My Betta turns striped and pale when I leave the room, but warms up when I come back
If I watch her from my bed, she can't see me and goes pale and striped (horizontal). But if I put my face close to the tank, she comes and looks and me and becomes vibrant again. I leave my room often, and I'm at school for a lot of the day. I'm worried about her being stressed while I'm gone, and if that will take a toll on her health.
Is that normal?
I also think she's constipated, but I don't have the supplies to fix that yet. She barely eats food, she mostly spits it out. And I've never seen her poop. (I have two kinds of pellets, spheres and little tiny pieces, and she doesn't like freeze-dried bloodworms.)
I have her in a 84°F heated 2.5 gallon cylinder glass tank. I have an umbrella plant, and a sword plant. Smooth rocks, and a marimo moss ball.
I change her water every other day, and change part of it every day. I've only had her for 3 days, and she's my first fish.
She's very active, curious, and likes to hide in the leaves occasionally but is most often just swimming in the open.
Just want to note, the umbrella plant is not aquatic, PetCo/PetSmart often try to pass bog plants and half aquatic plants as full ones but they aren't. Umbrella, Peacock fern and Mondo (Kyoto) grass are the worst offenders I find. So once that starts to rot, make sure you take it out right away
This is normal behavior, you've taken her to a new home and that's stressful enough. She may not eat for a few day's up to two weeks but no worries, fish can survive months without eaten. Spitting out food tells me that the food is too big for her, or that is most likely the issue. Sometimes it's due to pickiness from the fish but more often than not, the pellet is too big. What brands do you have? I suggest investing in New Life Spectrum Small Fish formula if you can find it or can order it online. One of the highest quality brands right now and will be much easier for her to digest.
As for her poop, well if she isn't eating, she's not going to poop either lol. Her poop may also dissolve faster into the water column adding to the total dissolved organic compounds which are removed with water changes. Pictures would help us determine if she constipated further though :)
Yeah, I tried cutting her food into halves and fourths, even, but no luck.
I just really think it's weird that she's stressed when I'm gone (and I'm gone often so it worries me), but becomes colorful again when I watch her up close.
From what I've researched, that's kind of unusual.
Also, while we're at it, what plants are good for bettas? I had this one non-aquatic plant she loved, it had large leaves on the stem, and then the leaves collected into a flower sort-of shape at the top, and she liked to hide and rest in them. But I had to take it out so it wouldn't rot. I can't find any plants (real or fake) at Petsmart or Petco, and shopping online is really untrustworthy when it comes to plants.
One of my bettas, Odysseus, is the same way. He's okay during the day but if I'm gone for several days at a time he loses color and gets very stressed looking. This is actually why he started tailbiting, though now he does it just because he can swim faster. >.< The more times I've been gone, though, the less stressed he's gotten each time. It also helps if there's someone else there with him.
I think your girl will settle in and stop being so stressed when you're gone. You're what she knows, what's familiar and safe to her. Once she settles in she should stop depending on you so much for that constant sense of security.