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Old 08-07-2011, 09:10 PM   #1 
Comet1993
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Question Normal Betta Behavior and Appearance?

I've seen a lot of videos of bettas while on this site, and most of them have their fins spread out while they're swimming. Turbo usually keeps his dorsal fin and ventral fins close to his body while he swims.. His caudal fin and anal fin are fairly spread out, but the other fins don't seem to be.. He does stop or slow down and spread out his fins a little more. Is this normal?
Also, he stays at the top of the tank for a while, but not usually too long. He goes to the top for air and stays there; then, he comes back down and swims around. Sometimes, he does it before getting air, too. Is it normal for bettas to stay at the top for a while after getting air? He doesn't always do this; sometimes, he darts to the top for air and immediately goes back to swimming, but I've noticed that he does stay at the top for a while sometimes.
He is also fairly thin. I'm not sure if that's just how he's supposed to look or if it's because he's young.. His "belly" seems slightly rounded but not bloated. Maybe I'm just paranoid. Lol.
This is somewhat awkward, but I've not noticed my betta eliminating any waste, and I've not really noticed any floating around in the tank (Which, I guess, is a good thing...). I've heard that bettas can become constipated. Do you think that could be a problem with him? He seems very healthy and active. Once again, maybe I'm just paranoid.
Thank you!
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Old 09-20-2011, 02:25 PM   #2 
tf1265
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It's not unusual for the dorsal fin to go down while swimming. It is when they are stopped or resting that the dorsal fin should be up, as a sign that he is healthy. But not the only sign.

Bettas tend to be surface dwellers. I've read that many experts think a 4" deep tank is ideal for a betta, as the water stays warmer and they don't have to swim far to get to the surface. This is of course giving them about 20" long swimming space. So if he is spending time at the surface, that is good - that's where they usually are. If he is spending a lot of time hiding at the bottom, he might not feel safe.

I suspect you are just being paranoid. Waste shouldn't float, it will sink to the bottom and get lost in the gravel. When you vaccuum the gravel or shake the gravel to clean, that is when you should be able to tell if he's not eliminating waste.

If you really think it is constipation, you will want to put a small amount of epsom salt in his water. There is a lot more info on that should you decide you need it.
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Old 09-20-2011, 04:46 PM   #3 
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I get paranoid about my babies all the time! Males should have a slightly big belly! All their organs need to fit! When my dragon swims he clamps all his fins down and goes at top speed, but when my halfmoons swim it's usually in little bursts so their fins stay upright. Their fin movement is just for controlling how fast, slow or if they need to turn. Don't worry! No betta fish is the same! Some days my betta will be a complete spaz and swim in strange patterns (lol) , but other time's he'll just chill that day! No biggie! :)
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Old 09-20-2011, 04:56 PM   #4 
Myates
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I've seen a lot of videos of bettas while on this site, and most of them have their fins spread out while they're swimming. Turbo usually keeps his dorsal fin and ventral fins close to his body while he swims.. His caudal fin and anal fin are fairly spread out, but the other fins don't seem to be.. He does stop or slow down and spread out his fins a little more. Is this normal? Yep! It can also depend on the tail type of your friend. The most common ones are Veiltail, and they tend to have their fins relatively closed up for the most part, especially when swimming. It's the halfmoons, deltas, crowntails that tend to have their back fins open more regularly. But even they can close their fins down some while swimming. So very normal!

Also, he stays at the top of the tank for a while, but not usually too long. He goes to the top for air and stays there; then, he comes back down and swims around. Sometimes, he does it before getting air, too. Is it normal for bettas to stay at the top for a while after getting air? He doesn't always do this; sometimes, he darts to the top for air and immediately goes back to swimming, but I've noticed that he does stay at the top for a while sometimes. They go all around.. up down, side to side. They tend to rest more closer to the top to be close to the surface to breathe. They swim lower to explore and search for food. =)

He is also fairly thin. I'm not sure if that's just how he's supposed to look or if it's because he's young.. His "belly" seems slightly rounded but not bloated. Maybe I'm just paranoid. Lol. Slightly rounded is good! Means he isn't constipated nor bloated. How much do you feed him and of what type of food? Usually 4-6 pellets spread throughout the day is a good feeding. Or a couple small pinches of flakes.. or a few frozen bloodworms.. lol =) So as mentioned before, I think it's just paranoia ;)

This is somewhat awkward, but I've not noticed my betta eliminating any waste, and I've not really noticed any floating around in the tank (Which, I guess, is a good thing...). I've heard that bettas can become constipated. Do you think that could be a problem with him? He seems very healthy and active. Once again, maybe I'm just paranoid. Waste sinks to the bottom, why it's important when doing your tank cleaning, that when doing the 100% you siphon that out, or swish/rinse. It's in there, under the rocks, and making the water yucky, so don't forget the cleaning!
Thank you!
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Old 09-20-2011, 05:35 PM   #5 
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Your fish sounds normal to me.

About the fins: I've had three veiltails (not counting the one I bought today because I haven't really gotten to know him yet), and their fins are very different. I have one who almost looks like a Delta tail because his fins are so full. One of mine always has his caudal fin spread, but not his others as much. I guess it's the same as how people have different postures when they walk.

PS. And I've never seen any of my fish pooping either. Sometimes it's visible on the bottom of the tank, but usually I don't see it until I clean the gravel.

Last edited by Irishdancer; 09-20-2011 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 10-06-2011, 10:17 AM   #6 
Comet1993
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I've noticed that his dorsal fin is a little odd-looking. :/ It looks like it has a "narrowing" or something of it. Almost like it got stripped away. I don't know if that's just how their fins are supposed to look, but I doubt it. I wonder what conditions he was subjected to before he came to live with me. Hopefully, he wasn't in a betta fight or anything. =[
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Old 10-06-2011, 12:10 PM   #7 
Miyazawa
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A picture would be helpful and the tail type :)
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Old 10-06-2011, 03:34 PM   #8 
Myates
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Does it look anything like this? Make sure before you do any treatment on him: Fin Melt Thread

You've had him for two months+, so any water issues would be from your end. As well as if he had fought prior to you getting him, back then you would of seen the damage. But normally, if gotten at a LFS, it's highly doubtful he got anywhere near another male.
Unsure how you mean by "stripped", is it shredding or missing pieces?

Pictures would be nice, if not, at least answer these few questions to help determine what could be wrong and how to fix/prevent it.

What size tank is he in?
What is the temp of the tank?
Is it filtered?
How often do you do water changes?
What is the % of water you remove when doing the water changes?
Do you use dechlorinator/water conditioner each time, and do you do a full dose on partial water changes?
What food are you feeding him and how much?
If you have tested the water, what were the results?
Are there any other signs of illness other then the pointing of the dorsal fin?
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Old 10-29-2011, 08:06 PM   #9 
Comet1993
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He's a veiltail. =) It doesn't look at all like the picture. I'm starting to think it's just the way that fin is.. It's been like that since I've had him, and he's still all cute and spunky and has a huge appetite. Lol. It's kind of like.... Imagine a rectangle, a long, thin rectangle.. Then, shape the end like a betta dorsal fin... Then, cut out a little square shape gradually.. And... This is even sounding confusing to me now. =/ I really don't know how to describe it. And he hates his picture being taken, apparently.. But I've been trying. =[

What size tank is he in? Ten-gallon.
What is the temp of the tank? Usually between seventy-six and eighty.
Is it filtered? Yes.
How often do you do water changes? Once a week.
What is the % of water you remove when doing the water changes? Usually about three gallons.. So, about one-third. I do one-half every now and then, too. Or one-fourth. Usually, around one-third, though.
Do you use dechlorinator/water conditioner each time, and do you do a full dose on partial water changes? Yes, and I use seven drops per gallon for the new water that I add (the dose specified on the bottle).
What food are you feeding him and how much? It depends on the day.. Some days, I feed him about two or three small granules twice a day. Some days, two pellets twice a day. Infrequently, a very small pinch of flakes. He's had frozen midge larvae before. Sometimes, I give him one freeze-dried brine shrimp for the day in small, small pieces. I usually fast him about once a week.
If you have tested the water, what were the results? The last time I tested it, the results were good.
Are there any other signs of illness other then the pointing of the dorsal fin? Not at all.

Last edited by Comet1993; 10-29-2011 at 08:08 PM. Reason: Specifics and tail type.
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