5 Gallon Tank Glass Surfing from Ammonia or Reflection

vynish

Got a betta recently and been having some problems getting the tank to cycle but it’s currently in the works, however I’ve noticed the betta wall surfing for most of the day. I’m curious because I know ammonia can and will cause this, but when he’s wall surfing he’s constantly looking at the glass, bumping his head into it, and seems like he’s chasing himself. I was curious if it’s more likely he’s chasing his reflection as it’s a new tank more then because of ammonia
 

vynish

please fill out the emergency template

Okay... I didn't exactly see this as an emergency and was more so curious about his behavior but sure.
Tank
What is the water volume of the tank? 5 Gallon
How long has the tank been running? 1 Week
Does it have a filter? Yes, Forza
Does it have a heater? Yes, Hyggar 100W
What is the water temperature? 80
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) 1 Male Betta

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? Everyday at the moment
How much of the water do you change? 20-30%
What do you use to treat your water? Seachem Prime
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? Vacuum substrate once a week at the moment

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? No, in-fish cycle
What do you use to test the water? API Test Strips + API Ammonia Liquid Test Kit
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia: .25
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 7.5

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? Daily in the morning
How much do you feed your fish? 3-4 Pellets
What brand of food do you feed your fish? Top Fin
Do you feed frozen? No
Do you feed freeze-dried foods? No

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? 1 Week
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? 2 Days
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? Wall surfing throughout the day
Have you started any treatment for the illness? No
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? Colors have gotten brighter and has been less shy since placed in tank

Explain your emergency situation in detail. (Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now)

Got a betta recently and been having some problems getting the tank to cycle but it’s currently in the works, however I’ve noticed the betta wall surfing for most of the day. I’m curious because I know ammonia can and will cause this, but when he’s wall surfing he’s constantly looking at the glass, bumping his head into it, and seems like he’s chasing himself. I was curious if it’s more likely he’s chasing his reflection as it’s a new tank more then because of ammonia
 
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FoldedCheese

Ok, since you've only had him 1 week I wouldn't worry yet. 0.25 ppm of ammonia would not cause that behaviour, it could be stress from being placed in a new environment. How many hiding spots does he have? It could also just be normal patrolling behaviour, does he stop after a few seconds/minutes or does it last a really long time?
 
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vynish

Ok, since you've only had him 1 week I wouldn't worry yet. 0.25 ppm of ammonia would not cause that behaviour, it could be stress from being placed in a new environment. How many hiding spots does he have? It could also just be normal patrolling behaviour, does he stop after a few seconds/minutes or does it last a really long time?

He has 2 hiding spots with about 3 large plants and 4 smaller. The hiding spots are spread out across the tank as well as the plants. He spends most of the day doing it, I've noticed, although he does stop to rest from time to time. I would say anywhere from 30 seconds to maybe 2-3 minutes at a time? I've had a **** of time with ammonia in his tank hence my concern, but he seems to be like I said almost staring at himself when he does it? He seems to favor doing it on the back wall with the heater and filter and sometimes the front wall.
 
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FoldedCheese

He has 2 hiding spots with about 3 large plants and 4 smaller. The hiding spots are spread out across the tank as well as the plants. He spends most of the day doing it, I've noticed, although he does stop to rest from time to time. I would say anywhere from 30 seconds to maybe 2-3 minutes at a time? I've had a **** of time with ammonia in his tank hence my concern, but he seems to be like I said almost staring at himself when he does it? He seems to favor doing it on the back wall with the heater and filter and sometimes the front wall.

If you're ammonia has been higher than 0.25 ppm it's no surprise he may be stressed by it, but that's part of the fish-in cycling process. Super frequent WCs is the best thing you can do to help him right now (but hold off on vacuuming gravel). If he's fully mature my gut is telling me you're also seeing some natural behaviours. Bettas will patrol the outer limits of their territories (in this case the sides of your tank) and sometimes flare at nothing to appear tough to ward off "competitors". Some bettas do this, some do not but imo this is a display of natural behaviour. My betta does this right before the lights are turned off or on, and especially after feedings for a solid 30s - 1 min. As long as it doesn't last more than a couple of minutes and he calms down after you have nothing to worry about.
 
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vynish

If you're ammonia has been higher than 0.25 ppm it's no surprise he may be stressed by it, but that's part of the fish-in cycling process. Super frequent WCs is the best thing you can do to help him right now (but hold off on vacuuming gravel). If he's fully mature my gut is telling me you're also seeing some natural behaviours. Bettas will patrol the outer limits of their territories (in this case the sides of your tank) and sometimes flare at nothing to appear tough to ward off "competitors". Some bettas do this, some do not but imo this is a display of natural behaviour. My betta does this right before the lights are turned off or on, and especially after feedings for a solid 30s - 1 min. As long as it doesn't last more than a couple of minutes and he calms down after you have nothing to worry about.
But of an update for today; he's seemed to calm down quite a bit and is even following my finger on the glass. His ammonia is still high (woof, woke up to .5) so I'm working to get it down, but his behavior seems to be more relaxed. He's still active, swimming around and sometimes swimming along the walls, but whenever I looked over today he was either hanging out in a plant or in a little shallow area he has, or swimming along the wall in a calmer manner - so I'm happy with his current progress and think he was just stressed and exhibiting natural behaviors but perhaps in a more frantic fashion.
 
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