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Old 11-19-2012, 12:34 AM   #1 
Sparrowhawk's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Is my beautiful boy unwell? (New to caring for bettas)

Hello everyone,

I brought my lovely new boy Falkor home on Friday, after spending many days trawling through posts on here to try and make his life as good as possible within my means.

He is currently housed in an 8L (just over 2 gallons) uncycled, unfiltered tank, with frequent partial water changes, a dwarf rush, an anubias in a tiny terracotta pot and an Indian almond leaf. As soon as I have enough room for a larger tank that can accommodate a filter he can manage with, he will have a bigger, nicer home, but for now I'm giving him the best care I can with what I have available to me. I'll also be getting him a water sprite ASAP, after reading about their wonderful ammonia-lowering properties.

He did have a filter in his tank initially, but unfortunately his large fins seem to prevent him from swimming against the current in any way, even with the filter set to its lowest, and my best efforts to stunt the flow, which is why I have chosen the higher maintenance road until I can house him in a better situation.

I was just wondering if it is normal behaviour, once they've settled in to their new home, to be excitable and energetic at times and seemingly chilled at others? I'm also worried about his fins. Should they be fanned fairly constantly, or is some drooping normal? (Not constant)

He eats 3-4 pellets a day (I can't recall the brand off the top of my head but they were one of the ones highly recommended on here) so he's not starving himself...

He does not seem to be showing signs of distress, and water parameters are within the recommended ranges that I've studied on here.

Am I just being paranoid?

Thank you muchly to anyone who responds, it's very much appreciated!

Here are a few photos of him, if that helps my muddled explanation any:

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Old 11-19-2012, 12:46 AM   #2 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Las Vegas
Hi, If those pictures are very recent he looks just fine. Sometimes they are chill and sometimes they are not. Is that Pinheads reflection I see?
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Old 11-19-2012, 02:34 AM   #3 
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The oldest picture is 3 days old, and the most recent is from yesterday.

And yep, that is indeed Pinhead! I put a Hellraiser poster I had lying around behind his tank to make it look a little more interesting.

At first I worried that it might freak him out, but he seems to have taken no notice of it whatsoever! Though considering his namesake he'll probably get some scenery from the Neverending Story soon.

Thank you for the reply!
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:48 AM   #4 
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Location: Red River, NM
Bettas will generally get excited when you come around the tank because they associate you with feeding time. My girl gets so excited when I open her lid, she often jumps out of the water. My boy gets jumpy in his water and flits around erratically (he's dealing with a swim bladder disorder right now, so he has a bit of trouble staying upright). But when I'm in the room and they don't know it, they just hang out in their favorite spots. In his tank, it's by the plant where he's made his nest. With my girl, it's either at the bottom in her plant or behind the heater. They both swim around quite a bit during their chilling period, but it's not excitable like when they see me.
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:57 AM   #5 
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Connecticut
Very pretty fish! Which character was Falkor? Was it that flying white dog-looking thing? The only other characters' names I remember are Artax and Atreyu. lol
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:07 AM   #6 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
He looks perfectly healthy to me. You're a lucky fish parent to have such a beautiful betta.
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:07 PM   #7 
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Thank you everyone!

Yep, Falkor was the dog-looking thing.
He was the luck dragon! As soon as I saw this boy in the store (after what seemed like an endless search for a place accessible to me via public transport that knew a single thing about bettas and didn't torture them) I knew he had to be a Falkor. His scales match the luck dragon perfectly and he seemed to have such a boisterous personality. So he's my own luck dragon. Yay! ^.^

(He already follows my finger, and has eaten a pellet off it. That startled me! I wasn't expecting that so soon in us getting to know each other!)

I'm so glad to know he's doing well.

I have another question though. I made a mistake when preparing his home, and hadn't discovered the benefits of a bare-bottom tank. I'm thinking this option could be better for a new betta-keeper like me, so I can monitor waste properly etc. as the gravel and pebbles make it very hard for me to see what needs to be vacuumed, so it's a whole lot of guesswork and just trying to vacuum everything I can. Do you think on his next water change I should do a full 100% and remove the gravel and replace it with some larger stones to anchor the plants to? Or will it stress him out too much? I can always wait until he's settled in properly if that's a better option.

Once again, thank you for your replies everyone, it's good to know I'm just being super-paranoid and not causing him harm.
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:18 PM   #8 
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Join Date: Feb 2012
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Gorgeous fish! He looks really nice! :) You sound like a very good fish owner :)
I've always used bare bottomed tank, because it was easier to maintain. But it's up to you :) I think gravel helps the fish relax though.
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:37 PM   #9 
homegrown terror
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he's either a halfmoon or a super delta. both of those have very heavy fins, which will droop when they're at rest (think of someone wearing bell-bottoms: they flare and move when they're walking but hang limp when they're not) so that's nothing to worry about at all.

secondly, he's in a nice big home, not a tiny little cup or jar. that's a lot to adjust to, so he might act weird for up to two weeks or so. if he's eating readily and not acting sick, you've got nothing to worry about behaviorally.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:51 PM   #10 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: USA
Where did you get him?!! They hardly ever look that healthy right after you buy them, because most pet stores don't take good care of them.

And yes, it's always normal for them to have 'mood swings'.
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