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Discussion Starter #1
my new betta, who i just got yesterday, doesnt seem to want to flare his fins when i show him his reflection. i picked him at the pet store because his fins were flared the whole time i was looking at the bettas and he kept darting around and seemed very active. but now when i show him a mirror he just darts away. he also hasnt eaten yet and seems to "sleep?" a lot. he does seem much healthier than my last betta but is this just from stress/ getting accustomed to the new tank or am i doing something wrong?
 

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If you want to make sure he is in an ideal environment, than you would need to fill out the questionnaire sticky. But to answer your question simply, yes, it is likely he is getting accustomed to his new environment and under some stress and therefore would rather run away than facing his "enemy" head on. So I would say just leave him be for the time being, it will take up to 2 weeks for them to get completely adjusted. Keep trying to entice him with food as he needs his strength. Good luck!
 

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he's probably getting used to his new tank! The first several days Reuban was home, he moved to different parts of the tank and held still, so still i thought he'd died. he has gotten a lot more active and his fins are happily spread now.in fact i just glanced over and he was swimming across the tank. he used to be pretty clamped up when he first came home. give him time, and watch for signs of disease :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
i just got the water tested at petsmart and everything was normal. except ammonia was at .5 but im currently treating him with melafix because when i got him it looked like he was missing a couple rays in his bottom fin and it also said to use it for 3 days when introducing a new fish to help prevent disease. so im going to do a 50% water change tomorrow or the next day because the 3 day new fish treatment will be done and it will have been about a week since i changed it last. he is still pretty active though when hes not sleeping(?) he just seems to rest a lot

and his tank is at around 76-78 F
 

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The ammonia level seems high. What size tank is he in? You may not have the right wc schedule. IMO, whenever one brings home a new betta, the best treatment they can have is clean warm water. There is no reason to put in any medicines for "new fish treatment". Melafix isn't good for betta as it contains tree tea oil which is not good for their labyrinth organ. As a general rule, if you can help it, stay away from all meds that end with "-fix". Colors may change by becoming brighter or deeper when they are in good care. So I would suggest just to keep an eye on whatever, and if you are not sure, you can always ask (photos always help).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
the paper from petsmart says its supposed to be .25 max... although she wrote safe after .5 should i stop adding melafix mid treatment and just change the water tomorrow? hes in a 5.5 gallon tank. whats a wc schedule? also i cant see his fins very well because he wont flare and maybe it just looks this way because his fins are relaxed but the tips of his tail (double ray crown tail) seem more stringy if that makes sense... ill try to get a good picture and upload it now
 

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for your 5.5 gal tank, does it have filter? Are you trying to cycle your tank? If you are trying to cycle, ideally you should have your own liquid test kits so you would know when to make partial water changes to balance your water chemistry. Even if you don't plan on cycling, it is always good to have anyways. Anything over 0ppm in ammonia isn't good for your fish.

If you can, take a photo of these stringy fins in question. I wonder if you are describing fin rot or you are talking about his fins clamping up or just limp-ish relaxed position because he isn't flaring.
 

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I am sorry I am not able to help you much with the cycling and baffling of the filter. As for the safe range for the chemicals, ideally they should be:
ammonia - 0ppm
nitrite - 0
nitrate - 20 or less

Here is a great read posted by Bahamut regarding basic water chemistry
http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=66595
 

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Discussion Starter #11
here are some pictures of his fins, im worried about the tips of his caudal fin and the yellow color of his little fins. also in the second picture you can kind of see where some of the rays in his bottom fin are missing although it looks worse when theyre flared
 

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ah....the yellow color you mentioned is on his ventral fins (long fins below his belly)? I think that is likely his natural coloring. My CT is mocha color, but his ventral fins are streaks of white/blue. I can't detect any fin rot on his fins from the photos. The ends of dorsal may be slightly bent, but that may be normal, or at least something to pay attention to. I would say continue to make sure his water is super clean, with zero ammonia level and just monitor for now.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
its hard to see here but when he was flaring at petsmart his dorsal fin looked ok from what i remember but his ventral/anal fin i believe it is, the bottom one, looked kind of like a comb missing two teeth in the middle. i wasnt sure why but i heard that melafix would help it grow back. but ive read a lot about medications not being good so ill take your advice and just change his water and buy a test kit for now :) thank you for all the help! im sure Antione will appreciate it!
 

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The ventral fins are a pair of long ones right below his belly. You mentioned earlier that his is kinda yellow while he is a dark color betta, but I think that is likely normal for him. As for the missing rays in his anal fins, they could have been injured and broken previously, they will grow back with time, nothing to worry about as long as there is no infection. Just feed a variety of food such as frozen bloodworms, brineshrimp, pellets. As long as his environment is good and he is able to thrive, he will turn into a handsome CT!

Good luck to you and Antoine! Keep us posted :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks :D i just changed his water, i think it was a little less than half of it and hes floating in his cup now. oddly enough he seems happier in there haha im not sure if i have to wait to put him in after the dechlorinator? but i figured id let the water get all the same temperature anyway. also i ran out of the stuff ive been using so i used the dechlorinator for tropical fish that came with my tank and i used a little syringe thing but when i squirted it in the tank i could see it sinking to the bottom... like gel? should i wait for this to dissolve or something? or put some in thats a different brand? i turned my filter on while Antione is in his cup to maybe help the water conditioner clean everything but im not entirely sure how that works lol
 
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