Delicate Balance is an interactive robotic work designed to allow a fish to determine the direction that it moves along a wire, so it can explore it's environment beyond the limits of the tank. Bettas have excellent sight giving them the ability to see far outside the tank.
I wanted to give this Betta Splendons (Siamese fighting fish) the ability to virtually leave the tank by moving it. The water is heated to the natural comfort level of the fish, a tropical 78-80 degrees Fahrenheit. The fish determines the direction by crossing a break - beam which activates the motor to move the tank in the direction which the fish looks to the outside world.
Betta fish body language
Bettas are found in Thailand and the Malay peninsula, and are called by the Thailanders "pla kat," for biting or tearing fish. Siamese fighting fish are particularly aggressive in the presence of other male Bettas. When they observe another Betta they flare their gills, and swim aggressively presumably to appear much larger. When you hold a compact up to the glass you can observe the Bettas competing with their own image. It is common for male Bettas in the same tank to fight to the death, which fight organizers have been exploiting for many years in Thailand. They are top breathers which means they have to come up for air, allowing oxygen to come into direct contact with their blood. Betta fish are not harmed by being kept in small containers, as they often thrive in stagnant, oxygen deficient environments. Male Bettas which are ready to spawn build extensive bubble nests which they use to attract females. Females that are acceptable to males allow the males to bite them on the flanks. When they spawn the female Betta is suspended trance like upside down and the male wraps his body in a U shape around the female. By exerting pressure the eggs are dispelled and fall to the bottom. The males gently retrieve the eggs in their mouth and swim to the surface spitting them into the bubble nest. This can continue for up to two hours with 60-70 embraces and over 600 eggs produced
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