Why Does Betta Fish Flare? What Causes It
Why do Betta fish flare?
For many years, people were scratching their heads and wondering the same thing.
Why do Betta fish flare and why do they bother me?
- One reason is that the other fish get bullied by the dominant fish in the tank.
- Sometimes, they feel threatened.
- In order to compete, the other fish may try to take over.
- This may cause the other fish to bite, scratch, or attack the Betta fish in order to get some kind of revenge.
- Another reason why fish can become aggressive is that the tank owners leave the water very warm.
- While this is a natural phenomenon, overheating the water can cause the fish to become overly aggressive.
If you want to prevent your Betta fish from being overly aggressive, then make sure the water in the tank is always kept at a certain temperature.
Many people use the aquarium thermometer to monitor the temperature of the water.
Just remember, as much as possible, do not overheat the water. You will do them more harm than good.
Bettas mostly flare because something in their territory poses a threat.
However, they rarely simply swim up out of the water or reverse direction because they know what to do to avoid it.
Here’s the real reason that you should understand why Bettas mostly flare – it’s because their defense mechanism is to move backwards in order to escape from whatever action or stimulus is causing them to flare up.
They know that if they are moving backwards when a stimulus triggers them to do so, they will not be attracting attention to themselves or attracting predators to their location.
- The predatory view is that if the prey moves while the predator is chasing it, the prey will be safe and the predator will not pursue it.
- Therefore, the predator must make sure that it does not hit the prey when it moves.
- So the predator wants to make sure that the prey will be moving backwards.
The way a fish’s sensitive neurological system works is by checking the electrical activity of its brain.
When the signal from the nervous system reaches the brain, the nervous system stops translating the signal into movement.
It also stops translating any non-moving body parts, such as fins and tails, into a warning sign of danger.
The result is that the fish flickers between upright and swimming with its fins still out.
This means that the benefit is that when the prey moves, the reflex action that the body must take is to flare up and move backwards.
If the prey were moving, the Bettas’ reflexive movement would continue and they would come closer to the prey.
This is what happens if the prey moves.
Bettas who know that the prey is moving will move into position to avoid being hit.
Likewise, the prey should move back away from the predator in order to maximize its chances of avoiding danger.
In some cases, however, a natural instinct to move back is overridden by the fish’s alertness.
When this happens, Bettas can swim backwards even though the prey is still moving.
This occurs when there is either an unexpected obstacle or a change in the prey’s environment.
These two situations are the two conditions that will typically cause a Bettas to move backwards to avoid being struck by the predatory fish.
You’ll need to learn how to spot the change in the habitat and environment that might make a Bettas move backwards and what you need to do when the prey moves again.
Flaring Are An Act Of Dominance And Is Meant To Show Dominance
It’s time to understand that flaring is an act of intimidation and is meant to show dominance.
I’m sure you have seen the subtle, cool flare used in professional wrestling and mixed martial arts.
It has to be the most effective and the easiest way to control an opponent or a situation.
- The main purpose of the flare is to show dominance, submission, and the need for submission.
- Another benefit of flaring is it can be employed in all areas of fighting.
- Whether you are in street fights, street brawls, or even mixed martial arts fights; flaring is an important tool in controlling the situation.
In order to effectively and efficiently apply the flare, you must understand the purpose:
- In many situations, the betta fish need to establish its dominance by dominating the area.
- Flaring is a way to quickly gain control and dominance.
How Two Male Bettas Flares Up
Scientists at Florida State University have studied how two male bettas see one another, they flare-up. It is a way of making them fight harder, so that each can dominate the other.
The scientists looked at two male bettas in a tank on a tank with two tunnels, like a fishbowl.
The scientists had put the two bettas together because they wanted to know how their levels of aggressiveness differed.
One of the two male bettas would flare-up and attack the other.
- In other words, if the second one fought back, the first one would flare-up.
- The researchers found that if both males fought each other, they started getting closer together.
- They also became more aggressive.
- Their forms of fights became more violent.
- One did not flare-up if the other did not flare-up.
- When two male bettas fought each other, they would close their mouths as they looked at one another. This was a way of making them see each other.
Since both of these males were being given the same tank, the scientists found that their aggression and their forms of fighting grew together.
This meant that the one that flared-up was also becoming more aggressive as well.
Researchers also tested the way that two male bettas would flare-up and then they did not.
The former flared up when the latter did not.
Of course, other factors come into play when male bettas get to be more aggressive than their wild counterparts.
- That is not to say that you should ignore that aggression, because some of the more vicious and violent females are born, too.
- However, the research makes it clear that there is a genetic component to this violence and it does not happen spontaneously.
- The two male bettas in the study were able to learn about each other from each other’s flare-ups.
- They were able to tell when they had done something wrong.
Aggressive Bettas – What is Going on?
Aggressive bettas will nip and bite at other fish in the tank.
It is not uncommon for them to be very aggressive towards other Bettas, even the male ones who are usually rather mild-mannered.
What makes them aggressive is how they respond to changes in water quality.
If you are going to put a new fish into your tank, it is wise to set up the aquarium so that the new fish are in a higher position than the previous ones.
Because aggressive bettas love to have the higher ground, this will help them maintain a more stable, relaxed environment.
While you are watching the tank mates, it would be best to add a top to your tank that covers the entire surface.
Most of the aggressive beats don’t even notice that the cover is there.
If you can afford to buy a good transparent cover that is not easy to remove from the tank, then I recommend it.
Aggressive bettas like to be in charge of things.
For example, the aggressiveness is betta fish natural behavior especially in the wild where they need to hunt every day in order to survive.
They try to ensure they are the “boss” of the tank because they feel they are the fittest and in charge.
Keep your water quality as stable as possible.
- If you are putting some new fish into the tank, they will get stressed out means they are agitated.
- This will trigger the aggressive behavior.
A great way to get rid of aggressive bettas is to place a net underneath the tank. Bettas will jump for that net.
Learning more about aggressive bettas and how to handle them is important if you want to keep them in a tank that is happy and healthy.
When Stress Hormones Are Too Much
When it comes to making sure that your Betta fish has healthy gills, the first thing you need to remember is that they are not a static organ.
Your Betta fish will constantly develop new gill plates in its mouth in order to provide it with better support and protection. That’s why you must give your Betta fish enough room in its mouth for new gill plates to develop.
If you have two fish feeding next to each other, their gills may touch each other because of their relative sizes.
As they eat, they create a mass of air bubbles along the sides of their gills.
These bubbles are necessary for the Betta fish to breathe underwater.
The bubble can be easily destroyed by being bumped into by the other fish’s gills, and this triggers the release of a large amount of stress hormones from your Betta fish.
The release of stress hormones isn’t the only way in which a crowded environment can cause stress in your Betta fish.
The presence of other fish can also cause your Betta fish to respond to another fish’s presence by chasing it around the tank.
This behavior isn’t out of any kind of aggression. It simply comes from being so worried about being left out of the fight.
The way to make sure that your Betta fish’s gills are properly supported is to leave enough room between them and the rest of the aquarium equipment.
You should also avoid crowding your Betta fish too tightly.
Because of the way that it breathes, the Betta fish is going to sweat excessively in the process of fighting.
This will cause your Betta fish to lose valuable body heat, and it will also make it extremely uncomfortable to live in the aquarium.
Betta fish have some natural tendencies that will help them reduce stress, but these aren’t always the best option.
For example, if you keep another male Betta fish with a female in the same tank, it might be best to limit the size of the aquarium.
The reason is that a male Betta is going to have a harder time finding a place to attach itself to, because of the strict confines of a tight enclosure.
If the male Betta is stressed, it is not going to take well to being confined in such a small space.
There are two ways to resolve this problem.
- You must make sure that you do not overcrowd the tank as well.
- Betta fish are much happier and healthier when they are living in a well-planted aquarium.
A well-run aquarium does not need to offer a stressful atmosphere for your Betta fish.
If you follow the tips above, you will find that the tank is a more relaxing place for the fish to live in.
Breeding Is A Stressful Time For Betta Fish
You may not know this, but breeding is a very stressful time for bettas.
Breeding an adult betta means beating it in the hopes of having the next born to inherit your fish.
Young bettas usually have too many defenses built up to face these things, so they usually calm down and go back to what they were doing.
It’s not only the stress that are stressful for bettas, but their social habits, too.
Breeding takes a lot of care, and they can also expect to spend more time with each other as well.
Breeding is a very stressful time for bettas but flaring up can be completely acceptable.
That said, bettas aren’t the same as other species, and there are certain things you can do that will help.
Stress is a good thing, but it shouldn’t be something that’s offered as a reward.
Breeding is a natural part of the life cycle of a betta, and when the first two bettas hatch, both parents are stressed out and are ready to go to war with one another to produce the next.
The odds are against the eggs, so there’s really no reason to cause stress on the parents.
While you shouldn’t get the betta too stressed, or else it won’t be in the best condition to produce healthy offspring.
Bettas in the Wild Tend to Hide Instead of Flaring Up at One Another
Bettas in the wild tend to hide instead of flaring up at one another. Why?
Well, one reason is that they’re confused.
They are not sure of themselves.
They have no idea who’s who and they just do not know which fish to attack.
Thus, they stay away from each other for a few moments.
Another reason why they don’t just open up and go at one another is because they tend to flare up more when they have to be aggressive in the water.
If you watch a bet, you will notice that they typically jump, wave, and squirt a bit at one another.
If they flare up too much, they tend to lose their cool.
This type of “combat” can last for an extremely long time in the water, but it usually ends after only a few minutes and the loser tends to flounder and take it easy for a while until they learn to control the natural aggression that comes with being in a larger body of water.
Unfortunately, most people don’t realize this and thus end up flaring up and fighting for a few seconds, instead of using a more “respectful” method of hunting.
And of course, the result is a frustrating and dangerous situation.
Just remember, if you want to bring your betta home, get him used to keeping a distance from one another in the beginning.
Why Is My Betta Flaring His Gills’ at Me? Advice on What You Can Do
For many bettas this behavior is either caused by the amount of stress that they are under or they are unable to find a safe haven.
Regardless of the cause, most bettas exhibit a few traits in response to this behavior.
Some of these include excessive aggression, even attacking anything that gets in their way, as well as biting things that happen to be in their way.
How Stressful Is Too Much Flaring For Your Betta?
Too much of the right type of food can be harmful to your Betta fish, in fact that is quite true when it comes to humans too.
So, how can you get your Betta tank to be flaring is very stressful for your Betta?
Well, that is a good question.
This is so because if you are not careful it can cause a big problem for you.
The reason behind this is because you would not know what was happening inside your tank, but once you see flaring it would be obvious and you would start worrying.
That is why, most owners tend to take this problem lightly.
It should be noted though that it is not your fault, as the truth is flaring is very stressful for your Betta, and there is nothing you can do about this.
As the result of overfeeding your Betta, he will be able to eat more in one feeding than you do in one day.
He will do this just to be able to cope with his stomach, which would result in flaring and overfeeding.
This will then result in problems with digestion of his stomach and you would have a big problem.
You have to realize though that flaring is very stressful for your Betta, and it is you who has to make it better.
Remember that while it may seem like you are enjoying yourself, if this is not the case, it is you who would have to face the consequences, and that is one of the reasons why you need to be careful with your food.
You also need to make sure that your Betta is also getting the right kind of food and the right amount.
Also, the water should be changed on a regular basis as well as the tank. There are many things you can do to ensure your Betta is healthy.
Flaring is actually a part of the natural behavior of a Betta Fish
As a betta fish owner, you must know that there are two different strategies when it comes to caring for your betta, better filtration and keeping bettas.
You must also know how to adjust your betta’s diet to help keep his or her internal system balanced.
One of the most important aspects of betta care is how well your betta has been flaring.
Flaring is not just a bad thing, but it actually is part of the betta’s system.
You must also consider the amount of food that you want to feed your fish. This will prevent you from overfeeding the fish.
If you notice that your betta seems to be running around a lot more than usual, then you may want to check its body temperature.
The temperature of the betta’s body must be monitored regularly to ensure that it is all set for the day. Keep in mind that the betta has three ways to get the proper temperature of its body.
- This is by using its body to shake the water off, beating its head on the bottom of the tank, and using its vent to warm up the water.
- When a betta is enjoying flaring, then he/she is enjoying the water that is being flaunted on top of the betta’s body.
- If you notice that your betta is flaring excessively, then you must make sure that you give it a good call to calm down and take a break.
- This means that you need to monitor your betta’s behavior to ensure that it does not go overboard and overflowing its flushing system.
Although there are some benefits of flaring, you must also know that there are a few drawbacks to this activity.
Remember that if you want to keep your betta healthy, then you must not only pay attention to what the betta is doing, but you must also make sure that you take into consideration how much the bet is flaring.
My Betta Flaring at Reflection in Tank
My Betta Fish thinks its another fish. It just stares blankly out of the tank with that “I don’t know what to do” look on its face.
Do you know what this is? Is your Betta thinking your best thinks it’s another fish?
In most cases when a betta thinks it’s another fish its going to bite.
I’ve seen better pick on other better, it doesn’t have to be this way. ish?
When you see your Betta staring blankly out of the tank with that look on its face, don’t worry.
It probably just wants to get some peace and quiet.
However, if your Betta doesn’t seem happy then you’ll need to help it.
Now in the wild, bettas will eat only fish that are in the same tank as them.
If your Betta has already eaten its share of other fish, it probably needs to be fed more than just the fish it’s eating now.
Try putting it into a smaller tank with a little food in it.
One thing you should remember when you try to feed your Betta this way is to make sure the fish he’s feeding on are still moving around a little.
Why Some Bettas Flare When They Get Excited
Some bettas can easily become quite aggressive when they get excited.
In other words, they have the potential to cause more harm than good to your pet.
However, there are a few simple things you can do to help keep your betta in a more relaxed state of mind.
Also, you should keep your tank clean and remove any substrate that may not be clean.
Remember, Bettas are voracious eaters.
They love to eat as well, and eating food left out all the time can make them feel threatened. It’s important to ensure the tank has a decent filtration system and some areas of water that are not too dirty so is less likely to become stressed.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to place a few small rocks on your tank to help your betta feel less threatened.
This is especially true if your betta spends a lot of time hanging out near the bottom of the tank.
Always remember to pay attention to your betta fish. Always try to keep him occupied and happy. And always remember that a little bit of harmless fun is definitely going to help him be more sociable, too!
Aggressive Betta? Keep Your Betta With Tank Mates That Are Not Intended For Betta Breeding
Aggressive bettas are difficult to keep with tank mates, but not impossible.
Bettas are territorial by nature and will defend their space fiercely if left alone in captivity.
There are several tips you can use to help you maintain a peaceful relationship with your captive betta in the tank with your other fish.
First, keep your betta alone in the tank with tank mates that have already bonded with each other.
This might seem counter-intuitive since male bettas will generally be aggressive towards each other, but not always.
Sometimes the male will just want to get into the female’s territory to kill her.
Other times the male will simply harass the female so that she stops mate guarding.
It really is best to do this when you see that your betta is off his usual aggressive behavior or whenever you’re expecting a male betta.
Usually, bettas will be off their normal aggression level when they’re alone, so you should be able to catch some clues about this by watching him.
You can try having tank mates that he’ll be more aggressive towards.
In fact, that’s one way that people do it. These are tank mates that are not in the same tank as the best, but which are on their side. These are usually pelagic, meaning that they belong to the same category as the best.
When you bring these bettas in, make sure that you have lots of space between them.
Bettas are extremely territorial and a good part of keeping a male betta is teaching the male about his mate’s territory.
Remember that even though bettas are relatively easy fish to care for, keeping them with tank mates that are at odds with each other can be difficult.