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Old 05-20-2013, 04:30 PM   #1 
ConnieW
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A couple questions please...

I am new to this forum and to keeping a betta fish. I have a couple questions.

Is the floating Betta exercise mirror a good or bad idea? I have heard that they need to exercise by flaring the fins, but I have also heard that it stresses them out. Please help.

My betta has been in his new home to 2 days now and he is always swimming around the tank. Not frantically, but peacefully and sometimes a little faster when he goes against the current. Does this sound like he needs more plants to feel like he has a place to rest? I have two plants in the tank now, but think I should add a couple more larger ones. I also have a bridge that he can go under to hide, but he never does.

What do you all think about the betta floating log by ZooMed? I have heard some bettas really like them.

Thanks for any help!
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Old 05-20-2013, 04:56 PM   #2 
Rana
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As far as I know bettas don't need to exercise by flaring- I don't think my boy has ever flared, and he doesn't seem any the worse for the wear. If you do want to use the mirror, make sure you only have it in his tank for ten or so minutes, and not every day. If he feels like there's another betta in his territory all day every day, that is what will stress him out. Some bettas can actually split their fins by flaring too much!

It doesn't sound like his swimming is anything to worry about, young bettas especially are more active than people often think. More plants & hidey-holes are never a bad idea in my opinion, but I'd worry that the filter was too strong before anything else. You can build several cheap & easy baffles depending on what type it is, I've had good luck with the waterbottle version for my HOB.

I've never had the logs but I've heard that if you use them, make sure you sand down any sharp/rough areas. You can also make a cheap diy version by making a tunnel of craft mesh and covering it with moss, then you know there's no sharp edges.
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Old 05-20-2013, 05:27 PM   #3 
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Great ideas....thanks! I tend to agree with the mirror idea. Makes sense too much of that would stress them out.

I still have to understand what everyone means by a "baffle" with the filter. I see pics but they are so close up I can't tell what it is. I just have a TopFin 10 HOB filter. The water outflow area is 3.75 inches across. Is the idea to slow the flow of water through the filter all together. Wouldn't that effect the filtering quality? I am trying to understand how to "baffle" the water flow. Is it just redirecting the water flow through or over something? I am not sure how that effects the current in the tank. I am so new to all this....LOL!
Thanks for the reply!
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Old 05-20-2013, 05:42 PM   #4 
Rana
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I have the exact same filter as you, so maybe I can explain. The filter's intake is what determines how well the filter works/how powerful it is, since the motor is pulling water up the tube at a steady rate. Some models are adjustable, or you can put a piece of dense foam over the intake tube which will slow it down, but that's not imperative unless your betta is getting sucked up against it. (Old, sick, or young fish may need this covered, but a full-grown betta is usually fine.)

The output area is what you want to baffle, because the flow of water pouring out is going to create a strong current that goes all the way to the bottom of the tank. With a baffle, you reduce this flow by prematurely breaking the current. As far as I know this doesn't have negative side effects with the filter function (Since again, the intake tube determines how fast the water gets sucked in). There might be less oxygen in the water if you decrease surface movement, but bettas don't really breathe from the water so it's good.

You can either take a piece of foam and put it across the entire opening, holding it in place with a rubber band, which will break up the flow and even give you some extra area for good bacteria to grow. Or you can make a water bottle baffle, which is explained wonderfully and with pictures in this thread. Basically you cut the top and bottom off a water bottle, then make a vertical cut up the side so it's a curled tube of plastic. Hold it sideways and tape one of the cut ends to the top of the filter, letting the other curl under the filter's output. The water will hit the water bottle and instead of rocketing down to the bottom of the tank, it will flow much more gently out the sides.
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:24 PM   #5 
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It's healthy to show them a mirror for 5 minutes a day if they don't normally flare. Typically, bettas should always have their fins spread out anyway- clamped fins being a sign of illness or discomfort.
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:36 PM   #6 
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There is also a sponge filter baffle too that Rana did mention a bit of, I've got a thread here that doesn't exactly give step by step explanation, but if you read the comments, you can get the general idea of it.

http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=56100
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Old 05-20-2013, 11:17 PM   #7 
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Thank you all for explaining the baffling. I did do the water bottle baffle and it seems to be working. I also put a large silk plant in the tank and my little guy seems happy.

I did discover that he sees his shadow in the upper left back corner of the tank...off a dark area of the background paper. He is flaring quite a bit but doesn't stay in that corner too long. He is casually swimming all over the tank just exploring. I did add a moss ball from my established community tank as well. Figured he might like it. So I don't think a mirror is necessary. He is getting lots of flaring and when he swims around his fins are mostly flared when he stops anyway.

Thanks again!
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:00 AM   #8 
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Just watch him when he does that. Since he's a DBHM he could split his fins and maybe putting another silk plant there might curb the behaviour. Otherwise, it's fine and that's his daily exercise! Mine do it all the time too once the tank light goes out.
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:50 PM   #9 
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Thanks for the advice! I will watch him. And the spot where this happens is right next to his hammock....I may just move it over to cover that spot.
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