I am new to fish - got a Betta for Christmas. His name is Caesar de la Mer :)
I will just list all the stuff I've done so far, and hopefully someone can tell me if anything is wrong. I very well could be overreacting.
The first day we got him, we took him home, and I prepared his new tank that night. I used bottled water (only a half gallon tank for a pretty small Betta) and used a treatment because I didn't realize that was only for tap water. It was a conditioner for his fins though (Nutrafin) so I thought it would be ok. But once we got him in there I was terrified that maybe the water was too cold. So I put him next to the radiator and after a day or so he seemed to perk up, eat more, etc. I also have a plant in there that is not yet rooted but the idea is that it will root and then he'll have roots to eat from. It's a Pothos. And the tank came with some purple gravel. All was well.
Until the debacle that happened when I tried to change his water a week later. He managed to accidentally fall/jump (not sure) out of the net before I got him into his temporary receptacle. I didn't handle that very well, but my husband managed to get him into water fairly quickly. But he jumped around a lot on the kitchen counter before we got him into water and I
was so terrified, let alone the fish. I'm sure it was pretty traumatic for him.
At first, once we got him back into the clean tank (with 100% new water because I didn't realize you weren't supposed to do that), he seemed a little stressed. I forgot to use the conditioner this time, but used the same water - at the right temperature. I figured he just needed a little time. However, since then, he started more aggressive behavior. It looked like he was fighting with his reflection, but even after I put up a piece of white paper around the back & side of the tank, he still seems ... angry, and fights with ...the nothing on the side of the tank. His little mouth moves - it looks like he's yelling. Kinda funny. But nevertheless, I'm very concerned.
Before The Incident, he was very active, but I didn't get any angry vibes. Maybe I'm just paranoid and think he's mad at me.
Other than him fighting with nothing, there don't seem to be any other symptoms. Water temperature is fine, but I don't have any testers to test the chemical composition of the water. Although I did just today realize that the plant wasn't rooting so I snipped the bottom off so it would start over. No conditioner in the new water -- maybe the plant didn't root because of the conditioner.
Regardless, I feel like ...I'm doin' it wrong. Help? Suggestions?
Thanks in advance!