Tank Set Ups For Easily Stressed Betta 5 Gallon Tank

  1. tokiodreamy

    tokiodreamy Well Known Member Member

    Hey guys! I've been having issues with my betta fish. He's easily stressed. He has stress lines constantly. They get worse when I do a water change but then shortly after they go back down.

    If you have an easily stressed betta please post a pic of your setup. Any and all ideas welcome. The tank could use some work. This is an older photo. An anubias nana on a small cave was added a while ago as well as a nerite snail. I'd love to add more plants and caves and possibly even change the background since he's a blueish color and you can't see him.

  2. V

    Voracious David Valued Member Member

    Do you know the tank's temperature and water parameters? :)
  3. Sen

    Sen Valued Member Member

    Definitely more hiding spots would be good for an easily-stressed betta!

    None of my bettas are/were easily stressed (except maaaybe Renfish II when I need to put him in a temporary container when I rearrange his tank) but I've found that they like having areas of the tank where they can just sit at. I have some fake leaves I've taped around the rims of the tank to offer some cover, and a couple small potted plants outside as well. You can also try limiting the amount of light shining into the tank.

  4. OP

    tokiodreamy Well Known Member Member

    Yes it sits at 79-80F and last I checked it was 0 0 5. My last water change was yesterday at 30%. He was a brave active betta when we brought him home. About 2 weeks after he got finrot. I did 30% pwc every 2-3 days. I believe I'm seeing fin regrowth now. But I have lessened the water changes to weekly since someone on here noticed the stress lines.

    I was nervous to add anything to his tank because of the stress lines. But I'm thinking of getting a few of those betta hammocks and putting them near the water line. I did add indian almond leaves but they eventually sink.
    What kind of decor would you reccomend for hiding places? Should I get more anubias plants?

    Also the light on the tank is a cheap led light from china that is actually more of a narrower light rather than a more spread light. However it is quite dim compared to other lights. I kind of wanted to change it.
  5. Adriifu

    Adriifu Well Known Member Member

    More plants would be a great idea. I've noticed that if the plants are set up in a jungle-like manner, the betta seems much happier and more active. Dwarf Sagittaria, Amazon Swords, Anubias, Anarchis, etc. should be ideal plants. Anything that's relatively bushy and easy to care for should work.

    Here's what I would do:

    1. Add a cave to the tank that the betta can enter without being seen.
    2. Add multiple plants that are clumped together, but separate enough for the fish to swim through.
    3. Use water conditioners (Seachem Stress Guard, Stress Coat, Stress Zyme, etc.) that specialize in preventing stress.
    4. Make sure there aren't many areas that show the betta's reflection.
    5. Make sure the water flows very slowly.
    6. Change the background color to black or gray.
    7. Be gentle during water changes (don't move him out of the tank and only remove half of the water).
    8. Get the betta fish a diet with plenty of protein and vitamins (Vitachem is great when combined with Bug Bites and other foods).
    9. Provide a quiet, peaceful external and internal environment.
  6. OP

    tokiodreamy Well Known Member Member

    Thanks for all the input!

    I'll look into dwarf sagittaria and anarchis. I have 3 amazon swords in my 29g and they've never done well. Even with ferts and root tabs.

    Should I look for a pot as a cave or should I look for fake cave decor?
    I have been adding stress coat in addition to prime. When it runs out I'll buy seachems version
    I don't believe there's any reflection. I've definitively have never seen him flare.
    The water flow is adjustable on low and he hasnt shown any issues to it.
    The background actually has black as the other color on the other side so ill try changing it. I was almost thinking more of a light blue ocean or fake planted look? But I'll work with what I have for now.
    I've never removed him for water changes. He actually always comes over to the water being poured in. So i always have to switch sides. I pour slowly.
    He eats mainly bug bites, frozen brine shrimp, frozen bloodworms and pellets.
  7. Adriifu

    Adriifu Well Known Member Member

    1. A flowerpot would work. It may even look good with your tank's layout. Fake caves will also look good and will probably work better. I'll post a picture of what you'd be looking for in a pot and in a cave.
    2. That's a good idea. I prefer Seachem Stress Guard over API Stress Coat, as it has a much greater impact on stress levels.
    3. I wouldn't expect there to be many reflective spots. You already have a background, which should prevent a lot of reflections.
    4. If the water flow shows any issues in the future, I like to use moss balls to slow it down.
    5. I personally think that blue backgrounds and planted backgrounds look cheesy and unrealistic, but the choice is yours. Black usually makes everything stand out, so I prefer it over anything else.
    6. When I had my betta in a 2.5-gallon tank, I would pour the water into the filter just so he wouldn't get hit by the flow. Maybe that'll help you in this situation.
    7. That's a good variety. Vitachem will most likely be unnecessary, however it's always a good addition.

    Attached Files:

  8. MrFluffie

    MrFluffie Valued Member Member

    Agree with plants. Also floating hollow log toy on top is a must. This is Mr. Fluffie’s tank ( my Betta) a29fd16801a646e41cf2a5268bbce327.jpg
  9. V

    Voracious David Valued Member Member

    I recommend floating objects, like plants, leaves, driftwood, or a log. Bettas like to hang out at the top a lot, but may be too stressed to do so with no cover. Hope this helps :)

    Mr. Fluffie lives like a king! :p;)
  10. Sen

    Sen Valued Member Member

    Anubias has always been reliable for me; I also like aponogetons and Amazon swords.

    I had a betta hammock in each tank awhile ago, but the plastic started to discolor and smell funny, so I eventually took those out. I've heard good things about the floating hollow log though!
  11. MrFluffie

    MrFluffie Valued Member Member

  12. AZrodeo92

    AZrodeo92 Well Known Member Member

    Add tall silk plants. My stressed bettas feel secure when they can wedge into things and feel, essentially, surrounded
  13. 75g Discus Tank

    75g Discus Tank Fishlore VIP Member

    Add anubias barteri. It is a good plant for hiding and bettas can rest on the leaves. Add a ton so there is some good hiding areas.
  14. OP

    tokiodreamy Well Known Member Member

    Wow thanks guys!
    I'll go buy that silly floating log
    I'll also look for a few cave like decor. Maybe I'll add another anubias to it as well.

    Good idea on pouring it in the filter. I may try that since he gets so curious about the new water. I was also contemplating doing a drip line instead. I have most of the materials except the pump. That way the water will be added back in slow enough.

    I'll also look into the aponogeton plants.
  15. MrFluffie

    MrFluffie Valued Member Member

    Can you post pics when he is in the log? ea838bfb7b8aa9c7bc598b07a3e80731.jpg
  16. V

    Voracious David Valued Member Member

    Lol! He's so cute! And I agree on posting a picture of your betta in the log @tokiodreamy :p:p:p
  17. OP

    tokiodreamy Well Known Member Member

    I'll have to do that! I'm going to buy all the things this weekend
  18. OP

    tokiodreamy Well Known Member Member

    Here's the update!
    I added 2 fake silk plants, an anubias compacta, the betta log and the leaf hammock.
  19. MrFluffie

    MrFluffie Valued Member Member

    Very cool!!!! I’m so excited for him!! Can you tell that he is so happy?
  20. OP

    tokiodreamy Well Known Member Member

    Its only been 12 hours and he has HUGE stress lines because of all the changes made. But when I was adding everything he was more curious than anything. Never flared or attacked my hand. I'll see how he is in a few days. He definitely likes the back corner now where the amazon compacta is.
    I have an anubias plant from my 29g that is growing out of control. I plan to propogate it and add it to this tank as well.
  21. OP

    tokiodreamy Well Known Member Member


    As promised:



    His stress lines are still there but way less noticeable than normal. They're prominent in the photos because I put a small cucumber piece into the tank for the snail and he was not havin it. Instantly took it out.
  22. FishBeans

    FishBeans Valued Member Member

    Hey there great job trying to make your guy comfortable! I see one or two of the fake plants might be a top fin? Just be careful of the white pointy part, it could be a bit "sharp" where it could snag his fins. The one I got was, but it might have been a defect. Good luck :)
  23. cadd

    cadd Well Known Member Member

    What are stress lines?