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Old 11-16-2012, 08:32 AM   #1 
LittleWatty
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Constant Flaring -> Extremely Stressed

I've had this problem before, but I managed to fix it last time. Leo, my King betta, is very defensive. Not aggressive, just defensive. Any time he can even remotely find his reflection, he tackles it and flares the hell out of it. My problem is, he can ALWAYS find it on his tank walls. He had this problem before in his 10 gallon tank, but I put some mesh up behind where he would flare, and a piece of paper in another spot (outside the tank, of course) and that seemed to solve the problem by breaking up his reflection.

Now my issue is he's doing it again in a different tank, and my old strategies aren't working. Its a 15 gallon tank, only half filled because I'm moving in a few days. I have mesh up on the back, and a piece of paper, doing whatever I can to break up his reflection. It doesn't seem to be working. I know putting plants along the outside walls is supposed to help, but that doesn't work for him. He finds his way around them because he knows exactly where the reflection was, then finds it again.

He has live plants and plenty of little nooks to hide in, but he doesn't seem to care. All he wants is to out-strut his reflection. The pictures below are of him normally, and how he looks now because of the stress (I hope you can tell which one is which). I'm going to put a towel over his tank to keep as much light out as I can, to maybe dull the reflection enough for him to relax.

I have to work all weekend, so I can't keep an eye on him. If anyone has suggestions for something else I can do, it would be greatly appreciated. He's very very stressed, and I don't know what else to do.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:53 AM   #2 
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Do you have the tank light on? If so turn it off.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:01 AM   #3 
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There is no light on. There's a light above the tank on my ceiling, but that too is off.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:42 AM   #4 
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The paper will make a reflection and whatever light you have on that tank because it look very bright from above.
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:02 AM   #5 
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Does your tank have a cover? If the light in the tank is greater than the light outside you get a reflection.
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:26 PM   #6 
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The paper worked on the last tank when he constantly flared at one wall because of a dark book cover that was near the tank. When I covered it up with the paper (with print) he stopped. Figured I would try it again.

The tank is currently covered with a blanket, so minimal light gets into the tank. He seems better this evening, and probably because its been nice and dark in his tank.
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:33 PM   #7 
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When I had 2 tanks side by side I would attach black mesh to the outside of the tanks to keep the 2 boys from seeing each other. I used black plastic mesh used for needle point and put a few bits of black velcro on the outside of the tank (small pieces are all you need cause the mesh is not heavy) and a few on the mesh. This allowed me to put up a barrier when needed but also be able to easily take if off when I wanted. If your guy is just really hyper all the time maybe you could do something similar for him.
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Old 11-17-2012, 08:24 AM   #8 
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I have, but with a pale colored mesh, not a dark colored one. I've read that dark colors can increase reflections (like the dark background decals you can buy), so I tend to avoid them for him.

So far, just keeping his tank covered all day with a towel to keep the light out has been doing a decent job. By the time I went to bed last night he got all of his color back.
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Old 11-17-2012, 03:39 PM   #9 
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But since the mesh has holes in it, it breaks the reflection up better than a solid surface does.
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