Betta hiding

_Fried_Bettas_

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I just bought a betta 2 days ago and he has been hiding behind the filter the vast majority of the time. Is this normal, he has a whole 5 gallon tank for himself. Also he is mostly purple and maroon but the ends of his lower front fins are white. Is this likely to be part of his markings or a sign of illness.
 

Isabella

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He may still be afraid of his new surroundings and that is why he's hiding. It should go away once he's settled in. Also, most Bettas live their entire lives ( ) in tiny 1-cup containers, so when they're suddenly put into a larger tank they're disoriented. It's great when they have lots of space, but it probably takes them a while to adjust to the change of environment.

As I really have no experience or real knowledge about Bettas in a broader sense, I can only try to help you the way I try to help others on the forum in the non-Betta boards. Do you know your Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate readings in the Betta tank? Also, it's heated and filtered, right? Is the tank cycled? Have you acclimatized him properly?
 
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_Fried_Bettas_

_Fried_Bettas_

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I cycled the tank before I bought him, I had a couple platies in there and was thinking of seeing if they would get along, but they were too scared with him still in his little plastic container, so I took them out first. I left his little cup float in there for about 15 min before letting him out. The little test strips I have don't give ammonia reading but nitrate 20 ppm, nitrite 0, hardness 150(GH)ppm, alkalinity 100 (KH)ppm, pH 6.8. I get about the same readings in my other tank (platies & corys)
 

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Those test strips are useless. You should the API master test kit with the test tubes and liquid tests. They are much more accurate and will give you an exact reading instead of an approx. one with the test strips which are usually wrong anyway. Give him a few days to adjust I'm sure he will be fine. Can you post a pic of him at all to see what the whites on his fins look like? It may be fin rot. Natalie
 
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_Fried_Bettas_

_Fried_Bettas_

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Hi, was difficult getting decent picture, but these you can see the light color in his lower fins. They are pretty symetrical right and left but I wonder because they are so much different from the rest of his coloring
 

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HI LetDiceFly - welcome to the forum.

Our Betta gets a bit disoriented for about 24 hours after any move from his smaller tank to his larger one.  He's been moved back and forth a few times over the past few months to medicate him.  And, each time he's been moved from the smaller to the larger tank, things have been altered (gravel, plants, etc.), so it's like a brand new place for him.  But he does adjust to it.

As for the white parts on the fin, I saw two things.  The white tips on the pelvic fins are identical to those on our Betta; it is a natural part of the coloring.  The other fins, I'm not so sure.  The webbing between the rays on his tail appears washed out and the white on his analfin is suspect.  These suspect areas could be due to photo lighting and non-existent in reality, or it might be the initial stages of fin rot.  I'd be suspect if the washed out areas are visible to you and have just recently developed.  Though Bettas have been known to manifest a change of color when moved from their small store cups to a good water environment, this is something to watch.  To be on the safe side, it might be a good idea to get some medication(s) for fin rot.  Jungle Labs Fungus Clear and Maracyn 2 are good meds to have on hand when fin rot strikes.  It's a certainty that these meds won't be available when you need them, so it's good to get them before hand.

Though our Betta has not shown any behavioral signs of illness during his months of having fin rot (he's active, kooky, and eats like a pig), some fish do feel ill when fin rot strikes and hiding is one way a fish shows s/he's not feeling well.  I don't know that your Betta is hiding.  But I think you think he is.  And if that is put together with what may be physical signs of fin rot, I think it would be good to prepare for medicating him.

I don't want to be an alarmist.  But I do want to say that I was caught off guard when our Betta contracted fin rot and it was a scramble to get pics, post them, wait for responses, go and try to find unavailable meds, you get the picture.  Prepare now and avoid the stress later - when you need the meds, you'll already have them.

Mike
 

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Hi! Welcome to Fishlore.

Your Betta is a beautiful fish. Does he have a name yet? We like to call our Bettas by name. They all have such different personalities, it's like we are talking about our children....lol.


About his fins. If they remain even, it may just be part of his coloring. Like Mike said, I would have some meds on hand just in case. You will definitely know if he has fin rot because those beautiful fins will get ragged overnight. I don't see it mentioned anywhere, but what is the temp in his tank? Despite what most pet stores say about Bettas being OK at room temp, they really like the temp between 80-82F. If the temp is too low, he could become a bit stressed which can, and usually does, lead to fin rot. Keep a close eye on them for the next day or two and make sure you have the meds just in case. A lot of Bettas will get fin rot when you first get them because their conditions in the pet store cup were bad to begin with, so don't think it is anything you have done wrong.

He may be hiding because he is not quite used to his surroundings yet. Has he been eating at all? If not, he should adjust soon and will start eating and exploring. Some people's fish have not eaten for up to a week after moving in to "Club Med".

Welcome again and keep us updated. Don't hesitate to ask questions. That's why we're here.

Nicole
 

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I agree with Nicole, as long as his fins have even edges and don't start getting ragged he doesn't have finrot. If he is new then he is still shy and won't swim around too much. Give him time to get settled. As for meds, you should always have a supply of some basic meds on hand as Bettas CAN and DO get sick often as you will read here. The faster you give treatment the better his chances.
 

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All great advice here Much better than I could have ever given, since I've never even had a Betta. I also think it's good to have medications "just in case" something happens (I have Maracyn I & II, Maracide, and CopperSafe - never used them but having them just in case something happens).

The fish looks healthy to me, but I never had a Betta so don't take my advice for granted. Maybe the white color is his natural coloring? The fins don't look ragged to me. There are no spots of any kind on the fins either. Just keep the water very clean and watch the fish closely for the next few days (as well as at all times, anyway). He should not be hiding forever - he should get used to his new home soon.

As for the tests for Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate - I also agree that test strips are not exactly the best method for determining your readings. Liquid tests, Aquarium Pharmaceuticals in particular, are much more accurate. I mean, if your water is OK, you have nothing to worry about. But if you can and have some extra bucks in the future, get the AP tests (or the AP Master Test Kit: ).
 
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_Fried_Bettas_

_Fried_Bettas_

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He seems to be getting a little less shy. I thought it was funny that when I started taking pictures of him he came out and was showing off. Something about the flash on the camera made him curious I suppose.

Oh, and he has a name now, took me awhile to find one truely fitting. I named him after Ian Gillan. It was the most appropiate name I could think of, because my betta is deep purple and Gillan was the singer for the band Deep Purple and he has a fishy name, lol
 
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_Fried_Bettas_

_Fried_Bettas_

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After looking at some of your posts on here, I see you put a number of critters in with Bettas. I have 3 corys in another tank, do you think that one of them might be happy in here with Gillan. I also see you mention snails and shrimp. Any suggestions appreciated.
 

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Possibly...bettas can be weird about companions. Only the females usually have tank mates when young so they tend to deal better with it but males tend to be isolated. As a rule people selling them defer to the idea that you should not put them with any other fish.

The reason for this is that male bettas can become intensely aggressive with anything in their tank that is not a snail. I say 'can' because other people who post here have had no trouble at all putting their male bettas with a corydoras or livebearers or more peaceful tetras. Both times I tried having a male betta with other fish they hated them. My last betta, Rusty, would charge at the corydoras every time he had a chance to and actually hurt them. I think part of it might be that Rusty was an older betta when I got him and was pretty set in his ways.

If you have two tanks that would be okay to try out, just be prepared to isolate the betta again if he doesn't like having company.
 

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What you might want to do to "trick" the betta is take him out, re-arrange the decorations in it and then put the corydora/s in there and then put him back in there. He'll think that he's in a completely different tank. He may not be so territorial if you do it that way, although I don't think he's that territorial yet anyway since he's pretty new to his home. Just a suggestion. Natalie
 

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Is your betta still spending time behind his filter? If so, maybe our experience with 2 of our bettas could help. Our 1st & 2nd bettas both acted like yours.. they'd spend lots of time behind the filter and watching them we figured out that they were seeing a sort-of reflection of themselves in the plastic of the filter on the outside of the tank. We took a piece of paper folded in half and slid it inbetween the filter and glass so that the filter held the paper in place and after searching in vain for a little while they gave up. Sometimes the paper would fall though, so now what we do is cut a paper in half, wrap it around the filter and tape it in place so that our little guys won't ever be able to look thru the glass and see the filter box. Funny how our 3rd betta doesn't care about it.. but he's also the most mellow & finicky betta.. they sure give you a wide range of character.

Hope this helps.
 

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I have two Bettas. One male and one female until a few days ago when I purchased another female. I bought the original couple with hopes that they would be happy in a five gallon tank alone. But they weren't. The male just kept attacking her. So I took her and put her in my 20 gallon tank with allot of worry. I have two Yellow Labs and five Tiger Barbs among other fish in this tank. I was very concerned about her. Well she is the smallest fish in there and I am happy to say she is doing absolutely great. She is to fast for any other fish and keeps to herself but is very active in the tank. So I pushed the bar and bought another female and also placed her in the 20 gallon tank. The females are just as pretty in color as the males just with less fins. Well my new entry has been in hiding. Her first day she was very social and all over the tank. Now she stays in the plants hiding which is to bad because she is very pretty. A maroon red and my other female is a dark dark blue. So blue she is almost black at times. The funny thing is the little blue one has been trying to get the red one out of her hiding. No fighting just pushing and prying. It is entertaining to watch. I have read some of the comments above and heard the comment made how they take time to get into their new setting as they are kept in little containers and this may just be too much at one time for her. I am fairly sure she will come out and behave like my other Betta. My little blue one is my underdog.
 
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_Fried_Bettas_

_Fried_Bettas_

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Thanks for the hint about putting paper between the glass and filter, Gillan no longer has any particular interest in that area. Also I added a lot of plants (fake), and despite all the new places to hide he now spends most of his time looking out the front side of the tank. I think my Betta is very happy now. I'd like to thank everyone who has responded to all my stupid questions in this forum, my fish appreciate it
 

COBettaCouple

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LetDiceFly said:
Thanks for the hint about putting paper between the glass and filter, Gillan no longer has any particular interest in that area. Also I added a lot of plants (fake), and despite all the new places to hide he now spends most of his time looking out the front side of the tank. I think my Betta is very happy now. I'd like to thank everyone who has responded to all my stupid questions in this forum, my fish appreciate it
You're welcome, glad Gillan is a happy Betta now.. trust me, you've not asked stupid questions.. there's a lot to learn being a Betta parent & this is the place to go for that. Enjoy your little Gillan and all the antics he's sure to pull!
 

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