New betta jerking around?

SavTheArtist

Hello everyone! I got a new betta fish today (yes, from Petco. Sorry)

He was labelled as a butterfly male. Cost $15.

He has a 4 gallon tank all to himself.

(Not named yet!)

Parameters are:

Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 10
It's a planted tank so normal for the nitrates to be low.

Kept at 80 degrees.

I drip acclimated him for 13 minutes. Hes been in the tank for several hours now.

He has a small humpback, and is swimming very erratically. He'll jerk around, curve in a C shape and drift, and when a leaf touches him he jerks away.

Basically spazzing out.

Is this normal? Could it be from the change of tanks and stress?

His cup from the store was so murky you could barely see him, and there was so much food and waste. Yuck.

No tankmates beside like 3 bladder snails. He doesn't mind them! Which is cool.
 

Fishproblem

Doesn't sound great. When did the erratic behavior start?
 
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PNWBettas

Hmmm. I would monitor him for the next day or so, but it sounds like there’s something going on. Likely the result of how he was kept in the store . Try keeping the light low to reduce stress and look for any physical symptoms. Seems like the tank itself shouldn’t be causing stress as it’s cycled and planted and at a good temp. You had a short acclimation time but you probably just wanted him out of the cup, which I understand.
 
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SavTheArtist

Doesn't sound great. When did the erratic behavior start?

Started once I got him in the tank, and he was able to move around.

Hmmm. I would monitor him for the next day or so, but it sounds like there’s something going on. Likely the result of how he was kept in the store . Try keeping the light low to reduce stress and look for any physical symptoms. Seems like the tank itself shouldn’t be causing stress as it’s cycled and planted and at a good temp. You had a short acclimation time but you probably just wanted him out of the cup, which I understand.

He made it through the night and is going strong. He is already eating! Luckily, the tank is pretty perfect for a betta. Pretty low light and low flow. I figured that it was probably due to his previous conditions and possibly the result of inbreeding/overbreeding in domestic bettas nowadays.

I'll keep an eye on him, but luckily he seems to be adjusting well! Also, he know has a name. He is donned, FINNEGAN! My mom's idea
 
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Fishproblem

Started once I got him in the tank, and he was able to move around.



He made it through the night and is going strong. He is already eating! Luckily, the tank is pretty perfect for a betta. Pretty low light and low flow. I figured that it was probably due to his previous conditions and possibly the result of inbreeding/overbreeding in domestic bettas nowadays.

I'll keep an eye on him, but luckily he seems to be adjusting well! Also, he know has a name. He is donned, FINNEGAN! My mom's idea
Glad to hear he's doing good! Because of the total filth he was in and the relatively short acclimation period, he very well could have been in shock. I totally understand the urge to just drop a new betta into immediately clean and safe water, but it turns out that nitrate shock goes both ways - any rapid, dramatic change in nitrate levels can do it, whether it's from low to high, or high to low.

It's not likely at all that any acute illness is the direct result of bettas being poorly bred. Though a fish with bad genes is likely to have a weaker immune system and less overall vigor, good living conditions are good living conditions, and it goes a long way. Try to avoid the blanket diagnosis of "bettas are poorly bred" when you're assessing fish health, and always treat them as though something shouldn't be wrong. It will meaningfully and positively affect your husbandry, because falling back on the "bad breeding" excuse makes for lazy investigation into problems. In this case, it means you may have acclimated the next betta the same way, and who can tell if it would recover from the initial shock as well.

That said, poor genes are something to be vigilant about and there are some genetic issues that you truly can't prevent or treat for - primarily cancer and/or scale overgrowth. But that's a bridge you'll have to cross if you get there!

Enjoy Finnegan, and if you have pictures, I'd love to see him!
 
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