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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a double tailed betta fish named Greyjoy. I did my first water change today. Before I did the water change, I had a temporary teacup as a hiding spot and a java fern and anacharis plants in his tank. He seemed to be doing very well.

I replaced the teacup with a new cave hiding spot that I bought from Petco. I put water conditioner into the water. I put the java fern and anacharis back in his tank.

After putting him back in his tank, I noticed he started acting strange and rubbing himself on the plants and on the substrate; sometimes he rubs very intensely against the substrate.

He has never done this before and I'm afraid there's something in the water that's bothering him. He seems to really enjoy his new cave and I did rinse it really well under warm water but can that be the reason why he's itchy?

Side notes:
He has been eating his pellets normally and pooping regularly.
I also tested the water and everything's at an appropriate level.
 

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Normally this is a sign of some type of parasite. Is anything strange visible on his body whites spots, things hanging from him, gold color all over his body(some gold is normal, so it can be hard to tell if its velvet)? If not it could be internal parasites, not sure though... or stress from the water change. Mine did that when I first got him… he hasn't done it since then though lol. Hope this helped a little! Good luck ;-)
 

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We cannot say it's a parasite without knowing more information first. There's many, many reasons why a fish will flash.

If you could please fill out this form (don't leave a single thing out) and if you can please include a few clear up-close photo's, or a video uploaded to YouTube. The more questions in the form that you answer, the easier and faster it will be for someone to assist you.

Housing:
  1. How many gallons is your tank?
  2. How long has the tank been set up?
  3. Does it have a filter? If so, how long has it been cycled?
  4. Does it have a heater?
  5. What temperature is your tank?
  6. Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
  7. Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind?
  8. Is the tank planted?

Food:
  1. What food brand do you use?
  2. Do you feed flakes or pellets?
  3. Freeze-dried?
  4. How often do you feed your Betta, and how much?

Maintenance:
  1. Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change?
  2. If you have gravel substrate how often did you vacuum before your fish became ill?
  3. If you answered yes to having a filter; before your fish became ill how often did you perform filter maintenance (cleaning)?
  4. What percentage of water did you change before your fish became ill?
  5. What dechlorinator do you use?
  6. Do you use any additional additives? If so, what specifically do you use and why?

Water Parameters:
Which brand of liquid test kit(s) do you use?
What are your water parameters? Please give exact numerical numbers. Test results should be from the tank the fish was in when it became ill.
(If tested by pet store please get exact numbers. "Fine" or "Safe" won't help us help you.)

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness (GH):
Alkalinity (KH):

Symptoms and Treatment:
  1. When did you first notice the symptoms?
  2. How has your Betta’s appearance changed?
  3. How has your Betta’s behavior changed?
  4. Is your Betta still eating?
  5. Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? List medications if any.
  6. Does your Betta have any history of being ill?
  7. How long have you owned your Betta?
  8. Was he or she a rescue (was he/she sick when you got him)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Housing:
How many gallons is your tank? 2.5
How long has the tank been set up? About 2 Weeks
Does it have a filter? If so, how long has it been cycled? Yes, there is a filter. It's been cycled for the past week.
Does it have a heater? Yes.
What temperature is your tank? The tank is usually at around 78-82 degrees fahrenheit.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No type of aeration in the tank.
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? No tank mates.
Is the tank planted? Yes, one java fern plant and about 6 strands of anacharis in a bundle.

Food:
What food brand do you use? For now, I use Zoo Med's betta pellets and occasionally Hikari Frozen Bloodworms. (Planning to switch to Hikari pellets).
Do you feed flakes or pellets? I don't feed him flakes but I do use pellets as a staple meal.
Freeze-dried? No freeze dried foods.
How often do you feed your Betta, and how much? On average, I feed him two pellets 3 times a day.

Maintenance:
Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? I've only had my betta for about 2 weeks and this was the tank's first water change.
If you have gravel substrate how often did you vacuum before your fish became ill? This is the first time I vacuumed his tank.
If you answered yes to having a filter; before your fish became ill how often did you perform filter maintenance (cleaning)? I haven't cleaned the filter yet.
What percentage of water did you change before your fish became ill? I changed about 80% of the water.
What dechlorinator do you use? I used Zoo Med's Betta H2O Conditioner.
Do you use any additional additives? If so, what specifically do you use and why? I don't use anything else.

Water Parameters:
Which brand of liquid test kit(s) do you use? I use API's 5 in 1 strip test kit.
What are your water parameters? Please give exact numerical numbers. Test results should be from the tank the fish was in when it became ill.
(If tested by pet store please get exact numbers. "Fine" or "Safe" won't help us help you.)

Ammonia: I don't have an ammonia tester :cry:
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 20ppm
pH: 7.0-7.5
Hardness (GH): 180ppm
Alkalinity (KH): 120ppm

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? I noticed them only 3 hours ago.
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? No change in his appearance at all.
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? He is easily agitated and spooked which is not like him at all. At first he was darting around in the tank but he's calmed down by now. He's rubbing the substrate and plants on his side. At one point he was bumping into the tank wall with his mouth.
Is your Betta still eating? He is eating normally.
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? List medications if any. No.
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? Not that I know of.
How long have you owned your Betta? About 2 weeks.
Was he or she a rescue (was he/she sick when you got him)? No, he was not a rescue nor was he sick.
 

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Okay you actually do not know if your tank is cycled because you don't have a ammonia tester. So get one and check to see what your ammonia levels are.

Also a cycled 2.5 gallon tanks need two 50% water changes a week. You cannot go two weeks without a water change.

You said you remove him from the tank during the water change, did you acclimate him when you added him back to the tank? If not then you probably shocked him and that is why are betta was acting the way he is.
 

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I am curious; without knowing your ammonia reading how do you know the tank is cycled? Without seeding media or adding bottled bacteria there is no way a fish tank can cycle in one week.

I did acclimate the water that he went into when I removed him. I'll be buying an ammonia tester.
Be sure you get liquid test kits. The paper strips are not that accurate and they do not give numerical results.

To acclimate properly takes roughly an hour or more. It's not just floating the bag or adding tank water to the bag. You have to turn off the lights, float the bag for 15 minutes, scoop out about 1/2 cup of water and throw it out, scoop in a 1/2 cup of tank water and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Water goes out of the bag and into the sink/bucket/whatever, and tank water goes into the bag. This is proper acclimation.

This is highly stressful for a fish to go through once a week much less twice a week. Regardless of how small the tank is, I never ever continuously remove fish to do a water change. Do partial water changes and leave the fish in the tank while doing so. Dechlorinate the water before it goes into the tank, and add water to the tank slowly, use a thermometer under the tap water to ensure the water temp is the same as what is already in the tank. A lot less stress on the fish this way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Update: He stopped rubbing himself on the substrate about an hour after he started doing it and he has since ceased to rub himself anywhere. He seems back to normal. I went out and got an ammonia tester today and the ammonia levels were at 0ppm.

So including my other test results, does this mean my tank is cycled? (I did seed his tank with some decorations from a friend's already established tank for the past two weeks).
 
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