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Old 05-23-2011, 03:15 PM   #1 
SilverMagic
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What are the symptoms of a stressed betta?

Just want to know if this is something we can recognize. I've been doing 50% water changes for my betta twice a week. Sometimes an additional 25% in the week. My betta is in a 5 gallon tank, currently cycling. I don't remove him from the tank when I do this because I think it would be more stressful to remove him from his home than to do the procedure while he is in the tank. He doesn't act stressed, he continues swimming around while I remove half his water and when I pour fresh water in the tank I make it like it's raining, gently pour and he comes toward it. There is a heater in the tank, temperature generally stays about 79 degrees, betta is very active except when he sleeps or rests (don't really know if they sleep) I do have to unplug it to do water changes, I add aged room temperature water to his tank, I believe it stays warm on the bottom near the rocks. I notice the temperature on the thermometer only changes to about 2 degrees lower when I'm doing the water change. Then I immediately plug everything back in and it warms back up again to his regular temperature. Seems to me that if I removed him from his tank and put him in a cup he would probably be colder, although I've seen people on here say that a 50% water change is very big so the betta should be removed. I'd rather not force him out of his home, just leave him in and make it a quick process.

My question is are symptoms of stress something we can recognize, meaning they would be hiding at the bottom of the tank or can a betta be swimming around a tank seemingly unstressed and still be stressed and we don't know it?
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Old 05-23-2011, 03:28 PM   #2 
Stardancer
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My question is are symptoms of stress something we can recognize, meaning they would be hiding at the bottom of the tank or can a betta be swimming around a tank seemingly unstressed and still be stressed and we don't know it?
Yes, but also yes. Which is to say that yes, they can be stressed although they look okay. But usually there's some indication of stress. There are stress bars, for one, dark horizontal lines that appear on their bodies. And behavioral changes--spazzing out or hiding or whizzing around the tank--really anything that isn't normal behavior.

Does that help? I've only scratched the surface; hopefully someone else can fill in more. I do know that fish can be highly individual and so it may just depend on you knowing your fish's habits. If your betta isn't acting weirdly, I think he's probably fine
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Old 05-23-2011, 04:23 PM   #3 
kumi
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Not the question that you asked, but rather than using room temperature aged water, you could use a declorinator and add water closer to the original temperature.
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Old 05-23-2011, 05:32 PM   #4 
SillyCone
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idk I think depends from fish to fish, my betta for example only flares to me if I'm holding one of his foods or when he's stressed or mad at me, like right now because I changed his aquarium to treat his cloudy eyes. :P
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Old 05-23-2011, 06:02 PM   #5 
Tisia
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a lot of times they'll be a lot paler when stressed as well
not sure what you use for storing the water, but I just use 1 gallon jugs, and then fill up a couple sinks with hot water and stick them in to warm them up a bit while I'm siphoning
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:17 PM   #6 
SilverMagic
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a lot of times they'll be a lot paler when stressed as well
not sure what you use for storing the water, but I just use 1 gallon jugs, and then fill up a couple sinks with hot water and stick them in to warm them up a bit while I'm siphoning
I also use the 1 gallon jugs but didn't know how to warm them up. I'll do that. I thought I was going to have to buy another heater and another fish tank just to get same temperature water!
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:27 PM   #7 
Tisia
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I usually end up using my finger to check between the temps about 10 times till I'm satisfied it's pretty close, lol. there have been a few times I've had to refill the sink with hotter water, and even colder water 1 or 2 times, but generally it seems about right by the time I'm done siphoning
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Old 05-24-2011, 01:32 AM   #8 
Sakura8
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It's possible the large water changes are stressful, too. I know this might sound contradictory to what people say but sometimes the larger the water change, the more stressful it is for the fish to adjust to any differences in water chemistry, temperature etc. If you think this might be the case, you could try several 25% water changes a week. This would have the added benefit of not taking so long so your heater would not be unplugged as long. In fact, you may not have to unplug the heater if you only do 25% changes.

When I add water, I fill at my kitchen sink using a thermometer to make sure the water is roughly the same temperature as the water in the tank (about 79-80 degrees). Just be sure you stir the water you're putting in a few times to try and disperse gas bubbles.
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