Question Is glass surfing in Betta fish normal?

Appalousea

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I see my Betta fish glass surfing a lot but I'm not sure if he's stress or if it's just normal. Nitrites and nitrates are at 0; pH is in-between 6.5-7; carbonate hardness is 40; and general hardness is in-between 0-30, which I know is kinda low, but everything else seems fine. Tank is a 5 gallon set to 79 F with some plastic plants, a decorative log, and a little cave, and I feel like I have the water current under control for the most part. He has mild fin rot but I think it's getting better, and he's also constipated but I fed him a pea yesterday to help with that. I can't figure out what is stressing him out so much, so is this just normal behavior for a Betta?
 

Fisheye

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Couple questions...what is your ammonia reading? How long has your tank been set up, cycled and how long have you had your betta.

Did you check your decor an plastic plants to make sure they won't rip his fins?

For how long have you observed this behaviour and is it constant?
 
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Appalousea

Appalousea

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Fisheye said:
Couple questions...what is your ammonia reading? How long has your tank been set up, cycled and how long have you had your betta.

Did you check your decor an plastic plants to make sure they won't rip his fins?

For how long have you observed this behaviour and is it constant?
I got him a couple of weeks ago from Petco and I set the tank up and put him in it at the same time, so it wasn't cycled beforehand, but there is a filter in it.

When I started to notice the fin rot, I took out anything that could even remotely cause damage.

I don't have anything to test ammonia, but it's on my list of things to get. There shouldn't be too much, I don't think, since he isn't really pooping and I always scoop out uneaten food.

It isn't completely constant. I see him swimming around calmly occasionally, and either playing with the bubbles made by the filter or interacting with the decorations, but mostly he sticks to the glass.
 

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Glass surfing is an indicator of stress and poor water quatily. It is very concerning you have 0 Nitrates. Whats your ammonia level? Having 0 Nitrates means your tank isn't fully established. Do you know the Nitrogen cycle and did you cycle his tank previously?

How often are you doing water changes? Are you doing weekly WCs? Are you conditioning the water before adding it back?

I would order some Indian almond leaves for the release of Tannin, contains antibacterial/fungal properties that help promote fin growth.
 
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Appalousea

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Blueberrybetta said:
Glass surfing is an indicator of stress and poor water quatily. It is very concerning you have 0 Nitrates. Whats your ammonia level? Having 0 Nitrates means your tank isn't fully established. Do you know the Nitrogen cycle and did you cycle his tank previously?

How often are you doing water changes? Are you doing weekly WCs? Are you conditioning the water before adding it back?

I would order some Indian almond leaves for the release of Tannin, contains antibacterial/fungal properties that help promote fin growth.
I'll definitely be ordering some of those leaves. They sound like they help with a lot of stuff.

I'm not sure what my ammonia level is but I'm gonna try to fix that soon. I know about the nitrogen cycle, but how exactly do I set it into motion? My fish isn't pooping much and I'm afraid to just leave food in there in case it really dirties up the tank.

I do weekly WC's (with conditioned water) but now I'm doing it every other day like you told me on my other post for the fin rot.
 
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Appalousea

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What is the water volume of the tank? 5 gallons
How long has the tank been running? A couple of weeks
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What is the water temperature? 79
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) Just a betta

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? Weekly, but now every other day for fin rot
How much of the water do you change? 50%, but now 25% every other day for fin rot
What do you use to treat your water? Tetra bettasafe
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? I don't have a vacuum yet but I'm going to get one this week

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? No
What do you use to test the water? API 5 in 1 test strips
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.

Ammonia: I'm not sure
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 6.5-7

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? Twice a day
How much do you feed your fish? Two pellets
What brand of food do you feed your fish? Imagitarium
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? No

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? A couple of weeks
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? Past week
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? Glass surfing and fin rot
Have you started any treatment for the illness? WCs every other day, fixed water current, cleaned decorations in hot water.
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? I don't think so
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? Just the glass surfing and the fin rot

Explain your emergency situation in detail. He is constantly glass surfing and I don't know why.
 

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I would defiantly get a test kit but if hes new please don't stress to much. My betta glass surfed for almost two weeks after I got them in a fully cycled tank with perfect water conditions, and I tested them every other day.

Often its a sign of stress, but it may or may not be water related, he could just need more hides, lower light levels. I still highly recommend getting a test kit and making sure you cycle your tank (you dont need to add anything, the betta in a 5g will cycle itself). Just test the water, make sure you don't have any spikes (ammonia and nitrite), and wait to see nitrate readings. Once your readings are 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and 5-10 nitrate, its cycled. If you do see a spike, just do a 30-50% water change. I recommend using the API Master Test kit for water tests, its the best one out there and its only $22 on amazon. Don't bother with the test strips, they kinda suck.

No matter what is causing it, it will be a reliability easy fix with a few adjustments, so don't worry too much. First step is testing the water and cycling your tank. Hope this helps!

Edit: I see you have the test strips. There are 3 reasons I think they suck: 1: you have already found, they have no ammonia test, which is kinda really important. 2: they are less accurate then a liquid test kit, and 3: they cost around the same as the superior test kit.
 
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Appalousea

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FreshwaterHG said:
I would defiantly get a test kit but if hes new please don't stress to much. My betta glass surfed for almost two weeks after I got them in a fully cycled tank with perfect water conditions, and I tested them every other day.

Often its a sign of stress, but it may or may not be water related, he could just need more hides, lower light levels. I still highly recommend getting a test kit and making sure you cycle your tank (you dont need to add anything, the betta in a 5g will cycle itself). Just test the water, make sure you don't have any spikes (ammonia and nitrite), and wait to see nitrate readings. Once your readings are 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and 5-10 nitrate, its cycled. If you do see a spike, just do a 30-50% water change. I recommend using the API Master Test kit for water tests, its the best one out there and its only $22 on amazon. Don't bother with the test strips, they kinda suck.

No matter what is causing it, it will be a reliability easy fix with a few adjustments, so don't worry too much. First step is testing the water and cycling your tank. Hope this helps!

Edit: I see you have the test strips. There are 3 reasons I think they suck: 1: you have already found, they have no ammonia test, which is kinda really important. 2: they are less accurate then a liquid test kit, and 3: they cost around the same as the superior test kit.
It definitely does! Thank you! I'm completely new to this and I've been terrified that I am going to kill him on accident. I'll definitely be getting that master kit though.
 
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Appalousea

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Appalousea said:
It definitely does! Thank you! I'm completely new to this and I've been terrified that I am going to kill him on accident. I'll definitely be getting that master kit though.
I totally understand. Its likely hes just getting used to his new tank or theres something small you need to fix. Cycling the tank is a must but if you also reduce the light that might help. Make sure you either have some plant cover or some sort of decor he can hide under. Betta love swimming in and around hides and other things in the tank. Having cover like floating plants is also great for them. Don't stress too much and defiantly dont worry about killing him. He will be ok :)
 

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K, well lots looks great-thanks for filling that out. No worries about the pic.

You could up your w/c schedule to 50% daily just to help him get through what I suspect is a cycle (hard to tell without ammonia results but you've only been up and running a short period of time. Cycling takes weeks. Consider getting bottled bacteria to help with this). It's very important to protect his gill function and body condition from burns.

You don't need a vacuum-even just a piece of tubing would work like 12/16 or smaller.

What is your substrate? Is your ph that low out of the tap?

Moving forward, just clean decor with tank water-not hot tap water. You want to keep whatever bb is on there especially while that filter cycles.

What kind of filter? The cartridge kind or something like an aquaclear?

Don't worry, it doesn't sound awful-just keep up with daily water changes, get some beneficial bacteria, the test kit , frozen bloodworms for protein, and I think I read IAL above-that too!
 
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Appalousea

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Fisheye said:
K, well lots looks great-thanks for filling that out. No worries about the pic.

You could up your w/c schedule to 50% daily just to help him get through what I suspect is a cycle (hard to tell without ammonia results but you've only been up and running a short period of time. Cycling takes weeks. Consider getting bottled bacteria to help with this). It's very important to protect his gill function and body condition from burns.

You don't need a vacuum-even just a piece of tubing would work like 12/16 or smaller.

What is your substrate? Is your ph that low out of the tap?

Moving forward, just clean decor with tank water-not hot tap water. You want to keep whatever bb is on there especially while that filter cycles.

What kind of filter? The cartridge kind or something like an aquaclear?

Don't worry, it doesn't sound awful-just keep up with daily water changes, get some beneficial bacteria, the test kit , frozen bloodworms for protein, and I think I read IAL above-that too!
Awesome! Thanks!

The substrates gravel and yeah, water's not the best here in good ol' West Virginia. And the filter's Aqua tech with cartridges.
 

Fisheye

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PH is not an issue in this case-I just wanted to make sure that there wasn't anything in your tank that was buffering it. Great to know that your tank and tap match.

Final thought-and totally open to ripping :p I would add the following (or similar) to your shopping list. These little ceramic rings will hold bacteria while you swap out the cartridge. You could just rip open the bag, rinse them in tank water and sprinkle them in open spaces in the filter.

To be honest, I'm not familiar with your filter but you will find videos on youtube how to hack the media compartment.



Hope your betta continues to do well for you! Look forward to a pic and betta name whenever you can !
 
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Appalousea

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Fisheye said:
PH is not an issue in this case-I just wanted to make sure that there wasn't anything in your tank that was buffering it. Great to know that your tank and temp match.

Final thought-and totally open to ripping :p I would add the following (or similar) to your shopping list. These little ceramic rings will hold bacteria while you swap out the cartridge. You could just rip open the bag, rinse them in tank water and sprinkle them in open spaces in the filter.

To be honest, I'm not familiar with your filter but you will find videos on youtube how to hack the media compartment.



Hope your betta continues to do well for you! Look forward to a pic and betta name whenever you can !
Thank you so much! My betta is a beautiful black, blue, and red, veiltail, and my friend and I named him Spidey.
IMG_20200529_092349212.jpg
 

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Appalousea Did this behaviour ever stop? My betta has been doing the same thing for the past couple days and He was very happy and exploring his tank first few days and then he started doing this.
 
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Appalousea

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depan89 said:
Appalousea Did this behaviour ever stop? My betta has been doing the same thing for the past couple days and He was very happy and exploring his tank first few days and then he started doing this.
Yeah, he doesn't do it all of the the time anymore, mostly just when the ammonia levels are up in his tank. The things that I've noticed that cause this behavior are if the water current is too high, the water needs to be changed, or if he has been injured/is sick. Hope that helps
 
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Appalousea

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depan89 said:
Yes, thank you very much.
No problem! I think Spidey (my betta) was just kind of stressed from being in a new environment.
 

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