Betta Behavior & Tank Questions: A Novel

Georgie Girl
  • #1
Here’s my Fishy Boris Karloff. (This is an older photo. If you like I’ll post a more recent one.) I got him from dastardly Petsmart’s tiny cup farm on April 13. He had terrible fin rot. Since then he’s thrived in good water and with good food – just as this community said he would do. Thank you all!

So as you see, he’s white, actually kinda pinkish, with charcoal fins. Has anyone any experience with a pinkish fish with charcoal fins? I’m wondering if he’ll ever color up.

If he doesn’t ever get any colors, no matter. I just want him healthy and engaged.


  • #2
There are “cellophane” bettas who always have a pale, fleshy color. Sometimes they can have the pinkish-white body color and darker fins. That might be what he is. Or, he might just be a pale betta who will eventually get really bright! It’s always hard to tell with bettas, they’re never consistent with their colors!

Georgie Girl
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
This is Fishy Boris Karloff. Anyone sick of him yet? Hope not. I have a few questions. This is a five-gallon planted - well, half-planted - tank.

First, the floating plants, quite sickly looking. In the plants forum, a couple of people said this is anubias, and suggested it wasn't doing well because I'd planted it, that its rhizomes (?) need to be in the water. So I pulled it up. Your thoughts? And, is this anubias?

Second, the decor, such as it is. I got that colorful thing because I thought he'd play with it, swim through the rings. He ignores it. I got the terra cotta jug thingy as a hiding place for him. He ignores it, too. I really thought he'd swim through it and hang out in it. What gives?

Finally, Fishy Boris doesn't seem happy - he actually seems depressed. I try to offer him opportunities for enrichment. I put colorful things around the tank, like a Coke can and a little calico cat. I put brightly-colored stickies on the glass and changed them up. I put my face up close to the glass and talk to him. He likes that - well, he did. Now he doesn't seem to like anything but food. He lays on the bottom all the time.

I want to be a phenomenal fish steward, because he deserves the best. Can you offer me any advice? Re plants, decor, his life?
  • #4
You have some awesome intentions, never had someone ask about this.
I think he’s healthy, laying on the bottom isn’t a bad thing if the water parameters, water, and his health are favorable. I always liked to try writing on the glass with an expo dry erase marker, it wipes right off.

Otherwise, frozen foods keep my bettas interested, and it’s good for them. I was once thinking like you, but now I just keep it simple. Why don’t you just make a list of things you think he likes, and doesn’t like. It may be easier to schedule things in the right times that way, at least, that’s what I did.

I hope this helps you.
  • #5
now that the plant is dug up, it doesn't really look like an anubias, lol. can you take a photo of the bottom, like the stem/roots part? maybe it's some kind of amazon sword or crypt??

he's so lovely; I think his big fins might weigh him down though, which is why you might be seeing a decrease in activity. plus bettas can be pretty lazy and like to rest on stuff a lot. do you check your water parameters regularly? how often do you do water changes? maybe there's something off with the water.
  • #6
I love his name, that's adorable!

I unfortunately can't answer all your questions, but as far as the terra cotta jug goes, try adding gravel into it. My fish, Epsilon, has a PVC pipe in his tank that he won't touch unless there is a gravel trail leading to and through it. So try playing around with that and see if it helps. Possibly even shift the jug so that the opening is lying just above the gravel and add gravel in it? So that the jug looks partially dug into it?

  • #7
Not sure what your plant is, but it's not an anubias. Looks like baby romaine lettuce to me Lol
Maybe get him a few cherry shrimp friends to make his life more interesting? or a snail? No idea how that will go, he may attack the shrimps, but it would give him something fun to do
Maybe a pile of surface plants for him to wade thru? just some ideas.
  • #8
I would tie the floating plant to something but it doesn't look like anubias, as mentioned before. I'd add more plants too, my betta really liked to swim through plants and rest in them
  • #9
If you can find some hornwort or guppy grass, they are two floating plants that my bettas absolutely love to swim through and rest on. Especially my male halfmoon. His tail is so big and weighs him down so he uses the guppy grass as a support system. I have it floating throughout the entire tank and he moves around a lot more now. Here's pic of what it looks like.


Have you tried a bubbler in the tank? Some bettas hate it because of the extra water movement, but all of mine enjoy swimming through the bubble curtain. Just a suggestion! Know that you're a great betta mom just for worrying and trying!

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