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Old 11-20-2014, 08:51 AM   #1 
autojoy
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...Too active? O_O

Hello! I'd like to ask about betta behaviour. John McClane is our first betta... so, we're not 100% familiar with all the types of behaviours a betta can exhibit.

He's been with us since 1st November this year, and initially he had problems eating the NLS pellets. Everyone told me not to give up, and I was glad for the support!!! He's now obsessed with them, lol, which is great. Now that he's eating properly, he seems to have *tonnes* of energy... I'm not sure if there's such a thing as "too much" energy for a betta?

Basically, he spends a few minutes every couple hours attacking the tank walls. No flaring - it's different to his behaviour when he *truly* sees his reflection and flares and puffs himself right up. But this attacking the walls thing... it's like he gets up too much speed and can't stop? He'll smack himself into the gravel now and then, seemingly by accident. I assumed he was seeing his reflection in the glass somehow, but, yeah, it seems to me to be different behaviour to proper "flaring."

It's not like he does it 24/7, he just seems to go back to it every now and then. Usually in one or two key spots, which makes me still think it's reflections/refractions? I've tried various things with the lighting and tried taping paper over the spots he goes nuts at, but it doesn't really seem to be helping.

I was concerned at first it might have been "scratching" behaviour, as it does look like he's flashing like, SUPER aggressively, and I've been making sure to carefully check his body for the past 20 days we've had him, and nothing so far...

I monitor him to see if he seems stressed, but I'm not sure if he really is? He never goes into hiding, never stripes up and loves to explore (he has a large ceramic hide, floating plants, water wisteria clump in the back, a tiger lotus with lots of leaves, three java ferns on wood, a stack of IALs to shoot through, etc.) and I feel like I am currently giving him enough to feel safe in... would you agree?

He always comes to the front of the tank wiggling now he's learned who gives him the food, haha, and he doesn't shy away from me, my huge fat face making kissy-kissy at him through the glass (lol) and never has a problem with PWCs or anything like that... he's not clamped and is eating and pooping fine... tank params are 0/0/10-20 (tap water is 10, hard to tell what is truly "20" on the API kit but it never has any hint of red in it so I assume it stays under 20). Temp is 79/80.

I worry about him a lot *Should* I be worried about him? Or is it likely he's just naturally like this??

Thank you for reading. I guess I'm just looking for experienced keepers relaying their own experiences with different fish!
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Old 11-20-2014, 11:18 AM   #2 
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If there's nothing wrong with the size of the tank, the water quality and the temperature, I wouldn't worry too much.

Two of my three guys are serious glass surfers whenever there are people present (like he will spend his entire time swimming up and down, side to side along the glass and occasionally he will get smacked in the face like yours).
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Old 11-20-2014, 12:17 PM   #3 
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@taquitos Thanks for your reply!! ^_^ I think I'd been under the impression that glass-surfing was a different act to the behaviour he is expressing! But doing more research after your mention, it does seem like he is *very* aggressively glass-surfing.

This makes me super sad, as apparently it's related to boredom or stress?? :((( It gets worse if I'm in the room (like he's trying to swim out of the glass towards me) but I can see him doing it now and then when I'm spying on him, still.

I don't know how I can alleviate his boredom or stress... he was very occupied with the water lettuce I got him for about 4 days, 5 days... he seems a little less bothered about it now.

I'm... not sure I can really buy something new for him every week to see if it'll help? Financially it's not practical. I think I've spent well over 200 already just on this set-up. I can switch up the tank a little, but not a huge amount as it's partially planted.

;_; man, I'm kinda horrified on his behalf and sad about this....... I tried so hard to make it a good environment for a fish...
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Old 11-20-2014, 12:59 PM   #4 
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I don't think it's related to boredom/stress. My guys only do it when we go near the tanks. When they don't know I'm there I see them interacting with different things in their tanks :) They live in planted tanks with lots of things to. I think it just has more to do with human = food = good so they get excited. They're very clever fish!
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Old 11-20-2014, 02:09 PM   #5 
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@taquitos I would guess it's fine if they're only doing it when you go near the tanks, kind of just like excited behaviour? My boy does it when I'm not there (if I spy on him round the corner...), which I would imagine is the stress-related or boredom-related end of glass-surfing. I can try and get him some more plants, but... I'm concerned that I could fill the whole tank and he'd still do this hyper-aggressive surfing..... the thought of that makes me really sad :(
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Old 11-20-2014, 02:17 PM   #6 
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My Grievous is an aggressive glass-surfer, and I was worried about it, too. Several people on this forum said that they had fish like that, too, and they were fine. Some fish are just more active than others. c: As long as his parameters are fine, and he remains healthy and seemingly stress-free, I wouldn't worry. Maybe your boy is like mine, and he's just more interested in our world. Either me or my husband is almost always in the room with him, so there's always something going on out here for him to watch.
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Old 11-20-2014, 10:29 PM   #7 
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I'm sure he's fine. As the others said, if the temperature is good, water quality fine and he's not clamped, etc., it's just something he's doing.

A lot of people speculate why Betta do the things we consider "negative." Usually the inexplicable is attributed to stress, boredom, etc., because there has to be a reason, right? The fact is, like us, someimes Betta just "do." Doesn't mean you have a failing as a keeper. Actually sounds as if you're a splendid one.
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Old 11-21-2014, 07:31 AM   #8 
autojoy
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@Schmoo thanks for your response :) It is interesting to learn that Grievous, too, does this (and other fish!) I've tried putting things up next to the tank, but it just makes him flare, mostly, as they cause reflections. I guess there's a few other things I can try. And I think I need to maybe calm down a little........ I find it very distressing to watch him do it. I just feel a bit helpless, I guess.

@Russell Thank you for reading, and thanks for your response too. Perhaps it is just part of his personality. I don't know. It just seems so jerky and aggressive, so it's a bit upsetting to watch when he gets into it -- especially when he lands in the gravel and looks super-dazed for a sec. I'll try a few more things with him. I'm getting a bit obsessed with thinking about it and checking on him and I'm sure that isn't helping the situation at all...!

TBH I can't quite tell if he's just chasing his reflection or if he is just displaying neurotic behaviour... or both... or..... blahhhhh -_-; *head explodes*

Last edited by autojoy; 11-21-2014 at 07:40 AM.
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Old 11-22-2014, 08:35 PM   #9 
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Haha, I think my newest betta is a bit neurotic too. He glass surfs a lot as well, but if anything touches him when he doesn't see it, he freaks out. He once had a duckweed root stick to his dorsal and he spun in circles half flaring at it till I removed it. I'm currently watching him go in circles against the glass behind his filter intake... despite putting paper against the glass. It's really funny because he's so big...

Sometimes animals just do strange things.
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Old 11-24-2014, 04:56 AM   #10 
autojoy
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@Tress thank you for reading, and it is very welcome to have experiences relayed like this. I want to learn as much as I can about betta behaviour. I checked out your new boy in your journal. He is so lovely -- I adore VTs and red fish in general.
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