Normal Betta behavior?

OperaGhostOG

Hi, my sister got a betta a couple days ago and I’ve been helping her with everything because this is her first aquarium. But I’m more of a goldfish person so I really am not sure if this is normal behavior for a betta.
Today, we noticed the betta takes a lot of naps throughout the day. And by that I mean he lays at the bottom frequently. If my goldfish were doing that, I would be worried. But I read online that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I’m skeptical of googles aquarium advice so I thought I’d ask people who have owned them in the past.
The only thing I can think of it being is the temperature. The heater is preset to 78 degrees. The aquarium storewe got him from is pretty hot so maybe he isn’t used to 78?
 

pete9999

Well, it might be normal or not. Betta fish can breathe through their gills and their labyrinth organs so unlike some other fish who need to keep moving to have water through their gills to get oxygen, betta fish can and do take breaks during which they are almost entirely motionless.
However, if the betta fish is very often laying still at the bottom of the tank, and is not eating or seems uninterested in food, is not easily aroused, is not curious, is rarely patroling the tank, then something is possibly wrong. While betta fish do occasionally rest, they are very active fish, an inactive betta is not normal.
I doubt that the issue is temperature, perhaps you should look into these instead:
Did you check the water parameters? Betta fish are hardy but if the parameters are way off it will affect them
Is the aquarium large enough? A very small aquarium might discourage a betta from moving
Is it nitrogen cycled? If it's a brand new aquarium it probably isnt and you need to check parameters, again betta are more tolerant than other fish but to an extent
Did you put any plants, caves or other betta decoration? Betta fish need stimumus
Is there a strong current in the aquarium? In general betta fish prefer still water, make sure the filter isn't creating a strong current. Betta fish kept in cups at pet stores will have an even harder time swimming against the current.
 
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OperaGhostOG

Well, it might be normal or not. Betta fish can breathe through their gills and their labyrinth organs so unlike some other fish who need to keep moving to have water through their gills to get oxygen, betta fish can and do take breaks during which they are almost entirely motionless.
However, if the betta fish is very often laying still at the bottom of the tank, and is not eating or seems uninterested in food, is not easily aroused, is not curious, is rarely patroling the tank, then something is possibly wrong. While betta fish do occasionally rest, they are very active fish, an inactive betta is not normal.
I doubt that the issue is temperature, perhaps you should look into these instead:
Did you check the water parameters? Betta fish are hardy but if the parameters are way off it will affect them
Is the aquarium large enough? A very small aquarium might discourage a betta from moving
Is it nitrogen cycled? If it's a brand new aquarium it probably isnt and you need to check parameters, again betta are more tolerant than other fish but to an extent
Did you put any plants, caves or other betta decoration? Betta fish need stimumus
Is there a strong current in the aquarium? In general betta fish prefer still water, make sure the filter isn't creating a strong current. Betta fish kept in cups at pet stores will have an even harder time swimming against the current.
Thanks for the help! He is in a 5 gallon with many plants, a rock, and a small place to hide. We began the cycle a week before getting him. After a week many suggested that we do the rest of the cycle with the fish in. But we have been testing the water everyday to make sure the water is safe. It has been consistently at 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and 5-10 nitrate. Today, for the first time the nitrite was less than 0.25 but not at 0. So we did 30% water change. We are also using nite out II and the special blend to help.
We got a special filter that isn’t supposed to have a strong current. There is a weakcurrent only when he is right next to the filter.
He does seem to really like the tank.
He is still interested in food, he even spends a lot of time hunting and eating the poor baby snails.
 
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pete9999

Great! It does sound like you are doing all the right things! If the betta is taking naps but is otherwise active, eating and stimulated in the tank, then there's no reason to worry about it. Indeed, betta fish do that sometimes. The only last thing is that if the tank is planted I assume you have a light source for the plants, make sure to turn it off to give the betta 12-16 hours of dark. Also, you said he has a place to hide so I assume it is dark inside it which is good.
Overall, it does sound like you did everything right, a few naps during the day are just the typical betta behaviour.
 
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OperaGhostOG

Great! It does sound like you are doing all the right things! If the betta is taking naps but is otherwise active, eating and stimulated in the tank, then there's no reason to worry about it. Indeed, betta fish do that sometimes. The only last thing is that if the tank is planted I assume you have a light source for the plants, make sure to turn it off to give the betta 12-16 hours of dark. Also, you said he has a place to hide so I assume it is dark inside it which is good.
Overall, it does sound like you did everything right, a few naps during the day are just the typical betta behaviour.
Thank you!
 
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