New Betta seeing his own reflection! Freaking out! Help!

tzqng8
  • #1
So we got our first Betta a little over a week ago. We didn't know any better, so he was transferred from a terribly cruel Betta "cup" into a terribly cruel Betta "box." Once I researched the hobby, I quickly got him out of that and now he has his own 5 gallon apartment.

The tank is cycled (SafeStart rocks!), has a heater keeping it at 78F, has a nice filter that came with the tank (BIO-Wheel) that creates a nice little flow. The hood on the tank has a built in 15w incandescent light. He is being fed freeze dried blood worms mainly wwith flakes every once and a while. The tank is a 5 gallon acrylic hex tank from Tetra.

So, the problem: yesterday, when I came home from work to check on the little guy, he was behaving good. Begging for food, as usual. A sat down to watch him for a while and turned off the rest of the lights in the house so only his tank light was on. Then, all of the sudden, the little guy started freaking out!

He was puffing out his gills and swimming "jerkily" up and down one seam in the tank! I knew he was seeing his reflection, so I turned on the lights in the room. He stopped puffing out his gills but still kept swimming up and down one seam in a very authoritative manner.

If I took a piece of paper and put it along that side, he'd settle down for a bit. But then, he'd swim around the tank and find another seam in the hex tank and start doing it there, too.

I adjusted the lighting and experimented with putting up "blinders" on the outside of the tank and eventually turning all the lights out (including the tank) light got him to chill. That's fine for sleeping, but today when the room naturally gets some ambient light (not his tank directly), is it going to happen again? I'm at work, so I don't know and I'm worried about the fella.

Anyway, just curious if anyone might have some experience with something like this and what they might have done that works to settle the guy down.

I attached some pictures so you could see exactly what his home is like. The patient's name is MasaharI Morimoto. Thanks in advance!
 
COBettaCouple
  • #2
Some Bettas seem to have this problem with Hex tanks. Given how the effort to stop those Bettas flaring went, I'd recommend a different tank for him.
 
tzqng8
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
And the suggestion for the new tank would be a normal rectangular one?
 
COBettaCouple
  • #4
Well, we like the 6.6g bookshelf tank found at Petco the most for the Bettas. It gives them the long horizontal run that they love. But also the 5 gallon minibow or 6 gallon eclipse tank. All are acrylic with a minibow curve to the front of the tank.
 
tzqng8
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Alright. A bookshelf type would be nice. I'll look at the PetCo website.

Any suggestions for what might go into the Hex tank? Perhaps a girlie Betta? Would they do better in it than a male?
 
Martinismommy
  • #6
I have 4 of my boys in those exact tanks and have no problem with flaring...I have a background on the back and sides of the tank....Maybe you could try that....

Beautiful boy you have there!
 
tzqng8
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Martini's Mommy - You have 4 of your boys in the Hex tanks or the ?
 
Martinismommy
  • #8
The hex tank just like yours the 5 gallon one..
 
tzqng8
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Hmm. And you just put backgrounds on all the sides except one (5 out of 6)? Do you use tape or aquarium glue or something?

Oh, and thanks for the compliment to Mori. I'll make sure I tell him.
 
Martinismommy
  • #10
I put the background on the back and the 2 sides....I just wrapped it around and secured it with a glue gun but tape will also work.....This was you have the front and the sides open....
 
tzqng8
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Cool. I'm assuming that you put the background on the outside of the tank then?

The thing with him is that it is one of the "front" seams that he does this with. But, with less overall light coming into the tank, that might work as well. I'll try that tonight as I have some extra background that is too small for my 30g.

Thanks for the suggestion!
 
lalynya
  • #12
I have the 6.6 as well and it works great..You could try painting the sides..That's how othello's tank is
 
Martinismommy
  • #13
Yes, it goes on the outside of the tank....I'd give it a try......It seemed to work for me.....That's a cute little hex.....I love mine!
 
tzqng8
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
I'll try some background on the hex tank first. If that doesn't do the trick, then I'll get him a 6.6 bookshelf. I don't want to stress the little guy out.

Once my MTS kicks in again, I'll get that 6.6 anyway. I like that tank!
 
Fishies-for-me
  • #15
I have Floyd in a 5 gallon hex from tetra. He will flare for a while but then he is fine. I know if he does this steady it will stress him out but I don't think flaring a little each day is to bad for them. Imho it is natural for a fish to be territorial and makes him feel good to chase off that nasty bad guy. If they are flaring non stop or acting scared or stressed it is a problem. When my fish flare at their reflections it is different than when the see each other ( I was going to put their tanks side by side) They really got aggressive and violent. With their reflection it seems to be more posturing...lol..like they don't feel as threatened.
 
Barbrella
  • #16
I tried putting a background on the tank of my "flariest" betta. It turned the glass into a mirror and he went ballistic.

I remember someone else here whose betta went nuts in a Hex and would not stop flaring.

I think the Hex tanks cause multiple reflections and that freaks some bettas out. A female might be fine though!
 
tzqng8
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
Well, I'm new to all of this so I guess I don't know how good it is for him or bad. He was doing it pretty constantly until I turned off all of the lights. He didn't have his gills all puffed out all the time (only when ONLY the tank light was on), but even when he didn't he was acting aggressive and stressy.

As soon as he cooled out, he just chilled like he was tired. Makes me think it can't be too good for him! I did see in some other threads that they eventually got used to their reflections. I'm hoping that is the case with him, but I will definitely try the background taped to the back of half the tank.

I tried putting a background on the tank of my "flariest" betta. It turned the glass into a mirror and he went ballistic.

I remember someone else here whose betta went nuts in a Hex and would not stop flaring.

I think the Hex tanks cause multiple reflections and that freaks some bettas out. A female might be fine though!

Ack! Well, I'll check tonight. If he freaks, I'll get a . And then, I'll put a female in the hex to see how she does.

I'll keep everyone informed!
 
Fishies-for-me
  • #18
Good luck!!
 
COBettaCouple
  • #19
Yea, we had 2 of those 5 gallon hex tanks and the Bettas in them where fine. Generally they do ok in them, but some do seem to hate the hex tanks.
 
tzqng8
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
Check out the semi-conclusion to the story!

Is MorI still seeing his reflection? Did any of these tricks work? Find out
 

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