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Old 12-23-2011, 11:56 PM   #1 
fallingleaf
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Location: Northern MN
Need help with my betta. He is pacing.

About a year ago i was given 2 betta fish as a gift. They were in vases and one died a few months back. I felt so bad. :( I googled why my fish died because I didn't want my other guy to die. So after googling i find out these fish need tanks, with heaters! They aren't supposed to live in a bowl. I did not know that.


So i have one little guy left. So i went to walmart. I got my fish a 10 gallon with a aqua heater and filter. I baffled his filter and got him a blubber dino which doesn't really work. I have his temp at 76. I have had him in his new home now for about 3 weeks.

So from day one in his tank he paces. He goes back and forth. I asked questions on yahoo answers and people said he needed friends. So what did i do? I go to the pet store and get him some tetras because the chart said they are compatible. So the first day he head butts one and it dies. He leaves the rest alone now. So now i have 3 tetras in a 10 gallon tank with him. They lady at the pet store also said i should get a pleco. (God why am i such an idiot?) So i got one, and when I got home, looked it up and saw how retarded i was for that.

So back to my question. He is still pacing. He paces the front of the tank. He never rests. I peak into the kitchen and i see him pace. He paces furiously back and forth in the front of his tank only. He rarely ever rests.

When he was in his little vase on the kitchen table he would get so excited to see me. He would open and close his little mouth and swim over to me and i would talk to him. He ate like a little pig. Now in his new tank i thought he would be happy but he just ignores me and paces. I just want him to be happy. I am totally making huge mistakes with him. So i am in high hopes that somebody here will tell me how to fix all of these mistakes i just made and make my fish happy. I have already found the articles on this site useful.

So to the person who just read this huge long book i wrote, i apologize for making it so long! To the person who answers my pacing question, thank you in advanced! :)
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Old 12-24-2011, 12:25 AM   #2 
guardianfyre
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How well planted is the tank? Are they all at the sides and back or are they randomly placed? Any other odd behaviors? Still eating well? Fins full and healthy looking? Eyes bright and clear?
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Old 12-24-2011, 09:53 AM   #3 
fallingleaf
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Originally Posted by guardianfyre View Post
How well planted is the tank? Are they all at the sides and back or are they randomly placed? Any other odd behaviors? Still eating well? Fins full and healthy looking? Eyes bright and clear?
i did have a bunch of wisteria plants in it but they shed all over the place so i threw them. I was going to get him some live ones to put in there but i need something that doesn't make such a mess. Or is there no such thing? I could get some plastic ones. I have a pic on my album of the tank. It looks very barren. I had one wisteria left in that pic. I thought that if i put too much in it he would have less room to swim.

He wouldn't eat his pellets only spit them out. I got him flakes. He spits out the flakes too. He is too busy pacing to eat. He looks good basically only paler. When i got him he was a light purple color then a few months later he turned a dark blue with a black face. Now he kind of looks like he is turning pink. I know that sounds weird but he seems to change colors.

Am i supposed to add salt to his tank? Will the salt kill the tetras and the pleco? I think i found a person who will take my pleco. Its an elderly lady that has a gigantic tank of fancy goldfish. So i may be getting rid of him next week. I heard they grow too huge for my tank.
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Old 12-24-2011, 11:24 AM   #4 
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I think he is stressed. He feels exposed and can't relax. Does he have a cave to hide in? If not, maybe get him a cave and some plants. They seem to like floating plants too. Mine loves his betta floating log!
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Old 12-24-2011, 12:20 PM   #5 
Myates
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Welcome.. and don't be too hard on yourself, most of us have made mistakes when starting out, and who knew that we couldn't always trust what a pet store employee tells us?

Most likely he is unsure what to do with himself. Born and soon after placed into a jar at the breeders, then into a cup to be shipped and moved around, then into a vase. Being an older betta and living in a vase, and smaller all his life, he is not used to large spaces.
As mentioned before, more plants would benefit him. Whether real or silk (fake), having a fair amount in there, and you already have a cave.. He may feel more secure in knowing there are hiding places in the plants. It also will give him some stimulation mentally- him swimming around and checking each thing, looking for food, etc is stimulating for them, just like when a dog chews a bone.

If you feel he is stressing out too much, and you will know since you know him, then I would suggest possibly giving him less... I know, I'm sorry.. you've done great trying to help him and give him a great home, but sometimes some just can't handle a larger tank. One of my boys can't do anything bigger then a 1 gallon without withdrawing, not swimming and not eating.
I would suggest going to PetCo and picking up one of their kritter keepers, the medium and large are great for them.. you can heat them safely as well. It gives him a smaller space, but still enough room to heat and decorate.

But at this point it's up to you- give him some time and some more plants to see if that helps and that he will eventually settle down- or if he is just way too stressed then move him to something smaller. I personally would wait and see how he does when you get some taller plants in there- the bottom looks fine, but I would try to fill up the middle and top a little with plants.. a lot of times they love to sleep on leaves close to the surface, so that will give you some idea of what to keep an eye out for.

Good luck, you are doing great.. he just needs some more security, and your neons would love it too :)

Last edited by Myates; 12-24-2011 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 12-24-2011, 01:01 PM   #6 
fallingleaf
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Thank you for all the replies! Great advice! :D So my goal before i knew anything was to make a huge space for him to just swim and swim because i was trying to make up for my ignorance before (when i thought he was supposed to live in a puddle). I didn't want to clog up his space with "things".

So now what im going to do is just decorate it like crazy! I will get him huge rocks, logs, caves, and plants. I'm sorta excited! I think that dino is being donated to a friend. I think it freaks him out when it comes out of its egg. Thanks for the advice again!

If he starts making bubble nests then i know he is happy. He always loved to make his bubble nests in his vase. If this all doesn't work I will get him a smaller little thing and fill up my 10 gallon with tetras. My boys call them glow in the dark fish. They do look pretty cool!

Thanks again, and Merry Christmas. :)
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Old 12-24-2011, 08:47 PM   #7 
fallingleaf
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Ok, so we got done opening presents and my dad got me tons of plants for my aquarium. He said he thought it looked pretty naked. So i put them all in. They were all a soft plastic. Plus he got me some kind of plant bulbs that you plant in the rocks and they sprout. I put them in also.

I went upstairs to help my boys set up their train set and came down a few hours later. I just checked on my betta and he was hiding under a plant. He saw me and came out and he started pacing. His fins are all TORN!! I never noticed this before and its very bad. Did his new plants do this to him? They were very soft but maybe he can only have live plants. Or maybe he did this on the rocks getting under the plants. Now what do i do? Its very bad. :(
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Old 12-24-2011, 11:30 PM   #8 
CEC
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Oh sorry this happened to you!

Like Myates said - real or silk plants only for bettas. Plastic is a big no no unless you can run a pair of nylons across it and it doesn't snag them.

My silk plants were putting runs in nylons so I removed them and replaced with all live plants. I love Java ferns and have a lot of them in his tank. I also have marimo balls. Java ferns are not making a mess so they are ideal!

You may need to put your betta in a quarantine tank and treat him for the torn fins. I don't have enough experience to help you but one of the experts such as Myates can help you. Like she said, you might need to change his tank to a smaller one that he feels comfortable in.

Hope someone comes along soon to help you!
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Old 12-26-2011, 12:10 PM   #9 
fallingleaf
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Yea.. my bad. I thought the plastic ones felt really soft so thought it would be safe. His fins look so horrible. I am going to try the nylon stalking trick. I hope the bulbs i planted sprout. Maybe i should just get more of those and try those ferns. The closest store to me that sells fish things is a 2 hour drive. The other store is an hour away and that is wal-mart and they don't have much for plants for sale. I live in the middle of nowhere, literally. lol

My pleco ate one of my tetras last night. What a horrible aquarium experience i am having. I re-homed the pleco this morning to a lady with a huge tank. She was happy to have him. My betta is now roaming all over my tank since the pleco is gone. He is still pacing but he is now pacing all over. I think he was scared of that thing! It must have been being a bully.
I would put wafers in for the pleco but apparently he would rather munch on my fish. Uhg. not happy. Now i need more tetras. The 2 i have left look lonely.

Is there a safe algae eater? Or do they all kill other fish?

Last edited by fallingleaf; 12-26-2011 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 12-26-2011, 09:03 PM   #10 
Virux
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In my experience Amazon swords (Not "Brazilian Swords-- those are peace lilies and not proper aquatic plants), and Anachris are also dandy Betta plants that are hardy and tolerate everything. Be sure to give them some light (even just ambient light from your house may suffice) I always throw a small amazon sword in my betta tanks if I can-- the Betta will enjoy resting on its big leaves. Real plants are just as easy as fake ones, if you ask me. Also try adding a little tiny dash of Stress coat to his tank while he heals from his damage. And remember, Bettas aren't really "lazy"... he may just be swimming around because he's curious and feels lively due to all the space. I have had many Bettas do that in larger enclosures (especially pet store and Wally rescues that came in tiny cups) and eventually settled down. However, I agree, if you are really worried about him, try moving him someone smaller or even fashioning a tank div. for his ten.

Last edited by Virux; 12-26-2011 at 09:11 PM.
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