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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was just curious about something. Quite awhile ago I bought myself a beta fish - the first one I have had in years. I had him for a few weeks and noticed he seemed pretty bored. I hadn't had any since I was a kid and I usually had two or more that could see each other, they would "exercise" by flaring at each other and they all lived for three or more years.

Anyways, this guy seemed lonely so I decided to get an aquatic frog as a tank buddy for him. Within a week my beta had died. I thought it must have been something I did wrong, like over conditioning the water, so I got another one and tried again. He was also dead within a week. I noticed when removing him from the tank that his fins seemed to be nibbled at - I thought maybe the problem was that I was underfeeding them, and when the beta died my frog was desperately hungry. I bought another one, AND another tank (just in case), and tried again. I watched them interact for about fifteen minutes and immediately separated them - the frog was attacking the fish like crazy. He would chase the fish (Nova) all over and bite at him when he got close enough. Rather than fighting, Nova swam away as fast as he could - it was like he knew he wouldn't have a chance in a fight.

I ended up naming froggy Hannibal the Cannibal and he spent his days all alone in his own tank. Unfortunately, Hannibal died the other day. =(

Nova still seemed really lonely, he never flared or did much of anything. When Hannibal died I decided to try an experiment. My daughter has aquatic frogs in her tank with her goldfish and they all get along fine - I thought I would try introducing two of them to Nova's tank. Needless to say, they are all absolutely happy living together. They mainly ignore each other, although every once in awhile Nova swims up to one or the other of them, they freeze, Nova gives them the evil eye, and then they all swim their separate ways. I have noticed no real aggression from either the frogs or Nova.

I was just wondering if aquatic frogs being aggressive like that is normal. These are the first ones I have ever owned and, like I said, the ones in my daughter's tank are very docile. Could it be because I only had ONE living with the fish, or was Hannibal just a complete jerk?

Side-note: Today Liam and I got another beta (Lucifer [bright red and the most aggressive beta I have ever owned]) because, after Hannibal's passing, I had the extra tank. Lucy is most definitely going to spend his days BY HIMSELF, he flares up at Nova and the frogs constantly and their tanks are a good three feet apart. I was trying to figure out who would have won if in a fight: Lucy or Hannibal. I honestly can't decide. Not that I would have pitted them against each other, it was just something that came to mind.

Anyways, if anyone has any insight into the behavior of Aqua frogs, or any information on other fish that would make good tanks mates with Beta fish, let me know. =D



^^ One of the Aqua frogs from my daughter's tank, after I had moved him into the new set-up.




^^ Nova, my fan-tail. These are the best pictures I could get; his head (and eyes) are not nearly so ugly in real life.
I guess it isn't just people who can be very un-photogenic. Still, I love him.




^^ This is Lucy. He was seriously p*ssed at the camera, and myself, for being so close to the tank.
He wouldn't stay still to get a good shot of him. But I love his coloring and thought I would post these anyways.



^^The larger tank is home to Nova and the froggies (used to be Hannibal's tank).
The smaller one is where Lucy is living, which is where Nova was living up until today.
Normally, they are on separate sides of the mantle but I thought they needed some "exercise" time.
After about fifteen minutes I moved Lucy back to the other side of the mantle.
 

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First off, are you absolutely sure that the first frog was an African Dwarf Frog and not an African Clawed Frog? Stores confuse the two species all the time and the clawed frogs are more aggressive towards fish.

That being said, they can certainly show aggression towards fish, especially in smaller tanks. In a larger tank with multiple hiding spots and plants, the betta can simply swim away. In confined spaces, they get beaten up. It's not a common problem but it's one of the many reasons that the two shouldn't be mixed.

I don't think he would have killed the fish, though. Most likely your betta already had something else wrong or he died from unrelated causes. The tank on the right in the picture looks pretty tiny--it might have been too small to handle the bio-load of two animals. Was it cycled before adding the animals? The lethargy you described didn't sound like a "lonely" (remember, bettas are solitary animals) fish but it would describe a cold fish (bettas are tropical so keep an eye on the temperature) or a fish being poisoned (ammonia builds up quickly in small tanks, even with water changes).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
No, I can't be sure that he wasn't an African Clawed Frog. All of the frogs I got were living in the same tank at the pet store though, and Hannibal looked JUST like the frog in the picture above, if that helps you ID him.

Oh, and they weren't living in the small tank together, they were in the larger tank, but when I separated them I decided to let Hannibal have the bigger tank, since he was a lot more active than Nova.

I guess the ammonia idea is the most likely - they live on the mantel above our fireplace and while it by no means makes the water hot, their water is warmer than the goldfish tank in my daughter's room. The only thing that makes me think it might have been the frog killing them is that I had two die with Hannibal in the tank, and when I got Nova and moved him away from Hannibal he stayed alive and happy.

Nova and the two frogs I added yesterday are still getting along perfectly fine, so maybe they had mixed species at the pet store, or maybe I am just lucky this time. Not sure. I was just really curious about Hannibal's behavior, as I have NEVER heard of a little frog beating up a Siamese Fighting Fish.

Thanks for your reply!
 

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Beautiful Bettas. BTW, your "fan tail" is actually called a CT, or Crown Tail. :)
Do your tanks have filters/heaters? How often do you do water changes?
And I have heard of those same experinces with Bettas and ADFs. Some of them are just mean. Oh, and make sure you always have at least two (frogs not Bettas lol). :)
 

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Is it actually true that they will live longer if they are constantly with another betta by their tank? I thought it stressed them to no means bc they're incessantly mad at the other fish through the glass?? I never had 2 at a time so I don't know but I wouldn't wanna keep them always in view of each other. It's cool to see them flare every now and then. Correct me if I'm wrong.
 

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Is it actually true that they will live longer if they are constantly with another betta by their tank? I thought it stressed them to no means bc they're incessantly mad at the other fish through the glass?? I never had 2 at a time so I don't know but I wouldn't wanna keep them always in view of each other. It's cool to see them flare every now and then. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Occasional stimulation (whether from another betta, chasing live food, or even flaring at a random object) is considered good "exercise" for them. But living next to another betta constantly can be stressful so most people put up a divider (like a piece of paper) most of the time :).

You never want a betta to be flaring constantly, some can actually rip their fins that way (and I'm sure it's stressful for them either way).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Like I said, they spend about fifteen minutes a day doing that - the rest of the time they are on opposite sides of the mantel with a Kleenex box and picture frame in the middle. =P

P.S. Thank you Aluyasha. I think they're pretty gorgeous myself.. I didn't know he was called a Crown tail though - the pet store had a sign saying "fan tails" lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Haha no big! Liam wanted to keep them side by side, he thought it was fun watching them flare - he didn't get why they shouldn't be kept apart. Finally I was like "Look at them, one of them is going to have a heart attack soon." THAT got through to him and he stopped complaining when I moved the cages back haha.
 
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