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Old 06-22-2012, 07:37 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Question My betta puffs up when...

I've noticed that 75% of the time when my little guy Hewie randomly puffs up and starts swimming around like a spaz, he goes potty. Is this normal? Is that his way of "pushing"? Lol He is not constipated because he does go and you see it sinking to the bottom. I feed him about 5 - 7 pellets a day, depending on the day, and he is fasted on Sundays. He is in a 1 gallon Tetra tank, on my desk at work. I know he would probably thrive in a bigger home, but I can't put a tank much bigger in my cubicle. He actually loves his home. He is so happy every morning when he see's me. He has fake plants that he rests on and swims through; a little ring (old glow bracelet I used a few months ago) that he loves pushing around and swimming through; and a castle that he swims through, sleeps in the window, and swims around. I do weekly water changes and also add just a tad aquarium salt. He was sick when I first got him, and just continued to get worse. I had him in a 1 gallon, hexagon shaped tank, and he just looked so depressed. Once I put him in his new Tetra home, he instantly got better and spunked up. He started to make bubble nests all the time, and he even jumps out of water to eat food from my finger! If I try to arrange anything in his tank, he right away swims to my hand and bites it. He is such a pig! If I don't feed him within an hour of getting in the office and sitting down, he starts to jump where the feeding hole is! I had to put a piece of paper there so he would stop. I was scared that he would jump high enough to actually jump out! ANYHOW... Back to my concern.... Is it normal for him to puff up when he has to go to the potty? When I see him doing that I always watch him to see if he goes. I thought maybe it was just a crazy theory that I had. Nope. 75% of the time I see his potty sinking to the bottom after a few seconds! Maybe he's just got character?

Btw, he is a Petco rescue!
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Old 06-22-2012, 07:54 PM   #2 
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Location: Australia!
He sounds like a real character!'

If by 'puffing up" you mean flaring (where they puff thier gill case out and look like little lions..) yes, that's normal. Flaring and pooping often go together. Maybe he's seeing something that makes him think another male is around..

Seems you are taking good care of your desk-buddy. The only things I'd recommend is that you try to change the water more than once a week.. lotta ammonia builds up in a 1-gallon, pretty fast. Every 2 days would keep it as low as possible, which will help keep him healthy.

Also, stop adding salt, he doesn't need it and long term use can harm him. What water conditioner are you using? I'd recommend Prime for a small tank, it helps keep the ammonia down between changes, and has other good stuff in it, aside from being a dechlorinator. And it lasts a really long time at 1-2 drops per gallon.
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Old 06-22-2012, 07:59 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: MD
I guess this is normal. But, you seem to be Overfeeding. What's the Brand of your Pellet? Are they the Normal-Sized Pellets? If they are, the Maximum Amount you can feed is only 3-4 Pellets a Day. When you mean 'Puffs Up' do you mean Flaring? Like, Fins spread apart, Gills opening. Anyways, you are actually supposed to do at least 2 Water Changes a Week for that Tank Size. 1 50% and 1 100% Change. But I like 100% every other day. That was just the Minimum. Is his Poo white? If it is, he might have a Bacterial Infection.
Anyways, Welcome to the Forum!!! :)
He has quite a Personality!!! Like a little Dolphin!! ;D

Last edited by LebronTheBetta; 06-22-2012 at 08:03 PM.
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Old 06-22-2012, 11:29 PM   #4 
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He sounds so cute! I had a friend with a desk betta years ago, and he'd always flare at her red marking pens...We'd wiggle them in front of his tank occasionally just to watch him do it. :)
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Old 06-23-2012, 01:10 AM   #5 
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Yes, I meant he flares up. Sorry. I could not think of that word at the time I posted my question. He has a lot of personality for a fish. I personally never knew fish could have such personalities. I've had bettas throughout the years since I was little. And I never knew they required such care. They always lived for years and I would do monthly water changes. Sometimes i would forget to feed them for days. When you're younger, you don't really know about these things. But those guys always seemed to live forever. Once I got Hewie and he was sick, I started to look online at different betta sites and a lot of information about them. Anyhow, I only put a very small amount of salt in his water as it helps with the ammonia and keeping it minimal. It I start to clean his water to often, he gets depressed. Once a week seems to be just fine. And since the water is "harsh" at my work, I don't like to do the changes to often. I learned that I had to use our filtered water because the sink water would make him sick. I use a dechlorinator by Tetra but that didn't seem to help no matter what. Once I used the filtered water with the pinch of salt and dechlorinator by, he was much better. His "droppings" are normal and nothing seems to be out of the ordinary. But I started paying attention to his random flare ups and wondered why he was doing it. Then I noticed it seemed always be when he would go to the bathroom. Very odd little character he is. He's also very curious and watches whatever Im doing. I have a blue pencil that he gets a kick out of. I'll hold the eraser up to the tank sometimes, and he flares up and swims around all crazy. I think he thinks its another male. He will even try to bite it through the plastic. I will move that around for a minute or two so he gets exercise. :) His food says to give him 3 - 4 pellets, 2 times a day. I usually give him 5, sometimes 6. But on Mondays I give him 7 since he went Sunday without food. And once a week I'll give him 2 freeze dried bloodworms. I will try to post a picture of him soon! Thank you for the welcome too!!
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Old 06-23-2012, 03:12 PM   #6 
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Location: Haverhill, MA
Betta's thrive with human interaction, that is something I noticed right away with our first betta in Avi, now with a rescue I recently took in, he is doing the same thing, he is starting to get better at swimming, he originally came from a vase, with no swim room, food that he would not eat, and his water changes were hardly he is opening his fins, and starting to flare, but yes, they love to flare, some as a form of aggression, but mostly out of exitement!!

Our Sammy flares as soon as it's feeding time, or when he gets exited when we call his name,.or watch him swim, or interact with him on any level..he loves attention!!
and you will see that too..they are very curious..and yes, they all have such unique lil personalities, and they love to show off:) for whoever is's very cool to observe all thier antics..and watch them watch us!!
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betta behavior, disease?, puffing up, sick betta?

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