My betta is still incredibly shy! Any tips? - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 01:24 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: BC Canada
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My betta is still incredibly shy! Any tips?

Hi All
My new betta, coro, that I got yesterday is still incredibly shy. I can't get him to come out. Instead he slinks along the bottom when I'm around and tries to hide between the plants , under the filter intake..etc. He even went so far as to burrow under the rocks. I thought they were too big and dangerous so I removed them. He sure behaves different than any betta I have ever had.

If I catch him swimming around a bit when I am out of the room, I come in and if he even so much as hears me he darts so fast I think he hits his head which is not good and then he hides in his castle. all I can see are the tips of his fins. We have no way of getting aquainted! I did trick him into eating earlier when he was up in the back corner I threw a couple pellets in from the back and he ate them.

I know it hasn't been much time but I have never seen one this shy. He just will not come out, hardly even wants to peek out... nothing!! Doesn't even swim around at the top looking for food (although I thought I saw him foraging)

any tips?? this is a shy guy!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 02:33 AM
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cover his tank with a dark towel or shirt. i had a female CT who was so easily stressed. she'd swim about with her stripes all the time, unless i covered her tank. the tiniest thing would stress her out. after covering three sides of her tank, she got more confidant, and swam about proudly with her full color(which was black with red and blue on the fins, with a green shine).
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 03:53 AM
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When I feed, I alwys sit down and wait and watch, my guys always warm up pretty quick, though with sick/injured newbies I keep contact min. and like Luimeril said.... I cover them in a black shirt o towel to keep stress to min.
Some bettas take longer to warm up.... just be patient! :)

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 08:02 AM
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2 days is not long enough. Just think, he was in a store in a cup where everyone could pick up the cup and gawk in at him. He's probably been a bit traumatized. Now that he has somewhere to hide, just give him time. I like the idea about covering the tank with a sheet. He will feel more confident over time. Try feeding him frozen bloodworms or something, that would get him excited!

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 08:17 AM
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Amerigo, my new betta, was like that at first. He was incredibly shy and would dart away when I came near him. Eventually, he just got used to me since I would sit at my desk all the time.
Like the last two posts said, it just takes time for him to get used to it. Just be patient and soon, you'll see his personality come out. :)

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone! I have some hope! I did try the towel technique but then I realized that I am not near the tank that often because it's on my kitchen counter, so I need him to see me and know I am not a threat. So I have put a tunnel for him in the middle where he can hide but still look at me. I'm hoping that he will see I am OK.

I figured he would have had alot of attention at the pet shop. I am surprised that he was so worried. It's a big petstore but he was in a darker area, I think he gets alot of activity when I am sleeping or not at home. I have a light that stays on at night so he can still see in the dark a bit.

Can fish see in the dark?
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-13-2011, 04:19 PM
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:0 I don't think you have much to worry about. With the lights off I'm sure they're pretty blind (I don't know for sure but Lakitu doesn't respond much in the dark). Overnight betta's rest. My fish is in the kitchen window and has been since November 1 (when we moved) so he gets the natural duration of light then the artificial light of our kitchen until bedtime.. So between then and when the sun comes up he gets plenty of rest :)

Leaving a light on is not necessary, though it's cute for your concern :)

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-13-2011, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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Laki thanks for the info. I guess he can't see in the dark. I have a nightlight in the kitchen so I keep that on all the time. He's gotten a little better since I took the background away. He makes me laugh though, when he sees me he freezes and slowly slinks into his tunnel. He thinks I can't see him. haha!
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-13-2011, 05:52 PM
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I own several wild species of bettas and those are the shyest fish I have ever met. It took a pair of mine six or so months before they were comfortable enough to spend time out of hiding.

The best method I've found at getting shy fish comfortable with your presence, is to hand-feed them with tweezers. I use live or frozen food, and generally the movement, is enough to tempt most of them out. For a domesticated splenden such as yours who is accustomed to human contact, it should only a take a couple of days before he starts to associate that good things happen when you're around.

I usually spend a lot of time bustling around and ignoring new fish. My wilds always freak out whenever they see my big head gawking at them for the first time

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2011
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Thanks little betta! He must have a lot of wild in him
I think he is improving slowly though, He came out of his tunnel slightly when I was cleaning. I think the betta curiosity got the best of him!

He is also swimming around more but as long as I am not walking around. As soon as he sees me he goes in the tunnel. I will wait a little longer before I decide to add his cave back in. I want to be sure he has a chance to see me that I am not going to hurt him.

His color has gotten alot better as well as he seems to like the different background on the tank.I had a black background with rocks etc. There was an ugly water colored one on the back of it which I tried today and he seems to really like it. Well I guess it's his house not mine, so he can decorate as he chooses haha
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