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Old 11-27-2012, 04:39 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Unhappy new and scared!

I brought home my little Musashi on November 10th. I thought I knew a little about bettas but oh my was I wrong. I didn't cycle the tank as I didn't even know such a thing was necessary. He seemed fine for a while but he has started swimming in an obsessive like pattern. I know that this can indicate stress in other animals but my breif search on the forum yeilded no results. Can you point me in the right direction?

What temperature is your tank? 82 F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? Ghost shrimp

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Switch between betta bites, and aqueon betta food. also freeze dried blood worms
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2 times daily


How often do you perform a water change? when ammonia dictates. usually every other day maximum
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50-75%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? top fin water conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia:0-.25 ppm
Alkalinity: ?

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? He has become more "shimmery" since I brought him home
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Yes, he is swimming in a back and forth pattern in about 1/3 of the tank
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 2 days ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? i put a small abount of aquarium salt in his tank
Does your fish have any history of being ill? no
How old is your fish (approximately)?unknown
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:50 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Weare, New Hampshire
The "shimmer" of his body is normal. Thats his natural irridescent color. Nearly all bettas are like that due to their color layers (the shimmer is the outermost layer).
It's difficult to say whats wrong. My guess would be that he sees something outside his tank that is causing distress. I had a fish behave like that before. He became extremely stressed and wouldn't eat because of some ceramic figures I placed outside the tank. I moved him and he was all better. Maybe try moving the tank if it's not too heavy. If you can't, either add some hiding spots or try blocking his view of what you think may be causing stress.
I don't recommend trying to treat him until you're sure of what is wrong. Sometimes that does more harm than good.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:28 PM   #3 
homegrown terror
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Location: Tennessee
is he swimming back and forth as far from his filter as possible? the flow might be stressing him, which would mean he would only use the part of the tank furthest from it.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:48 PM   #4 
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no, he is actually swimming right in front of the filter output. I restricted the flow with some panty hose.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:51 PM   #5 
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I am going to agree that the hide spots might be a good idea, and if he doesn't use them and does the same pattern, maybe change up the outside environment.
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:26 AM   #6 
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I did a lot more research and found a suggestion to put rooibos tea into his tank. I soaked a teabag for several hours and the water is now REALLY brown. I was so worried all night but he is super happy now!! He even started a little bubble nest.
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