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Old 11-30-2012, 01:59 PM   #1 
laurenmekal
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Question fin clamping?

my bettas been clamping her fins lately. i'm not sure why. its been happening for a few days. she isnt always clamped. she swims fine, i only notice it when she rests. she'll stop swimming and her tail will get small and then she will keep swimming normally. she flares normally when she sees me and i havent noticed any other issues. i haven't tested my water (yet) im going to petsmart this weekend to have it tested. but i just did a huge water change in her 5.5 gallon. i probably took about 4 gallons out and put fresh water in with treatment. i have a filter that is baffled and it has never stressed her out before. she also seems to be eating more than she used to and always seems hungry. i also recently (in the last month) added java moss to her tank and she has seemed to love it. any tips or answers about why she could be clamping up?
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:16 PM   #2 
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You know, when I had females and even with the HMPK males I have now, I often notice that when they're at rest their tails 'close' a little more then my big finned males. So long as their color is/was good and their appear(ed) active and healthy otherwise, I just assumed it was because they had less finnage.

So, is she still nice in active? Good colors? No strange spots or dots? Hows the temperature?

Be careful with the feeding though! Bettas are opportunistic feeders, meaning they don't have that little switch in their head that says "I'm full I can stop eating now, so they'll always APPEAR hungry(and can be very good at using their little little faces and wiggles to get some more food outta ya!)but its very important to regulate the amount of food they eat as bettas can be prone to bloating and swimbladder issues.
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:40 PM   #3 
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she looks good otherwise! shes active as usual. she just NEVER clamps her fins. her tail is always fully displayed. shes still young so maybe she is just growing up and thats just what she does now! her water is always between 78-82. i bought her as a baby and ive been crushing her pellets and she would usually not be able to eat more than one and a half crushed pellets. now she'll eat whatever i give her! her gills are a tiny bit red, but shes a red and blue girl with a little red on her fins and im not sure if that is just her coloring. she used to have alot of gravel in the tank and i took that out last night because i have yet to buy a gravel vacuum so i wanted to keep the tank as clean as possible. she still has a small corner of gravel. i got the tank about a month ago now and i havent changed the filter yet, am i supposed to? i did swish it around in old water last time it was cleaned though.
i just want to go through everything ive done to the tank recently to make sure im still doing everything right!
i rescued her as a baby and i had a few scares with her when she was younger but she pulled through! and until now she had finally seemed to be stabilized, id just hate to make a stupid mistake now and ruin the progress i made with her!
oh well i could just be worrying!
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:53 PM   #4 
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I think you are just a little worried, we all get that way. Trust me, I can be pretty calm giving advice to others with their fish, but when my fish develops the same problems, I freak out and ask for others' advice, even though I already know the answer xD It's just reassuring.
It sounds to me like everything is okay. If you have a turkey bastor, you can use it to help clean the gravel until you get a vacuum.
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:00 PM   #5 
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i plan on getting the vacuum this weekend. i took most of the gravel out, will the vacuum still work the same way (sucking up the debris on the bottom of the tank) even if there is no gravel?
also, what is a good water change schedule for my tank?
5.5 gallons, baffled filter and java moss. one female betta fish.
ive also heard mixed replies about this question, should i replace my filter at all? or just keep swishing it around in old water 1-2 times a month?
thanks everyone!
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:04 PM   #6 
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Don't replace your filter unless it's falling to peices, and re-add the gravel. The vacuum will work without it, but your beneficial bacteria that get rid of ammonia live in the gravel and the filter. If you change your filter or remove the gravel, it will also get rid of this good bacteria, so it's better not to have a filter at all if you do this.
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:05 PM   #7 
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okay i will definitely add some of it back, i figured that it would trap old food particles and make it more difficult to clean. wow maybe thats why shes sad! i will definitely add some more back. thanks so much!
any other advice?
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:09 PM   #8 
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Awww, cute! it sounds like you've done an absolutely fantastic job raising her up! :)
Yup, I'd say so long as she appears otherwise nice and healthy and happy, theres not much need to worry about the clamping. One of my HMPK boys does that when hes resting....and I assume the other would as well if he EVER stopped swimming.

Actually, most of the beneficial bacteria that holds your cycle will colonize in your filter as they need a good oxygen rich environment to survive....some will be in your gravel, and a little in your water and decor, but the majority will be in your filter so that is the most important thing not to mess with. However, bare bottom tanks can be cycled if there is enough surface area provided in the filter and often you can change out substrates without much problem so long as your tank is nice and established.
What I've started doing though, since cartridges DO eventually fall apart and I'm always worried about my cycle, is stuffing my filters with some plain filter sponge. A little extra surface area for bacteria and you just have to squeeze out the sponge in some old tank water every once in a while and it doesn't fall apart like the cartridges eventually do. ;)
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:09 PM   #9 
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It does, but it also acts kind of as a litterbox of sorts, at least that's what I've been told.
Edit: When changing the filter, I've seen some people suggest putting the new and old cartrige in at the same time so the BB from the old can trasfer to the new one.

Last edited by AyalaCookiejar; 11-30-2012 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:31 PM   #10 
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oh thats interesting! well maybe ill wait a little longer because i havent seen any signs of wear on it yet. i have a filter sponge baffling the output of my filter, would that work as well as putting the sponge inside the filter?
i added a little bit of gravel back and this is what my girls workin with now!
any advice on water change schedules?
i do as much as i can without disturbing her weekly. i try to do about half. im in college so it is a process to try to clean the tank at school that often, is there any way i could get away with going a little longer without cleaning? i know when i get the vacuum that will make it easier.
heres a pic of her in the set up i have now! also, i want to get more live plants, possibly ones that look like actual plants, aka rooted ones. but im worried about upkeep and when i have to take her home for christmas how i will transport the rooted plants home. any advice?

also, any advice on my tank set up / decor?
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