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Old 06-27-2013, 10:58 PM   #1 
Seki's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2012
Vertical stripes?

I have my little female Tagalong in a 1 gallon hospital tank right now since she's been striped and colorless since I brought her home from the fish store. She got beat up by her soon-to-be tankmates in the bag they came home in, so I was assuming that was the reason for the horizontal stripes.

Tagalong seems active and healthy in the hospital tank, and she is eating well. I was curious if she might be feeling well enough to flare if I put a mirror up to the side of the tank. She took an immediate interest and flared up, then developed vertical stripes on her body. I was concerned, so I took the mirror away and the vertical stripes have faded. She still has her horizontal stripes and seems to be swimming around normally now.

What were the vertical stripes and should I be worried?
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:01 PM   #2 
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Vertical stripes are just another way of communication between bettas. Some people here say they are submission stripes, but I have seen them on fish that are behaving quite aggressively.

They are also commonly seen on females when they are ready to spawn and are described then as 'breeding stripes'.
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:03 PM   #3 
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Ohhh, okay. Nothing to worry about then, right? ^_^

I am actually more concerned that her horizontal stripes haven't faded. I've had her nearly a week and she's been separated from her abusers since I got her home. I'm sure all is well, I've just never had a fish keep stress stripes this long.
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:10 AM   #4 
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No, vertical lines are nothing to worry about. One of my bettas gets them when she eats. hehe.
The horizontal lines seem to last longer on females. I don't know if they tend to be more nervous than males, or if the stripes just show more easily, but most of the females I've had have had stress stripes for a while after I get them. One of my girls had them for a few weeks after I got her. She would sometimes get her color back and then she'd see me move and her stripes would come back instantly. She was like that for a few weeks. When I put together my sorority, she had stress stripes just for a few days. One of my other females only got them when the dwarf gourami kept following her and touching her with his feelers (I returned the gourami to the store), and one of the females still has stripes almost a month later. (though her color is almost totally back to normal so the stripes only show on her face). So it's pretty common for females when they are put into a new environment.
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:06 PM   #5 
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I am not so worried about Tagalong anymore! After the reassurance that vertical stripes weren't a bad thing, I was playing with her with the mirror again today. She flared up for the mirror (she has a heck of a beard for a female! o_O) and I noticed that not only did the vertical lines come back, but her color darkened up instantly. Her fins grew more red, her body got darker (almost a brownish gold now), she just seemed to lose her stripes that fast. I wonder if the mirror playing was a bit of an ego boost for her? it was weird... but I think she's gonna be pretty! Her fins are edged in black now, and developing into a much bolder red. Soooo pretty~

ETA: Orange, what color is the male in your avatar considered to be? I think that's what color one of my females is, and I'd love to know if there's a name for it!
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