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Old 07-13-2011, 05:19 AM   #1 
elegantlyunsophisticated
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Red face Newest Betta is uncomfortable in big tank

Hi everyone! I'm extremely new here and have only been keeping bettas for a couple months or so (excluding the fish I had as a little kid, not counting those poor guys). I'm afraid the addiction is coming on fast as I already have 2 males and a female (all in their own respective tanks). I just got my newest addition, a second male, today and I put him in the empty tank I had (5ish gallons). My first male Buckminster used to live here, and when I put him in he was all over the place exploring and checking out his new gigantic space. Unfortunately, Kasterborous is quite the opposite and prefers to chill out under the bio-orb until some food sinks down for him to nom. He's been up to the surface a couple of times but only stays in the heavily furnished half of the tank. Will he outgrow his shyness or would he be more comfortable in a smaller tank? Switching him with my female Empress would be no problem at all as she is a very confident little fishy and loves to swim around. Sorry if I sound like a total noobster but I've done as much research as humanly possible and want some advice from fellow betta owners. Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-13-2011, 07:47 AM   #2 
Hisaki Yuki001
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My Tetsu did the very same thing when I got him. I would suggest just give him some time to settle in and a lot of hiding places to make him feel more secure. He'll eventually grow into his new tank. Once he gets used to it, he'll be exploring in no time. ^_^
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Old 07-13-2011, 08:27 AM   #3 
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Hi EUS, welcome to the forum. I am also a newbie here Sounds like Kasterborous got one luxury set up to roam about. Since it is a new environment for him, it may take him 3-4 days to warm up to it. I don't have much experience at all, but one of my bettas has got a SBD so I have been reading up on that :( But even with that, he will never forgo his meals. I guess the best course to take for now is to observe him for a few days because you wrote that he would wait down below until the food sinks and reaches him, so I would look out for SBD in case he has got negative buoyancy. But like they say, if you hear the sound of hooves in the distance, think horses, not zebras :D I am just being a bit more cautious because of my current experience lol So it's probably nothing, he is just chilling and being shy.
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Old 07-13-2011, 03:37 PM   #4 
elegantlyunsophisticated
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Thanks for the replies everyone! I don't think it's SBD cause when Kaster thought I wasn't looking, he came up to the surface for a while to poke around. I'll give him a couple of days and also invest in some more hiding places (the fish cave I got from Petsmart floats -_- it's really annoying). I was just a bit worried because Buckminster couldn't wait to be released into the big tank to look around. I think this big tank is like the ocean to him after that tiny Petsmart cup! I've also given him the lid to his cup to encourage him to start up a bubblenest, so hopefully he comes up to explore that soon. So yeah, this was just a noobie fish owner's worries
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Old 07-13-2011, 03:44 PM   #5 
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Same happened to my Red! He's probably just frighted. He'll adjust in no time!

And, welcome to the forums!
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Old 07-13-2011, 05:10 PM   #6 
elegantlyunsophisticated
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thanks! Also, what do you think of using beach rocks as a substrate? I don't want to deal with gravel and I'm starting to get annoyed by the look of a bare bottomed tank. I'll be sure to set them up in a way that no one will get stuck and I think it would be cool to go out and get rocks that coordinate with each fish's colors. I think using beach rocks would be cool cause they're only a short walking distance away to collect and they're free!
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Old 07-14-2011, 02:01 AM   #7 
earthworm88
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My understanding is that it may not be a good idea due to the fact that the salt can leach out, or increase your pH level due to the calcareous nature of the rocks, and also possibly carry bacterias and what not. Nature stuff is nice, but it's our environment that they are in that suck. If you really want to attempt this, you will have to test them, boil them, and do the whole nine yards to ensure that they are safe. Some one with more experience on here or is currently using sea rocks as substrate can probably tell you how to go about it or not :) Good luck with that! Hope your Kasterborous is getting more adventurous!
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Old 07-14-2011, 02:07 AM   #8 
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Calder was extremely shy in his 10 gallon when I first got him. while he warmed to it, he's happiest in spaces of 5 gallons or less-- so I think it's possible for fish to feel overwhelmed by large amounts of space. If you can put anything up near the surface for him to hide under, I bet your betta would feel tons more comfey. (Calder did-- before he was rushing up for air then running away case he was afraid of the top of the tank.
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Old 07-14-2011, 02:23 AM   #9 
elegantlyunsophisticated
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hey everyone! I'm happy to say that Kaster's become way more adventurous and has explored the bare unknowns of the other half of the tank! I managed to lure him over with food (he's a fatty). I did also bring the water level down a bit cause I plan to breed him and his tank will be the breeding one. I had a brief moment of panic where I thought he had SBD, but that was just my new fish owner mind going crazy (I had my salts ready and everything! but then he started swimming about).
Our local pet store sells bags of stones that appear to be the same deal as beach rocks (rounded, same texture). Of course I will rinse/boil/take care of the rocks before putting them in with my fish, I would love to see if anyone else has tried this.
Thanks for all of your answers!
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Old 07-14-2011, 11:29 AM   #10 
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Good to hear he's all settled in now. When Percy was upgraded from 2.5 gallons to 6 gallons, he was a little shy also, but now he's really happy, blowing bubblenests etc.
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