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Old 10-28-2011, 07:48 PM   #1 
Sassington
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Unhappy New Fish, odd behavior?

Hey all -

I am new to the fish world and I have a 1 gallon tank with gravel and a "filter" that sits under the gravel with an airstone/air pump device to aerate the tank that I tried to host a few goldfish in a while back with no luck. I cleaned it out very good and decided on a betta we named Sara a few days ago since they seemed heartier than goldfish..

Anyway, my fish has been acting odd the past few hours.. he/she has been swimming erratically (I'll try to post a video) in that time... it doesn't seem to be rubbing itself on anything (trying to scratch its body) but seems to swim against the sides of the glass (okay, so it's plastic, but you get the idea) and seems to swim pretty ... erratic is the best way I can describe it. Normally it is a pretty slow, calm betta and I don't know if I should take this as playing/happy behavior or if it could be something bothering him/her. Sara doesn't seem to only do it when I get close to the tank so I can rule out "happy to see me" type behavior. I can see her doing the swimming fast, darting thing as I'm across the room typing this... I don't see any color changes, spots, fin changes...

I couldn't attach a video but I uploaded it to youtube and I hope it's okay to post the link here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSUk_...e_gdata_player

Should I be worried or am I just paranoid?

Thanks for any input!!
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Old 10-28-2011, 08:21 PM   #2 
Sassington
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Oh, I didn't see this sticky before posting... I tried to include as much info as I knew in my OP but... here goes:

Housing
What size is your tank? one gallon
What temperature is your tank? I don't know
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Air stone
Is your tank heated? No
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? No mates

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Aqueon Betta Food
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice a day, with about 10 pellets per feed

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? I haven't done one yet, just got her
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? n/a
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? n/a

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? no

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? No
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Yes
When did you start noticing the symptoms? An hour or so
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? no
Does your fish have any history of being ill? no
How old is your fish (approximately)? I don't know
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Old 10-28-2011, 08:25 PM   #3 
BettaMiah
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Looks fine to me. He looks like he sees his reflection. My fish do this sometimes.
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Old 10-28-2011, 08:29 PM   #4 
Zappity
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassington View Post
Oh, I didn't see this sticky before posting... I tried to include as much info as I knew in my OP but... here goes:

Housing
What size is your tank? one gallon
What temperature is your tank? I don't know
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Air stone
Is your tank heated? No
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? No mates

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Aqueon Betta Food
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice a day, with about 10 pellets per feed

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? I haven't done one yet, just got her
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? n/a
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? n/a

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? no

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? No
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Yes
When did you start noticing the symptoms? An hour or so
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? no
Does your fish have any history of being ill? no
How old is your fish (approximately)? I don't know
He's fine, he just sees his reflection in the glass. If you hold up a mirror, he'll probably flare, but if not, it's okay.
Also, 20 pellets a day is far too many. Try cutting back to 2-3 once, to twice a day. Don't wanna overfeed him ;) Also, a heater is a good idea, since bettas are tropical fish and need warmer than room temperature water.
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Old 10-28-2011, 08:40 PM   #5 
Sassington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zappity View Post
He's fine, he just sees his reflection in the glass. If you hold up a mirror, he'll probably flare, but if not, it's okay.
Also, 20 pellets a day is far too many. Try cutting back to 2-3 once, to twice a day. Don't wanna overfeed him ;) Also, a heater is a good idea, since bettas are tropical fish and need warmer than room temperature water.
Thanks... I hope I'm just being paranoid.. this fish has been in this tank for 3-4 days and this is truly the first I've seen of this behavior .. I would have thought it would have seen it's reflection by now and be used to it, but what do I know? LOL - that's why I'm here.. :) It's gotten pretty good at coming up to say hi or patiently waiting at the opening where I drop food in but has never danced around like this... maybe this little dance is the "I feel good/James Brown" dance... Here's to hoping!

Thanks for the feeding tip - I was just going by what the directions on the bottle said: "Feed several times daily in small amounts that will be consumed by fish within three minutes" and I know it's good to keep fish a little hungry but I had no clue - I was trying not to overfeed, but guess I already was lol ;) ... Like I mentioned, I've never done this and I posted before going through the entire forum. And I've never thought about a heater - I live in FL and it seems everytime I saw bettas at a store, they're always in a small cup by themselves so I figured room temp would be okay.. learn something new everyday! :)

Last edited by Sassington; 10-28-2011 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:01 PM   #6 
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One sentence did worry me in your description - rubbing himself on stuff. Is he still doing it? If so, shine a flashlight on him and check for a gold sheen. That's velvet, and it is bad. It is quite possible he doesn't have it, but it's good to be sure. :)

Yeah, there are a lot of myths about bettas - for reasons I will never understand, some petshops have taken it into their corporate heads the bettas come from the frozen wilds of north China, when they actually come from Thailand...on the equator. Heaters are always good. Other people who keep 1 gallon tanks should be able to recommend the best brand for that size. :)

When it comes to feeding, just remember that a betta's stomach is roughly the size of his eye. That should help you in measuring meal sizes. :)

It's good that you've gone for a betta rather than a goldfish this time. Goldies are big, messy fish and need huge tanks for proper care, and end up poisoning themselves with their own waste in tanks that aren't large enough. High maintenance divas! :p
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Old 10-29-2011, 06:59 AM   #7 
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@Bomba- Sass said "it doesn't seem to be rubbing" =)

That is a male betta, other then a few species, males tend to have the longer tail (he is a veiltail) (Males on the left, females on the right- to give you an idea on sexing them.

That is perfectly normal, he's just swimming about looking at the things around the tank.

You will want to be doing a 50% water change per week, with once a month siphoning out the substrate. Since you have a bubble filter such as that, I would go ahead and do a 100% once a month instead of the siphoning. You honestly don't need that "filter", but you would just have to add in an extra water change per week if you don't use it (1 50% and 1 100% per week). Bettas don't need a filter, nor do you need to create air circulation as they breathe primarily with their labyrinth organ and breathe the air we do. Make sure to dose the water with a full dose of conditioner for that size of a tank, regardless of how much water you remove during changes.

As for food, 4-6 medium (common pellets) (8-10 "mini/micro" pellets) a day spread between 2 meals is idea. I tend to feed mine 1 at a time (2-3 pellets per feeding) as to be able to make sure they are eaten and not forgotten and allowed to sink.

I usually recommend this heater as an idea for people with tanks less then 3 gals. If you could find one that has an adjustable thermostat, even better.

I would also recommend some type of plant as well. A silk, broad leaved one will do, as they love to hide and tend to like medium to heavily planted tanks with hiding spots.

Good luck, and any more questions, just ask!

Last edited by Myates; 10-29-2011 at 07:02 AM.
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Old 10-30-2011, 10:50 AM   #8 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myates View Post
@Bomba- Sass said "it doesn't seem to be rubbing" =)

That is a male betta, other then a few species, males tend to have the longer tail (he is a veiltail) (Males on the left, females on the right- to give you an idea on sexing them.

That is perfectly normal, he's just swimming about looking at the things around the tank.

You will want to be doing a 50% water change per week, with once a month siphoning out the substrate. Since you have a bubble filter such as that, I would go ahead and do a 100% once a month instead of the siphoning. You honestly don't need that "filter", but you would just have to add in an extra water change per week if you don't use it (1 50% and 1 100% per week). Bettas don't need a filter, nor do you need to create air circulation as they breathe primarily with their labyrinth organ and breathe the air we do. Make sure to dose the water with a full dose of conditioner for that size of a tank, regardless of how much water you remove during changes.

As for food, 4-6 medium (common pellets) (8-10 "mini/micro" pellets) a day spread between 2 meals is idea. I tend to feed mine 1 at a time (2-3 pellets per feeding) as to be able to make sure they are eaten and not forgotten and allowed to sink.

I usually recommend this heater as an idea for people with tanks less then 3 gals. If you could find one that has an adjustable thermostat, even better.

I would also recommend some type of plant as well. A silk, broad leaved one will do, as they love to hide and tend to like medium to heavily planted tanks with hiding spots.

Good luck, and any more questions, just ask!
Wow, that is some fantastic info, Myates :) Thank you!! And you're right, he's not actually touching anything or rubbing against anything.. The water is getting slightly cloudy in the tank (tomorrow will be a full week that he's been in there) so I'll have to do a waterchange tomorrow. I'll have to stop by Petco today and see if I can find that water heater.

I haven't had a change to browse these forums in great detail but curiousity struck me and I read some info on Velvet and I went and had a look at our fish - he seems to have some yellowing in his fins but I'm not convinced that it's not already his natural coloring... it is nowhere on the rest of his body and I'm pretty sure it's been there the whole time - he's bluish/teal in the right lighting with the right angle and darker blue near the tips of his fan/fins - and he's not showing any symptoms of having velvet (loss of appetite, darting, rubbing, lethargic) but he's quite the opposite of those symptoms... maybe I'll try to get a pic... I'll just keep an eye on the "yellow" to see if it get worse.. like I said, I'm not convinced it's not part of his natural coloring anyway... I've been trying to find some good pics on the internet and I'll have to browse these forums for good pics...

Does this look like velvet to anyone?
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Old 10-30-2011, 04:40 PM   #9 
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Whoops, sorry on the failure to read! :p Yeah, not velvet. He's very pretty. I love green bettas.
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Old 10-30-2011, 05:07 PM   #10 
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Beautiful betta!

He is what I call... glass surfing :) many bettas do it. Some, because they are begging for food (do not let them fool you!), see their reflection, or something outside their tank/bowl. The yellowing on his fins are actually quite normal in most bettas - where they can change the degree of their color (green and yellow for instance, or blue and red even) from different food, water quality, water hardness/softness, PH... many things :) as long as his pretty colors do not suddenly go mostly dull there really is nothing to worry about with the color change.
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