A Flaring Noob Question About My New Guy Tuna the Betta

ifyoufly
  • #1
First, I am so very happy that I discovered Fishlore for the level of expertise and trustworthy advice/info that you provide in the caring of ALL fish types...so much so that I just had to sign up!
My concern [and I have a viewed a thread addressing it to a degree] is that my new betta, Tuna, instantaneously begins to flare at his reflection when I turn all lights in my apartment but the one in the lid of his tank off. His inclination to flare is understandable and not an issue, but I wonder, considering his natural habits, if it is actually beneficial to allow this a little or a lot each day for exercise, something to occupy himself w/, and/or in the sustaining of his natural habits? It truly is something beautiful to behold but I don't want to stress my little friend. I hope I've been informative enough and I thank you greatly!
 
Chief_waterchanger
  • #2
I don't think that it would be any issue. We have a betta that flares at every snail in the 55 gallon tank he shares with some other fish, and he has been with us nearly 2 years with this behavior.


Welcome to Fishlore.
 
FishPerson
  • #3
Well, I'm sure more people will say this, but welcome to fishlore!

as for your flaring question, the flaring is stressful to the fish, and the cause is likely because you have a hex tank, which makes multiple reflections, therefore making the fish flare. if you don't have a hex tank, I am not sure. Possibly because he is just scared by the lights being turned on.
 
ifyoufly
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
I don't have a hex tank [it's four-sided w/ rounded corners] but when I bend to eye level w/ all the lights off but his, I can see the reflection that he's seeing so I'm quite sure that that is the cause. But I'm a bit unsure if I should encourage it at all.
 
FishPerson
  • #5
I think he is just getting used to the tank. after a few days or maybe a week he should probably stop. hope this helps.
 
ifyoufly
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Maybe I should let him see his reflection each day a little then increase the amount of time that he does bit by bit? I wonder if his memory is long term enough to adjust though. I've been letting him flare for about 15 to 20 mins. when he seems bored. I hope that's alright...and thanks so far.
 
ifyoufly
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Maybe I should let him see his reflection each day a little then increase the amount of time that he does bit by bit? I wonder if his memory is long term enough to adjust though. I've been letting him flare for about 15 to 20 mins. when he seems bored. I hope that's alright...and thanks so far.

...and I think he's had enough time at this point for adjusting.
 
FishPerson
  • #8
how long has he been in this tank?
 
ifyoufly
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
I left the tank to cycle for about 2 weeks prior and have had him for about 3 weeks now. I've done 2 20% water changes so far.
 
FishPerson
  • #10
just for the future, you should do water changes weekly.
 
chickadee
  • #11
The tank is not totally cycled I am guessing in that length of time and unless you had some padding from a previously cycled tank or substrate from a tank that was cycled or something with beneficial bacteria already present then the bacteria bed has not had time to form. In which case the tank is probably harboring ammonia buildup problems in between water changes. In an uncycled tank even weekly water changes are not often enough. More like daily depending on how big the tank is and how many fish are present in the tank. It is amazing how fast levels can build up in a tank that is not cycled.

Now about the flaring, when the room lights are off and the aquarium light is the only light on the inside of the tank in effect becomes a mirror for the betta to see himself. As long as he has a mirror he is going to flare at the other fish that he sees as he is defending HIS territory. It is like he is confronting a burglar constantly. It is not good for him to do this and will stress him but unless you want to leave a room light on so as to neutralize the effect of the internal lighting on the walls of the aquarium, it will probably continue as it is in his nature to do this. Sometimes a small lamp sitting next to the aquarium or a small light in the room will help, but the idea of using the aquarium as the only light in the room is not a good one if you want Mr. Betta to behave himself. It just is not going to happen. He will be in permanent flare until he figures out that the other fishy is not going to invade his territory and do anything to him or his things. This may take a while or it may never end. As is the case with so many things betta, it all kind of depends on the character of the fish. Every betta is really very different personality wise. And yes, they do have a very long memory. If they find that there is a "fishy" in a certain corner of their tank and it appears when the light is on, they will look for it there every time the light goes on. Dave has had to cover filter boxes with paper due to reflections that his fish have remembered to flare at and when he removes the paper they remember to go right back to flaring at the box again. It does not take them any time at all to remember that there is a problem there and go to find it all over again.
After you have had him a while longer you will find that he is a creature of memory and habit and will remember what the routine of life is and what is supposed to happen when and what you do when you feed him and if you deviate he will react to the deviation. It depends on you very much how personal you want your relationship to be with your betta. If you want to invest the time and spend the energy to get to know him and talk to him and communicate with him, he will be very much a people fish. They actually relate very much with their owners if the owners spend time with them and relate to them. If you just want a pet, then a guppy or an angel or another fish would be great; but a betta will be your friend given half a chance.

Rose
 
COBettaCouple
  • #12
Welcome to Fishlore.

Rose's tip on putting a lamp near the tank is what we'd recommend too. We had a Betta that would flare like crazy at the one side of his 10 gallon if only the tank light was on, but even with the lamp on the lowest setting - no flares.

LOL.. Rose remembers him - he would flare at the filter box too. He'd also flare at me for a day or 2 every time I cleaned his tank. They're very stubborn and remember things very well, but they sure do love our attention.

Some flaring is ok and part of their nature, but we try to minimize the flaring if we can - not just for the potential harm from continuous flaring, but flaring can cause them to be open to illness or to tear fins and get fin rot.

I'd recommend Prime for your water conditioner and 25% daily water changes until the tank is cycled. An API master freshwater testing kit is what we use to test the water and you'd want to test before doing a water change.
 
Chief_waterchanger
  • #13
Oh yes, bettas do remember very well. I setup a 10 gallon in my home for my dad to have something to do during the day. He named him Homer. Anyway, Homer goes to the same corner at the surface of the water for food every morning and night and will often wait for half an hour or more after dad feeds him and go back to that corner. (Dad's memory is alright but not the best... Homer has figured out that sometimes that works for extra food.) My brother tends to play on his laptop in a chair beside the tank and homer always sees him coming and moves to that end of the tank to watch the flashing lights of the computer games. (I know the betta is drawn by the flashing lights, but he has 9.5 more gallons of water he could be swimming in rather than occupying the same area each evening to watch the pretty lights.)

Bettas are fun, as Rose said, if you give them the chance to be. I hope you enjoy your betta as much as some of us enjoy ours.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #14
That's great how you setup that Betta tank for you dad. Homer sounds like a happy, smart and very well fed Betta.
 
Blub
  • #15
Hi!

Sorry if I'm 'taking over' this thread - but I light my 3gal tank (Malachai's little home!) by a gooseneck light/lamp. He flares like crazy, even though his tank is next to a 47gal - with the light on 12hours a day. How can I stop him flaring?


 
chickadee
  • #16
I know what those gooseneck lights are like as I used to use one and it is very low light and not sufficient to do much more than give a spotlight type effect in the tank. He is getting a mirror in his tank like he would be getting from a dark room outside his tank. You need a bigger light on the tank or another lamp closer to his tank or something to throw more light into his tank to give him more light and when the light is off in the room and the 47 gallon it should be off for him at the same time. All the lights need to be on or off together.

You can see if this helps but the spotlight effect is making him feel like the edges of the tank are darker I am thinking if it is the same type of light I am thinking of.

Rose
 
janoue
  • #17
That's all such great advice everyone. I'm glad I belong to this forum. Everyone is soooooo smart!!! I have drews tank set up on my kitchen cubbord (it kinda fits perfectly) so I have someone to talk to when I am doing dishes. Anyways, my husband couldn't figure out why drew was flipping out the other day. All I heard was "Jan hurry drew's going nuts!!" I was like "What did you do to him?" and he said " Nothing i'm just washing out some pots". I was like Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.. sure enough I went out, my husband was stacking clean pots right next to drews tank. I said " Steven what do you see when you look at that pot?" and he said " drew's reflection". and then his face kinda went white and he felt really stupid. I was like, we stack clean pots on the other cubbord from now on K?" I just thought that was a really cute story and felt I had to share it with everyone.
 
Chief_waterchanger
  • #18
Lol. Good story Jan.
 
luna
  • #19
*snicker* *snort*

 
chickadee
  • #20
Well it is a very good story and it also shows a good point. Many things are possible little reflective sources for the little minxes to get their little fins in an uproar over so we have to think ahead and try to think like they will. (all the time)

The little stinkers....

Rose
Life with your betta never needs to be boring.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #21
LOL.. Well, he gave Drew a workout!
 
Blub
  • #22
I know what those gooseneck lights are like as I used to use one and it is very low light and not sufficient to do much more than give a spotlight type effect in the tank. He is getting a mirror in his tank like he would be getting from a dark room outside his tank. You need a bigger light on the tank or another lamp closer to his tank or something to throw more light into his tank to give him more light and when the light is off in the room and the 47 gallon it should be off for him at the same time. All the lights need to be on or off together.

You can see if this helps but the spotlight effect is making him feel like the edges of the tank are darker I am thinking if it is the same type of light I am thinking of.

Rose
Hi!

Thanks Rose! Well, you'll never guess but the light broke yesterday... So I think I'll ask for some other sort of lamp - problem is I don't have much space for one.

 
LuvaBetta
  • #23
Jan I love that story! At least your husband noticed the flaring!

Our birds are that way, you have to be aware of everything you set down near the cage, any dark/bold color nearby, they'll give the hairy eyeball to the strangest things! I just didn't realize at first that I have to be just as aware of the fishes' surroundings. Makes sense tho - they can't get away from it!
 
chickadee
  • #24
Well I do not know if you have this type in England or not but I had one like the long blue one and two like the long green one. The long blue one put out much more light in a tank and my fish did very well with it. It also has replaceable bulbs and that makes it very much worth the money. I liked them very much but do not have the tanks anymore so do not need them anymore but when I use the buckets and Tupperware and such they get drug out into service again. They provide plenty of light. The little round one has essentially the same problem as the spotlight you had before. It just does not cover enough area.

Rose
 
COBettaCouple
  • #25
;D Cool, I'll have to get some of those sometime.
 
Blub
  • #26
Hi!

I saw one of those one a starter kit at my LFS - I'll ask if they have any seperate.


 
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