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Bettas and heavily planted tanks

Hello Folks:
     I kept a number of male bettas and females in my heavily planted tank,
a 30 gal tall.  To keep them from battling too much I had to provide
adaquate floating plants to break up the surface area because this is the
preferred layer at which bettas dwell.  This worked well.  But it is not
only important to have lots of vegetation for the bettas for hiding, there
should also be an equal number of females.  This gave the males all the joy
of staking out territories and stalking one another.  I had occassional torn
fins but at least the gentler males could find shelter while the more
aggressive ones would get lost in the plants and be distracted by the
presence of the females.  I had 6 males and 8 to 10 females in my tank. 
Remember that in the wild they exist together and manage to perpetuate the
species.  That is what gave me the idea to try numerous bettas in one tank
that is heavily planted.  Also there needs to be other species of fish to
add distraction and run interference in the prowlings of the male bettas.
Providing tiny insects that would skip around on the floating plants was
another way of giving the bettas an outlet for their stalking abilities. 
They seem to like the hunt and the fresh food when they caught it.  My
bettas were more active in a planted tank.  Unlike those poor bored
specimens that begin to look half dead in the tiny bottles of the fish
     Good luck and enjoy the beauty and diverse behaviors of your bettas. 
There is more to them than just fighting.  And they are more beautiful as
they swim and play in the lush vegetation of a well planted tank.

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