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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! My name is Cino, I'm kinda new to this site, and absolutely new to betta care. Cecil is my first betta fish.

Basics-
He's in a 2.5 gallon tank with a plastic plant
Daily 20% water changes
He'll be with a heater once this heat wave goes away, I don't want to cook him on accident!


Today a lot of things happened with Cecil. I found out that I have a fish shop locally, which i didn't know about before, so I bought some omega one betta pellets and a leaf hammock. I gave him three pellets (he usually has flakes) and waited a few hours.

When I turned the light off in his tank he started freaking out, bashing against the sides of the tank and splashing the top of the water. I'm worried that either the hammock is scaring him or the pellets made him sick. Right now he's kinda plaring his gills really really quickly and moving his pectoral fins really fast. He's not clamped down or anything, but I'm really worried!

What could have caused him to act like this? Was it the pellets or the new hammock? Or something else?
 

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Hi Cino,

I'm a new member myself! Hmm, from the sounds of it maybe you should wait it out and see how Cecil's doing. Is he still doing this or has he settled down?

If he settled down, I'm sure he's fine and maybe got over excited or surprised.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
He's chilled out a bit, but he's still flaring at just about everything. I'm worried to turn the lights off, just in case he does it again, but we both need sleep. What do you think? And if he does do it again when I turn them off, what should I do?
 

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If you both need sleep, no harm in seeing how he is the next morning. Especially since he's calmed down from that incident, I really don't believe the pellets have anything to do with how he reacted.

Keep us posted & Good Night :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OKay, I just turned the lights off in his tank again and he seems fine. He's still ignoring the hammock, but that's no big deal :) As long as I don't wake up to him beating himself against the walls then I should sleep now :p Thanks so much, I'll put on here if he does it again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
He's started batting at the top of the water, I don't understand. He's never done stuff like this before, when I turn off the light he usually just settles down on the bottom. Do you have any idea what he might be doing?
 

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Have you tried turning the light off in his tank, but leaving your room light on? I know I have to do that. After about five minutes or so, you can turn off your room light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah, I have my room lights on. He's calmed down now, after batting at the top of the water. I'm not sure if it just startled him or what, but man I need to figure out something. I'm no good with shocks either, Cecil! :) Thanks so much.
 

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If you have a dimmer switch in your room that probably helps to gradually lower the light from bright to dark...

I haven't really experienced something like that before, it's odd though that Cecil acts that way, only changes you did was the food and that hammock. Perhaps the hammock should be taken out for tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Update! I've decided that Cecil is a fish of routine. That being said, I've started going to his tank and opening the lid for just a second, enough for him to notice me, then turning the light off. It seems to help a lot since he's expecting it to go dark, a lot better! Thank you guys :)
 

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Hi again Cinomari,

That's good news for sure! Sometimes it's those little things that can make a difference, looks like it's working from the sounds of it haha.
 

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Hi Cino,
I'm new to Betta care also so don't feel too bad. In my opinion I think the light scared him. When the light suddenly goes out or suddenly comes on it startles them. especially when they are new to the family and don't know what to expect. I expierenced this with Beau a few times. Made me feel horrible that I scared him like that. I looked it up and found that if I turn on the room light or open the curtain before turning on his light everything was fine and he wasn't startled. Also Depending on how long you've had him and his personality it may take a while for him to get used to you. Trust me! Beau would startle so easy in the beginning and now he almost lets me touch him with my finger tip. I've had him almost a month. 25th will be the one month mark exactally. :)

Sorry for such a long reply.
New Betta owner that tends to be a tiny bit OCD when it comes to them. LOL!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Oh gosh don't worry, I'm the same way! I've had Cecil about a month now and he's starting to figure me out :) He says hi when I sit down at my desk anyway, and gets all mad when I got and lay down on my bed instead of paying attention to him :p He's got a big personality, that's for sure!
 

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That's awesome! I love how mine have separate personalities! I have two females that are literally like puppy dogs. They beg for bloodworms all day. :)
Such fun companions!
 

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Hi Cino,
I'm new to Betta care also so don't feel too bad. In my opinion I think the light scared him. When the light suddenly goes out or suddenly comes on it startles them. especially when they are new to the family and don't know what to expect. I expierenced this with Beau a few times. Made me feel horrible that I scared him like that. I looked it up and found that if I turn on the room light or open the curtain before turning on his light everything was fine and he wasn't startled. Also Depending on how long you've had him and his personality it may take a while for him to get used to you. Trust me! Beau would startle so easy in the beginning and now he almost lets me touch him with my finger tip. I've had him almost a month. 25th will be the one month mark exactally. :)

Sorry for such a long reply.
New Betta owner that tends to be a tiny bit OCD when it comes to them. LOL!
+1

Went through something like this recently myself. He was doing it many, many times, both light and dark.

It was suggested that Bettas will do that when startled. I suspected it was the constant movement of the Duckweed and Frogbit in the current generated by my filter. So, after removing most of the duckweed, placing the frogbit along the sides and back of the tank, adding some floating wisteria between the frogbit and the water current, and turning the output hose down, the surface stabilized and he settled down at once.
 

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I always add a cave of sorts - old mug/bowl/those tiny plant pots for aquarium plants and even makeshift caves where I covered the base of driftwood with clumps of riccia.

Bottom line, I have a female right now who practically won't leave the cover of the bowl in her hospital tank. I need to draw and I don't have dimmers but basically if there's anything that's new and bothers her, she has a spot to hide in until she's comfy enough to go exploring on her own.
 
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