I'm sure you're right. I'll get some peat and continue with the IAL. Plenty of Oak around, so I'll get some, too. I'll try to emulate the pictures I see of your set-up. Can't do much about the pH. It's already the lowest of all my tanks.
It's just confusing because he became shy over time. Was quite a personality when I first got him.
All my tanks are bare-bottom. I find it so easy to keep clean and to monitor feces, a task I think important in the keeping of animals....and kids. He has lots of Anubias and Java moss to hide in, plus two pots and a mossball.
I've thought of peat moss (especially as my water is so hard), also oak leaves and IAL. I do slip an IAL in there every once-in-a-while. He rewards me with a bubble nest, but it makes it harder to see for feeding, cleaning and monitoring. I'm going to give it a try, though. My sponge filtered tanks are difficult to keep the pH down in. They might benefit, also. He's not in those; his tank reads 7.4pH.
It's not that he's still shy, it's that he became shy over a period of weeks after a month of behaving like a normal, personable Betta---jumping for food, flaring and hanging out. I thought of taking out all his plants and his filter...just leave him a heater to hide behind. But that sounds stressful for him.
Yes, I still have the invisible smarigdina. Little is more frustrating than keeping the most beautiful (pet) fish I've ever seen in real life, and rarely see it...and never colored up. And now he's probably too old to breed, so I'm not sure anyone else would want him.
Maybe something in a Unimaculata complex. I want a water-puppy.
My two favorite splendens sites have been dead for years and one of them is off to the public Internet, the one you pulled for me lol. Even though I am not currently keeping them I do love reading about wilds. In the first pic under "my fish room" on your site, what was in that really long tank? What would you say is the easiest wild to keep?
I have a feeling that I will set up one dedicated wild tank (albimarginata if I can get them, I think) and that that might be the start of a new addiction... Splendens are absolutely stunning fish if bred and cared for correctly but they definatly have their flaws that wilds may not have.
Ah ok. I really like the look of both of them. Im a long ways away from getting any wilds, but you know... My 29 gallon is going to be empty fairly soon... Lol. I'm obviously going to do a lot more research but it sounds like Betta albimarginata would be the way to go, especially because I have harder water. Thanks!