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Old 07-14-2012, 03:36 PM   #1 
cjschmelzer909
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Baby beta stressed soon after bringing him home

I recently became very interested in betta fish. I've done loads of research and have learned how to take care of them and what not. So today, I went to the pet store and bought a male baby betta. As I didn't have much money with me, I bought a cheap 1/2 gallon bowl which came with gravel and a plastic plant. However, I am picking up a 2 gallon tank from a friend in a little bit.

But here's what i'm getting at. I put him in the new bowl, with the water at about 80 degrees. I fed him a couple pellets which he ate immediately. He was swimming around, somewhat interested in me. But after about an hour, he started darting around his bowl. His stripes started showing up, and occasionally he breathes very heavily. This has been going on for about 10 or 15 minutes. I notice he's somewhat calmer while I'm a bit of a ways away from the bowl, but if I get up close to get a good look at him, he starts stressing out a bit more... I don't know if I did something to scare him, I haven't tapped on the glass or anything... When I fed him I stuck my finger in to try to show him where the pellets were and he seemed a tad hesitant to approach my finger... but does anyone have any advice on what to do or any opinions on what's going on with him?

Thanks from a new betta owner

EDIT: He's a bit calmer now, but he seems to stay very close to the top of the water, his fins are still flared and his stripes are still visible..
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Old 07-14-2012, 03:41 PM   #2 
Twilight Storm
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Did you use tap water dechlorinator on the water before you added him to the new bowl? Breathing heavy might mean a few different things but my first thoughts would be the water was too warm or perhaps there might be toxins. You don't want to go much above 80 degrees.

Edited to add: welcome to the forum!
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Old 07-14-2012, 04:21 PM   #3 
cjschmelzer909
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twilight Storm View Post
Did you use tap water dechlorinator on the water before you added him to the new bowl? Breathing heavy might mean a few different things but my first thoughts would be the water was too warm or perhaps there might be toxins. You don't want to go much above 80 degrees.

Edited to add: welcome to the forum!

Yes i did use the dechlorinator. I'm going to move him to a 2 gallon bowl here soon, would this be okay?
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Old 07-14-2012, 04:53 PM   #4 
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I went ahead and moved him into a 2 gallon bowl and he seems to be happier now and has calmed down some and only flares his fins ever so often, which I believe is a healthy habit, correct? He is swimming smoothly around his new bowl and he is no longer breathing heavily. He still has horizontal stripes, however... I don't know if it's because he is still slightly stressed or is it possible that he's had them the whole time? I don't remember whether or not he had them when I first picked him up.
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Old 07-15-2012, 11:01 AM   #5 
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Stripes on babies aren't uncommon, depending on how old they are, it serves as camouflage.

Did you acclimate him before putting him in the first tank?

If not, he may have been suffering chemical stress from the change in water conditions from store to tank water. It usually passes (though it -can- kill a fish that is weak or sickly or just too stressed) but it's always a good idea to acclimate, even during water changes, in case the water chemistry's different somehow.
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Old 07-15-2012, 11:12 AM   #6 
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baby betta's don't have color, therefor they have permanent stress stripes. Only when they get big enough does their true color cover up the stress stripes. It's also why when adults go pale they show stress stripes.
With the two gallon your going to need every other day water changes 50% and 100%. You need to counter act the growth stunting hormone babies put off, their also super touchy in the disease department so clean water will be must to keep him healthy.
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