Normal betta behaviour?

  • #1
I just put my betta back in his tank (the brand new heater broke) after being holed up in my other tank in a breeding box. The tank is cycled and it's a nice 25 degrees, ph 7 etc. The ph is the same as in my other tank.

When he was in my main tank he was constantly flaring at the other fish (expected) which I know wasn't good because it stresses them out but it was just a temporary measure.

Now he's in his new tank he's kinda lazy and seems to sleep in the plant I got him. Is this normal? He does explore and swim around but has probably spent more time sleeping in the plant since he's been in there. I don't know what 'normal' betta behaviour is because I've never had one until now. He was more active in the other tank but he was flaring and he didn't have any hiding places or plants to sleep in.
  • #2
Bettas can be moody, I wouldn't be surprised if the experience didn't stress him out, and he is pouting for awhile. But also they tend to get lazier when the tank parameters change or there is something wrong so I would check all the usual things just to make sure. #1 of course is the N cycle like you have said you did. #2 is to make sure you didn't overfeed him and he is constipated, a constant threat with bettas. #3 make sure he doesn't have any injuries or obvious signs of sickness. Having done that I wouldn't worry, they do go through their moods and it isn't unusual. I might recommend a little stress coat and vitachem for insurance considering the stressful situation he was just in.
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Thanks for replying. I knew it would stress him out with the other fish but it was either that or have his temperature go down to less than 9 degrees C at night. I'm in Australia so it's almost winter and gets really cold at night.

He has been eating but his poo was always smaller than my other fishes' (nice conversation!) so I'll try feeding him a pea. He looks good other than seeming quite lazy.
  • #4
It could be he's just happy be to be home and away from everyone he deemed a threat? If there isn't anything physically wrong, I'd say he just needs to rest up a bit. Like people, I'm sure it takes fish awhile to get back to normal after a stressful event.
  • #5
I see your other fish are livebearers, don't expect to see that much poo coming out of a betta. Generally it is so little you won't notice it.
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Yeah I figured livebearers probably poop a lot more.

I thought it was funny how different my betta is when I feed him. My livebearers (in particular the guppies) will swim around gulping anything that might resemble food and sometimes the guppies go mad and eat so much their stomachs become enormous. But my betta is so much more discerning and actually chooses what to eat. It's cute

I gave him a pea which he didn't want at first but then ate it off the bottom of the tank. He seems fine, just not all that active. But he is inquisitive which is good I think.
  • #7
Sometimes, I think it surprises them, then they realize they have more room and should start exploring the entire tank soon, so keep your eye on him.
It's good he likes his peas.
So, where are the pics?
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
He's so hard to take pictures of! I keep trying to take one that shows off his pretty tail. I will try again once I have stuck a cool background on the back wall of the aquarium
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Well I still can't get my betta to do anything. He just sits on top of the filter powerhead. This morning I thought he was dead. *sigh*

He doesn't even come out for food anymore. I have no idea what is wrong with him, when he's in my main tank in the tiny breeding box he is active and he eats.

Both tanks --> ammo = 0, nitrite = 0, nitrate < 5. ph = 7, 25 degrees.

I did a small water change in his tank because I thought maybe there is something leaching out of the new tank but it's made no difference and the water has no odour at all. It's weird because when he first went in it, he was swimming around for half an hour or so until he realised he could sit on top of the filter and that was that.

I've turned the filter onto low so the current was barely noticeable and still nothing.

Is this how they behave when they're given new tanks? The shop I bought him from really looks after their fish and he was in his own tank about the same size as this one (5.8gl / 20 litres) so I thought he'd be used to a large tank?

Is it possible he's lonely? At the store he was in with a couple of juvenile blue rams and now he's on his own. When he was in the tank in the breeding box he had the other fish around. Hmm.
  • #10
get a mirror and see if u can wake up the lil fella....
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Oh I tried that but he seems to ignore it, or he knows it's him and thinks I'm trying to pull the wool over his eyes.

He flared at the fish in the other tank though. *sigh* I don't know. There's no visible sign of illness, he's physically perfect looking. I can really only describe this as sulking.
  • #12
Is he eating now? They can sulk, my little Angel sulks if she doesn't get enough attention and when I clean her tank.
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
No he hasn't eaten anything all day. I end up just scooping the little pieces of flake out of the tank. He hasn't moved from on top of the filter. He's definitely sulking because he doesn't seem ill at all.

I'm trying to feed him flakes because that is what he is used to from the store, but I have Wardley betta food (the little pellets / balls) and he doesn't like that either. He was eating the flakes up until his move to his new tank.

He comes out and swims up to the glass if I sit in front of the tank and talk to him. But he swims back to the filter after a few minutes.

I have never seen an animal look so depressed. It's really sad
  • #14
There is a chance that he has internal parasites, given his behavior. I would try thawed, frozen bloodworms (HikarI brand if possible) to see if he'll eat those.

Daily water changes of about 25%, treating your water with Prime (if available) and adding a drop per gallon of a liquid garlic supplement would all be general things that you could do now that might help and certainly won't hurt. And maybe some extra time just talking to him and giving him attention. It's something how much that can help when a Betta feels ill.
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Thanks COBettaCouple.. I tried the liquid garlic (I got the Seachem one) and PWC but he is still the same. I thought he would have died by now because he hasn't eaten since Saturday.

I don't know what to do.. I don't want to start putting different medications in the tank because I really don't know what could be wrong with him. I'm 95% sure in Australia we can't get internal parasite medication (containing the metronidazole) because it's only allowed to be imported by vets.

He still has no visible signs of illness, so I'm thinking perhaps he is just extremely depressed?

When I talk to him he lifts his little head up and sometimes swims over to the glass but soon goes back to his hiding spot on top of the filter.
  • #16
That stinks, I read that Seachem sells Metronidazole worldwide, including Australia. Check this link:
- maybe local dealers listed would be able to get you some?

Internal parasites often don't show external symptoms, but lethargy and lack of appetite are tell-tale signs. The garlic is good for him and talking to him is good too, but I'd recommend getting something for treating parasites, especially if that list of dealers helps you find metronidazole.
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
I found an online store selling the Aquazole product ( - the only place in Aus that sells it, apparantly) and I ordered some yesterday but unfortunately he didn't make it

I'm really bummed.. poor little guy

What can I do to get rid of the parasites in the water of the betta tank so I can get another betta and not have him subjected to the same fate? Assuming there are parasites in the water now..
  • #18
I'm so sorry your boy didn't make it.
  • #19
I'm sorry your little guy didn't make it.

Usually, when this happens, I'll sterilize the tank well and everything in it and put new media in the filter to be sure of clearing the tank of anything that could make the new fish sick. Then I'll cycle it fishless, seeding the tank from an established tank.
  • #20
Sorry to hear about your loss.
  • #21
I send my deepest sympathies. While losing fish is a thing that happens, losing a betta for some reason is harder. They have such human-like personalities and quickly become a vital part of our lives and it is very hard to lose one. I do know how you must be feeling and I do feel for you. We are here for you and hope that you will stay with us and perhaps someday when you feel better and can get the tank all cleaned up and sterilized you can enjoy the company of another betta to help with your loss. The new one never replaces the old one as they are all different personalities and should be but they can help to fill the hole in your heart and give you new and more pleasant memories to concentrate on.

Please let us know if we can be of help.


Similar Aquarium Threads

  • Locked
  • Question
  • Locked
  • Question
Top Bottom