Video: neurotic betta?

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by stefphanni, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. stefphanniNew MemberMember


    I recently bought a male VT from Petco, and placed him in a 0.75 gal tank. Realizing the error of my ways, I promptly purchased a 3 gal tank, which arrived 2 days later. I filled the new tank partway with aged/treated/filtered water. I added all of the water from the previous tank to the new tank. In the old tank he acted perfectly "normal" - swimming casually, exploring, flared at his reflection in a mirror (I only did this once for about 15 seconds). In the new tank, he paces, has what looks like seizures, does not explore, and will not flare at his reflection. I uploaded a video to youtube:

    The water temp is 79-81F. I have been doing 50% water changes every three days, should I do 100% changes? I have a mechanical filter and have used it sparingly because I was afraid the current was upsetting him. I have not tested any water parameters - ammonia/nitrites/pH etc. I live in Manhattan (we are supposed to have excellent water ..for human standards anyways), I use a Pur filter and condition the water with Elive betta water conditioner.

    There is a female in the tank beside him but they are separated by a paper divider so he cannot see her. She is acting normal, so I don't think it is an issue of water quality. They are in basically the same water with the same change regimen.

    He has a ghost shrimp as a tank mate. They don't bother each other. There are a handful of live plants too.

    I was over-feeding him the first two days of ownership, stupidly following the recommended "as much as they can eat in 1-3 minutes twice a day" on the pellet container. Well he could eat about 8 small pellets in 1 minute. So he was getting 16 pellets a day!! I cut back to 3 pellets twice a day.

    Any ideas?

  2. I love my pufferValued MemberMember

    Temp is WAY to high!!! Lower to 77 78 at most. This is probably the issue

    Also you are over feeding. I feed my 3 boys 1 pellet every 3 days with the occasional bloodworm. If you continue to feed like this he WILL get swim bladder disease from to much food!! To much changing water also! With his filter a 25 percent water change once a week is in order. Try this and see if he improves after a few days, keep me updated and he should get better. If not we may have a more serious problem at hand. Check your water( petco and petsmArt do it for free) your Bettas also need much more decor then that. Well planted aquariums with lots of hiding spots

    Best of luck!
    I love my puffer
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2014
  3. FiscCyningWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to Fishlore and great job researching and improving your betta's habitat for him! He must love the 3 gallon and its swimming room. If the video shows the extent of the behavior you're worried about, then it really is nothing to worry about. That's just how bettas swim when they're excited (some people call it a dance). My boys do that every time they see me by their tanks. It's not a seizure, he's just overcome with excitement. He probably was a bit depressed in the old smaller container which is why you didn't see him doing it in there.

    I would recommend filling the tank up the rest of the way, since he doesn't seem to have any trouble swimming to the surface. It will just give him even more room to enjoy. In a new tank like that, if will still be going through the nitrogen cycle (click the words if you're not familiar with it) so it should have frequent partial water changes to keep ammonia down (50% is good during the cycle). If you have a water test kit I would recommend checking the water parameters - especially ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate - to see where you are in the cycle. If you don't have a kit, most fish stores will test the water for you for free, but a kit is a good investment.

    Also, if you can keep the filter running constantly it will help with water conditions and maintaining the cycle. You can always put a little bit of filter media (sponge) where the water comes out to baffle the flow if it is too strong.

    Edit: your current feeding schedule of 3 pellets twice a day is just fine. That's about what most experienced betta keepers feed. Temperature is also good. 78-80 degrees is ideal temp for bettas. 25% weekly water changes will be perfect once your tank has completed the nitrogen cycle and has the beneficial bacteria needed to break down ammonia, but until the tank cycles more frequent larger water changes will keep the ammonia levels safe.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2014
  4. CoradeeModeratorModerator Member

    It looks like perfectly normal behaviour to me, my Bettas used to do similar whenever I approached the tank hoping I was bringing food.
    You could add some more plants to make his tank more interesting for him, watch out for sharp edges if you use plastic plants, silk are better.
    I agree with FiscCyning on the temperature though I only fed mine two pellets twice a day but every fish is different & if he's very active he's burning more calories.
    I'd also fill the tank up to give him more water to swim as long as it has a good fitting lid as Bettas are excellent jumpers
  5. I love my pufferValued MemberMember

    All good advice but still monitor him. If truly healthy and happy he will
    That still to me looks a bit funny. Add some more decor and if any more problems- please tell us right away

    here it is 
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  6. FiscCyningWell Known MemberMember

    While bubble nests are a sign of a happy male betta, not all males like to build bubble nests. I have 4 perfectly healthy males right now and only 2 of them ever build nests. One of them does so nearly constantly - he appears to be wooing the male on the other side of the divider :rolleyes: - and another will build them occasionally. The others just seem to have no interest in building nests despite being otherwise healthy and happy, and I have had some males live long, happy lives without ever building one.
  7. junebugFishlore LegendMember

    Bettas thrive in temps ranging from 75-83, so the temp in the OPs tank is perfectly fine. Feeding 1 pellet every three days is fine for your fish, but so is feeding 3 pellets twice a day. The OP is not overfeeding anymore so again, this is not the issue. The fish doesn't look bloated at all in the video and clearly does not have an issue with his swim bladder. Changing water often in a betta tank is also not an issue, especially since this is a new tank and isn't cycled. So again, not the issue.

    Personally it looks to me like he's seeing his reflection and hasn't gotten used to it yet. Give him a few days to settle down. I've had bettas tank a month or more adjusting after coming home from the store, so don't get too worried too soon.

    In reference to your filter use - use it. All the time. It's the best way to keep your water clean, and clean water = happy fish. If that's the tank I think it is, it came with a small air powered internal filter, yes? Perhaps a Tetra brand 3i? If so, you'll want to change the carbon cardtridge once a month, or with live plants, you can remove it completely. Regardless of your choice there, you'll want to stuff some aquarium foam into the filter as well, so your BB can grow on that and you won't lose the cycle when you change your carbon.

    If you haven't done it yet, read up on the nitrogen cycle and how to cycle a tank. Your fish will thank you :)
  8. stefphanniNew MemberMember

    Thank you everyone for your quick responses and great insight.

    I did have more decor (some cheap silk plants), but after he split his tail I took everything but the live plants and a smooth glass cup out! Could his split tail be hurting him? Maybe if the ammonia is too high it burns him.

    I will get the filter going again. I actually upgraded to the Azoo Mignon filter.. I didn't believe anyone on the forums when they said a $3 fish can easily cost you $100.... *sigh ... and now I need that biomax filter media...

    I'll fill the tank again. That was another theory I was testing .. I thought maybe going from 0.75 gal to 3 gal was overwhelming, so I dropped it to around 2 gallons to see if he felt more cozy? No luck.

    He was making bubble nests in the old 0.75 =/

    I've tried to figure out if he can see his reflection... from the front of the tank, I can see his reflection on the side wall.. but I think that's because the light is bending off two pieces of plastic from my vantage point. But in case he can see his reflection, I placed construction paper around the two sides he paces along. I also turned his overhead light off - the LEDs are so bright. Not sure if any of that is helping.

    I have only had the little guy for 9 days now, and he's made 3 moves - from the dreaded cup, to his 0.75g studio apartment, and now in his under-decorated.. ah, minimalist penthouse. I'll give him some time and let you know if there are any changes.
  9. I love my pufferValued MemberMember


    Sent from my XT1030 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
  10. stefphanniNew MemberMember

    video update

    I did a 50% water change yesterday and fired the filter back up. I took away the "privacy divider" between my two tanks (a female crowntail is living next door to him). Bowie seems much more relaxed today. I think he is finally settling in to the new tank.

    I know, it's still a bit sparse, but I don't want to change his tank around until he is calm for a few days.

    Here's a video update of what I consider "normal fish behavior":

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