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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Okay, my newest and last remaining betta is getting to be a bit of a challenge for me. He was fine at first but suffered some kind of poisoning after plastic or something leached into his tank. Fixed that problem, but his period of extreme lethargy left him constipated.. now I've delt with that too and he's -extremely- active.. too active. He sees his reflection in the sides of his tank and spends all day long pacing his tank and flaring.. today he tore one of his fins doing it. I have put pieces of non-reflective white cardstock paper (heavy paper) along the sides and he's not freaking out quite as fast but he's still just swimming up and down the sides. Occasionally he'll stop for a few seconds to rest on a broad leaf plant at the surface, take a few breaths and he's right back at it. How in the world do I calm him down? Never had this problem before. I mean it's highly entertaining for short periods but he can't live his whole life this way.. and he's been in the tank almost a week now (although before I guess he was just too sick to notice) so he should be used to it by now. I know it's also stressing him out because he's fluctuating between periods of really deep rich color and getting washed out.. more color now that the paper is up, but still not the way he should be. I've had bettas do this occasionally but not non-stop like this and the paper usually helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Dear lord I just counted 3-4 rips in his fins (hard to tell because he's feather tail)

I guess I need to just turn the light out on him and hope tomorrow he's calmer :(
 

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Yeah, sounds like it'll help more to keep the light out and let him chill for a bit... The fact that he's being more active is good and usually I'd say it's not a big deal and he'll get exercise.. but in your case, it sounds like it is proving to be too much for the little guy to handle and you should definitely figure out a better plan of action, even if it means not turning on the light very frequently...
Also, it's better to use things of color (not too dark and not too light) rather than white to blot out a reflection- The reflection is caused by the way the light is hitting the walls of the tank and certain colors (like white or black) can give off reflections. I assume that even though the cardstock paper isn't reflective, it still proves as a solid background for the lights to reflect on the walls of your aquarium and he can still make his reflection out (if you've ever come across a glass door/window that has black or white paper going over it then you'll notice you can't see through but with the light hitting on it, you can still see yourself and the other stuff around you). So try more mid tones or even a background that has stuff going on like the backgrounds they sell for aquariums- even with light-dark tones it'll help break up his image and it should prove to help some...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well he's a ton calmer today thankfully but I will definitely experiment with different colors. White is boring anyway :) Even though he can obviously still see his reflection he's not going totally nuts over it.. just a little flaring now. Hopefully no more blown fins.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks :)

Here's another new one for me.. boy is he high strung.. i cupped him for a water change and he lost all his color and produced stress stripes and now is *flipping* out.. :\ maybe he's got like ptsd dejaa vu from the store because if i didn't know better it looks like i'm killing him for him to be floating in that cup of completely same water he came out of. Maybe an opaque cup would be better than the clear one because he clearly thinks he can swim through it and is stressed that he can't... or maybe something larger and opaque.. sheesh.
 

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Geez... seems like anything'll set him off :eek:... But yeah, you might have to leave him in the tank when you do water changes if it's gonna be like that... Just make sure you don't suck him up in the siphon and make sure it's not a 100% water change.... Some people have bettas that stress when being taken out so they find it easier to just leave them in their tank.. although I imagine it makes it difficult if your unable to keep the water temperature the same....
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have to do 100% changes right now I guess get getting my 10g cycled is a priority. right now he's in an unfiltered 5 g
 

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Maybe try twice a week and split it to 50% each time? I dunno, just throwing it out there more or less... It's a bit more work, but if your fish is going to stress out everytime he gets cupped then it's an idea to help keep down the stress.
 

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To calm him down, Indian almond leaf is recommended. If you cannot find this, pure decaf green tea or rooibos tea (which is naturally caffeine free), can be bought in tea bags and added to the water, for a few hours after every water change. Many members use these products to calm betta, removing or reducing tail biting, glass surfing, and general stress. It will also help regrow his fins. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Since my tank is buffered is this going to cause a ph shift issue? That's the only reason I've never tried IAL.. I know it lowers ph.. but my ph is already naturally acidic.
 

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It lowers pH and softens water. I know betta have a huge tolerance range for water though, so unless you're right at the ends of the range I think it'd be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm right at ends unfortunately. My water is even soft enough for discus. I may try mixing RO with tap and adding IAL in 5 gallon buckets to see what I can come up with if he won't settle in but I don't want to play chemistry major too much.
 
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