Hex-5 terror-tank. Help. Videos too

  • #1
Hey Guys,

Okay, I bought a hex-5 for my betta. (he used to live in a 1/2 gallon bowl with a small heater that made it 80 degrees Farenheit. He was pretty peaceful (happy?) there)

Now, when I first put him in, he loved swimming around. But then 10 minutes later, he caught his reflection and it has been flare city.

Now it's 11 am (and day three of the stressed out flare fest), I have turned off the pump, removed the hood (I have never kept the hood light on, because the minute has come on, he sees his reflection and goes apeshoot) and he is currently chilled out.

Maybe he is just getting used to his tank. I will give it more time.

But in the meantime, perhaps you can help me find a solution for this, if it keeps happening.

I tried aquarium paper on the outside of the tank (does anyone know where one can find aquarium paper meant exclusively for the interior of a tank?) and the exterior paper made him flip out more. (video below)

Here are my four solutions. Does anyone have another solution or refinement to add?

1) new aquarium (I don't really want to do this)
2) proven light-theory solutions [place 1 light here, block light there]
3) interior aquarium paper
4) he just "gets used to the tank" (it's been three days and I think I see signs of his stress manifesting in his health)

If you want to see video of him flipping out at everything, see below links:

DOES ANYONE HAVE A GOOD IDEA of LIGHT THEORY? Where we can determine exactly the lighting setup for anti-reflection.

Here is a video of exterior-of-tank lights on, no hood light, and he is flaring at everything:
(remember, I will turn off lights as soon as video is over, I put on the out-of-tank lights as a potential solution to illuminate the exterior of the tank to stop him flaring at nothing)

daytime conditions, no lights inside or outside, still flaring like crazy:

Related videos

peaceful (a bit) this morning. He used to be peaceful all the time in his fishbowl)

testing aquarium paper: makes him flare worse
  • #2
Poor little guy!

Not sure, but I think part of it may be the shape of the tank - all those sides giving so many reflections.

I have one betta who flares easily. I tried putting black contact paper on the back of the tank, but had to remove it due to flaring frenzy.

He's in a 5 gal bowfront, and now never flares at any reflections.

I see you have no substrate? You might try putting some black gravel in the bottom to at least cut reflection from there.

You can also try putting more plants around the sides to break up the expanse of glass. I would get some real plants, like Java fern and/or moss. A few floating plants might help as well.

Maybe others will have better suggestions!
  • #3
Black gravel would be my guess too. I have Black with a little green to make it look cool.
  • #4
In the 14 or so months i've been on fishlore I have read MANY posts re bettas flaring in hex tanks!!
Flame used to flare ALOT in a normal 5 gallon. He is now in a 54 litre with more plants and places to explore and is calmer. He does have to have the light on in the room if his tank light on but it is easy for me to understand if I have a room light on and can see straight outside, I see my reflection ( uugghh!!)

I feel it is the tank, all those mirrors for him, probably feels cornered at each turn. I agree add more plants, they will block the view AND swimming in and out them will give him an activity. PLEASE be careful that he doesn't jump out, I see very clearly that you truly care for him but no lid makes me nervous!!!
  • #5
1) new aquarium (I don't really want to do this)
2) proven light-theory solutions [place 1 light here, block light there]
3) interior aquarium paper
4) he just "gets used to the tank" (it's been three days and I think I see signs of his stress manifesting in his health)

1) may help
2) keep both tank & room lights on or both off...but I don't think there's any solutions that completely cut reflections
3) from what I've heard that stuff is a pain to keep clean. A good thing to try would be to get a bunch of tall, leafy plants (cheap plastic ones, or real) and put them against most of the sides to break up the reflections. It also helps to not scrape off the algae that will start to grow on the glass, if you don't mind that several sides of the tank are green.
4) when I first got my boy Fuego he was going mental flaring at everything for like the first week or two...but now he only flares once in a while. Personally if he was my fish I would wait and see if he calms down in a week or two before buying another tank, but it's up to you.
  • #6
Unfortunately, the aquarium paper is glossy and a lot of bettas find that gives them reflections to look at. Maybe a hood with LED lighting? But the extra plants would be worth trying.
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Oh my gosh. Thanks Guys.

Do you guys (I only got the Hex-5 because of all the great reviews on fishlore.com) really think an eclipse system 6 (I think it's got a slight bowfront) will make a difference? For now, I'm just gonna see if he's acclimating to the tank. (the tank is usually covered- I just took it off for a sec to try to put on the paper) Thanks GERRY
  • #8
You can try to wait and see if he calms down on his own, but to do this, pick a time when you're home so can watch him. He'll never get used to it if the lights are always going out or the tank is being covered. A betta who lived his whole life in tiny cups and bowls can take time to get used to space. Even good changes can be stressful!

Try the black gravel and tall plants. You can buy a large bunch of tall wisteria for about 4 bucks and plant it around the edges. It will live and grow in just about any tank.

If nothing works, and he continues to flare non-stop,you can try the bowfront tank. Then you can get a beautiful female betta to go in the Hex!
  • #9
I have the eclipse system 6 and love it. It has only been three day but I have never seen Eli, the Betta flare even at the shrimp. It would be a great last resort.
  • #10
I have the Hex-5 tanks out of a neccesity for space. My two current bettas have always been fine in them. However, my first betta to be in one would flare quite a bit if there was a light in the tank and the room was kind of dim. A suggestion that I'll add that I haven't seen, nor did I notice in the vids, is a cave or something for the betta to hide in. Plants are also a good idea to block reflections. Good luck, keep us updated!
  • #11
How 'bout paint designed for submersion? Painting the inside of a few of the sides might cut down some of the reflection.
  • #12
you need to just give it time. This is a whole new experience for him and it's going to take a few weeks for him to get used to it completely. He's never had to deal with a light before and it's going to take time for him to get used that. They way you do that is turn it on for an hour, turn it off for a couple, then turn it back on for another and keep doing that.Gradually increase the amt of time you keep the get used to. Eventually it won't bother him any more. It's just all new to him and that's why. Good luck. Natalie
  • #13
how is he?
  • #14
Jett has been in his Hex5 for months now, and he has never shown any signs of over-excitement. However, our new guy, Ra, is in a mini-bow right now and he was flaring like mad whenever the light was on. We put plain white paper on three sides of his tank but it didn't really seem to help.

What we have done is leave his light on for short periods of time, gradually increasing the time the light stays on. I guess we've had him for about two weeks now and he is starting to settle. He's not calm all the time yet, but he has periods where he'll just go chill on his plant rather than show his reflection who's boss.

So I agree with the others who say to just give him some time and let him adjust. Look at it this way - now's a time to get some pretty good pictures of him at least!

Edit: Nvm, just saw your other post about getting an Eclipse 6 instead. I definitely wouldn't let that hex5 go to waste, tho. If you're not going to get another fish for it you can ship it to me. I am an Eclipse fan, I have a corner 5 gallon as well as the 6 gallon you just ordered. I love them, they are great tanks.
  • #15
my 3 boys don't really flare too often. except when they see eachother in the distance, are really hungery or when my dog walks up to watch them. ive had them in bowls and pentagon shaped tanks.. never had a problem.. sorry I can't help.. :
  • #16
Please make sure to always have room lights on or sunlight in the room when the lights are on. If the room is dark and the lights are on, it is worse. They should really not have any more than 10 to 12 hours of light a day and can get by with less. It will not hurt him to work into it gradually and many of the bettas have to. A lot of them get the hang of it very quickly though. It really depends on where he was kept before he came to you. If he was in a darker place most of the time, it may take him longer. Believe it or not, I had a little guy who was afraid of the dark and would raise a fit when the lights were all off and I had to leave a small light on or the TV on in the room all night or he went absolutely white. When I got him he had turned white in the box (came in the mail) and was supposed to be fire-engine red. When I got him into the light he reddened up in a few minutes. Just be patient and let him get used to it at his own speed. He will.


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