Male Betta + Stressing Reflection

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by KatVG87, Jul 21, 2017.

  1. KatVG87New MemberMember

    Hi all! Hopefully, this is in the right place. If not, I apologize and can move it.

    I have a male Crown Tail Betta (named Van Gough) and his tank set up is as follows:

    5 gallons (Glass Tank)
    LED Light

    Gravel +Décor+ Live Plant

    Recently, he has started to swim back and forth trying to get to his reflection. He isn't flaring at it but I have been trying to reduce the light in the tank so that he doesn't become too stressed.

    I have tried blocking the back of the tank with colored construction paper and I tried a tank background last night. The construction paper made him flare instantly when he looked at himself in the back of the tank. The tank background was fine last night but this morning when I got up and turned my bedroom light on, he flared at his reflection where the tank background is.

    I tested his water last night and these were the parameters. The API Master Kit for Freshwater was utilized in testing:

    Ammonia: 0.5 ppm (AmmoLock was administered to the tank and I am keeping an eye on this)
    Nitrie: 0 ppm
    Nitrate: 0ppm

    The water in his tank is a consistent 79.0 degrees and monitored with a digital monitor.

    My question is: What can I do to reduce the reflection caused by the light in his tank that won't make him flare at his reflection? He's only started doing this within the last couple of days. He has been in this tank for almost 2 weeks.

    I don't want him to seem stressed over his reflection but I also know that he needs the light/dark cycle so turning off the light all the time isn't an option.

    Other than this, he's happy, healthy, active, and a very good (and eager!) eater.

    Here's my boy a few days ago:

  2. jmaldo

    jmaldoWell Known MemberMember

    Just an idea, since its only been 2 weeks. It appears you are changing quite a few things which is causing him stress. You might want to let him settle in to his new home for awhile without changing anything.
  3. OP

    KatVG87New MemberMember

    I just recently tried the construction paper/tank background (Tuesday and then last night); the being stressed didn't start until....Monday? Yeah, it was Monday. Before this, he was doing really well. I'm not sure if me going away for the weekend (he was fed via automatic feeder) has any association with it.

  4. BottomDweller

    BottomDwellerFishlore VIPMember

    Welcome to fishlore!

    Give him some time to settle.

    If after a few weeks he is still the same you could try growing a dense "wall" of plants or putting in fake plants along the back so he can't see his reflection. It would make him feel more secure too.
  5. OP

    KatVG87New MemberMember

    Thank you, both of you!

    I will definitely give him a few more weeks to settle. If he doesn't after a few weeks, I'll look into a wall of plants!
  6. AllieSten

    AllieStenFishlore VIPMember

    Welcome to Fishlore!

    It is very normal for your guy to flare at his reflection. Especially in a new place. He will settle down. Maybe get a nerite Snail to keep him company. He can flare at him instead lol

    With your ammonia being 0.5ppm, are you currently getting your nitrogen cycle going? I am glad you are using ammo-lock. Personally I prefer Seachem Prime. With a fish in cycle, you will get some nitrites at some point. Ammo-lock doesn't protect against those, but Prime does.

    Also are you using bottled bacteria to get cycled quicker? Be sure that you don't use any ammo-locking products within 24 hours of using Tetra Safe Start. It will kill the bacteria in TSS if used at the same time. Basically making it useless.

    Good luck!
  7. OP

    KatVG87New MemberMember

    Thank you!

    I use API Stress Zyme+ for the bacteria, which was recommended at my locally owned shop by another betta owner. Her recommendation was cycling the tank for 24 hours before acclimating him to his tank. It actually ended up cycling for more like 28 hours, as I had to work. The water conditioner that I am currently using is API also. Besides API and Top Fin, there aren't many options here.

    I'm keeping an eye on his water parameters for sure. I'll test it again tonight as soon as I get home and I plan on doing a partial water change tonight or tomorrow when I get home from work. I also plan on utilizing my kit to test the water at my house, as that could be the culprit for the ammonia even thought his water gets conditioned.

    His tank is definitely clean and suitable for him. I have a small feeling he's just being finicky. I'm not usually home very much in the evenings but the last few days I have been, so I can't help but wonder if that's caused the sudden interest in his reflection. I'm definitely keeping the light in the room he's in minimal besides his LED light.
  8. AllieSten

    AllieStenFishlore VIPMember

    API Stress Zyme is the wrong type of bacteria to cycle your tank with, unfortunately. It actually can counteract the bacteria you are trying to grow. You need API QuickStart bacteria or Top Fin nitrifying starter bacteria. Either one will work.

    You can follow this formula for cycling. I usually use it with Prime & Stability, but using it with ammo-lock and QuickStart will work too.

    Ammonia + Nitrites = less than 1ppm, add ammo-lock & QuickStart. Recheck parameters in 24 hours
    Ammonia + Nitrites = 1ppm or greater do 50 % water change. Add ammo-lock and QuickStart. Recheck parameters in 24 hours

    The goal with the water change is to get your Ammonia & nitrite level to below 0.5ppm so you may need to do more than a 50% water change.

    Hope this helps :) Good Luck.
  9. OP

    KatVG87New MemberMember

    Thank you!

    I will stop at the store on my way home!
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2017

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