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Old 12-29-2011, 06:07 AM   #1 
SpookyTooth
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Pacing and Scratching?

Hello, I've had my first betta for nearing three days. When I chose him at the store he was pacing the front of his display tank; I didn't think this was anything negative as he was active, looked wonderful and healthy. Since bringing him home, his pacing hasn't stopped and I've also noticed him scratching up against gravel and ornaments.

I did a search on the forums but as each aquarium is unique I thought it best to start a new topic with my aquarium's information. I wish I could tell you more about the fish himself - I'm not even sure what tail type he is (can't get a photo due to pacing). If it means anything... his body is turquoise, his head is a very dark colour (looks almost black) and he has red streaks (doesn't look like blood) on his fins as well as turquoise and white banding. He's stunning. When hit by light he has a green/gold iridescence.

He is eating, his fins are erect and he flared a few times when he was put into his aquarium on Tuesday however he is consistantly pacing the sides, taking regular breaks to breathe and will often scratch up against gravel, ornaments and the like.

I haven't noticed any white spots on him (though it's a touch difficult to see on a gloomy day like this, currently got a torch in my hand trying to spot him, he's pacing up and down the back corner of his aquarium) and he has a greenish/gold iridescence that doesn't look unnatural. His eyes are also clear and sparkling.

His fins look ok. I thought his top fin (sorry, I don't know the proper names) looked a touch ragged but it seems to be okay. He has a few dark patches on his lower fin but that also seems to be due to his colour/patterning - though I could be mistaken. I'm trying to get a good look at him as I type this (he's in an aquarium on my desk) but it's proving a little hard. He just won't stay still and will not flare at mirrors (I tried this to check his fins).

I feel the need to inform you that we had to completely change his aquarium yesterday. The one prior to the one he is in now was 26 litres (6.8 gallons) and seemed to be falling apart. It was an old aquarium but had been sturdy for a fair while, seems the thought of housing a betta was too much for it and it started falling to pieces.

Just got a really good look at him from the side - he actually looks really, really healthy in my eyes. He is completely oblivious to everything outside the sides of his aquarium due to his pacing though and I find the scratching to be weird, especially as it is a regular occurance.

I'm wondering if it may be stress related? He's not got any stress stripes but he has been moved to two different aquariums in two days. Maybe it's too dark for him? It is pretty gloomy in my room right now and I wanted to get a new desk light. Could the pacing simply be patrolling and my own disease known as N2BS (New to Betta Syndrome) be acting up?

I don't know, I'm a little worried but can't see any signs of parasites or anything. I would greatly appreciate someone with more experience to take a look at what I'm describing if that's okay. I know fish need time to settle and I was going to wait a few more days to see if his pacing subsided but the scratching seems odd.

Thank you for your time.

Housing
What size is your tank? 24 Litres (about 6.3 gallons)
What temperature is your tank? 79 degrees F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes, a sponge filter
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? The sponge filter also oxygenates the water via bubbles
Is your tank heated? Yes, kept at 79 degrees F
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? He has a varied diet consisting of flakes, freezedried bloodworms, freezedried tubifex and a type of gel food containing shrimp.
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice a day.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? We'll be performing them once a week, twice if needed.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? We'll be changing 30% of the water, more if needed.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Stress Coat+, "Atison's Betta SPA"

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: N/A
Nitrite: N/A
Nitrate: N/A
pH: N/A
Hardness: N/A
Alkalinity: N/A

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? No.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? I can't really say. He was pacing at the store but seemed healthy at the time. He's started scratching himself against plants, rocks, gravel and ornaments.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Today, but I did see him scratching yesterday as well.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I wanted to clarify if there was a problem before starting treatment, so no.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Can't say as we've had him nearly three days.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I'm not sure.
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:29 AM   #2 
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could be internal parasites.

Last edited by iLikeBetta808; 12-29-2011 at 06:31 AM.
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:32 AM   #3 
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How would I go about identifying that? If such is the case, how would I treat it?
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:52 AM   #4 
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http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=73333
^^ that's the sticky for diseases and treatment. look for the parasites section. i've never had parasites, so i'm unsure of treatment. hope this sticky helps
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:56 AM   #5 
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Thank you for the link. He's not showing any other symptoms other than the rubbing against things and what I think is pacing - but I'll keep that thread on-hand and watch for other symptoms.
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:37 AM   #6 
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My female is doing the same thing. Her fins are clamped also. It was hard to spot but I'm sure I see a few white spots (ich).
Did you cycle your tank? They can freak out if there is ammonia or nitrite.
I think the consensus is that aquarium salt is a good thing, 1/2 tsp per gallon. Dissolve the salt in some tank water in a separate container. Then put in tank.
Good luck, I hope your betta gets better!!

Last edited by AudBetta; 12-29-2011 at 09:39 AM.
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:39 AM   #7 
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The filter itself is cycled, as for the actual aquarium itself I'd say not. Thank you for the information, I have ordered some aquarium salt (when we went to pick up the betta I asked about aquarium salts and I don't think they had any). I'll keep looking for spots and also keep an eye on the water quality. Going to do a partial water change either this evening or tomorrow morning.

Thank you - I hope your female betta is well soon!!
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