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Old 12-28-2011, 06:46 AM   #1 
SpookyTooth
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Reflective glass creating a "void"?

Hello everyone,

I have a bad case of N2BS (New To Betta Syndrome) and am a touch paranoid about my new friend who currently awaits a name. Now...

He's in a glass aquarium, 26 liters with heater and filter - no problems, he's happy and exploring.

The problem is he isn't responding to me or anyone or anything outside of the aquarium that approaches around the sides. I figure since he's new that's normal, though when he looks up he watches my fingers move and everything going on above him.

Looking into his aquarium I realize just how reflective that glass is when there is water inside. He actually... can't see out. I knew the sides were rather reflective and he has finished his flaring battles with himself, seems very mellow but it honestly seems like he just cannot see OUTSIDE of the aquarium.

Is this me being rather silly or is it at all plausible? If I need to get him a different tank I will gladly but I'm actually a little worried. I'd love to know that he can SEE me and what goes on outside of his little "void". Ooph, N2BS is such a pain! Hopefully I'll feel a little more comfortable and confident soon.

... Realize how silly this sounds. You don't know if you don't ask, though heh..

Last edited by SpookyTooth; 12-28-2011 at 06:58 AM.
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Old 12-28-2011, 07:14 AM   #2 
AcrimoniousArbiter
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I'm still pretty new, but I did figure out a method to tell if he can see out of the tank. I took a handheld mirror and put it up against the tank. My betta started flaring right in front of it, which implies he can see outside the acrylic. Also, if you put your finger on the tank and move it around sometimes your fish might follow it. Though with glass it may be different. This is just my experience so far (about a week now lol).
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Old 12-28-2011, 07:20 AM   #3 
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I actually tried the hand mirror on all sides and no response whatsoever! Same goes for finger wiggles - it's really, really bizarre. Though... I also held the mirror above the water and he didn't flare at it then, he certainly looked at it though. I love how he watches everything above the aquarium, if only he'd look out at me hahah. D'oh.

I'm considering replacing the aquarium anyway as it's rather old but didn't want to put the fish through the stress... hopefully he'll forgive me if I do find I need to do a switch.

Thank you for your response - sound advice! =]
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Old 12-28-2011, 07:23 AM   #4 
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I have two glass tanks. The 15 gallon has a sorority and they can all definitely see me, they even swim down to where I have the big container of NLS food sitting and hover over it. The boys aren't as reactive, but I pressed my finger against the glass and Ares stopped swimming to stare. From an angle it does look very reflective, but I think from straight on, they can see out just fine.
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Old 12-28-2011, 07:25 AM   #5 
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Thanks, styggian. I'm probably over-reacting, I just find it incredibly strange how he is completely oblivious to me regardless of what I do outside of the walls but the moment he sees me up top he's all curious and investigating.
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:41 AM   #6 
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I've seen fish do that before. Some may just not be reactive. My girls follow me around, the boys don't pay as much attention.
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:17 AM   #7 
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Hey Spooky,

My little guy Ghost is exactly like that! Has more apathy than a house cat. Almost never flares, and to make matters worse, when I first got him, he refused to eat for 3 weeks! I was certain he was either blind or seriously inbred.

Eventually I came to realize that he will only eat living things - nothing dead, even if I wiggle it around to try to fool him, he'll just spit it out - and he seems smarter than the average betta. It's as if he KNOWS he's in a bowl, and doesn't care for anything on the outside of the glass because he knows he's safe. I did see him flare maybe 3 times in 6 months, usually at Lucky, his neighbor, but soon afterward he just sort of "remembers" that Lucky can't possibly reach him and he swims away.
I've described Ghost as "swimming to the beat of a different drum" but over time I did manage to train him, believe it or not! His personality is like no other betta I've ever seen and while he doesn't do typical betta things, he brings me a lot of joy with his oddball adventures and habits just the same!
Sounds to me like you have one of those special little bettas as well. Enjoy it! They'll do things that will surprise you! Take some time to learn about his personality and you'll see, he might not be as different as you think :)

Good luck!
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:22 AM   #8 
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Thank you so much for the info, ThorAndGhost. His old tank was... well... old. I'd noticed a few cracks that weren't there prior to setting it up so we had to replace it anyway but I'm pleased to learn of others with similar style bettas.

Trust me to pick the most oddly behaved betta out of the 100 or so the store had! I don't mind, though - it makes us the perfect pair. Woohoo!

I can't believe how silly my question sounded, but at the same time I'd rather ask and look a little silly than find there's a genuine problem and look sillier for not asking and even worse - find Mr. Has-Yet-To-Be-Named gets in a pickle, stressed or worse! Hahah. He seems happy, he's eating and just chillin' out in his aquarium.

He loves his vines. I was worried about them but he thoroughly enjoys weaving through them. Fantastic!

Thank you all again for your responses and I hope you can forgive my silliness. Hopefully I can learn more and eventually contribute to the forums myself. Whew!
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:29 AM   #9 
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Don't feel silly! I mean, I thought Ghost was inbred or kind of ... um ... slow! At least your theory was a bit more plausible!

Keep us updated!
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:31 AM   #10 
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I will do - thanks again!
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