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Old 01-13-2013, 08:22 PM   #1 
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Can too much room overwhelm a betta?

I had a rescue of mine in a 2.5 qt, now that he is better i put him in a 5 gallon. All he did was sit at the bottom for two days and then he floated to the top and was sideways! I put him back in the 2.5 gallon and he is back to swimming around happy! The 5 gallon was cycled, 81 degrees.
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:53 PM   #2 
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LOL. Mt CT male did the same darn thing. After a few times of switching him back & forth he settled into the bigger tank. I thought he was dead a couple of times. Some will say leave him in the smaller one. I kept trying & mine turned out good.
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:05 PM   #3 
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I had to work my female up to the larger tank. Each time I did a water change I would add just a bit more water till the tank was finally where I wanted it. She seemed to do better that way versus the laying at the bottom she did when I started with a full tank.
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:19 PM   #4 
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You think they would be so happy with more room! But they just pout! Silly fish!
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:37 PM   #5 
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My betta did the same thing lol I thought he had sbd but I left him in there and after a while and he got better
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:55 PM   #6 
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Some fish can be quite overwhelmed by a larger space, particularly if it is only sparsely planted or decorated. Fish generally prefer a least one area of dense cover that they can retreat to if they feel threatened.

However, I've found most fish adjust fairly quickly to a much larger space. One of my VT males went straight from a tiny 1/4 gallon container to his own 15 gallon tank. I think it just depends on the individual fish as well as your set-up.
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:05 PM   #7 
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i think jadesparrow has a good idea of upping the water volume just abit after every water change.

im just got back into owning a betta after a very long hiatus (about 13 yrs), and i wasnt a "good/responsible betta owner" back then (i was only 17yrs old!! and no readily acessible info back then) but ive matured and have a bigger budget now. but what i want to say is that my new betta is the opposite of yours. he doesnt like cramped spaces. but on the other hand he wont like any regular open space either, he likes big decor that he can swim around and hide in, he likes to sit on top the the leaves near the top of the tank. when my 10g tank had no decor he was really slow going and fairly stationary but now he cruises around the tank exploring
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:43 PM   #8 
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Though bigger is better, some Betta fish get stressed when moved into a larger tank because they feel vulnerable. If a tank is not filled with hiding places, including caves and plants, it may feel unsafe for the fish and stress it. Other Betta fish have been cramped in small containers their whole lives and being in a larger space overwhelms them. This behavior is often seen in dogs that are released from puppy mills and given a place to live outside tiny cages they spent their whole lives in; though it is better for the animal it can cause stress or anxiety.

Most Betta fish do not have this problem but there are some that need to gradually become comfortable in larger volumes. Having hiding places helps greatly, but going from a 1 gallon to a 2 gallon then a 3 gallon may be needed in other situations.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:00 PM   #9 
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Maybe the filter current is too strong? If so you can baffle it.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:07 AM   #10 
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I also say yes....Sapphire was definitely not pleased with being put into the 36g tank. She striped up for 2 days. She did get used to it, and I think what might have helped was just letting a few of the plants float around at the top so she could hide in them.
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