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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi again everyone. I am really not sure if Claude is sick or not, but I figured there is no harm in describing what he is doing and seeing if anyone here has some insight. He is in a 10 gallon filtered tank, with a baffle on the filter to reduce current. The tank is part planted with live african sword and part artificial and has been running for about two weeks, but was cycled using a biological agent. I just tested ammonia levels last night and they were 0 ppm. I wont be able to test for nitrite or nitrate until Tuesday because nowhere in town sells kits. His last water change was a 30% change five days ago. The temperature is really the only thing that has recently changed. I had a little 50 watt Tetra heater, but I never saw it turn on. I figured it was fine because our house is usually quite warm (up to 81 degrees), but yesterday morning I woke up and his tank was 76 degrees even though the heater should come on at anything below 78. There was still no indicator light, so I am returning that one. I bought an Aqueon 50 watt to replace it and it actually has lit up a couple of times through the night. The temperature is set to 79 and it looks like the tank is at about a stable 80 degrees now.

So on to his behavior. I have noticed that he is always a bit clamped in the morning. I mean like first thing when he swims out of the cave where he sleeps. his fins just look a bit narrower than usual but he is active. This usually stops after 20-30 minutes and he perks up. Today I have been up for about an hour and his fins are still narrower than usual. His dorsal shoots up when he stops swimming. It's just that none of his fins are as wide as I am used to seeing. He is very active and swimming around like normal. I am not sure if I could expect true fin clamping to be accompanied by reduced activity or not. Also, I have not seen him flare at anything since we brought him home about two weeks ago. He has not flared at food, mirrors, nothing. I assumed that he was just very calm, but this morning when I pressed my finger to his glass he flared, and again when I put my fingertip in the water. I have never seen him act that way. I did read that sometimes they have to adjust to their new home before they will start flaring, so I know this could be normal. It is hard to describe but it seems like he is more tense than usual. His behavior reminds me of a cat bristling. I don't really know how else to describe it, but his mood seems different if that makes any sense. He has no other symptoms that I can see. Has anyone noticed their betta just in a bad mood certain days? If he were sick would he be flaring and swimming around so much? I just don't know what to make of him today. He probably didn't get as much sleep as usual last night since I was up late. :dunno: Since my husband is still asleep I have yet to give him breakfast or open the blinds, but his hood light is on. Once I let some daylight in and offer food I will post an update. Any thoughts or suggestions would be great since I am still getting used to how normal bettas act. Thanks so much!
 

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I'm afraid some people have had really iffy results cycling tanks with those biological starters. It seems that they can really skew the readings. It will be great when you can get nitrate/nitrite kits because I wonder if those readings are a bit high. That is usually the case. That would cause Claude to clamp up a bit and be just a bit . . . off. Also, have you had any weather changes? Sometimes bettas can sense those. Or so it's been said. I'm not 100%, never been able to test it. Is he eating all right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Sakura. He is eating great so that is a good sign. There is supposed to be a big storm coming in so I guess that could be part of it too. This hadn't occurred to me when I posted this but I just adopted two large black moor goldfish. They moved in next door to him in a 30 gallon tank a few days ago. He is maybe a foot away, but they are probably still visible. I know that you cant put them in view of other bettas, and I know that you can't put them in with long-finned fish since they will think they are bettas. It seems logical that you also shouldn't put them next to long-finned goldfish. Could this be what is keeping him mildly stressed? I covered that side of his tank and he looked a bit calmer but that may just be me expecting to see improvement. Does it make sense that seeing the goldfish would upset him?
 

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It's definitely possible that from a distance he thinks the goldfish are bettas flaring at him, since black moors do look puffed up like that. I wouldn't really put anythinf past a betta's way of thinking, that's for sure. :) It's good that he is eating, a betta who doesn't want to eat definitely has something up with him. I would say it's a combo of the storm, possible high nitrite/nitrate readings, and the goldfish that could be causing him to act tense. If it is supposed to be a big electrical storm with lightning, he can probably feel the electricity. Sounds like pretty much all you can do is keep an eye on him, make sure he stays eating, and test the nitrite/nitrate as soon as possible. I'm glad he seems healthy other than a little stressed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sounds like a good plan. That hurricane off the coast of Texas is supposed to be headed this way. It won't be that severe, but some rain at least and we had lightning yesterday. I taped some pale construction paper on the tank to block his view of the goldies, so that should at least take care of that factor. I don't really trust the LFS's test strips so I am hoping to get up to the next town on Monday or Tuesday and buy some of my own. Will be doing a water change tonight just in case. He isn't flaring anymore either since putting up the paper. Silly little one. ^_^
 

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That's good he can't see the goldies anymore. Maybe he stayed clamped a bit and flared because he was intimidated by their size? Hard to say. These bettas, they just love to stress us out. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So true! Seems like all fish do. I don't blame him for being nervous, those moors are nuts lol. They have spent about the last hour diligently digging around all their river rocks and spitting the gravel into the bare bottom area of their tank. What little trouble-makers. :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Rofl. I had to tease my husband that they aren't many out there who can make a huge mess and have me label it adorable. ^_^ They just look so darn happy. Of course, their play defeats the whole purpose of the glass area, but...awwwwww. <3
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I don't think most goldfish do actually. Moors are notorious for it though apparently. The bigger of the two loves to suck up the rocks and spit them into the empty areas, they sure can wreck an aquascape quick rofl. They do it a bit in this video, it really is darling. xD

http://s229.photobucket.com/albums/ee277/tarynt_gryph/Fish backup/?action=view&current=d21dd86d.mp4

I think it started out as accidental, they sucked up a rock or two and it landed in the empty area, but now it is definitely deliberate. At least they are having fun. :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Would you believe I have made a habit of reaching in and cleaning it up for them every night before dinner. :doh!: They have got me so wrapped around their little fin, it's ridiculous. :lol: I think it is just because I have wanted them for so long. They were rescue fishies from a five gallon tank (no filter or anything). I was watching them on craigslist for about two months before I finally was able to get a tank for them. Just sooooo happy to have been able to adopt them. ^_^
 

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:shock: Those poor things in a 5 gallon? I'm sooooo glad you rescued them. And yes, I can believe you would clean up for them every night because it's very easy for us to get wrapped around a fishy's fin. Very, very easy. :-D I swear, I think fish pass around a little instruction manual that has advice on how to manipulate us fish owners. ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yeah, I don't know what the previous family was thinking. It is a wonder they didn't already have dropsy or something else horrible when I finally got them. The worst thing about goldies is they need a minimum of 20 gallons for just one fish, and a 30 gallon tank for two isn't easy to come by. I was lucky enough to find a whole set-up for 50 bucks on the same day. At least bettas don't need quite that much space. Though the huge tank requirements for goldies do keep me in check lol. I am afraid I may wind up with 10 gallon betta tanks all over the house. :lol: It doesn't help that our stupid Wal-mart has decided to order about 100 bettas to put on display. I want all of them so much, if only to get them out of that dreadful store. There is no way our small town has that much demand for them. I just hope they realize and order fewer next time. Poor babies, if only I had the money. :(
 

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I hate when Wal-Mart overstock bettas. They don't even have time to clean one or two betta cups but then to have like 100? Ugh, poor betta babies. But wow, a 30 gal setup for only $50? Amazing deal! I spent $40 on just the dang hood for my 10 gallon. :p I wanna know where you're shopping. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It was so weird actually. I didn't think we could budget even 50 for a tank. I only responded to the ad to see what sort of set-up could be purchased used for that price. Then I accidentally responded to the guy and asked when we could arrange for pick-up, but I thought it was a different guy who had a free 10 gallon tank. Turns out, the 10 gallon guy never even responded to my inquiry. By the time I realized the tank I was arranging to get was not the free one, I had the email from the woman with the moors saying she wouldn't charge us the re-homing fee and would just give us them for free. So the timing was very coincidental to say the least. I really think we were meant to have them. To top it all off, we found a tiny entertainment cabinet for $5 at a thrift store and got a piece of counter top cut to fit as a topper for free. So the whole thing, stand and all, was about $60. Way more than we were planning on, but still way less than it should have been, especially considering it was all thrown together in about 24 hours. Craigslist is great sometimes, but it does have a way of getting me more fish than I was planning on lol. I now have two 30 gallon goldie tanks and the 10 gallon betta tank all in our living room. Oh well. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
No kidding. :) I am thrilled about it. Oh I noticed your sig lists some corys. Do you keep them with your bettas? I have considered adding a cory to the betta tank but I have read they have to be kept in groups and it is only a 10 gallon, and I am a bit worried about what diseases they may have from the store. Any suggestions?
 

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In a 10g with one betta, you could easily keep four bronze/albino cories. They're super peaceful because they stay on the bottom most of the time. Your only problem may be keeping your betta from eating the cory cats' food. I kept my cories in my sorority (totally did NOT work out, all the girls ate the cories' food and bloated up like golfballs) and then I kept them in their own 10g with a single female betta and it worked out fine. Now they're in the 10g with three guppies and will soon be joined by six danios.

If you have any worries about diseases, you can always quarantine your cories. I kept mine in a small tank separate from my other fish for a week to make sure none of them got sick. In my case, the tank was a 2.5g because the cories I got are panda cories and they are very small. Bronze cories are a LOT hardier but they also get bigger, around 3" whereas the pandas get only 1.75".

I love my cories, they're a lot of fun to watch. Just a warning, they do need sand or a rounded gravel substrate.
 
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