Fairly New Betta Mom Worried She’s A Bad Mom

catmo
  • #1

79C4BC40-C567-4EBD-BF58-B8CC2BA27BA1.jpeg I got my betta almost a year ago. I haven’t owned a fish since I was a kid, besides an octopus I cared for in a class in high school a few years back (not sure if that counts haha). We’ve gone through three different tanks, due to an insufficient first one, an algae problem that wouldn’t go away in the second, and today we got to number three. I’m worried that I’m not being a great fish mom to him, and in general I’m a highly paranoid person so I’m worried there are some problems. So I came here hoping to get some help.
My fish Petro is a male halfmoon Betta. The first photo (black gravel) is around when I first brought him home (May 2017). The next (green plant & blue lil house thing) was taken today. I threw in a few more recent ones just to get a good look at him.
I’m the type of person to go on WebMD when I have a cold, and leave thinking I’m dying of a rare disease. So as I frequent researching Betta illnesses I start getting worried that he could have some. He’s fairly lethargic. He has a tendency to chill out on top of his little house or just stick around in one spot, usually low in the tank. He doesn’t always do this, he’ll bee bop around still. I’m watching him as I write this, and he’s moving around, but he isn’t full of energy and taking laps and exploring all day like some websites say he would.
I’m also worried about his fins & colors. I throw myself into paranoia thinking he may have fin rot, or a possible infection due to the colors that he didn’t have before. I know some Betta can change in color, but I’m not sure if his is just him changing or if he’s sick.
The last photo is his new tank (he’s sitting on top of his house). I suppose my last question is if this is a good setup I have a 5.5 gallon tank, filter, heater, thermometer, the whole nines.
I guess today is harder to judge, he’s probably stressed from the move. But the behavior I mentioned above is his typical day to day.
I’m completely okay with people telling me what I’m doing wrong, I just want him to be as happy and healthy as possible!!! I love him a lot!!! Any advice / help would be SO greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Oh- I also have a few ghost shrimp living with him just to clean up after him a bit. I’ve had no problems between him and the shrimp, they get along perfectly fine (unless they’ve been fighting when the lights go off and I’m in bed, which I don’t think they have been haha).
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Oh, forgot to add what he eats. For a while I switched between Omega One Betta flakes & Omega One Betta bloodworms. I just bought a Zoo Med thing with blood worms, mysis, and daphnia that he has yet to try.
 
Aureus
  • #2
He looks fine to me, but what's the temperature of his tank? Bettas can be pretty lethargic in cooler temperatures as they are a tropical species that prefers to be kept around 78-80 degrees Fahrenheit. It could also be the fact that he has large fins; Bettas with large, flowy fins often are lazier as it takes more energy to swim. Hope this helped some!
 
Leslie.
  • #3
He is a beautiful Betta! I have a white Half Moon too!

Anyway, I went through this recently with one of our Bettas. We had just moved him into a new tank & he wouldn't do anything but lay low in the tank & hide behind the plant decor we bought for him (at the time we only had two Bettas, but the other one seemed to be his normal self). Once the tank was where it should be & we bought him compatible tank mates, he seemed to become active & swim around like he did previously.

His personality may also play a part. He's probably just adjusting. I hope everything gets better for your little guy.
 
david1978
  • #4
Biggest thing as with any fish is to keep up water quality. Keep the temp consistant 78-82. Feed a good staple diet with treats. And the top thing enjoy and relax. Some bettas aren't as active as others and unless you notice a big change in his behavior hes probably fine.
 
catmo
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
He looks fine to me, but what's the temperature of his tank? Bettas can be pretty lethargic in cooler temperatures as they are a tropical species that prefers to be kept around 78-80 degrees Fahrenheit. It could also be the fact that he has large fins; Bettas with large, flowy fins often are lazier as it takes more energy to swim. Hope this helped some!
It’s about 78 in his new tank! Just got a new heater for him today
 
Niaa
  • #6
He looks fine. I'd get him some real plants to explore, but that is just personal preference. My betta likes to lay on things and sometimes the plastic plants hurt their fins.
 
blueangelfish
  • #7
My betta was like that for the 1st month I had him. He was very skittish and shy and would only eat if I was in the other room. I guess it just depends on their personality and since you just moved him, he could just be tired and stressed. I would give him time.
 
Kyleena696
  • #8
He looks fine to me, just colouring up some. My betta does the same stuff, just kinda lazy I guess.

Also, I'm extremely envious that you got to care for an octopus lol
 
FeederGuppies
  • #9
Is this tank cycled?
 
Buganjimo
  • #10
He looks like a doubletail IMO and that’s normal behaviour for doubletails. They have so much fins it just takes them so much energy to lug them around . As for the fin rot part, the raggedy tails is also a doubletail thing sometimes. Sounds like you’re talking great care of him, lucky boy.
 
Mcasella
  • #11
Agreed with above, he is in fantastic shape, his longer body prevents the normal double tailed shortened swim bladder (which can cause them to float even with very little food fed). However being a double tail you will still have to watch his intake (but if you have gone a year already with him and haven't experienced anything like that you should be fine to continue feeding as you have).
He isn't tail biting by the looks of the pictures, his fins are in great shape even with plastic plants in the tank (most of the time if the betta lays on it and suddenly moves off the fake plant it can snag fins on the plant and accidentally rip, these rips heal quickly within a week or two), if he has shown no issue with the plastic plants you have the only reason to switch to silk or live would be aesthetic.
As he ages he likely will change color as he looks to have the marble gene with an iridescent top layer making him pearly, he will either be a red or blue changing for color (meaning he will get pigment of one of those colors).
He is a stunning fish, and he is probably enjoying his digs and hopefully you will have him for a nice long time with the setup you have.
 
catmo
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
He looks fine to me, just colouring up some. My betta does the same stuff, just kinda lazy I guess.

Also, I'm extremely envious that you got to care for an octopus lol
I had two, Pizza Rat (after the meme) and Günther! They were super fun and crazy smart and it was definitely one of the coolest things I’ve done lol
 
Kyleena696
  • #13
I had two, Pizza Rat (after the meme) and Günther! They were super fun and crazy smart and it was definitely one of the coolest things I’ve done lol

Oh, I bet! What kind were they?
 
catmo
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
He looks like a doubletail IMO and that’s normal behaviour for doubletails. They have so much fins it just takes them so much energy to lug them around . As for the fin rot part, the raggedy tails is also a doubletail thing sometimes. Sounds like you’re talking great care of him, lucky boy.
When I got him from Petsmart his container said he was a halfmoon, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if that wasn’t correct.
 
Mcasella
  • #15
When I got him from Petsmart his container said he was a halfmoon, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if that wasn’t correct.
If he spreads out and is a halfmoon in the tail (180 spread) and his fins are complete he would be considered a full moon lol.
 
catmo
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
Is this tank cycled?
I set up the tank and ran the filter for a day before moving him over. I haven’t cycled any of his tanks before. I’m looking into getting a water testing kit ASAP but don’t want to add any kind of chemicals to his tank.
Oh, I bet! What kind were they?
both were common atlantic octopI I think! caught from around the area
 
FeederGuppies
  • #17
I set up the tank and ran the filter for a day before moving him over. I haven’t cycled any of his tanks before. I’m looking into getting a water testing kit ASAP but don’t want to add any kind of chemicals to his tank.
Sounds like he's going through a fish-in cycle. Doing large water changes every other day with Prime will help it be less stressful on him.
 
Mithe
  • #18
Sounds like he's going through a fish-in cycle. Doing large water changes every other day with Prime will help it be less stressful on him.
Agreed. If you didn't cycle his tank, then the water quality might not be great (ammonia/nitrite) so he might be laying low to minimize stress. Once the tank cycles and you're back to normal water quality, he might spring up again. If you get the water test kit, you can post your readings here to get feedback.
 
r5n8xaw00
  • #19
I see that you have no for knowing about the Nitrogen Cycle. As others have said, water quailty is very important and if ammonia, nitrites, and or nitrates are too high it will stress you betta out causing him to be more lethargic. I have posted my own layout that has helped me to understand the Nitrogen Cycle, and I have posted here again for you. But please don't be alarmed about this, bettas are hardy and he will be ok. Here also is an easy to understand youtube link....Click >

Fish In Nitrogen Cycle

Decomposing fish waste and leftover fish food produce Ammonia (NH3)
Dangerous to fish in any quantity. Keep at this 0 ppm, with water changes.

Nitrosomas Bacteria convert ammonia to Nitrite. (NO2)
Dangerous to fish in any quantity. Keep this 0 ppm, with water changes.

Nitrobactor Bacteria convert Nitrite to Nitrate. (NO3)
Only Dangerous to fish in high quantities. Keep below 10 to 20 ppm.

There is no further action by Beneficial Bacteria.

With no bacteria to convert Nitrate in the aquarium.
Do Water changes to reduce the amount of nitrate.
Some will be absorbed naturally by live plants.
Build an anaerobic system.


Fishless Nitrogen Cycle
To start the cycle and to feed beneficial Bacteria.
Keep ammonia (NH3) at 2 ppm to 4 ppm.

Ammonia in higher concentrations could kill beneficial bacteria.
Once testing for Nitrite shows that the cycle is in its second phase,
Then start slowly cutting back on ammonia.

The next steps of the nitrogen cycle will be the same as above.
 
catmo
  • Thread Starter
  • #20

134B9C0C-EE93-4596-BE96-6DE4BB39D614.jpeg
7F7B419C-5C67-4620-B117-9E2B41B583FD.jpeg
Agreed. If you didn't cycle his tank, then the water quality might not be great (ammonia/nitrite) so he might be laying low to minimize stress. Once the tank cycles and you're back to normal water quality, he might spring up again. If you get the water test kit, you can post your readings here to get feedback.
Just tested the water
NO3: 20
NO2: 0
pH: 6.5
KH: 0
GH: 0
Are these good results?
 
r5n8xaw00
  • #21
With NO3 20 and NO2 0 then sounds like the beneficial bacteria are doing their job. I would do a small water change to bring down the NO3 a bit. The ph is good, found this website for good ph for Betta fish.... Click >
Here is a line I copied from the website...."The Betta’s ideal pH is slightly acidic at 6.5 although a value of 7 is acceptable as well."
Sorry, although I know what KH and GH are, I don't know how it relates to what is good for your Betta.
 
Mithe
  • #22
A lot of people avoid using the test strips because they can be inaccurate. It's tough to get a good reading.
**Edit** From viewing your picture, I would say your NO2/NO3 are both zero, or very close to it, and GH/KH are 30-40.**

Unfortunately, the test strips you have do not show ammonia readings. Ammonia comes before the NO2 and NO3 part of the cycle. You can have zero NO2 and some NO3, while still having high ammonia content. Have you measured ammonia content?

Also, it's hard to imagine you have zero GH and KH. From your picture, both actually look 1-2 shades darker than the 0 reading, which would be GH 30, KH 40. Still soft water, but not zero.

Honestly, I only ever use the test strips to get a reading on GH/KH and pH. Sometimes I use for a "ball park" on other metrics, only to be verified by the liquid test kit.
 

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