Betta Acting Strange

Joe M

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HI all!

I’ve read many posts on this site and others about Betta behavior, but I can’t quite find my case. I got my Betta a few days ago, and this is my first first. I made sure to dechlorofinate his water, make it around 77 degrees f, and clean all the rocks and fake plant.

I did, however, make the mistake of ocerfeeding him a little. I’d give him a few pellets that he’d eat, but then I’d give him a few more and they sank. After the last few days, I decided I should clean out the pellets that sank and just start feeding him less. However, when I began to clean the gravel, it stirred up the uneaten food, and clouded up the tank!

I knew 100% water changes weren’t great, but I needed to make sure he could breathe okay in all his tank. I replaced the water (and purified the new water) and cleaned all the old food out. When I put him in his temporary tank, he became extremely sluggish. My first thought was that he was tired out from swimming away from the bet I used to transport him. When I put him back in his new tank when it was ready, he’s stilk rather sluggish. He will swim around for about 10 minutes, and then go “rest” under the fake plant at the bottom for another 10 and repeat.

The tank is 2 gallons, it is filtered and conditioned, and I am feeding him more sparingly now. The temp is also still good.

Any thoughts on if this is normal? Thanks for any help
 

Repolie

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It sounds like he was stressed from the ordeal of being moved around and placed back. It's normal for stressed bettas to be like that. You should just leave him alone (maybe keep the tank dark) to let him de-stress and he should go back to normal. I see you don't know about the nitrogen cycle and that's very important for every fish because ammonia can poison your fish to death. The rotting food at the bottom of the tank can produce dangerous amounts of ammonia, so make sure he eats all his food.
 

Sahiri

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A video of the behavior would be extremely helpful.
Food- if your using pellet food soak it for 15m or so and feed 1 pellet at a time.
Also what are your water parameters?
 

toran

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Hello, it is good you asked. And welcome to fishlore.

Since you just got him, my thought is maybe he is still stressed from his move and then being moved again while you cleaned his tank.

Bettas only need 3-4 pellets once a day. If he is very young, feed 2 pellets twice daily.

You may want to fast him for 2 days then feed him a frozen pea, cut up after 30 seconds in microwave. He may be bloated from overfeeding.

Let us know if he doesn't improve.
 
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Joe M

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Thank you all for these fast and informative answers!

I had no idea about the nitrogen cycle until now, and I’m going to get started immediately on making sure his tank is safe.

In the mean time, I am going to let him rest and fast as much as possible. It was mentioned that I should make sure he eats all of his food. If he doesn’t eat a pellet, should I immediately scoop it out? This can be challenging with the type of gravel I have, as it easily gets submerged under the rocks. But if necessary, I will do so.
 

Sahiri

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Do you have any other tank mates that would eat the excess food? If not, I would remove as it will only contribute to increased ammonia. What kind of substrate do you have?

Also- how much current do you have?

In your original post you said "He will swim around for about 10 minutes, and then go “rest” under the fake plant at the bottom for another 10 and repeat." This is pretty typical behavior. My betta spends a lot of time laying on plants waiting for things to float by. Tanks with high current can cause stress to some fish as most like to have dead spots where they can lay.
 

Sahiri

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When feeding I like to rotate food sources to provide variety. Bloodworms, flake food, betta pellets rotated. With the pellets be sure to soak them first. You will see how much they expand. Feed one at a time. 1-2 max at a feeding. Feed 2x a day.
 

Repolie

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Joe M said:
Thank you all for these fast and informative answers!

I had no idea about the nitrogen cycle until now, and I’m going to get started immediately on making sure his tank is safe.

In the mean time, I am going to let him rest and fast as much as possible. It was mentioned that I should make sure he eats all of his food. If he doesn’t eat a pellet, should I immediately scoop it out? This can be challenging with the type of gravel I have, as it easily gets submerged under the rocks. But if necessary, I will do so.
Yes you should always remove any uneaten food because it will rot. Try getting a turkey baster to suck up the food. You also can't have any tank mates with him because it's a 2 gallon tank.
 

Sahiri

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I was thinking about species of shrimp
 
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Joe M

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He has no tankmates, he has it all to himself. I’m planning on replacing the rocks with gravel to make it easier to clean. Also, he has taken to wedging himself between the filter and the tank and sleeping vertically for an hour. Then, he’ll swim around a bit and explore, only to return to the filter soon after.

I visited the pet store and they said he’s likely fatigued from all of the change lately, and after a few days he should be fine. It’s just strange how he is CONSTANTLY sleeping.
 

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