Q: My betta's housed with 2 African dwarf frogs for 6 months with no problem.  Feed dried blood worm & brine shrimp.  He's beaching himself on a lily pad.  What should I do? 

Question submitted by Sue, Telford - PA

A: I am not sure what you mean by "beaching himself on a lily pad", but I am going to go out on a limb here and say that he is swimming to your lily, and laying on top of the leave, halfway out of water. Am I correct?

This "beaching" of the betta is not unfamiliar to me. Bettas like to lay on all kinds of stuff, to lounge. I have seen bettas snoozing on top of a plant, say across its branches, or on a leave towards the surface. I have seen my bettas swim towards the intake of my power filter and "coast" it so that they would be sucked against the plastic mesh and they stay there "glued" to the intake for long periods of time. The first time I placed such a filter in my grow out tanks, and saw the bettas stuck against the intake tube, I panicked. I thought the flow was too powerful and that they were there against they will. I proceeded to stop the filter and they all swam away. Only to be back there a few minutes later (??). Understand they were in a 60 gal tank and had the WHOLE tank to swim in. Still they would swim up to the nozzle and enjoy a moment of rest while using the suction as a way to be positioned against the intake. While there, they would watch other bettas swim by and do, well... nothing. After a while I figured out that they enjoyed this. They PURPOSELY did that so to not have to swim. Are bettas lazy? I guess the intake for them was the equivalent of the couch for us (couch potatoes can say Amen LOL). 

So as you see, bettas do all kinds of puzzling things to find a quiet place to just lounge and relax. If you look closely you might even be able to see a margarita in their fin LOL. 

I too, once saw a betta "beach" itself on a ledge that was now almost above water surface (because of water evaporation). Scared the heck out of me because I thought he had died up there. But not at all, he was just enjoying a moment of rest. 

Remember that bettas can beach themselves because they can breath the air directly and do not need to be entirely submerged in water to breath and to live. For as long as their bodies are kept wet, they will be OK.

Now to answer your question: I do not believe your betta is beaching himself because there is a problem (food problem or frog problem). However I must warn you that if the lily pad is too large, and your betta was to get on top of it and get too far inside and not able to get off of it, he could be in trouble. If some water stay on the surface of the lily (which often happens), it may be OK because he will be wet and if stuck there you can then get him off of it. But if leave has dry areas, then it could be dangerous. So your best bet would be to remove the lily and provide him with a plant that has large leaves (submerged) where he could lounge. 

Well, I hope I did understand your question correctly and that this has helped you. Goodluck!