Odd Betta Behavior


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TiqToq

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I awoke this morning to a fright. My betta of just over 6 months was not acting herself at all. Normally she is actively swimming up near the top of the tank and is engaged when I lift the lid up to give her breakfast, eagerly awaiting food. This morning she was sticking to the bottom of the tank, barely swimming around, and choosing to be in and under tank decor. I could see her side fins moving so she wasn't clamping. When I put my finger near her on the glass she would get scared and swim off to hide. I've never once witnessed her swim away and hide like that. She was perfectly active and confident before I went to bed last night.

I dosed a bit of Prime into the tank in case it had to do with the water and she did appear to perk up a little, but I wasn't sure if it had to do with the Prime. Currently she's about her normal self, perhaps still a bit skittish. She's swimming up at the top of the tank and exploring once again. She even swam up to take a bloodworm from me and investigate when I was extracting water for a parameter test.

I checked the tank's temperature and it's still its usual 80. The water tests look normal too.

Ammonia: 0
pH: Above 7.6 (as high as my test reads and typical of previous test reads)
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: Between the 0 and 5 reading (tested this one twice)

One thing of note is she did poop out a very large quantity a short bit later in the morning, but if anyone knows my fish they know this isn't unusual for her. Granted it's something I haven't seen her do for some time. The only other creature in the tank is a nerite snail I got a month ago.

What could have been the cause of this strange behavior and should I be worrying as I am? Is there something I can do?
 

Mary765

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Keep an eye on her for physical signs of stress or disease, and the tank parameters for any changes. Let us know what you find.

If nothing else seems to be happening, and doesn't happen for a while, then maybe something scared her on the outside of the tank?

Had any noisy things going on recently? Building works? Large temperature changes? Storms/rain/extreme weather? Those are the only explanations I have I'm afraid if her scared behaviour never occurs again!

Good luck!
 

TiqToq

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Keep an eye on her for physical signs of stress or disease, and the tank parameters for any changes. Let us know what you find.

If nothing else seems to be happening, and doesn't happen for a while, then maybe something scared her on the outside of the tank?

Had any noisy things going on recently? Building works? Large temperature changes? Storms/rain/extreme weather? Those are the only explanations I have I'm afraid if her scared behaviour never occurs again!

Good luck!
Thank you! I've no idea what could have spooked her since she's isolated in my bedroom and she's against a wall where there's nothing on the other side. It wasn't noisier than normal around the house and I highly doubt the snail pulled a fast one on her. :smuggrin: She is back to her normal self now thankfully, so I hope it was a one off thing. I will be sure to keep a close eye on her for any other oddities.
 

Mary765

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No problem!

That's great that's she's acting ok again! Make sure to post again if anything else is on your mind :shame:
 

TiqToq

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I've been observing her since I made this post and she really has returned to her normal behaviors, but I have noticed that every so often she will still exhibit similar behaviors to what I listed out of the blue. She seems healthy but just... occasionally spooked by something. In the mornings, as it had occurred when I made this thread, I attributed it to making sudden noises and turning on the light too fast, but just now I walked over with her frozen brine shrimp dinner to her already hiding under a leaf and not even coming out when I lifted the feeding hatch. Extremely unlike her. She emerged when she saw food falling but remained alert and low to the ground, darting quickly around the tank and going in and under decor.

I have seen her flaring intensely in the top left of her tank at something I cannot see and have spotted her doing this twice on different days. I easily broke her out of it the second time by lifting the tank cover, and she swam right over to me. Could she be irritated or scared by whatever she has been flaring at? The lamp is over there and I've often seen her flaring at bugs attracted to the light, but I didn't see any bugs and they never cause her to go into alert mode.
 

Mary765

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Maybe... maybe try feeding her bugs? Maybe they love them?

Ive just been on another thread with a really scared and unusual betta, so it could just be their personality
 

California L33

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I don't know how carefully you watch her normally, but Bettas do sleep (or go into a very deep rest) occasionally. The behavior you're describing doesn't sound all that unusual to me. She could be trying to tell you, "Leave me alone, I'm trying to sleep and I don't have eyelids!"

Still, keep an eye on her. It's possible there's been a change and something might be going on.
 

TiqToq

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Maybe... maybe try feeding her bugs? Maybe they love them?

Ive just been on another thread with a really scared and unusual betta, so it could just be their personality
Oh she loves them alright. It's their natural diet, but she'll have to make due with frozen larvae and such instead because I'm not going to culture a whole bug colony just to feed one l'il itty bitty betta. :joyful:
The thing is this isn't her usual personality. She's not a runner she's an "I'm going to chase the siphon around the tank while you attempt water changes"-er.

I don't know how carefully you watch her normally, but Bettas do sleep (or go into a very deep rest) occasionally. The behavior you're describing doesn't sound all that unusual to me. She could be trying to tell you, "Leave me alone, I'm trying to sleep and I don't have eyelids!"

Still, keep an eye on her. It's possible there's been a change and something might be going on.
I've not normally seen her sleeping at those times, but she could be changing habits. I'll just keep an eye on her.
 
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