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Author Topic: A Betta query  (Read 5919 times)
lightordark
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« on: January 22, 2008, 12:42:19 PM »

Ok, so my mom has a lovely pink betta in this HUGE flower vase set up. It holds about 2.5 gallons, and the roots of the plant are kept quite trim so that the little monster has much swimming room. She feeds him blood worms and some other betta food that she got at a LFS, and he seems quite happy. His fins have grown since he came here, and his pink fins have brightened up quite a bit. The thing is, we're a little worried about him. He's always been rather sedate and calm, swimming around his tank and begging for food and such, but now, every time anyone walks by his bowl, he rockets around and around the top of the water, his head half poking out, then dives down to the bottom and actually disturbs the marbles. She keeps him on those oval marbles, in an off white that quite suits him.

Anyway. Does anyone have any answers as to why he might be doing this? He's been in the same place since we got him and she's obsessive about changing his water as soon as the mess starts to build up in the bottom, and he appears healthy, no discolored patches, no ick, no velvet, no fin rot, but his behavior worries us. Is he ok? Thanks for the help in advance Smiley
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Kim
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2008, 12:48:47 PM »

he's restless, he wants more room to swim.

Look into a small "kit" aquarium. 2.5 gallons would be better then the vase, a 5 gallon would be even better. They don't take up much room and many come with all the accessories. 

you'll be surprised how much more fun he'll be when he's free to swim around and explore, betta's are very inquisitive fish.
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Kim
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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2008, 01:12:33 PM »

hi again
I just re-read your post a little more carefully.  I see that you're thinking the vase holds about 2.5 gallons, which is a nice big vase. But perhaps he still could use a little more space and something to do, plants and caves and such will allow him to live more naturally then in a vase. 

Fish will sometimes dart around violently if a toxin has entered the tank or if they have parasites but since you say he just does it when you come around I'm still going to guess that he's just restless.  Is he a young betta?  Usually when they get "bored" an older betta will get droopy and sit around staring at nothing. Young betta's are far more likley to be hyper and even jump out of their container.

It is rather odd behavior though, if you're sure he's not sick then I would just go with a small regular aquarium. Mom can still have the marbles and make it pretty and he can have some plants and caves or decorations to investigate.
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gomezaddams
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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2008, 02:13:59 PM »

Is there less "traffic" in his area than there used to be?Sometimes fish get used to the amount of movement outside their tank.If less people have been in the immediate area lately,when you do show up,he gets startled.In either case a l.ittle structure in the tank like Kim said would help him feel more secure
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lightordark
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2008, 02:53:33 PM »

I don't think he's very old, no, as he was fairly small when we got him. He has grown quite a bit since then. The traffic in the area is pretty consistent, seeing as he's in the living room, where the family spends most of our time, so there's always people walking by him. It's just been in the last couple days that he's been racing like this. The roots of his plant were a little longer than they usually get before she changed the water a few days ago, but she trimmed them when she changed the water so he's back up to his accustomed amount of space. I didn't realize that she'd just trimmed the roots. Could it be that he's just celebrating his renewed space?

I've checked him over quite as thoroughly as I can, and I really see no sign of external parasites, but I know there could be internal ones as well, but he just seems so healthy. He is eating with as much enthusiasm as he always has, and we're still very careful to only give him a few (3 or 4) pellets every morning, or 2 medium segments of the dried blood worms.

I rechecked with mom, and the vase does hold 2.5 gallons, even with the gap at the top for air. The plant doesn't stopper the air, as the plastic tray holding it is vented, so that's no an issue. I will talk to her about maybe purchasing some little caves maybe for his vase, or even a 3 gallon or 5 gallon mini tank. Thanks for the advice.
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Bibo
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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2008, 05:21:54 PM »

maybe he's actually quite happy, and just having fun spashing around lol
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James From Cali
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« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2008, 05:34:24 PM »

Maybe adding some ferns for him(Java Fern or Bolbitis). The more areas he has to explore the better. Try feeding the blood worms on the weekend only and he would be more excited for them. They dont get tasty treats in the wild every day.
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kcgirl81
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« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2008, 12:34:22 PM »

Just a quick question...how often is the water changed?
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lightordark
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« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2008, 03:39:06 PM »

At least twice a week. Like I said, we're very careful about over feeding, and she wants him to have good water, so she changes him every 3 or 4 days. He seems to be settling down a bit now. He's still swimming quickly when someone walks by, but not ramming down into the rocks or anything. I think he was just getting used to having more space again.
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kcgirl81
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« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2008, 03:52:00 PM »

Interesting. It almost sounded like a toxin in the water, such as forgetting to add dechlorinator. Or sap from the cut roots getting in the water? Something the fish wasn't used to.
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lightordark
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« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2008, 09:34:15 PM »

Actually, she won't use a dechlorinator. She buys spring water from the pet store, because she doesn't like using chemicals on her fish. I use a dechlorinator all the time, so I know how to measure it and what not, but she'd rather keep using the store water. It's rather cheap, so it's no big deal.

As far as the roots or anything, it's the same plant he's always lived with, and she always does the same thing when the roots get out of hand: She clips them, and lets it sit in spring water for 30 minutes before she puts it back in the tank, so it finishes seeping. He's never done it before.

Tonight after it got dark and we turned on the lights, he's back to rocketing around again, and I've just noticed that there is the very beginning of a bubble nest in his water.. It's odd. I thought they wouldn't build nests unless they were comfortable?
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Smyles
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« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2008, 10:18:07 AM »

Hi, I'm new to the forum.  I actually moved my betta (Charlie) to a 16 gallon tank yesterday.  He loves to move around just like you describe.  There is probably not anything wrong with him, as I would probably notice my betta's action more if he were in a smaller tank.  As another person said, he would probably love some plants.  My betta likes to swim through them and even rest on them. fish16
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kcgirl81
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« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2008, 12:55:57 PM »

Maybe he IS comfortable--he could just be feeling spunky. Wink A bubble nest is a good sign.
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Life isn't about how to survive the storm; it's about how to dance in the rain.
dianafaye
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« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2008, 06:12:48 PM »

Just wanted to add something here, since I haven't seen it mentioned yet-

Bettas are tropical fish, so they need warmer temperatures.. like 75*-80*. It would be much easier to make sure he's got the right temp if you had a small 5 gal tank that allows you to have a filter and a heater. I believe that not keeping fish in appropriate temps affects their digestive system.
It sounds like your mom really has the best of intentions for her betta, but you should mention this to her and try to get her to consider getting him a tank. He'll enjoy the space, filtration and a source of heat would be great, and you'd be able to get him a few buddies, maybe some shrimp or dwarf frog.
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lightordark
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« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2008, 11:31:47 PM »

Thank you all for the very helpful advice. Sadly, Pink died. He did seem to be doing so much better, not quite so erratic, and we'd kind of quit wondering about him, since he'd built the nest and was still eating fine. The day before she went to change the water again, though, we found him dead. We have since relegated the vase to just a vase with some decorative beads and things in it, and my mom wanted another betta so we purchased a 5 gallon tank.

As far as the temperature parameters on the old tank, we actually had a small under-tank heater that we'd used for baby lizards before. It went on the bottom of the tank, and we had a thermometer. He was usually around 76 degrees. We'd checked to make sure it was still working first thing. I know the temp was on the cool side, but it wasn't unheated.

She wants to keep her fish in the living room, so we stuck with the small 5 gallon with one live plant and 2 decorative. He's still got plenty of room to swim, and enjoys exploring his surroundings. She's still careful about his water, but with the small filter that came with the tank, we're doing well. Thanks to everyone for their advice.
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Wheels on the Bus
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« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2008, 10:27:03 AM »

Light, do you know if your tap water has chlorine or chloramine? If it's chlorine, your mother can just set the "new" water out the night before, and the chlorine will dissipate naturally. She won't have to buy spring water anymore.
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