So I’m starting to think one of my “female” bettas is actually a plakat male. S/he is extremely aggressive, and has a really beautiful flare; side-on with the full “shimmy” and everything. Unfortunately, s/he’s in the sorority tank which… yeah. Oops.
S/he’s also visible to the crowntail male, even though they’re physically separated. The crowntail’s fins just melted about a month ago, and I haven’t been able to recover them. I think perhaps the stress of constantly being flared at by the (faster) red maybe-male is causing him to fin bite. So last night I put up some opaque dividers so he has a place to hide, at least until I can implement a more long-term solution.
I also set up a temporary isolation tank for the maybe-male. Now I just have to actually catch him/her, because boy is s/he fast, and damn there are a lot of plants and rocks for him/her to hide under. If I can’t catch her tonight, I might need to buy a bigger hose and try the siphon trick.
Moral of the story: betta are amazing fish but holy hell don’t buy more than one.