Stressed, Stubborn or Stupid?

  • #1
Not sure whether to place this question here or in the funny tab.

So i have a new betta, and he's glass surfing. It happens, right? Week and a half later, its still happening. Not as much, but enough for me to be concerned. So I go down the list--watch my parameters, put a backdrop, check if he's flaring, etc. Things look fine. Maybe the tank is too empty, I think.

So I'm cleaning the tank, trying to move things around. I get to the side he is currently surfing and... He. Doesnt. Stop. Pacing. He keeps going back and forth, like im not even there. Im trying to place a new cave in the corner, but he swimming in and out of that corner. Most fish would see all of this big stuff moving around and head to a quiet corner. Not him.

Heres the kicker--- I put my hand in to block him... And he goes over my hand! I try again and he swims under my hand. I press my hand against the inside of the glass and he just goes around it, and continues pacing, like he's on rails. And I know he's not scared, because he just keeps swimming at the same pace.

Evenutally i lure him away with one of the cleaning tools ( it makes bubbles). For a few minutes.

Like i said, he doesnt do it all the time. But when he does, its like he has horse blinders on.

So, any idea what is happening? Is he scared? Is he stubbornly trying to swim through the glass? Is this the fish version of the zoomies? Is he hyperfocusing? Or just... Really... Really dumb?

Rose of Sharon
  • #2
Hi SlugLady,

Sounds like he is very determined!!! :)

I must say I have never had a betta do that before. They usually either come closer to my hand when I'm cleaning and try to get in the way because they are so nosy, or they quickly go the opposite direction because they don't want me to mess with them.

If he were scared, he would flee from your hand. He must want that other guy in the glass really badly to do all of that! He may turn out to be pretty aggressive in the long run. Is he very young? Maybe hitting that sexually mature stage?

I would love to see a pic if you have one, and maybe a pic of the side of the tank that he is bound and determined to get to in those times, lol!

  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Welp, Rusty has Velvet. I did a large waterchange on Sunday, and after, he looked strange. Like I could see the outlines of his scales. Thinking he was stressed from the cleaning, I left him be. But over a couple of days, his energy died down, and he began hiding in dark areas. Something was wrong. I took a closer look and saw what appeared to be sand in the crevasses of his scales. That's why I could see the outline of his scales from far away

So I do the big 3: Darkness, Heat, and Salt. Turned off all the lights, turned the heat to at least 82° and slowly added aquarium salt. I also turned up his sponge filter to get more oxygen in the water to compensate for the heat. I'm keeping an eye on him, his water, and his temperature constantly. And you know what? Yesterday, he perked up again. I can still see the velvet on his scales, but he was following my finger around, back to doing more fish zoomies. (and not against the glass this time.)

I'll keep the tank as is for a bit since Velvet is a parasite you can only kill during one of its life cycles.

Oh, and here are some pics of the little guy. The first one was a few weeks ago (mid zoomie) and the rest are close-ups of the Velvet from today. It's less noticeable than yesterday.


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Rose of Sharon
  • #4
I'm not exactly sure that he has velvet. That might be a color change, but the treatment you're giving him won't hurt him. And if he is perking up , that's a good sign. Usually velvet will be sprinklings of what looks like gold dust over the body along with him rubbing on decor or the glass in the tank. They will also have issues with breathing and in the gill area along with excess mucus production.

He may have been seeing his own reflection a bit too, so that would cause his constant swimming and agitation. It happens often with Bettas.

I hope he gets to feeling better soon. Post an update about how he's doing... :)
  • #5
Maybe something is stressing your betta

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