them as juveniles or small adults the likelihood of them going after fish is next to zero.
Then there is also a factor of training that should not be neglected. If the fish associates you with food and what you usually add to the tank is food then there is a remote chance that he also goes after newly added "bite-sized" fish, especially if he sees you adding them. Though I actually tried to train the ones I had in Germany to eat frozen gobies (I had way too many of those and my clarkii could only eat so much) and they would not touch them.
 
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While they do not go after fish in my experience, there is always a small chance to come across one that has gone rogue. This is particularly the case if you got him as a larger, wild-caught adult. If you get them as juveniles or small adults the likelihood of them going after fish is next to zero.
Then there is also a factor of training that should not be neglected. If the fish associates you with food and what you usually add to the tank is food then there is a remote chance that he also goes after newly added "bite-sized" fish, especially if he sees you adding them. Though I actually tried to train the ones I had in Germany to eat frozen gobies (I had way too many of those and my clarkii could only eat so much) and they would not touch them.
Interesting! And that makes perfect sense! My husband would target feed all the groupers and the the marine betta silver sides! Trained behavior! I do wonder why it ended up being the comet that snagged the cleaner while the groupers enjoyed its company. Then again thawed silver side vs common cleaner wrasse not too different, now compare that to a nice and colorful Hawaiian. All food for thought! And yes he was definitely wild caught and quite large when we revived him.
 
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Pair (harem) #2 laid eggs again yesterday, much earlier than expected.
I have a suspicion that the krill I fed my Marine Bettas, may have caused their infertility as this would be the only thing both pairs have in common. No other fish in my tanks eats or gets krill on a daily basis and other spawning pair in each system don't seem to have fertility issues. And krill is known to have substances that are not actually good for fish (or humans).
I stopped feeding krill after the last failed nest, so if this or the next clutch develops normally the krill was the most likely cause.
 

Ardeus

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I have had my 2 marine bettas for 18 months and the larger one (argus) hardly grew and the much smaller one (altivelis) grew a lot and they're basically the same size now.

Completely different personalities. The argus is extremely reclusive and only eats every 4 - 5 days, the altivelis is out and about most of the time and eats everyday.

The larger one (argus) has appeared more and more often with shreaded fins. Do you think there's reason to worry? Can the altivelis change into a male?
 
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I have had my 2 marine bettas for 18 months and the larger one (argus) hardly grew and the much smaller one (altivelis) grew a lot and they're basically the same size now.

Completely different personalities. The argus is extremely reclusive and only eats every 4 - 5 days, the altivelis is out and about most of the time and eats everyday.

The larger one (argus) has appeared more and more often with shreaded fins. Do you think there's reason to worry? Can the altivelis change into a male?
I'm not sure if they see each other as potential partners. Both species are found in the same waters but there hasn't been any observation of hybrids. Based on that I would assume they do not crossbreed.
The fighting may be because the altivelis is turning into a male but it is hard to make a clear assessment without seeing how they interact.

I got an argus female a few weeks ago but she is still in quarantine and far from okay. She started out with some bad finrot and has now developt a growth on her lower lip. I would also say that argus are far more reclusive and this might be one of the reasons why they are less frequently found in the trade.
 

Ardeus

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Is she eating? Hope she makes it.

The relationship between my argus and altivelis changed a bit recently. The male spends more and more time at the front of the tank in what is the female territory. As corals grow, the tank is becoming less open and it must feel like a safer place for the fish.

She seems to feel more comfortable around him.


If they indeed pair up and breed I would be very tempted to try to raise them.
 

blasterman

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Marine Bettaa are groupers, and being groupers they are predators. They ambush prey with their vivid camo and have larger mouths than most people think. I had a 6" specimen that would take food from my hand with some training and woulnd't bother my watchman goby. In retrospect, I was lucky.
 
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Marine Bettaa are groupers, ...
This is completely false. The Plesiopidae (Roundheads) are about as much (or even less) related to the Serranidae (Sea Basses & Groupers) as humans are to cats. Their closest relatives are Pseudochromidae (dottybacks), Grammatidae (basslets), Opistognathidae (jawfishes), and Blenniiformes ( "true blennies")

Capture.PNG

from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Percomorpha
based on Phylogenetic classification of bony fishes

As for Marine Bettas (Calloplesiops altivelis & argus) being predators, yes, but so are pretty much all the fish we keep, even presumably herbivore fishes. In my fairly vast experience with Marine Bettas, I found that they normally go only after shrimp and pods, not fish. I currently have 8 Calloplesiops altivelis and one C. argus and had around 10 more in the past, and not one of them would go after small fish or even accept frozen fish as food.

BTW, Anthias are in fact Serranidae and some of them like the Odontanthias actually live up to that and eat whatever fits into their mouth.
 

Treefer32

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I would love a mated female pair of Marine Betas in my 340 gallon system. I'm not looking to bread. (I've got 3 dramatic tangs, I don't know if they would let anyone have sex in my tank... They're drama queens.) One of the tangs is a black long nose tang known to be in deeper waters like marine betas. So, I think they'd get along well.

My question is how do I find a pair that won't kill each other. I've never seen an online fish store indicate a female marine beta. . . So, I'd have to get two and pray one changes... :(

Oooooorr.... Would you be open to shipping a pair? Or I'm open to suggestions!
 
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I would love a mated female pair of Marine Betas in my 340 gallon system. I'm not looking to bread. (I've got 3 dramatic tangs, I don't know if they would let anyone have sex in my tank... They're drama queens.) One of the tangs is a black long nose tang known to be in deeper waters like marine betas. So, I think they'd get along well.

My question is how do I find a pair that won't kill each other. I've never seen an online fish store indicate a female marine beta. . . So, I'd have to get two and pray one changes... :(

Oooooorr.... Would you be open to shipping a pair? Or I'm open to suggestions!
Easiest way to get a pair is to get 2 females - 2 that are below 4" total length. One needs to be about an inch smaller than the other. The larger one will become the male. You can also try one really large (5+") that likely is already a male and one well below 4" that should still be a female. Given the fact that large ones are hard to come by these days, the 2 female approach is most likely your best bet.
Also, be careful if you get "second hand" singles that have been for a few years alone in a reef tank. Those might have turned into males even if smaller than 4".
IMO, Tangs are miserable bullies. At a minimum they are very restless a fish and and will make the the Marine Bettas shy and hiding more. After I added a yellow tang to my reef tank the male Marine Betta in there was hardly coming out of hiding. After I kicked the tang out again - he was bullying my bicinctus and my regal angels and not doing his job of eating algae - the Marine Betta male comes out again.
The female was always out, but keeping in higher up corner of the reef structure where the tang rarely went.
I replaced that miserable tang with a pair of juvenile foxfaces who are doing a better job and are behaving very nice.
 

laverda

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Interesting you mention that. Recently my large (14” but gentle) sail-fin tang of 20 some years pasted away during an anemone spawning event. Ever since my 16 years in my care marine bats has been out and much more visible. Several people thought it was a new addition to my tank as they had never seen it before.
 
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My Yellow Tang was picking fights with everyone, especially with the Marine Betta male and the Regal Angel female (she herself is a bit of a trouble maker but lacks the weaponry to actually cause damage). The Tang tried for early on to claim the large main cave as his own which got him into conflict with the Marine Betta male and my Regal Angel pair. He also tried to bully the bicinctus but they knew how to fight back and had numbers on their side - and they have the scariest teeth of all fish in that tank. One day I caught the tang with a large Marine Betta scale stuck to one of his knives and the male had the matching hole at his cheek.
I had a similar experience in the past with a small clown tang. That one ultimately got killed by my ocellaris female in revenge for giving her a deep and lasting scar on her cheek.
For me this was it with tangs. There are better and more effective fish for algae control than these miserable always nervous trouble makers...
 

laverda

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I still have two other tangs in my tank. My sail fin was a gentle giant. When it did tussel with my yellow tank it always used the side where its scaple was missing.
I have been trying to find a mate for my marine betta. Now that my betta is out more I have gotten a half way decent photo of it.

20200905_132724.jpg 20200905_132711.jpg
 
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Pair #1 spawned again yesterday after taking a longer break. Let's see how it goes this time...
 

What's the first thing you do when you see algae forming in your tank?

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  • Pull it out

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  • Order more clean up crew

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