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Old 07-21-2011, 03:35 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Question Need some advice about new betta.

Hi everyone. I am new to the forums and to betta keeping. I have kept goldfish for years, but am finding that there are many areas where bettas and goldies differ tremendously. I am really not sure what to watch for, or even what a healthy betta should look like. I do know that they should have no obvious damage to body or fins and should be responsive. Beyond that, I am completely new to them. I am uploading a couple of videos to show my new guy's activity level. He seems so much more active than I was expecting, but is eating well and acting healthy otherwise. He just swims around SO much. I know flashing and darting can be signs of parasites but since I have no clue how bettas should look when they are swimming around normally I am afraid I would not recognize abnormal behavior. I would really appreciate any observations on whether he looks healthy or whether there is anything about him that looks like it could indicate a problem. Our first betta was very sick when we got him but I had no idea. He only lasted a day and a half after coming home :( . I am so fond of this little guy and I don't want to let anything get past me this time. Thank you guys so much! (tank specs, feeding, etc are listed below the vids.)

The first video shows how he usually swims during the day. All three videos were taken withing about five minutes of each other. Sorry about the bad lighting and vid quality.

These two videos illustrate the type of activity I am wondering about. Is this alright?

Could he be chasing his reflection? He wasn't flaring but he doesn't flare at his food either. He tends to be fairly non-agressive. He doesn't swim up and down the wall like this during the day.

Care Details:

Claude came home yesterday afternoon.
Tank size: 10 gallon, filtered
Cycled: Yes but using a biological agent. I know there is quite a bit of debate about the effectiveness of bottled bacteria but this particular brand has worked for me in the past. It is called StartSmart. I will be testing the water regularly for ammonia and nitrite.
Water conditioner: Prime water conditioner/dechlorinator.
Equipment: Heater with thermostat auto-set to 78 degrees, 5-15 gallon HOB filter, thermometer.
Water temperature: between 79 and 81 degrees. Usually right at 80 degrees.
Decor: Small gravel substrate, four plastic plants (tested for smoothness) and three small Amazon Sword Plants (added this evening), glass canister as a betta cave.
Feeding: Nutrimax floating betta pellets. These get pre-soaked and he gets 3 or so per feeding. The pellets are much tinier than most other brands. Freeze-dried and pre-soaked blood worms as a supplement.
Strange symptoms: None besides the high activity level.
Kiiarah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2011, 03:58 AM   #2 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elk Grove, California
Hi Kiiarah and welcome to the forum. Claude looks healthy and very lovely. Since you just got him yesterday, he's still settling in and exploring his new home and watching what's going on around him. New bettas are either hyper or more often lethargic. Your guy's fins are nice and full, not clamped so he doesn't seem to be stressed. Only thing I might suggest is either adjusting the flow on your filter if it has that option or baffling it. Other than that he seems just fine. When given a lot of space as you did for Claude and when kept in properly warm waters like he is, bettas become much more active than anyone realizes. The reason why a lot of bettas seem inactive is because they are kept in tiny, dirty tanks with cold water.

Abnormal behavior to watch out for is darting where he just spazzes out and careens everywhere suddenly, lethargy like laying on the bottom all day, or rubbing against things. And of course things like bloating, swim bladder issues, and heavy breathing.

It IS normal for a new betta to refuse food for up to a week or more as he settles in. And sometimes he might just be picky, they're good at that too.

Congratulations on your new guy and good luck with him. Don't hestitate to post any questions you might have, we're always happy to help.
Sakura8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2011, 01:32 PM   #3 
Join Date: Nov 2010
He looks great. What a cute little fellow <3

He looks like he's getting pushed a bit by the filter's current in some of the videos. Like Sakura said, a baffle or adjusting the flow is a good idea.

Sometimes, bettas "glass surf", which means they rub their nose against the glass and glide along it.

Theyre simple fish, and hey-- everyone needs something to do...I guess its like a game for them! Hah!

Welcome to the forum.
PewPewPew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2011, 10:00 PM   #4 
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Thanks so much for your responses guys! It was funny, right after posting this question I looked over and wondered if the current could be annoying him. My fantail had a similar gripe with the filter when I first got him and spent all day swimming back and forth along the tank. I finally realized that the current was irritating him. Sure enough, I unplugged the filter and Claude calmed right down. I currently have it running and baffled and he seems like a much happier fish! He is still very active but doesn't look frantic anymore. He does still occasionally swim into the current deliberately, but it is very easy to avoid now. ^_^ Everything seems to be in order now, except that I am getting a bit worried that his belly is swelling. I have not seen him poop since I brought him home, so I am a bit worried that he could be constipated. It seems like switching to more regular feedings and a higher protein food could do that, but I have no clue what a normal full betta belly should look like. I actually just posted another thread with a video of him showing the size of his belly. If anyone feels up to offering an opinion on whether this is a betta's normal shape or a sign of early constipation that would be beyond awesome! Thanks guys, I am looking forward to learning a ton more on this site!
Kiiarah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2011, 11:44 PM   #5 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elk Grove, California
Hi Kiiarah, I went ahead and posted some advice for you on your other thread. I'm so glad his behavior is better and that we found the cause for his hyperactivity. Now we just need to get him to poop. See ya on the other thread.
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