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Old 09-14-2012, 08:38 AM   #1 
OrangeAugust
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why is my new girl so nervous?

I got a female betta yesterday (the story and her picture is in the pictures section in the thread titled "new girl!"), and when I got her she had stress stripes. But the thing I noticed is that they would come and go very easily. Her color was almost totally faded and her stripes were really dark after the car ride home. Her coloring came back a little while after we got home and that's when I took some pictures. She had stress stripes all evening. Then I fed her and the stripes disappeared and she turned bright purple immediately! But then a few minutes later I carried her tank into my bedroom and she got pale again and the stripes were really dark. After about a half hour, she was resting on the bottom, almost asleep, I think, and her stripes were gone and she was bright purple again. But then she saw me looking at her and she swam up from her place on the bottom and the stripes came back! Then it was the same thing this morning. I woke up and rolled over in bed and watched her swim around, and her stress stripes were there very lightly, but her coloring was back to purple again. But then once I got up and started getting ready for work, her color faded and her stress stripes came back really dark again! Why does she get stressed so easily?
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:02 AM   #2 
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You've only had her for less than a day.... of course she's going to be freaked out.

She's still trying to determine whether or not you plan on EATING her or not.

As long as you leave her alone, she'll perk up in the next couple days. Her color sounds similar to the last one I brought back from the LFS.

  • Most of my bettas were the same way & the only thing I did when I brought them home was change them out of their OEM water. Fed them all sorts of food to test out their palette to determine if they were picky eaters, added a snail & floating plant in addition to changing their water. No gravel at all for the first week or two. Also now is a good time to see if she will eat snails or not by leaving a few in her container.

I didn't bother throwing them into a larger tank until later on after I was sure they were healthy & NOT picky eaters.

What are you plans for her anyway? Sorority or her own little palace?

My smallest bettas tend to show the s-stripes more, but they're getting big now, so they're flaring their fins instead.
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:06 AM   #3 
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Ok, thanks!

I'm planning on having a sorority when I move into my new house. I just bought a house but I can't move in until November. Then I'm going to set up a 20 gallon sorority. She was so cute I couldn't resist! So I got my first girl for my sorority, but she'll be by herself until the end of November or beginning of December.
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Old 09-14-2012, 12:11 PM   #4 
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It all depends on the fish, some just get way more stressed out when they are moved to a new environment. They need to learn to trust that you are a benevolent presence in their lives; you feed and care for them. It can take a few days for a stressed or shy betta to become comfortable and stop hiding or getting worked up when you're in the room. She'll come around :)
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Old 09-14-2012, 12:26 PM   #5 
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Yeah, she was just reacting to all the activity...let her be for a couple days and she will be fine.
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Old 09-14-2012, 12:56 PM   #6 
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I guess I never thought that the fish could be nervous before they know us since their tank is like a separate environment from ours... I dunno I just always assumed that they were like, "Oh hey! a human put me into this nice big tank! Wee!" and that's about it. lol. I guess they can be nervous about what/who we are and what our intent with them is. I did see a little bit of this with Fishie. I had Fishie for about a month before my parents ever saw him. They came to my apartment one night and my dad was sitting on the couch next to Fishie's tank, and I was telling them how awesome Fishie looks when he flares, and this was back when he still was flaring all the time when his tank light was on. But he wasn't flaring when my parents are there, and I even tried a mirror and he wouldn't flare. Then I walked my parents out when they left and when I came back up Fishie was flaring all around his tank. I realized he didn't know my parents so he was nervous about showing off around them! So cute. He wasn't like nervous and trying to hide, but he was much more modest than usual.
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Old 09-14-2012, 12:59 PM   #7 
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She just needs time to know you...and then she will relax, and realize she's not in any danger..and that YOU bring FOOD lol! Remember, she can also "feel" your stress.
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Old 09-14-2012, 01:15 PM   #8 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeAugust View Post
I guess I never thought that the fish could be nervous before they know us since their tank is like a separate environment from ours... I dunno I just always assumed that they were like, "Oh hey! a human put me into this nice big tank! Wee!" and that's about it. lol. I guess they can be nervous about what/who we are and what our intent with them is. I did see a little bit of this with Fishie. I had Fishie for about a month before my parents ever saw him. They came to my apartment one night and my dad was sitting on the couch next to Fishie's tank, and I was telling them how awesome Fishie looks when he flares, and this was back when he still was flaring all the time when his tank light was on. But he wasn't flaring when my parents are there, and I even tried a mirror and he wouldn't flare. Then I walked my parents out when they left and when I came back up Fishie was flaring all around his tank. I realized he didn't know my parents so he was nervous about showing off around them! So cute. He wasn't like nervous and trying to hide, but he was much more modest than usual.
Yeah, also keep in mind that their previous interactions with humans could have been terrifying. People in pet stores do really stupid things to animals to make them move around and stuff. Animals get poked at, people tap on the tanks and move the betta jars around, etc. It's totally possible your new girl was a bit traumatized previously so she is extra nervous with these giant humans near her tank. Again, nothing she won't be able to get over, and the longer she's in the nice, peaceful, betta-friendly environment you've given her, and seeing that your hands only go in her tank to feed her and care for the tank, the more easygoing she'll be. I've noticed this with every animal I've ever gotten from a pet store actually. Even hamsters and mice can be really, really scared of people because of it. But once they know they're safe, they act completely differently. And like you mentioned, they know the difference between you and other people.
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