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Old 01-17-2013, 08:39 PM   #1 
bettaluver14
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Question ...Scratching or playing?

My betta has been doing this for a week or two i thought he was playing around. He will swim back and forth flaring at his reflection and then will go under his heater and like rub against it(not back and forth rubbing, just like on his way past), pause for a second, and swim past it. It's pretty difficult to explain and I don't see any signs of disease or change in behavior. He did it a lot but has been slowing it down... i've only seen him do it once so far the past 4 days. None of his scales look poked out or anything. No changes in eating, sluggish-ness, he's perfectly active, color is still perfect,beautiful and vibrant and still greets me excitedly when he sees me walk into the room. Do you think maybe he had a bad itch lol and it's going away? What could this be and should I be worried? Ammonia is 0ppm, Nitrates around 35ppm, Nitrites 0, ph 7.3. and btw he loves his heater so i was suspecting it just felt good, like warming him up.
all repliers greatly appreciated! :3
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:10 PM   #2 
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Usually when a fish is having issues such as external parasites they will flash on objects quite often - a quick dart against a decoration, plant, etc. But it happens frequently - think of having chicken pox and having an itch that doesn't go away.

But a flash/scratch here and there could be a sign of possibly some irritant or just a random itch.

Nitrates a little high, but not dangerous - definitely don't want to go above 40.. nitrates happen when there is too much fish waste or plant waste. Make sure you are siphoning the gravel each week with your water change to make sure it doesn't go higher.. if you have live plants then do the siphoning every other week. High nitrates can cause problems with their health.

But as far as your guy goes.. he may just have a quick itch or likes the feel of the heater.
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:17 PM   #3 
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okay thanks a bunch! i'm relieved... and if my nitrates dont go down any lower from water changes and gravel cleaning what can i do? i usually scrub the gravel; i dont have a vaccum :3.
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:15 AM   #4 
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You will need to get a vacuum.. they aren't too pricey, but a must have with aquariums. Filters don't remove the waste/debris.. it adds up under the surface of the gravel and builds and builds. That's the only way to get nitrates to stay at a safe level.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:41 PM   #5 
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You don't need to scrub/remove gravel in a cycled aquarium.. actually it's a bad idea... You do need a siphon.

More info would be helpful to make sure we're not missing anything: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=49233

Are you seeing any gold dust (use flashlight) or salted specs on him?
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:45 AM   #6 
bettaluver14
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nope... that's kinda nasty lol

his color is nice and bright though :)
oh, and i checked his parameters on friday and it said his nitrates are 0... is that a problem? because he actually seems happier then ever! i thought nitrates were supposed to be above 0 but below like 30. i will check his nitrates sometime today to let you know what it's like today.
Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5gal(upgrading to a 10gal in the next week :D :3)
What temperature is your tank? 78
Does your tank have a filter? yep
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? yes
Is your tank heated? yeppers!
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? aqueon pellets and once a week a bloodworm treat
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2 pellets in morning and 2-3 in the evening

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? once a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50-75%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?API stress coat

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
(as of 1/21/13 at 10am)
Ammonia:0ppm
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate:5.0ppm
pH:7.2

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?nope
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?He will swim back and forth flaring at his reflection and then will go under his heater and like rub against it(not back and forth rubbing, just like on his way past), pause for a second, and swim past it.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? probably a week or so ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? no... dont know how to treat this lol
Does your fish have any history of being ill? not at all :3
How old is your fish (approximately)? i bought him july 7 2012
oh and also, what should the nitrates be for a 2.5gal?

Last edited by bettaluver14; 01-21-2013 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:32 PM   #7 
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I'm glad you remove the neon tetras. How are they doing now?

Those levels are fine now. Nitrates were too high before, imho. Some fish are more hardy and can stand up to 40ppm, but 20 is much safer and the lower the better. I would increase your water changes to twice a week now to try to keep nitrates under 20ppm (ammonia and nitrites should stay at 0). It's important to use the stir/dip method (stir the gravel up then remove the water with the waste in it) or find a small siphon and not remove the gravel.

Can you get some good photos to share, especially of his gill area?

Does he swim slowly past, or does he like get to the heater then move really quickly through it? Single passes are scratching.. no betta stops and twitches at an area to scratch, but it could still be normal behavior, however considering his history I wouldn't brush off the possibility of an issue. It's good the scratching is slowing down.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:33 PM   #8 
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the tetras are great my dad and i just brought out our old aquarium stand and cleaned it off and repainted it....we used it with previous fish cause im getting the 10gal soon :D xD once i get the 10gal i will add back the 3 tetras; buy 2 more and QT them and Add them :)
whenever i try to get pleasant photos of Zuko he always flares at the camera but here's some pix.
theyre pretty yucky quality and did you want me to get pix of him not flaring too? he has looked the same ever since i bought him...except his color got brighter
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