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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got Murdock a year ago and bought a small 1 gallon bowl. He was doing great for a month, but the more I read about betta care the more I realized he needed a bigger home. So I went and bought a ten gallon starter kit from petsmart (heater, thermometer, lighted hood, and filter) with hopes to eventually split it for two bettas. I cycled it and he did okay for about a week and started showing signs of stress. His fins look thin and his color got muted. Water tested with all great numbers and I even added the baffle of plastic water bottle to slow the flow of the filter. After about 4 months I had to move to a different state. He did fine in the transition and stayed in his old 1 gallon until the 10 gallon could be cycled again and set up. In that month or so he seemed to be doing so much better in the tiny 1 gallon! Once 10 gallon was ready and tested well I put him in there and here we are again with same signs of stress. I don't understand what's going on. I'm tempted to just put him back in super small tank where his colors looked great and fins were healing! I've done all the treatments of stress coat, added aloe vera treatments, added lots of caves and fake plants, baffled the filter, kept up with water changes… people at petsmart don't have any answers… I just wanted a different perspective from other beta lovers…

Should I stop using the filter all together? Should I try him in a 3 gallon, if so what filter, no filter, live plants only? PLEASE HELP!
 

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I use 10 gallon tanks for my bettas and have no issues. Besides plant & caves how is your tank decorated? Top cover such as floating plants & craftmesh betta tubes really help to reduce stress help by breaking up lighting and giving him place to hide.

What color is your substrate? Most fish prefer a darker color to make them feel more secure.

What kind of filter are you using? Maybe the flow is stressing him out and it may need to be baffled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Here are some pics… this is link to tank info

http://www.petsmart.com/supplies/aq...36-catid-300065?var_id=36-17600&_t=pfm=search

includes: Black trim glass aquarium, hood with LED lights, Top Fin power filter with cartridge, adjustable 60Watt heater, 4 inch nylon net, thermometer, water test vial, guide to aquarium set up and care

I'm starting to think he isn't getting enough natural light, so maybe I can use the light more often to act as sunlight…
 

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Some Betta are just not happy in larger tanks. I have had three that were obviously stressed in anything more than a 2.5 gallon. And that includes heavily planted tanks between 5-55 gallons.

There are several things you can do. You can add more plants or even a background. You can divide it now to see if being in half or a third of that space is less stressful. Or, if you have room, you can get Murdock a 2.5 gallon and turn your 10 into a community tank or another Betta tank. PetSmart has a nice 2.5 gallon for around $15.00.

http://www.petsmart.com/fish/aquari..._id=36-16838&_t=pfm=category&pfmvalue=faceted

BTW, since your tank has a hood, you can safely raise the water level to the bottom of the black rim.
 

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I don't have any experience with 2.5 gallon tanks myself, but I do know that plenty of people on here do cycle theirs. As this will remove the requirement for stressful 100% water changes, it is what I would recommend.
 

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You will need a filter and heater. A small sponge filter will work and a Hydor 25 watt heater is what most here recommend as it is adjustable.

I remember the first time I figured out my Betta was happier in a smaller tank. I had set up this wonderful 10 gallon with plants and decor. I was so disappointed when he was obviously intimidated by so much room. Even after two weeks he was still stressed; put him back in his two-gallon, filtered bowl and he was his old self.

Of course, that led to a second Betta who loved all that room. :)

Oh, Welcome to the Forum!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you so much for all the help… I'll be going to buy all the stuff soon and I'll post a new pic to update. I just want Murdock to be happy… probably prefers the simpler type of life not a giant 10 gallon mansion :D
 

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Just want to pitch something in here.. I'd double check the decorations for any chemical smells, bubbling/chipping paint. Sometimes what seems like behavior related might be environmental. If all is fine then I agree with the others that he probably just dislikes larger spaces.
 

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Before you rehome him to a smaller tank, do try removing the filter for a few days! I have had a couple bettas that were just plain not happy in a filtered tank, even with a baffled flow, in a bigger tank... I'm not familiar with top fin filters, but you might be able to switch to something with an adjustable, low-power flow?

It sure looks like you're doing great by him! Pretty fish.
 

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Murdock does look much happier, doesn't he? Glad he is doing better for you and more comfortable in his "apartment." Which, of course, now leaves the "mansion" for another Betta or a Betta-based community or a Betta/African Dwarf Frog tank. ;-)

Seriously, I know you were worried so I'm really glad everything worked out for you and Murdock.

If decide to divide the 10, I love the way Hallyx suggests: Make a center "neutral zone" where you house the filter and heater and a Betta on either side. This keeps them from having to be right next to each other and negates the need for a baffle.
 
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