Betta rubbing, Is this normal?

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swimmingslowly

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I’m very aware that I might just be a paranoid first time Betta owner, but I’d rather be safe than sorry! I’ve attached videos of my Betta swimming because I’m unsure if it’s normal. Today I’ve noticed him swimming around quite quickly, which he normally does, but it seemed more frequent and pronounced. I also saw him rubbing on some things (first video).

I was also looking closely and was wondering if he has some mild pine coning on his head? (Last picture)

My tank is cycling so I have been watching the water parameters closely. My nitrates are 0, nitrites were around .5 about an hour ago ( I performed a 15% water change and dosed with Prime) and ammonia was 0. My pH is around 6.2 but it has been around that for about a week.

Am I being paranoid? Is he just being spunky? I saw that sometimes this can mean parasites.

 

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jkkgron2

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He looks like a very nice, healthy betta :) Nice colors too. I don’t see any issues with his swimming. My betta tends to do stuff like that when begging for food, I wouldn’t worry.
 
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swimmingslowly

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Update: I fed him and he seems a lot more mellow now. However, it seemed that he bumped into the tank glass a few times.
 
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mattgirl

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That 6.2 pH reading is concerning. What is the pH straight out of the tap? You may need to consider getting some crushed coral to help raise and stabilize the pH up to or close to 7.

It is possible something is going on with your little guy but when we are new to fish keeping we can see problems when there really isn't any problem. He just looks like a curious active little guy to me.
 
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jkkgron2

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swimmingslowly said:
Update: I fed him and he seems a lot more mellow now. However, it seemed that he bumped into the tank glass a few times.
He probably saw something that he thought was food. Bettas can be a bit silly at times, IME most will try to eat anything that looks like it could be food.
 
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swimmingslowly

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mattgirl said:
That 6.2 pH reading is concerning. What is the pH straight out of the tap? You may need to consider getting some crushed coral to help raise and stabilize the pH up to or close to 7.

It is possible something is going on with your little guy but when we are new to fish keeping we can see problems when there really isn't any problem. He just looks like a curious active little guy to me.
Out of the tap my pH is “neutral” on my test strip. I also have no alkalinity. I thought about getting crushed coral, how much do you think I would need for 5 gallons?

Thank you all for your replies! I think I need to limit my consumption of info :D
 
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mimo91088

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I just see a betta being a betta. I wouldn't worry either.
 
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mattgirl

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swimmingslowly said:
Out of the tap my pH is “neutral” on my test strip. I also have no alkalinity. I thought about getting crushed coral, how much do you think I would need for 5 gallons?

Thank you all for your replies! I think I need to limit my consumption of info :D
A small handful of it should be plenty. The thing is, unlike some of the product sold for raising or lowering the pH, crushed coral will only raise it so far and will stop there. How high it raises it depends on the chemistry of the water it is put in.

With the pH as low as yours and your friends the ammonia in the tank is ammonium. Ammonium isn't as dangerous as ammonia but it also isn't very good food for growing bacteria. That could very well be why his tank doesn't appear to be cycled although it has been up and running for quite a while.
 
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swimmingslowly

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mattgirl said:
A small handful of it should be plenty. The thing is, unlike some of the product sold for raising or lowering the pH, crushed coral will only raise it so far and will stop there. How high it raises it depends on the chemistry of the water it is put in.

With the pH as low as yours and your friends the ammonia in the tank is ammonium. Ammonium isn't as dangerous as ammonia but it also isn't very good food for growing bacteria. That could very well be why his tank doesn't appear to be cycled although it has been up and running for quite a while.
Thanks! I initially was concerned about the low ph but then I heard that it’s better to have the stability with pH rather than having it higher? I also heard that although the bb have a harder time it also makes the ammonia less toxic? But then I also saw info on people using crushed coral so I wasn’t sure!!! MY BRAIN IS SPINNING!
 
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swimmingslowly said:
Thanks! I initially was concerned about the low ph but then I heard that it’s better to have the stability with pH rather than having it higher? I also heard that although the bb have a harder time it also makes the ammonia less toxic? But then I also saw info on people using crushed coral so I wasn’t sure!!! MY BRAIN IS SPINNING!
Tons of information out there about ph/kh/crushed coral and the like. It gets confusing! I just want to warn you that it's possible you will have to cycle the tank or at least have a mini cycle once you get the pH up. As Mattgirl said, a very acid ph converts ammonia to ammonium and the bacteria that are necessary for the cycle don't feed on ammonium in the same way. So just be careful and watch for an unwanted ammonia spike as you raise the ph!
 
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Desi

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He’s beautiful and just fine. ;)
 
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Frank the Fish guy

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swimmingslowly said:
Out of the tap my pH is “neutral” on my test strip. I also have no alkalinity. I thought about getting crushed coral, how much do you think I would need for 5 gallons?

Thank you all for your replies! I think I need to limit my consumption of info :D
1 pound per 10 gallons is reasonable. You can mix it in with your gravel.

Your pH is too low and is due to running out of buffers (alkalinity). The crushed coral will dissolve in the low pH water and raises the pH naturally and stabilizes it naturally. A limestone rock, sometimes called dolomite, or Texas Holy rock will do the same thing. It is important to have some of this in your aquarium if you are a beginner. You can't add too much. It self regulates.

Your tank is in danger of crashing if you don't increase your buffers (alkalinity).

Test your source water for alkalinity. If it is low, add some baking soda to raise it to where your test says the water should be. Then use that water to change some of your tank water. That will get your alkalinity up immediately. The crushed coral will take over from there.
 
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Gone

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I'm not a betta expert but I've had some. He looks like a **** patrolling his territory, which is what healthy bettas do. Running into the glass could be nipping at his reflection. Keep an eye on him, but to me it just looks like he's running around trying to find someone to pick a fight with.
 
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Frank the Fish guy

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UnknownUser said:
Tons of information out there about ph/kh/crushed coral and the like. It gets confusing! I just want to warn you that it's possible you will have to cycle the tank or at least have a mini cycle once you get the pH up. As Mattgirl said, a very acid ph converts ammonia to ammonium and the bacteria that are necessary for the cycle don't feed on ammonium in the same way. So just be careful and watch for an unwanted ammonia spike as you raise the ph!
The tank has zero KH now. You can't run a tank that way. It will crash. The nitrogen cycle will stop.
 
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swimmingslowly

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Awesome info from everyone as always! I just ordered some crushed coral :)
 
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UnknownUser

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Frank the Fish guy said:
The tank has zero KH now. You can't run a tank that way. It will crash. The nitrogen cycle will stop.
I’m not sure what this was referring to as you quoted me about it? My comment wasn’t telling them not to raise kh - i am currently also running crushed coral to raise kh. But with the raise in ph, it’s possible that the ammonium converts back to ammonia and before the Bb catch up it can cause a spike. That’s all :)
 
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swimmingslowly

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UPDATE: This morning upon seeing me he displayed the same behavior, but after I fed him (same as yesterday) he chilled out A LOT. I’m thinking he’s just associated me with food and was hungry. I’m also thinking he wasn’t necessarily rubbing on the plant, but since it is in the corner of the tank, he was “backing up” so he could swim the other way to the other side. Again, thanks for everyone’s reassurance!
 
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