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Hello! Name's Amy. I'm a beginner and I just brought home my first betta fish yesterday only to find him pacing the glass of his tank for hours today. I cycled my tank for weeks beforehand and tested the water regularly so I don't know what could be causing his stress! I have a bunch of plants for him to enjoy, and a decent low current filter.

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As of now this is the only sign that he's stressed, but I'd rather catch an issue too early than too late. I hope it's just a case of him being scared of the big person constantly fussing over him and not something more serious.

I filled out the questionnaire below. Please help!

Housing:
How many gallons is your tank? 10
Does it have a filter? Yes!
Does it have a heater? Yes!
What temperature is your tank? 78°F
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No.
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? None.

Food:
What food brand do you use? Bug Bites tropical formula for small fish.
Do you feed flakes or pellets? They're crumbles so closer to flakes.
Freeze-dried? No.
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? I fed him once last night at 10 P.M. and once this morning at 10 A.M.

Maintenance:
Before
your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? I just got him yesterday but I cycled my tank and did a water change just before acclimating him just in case.
What percentage of water did you change? 50% roughly, before I put him in. That was the last change I did.
What is the source of your water? Reverse Osmosis water in gallon containers.
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? I vaccum.
What additives do you use other than conditioner? What brand of conditioner? I use Aquasafe for the small amount of tap water I add, other than that I just use flourish fertilizer for my plants.

Water Parameters:
What are your water parameters? Please give exact numbers. If tested by pet store please get exact numbers. "Fine" or "Safe" won't help us help you. Important: Test your water before the regular water change; not after one.

Ammonia: I don't have an ammonia tester yet so I'm unsure...
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 15-20 ppm
pH: 7.2
Hardness (GH): 75 ppm
Alkalinity (KH): 80 ppm

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? A couple of hours ago, around 6 P.M.
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? It hasn't really.
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? He was exploring his tank when I brought him home, but now he's sticking to the edges of it mostly. Sometimes he's chill, but he swims frantically in bursts from time to time.
Is your Betta still eating? Yes, last I tried.
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? No. I don't know what's wrong.
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? Not that I know of.
How long have you owned your Betta? Just bought him from Petco yesterday afternoon.
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? Not that I could tell.

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JUST took this picture, he's right up against the glass. I know he looks fine, but the stuff I've been reading online has me worried about the whole "glass surfing" thing. I'd appreciate advice!
 

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Welcome to the Forum!

Oh, my, he's lovely.

Don't worry. Fish can take a while to get used to their new environment.

Here we have a Betta that has probably spent their entire lives in a filterless environment no larger than a half-gallon or so with no substrate, no plants, no close overhead lights. Then we put them in something larger with all of the previously mentioned. Some are blase about the whole thing. Some, however, will be bumfuzzled.

The latter can take a while to adjust. Sometimes they glass surf, sometimes they hide, sometimes they don't eat. The best course of action is to make no further changes. Give him some time. If he is non-stop glass surfing for a week, then you can make your own adjustments to help him.

In the meantime, don't worry; just enjoy his personality and beauty.
 

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Hi!
What a handsome fish!

I've had glass surfers and sometimes they calm down after a day or so, and sometimes they need help to break the habit. By the way, be sure that you have the lights on a timer so they're not on overnight, in other words only for about 8 hours during the day.

In a week, if he's still surfing you can try draping something over the outside of the wall he's favoring, like a towel to see if that works, because sometimes it's how the light is causing reflections for him, and if he still doesn't stop (I know this behavior can be frustrating, but try and hang in there and be patient) you might need to cut a piece of plastic sewing mesh to size and put it on the inside of the tank, with a very snug fit so he can't get between the mesh and the tank wall and get stuck. There's something about the little squares that seem to eliminate any images or whatever that he's seeing. You could also consider moving some plants so that they're literally in his way - I've found that can sometimes help as well.

I have a crowntail now that's a lazy surfer - sometimes he does but he's kind of wandering around, and sometimes he's out and about acting normally. I'm just letting him have at it, and will be getting him a neighbor since it's a divided tank with an empty half - that may make a difference in his behavior as well :)

By the way, if you can drink your tap water, you can use it for your tank, with aquasafe or Seachem Prime (at 2 drops per gallon).
 

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I just reread and saw the RO water. That is not good as it has all the essential minerals and trace elements that are essential to fish health. If you feel the need for RO you will need to mineralize using something like SeaChem Equilibrium.

To cycle the tank you can check out the Forum's tutorial here CYCLING: the two-sentence tutorial

Not sure what would be the daily dosage for AquaSafe.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I just reread and saw the RO water. That is not good as it has all the essential minerals and trace elements that are essential to fish health. If you feel the need for RO you will need to mineralize using something like SeaChem Equilibrium.

To cycle the tank you can check out the Forum's tutorial here CYCLING: the two-sentence tutorial

Not sure what would be the daily dosage for AquaSafe.
Oh yes, I needed to clarify: I use RO water to dilute my tap water because it is extremely hard and alkaline. The water definitely has minerals, it's Chicago tap water. :LOL:

Thanks so much for the advice! I'll do some research on whether the tap water here has the RIGHT minerals or not.
 

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Hi!
What a handsome fish!

I've had glass surfers and sometimes they calm down after a day or so, and sometimes they need help to break the habit. By the way, be sure that you have the lights on a timer so they're not on overnight, in other words only for about 8 hours during the day.

In a week, if he's still surfing you can try draping something over the outside of the wall he's favoring, like a towel to see if that works, because sometimes it's how the light is causing reflections for him, and if he still doesn't stop (I know this behavior can be frustrating, but try and hang in there and be patient) you might need to cut a piece of plastic sewing mesh to size and put it on the inside of the tank, with a very snug fit so he can't get between the mesh and the tank wall and get stuck. There's something about the little squares that seem to eliminate any images or whatever that he's seeing. You could also consider moving some plants so that they're literally in his way - I've found that can sometimes help as well.

I have a crowntail now that's a lazy surfer - sometimes he does but he's kind of wandering around, and sometimes he's out and about acting normally. I'm just letting him have at it, and will be getting him a neighbor since it's a divided tank with an empty half - that may make a difference in his behavior as well :)

By the way, if you can drink your tap water, you can use it for your tank, with aquasafe or Seachem Prime (at 2 drops per gallon).
You guys were totally right and I've just been doubting my own ability to do water chemistry; he seems better this morning. I do turn off my lights when my room gets dark in the evening (so he won't be able to see his reflection), I just turned them on to take pictures for the forum.

Thank you for all the advice! If I see him glass surfing later on I'll know what to do now. I thought they only glass surfed because they were being poisoned or couldn't breathe and I panicked quite a lot!
 

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Welcome to the Forum!

Oh, my, he's lovely.

Don't worry. Fish can take a while to get used to their new environment.

Here we have a Betta that has probably spent their entire lives in a filterless environment no larger than a half-gallon or so with no substrate, no plants, no close overhead lights. Then we put them in something larger with all of the previously mentioned. Some are blase about the whole thing. Some, however, will be bumfuzzled.

The latter can take a while to adjust. Sometimes they glass surf, sometimes they hide, sometimes they don't eat. The best course of action is to make no further changes. Give him some time. If he is non-stop glass surfing for a week, then you can make your own adjustments to help him.

In the meantime, don't worry; just enjoy his personality and beauty.
That makes quite a lot of sense, thank you. If he's adjusting then he's adjusting; I'll let him do so on his own time. He seems better this morning so I'm not as worried as I was, I thought bettas only glass surfed when they were in severe physical distress.

And he is beautiful! I still have no idea what to name him but I'm very fond of him already!

Thanks for your help, it really put me at ease to know he'll probably be alright. Even if he's confused, he deserves his big new home!
 

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He's such a beautiful boy! Wait a week or two and allow him to adjust to his new home. My female did this for weeks and still does it, even though everything is fine. After 1-2 weeks, you can tape some white printer paper, only on the side panels of the tank, and she stopped a bit.
 

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My betta was also glass surfing a lot when I got her, to the point where I got worried, but it stopped after about a week. It's pretty normal as far as I know.
It sounds like you know what you're doing and caring well for your betta! So don't worry, watch him closely, if there are no other symptoms he should be fine. Adding more plants, especially to the sides, (or waiting for them to grow bigger) can also help. Have fun with your beautiful fish 😊
 

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How is doing today?

I wondered if your LED strip is set on the side of your tank or bringing light from above? I‘m not sure about the location from the picture or if it is the only source of light.

And I do not have any experience or reference if light from the side (if it is so) will cause any trouble.

I‘ll wait for your answer and will ask the forum for replies if it was on the side of the tank.

Apart from this I totally agree with anybody else for letting your beautiful fish accustom to his new environment!
 
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Hey there! Mine is a glass surfer too. I've had him for a little over a month now I think, and I noticed his surfing only takes place under two conditions. One: if it's dark in the room and I've left his tank light on, but that one is kind of obvious. The second reason is a little different. He's completely used to me now and when he sees or hears me come into the room, he'll glass surf like crazy and follow me around, sometimes a little too hyper. (He's pretty sociable and is always hoping for more food.) If I sneak in the room and he doesn't know I'm there, he just moseys around the tank like normal. They don't always glass surf for bad reasons. Just keep an eye on his antics and watch for any other symptoms. He could just be stressed from the move, or excited because you're there. :giggle:
 

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How is doing today?

I wondered if your LED strip is set on the side of your tank or bringing light from above? I‘m not sure about the location from the picture or if it is the only source of light.

And I do not have any experience or reference if light from the side (if it is so) will cause any trouble.

I‘ll wait for your answer and will ask the forum for replies if it was on the side of the tank.

Apart from this I totally agree with anybody else for letting your beautiful fish accustom to his new environment!
Yes my LED is on the side of the tank, but I'm waiting for an aquarium lid so I can replace it. He honestly likes the light a lot so I'm not sure if I have the heart to remove it!
 
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