Good morning guys, time for an early post. This is my first time on the forum, so please let me know if I miss something important.
This past November, I fell in love with a baby betta from Petco. She's(Captain) still growing, but is turning into a very pretty purple female. Not long later, I found a while/red baby(Artemis) that I also liked, and started planning on making a sorority. At the time, they were in a 5gal hex aquarium. Captain did NOT like sharing her space with Artemis, so I originally got a glowlight tetra for her to bully instead... Who she absolutely does not care about. So they moved to a 20gal high, got along great. Surprisingly, yes, just the 2 bettas, the tetra, and a shrimp(my cousin insisted, and I'd heard they had little to no interaction with bettas, so agreed). Niels, the tetra, looked like a spaz, so I got Duncan for him(~1 week after introducing Artemis, Niels, shrimp[Mr. Frenchie]). Everyone got along fairly well, though I'd noticed Captain and Artemis hiding more after Duncan was introduced. It's been maybe a week since I got Duncan, and I found 2 more 'baby' bettas that seemed lively and healthy(while I was buying a fluorescent hood, they have been without light except for my bedroom light until now). One is roughly Captain's size, one is roughly Artemis' size. Not a huge size difference by any means, they still look juvenile.
I'd noticed it before I added the two new ones(who I haven't named yet, suggestions welcome), but both Artemis and Captain seem to be clamping their fins nonstop. Even when I added the new fish, there was zero flashing. There was also zero agression from either Captain or Artemis, however. The two new ones did some flashing and nipping, and now seem to be hiding, but they didn't give any trouble to Artemis and Captain.
So here's my problem. They're both still clamping. Captain seems to alternate between lively, lethargic, and spastic. Artemis seems somewhat lethargic, but she'll also be very active. I haven't seen any spastic actions from her. She'll kind of hide in a corner, but she doesn't just float necessarily, and she will have moments of normal activity. I haven't noticed any change in diet: they both seem to be eating happily. I haven't seen any spots(Ick) or dusting(Velvet) on Captain at all, and Artemis has an opalescence that makes it hard to tell, but I don't *THINK* so. Captain does seem to be swimming close to tank walls, and likes hiding under rocks, but I haven't seen her *rubbing* on anything, so to speak. Captain now seems to love the little cave where she used to ignore it, and also loves wiggling under some riverstones I have piled in the aquarium. These are large, and have been used for previous aquariums. It's unlikely any infections came from them. There are two squares of betta grass, 3 medium sized(~5-6in) plants, a 9in, and a 16in plant. I plan on getting them more places to hide and 'claim'. They now have a light that I plan on leaving on for at least 9hrs a day, and shutting off at night.
I did a ~30% water change earlier tonight, and everyone seems a little more lively for it, but Artemis and Captain are still clamping.
So: Do I need to worry about infections of some kind, or is it more likely simply a matter of too much, too fast, and not enough hidey holes? I'm really stressed about this, and I'm afraid of not taking good care of them. If it is simply a matter of stress, will they go back to normal once everyone figures out the pecking order?
I apologize for how long this post is, and thank everyone in advance for any help.
What size is your tank? 20G High
What temperature is your tank? 78F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Yes(2)
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? 2 Glowlight tetras, ghost shrimp, 4 bettas
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Previously Omega One Betta Pellets, petstore employee recommended TetraMin Tropical Flakes(to include Tetras)
How often do you feed your betta fish? Usually 2x daily, morning and night
How often do you perform a water change? Bowl to 5G hex to 20G High in span of 2 months... But changed the water in the hex once and 20G once thus far. So maybe ~2 weeks?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? At least 30%, try for close to 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Jungle Start Right conditioner, Top Fin Conditioning Salt
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? Have not, plan on getting the kit tomorrow
Symptoms and Treatment *See above*
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?