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Old 03-20-2012, 12:54 AM   #1 
Sea Dragon
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Betta fish is suddenly stressed and scared shirtless

My fish Gibbs (pictured to the left) suddenly started flashing some fear stripes. They keep on fading and reappearing in a matter of 5-15 minutes and he keeps staring at something I can't see (I put black paper on two sides of the aquarium to block whatever it was).

Earlier today, I moved him to a 2.5 gallon tank to help with his mild case of fin rot. The water is conditioned and detoxified, the filter was turned off after 2 days (current was too strong). The water is between 77-78 degrees. I don't have the nitrate, nitrite, or ammonia levels (I'm getting a water test at the pet store tomorrow) and pH is 7.8.

Gibbs is a super energetic fish, even with fin rot, and he spent the whole day swimming around exploring and nipping at me whenever my hand hovered close enough. Then all of a sudden, something scared the crap out of him and he wasn't very hyper anymore.

I searched the tank which only has gravel, a leaf hammock, and a silk plant so far, and even listened for any disturbing noises. Nothing seemed out of place. The only thing I could think of was the clicking of the heater. The heater clicking on didn't disturb Gibbs, but when he swam over to it just as it was switching off, he darted away and sported those fear stripes again. The heater is a 50 vte Marineland heater and I heard 50 watts is too much for 2.5 gallons, but it's all I have right now and it keeps the temperature from fluctuating.

Should I unplug the heater overnight? Do heaters send out shockwaves or something when they fail? I really want to avoid unplugging it since my house drops down to 66 F, but I don't want to wake up to a dead fish either...
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:19 AM   #2 
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we had a problem with our hearter in our big tank; somthing broke on it and it was shoking the fish... now im not saying this is the problem with yours but i would unplug the heater and if hes better than it was probably the heater, and if i doesnt help maybe you have a ghost lol jk.
-Tori
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:59 AM   #3 
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Tried that, no visible difference :) The heater clicked a few more times and Gibbs seems to be getting used to it. He's still a little paler than usual, but no more stripes. Maybe he really did see a ghost :) The poor thing, he was scaring me too haha. I stuck my hand in the tank and he swam into my palm but I'm afraid my bby will have to sleep alone tonight.
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:33 AM   #4 
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well thats good it not the heater. Being a little pale is alright, he will get his color back soon, my females lose some color when i do water changes(moody little things lol) i hope every thing works out
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:52 AM   #5 
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Black paper can cause the tank walls to become reflective. Having the tank light on in a dark room has the same effect.

The capacity of the heater doesn't matter as long as it's enough and keeps the temperature stable. Don't turn it off overnight. A 2.5gal cools off really fast.

Sometimes they just get freaked for no reason we can see. But, having short memories, they usually forget it and recover after a while.

(Wish I could say the same for me.)
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:49 PM   #6 
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(Thanks, I replaced the black paper with light blue paper.)

Okay this was scary guys. I walked over to my tank because I didn't see my betta. It turns out he was hiding behind his silk plant and he poked his head out to look at me like he usually does.

Then he SPAZZED. And by spazzed, I mean he freaking skipped across the water surface so quickly that he was just a blur before hitting the corner. He sported some fear stripes for a minute and now he's swimming around a little slower than usual with his head pointed downwards (but not vertically up-and-down).

Knowing that bettas occasionally freak for no reason is reassuring, but I'm seriously worried right now. I didn't even know bettas could move that fast. I had the water tested today and everything was fine.

Is my betta possessed or something D: He's scaring me.
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:06 PM   #7 
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im telling you, you got a ghost lol.... it may be the clicking your heater is making. i know my crown tail Crimsion hated the bubbler and he would flip out and try to jump out of the tank every time i turned it on, and i left it on for a couple hours and he wasnt gettin used to it so now he doesn't have a bubbler and acts some what normal.... he's an odd little fish; he flares and fights with live plants
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:12 PM   #8 
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I wish it was just the clicking, but I don't think it is D: The heater didn't click when he spazzed and I sat in front of his tank for a good 20 minutes and the heater clicked 3 times and he seemed perfectly fine with it.

It probably is a ghost... D:
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:17 PM   #9 
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have you tried moving his tank into a diffrent location?
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:23 PM   #10 
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No, I unfortunately don't have room near a power outlet. Design of this house is old and outdated so most of the time I don't have outlets where I need them.

Two days in his new tank, and he's only spazzing during the night. This is freaking me out kinda.
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