Silly Fish Apparently Needed 5 Gallon Tank

Kalyn

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I've had a male Betta Fish in a 20 gallon fish tank for about ... 1.5 months. I was loosely monitoring his behavior and condition, as I had just gotten him, and noticed that he remained frantic in his patrolling, although his health was improving.

I thought it would ease over time, as the tank had hiding spaces and tannins, but no go.

I then moved the sponge filter and plants into a 2.5 gallon I'd had as a quarantine tank to see if it was a tank size problem. He was slightly less frantic.

Last week I moved him into a 5 gallon tank, with same sponge filter, plants, terra cotta disk ... and he is calm and exploratory.

Apparently the little dude just needed exactly 5.5 gallons of water....

Someone on here posted a while back that one of their betta seemed unhappy in large spaces. I'd never experienced that until little dude. I now wholeheartedly believe you, fellow fishlore-ee!
 

Lorekeeper

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Some bettas just don't like large species, due to them being raised in small spaces their entire lives.

Some betta's will still love 20 gallon+ tanks though.

Is it possible you had a bit too much flow/no plants near the surface of the tank?
 

Al913

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Agree with above!

Most of the time bettas like larger spaces when there are a ton of plants at all levels . Simply just having a couple will not provide it enough cover or feeling of safety.
 

FlutterFish

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IMO, it really depends on the betta's personality. I know that some long-fin varieties (looks at halfmoon bettas) wear themselves out on large tank due to their fins preventing a lot of movement.
Again, agreeing with the two above Could you tell us what filter you had?
 
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Kalyn

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He has had a sponge filter the entire time. Towards the 3rd week I placed in two giant swords with those little sproutlings that reach towards the surface, a baby sword, and some Brazilian pennywort. It wasn't heavily planted, but the swords were pretty close to the surface.

Hahaha, and I don't know how much less flowy I can get than a sponge filter!

Still, I can imagine that if I had the money atm to plant the 20 gallon incredibly heavily, he may have established a mini territory, or at least felt a little more . .. closed in? secure?
 

Lorekeeper

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Kalyn said:
He has had a sponge filter the entire time. Towards the 3rd week I placed in two giant swords with those little sproutlings that reach towards the surface, a baby sword, and some Brazilian pennywort. It wasn't heavily planted, but the swords were pretty close to the surface.

Hahaha, and I don't know how much less flowy I can get than a sponge filter!

Still, I can imagine that if I had the money atm to plant the 20 gallon incredibly heavily, he may have established a mini territory, or at least felt a little more . .. closed in? secure?
Maybe. If you had planted it heavily, it could have kept him occupied and made everything seem much less roomy, although he still would've used all of his space.
 
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Kalyn

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Lorekeeper said:
Maybe. If you had planted it heavily, it could have kept him occupied and made everything seem much less roomy, although he still would've used all of his space.
Probably, alas, it will take a while for that quantity of plants to propagate in my existing aquariums.

Thank you for the information and opinions everyone. I didn't expect it, having shared this originally as an attempt at humor.

Safe to say though, I do believe many bettas do well in larger spaces. I have one in a 20 gallon, and two in their own 10 gallons. I have little doubt that the one in the 20 gallon could easily rule larger given the opportunity.

It was exciting and funny to me to find a little oddball of a fish. He is still very active, but now without continuous patrolling. He will be in the five gallon for now; perhaps in the future he will find himself placed into a heavily planted 20 gallon.
 
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