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Old 08-30-2011, 09:07 PM   #1 
RegulusRed
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Arrow Betta is Swimming Crazily!

Hey there, forum~ I just got my first betta fish last week, and I am so happy. The whole time I've had Regulus, a gorgeous little half-moon, he's been very happy, nice and active, eating well.
He lives in a 3.5 gallon tank with a heater-- the temp is usually around 75 degrees. There was a small filter in the tank, but he wasn't a big fan and it didn't seem to be doing much, so I took it out.

So, I noticed that there was some filmy floaty stuff and bubbles (beginnings of a bubblenest?) on top of the water and thought it was time for a 100% water change. I also decided to move the tank next to my stereo (and this was when I removed the filter). I also put in a new silk plant.

Now Regulus is acting crazy! He acts like he wants to get out, but that could just be me. The two front corners of the tank are rounded, and he is constantly flailing his face into them. In the past 20 minutes (I've been keeping an eye on him since the water change) he has gotten all "floaty" three times, just sort of standing really still in the water, totally frozen, sometimes listing a little. I have to snap him out of it. His water is warmer than normal, but I let him acclimate to it before putting him in. Its now at about 80 but hasn't gone any higher. I thoroughly washed the plant before putting it in, as well as the gravel. I used water dechlorinator as well.

I've been doing little water changes with cooler water to try and maybe cool him down. I haven't tried feeding him yet, but he isn't (and hasn't since I got him) swimming with clamped fins. He flares beautifully at his own reflection, but this crazy flailing he's been doing is different than how he acts when he "fights".

My guesses are: the music is making him crazy (its not loud), the silk plant has something wrong with it (it was really cheap), the lack of filter, or the water is too warm compared to what he was used to.

I really appreciate the help, sorry for the long explanation!

[EDIT] I took that silk plant out and he's already flailing around less. I think perhaps the colour was what was freaking him out-- its a red similar to his on the undersides of the leaves. Doesn't really explain why he was trying to get out through the bottom corner of the tank, but... Hm. If you've noticed anything I'm doing wrong, please let me know~!

Last edited by RegulusRed; 08-30-2011 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:44 PM   #2 
RegulusRed
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Alright, this is going to be full of edits before anybody even responds.

Regulus was getting even more listless and odd after I took the plant out, so I did a quick 50% water change with water that was slightly cooler. He's acting a bit more normal now~ I think he's gonna be okay.

ARGH right as I'm typing this he had a little flailing episode in the corner (he hit his head on the rocks. ;n;). But now its done and he's just swimming a little slowly on the bottom. Am I just worried for nothing?

Also, just a quick question-- is it good for a Betta to be flaring often? Not full-on "OMG I SEE ANOTHER BETTA" flaring, but sort of little "I feel like flaring a little now, whoosh~" things.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:33 PM   #3 
missm83
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mine did the same thing when i changed few things around the tank...he swims up and down side to side...i think hes just happylol and he will flare up all the time just cuz lol
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:35 PM   #4 
Banicks
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Firstly, calm down :)

My little fella does this lately also, it's because when my flurescent light is on, he can see his reflection in the glass and instinct is for him to charge another Betta.

Even if you do not use a light, it is still possible for him to see his reflection and as a result flare. This is quite natural and I found Victor has done it less and less, and quite probably can recognise his own reflection 9 times out of 10.

If you took the plant out it may have unsettled him, particularly if he is only new to the tank. Try to leave things how they are for a week or so, this will allow him to become acustomed to where things are.

Finally, what are your levels? (Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate?) A water change can cause a spike in Ammonia from substrate or decoration disturbances. This will help us, help you further.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:59 PM   #5 
inkrealm
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as Banicks said check the levels and get back to us :D
also does he only do this at the rounded corners? a little while back my boy got a bad case of fin rot; I didn't have another tank so I put him in a thoroughly rinsed vase just for half an hour while I was waiting for someone to pick one up.. it had a rounded surface as well, and he went completely PSYCHO. the word doesn't even cover it >.<; I had him out within minutes ;-;" I don't know if it's the round shape, or if they can somehow see their reflection worse, but, just a thought ^-^;

if it's only the round corners, either cover them up where he can't squeeze into them ( and I mean thoroughly because they can pack into some TINY places 0.o ), or if you can't get that, just move everyting from the spot so he doesn't hit his head again ^-^; poor guy haha, ^-^;
some bettas do like funny temps too ^-^;

I'm glad he seems to be chilling out a little... keep us posted on the poor silly guy <3
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Old 08-31-2011, 12:42 AM   #6 
earthworm88
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Hi, RegulusRed, Welcome to the forum. Here are my 2c, apologies in advance if I sound long winded

Quote:
He lives in a 3.5 gallon tank with a heater-- the temp is usually around 75 degrees. There was a small filter in the tank, but he wasn't a big fan and it didn't seem to be doing much, so I took it out.
Sorry, I am not clear what your actual cleaning schedule is, but just want to re-iterate. If you have a 3.5 unfiltered gal tank, I would do one 50% water change and one 100% change per week, or at least at the minimum a 100% water change per week.

Quote:
So, I noticed that there was some filmy floaty stuff and bubbles (beginnings of a bubblenest?) on top of the water and thought it was time for a 100% water change.
Probably not a good idea to change water based on what you see on the surface

Quote:
I also decided to move the tank next to my stereo (and this was when I removed the filter).
They are sensitive to noise. As the sound waves travel, they can also travel through the water medium and the fish may interpret it as something approaching ie preys or predators etc and can get stressed or freaked out or get ready for battle. Or he may just be peeved that he was getting sensory overload or that was not his choice of music

Quote:
In the past 20 minutes (I've been keeping an eye on him since the water change) he has gotten all "floaty" three times, just sort of standing really still in the water, totally frozen, sometimes listing a little. I have to snap him out of it.
I do not recommend "snapping" them out of it. If he was being "stealth", he had his reason, so l would leave him be.

Quote:
His water is warmer than normal, but I let him acclimate to it before putting him in. Its now at about 80 but hasn't gone any higher.
Some betta may be more sensitive to slight degree change than others. I am not sure how long you tried to acclimate him, but this can definitely be an issue. If your room temperature is cooler than your tap water temp, I would suggest collect the water in one of those large spring water bottles a day in advance so that the water will be the same temp as the water he is in.

Quote:
My guesses are: the music is making him crazy (its not loud), the silk plant has something wrong with it (it was really cheap), the lack of filter, or the water is too warm compared to what he was used to.
I would say possibly noise, some bettas are more sensitive to certain colors too, so may be he didn't like red? and water temp fluctuation.

Quote:
Doesn't really explain why he was trying to get out through the bottom corner of the tank, but... Hm. If you've noticed anything I'm doing wrong, please let me know~!
one possible explanation is he didn't like his surrounding for the reasons above.

As for the rounded surface, I am not quite sure what you mean. My tanks are cylindrical round, and my bettas don't act that way. So it is possible that the reflection is more prominent in yours depending on how "rounded" they are?

Hope he is doing better and familiarized himself in his new surrounding by now.

Cheers!
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