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Betta Facts and FAQ: Betta Fish Care, Behavior and Tank Setup

Updated on February 01, 2016
EricDockett profile image

Eric is an aquarium enthusiast with over two decades of experience caring for a wide array of tropical fish.

Successful Betta fish care requires knowing the facts about their behaviors and tank setup.
Successful Betta fish care requires knowing the facts about their behaviors and tank setup. | Source

About Betta Fish

Betta fish are easy to care for, but they have some special tank requirements due to their behaviors. They are colorful fish, both fierce and fragile, and require a unique set of conditions in which to thrive.

If you've just brought your new Betta home you probably have a lot of questions. This article can help you figure it all out, and give you the information you need to provide your new pet with a healthy environment where he will be happy for many years.

Or, perhaps you're having trouble with a Betta you've had in the family for a while. It is tremendously disheartening when a pet gets sick or starts acting strangely, but you're not alone. Here you can find the answers to many frequently asked questions about Betta fish and the things they do.

Maybe you'll discover your Betta's actions aren't so weird after all!

Even though the tiny cups they come in at the pet store might suggest otherwise, Bettas are not disposable pets. They require the same care and respect as any animal. Are you up task?

Of course! If you didn't care about your Betta fish you wouldn't be here! So let's get down to business.

Betta Fish FAQ: Behaviors, Facts and Fighting

Have some questions about your Betta fish? Is he doing something strange? Are you worried about his health? Odds are you're not the first Betta owner to witness this behavior.

I really wanted to make this article a comprehensive guide to caring for Betta fish. However, I have a lot say on the subject, and I didn't want it to be so long that you'd be snoring before you got to the end. So, I've broken out some of the more important points into separate topics you may find useful, or may want to come back to later.

If you are new to Betta keeping, or if you just want to learn more about this wonderful tropical fish, you can find in-depth answers to many of your questions in the articles below. If you don’t see your question addressed here, scroll down and you’ll find many more facts about Betta fish and their behaviors.

After all of that, if you still can’t find the answers to your Betta questions feel free to ask in the comments section below! I do respond ASAP to all legitimate questions, but be patient and give it a day or two.

If your Betta is making bubble nests it means you're doing a good job!
If your Betta is making bubble nests it means you're doing a good job! | Source

More Betta Care Questions and Answers

Didn't find the answer you needed above? Here are more frequently-asked questions on Betta fish care and behavior.

Why are there bubbles at the surface of the water?

It’s a mating thing, but in this case it means you have a happy Betta. Male Bettas build bubble nests, especially when they are content.

Why is my Betta hiding in the corner of the tank?

Bettas need some kind of decoration or structure they can swim into when they need to feel safe. If that isn’t provided, and he feels he needs it, you may find him tucked into a corner. Always provide a place for him to escape to.

Why is my Betta resting on a plant leaf?

This is normal Betta behavior, and as long as he appears otherwise healthy it is no concern. He’s just lazing around.

Why is he restlessly swimming up and down the sides of the tank?

This is called glass surfing and it’s usually a sign that a fish in unhappy in its environment. It could be because of poor water conditions, or it could be because the tank is too small.

A one-gallon bowl is the bare minimum you’ll need for your Betta, but still awfully small. Bigger is better. Like any tropical fish, Bettas need to swim around and have a little space to be happy and healthy. One word of caution: Bettas do not like fast currents, so if the filtration in the tank is pushing him around it could be causing him stress.

Why is my Betta flaring up at the glass of his tank?

He sees his reflection and thinks it is another Betta fish! This may be comical, and to some extent good for the fish, but don’t let it go on for hours on end. Adjust the light near his tank so he doesn’t see himself.

How can I have two male Betta fish in the same tank?

The only possible way is to use a divider system to partition the tank. Otherwise, two males in the same tank will severely injure or even kill each other.

Male Bettas are aggressive fish, and will attack each other and fish similar to them. It’s important to realize this when planning the environment where your Betta will live.

Can Betta live in a community tank with my other fish?

Maybe. It depends on the temperament of the other fish, and your Betta. Many people keep Bettas in tanks or bowls separate from their other fish, which is fine. But few people realize Bettas can be fine community fish as well, under the right circumstances.

Always have a backup plan (small tank or bowl) ready in case Betta doesn’t get along. See the article listed above for more information.

What are the correct water conditions for a Betta?

If you are lucky enough to live where you have fresh, clean water without additives floating around in it, this will be fine for your Betta.

If your water is drinkable, but you know it contains additives such as chlorine, there are dissolving tablets you can purchase that will condition the water and make it safe for your Betta.

If you are unsure about the safety of your water you can purchase quality bottled spring water.

It’s a good idea to have the pH of your tap water tested. You can bring a sample and ask the staff at the pet store to do this for you, or you can purchase a kit and do it yourself.

Should I wait for the tank water to get visibly murky before doing a water change?

No! By then it’s too late.

If your Betta lives in an unfiltered setup you’ll need to completely change his water and clean his tank weekly. If he is in a tank with filtration, you need to change about 20% of his water weekly.

It’s best not to net him if you need to remove him from his home. His fins are fragile and it can greatly stress him. A better idea is to scoop him out into a small cup or bowl while you perform the weekly maintenance.

Be aware that Bettas can jump, so make sure he’s in a safe place.

Betta needs certain considerations when it comes to tank setup.
Betta needs certain considerations when it comes to tank setup. | Source

Where do Betta Fish come from?

In the wild, Betta (Betta splendens) can be found in ponds, slow-moving creeks and rivers in Southeast Asia.

The Bettas you purchase in the pet stores are all male, and bred to bring out their amazing colors and flowing fins. Wild Bettas are far more dull. Some pet stores sell female Bettas, but they are not nearly as common.

What makes them different than other fish?

Betta fish are Anabantoids, which means they can breathe air above the water through their mouths as well as obtain oxygen from the water through their gills.

This is why you’re able to keep a Betta in a bowl without filtration or water movement, for short periods of time: They can exist in low-oxygen water environments where other fish would perish. In the wild, this means rice paddies or even muddy puddles.

However, this is not an excuse to keep Betta fish in inhumane conditions. You could live in a closet if you had to, but it wouldn't be very pleasant!

What Do Betta Fish Eat?

Your Betta will eat flake food, or special Betta pellets, as well as freeze-dried foods and (thawed) frozen foods. Experiment and see when he likes. It’s best to find a good flake or pellet food for his regular feedings and provide the more exotic foods as treats.

Your Betta won’t eat a lot, so pay attention to what he’s letting float to the bottom of the tank and learn to gauge the appropriate amount of food to feed. Remember, he is one small fish and doesn't need a lot of food. Uneaten food can spoil the water.

Why is his face white?

This is due to stress. If he just went through a water change or some other event where his environment was disturbed he should relax in a few minutes. If it seems like he’s always stressed some possible reasons include poor water conditions, no hiding spots in the tank, or a tank that is too small or overcrowded.

Why is my Betta swimming sideways?

If you notice buoyancy issues with your fish, it could be because of swim bladder issues. Overfeeding and poor water conditions are the cause of many Betta maladies. Do a water change, and switch to an alternate day feed/fast schedule for a week and see if he improves.

Why are my Betta’s fins deteriorating?

This is often due to poor water conditions. Keep up with water changes, don’t overfeed, keep his water super-clean and he ought to recover.

Why does my fish look like his scales are ready to pop off?

If your Betta seems to be blowing up like a balloon to the point where his scales seem to be ready to burst, this is condition called dropsy. Unfortunately it is usually fatal, but can be prevented if you avoid overfeeding, especially live or very rich foods like bloodworms.

Take Good Care of Your Betta!

Betta are so popular not just because they are beautiful, but also because they are so easy to take care of. But don’t make the mistake of thinking they are disposable pets. If you follow the simple steps necessary to keep your Betta happy and healthy, he’ll live a couple of years and might even end up your favorite fish.

Please don’t keep your Betta in a tiny cube, and if you’re given one in a plant vase please liberate him as soon as possible. Good luck with your Betta, and here’s hoping there are many happy bubble nests in your future!

How is your Betta Care knowledge?

Do you feel confident that you know all the facts to properly care for your Betta fish?

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    • sheilamyers 3 years ago

      Thanks for the lesson about Bettas. I've never had one because I've always been told you can't put them in the tank with other fish and I didn't want two tanks. You said they will fight with each other and I get that part. When you say fish similar to them, what does that mean? Other types of betas, fish with big fancy fins, or both? For some reason I can picture me putting a Betta in my tank and him utterly destroying my two tetras - I can't remember what they're called but the look a little like angel fish and have the big billowy fins like the beta.

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 3 years ago from USA

      Thanks Sheila! Yes, any fish with flowing fins may bring out aggression in a Betta. Fish like lyretail mollies and fancy guppies are good examples. Bright colors might do it too. I've also seen Bettas act very aggressively toward other small anabantids like dwarf gourami. You never really know what an individual Betta might do until he is in the tank. Always have a backup plan.

    • sheilamyers 3 years ago

      Thanks for the explanation. If I finally decide to get a Betta, I'll stick to your advice and be sure to have a smaller tank nearby.

    • Geekdom profile image

      Geekdom 3 years ago

      Very informative Hub. I always felt it was cruel to have them in such small bowls, but never had "proof". I will make sure to spread that little bit of information about a minimum one gallon bowl.

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 3 years ago from USA

      Thanks Geekdom. Remember 1 gallon is the absolute minimum. Bigger is much better. I wouldn't put a Betta in anything under 5. Some people won't put them in anything less than 10. They're like any other tropical fish. They need room to swim around.

    • jericho911 profile image

      Mark 3 years ago from Ohio

      I've kept them in community tanks with tetras and never had a problem.

      Maybe yours are different because I only like scissor-tail tetras.

      Nice hub !

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 3 years ago from USA

      Thanks jericho911. I agree they're probably fine with most tetras, especially if you have a decent little school of them. However, if Betta is getting his finned nipped by something that seems like an otherwise docile fish, of course he'd have to come out. Sometimes the danger is more to Betta than to the other fish.

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      This is a well-written, very interesting hub. I never had any luck with fish, so I haven't had a fish tank in many years, but friends of mine do. I will share this with them as I'm sure they could use some of this advice. Voted up!

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 3 years ago from USA

      Thanks epbooks! Hope your friends find it helpful!

    • Dreamhowl profile image

      Jessica Marello 3 years ago from United States of America

      This is a great resource about betta fish. I have had two in the past and they each lived in a 1.5 gallon tank with a water filter, underwater heater and other accessories. They definitely seemed happier having all that room to themselves. Voted up!

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 3 years ago from USA

      Thanks for the kind words, Dreamhowl!

    • Miss Crayola profile image

      Miss Crayola 3 years ago from Sainte-Marie, QC, Canada

      Lost one Betta recently. For sure your advices will help me taking care of the last one better.

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 3 years ago from USA

      Thanks Miss Crayola. I hope you have better luck with your next Betta.

    • LisaKoski profile image

      LisaKoski 3 years ago from WA

      Thanks for providing such an informative hub! I've had Betta in the past but it's been a while. I've been considering getting another one but wanted to do some research first this time since I almost lost my last little buddy prematurely. I will definitely be taking another look at this before I start gathering up all of the necessary supplies!

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 3 years ago from USA

      Thanks Lisa! I'm sure you'll do great with your new Betta, whenever you decide to take the plunge.

    • Insane Mundane profile image

      Insane Mundane 3 years ago from Earth

      I've had various sizes of fish tanks and tropical fish for several years, and the Betta is one of the most poorly placed fish in this aquatic hobby, that I have ever seen. It is good to read somebody that also doesn't believe they belong in a tiny bowl or tank. Personally, I'm not a big fan of 'em, but the few Bettas I have had, were in a 29 gallon community tank. Unlike what some people think, the Bettas are actually timid, poor little fish when compared to others. When you have two males together they will often fight each other, but other than that, I always had to worry about the other fish killing them. Even the tiny tiger barbs would pluck them to death, if they felt feisty enough; ha!

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 3 years ago from USA

      Thanks for adding your experience, Insane Mundane. I agree on all counts. People have to be more aware of the needs of the Betta fish before purchase.

    • Stephanie Fay 2 years ago

      I worked in PetSmart for a while and it was always so frustrating seeing people buying the tiny cubes or fishbowls for bettas; I did my best to talk them out of it but sadly some people just wouldn't listen.

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 2 years ago from USA

      I can imagine how frustrating it must have been! I store like that should make it their mission to educate people correctly, but I know people don't always listen.

    • brad 2 years ago

      I have 3 bettas: an adult female, an adult male, and a baby betta. I also have a community tank with black skirt tetra, white skirt tetras, albino cory cats, bumble bee mollies, common petstore fish. I don't have really any problems with my fish usually, but there's one of my fish that I'm having a nightmarish time with: my solid orange, adult male veil tail.

      He's extremely aggressive. He flares at absolutely everything. If you touch the side of his tank, not tap it, but just touch it, he flares. I put a ping pong ball in the water for him to play with and he continually fanned out and flared at it. It tried moving him into a 10g glass tank but the glass is kind of reflective inside and he flared at his reflection constantly no matter which way I turned the tank, no matter if the lights were of, no matter what I did he was constantly flaring.

      The only thing he's semi-happy in is a plastic storage container with a sponge filter, and I believe he's got a slight case of fin rot now. Storage containers aren't meant for fish and I believe bacteria is growing much easier on the plastic than it would on acrylic (which is really plastic, but not the same type of thing) or glass. So now I'm left with the predicament, "what do I do now"...?

      This fish flares at everything and will flare at his own reflection until he doesn't see it anymore. I'm building a glass tank, I'm thinking about building a small acrylic tank, small because I can't find any acrylic suppliers. But acrylic looks like glass, but would it be as reflective on the inside...?

      I'm really stuck here

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 2 years ago from USA

      Gosh, that's a tough one Brad. Some fish are just more high-strung than others. One thought that comes to mind is finding a shallow planter-like container that's wider than it is tall. One that holds maybe 8-10 gallons of water and doesn't have a hole in the bottom for drainage (obviously). Layer some pretty river rocks on the bottom along with some bigger stones, and plant a few stalks of lucky bamboo.

      The downside is you'll only be able to see the fish when you look into the planter, but he wont have anything to flare at, and if the water is 4-6" deep in will be a great environment for him, swimming around the rocks and bamboo. And the planter will look nice on its own.

      Clearly there are a few concerns with a setup like this. You'd have to find or build the perfect planter, research what its made out of to be sure its safe for fish, and make sure its big enough. I'd probably use an air tube to vacuum out any debris between the pebbles, and change about half the water once a week. And you'd have to find a way to keep the water warm enough.

      A lot of work for one little fish, but it would be a fun project. Otherwise, it seems like any non-reflective glass you could build an aquarium out of would also be too opaque to see through.

    • Juliana 2 years ago

      Do bettas like light a lot or can I turn the light off at night? because it seems as though at night when the lights on the glare causes him to flare at his reflection

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 2 years ago from USA

      Hi Juliana. Like most fish, Betta need a day/night cycle, so light on in the day and off at night is fine. If he is flaring too much when the light is on in his tank, but off in the room, trying keeping the light on in the room whenever it is on in his tank. A little flaring is not a problem, but too much stress is no good for him. Good luck!

    • skye 2 years ago

      my betas died both of them just now

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 2 years ago from USA

      Skye: I'm sorry about the loss of your Bettas. I read your other comments about the glass surfing and lethargy. It really sounds like you had some kind of water quality problem and/or tank size issue. If you are unsure about the safety of your water see if a local fish store can test it for you before you buy any more fish. Also make sure each Betta has a bare minimum of one gallon of space in their individual tank, though I'd really prefer to see them in 5+ gallons each.

      There's also the chance that you did nothing wrong and they died for other reasons. I'd really suggest keeping one Betta at a time until you can sort out the issues. Good luck and sorry for your loss.

    • skye 2 years ago

      what could be wrong with the water? could i have put too much conditioner in? I put the half moon named midnight in the bowl when he is usually use to the tank and the dumbo which was dumbo in the tank when he was use to the bowl and that is when they both started freaking out and i thought they would be okay. I saw midnight swimming but his fins were turning white and his lips were also. I than put him back into the container he came in because I read the part where white on his lips means he is stressed so i wanted to calm him down Dumbo i didn't think anything was wrong just the part where he stopped swimming and stayed at the top but i also put him back into the container he came in. I put Meliflex if you ever heard of it in with midnight because I thought maybe it would help but my other betta princess swallowed some and she got high off of it she died because she jumped out but it didn't kill her and I thought that was what happened to midnight when he started going on his side but I guess not he was just dying did i do something wrong??

      like should i have not put them in different tanks I also forgot to leave them in the containers for ten to fifteen minutes so they could get use to it. The water was just like before though what did I do I would really like to know because I have never had this problem

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 2 years ago from USA

      I can't know for sure what was wrong with the water, which is why I suggest taking it to someone who can test it for you. Take a sample of the water straight from the source (tap or bottle) before you add anything to it.

      It is possible you put too many additives in the water. Don't use water conditioner unless you are sure you need it (get water tested). Melafix is medicine used to treat infections, and if there was no evidence of infection there was no reason to add it to the water.

      I prefer put as few additives in the water as possible. Find out where your water source stands and figure out the minimum you need to add to it

      I do not think switching them in the tank/bowl would have caused their death, but it would have likely resulted in short-term stress. Putting them back in the containers they came in definitely would cause stress.

      You mentioned you didn't wait very long before returning them to their tank/bowl. If the water was extremely cold that could have been the problem.

      It's common to try to over-correct things when it seems like fish are in trouble. Focus on providing super-clean water with as few additives as possible and try not to move them around too much. When you perform a water change don't stick them back in the little cups they came in; find some larger containers. Make sure you let the water come back to room temperature before returning them to their homes.

      Good luck and try not to feel too badly about this. It's a learning process.

    • jayna 2 years ago

      ive had my beta for about 2 weeks now and hes seemed happy the whole time i read the information above and he seems to do normal stuff with the bubbles and everything but all of a sudden today he buried himself under the glass rocks in the tank and was just laying there i thought he was stuck so carefully moved the rocks off him and he swam up like normal then tried to bury himself again why would he all of a sudden do this? i change his water once a week and use water conditioner theres nothing white on him and still looks his normal color. could he just need a cave in there or something? right now he just has a bright pink artificial plant which he seemed to not mind at first

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 2 years ago from USA

      Hi Jayna. I'd certainly suggest giving him a hiding spot like a cave. Anything safe for aquariums that he can easily swim into will be fine. I'd bet that will solve the problem but if not let me know. Good luck!

    • lulu noland 2 years ago

      My daughter has a male betta fish and he swims very slow at times what does that mean for her fish?

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 2 years ago from USA

      Hi Lulu. I wouldn't worry just because he's swimming slowly. Betta aren't prone to dashing around for no reason. Watch for other signs like swimming lopsided, glass surfing or if he appears bloated, but swimming at a slow pace isn't much cause for concern. If he is in a very small tank or bowl you may see him become more active if you give him a bigger home.

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 2 years ago from USA

      Paige: I can't even guess what could be wrong without knowing more. What kind of tank is he in? What kind of water did you put in the tank? Did you ever have it tested to make sure it is safe for fish? What kind of decorations are in there? Is he floating sideways or is he just looking lazy at the top of the water?

    • Paige 2 years ago

      I found out what was wrong it need the warm water

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 2 years ago from USA

      That's good news, Paige! Remember that Betta need warm water like any tropical fish. Good luck with your new Betta!

    • Lizzysweet 2 years ago

      My betta dose not know how to eat what do I do. It is a male

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 2 years ago from USA

      Hi Lizzy. Don't worry, your Betta knows how to eat! If he is new in his home me may still have some stress. Give him a few flakes or a pellet or two, and if he doesn't eat it try again tomorrow. He will not starve. Make sure you are feeding him the appropriate Betta or tropical fish food, and do a water change and remove uneaten food if it starts to accumulate in the tank.

      Just be patient. It's better to underfeed than overfeed.

    • Lizzysweet 2 years ago

      Thank u

    • paige 2 years ago

      hi its me again page wondering does bettas need real or fake plants and which kind of plants

    • EricDockett profile image
      Author

      Eric Dockett 2 years ago from USA

      Either real of fake plants are fine for Betta fish. Real plants make a nicer ecosystem, but if you don't have a lot of experience with aquarium plants you're probably better off starting with artificial plants.

    • paige 2 years ago

      Oh thank you a lot I'm sure she is going to love them thank you a lot

    • Anya 2 years ago

      Why isn't my fish eating or swimming around; why is he just lying on the bottom of the tank? I just got him yesterday and I'm really worried.

    • EricDockett profile image
      Author

      Eric Dockett 2 years ago from USA

      Anya: He may just be adjusting to his new home. Give him some time. Make sure he has quality water, a place to hide and enough room to swim and he should start exploring his space.

    • Kylie 2 years ago

      I brought home a male crowntail 5 days ago because he wasn't doing too well in his little cup at the store. He was sitting vertically, with his mouth at the surface and his tail down on the bottom of the cup. I now have him in a 5.5 gallon heated aquarium and he is still doing that, although it isn't always at the surface. He swims fine, no lopsidedness and he seems otherwise healthy but sometimes when he stops it looks almost like his tail is dragging him down and his head goes up and he's just sitting vertically. Like I said, he was doing this before I got him, but I treat the water with Stress Coat+ and do 25% changes every 2-3 days. He also seems relatively lethargic compared to my female betta. Also, are there any foods you would recommend? The only things I've been able to get him to eat so far are live or frozen brine shrimp. He refuses to eat Tetra betta flakes or pellets.

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 2 years ago from USA

      Hi Kylie. Sorry to hear about this. It sounds like you are doing everything right. I think all you can do is hope he bounces back. If the water in his lousy little cup was very bad perhaps be became accustomed to taking air from the surface. It may take him time to adjust to better water where he can actually breathe. I'd keep trying to get him to eat the Betta food, but whatever he'll eat for now is better than nothing.

      It has to be really traumatic for Bettas to be squeezed into those tiny cups for long periods of time. I hope he recovers. He obviously has a good home now.

    • alisha 2 years ago

      just want to know what's going on with my betta fish I just bought a small tank I set it up hopefully the water temperature is good.I realize some things my betta fish for some reason goes to the bottom for a little bit then it swims back up.my beta fish is not eating the food I put in I don't know what's wrong.before I bought this tank I put a her in the bowl she was very

      active now since I got the tank she's not too active as much what possibly could be wrong?

    • EricDockett profile image
      Author

      Eric Dockett 2 years ago from USA

      Alisha: Do you have bubbles or a lot of water flow in the small tank? In my experience, Betta don't like those filters that come with the small tanks so much. Or, it could just be a matter of adjustment to new surroundings.

    • alisha 2 years ago

      Bubbles? meaning the conditioner?because I do have that or also it could be because new surroundings because when I bought the fish it was in a small fishbowl

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 2 years ago from USA

      I mean bubbles created by one of those air-pump filters that often come with the small tanks. He may need to get used to the tank, but if he's still lethargic and timid in a few days try turning off the air pump and see if he perks up after a few hours.

    • Kiley Mckenrick profile image

      Kiley Mckenrick 2 years ago

      My female betta is acting like she is dead but when I walk out of the room she is swimming around acting happy PLZ HELP I had her for 2 and a half years

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 2 years ago from USA

      That's strange, Kiley. Does she have a hiding spot in the tank? Did you recently move the tank, or get new lights in the room, get a new filter or change anything about her surroundings? It seems odd that her behavior would suddenly change without something else being different.

    • Jordanne-Leigh 2 years ago

      Okay so I just got my Betta and when I put the plant in the tank and the other things in the tank Fred (my Betta) wouldn't go to that side at all so i had to take them out is that normal?

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 2 years ago from USA

      As long as the decorations are made for aquariums there shouldn't be a problem, JL. Is there a possibility you've overcrowded one side of the tank and that's why he prefers the other side?

    • Elizabeth 2 years ago

      Hello, I have had my betta for about three weeks now, and he is a very active guy always swimming around and comes to us during feeding time. The. Only time he is non active us a night during bedtime and then he squeezes himself into the corner if.the tank. Today I bought a longer plant and a rock to hide in. He is now very inactive and just still in the tank or laying at the bottom . he is only coming up.for air. Is this normal when changing.g their environment or could he be sick?

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 2 years ago from USA

      Hi Elizabeth. He could just be adjusting to new items in the tank. As long as the decorations are made for fish tanks they should be okay but if he doesn't perk up in a day or two try taking them out again, doing a water change, and see if it makes a difference. If you have a filter, it's also possible that new decorations could have changed the flow around the tank and he may now feel like the only way to escape is to go to the bottom.

      If you are doing everything else right (water changes, etc), often all we can do is try different things until Betta is back to his old self.

    • Kathy 2 years ago

      Hello, I am not sure what is wrong with my betta Flutters. He was chipper and lively and swimming around for weeks after I got him from Petco. I change his water once a week, and the one - gallon tank he's in has a filter but I only run it a couple of hours a day so that his water doesn't become stagnant and also so that he doesn't become stressed. I noticed him not looking very good particularly after I had to remove a pink flower plant (it was necessary because it had some kind of black something, possibly fungus, that permeated the leaves and so I had to throw it out). I think he really liked it because he laid on it a lot. I'm trying to get a new one but the Petco I got it at never seems to have any. Anyways his symptoms are his fins are clamped and I did notice yesterday that they are starting to rot a little. He attacks his food with gusto but then spits it right out a lot of times. He does that glass surfing thing (never realized it was a symptom until I read your article!) and lately he's been constantly running into things and along the bottom of his tank. The thing that worries me the most though his that he gets himself stuck vertically up behind the filter pump in a little aired alcove and will stay there for hours on end (thankfully he can easily get himself out though). I should also note that I do have very odd work and school hours but I try to spend as much time as possible, make sure he's fed, and keep his tank as clean as possible. I am looking to get him a new tank eventually but it's not possible at the current time. I'm worried that he could go the way of my previous betta Indy whom I suspect was depressed right off the bat and passed not long after I got him. At first I suspected that Flutters might have velvet, but because he was already quite iridescent when I got him I can't tell if he has that goldy/rusty powder look that is apparently an important symptom of velvet. I would deeply appreciate any help you could give me :(

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 2 years ago from USA

      Hi Kathy. Sorry to hear about the troubles of Flutters the Betta fish. A few things I'm thinking: If his fins are rotting that's a sign of poor water conditions, stress, or both. It is so hard to keep a one-gallon tank clean, no matter how hard you try. Upgrade his tank when you can, but for now consider putting him on a feed/fast schedule (don't feed him 1-2 days per week), and make sure you're only feeding what he'll eat in a five-minute period of time. This will help keep his water cleaner. Keep up with the water changes, and make sure you are thoroughly cleaning his gravel too.

      Running the filter for short periods and then letting it sit may be causing more harm than good, depending on what kind of filter it is. If it's a HOB nano filter the debris is just sitting in there rotting, and then when you turn it back on the fouled water shoots back into the tank. If it's one of those undergravel airpump filters that come with the small tanks, you're better off leaving it off and focusing on water changes. In a tank this small it's hard to establish a filter the right way.

      Of course ideally you can upgrade to a 5 or 10-gallon tank with the correct nano filter. :-)

      The glass surfing is also a sign that something isn't right in his environment, as is tucking himself behind the filter.

      So, it seems Flutters may be suffering from the typical issues Bettas deal with when housed in tiny tanks. I suspect a bigger tank with good low-flow filtration (which will mean cleaner water), a place to hide, a few decorations to swim around and a solid feeding schedule will solve many of his problems.

      Good luck!

    • Ellie 2 years ago

      I have had my male Betta Bob Dylan for about half a year now and I admit I never did the proper research on it. My friend gave him to me and at first it lived in its cup, then a vase when I wanted something bigger, and now a 10 gallon tank I was able to get my hands on. I have these Aztec figurines for aquariums inside (about 3) and the biggest one is a mini replica of an Aztec pyramid with a hole at the top side. Bob Dylan goes inside the hole at night usually and sleeps inside the pyramid. Today is the first day I actually thought to do research on this because the fish tank is in my foyer and I had the front door open to let in some air. The sunlight was slightly shining on the tank so I wanted to know if the sun was healthy or bad for the fish.

      Long story short, I found out all these things about taking care of a Betta now that I finally looked things up, but now I'm worried. I changed the water (that I always kept at a slightly chilly temperature as a guess) and now its much warmer. But Bob Dylan has remained still and at the bottom of the tank for the past few hours since the water change which he never does when I clean the tank weekly. He only moves to come up for air now. Before when I kept the water warm but slightly chilly I got bubble nests and he seemed fine.

      I don't know if this means he got used to that temperature and now that I'm trying to make the climate the way it should be he doesn't like it... or if he is just adjusting now and I'm overreacting. Also, I used to have a plastic plant in the tank in the middle of a cluster of pebbles for him to *nest in* I guess but I read somewhere that stuff like that were bad for their fins and could tear them so I just took it out. But that was the only real hiding spot I had for him except his pyramid and I don't know if I should put it back in.

      Help please!

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 2 years ago from USA

      Don't panic, Ellie! Are you using an aquarium thermometer to measure the water temp or are you just guessing? His tank temp should be around 75 degrees.

      If you have a ten-gallon tank (which is very good!) you can also have the proper filtration and heater to make sure his environment is stable. The hiding spot is a good thing, but I hope he has more than a small pile of pebbles. His tank needs the proper substrate. Do some research on how to set up a 10-gallon tank for tropical fish. The only difference with a Betta is he will probably prefer a filter with an adjustable output, so you can reduce the flow rate.

      The plant many have been helping him to feel more secure. There are Betta-friendly decorations out there if you are concerned about plastic plants.

      If you are doing all of these things right don't panic if your Betta seems a little lazy. As you suspect, sometimes they need a little adjustment when their tank environment changes.

    • Ellie 2 years ago

      Thank you so much for the advice! I am going to a pet store soon to get better hiding places and appliances for the tank. Right now I just have the figurines and pebbles.

      I do adjust the temperature by guess since I don't have a heater yet though. Today I came home from school and I saw a bubble nest in the corner. Bob Dylan seems back to his old self but when I touched the water to check the temperature, it had gone back to being slightly chilly since my house is relatively cool.

      I don't know if I should leave him in the lukewarm-chilly water since it doesn't seem to affect him or if he would be better off with me trying to warm up the tank more and get him adjusted.

      Also, I was thinking of breeding him with a female Betta and looked up some videos online. I don't think I'm ready yet since I obviously still have some things to learn, but I was wondering what would happen if I did breed Bob Dylan. Would it be okay to leave the spawns in the 10 gallon tank along with Bob Dylan and the mother once they were fully grown or does being related not mean anything when it comes to their aggressive nature? :)

      P.S (sorry for all the questions!) But Bob Dylan has sort of begun to do that glass-surfing thing and when I put my hand against the glass to block his reflection he stops. I figure that means I should find a way to change the lighting but this has never been a problem before with him or where the tank was.

      Also he tends to nose dive a bit or swim vertically to the bottom of the tank and stare at it. Its never long enough to make me worried for his health so I pinned it on him needing a new hiding place now that the plant is gone. Just wanted to be sure that was the case though! Thanks again so much!

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 2 years ago from USA

      Sounds great, Ellie! Bubble nest = happy Betta! Re: Breeding. I'm not really an expert on that, but there are many resources available online. However, I would suggest you really nail down Bob's care management before trying to breed him. Get the tank stable and reorganized and eliminate any remaining behaviors that make you think he's stressed or unhappy.

      The other things to think about is this: What do you plan to do with the baby Bettas? There are already millions of Bettas sitting in tiny cups in stores as we speak. Do we need more baby Bettas? Unless you have a solid plan for them, well, I'd think twice about it.

      That's your business of course, by just adding my 2 cents. Good luck, whatever you decide!

    • Olga 2 years ago

      Hello, I have my betta in a bowl for about 5 months. I put some rocks at the bottom and plant. My husband partially changes water every week. Last week I noticed some sort of white threads floating on the surface. My betta blows a lot of bubbles so, I thought that it might be part of it but then I noticed a thin layer on the surface. When I skimmed it out with the spoon it was white as those white threads. I have no idea what it is. We didn't change anything in our routine recently. Do you know what can it be? Thank you!

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 2 years ago from USA

      Hi Olga. Sorry for the delay! If your Betta is in a bowl you should be doing full water changes weekly. Take the rocks and the plant out and clean them as well. (You didn't say, but I'm assuming it's an artificial plant.) Be sure to let water come back to appropriate temp and condition it (if necessary) before reintroducing Betta

      Partial water changes are okay for larger tanks, planted bowls and tanks with decent filters. Even then (if you do have a live plant) you should be vacuuming the gravel every month or so.

      So, that's my first guess before thinking it is some kind of alien fungus or something. Clean the bowl thoroughly, including rocks and plant, and see if that improves the situation. Good luck and let me know what happens!

    • Noname 2 years ago

      My Berta fish is all of a sudden flaring his fins on the side of the tank. He is the only fish in there and he has a few plants in there so that he can hide, I have a light on beneath the tank showing up on him, could it be that he is seeing his reflection?

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 2 years ago from USA

      Hi Noname. Yes, he is seeing his reflection and thinks he is looking at another Betta fish. It will not hurt him to do this a little bit but don't him spend too much time stressed out over this perceived "intruder".

    • ally 2 years ago

      Just got our 1st beta today for my 17 month old daughter (& myself). Water temp is around 77 (using a kitchen thermometer) in a 1 gallon fish bowl with a leaf hammock and pebbles. I conditioned our tap water per directions from pet store clerk. Our still un-named new friend is staying near the water surface....is he acclimating to his new home or should I be concerned? I have his bowl on a table underneath buffet lamps hoping the "lamp light" would comfort him.

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 2 years ago from USA

      Certainly during the first day he is still acclimating. Remember he has been stuck in a cup for who knows how long! Just keep an eye on him and make sure those lamps don't head his little bowl up too much. Good luck!

    • someone 2 years ago

      To Noname. I actually just got my first betta and he is in a 5 gallon hex tank and he does this also. I found tho that if I turn a lamp on and face it at the tank he stops flaring. I imagine it almost as a one way mirror.. when it is bright in one room and dark in another you just see your reflection, but if both rooms are lit up you see the other room now rather then your reflection.

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 2 years ago from USA

      Good advice, @someone.

    • natthavat profile image

      natthavat 2 years ago from Thailnad

      This is a great resource about betta fish.

    • Nancy Owen 2 years ago

      When I rub my finger down the tank my fish will follow it but when I rub my finger up the tank he back's up I was just wondering why he does that.

    • Jicotea Kinsella profile image

      Jicotea Kinsella 2 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

      I got a beta fish for our office last year. When I bought the fish, I wasn't given any information on care so I mistakenly left the lid off of the little bowl. He jumped out onto the floor the first night! I was shocked to learn that this is actually very common. I wish more people knew about caring for betas before buying them (like I did).

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 2 years ago from USA

      @Nancy: Hard to say why he'd do that, or how your hand gestures look from his little fishy perspective. Maybe when you move your hand up the tank it seems to him that something is coming at him. Remember, he is a little fish, so he probably doesn't recognize your hand, just odd shapes that move around and get bigger and smaller.

      @Jicotea: Excellent point. Betta can jump, so it's always important to keep his tank secure. Sorry for your loss. :-(

    • Kelsey 23 months ago

      I got a half moon Betta a week ago from Petco and he still hasn't eaten! He sits in one corner of the tank and hardly moves. The tank is brand new: 3 gallons, with heater at 80 degrees, a filter, bubbling system. I first gave him pellets, then switched to flakes and some bloodworms. But I eventually fish them out at the end of the day. Petco has a 30 day guaranatee on fish and I needed a fish for my animal behavior class (I need to teach him a basic trick within a month). Any suggestions?

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 23 months ago from USA

      Hi Kelsey. One thought is that the bubble system may be causing him stress. I'd try removing it. Also be sure the filter isn't making too much current in the tank. If it has an output setting dial it back to the minimum. Betta tend to get pushed around by strong currents, and if he is always at one side of the tank that may be where the current is moving him.

      Finally, make sure he has a retreat to hide in. That's another reason he may have tucked himself into a corner.

      Good luck! I hope this works!

    • Betta Owner 23 months ago

      Thanks so much for this article! The first time I saw a bubble nest I didn't know what it was and eventually cleaned it up. :/ I noticed another one today and I'm so glad to have figured out what it really is and was and that my betta is happy and content and that I can happily leave it, and that he probably forgives me from my last accidental "cleaning" of his bubbles. :)

    • Dawny Singer 23 months ago

      We enjoy our Beta Ted. I would like to know how long is the longest time they live. He certainly has character, a personality, that's for sure. It's sad to learn he's got dropsy, he seems to be thriving. We have him for a year so far. He is a serial killer, he has killed every single fish he has encountered except our sucker fish BJ. We call BJ, Ted's maid.

      Thank you, I just had to know more about our beloved fish-finned friend.

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 23 months ago from USA

      @Betta Owner: Glad you learned about the bubble nest. I'm sure you are forgiven for wrecking one or two. He'll just make more! :-)

      @Dawny: Betta typically live a 2-3 years. I've had one live 5 years and there are accounts of them living even longer. If your Betta is killing other fish you consider keeping him alone in a single-specimen tank!

    • kate 23 months ago

      Hi ive had my male crowntail betta for almost two weeks...showing signs of being happy and healthy...loves dinner time..piggy! Only problem being (not sure if it is a problem) he is swimming up and down one side of the tank...ive put up a white piece of paper...encouraged him over the other side of the tank...he comes over to play for about 20 secs then right back to his side. 0.ammonia water has been tested and is fine! Ive put some silk plants over there and hes still there...they're just an obstacle!!?! The filter is calm and is also his bed (he sleeps next to/on it at night) its turned off at night so is the light? His fins are fine etc he is marbling at the moment too. i added 3 pygmy corys yesterday he was fine with them they ignore each other now and sometimes the pygmys join him on his side...he doesn't mind. Ive seen him flare once (when the pygmys were bobbing..before being added) what is it? Is it just his thing...that's what he enjoys? Its not that much of a worry but hes got a big enough tank yet likes one bit!?

      Thanks in advance!

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 23 months ago from USA

      Hi Kate! Glass surfing, as you are describing, always makes me think a fish is not happy in his environment for some reason. You've already checked ammonia and that looks good, and the low-flow filter is good, but you may want to consider water temp and the makeup of whatever water you are using for his tank (chlorine content, etc...are you using a water conditioner if it is tap water?)

      Sounds like he has lots of plants, but does he have a cave or some kind of structure to swim into when he needs it? Also, if you have three other fish in there with him I'd hope he's in at least a 10-gallon tank.

      If he seems otherwise healthy that's a good thing, but glass surfing does indicate some stress. Make small changes one at a time and see if his behavior improves. I'd start with making sure he is in a 10-gallon tank with other fish, 5-gallons if he is alone. Hopefully he'll relax! Good luck!

    • Kate 23 months ago

      Thankyou for the fast response! Im pleased to say the white paper worked..it was his reflextion bothering him...the temp is spot on(78-80) water has been conditioned etc...and the tank was cycled a month before he was added. Ive just bought him a better log with great success (bubble nests at the ready) and he is marbling beautifully! Thanks for the help!

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 23 months ago from USA

      You're welcome, Kate! I'm so glad it worked out! Bubble nest = happy Betta! :-)

    • Jill 22 months ago

      I have a dumbo male betta fish. The other day i noticed he was laying on his side on the rocks no color in him amd not moving so we figured he was dead. The next day i asked if we ever cleaned him out because he wasn't there anymore and everyone said no. Well tge next day he was swimming around looking really good. My dad said he does sleep just not like that. What might of happened?? He also never excepts the betta fish food pallets i give him anymore so i wasn't to surpised to see him "dead"

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 22 months ago from USA

      Hi Jill. I have no idea what could have happened to him, but I'd keep an eye on him. Sounds like he may have swim bladder problems. I'd do a water change and put him on an alternate feed/fast schedule and see how he does. Hope for the best!

    • Madison 21 months ago

      Hey, so I have one male Betta named Leo he's black and blue and he flares at everything even if someone he doesn't know comes in he will flare at them he gets huge and swims super fast his gills puff out and his tail becomes huge I don't want the little guy to get stressed or die please help love ya- Madison

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 21 months ago from USA

      Hi Madison. Unless there are people constantly around his tank it shouldn't be a concern. It won't hurt him to flare up now and then at passing people. It becomes a problem when he flares nonstop, such as when he sees his reflection in the glass for hours or when there are people around his tank for very long periods of time. If that is happening you can put something around his tank to block his view when the room is very busy, or turn off the light in his tank so he can't see his reflection. Hope this helps!

    • mariekbloch profile image

      mariekbloch 20 months ago

      Nice hub. I would have clarified that while distilled water should not contain ammonia or chlorine, it doesn't usually have the basic minerals that fish need either. So if someone was to use distilled water, they would also have to add calcium and magnesium to the water, perhaps even freshwater aquarium salt. Other than that, this is a great article for beginners. Well done.

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 20 months ago from USA

      Thanks for the kind words, Marie, and thanks for pointing out the error. I went back and edited it to say "bottled" spring water. I've always had clean well water for my fish so I've never had to worry about what kind of water to purchase. I've always believed distilled water was a good choice for small tanks, but what you are saying makes sense and some quick research backs it up. Thanks!

    • mariekbloch profile image

      mariekbloch 20 months ago

      You're welcome.

    • Kiara 19 months ago

      I recently got a female betta fish, but after doing more research, I found that bettas don't like other brightly colored fish. I don't have any other fish, but I do have some neon-ish colored gravel and a purple/pink plastic plant. I was wondering if this would be a problem, as I already have her tank set up and want to move her in as soon as possible.

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 19 months ago from USA

      Hi Kiara. Don't worry, your decorations are fine. Your Betta won't care what color it is, as long as the tank is big enough and there are a few plants (real or fake) and a place to hide.

      If your fish isn't in the tank now, where is she?

    • Kiara 19 months ago

      We moved her in today; hopefully all goes well.

    • Samantha 18 months ago

      When I got my beta, he had gravel in his tank, but he got sick. After I took the gravel out he was fine. Did he get sick because of the gravel, or not?

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 18 months ago from USA

      Hi Samantha. If the gravel was regular aquarium gravel it is unlike to have made your Betta sick. However, if you inherited a tank with old gravel that had a lot of old food and debris trapped it, it is possible it could have been fouling the water to the point of causing negative effects on Betta. In that case, removing the gravel and cleaning out the tank may well have made a big difference.

    • Maddy 18 months ago

      Hi, i am getting my betta fish today but i was just reading some things about them. I have some questions, do all filters and heaters make noise? I wanted to put my fish tank in my room and i dont want to be up all night lisening to the noise... Also how big are 5 gallon tanks, again i wanted to put my tank on my desk in my room. Thanks for the help and please tell me if you have any advice! (please ascuse my spelling).

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 18 months ago from USA

      Hi Maddy. All filters will make at least a little noise. It really depends on the brand, the size and the type of filter. A nano filter for a 5-gallon tank should not make very much noise at all, at least not enough to keep you awake at night. Heaters do not make any noise.

      Five gallon tanks are five gallons big. :-) But I think what you are asking is about the footprint and how much space they take up. Some are rounded and take up around the same space as a basketball. Others are rectangular and a little bigger than a men's shoe box. If you check out a few online you should be able to see the dimensions and decide whether or not it will fit on your desk.

      Good luck and let me know if you have any more questions! :-)

    • Maddy 18 months ago

      Thanks for the answers i have one more question, when i go away im going to bring my fish to my neighbors house, since they have a betta fish too. (of course they will not be toghther, because there both boys.) though my question is will it disturb the fish if i bring it across the street? Thanks for the advice!

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 18 months ago from USA

      You're welcome Maddy: You do not want to move him in the tank itself. Scoop him out with a cup and put him in a safe container with some of his water for transport. (Careful he can jump!) Take the water out of the tank and move the tank separately so it does not break. Water weighs over eight pounds per gallon so even a 5-gallon tank is heavier than you'd think.

      Replace the tank water with water from your water source (not your neighbors) which he is used to. Once the water is room temperature he can go back in the tank. This is essentially the same process as a total water change, except you are moving the tank. He may appear stressed at first but he should recover quickly.

      If it will be necessary for your neighbor to add water to his tank while you are gone be sure to leave a supply of water from your water source.

    • Nicole 13 months ago

      I have had my beta fish for 11 days and we put a stone backdrop with a little bit of blue on just over a week ago... Every now and then he swims up the sides of the glass I've read that this is a sign that he is un happy we have plants and two hiding places for him also we have 5 tetras in the tank which he doesn't seem botherd by they often swim together however we put a blue light in today and now he is flaring at the back of the tank, he seemed content at first.. If I go up to the tank and say his name he will occasionally come to the front or come out from where he is hiding ... I am just worried that he is now un happy.

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 13 months ago from USA

      Hi Nicole! How big is the tank? For the Betta and 5 tetras, ideally, they should be in at least a 10-gallon tank together. Anything smaller is overcrowding, and this will cause stress, especially for Betta. If he is "glass surfing" (swimming up and down the sides of the tank) this could be why.

      Water conditions could be another reason, and with 6 fish in a smallish tank (even 10-gallon) you really need to make sure you keep up with tank maintenance. Missing a water change here and there will cause conditions to deteriorate, and will be stressful for all of your fish.

      If he is flaring at the glass it means he is seeing his reflection. It sounds like adding the blue light somehow changed the environment so he can now see himself. If it appears to be causing him stress, the solution is simply to change the light back to normal color and see if he calms down.

      Flaring occasionally isn't bad, but increased stress certainly is. Who knows what fish are thinking or why the blue light is bothering him, but it sounds like it has to go. Good luck and let me know how things go!

    • Nicole 13 months ago

      Hi our tank is 19 gallons even when we had a normal coloured light he would flare at himself however he has seemed to calm down now and only goes up and down the side of the tank during the day , could it be were I have placed him in my living room as I have put him in an alcove near my dinning room table as this is the only place that does not get direct sunlight as I have quite large windows, we always make sure that we go over to the tank a couple of times of day and always go before we leave the house for work and when we come back ...

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 13 months ago from USA

      Hi Nicole. It certainly sounds like the tank is big enough. Placing it out of sunlight is the right idea. If he isn't flaring anymore that's a good thing too, but if the glass surfing worries you try making small changes here and there and see if it helps. Think about water quality, the flow of the filter, the placement of decorations, etc. It's hard to get into the mind of a fish. :-)

    • Confused! 11 months ago

      I got a crowtail betta on saturday. I got a one gallon with a heater, light and filter. I did the fishless cycle and introduced him to the tank yesterday. He was swimming around flaring, then stopped. He is hanging in the corner of the tank by the filter. I can't really tell if he is eating because i see some of it gone and some at the bottom. I had a heater on but turned it off when the water was hitting 84. The water temp slowly went to 70 and that is where I left it. This is my first betta and I am really worried I'll mess up and he will die. Am I expecting too much too fast? I tried turning the heater on again today but I am afraid it will warm up too much( apparently the heater has 'boiled' some customers bettas) and he will get too hot. I do work at petco and did buy him from there but he seemed fine. I am thinking it's stress but just in case...

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 11 months ago from USA

      Hi Confused. As I'm sure you know, 70 is a little cool for a Betta fish. And one-gallon is a little small. It's tough to keep the temp right in those little tanks, and you're right to be concerned that a heater might warm things up too much. My advice is always to consider at least a 5-gallon tank.

      He may come around and adjust to his new environment. Unless you suspect there may be an issue with water quality, you can only wait and see. Good luck!

    • Confused! 11 months ago

      I fear I may be stressing him out way too much with all the changes. I'm going to try and get a bigger tank (If my parents don't kill me first.) so I can make it more comfy for him.

      He was flaring a bit this morning and left his corner. He was swimming around and now has been hanging around the bottom of his tank in one spot. I am tempted to turn the heater back on but for now, I want to avoid causing more changes so he can adjust? I'm not sure on the water quality because it has been two days...i'm somewhat scared to do a small water change because I seriously don't want to shock him to the point of dying.

    • Sarah 11 months ago

      I have a few questions about my betta that I got a few months ago,

      first, I have my fish in a half gallon tank. is this too small?

      second, my fish has a light brown, tan color on his scales under his head. what is this?

      third, I do not have a heater in my tank, would you recommend that I get one?

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 11 months ago from USA

      Hi Sarah!

      1. In my opinion, a 1.5 gallon tank is too small. I always recommend at least 5 gallons, but many people keep Betta in smaller tanks and bowls.

      Just remember the smaller the tank the tougher it is to maintain.

      2. Betta fish faces turn a white or gray color when they are stressed. If you think that's what you are seeing it could be due to the small tank or other living condition.

      3. Betta are tropical fish, so they require temperatures around 75-80 degrees. If your room temp is always at least 75 degrees (even at night) you can get by without a heater. Otherwise, you'll need one. If his tank is too cold that may be another source of stress for him.

      Hope this helped. Good luck!

    • LaFonda 11 months ago

      Hello, weve had our betta (Tuna) for almost 9 months now and hes healthy and doing great! Yea! My 3 yr daughter got a tank with goldfish gave to her for her birthday and unfortunatly they all died, but now weve got a bigger nicer tank for Tuna but im afraid to move him into it? Ive got it all cleaned & ready to move him but im unsure how well he would do? Since the bad expierence with 6 dead fish it would break her heart to loose him! Do u think it would be ok to completly change his world into a bigger tank? It has a bubble pump and lots more movement in the water, dont wanna stress him but wanna see him get upgrade! What should I do? Ive enjoyed all ive learned and would appriciate any advice, thanks...

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 11 months ago from USA

      Hi LaFonda! I'm always in favor of moving Bettas into bigger tanks! But you are wise to make sure you are taking all the right precautions. Make sure the tank is properly cycled. If there is a filter in the old tank you may even want to take a little bit of the old filter media and put it in the new filter to help establish the new bacteria colony.

      A little water movement for aeration is good, but usually a filter does this well enough. Bubblers are mostly aesthetic, and in my experience often cause Bettas stress. If the bubbles are stressing him out you can just shut it off. Or, wait until he is established in the new tank before trying the bubbles.

      Goldfish are tougher to keep than many people realize. Of course anything can happen and there are no guarantees, but if Tuna is a healthy fish, and if you do it wisely, he should be able to move into a bigger world for a long, happy life. Good luck!

    • LaFonda 11 months ago

      Thank you for the advice! I did move him into new tank and hes going bubble nest crazy, Yea! He seems to be happy. I did what you suggested about the bubbles, I turned them off to not stress him in his new home and so far all is going well. We fed him his first pee tonight and he enjoyed it. I didnt expect to get so much enjoyment out of him when I first got him for my daughter but to my suprise its fun watching her learning to care for something as she does Tuna! Hes a wonderful addition to our family and she loves talking to him and watching him enjoying his new tank! (which is a clean tank with no goldfish anymore, that was a expierence I dont want to have ever again! They arent our kinda fish, to hard to keep clean, I really tried!) He has a little girl that wakes up and heads straight to his new tank to check the bubbles hes made so hopefully we can make him as happy as he does us! Thanks again, Ive enjoyed this site and will be here alot checking it out!

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 11 months ago from USA

      You're welcome LaFonda, and thank you for the kind words. Best of luck with Tuna the Betta in the future.

    • Pamela 10 months ago

      This page is awesome and you gave me interesting facts about my fish. Thanks a lot

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 10 months ago from USA

      Thanks Pamela! Glad you found it helpful!

    • Crystal 10 months ago

      Sounds like my betta has similar issues to others, so may be normal...

      I did a lot of research before buying him. I have a five gallon tank with a couple of silk plants and a driftwood structure. I have well water and a system attached that will dispense 7.0 pH water. I have a heater at 78 and lowest filter setting. I've had my betta almost two weeks and up until about three days ago he seemed very happy. But now has gotten lethargic-he rests at various locations in the tank, sometimes even vertically with his head up, both at the surface and below it. He lies at the bottom and comes up for air and goes back down. He hasn't eaten for a couple days so I removed the food and today didn't feed him in case I had been feeding him too much. Not sure what to do or change. :(

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 10 months ago from USA

      That's a tough one, Crystal. It sounds like you are doing everything right. If Betta doesn't start eating again after fasting for a day or two, its time to start thinking about what could be causing this. Can you try shutting the filter off for a few hours? Does he have a hiding spot in his tank? Is he exposed to direct sunlight? Is he due for a water change? Are you adding anything to his tank you could try eliminating for a week or so?

      Think very small changes and try to evaluate his reaction. Good luck and sorry for your troubles!

    • Crystal 10 months ago

      He died :(

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 10 months ago from USA

      I'm so sorry to hear that Crystal. :-( It's possible you were doing nothing wrong at all. Bettas are bred in such high numbers there will always be those who have issues from birth. It's one of the downsides of Betta keeping--it is an industry that really focuses on quantity.

      If you are considering getting another Betta and you want to take some precautions consider getting your water tested and purchasing from a shop that stocks only a small number of Betta at a time (so there is greater turnover and the fish aren't on the shelf for a long time). Maybe you've already done these things, and if so I can only wish you luck.

      I hope your next Betta experience is a better one.

    • Rosalie Genkins 10 months ago

      Ahh!! Thank you so much!!! My betta fish's name is Finnick, and he is a baby boy. I just got him 7 hours ago, and I have been overly worried about him, as he is my first fish. I bought a home for him, to hide in, but he seems to prefer hiding behind the filter. I guess he doesn't like his home... Thank you for giving me these tips, and I have a question. I have these tiny betta food pellets, and I don't want to over feed him, so how many of those should I use in one feeding? I feed him when I wake up and when I go to sleep.

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      Eric Dockett 10 months ago from USA

      Hi Rosalie! Once a day feeding is fine. Give him as much food as he will eat in a couple of minutes. Remember that any food left uneaten will decay and foul the water. Start with only two or three pellets and see how he does. They might seem like tiny pellets to us but they are 16-oz steaks to a little fish! :-) Good luck with your new Betta!

    • Savannah 10 months ago

      Hi, my two year old Butterfly Betta passed away today. I just couldn't figure out what was wrong with him, he would lay at the bottom of the tank and he would try very hard to get up but he couldn't. I cleaned his tank constantly, federal him the right amount of pellets. I've never had this problem before. Do you maybe have some knowledge on this?

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 9 months ago from USA

      Hi Savannah. I'm sorry about your Betta. It's hard to say what could have been the problem and there are many possibilities, including things beyond your control. If you were cleaning the tank "constantly" perhaps you were going a little overboard? If he is in a tank with a filter he'd only require a partial water change weekly.

      If you plan to get another Betta it might be worth it to spend a little time brushing up on Betta care just for your own peace of mind. Good luck whatever you decide!

    • Cassidy 9 months ago

      Why is my betta fin drooping , and no it does not have any black spot or black edging I don't think it's fin roting .. Please help I love my fish

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 9 months ago from USA

      Hi Cassidy. If you're sure your Betta isn't suffering from a disease, is it possible he is under stress for some reason? Is his tank big enough, water warm enough, etc? Is this a recent occurrence? Does he seem off in any other way?

      Anything I'd say is just a guess without more info. It could be his normal condition, but if you think something is wrong I'd always start with the basics like tank conditions and water parameters and go from there.

    • Andrew 9 months ago

      I have a 2.5 gallon (10ltr) tank with thermostat and timer for the light to go on and off with 1 male fighter fish. It used to be really active, now it seems to rest on the bottom a lot after I did a water change. I do a partial water change once a week (around 65% given the size of the tank). He's still eating (I feed him around 5-6 pellets twice a day - before and after work), he's still building bubble nests, but just seems lethargic. I treat the water and make sure it's at the right temp before adding to the tank. I have real plants and there's places in the plants to hide. Curious why he's not as active as before given i haven't really changed anything in what i've been doing.

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 9 months ago from USA

      Hi Andrew. My first thought is you may be feeding him too much. Try backing the feedings off to once per day and give it a week and see if he perks up at all.

      Does he eat all the food? In addition to causing maladies for the fish himself, overfeeding can mean uneaten food that decays and causes poor water conditions. Though the live plants should help with that a bit.

      That's the first thing I'd try. I wouldn't get too worried though, unless you see other issues. Bettas are notoriously lazy, and he may have just found a nice spot to rest. Good luck!

    • Kaitlyn 9 months ago

      Hi, I am not sure why, but I have had my betta for almost 3 weeks now and I decided to start playing with the mirror with him. For some odd reason he acts like the mirror isn't even there. He won't flare or dart around. I didn't know if there was an explanation for this. He is very healthy and active otherwise. He has a lot of quirks, so I am not sure if it is just him being a weirdo. I just wanted to make sure nothing was wrong with him.

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      Eric Dockett 9 months ago from USA

      Hi Kaitlyn. Unless he is showing other signs of illness I wouldn't worry about it. Maybe he isn't seeing the mirror for some reason, or maybe your Betta is a pacifist. :-) I would not take this as a sign that anything is wrong.

    • Maria Di Felice 9 months ago

      Hello! I've recently added two male platys to my 10 gallon tank with my betta, and it's been a couple of days and my betta will not stop hiding! He only comes out rarely for food, and the rest of the time he hides in the logs I bought for him. I'm really worried about it. My main man is the betta and I don't want the platys to agitate him... the platys are just fine they seem very happy and healthy... what could be causing this?

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 9 months ago from USA

      Hi Maria. It does sound like the new fish are causing him stress for some reason. Platies tend to be active fish, so more motion in the tank may be making him uneasy. Give him a while to adjust, but also be sure the platies aren't picking on him. It's unlikely, but possible.

      In my opinion, a 10-gallon tank is a little small to keep a Betta with other fish. If he doesn't come around you may have to re-home him or the platies. Good luck!

    • Shely 9 months ago

      Hi,

      Ive had my betta fish for 9 onths now. I started noticing his fin where starting to clamp more than usual so i started him in tetracycline for a week only. He was active and eating without any problem. I asked a guy in Petco and showed him the picture. He said the tank was to small (0.5 gallon tank) so I bought him a 1.5 tank which includes a filter (he didnt have a filter before).

      He never has had a heater since my apartment stays warm (i live in the tropic) and I use distilled water in which I use Clorokill to eliminate any traces of clorine.

      I usually feed him 3 to 5 pellets a day, he is not bloated at all.

      When I moved him to his new tank I did a 75% water change, but yesterday he started staying in the bottom. Hes always been a very active and happy betta, but now he just sits in the bottom and only swims rapidly to the top and rushes back down.

      What should I do?

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 9 months ago from USA

      Hi Shely. A half-gallon tank is certainly small, and a 1.5 gallon is still pretty small. Tanks like that often have undergravel-type filters that are little more than an air stone and pump. The bubbles may be causing some stress for Betta, so you might try shutting it off for a while and seeing if he perks up. He doesn't need a filter in a tank that small as long as you are on top of water changes and tank cleaning.

      You might also want to switch to spring water, since distilled water is devoid of the natural minerals. You shouldn't have issues with chlorine if you are using bottled water, but you may want to test the water for pH.

      Otherwise, its hard to say what might be going on with him. Maybe he's just found a spot he likes, or maybe there is some other issue happening with no real symptoms. Try small, simple changes and see how he reacts. Good luck!

    • Zach 9 months ago

      Hey, my Betta is in about a 3 gallon tank, but he is always running around the tank very fast. Then he stops and stays still for 1 minute, then he repeats the process. I'm worried for him, and I was wondering what he is doing? And the water in my tank is semi-cold, and I cant afford a heater...

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 9 months ago from USA

      Hi Zach. It's hard to say why he'd be doing that. Cold water can definitely cause stress, and three gallons is a little small. Does he have a place to hide if he wants to, like a little cave or decoration he can get into? If he had a place to escape to maybe he'd feel more secure.

    • Danish Tamboli 9 months ago

      I got a half crown tail betta two days ago and he is pretty active and eats good but he always stays at the top of the tank. I do not have any kind of decor or hiding place. It's a 40 Gallon tank and he has one tank mate viz a 6" shubunkin. I dont know if constantly being at the top of the aquarium is an issue. And is the tank too big for him. Please help. Thanks !

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 9 months ago from USA

      Hi Danish Tamboli. The tank isn't too big as far as Betta's health is concerned. I've had Betta in 55-gallon community tanks and they did just fine.

      Your 40-gallon is a great size for 2-3 goldfish, but goldfish and Betta really are not compatible in the same tank. They have different requirements, and should be kept separately.

      Without knowing a lot more about your tank it is hard to guess why Betta would be hang near the water surface. Goldfish pollute a lot, so if your tank water is sketchy it's possible he is staying up there to be close to the surface for air. A hiding spot would possibly help, but really you ought to consider a separate 5-10 gallon tank just for your Betta.

      Good luck!

    • Lisa 9 months ago

      My son just bought a betta fish I have no clue what to do but from reading I have most of it but his fish don't swim around a lot there is times I walk in there and think he's dead cuz he don't move a lot is this normal

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 9 months ago from USA

      Hi Lisa. Betta aren't always very active fish. They move slowly, and if they find a nice spot they may rest there for a while. If you son's appears especially lazy I wouldn't worry unless you see other issues. He may still be adjusting to his new home as well. Make sure he has quality water, a big enough tank and a place to hide and he should be okay. Good luck!

    • Nicole 8 months ago

      Hi. I accidentally did 100% water change. I saw my male Berta lingering at the surface. I read and started doing partial water changes and now he is hiding in the castle and and then darting around when he comes out. He eats fairly regularly and there are bubbles on the surface. He is a 1 gallon tank. We have had him for 4 months. Please help. I want him to be happy!

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 8 months ago from USA

      Hi Nicole. Don't panic. In such a small tank a full water change isn't necessarily a bad thing. You do need to make sure the water is warm enough and properly conditioned before returning Betta to his tank. He would probably like a bigger tank, but otherwise just do your best to keep his water clean.

    • Kelli 8 months ago

      I have my betta in a 5.5 gallon tank. I added a Cory catfish because I read they can cohabitate, but he attacked the Cory. I'm thinking it was because the Cory was added to "his" tank. Will removing him for a couple hours and introducing a couple of Cories into the tank first and then my betta - will that then become their territory and he's the new one? That's the only way I can add another fish first since he's been in the tank for a couple weeks now.

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 8 months ago from USA

      Hi Kelli. It's hard to guess what your Betta will do, but I would not remove him from his tank for a few hours just to introduce other fish and then put him back in. I don't think it would make much difference, but it will stress him out.

      Really, I advise against having any other fish with him in a tank that small. He's better off alone, and there may be behavioral issues no matter what you do. If you want tankmates consider a 10+ gallon tank. Or, keep him in his 5-gallon and start a community tank in a 10-gallon.

      Also, be aware that cories are schooling fish, so you really ought to have a few of them together.

      Good luck!

    • Nicole 8 months ago

      Hi Eric-

      It's me again. Lol I did a water change and kept some of the water from the previous fully changed tank. I put Berra water conditioner in the water. He is still lingering on the top and every now and then goes and chills in his castle. He isn't really eating unless I put the food right up to him. It almost feels likes he's blind. The water is clear with some foamy bubbles at the top. Is he not happy? What can I do? Thanks!

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 8 months ago from USA

      Hi Nicole. I wouldn't presume he isn't "happy". It's kind hard to say, isn't it? I'd continue to focus on keeping his water clean. Don't do too many water changes too often. Partial once a week is fine, or full every other week. Only feed what he will eat. If he isn't eating, give him a day or so and try again. There is no need to feed him more than once per day. Excess food only decays and fouls the water.

      When a fish is acting strangely it is tempting to keep on making changes, thinking if you only do the right thing he will come around. I've found, unless you see a clear sign of disease or distress, it is best to stick to standard care procedure. Making change after change often makes things worse. Good luck!

    • Angel 8 months ago

      Hello... I have two really happy Bettas Shine is been here for a few months and we got his brother Bootsy about 2 months ago. They are in separate 1.5 gallon tanks. They have filtration, heaters and hiding spots. Shine eats blood worms and flakes where Bootsy is a little more vegetarian and will only take a little bit of worms from my husband... Very infrequently. Shine grew really fast, his colors got beautiful and his fins grew very long. He loves his bloodworms and he has a lot of energy. He swims a lot but I wouldn't say that it's glass surfing because he isn't up against the glass and does different dances for the two of us. Bootsy is the same, has grown and his colors are beautiful and his fins grew long and beautiful too. All of a sudden this morning Shine's back fins look like someone chewed on them all night! I'm really upset. Are we giving Shine too many blood worms? Or do you think maybe he has outgrown his tank? They have perfectly clean tanks and have been fine with their water since we first set everything up. I don't understand why all of a sudden this is happening to him. Bootsy is very happy and shine isn't acting unhappy either but Shine has a lot more energy than Bootsy does and I just thought this had to do with the blood. Thank you in advance!

    • Angel 8 months ago

      Update.. There are now tiny black dots on his fins. There are also holes appearing out of nowhere, in the middle of his top fin. I didn't originally think that it was fin rot but now I am not so sure. Both tanks had a full change almost a week ago. There is nothing that seems to be wrong with Bootsy. Both tanks were changed and treated the same way. We are about to do a full tank change in Shine's tank, putting him in some of Bootsys water in the meantime, since I believe his may be contaminated. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. This is happening at an alarming rate! I do not want to lose my fish.

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 8 months ago from USA

      Hi Angel. Are you talking about frozen bloodworms? If so, are you thawing and rinsing the bloodworms before feeding? This is very important to avoid fouling the water with all the extra junk that's too small for him to eat. One Betta ought to only eat a few worms at a time.

      Whatever is going on it sounds like the Betta who gets more of the bloodworms is the one having issues, and if it is fin rot it comes down to water quality. I'd cut out the bloodworms altogether and switch to a good Betta pellet. That's really all he needs. You may be overfeeding without realizing it. In a tank so small water quality goes bad in a hurry.

      As for the fin rot, if you cut back on his feeding to normal Betta pellets once per day and keep up with water changes it may be all he needs to recover in time. Clean water is the key. Consider dosing his tank with aquarium salt for a week or so.

      I do think those tanks you have are pretty small. The problem you are having is one of the reasons I recommend 5 gallons or bigger for Bettas. It's just too hard to keep up with things when they go wrong in small tanks, and as you have seen it can happen very fast.

      Good luck! I hope your Betta recovers.

    • Angel 8 months ago

      He eats the freeze dried worms but he is a piggy and always begging for more. I had a feeling over feeding may have something to do with it. We did both full tank changes last night and I have the filter and light off in Shine's tank. I am going to do the aquarium salt treatment for a week. My Bettas will not eat pellets so I am going to stick to the flakes they like. Maybe once Shine gets better he can have a worm or two as a treat? Not daily though, I read? And I also read that fin rot can (in the beginning have a milky white look to it) I took a light to Bootsy and in between and at the tips of his fins shine almost iridescent... I really appreciate your fast answers. You have pretty much answered all my questions I've had from doing all research but not having anyone to ask!!! Should I also treat Bootsy's tank with the salt? And do you agree with keeping their lights and filters off? I read that is what's best for the treatment. Thank you so much!!! I don't know if I would feel comfortable doing anything without your articles :-)

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 8 months ago from USA

      Angel: Bloodworms are fine as an occasional treat once he is better. I see no reason to turn off the filter and light in the tank. The carbon in the filter will nullify the effects of some meds, but the salt shouldn't be affected. Use aquarium salt, not marine salt, about 1 tsp per gallon. Only add it when doing water changes and be sure to dissolve it in a cup of water (don't just dump it in). If you feel better turning off the filter just make sure you do several water changes during his treatment.

      Do not treat the tank for the other Betta unless he is also showing symptoms. Using salt prophylactically will reduce its effectiveness when you really need it.

      Good luck! Keep it simple, keep his water clean, get back to basic feedings and hopefully he will recover in no time.

    • Whitney 7 months ago

      I just brought home a beta and he's awesome but I've noticed he swims but then he stops and he looks dead but then he starts to swim a little more and then chills at the top by his plant and stops swimming again. Is he going to die or is that normal?

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 7 months ago from USA

      Hi Whitney! It's hard to say without knowing precisely what you mean by "looks dead". Betta often appear lethargic and that's normal. If he is tilting to the side or something like that he may have an issue.

    • Vanessa 7 months ago

      I recently bought my betta fish a new tank and the only whole in the cover is the feeding hole and a LITTLE bit more open space around where the hole for the filter is.is this ok? Or is this not an appropriate tank for my betta? As I know they come up for oxygen often.Also, I have been keeping him in room temperature water but I know they like water up 80 degrees.I also bought a heater for him and a worker at petsmart told me to leave him in room temperature water for 2 days then turn on the heater.is this also ok to do?

    • Vanessa 7 months ago

      Another thing, for his water, I attach a pur (that's the brand) filter on my faucet and use that water for him.Since I just got the new tank with the filter I have just been placing him in it right away.Now that I have the tank filter should I let the water sit and turn on he tank filter before putting my fish in? And I it's been a week since I got my new tank and I actually dropped my filter when I first got it and the tube that goes inside of the tank broke a little bit.not in half or no pieces came off, it just kind of opened up a little from the bottom.I took my tank to petsmart and the same worker I mentioned in my previous comment told me it was ok because he was not a small fish but I have not turned on my filter ever since I got my tank because I was scared he was going to get sucked in or something even though the guy said it was ok.what do you think? Also how often should I feed him?

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 7 months ago from USA

      Hi Vanessa! The tank sounds fine. Just make sure there is some space for him to come to the surface if he wants to. In other words, don't fill it so much that the tank hood touches the water. A covered tank is actually better, because while it is rare Bettas can jump well enough to get out of their tanks on occasion.

      I don't know why the worker told you to leave him in room temp water. Hopefully you also bought a thermometer to let you know what the water temperature actually is. You are right to aim for 75-80 degrees, whether you use the heater or not.

      I'm not sure what the Pur filters remove from the water. Certainly filtered water is better, but I don't use a water filter so I don't know how well they remove chlorine, etc.

      You need to cycle your new tank before putting him in and that includes running the filter. If you've missed this step don't worry. Just get on with good tank maintenance. A little research will help you understand more about the nitrogen cycle and how your tank stays healthy. You also need to learn how to do a water change so you can keep his tank clean. This is easy maintenance.

      Don't leave the filter off. A healthy fish should have no trouble escaping the pull of the filter. The filter is important for the health of your tank.

      I'd feed him once per day. Only as much as he'll eat in a few minutes.

      Hope this helps. Good luck!

    • Vanessa 7 months ago

      The reason the worker told me to put him in room temperature water was because I've been doing that ever since I got him which has been a couple weeks.so I know it would be bad to change him from room temperature water to 80 degree water right away.so he told me to fill the tank with room temperature water and after two days turn on the heater as it will warm the water slowly.do you think I should do this? I also do have a thermometer.also how long should I let the tank cycle before putting him in? What kind of water should I use? I have 5.5 gallon tank should I clean it every week?

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 7 months ago from USA

      @Vanessa: It likely won't hurt him to wait until you turn the heater on, especially since I'm guessing it is summer wherever you are. If you feel more comfortable doing that go ahead.

      You need to read up on cycling the tank so you understand the process. There may have been materials that came with the tank to help you accomplish this. There isn't a generic answer. It depends on what method you use. Again, you need to do some research to better understand the nitrogen cycle. This will help you in the long run.

      As long as you are using a filter you can do a partial water change for your tank weekly -about 1 gallon. You can do a deeper cleaning about once a month.

    • Vanessa 7 months ago

      Okay thank you so much for the help!! I really appreciate it

    • Littlebleu 7 months ago

      Hi there, I bought a betta fish two days ago. He is in a 5 gallon tank, we used water conditioner (the people at petco recommend it due to the water quality here), and we let the tank filter run for a day and let the water heat up, also there are three plastic plants in his tank, and he is eating regularly so far. The only thing I'm worried about is he stays at the surface of the water most of the time. Once I put the plants in he moves around more but still at the surface. Could he simply just be 'lazy"? He hasn't shown much energy since I've had him. I also bought a second betta fish and he's in a separate tank, he has been swimming around a lot and checking out his tank but tonight I noticed he was laying on the gravel. I don't have plants in there yet and I plan on putting some in soon.

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 7 months ago from USA

      Hi Littlebleu. Bettas can be lethargic at times. I wouldn't assume anything is wrong unless you see other signs of distress. Good luck with your new Bettas!

    • RoRo 7 months ago

      Hello we have had a female beta foe about 8 months or so. And her behavior has changed. She is not eating and hides alot. Three is a cave In her tank that she will stay in for days and not even come out to eat... She doesn't look different but her behavior is quite bazaar. Her tank has a heater and is filtered. Now we hadn't cleaned her tank in awhile like you weeks so we did a full water change. I think we made her sick.. Can we save or or is it too late?

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 7 months ago from USA

      Hi RoRo. The full water change may have been stressful for her. You likely also caused bacterial fluctuations by doing it so abruptly. I'd do a 20% water-only change especially if the water starts looking cloudy, then get back to weekly changes of 20%. Hopefully she will bounce back. Fingers crossed!

    • LESFishie 7 months ago

      We have a male betta in a 10-gallon tank, gravel substrate and live plants-- some pennywort and a nice half-mat of Java fern, as well as several moss balls. We recently added a sponge filter to keep the water cleaner.

      My questions are:

      1. He started out in his tank glass surfing a lot, and ws doing it again after the last water change. Interestingly enough, he seems to be curious about the siphon (or my hand, if I have to readjust the plants post-vacuum), but afterwards he's glass-surfing a lot.

      2. He also seems to be glass surfing far more often now that the filter is in. I have the filter discharging at the surface of the water; should I have it lower so the bubbles can go up, and maybe disturb the surface less?

      3. And will the constant flow of bubbles at the surface disturb his bubble-nest making when (we hope) he gets around to it?

      From reading here, I am wondering of the java fern isn't providing enough cover for him; a betta log is on my list for the next aquarium store visit. But I am definitely wondering about the filter's effect on him.

      Thanks!

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 7 months ago from USA

      Hi LESFishie! As you probably know, glass surfing usually means there is something about the tank that is causing a little stress. 10 gallons is a wonderful size for a Betta, so it isn't that, and the live plants are great. Are you on top of water changes and cleaning and have you checked your water parameters with a testing kit? Even though live plants help with waste, they will eventually result in some decaying debris in a tank that must be vacuumed out.

      You can try the filter at different levels and see if it makes a difference. I would think he'd be less disturbed by the bubbles at the surface but who knows how he sees it.

      As for whether it disturbs his nest building, you'll just have to wait and see. I think unless it's like a churning torrent at the surface (which is bad for him anyway) he should still be able to build nests just fine.

      It would be wise to get him a hiding spot, and that may ultimately be the source of his stress. If you are really worried about the filter think about switching to a low-flow HOB type, but I'd try the hiding spot first.

      Good luck! I hope Betta manages to relax. It sounds like he has a great tank!

    • LESFishie 7 months ago

      Thanks for the info!

      Betta logs come in stock at our local aquarium store Friday, so we'll see how that works. They've tested the water for us, and I've tested it at home as well; quality seems ok.

      We usually do a 15-20 percent water change weekly, vacuuming the gravel with a siphon, though I don't know how effective the siphon is at removing particulates. It sometimes seems as though the suction isn't enough to get visible debris, e.g. from the moss balls, sucked up.

      Sigh... first tank.

      I have high hopes for a hiding spot helping him out, though!

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 7 months ago from USA

      I hope the hiding spot helps! Are you using a gravel vac or just a tube to vacuum the gravel? A gravel vac with a wide end should be able to pick up debris trapped in the gravel with no problem. Of course since you have a planted tank you want to be careful not to disturb any roots.

    • Chase 6 months ago

      Hello I just got a new Betta fish that I am excited for I got him a 5 gallon tank because the bigger the better and plants and a leaf hammock to rest on when he is tired and a heater and quiet flow filter because I know they hate wavy water. And gravel I am going to 20-25 percent water changes with him using a siphon. Using water conditioner. Is there anything I still need to get?

    • Chase 6 months ago

      I worry about my Betta fish I got a certain water conditioner so It keeps his PH at 7.0 but I worry about ammonia and nitrites and nitrates

    • Chase cantrell 6 months ago

      I have one question for cleaning. Should I keep the Betta fish in the tank while I use the siphon to clean out the gravel or should I take him out?

    • Amri 6 months ago

      Hi there. Love this page so helpful. I've had my betta for a week now. Everything was good at first, he swam happily up and down. After the first water change I added a plant and he was still a happy camper. Second water change and things changed. He is now only swimming at the top of the water, not moving much more than that. Should I be worried?

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 6 months ago from USA

      @ Chase: Sounds like your headed in the right direction. You may want to think about a water testing kit so you can test you tank water and make sure those parameters you are worried about are under control. You can leave Betta in the tank while you vacuum.In fact, it is less stressful than removing him. Just be careful not to bump him!

      @Amri: It's hard to guess what might be going on with him, but it sounds like you did two water changes within the first week you had him. If he is in a planted tank you only need to do a partial water change once every week at the most, or every other week is fine. Give him some time to get acclimated to his new environment and he may relax a little. Water changes can be stressful.

    • 6 months ago

      Hello, I just got a new betta fish and my friend has also got one too. And my friends betta is always stays in one spot and doesn't move and then maybe swim around a little bit and then just doesn't move. Is this fine? Or should I be worried?

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 6 months ago from USA

      @G: I wouldn't worry, but does your friend's Betta have a hiding spot in his tank? Sometimes when Betta have nowhere to go they find a spot they feel comfortable and just hang out. He may feel safer if he has a hiding spot.

      If you very recently got them he may also be adjusting to the new environment.

    • Amy 6 months ago

      We've had a female betta for about 7 months. Based on your article, we seems to be doing all the right things and she generally seems happy with tons of bubbles. The last few days though she seems really fat and hasn't been swimming or moving. Just stays at top blowing bubbles. Any ideas?

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 6 months ago from USA

      Hi Amy. It's tough to say. If she has a bulge and it looks like her scales are popping that is symptomatic of dropsy. This is caused by an infection, typically brought on by prolonged stress resulting in a compromised immune system.

      Intentionally blowing bubbles is a male behavior. Do you perform regular water changes? I'm wondering if the bubbles you are seeing are a result of surface breathing due to low O2 in the water.

      In any event, dropsy is a tough thing. You can try quarantining her if she isn't already in her own tank, making sure her water is clean and clear and treating with aquarium salt. Sadly, the outlook isn't usually good.

      I'm sorry and I really hope I'm wrong here. Please let me know if she pulls through. Crossing fingers for you.

    • Jane 6 months ago

      My male is 2 years old and he never use to do this but he's sticking himself to the filter he wraps himself around it I have no idea why its not hurting his fins its just strange behavior.

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 6 months ago from USA

      Hi Jane. Are you saying he is sticking against the filter intake? If so, this suggests he is weakened or ill in some way. Unless you have a filter severely oversized for your tank, healthy fish should have no trouble avoiding the pull of the intake.

      Does he have a hiding spot where he can escape the current? A little cave or something? Id' start there and see how he does. Then think about all the other things that can make fish sick: water changes, excess feeding, etc.

      Unless you can diagnose an illness I wouldn't treat, but it is a good time to assess general tank maintenance practices. Good luck and I hope he returns to his old self.

    • Ashleigh52 6 months ago

      Howdy Eric!

      I owned my last betta years ago, and I recently decided to get back into the betta-keeping lifestyle. I had taken home an adoption betta from work (I work at PetCo) sometime last week and I think he'd been sick with fin rot. Unfortunately, despite my many efforts to ease and reverse his illness, he died yesterday.

      I got a new betta today because I still had the tank and the 3 types of food I'd tried to get the adoption betta to eat. I was wondering if you had any suggestions on how to properly clean the tank so that my new halfmoon betta doesn't fall to the same illness. It's sadly kind of a small tank, 1.3 gallons and filterless, as I'm hoping to upgrade to something like a 5 gallon in my next apartment where I'll have more space.

      Also, the betta I had years ago really liked this little rock decoration that kind of made an archway that he'd chill/sleep in. The decoration I have for my current halfmoon has smaller square compartments I thought he'd like to rest in, but it's not very covered up like the hideaways you're suggesting. Should I spring for something that's a little more private for him? He's still chilling at the top of his bowl (presumably getting acclimated to the new environment) but I'd like for him to be able to relax eventually. However, I don't want to change too much for him too quickly and overwhelm the poor fella.

      Thank you for this forum, I'm glad to be learning so much from such an experienced betta owner!

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 6 months ago from USA

      Hi Ashleigh52! I think a basic tear down/full water change/decoration and glass cleaning would be sufficient for preparing the new tank. This should have been done before you got your new Betta, and if you did so you should be fine.

      As I'm sure you know, fin rot is typically brought on by bad water conditions, which your late Betta must have been enduring before you rescued him. Your new Betta should be okay as long as you keep his water clean. And, of course, a 5-gallon tank is much easier to maintain than a small 1.5-gallon bowl.

      Also be careful with his food. I don't know what the 3 types are, but I'd stick with a basic Betta pellet or flake and only feed what he'll eat in a few minutes. Some foods are more likely to foul the water.

      I don't think it would be too jarring to introduce a new decoration for him, as long as you're not taking him out of the bowl for some reason. Maybe wait and see if he takes a liking to the square thing and replace it if it is no use to him.

      Good luck with your new Betta!

    • Christina 5 months ago

      So my kids one bettas at the fair after getting them we did tremendous amount of research and these bettas have 10 gallon tanks self regulating heaters at 78 degrees a gentle flow pump live plants moss balls and betta buddys plenty of hiding places and we checked the water with test strips regular clean regularly and they still don't seem happy. The original fish diet fin rot before we knew what it was it had it beforehand so what time we got it was too little too late we even did a fish hospital for it. They eat pellets and once a week we feed them organic Blanched pea quarter of one a piece. But they still don't seem happy I'm getting very discouraged. I want them to thrive. I don't know what else to do we have spent so much money we now have 4 of everything cuz we didn't get the best stuff first we also have test strips for the water that we use regularly. Please help my brain hurts can't stop obsessing. Thank you Christina

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 5 months ago from USA

      Hi Christina! Why do you think your Bettas are unhappy? It sounds like you are doing a really great job! Watch out for signs of stress and disease, and try not to interpret their behaviors as happy or unhappy. The goal is to keep your fish healthy and keep them in a humane way. It sounds like you are doing that very well. Unless you see signs of trouble I wouldn't worry.

    • Christina 5 months ago

      Thank you I do have 2 more concerns. Our newest little guy Poseidon is beautiful first of all but he will not stop running up and down his tank. We have moved the tank to change the light but he always finds a new spot. My son's little guy Neptune had a slight to mild case of fin rot when we bought him I have been changing his water regular keeping it very clean we did try a small amount of aquarium salt and he did not like that. He just seems to keep getting worse and now he's is super lethargic We also don't have rocks in our tanks because I had read it's harder to maintain and after having sick fish just trying to keep it as healthy as possible should we add the Rocks back in? Christina

    • Christina 5 months ago

      Sorry me again our new little guy also doesn't seem to like his pump though it's a gentle one I unplugged it but it's harder to maintain the temperature when it's not on should we leave it on or leave it off

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 5 months ago from USA

      Hi Christina. Sorry for the delayed reply! When fish "glass surf" as you are describing it typically means they are stressed in some way, usually due to tank conditions. The pump may be the reason. In a 10-gallon tank the filter should provide enough water movement to circulate the heat. I'd keep the pump off for a while and see if he stops. If you have a submersible heater, try positioning it where the the current leaves the filter so the heat is getting distributed around the tank a little better.

      The Betta likely doesn't care about the rocks either way. Use them if you feel like they add to the look of the tank, but if they are making it harder to clean and you feel like you'r rather leave them out that's fine too.

    • Anaston 5 months ago

      Hello, I purchased a Betta fish a month ago and when I did I didn't bother buying a new tank (because I already had one in the attic that I pulled out and washed up only to realize there was a hole in it) and I put him in a 1.5 gallon bowl. Yesterday I got him a nice 5 gallon tank with plants, places to hide, etc. Also, he has a gentle waterfall filter (not sure what it's exactly called)

      But, I did get the tank for a cheap price at a nearby Goodwill. I made sure to wash everything with really hot water, no soap. When I first put him in there he was extremely curious as to his new surroundings, exploring every nook and cranny. Though I noticed a couple of hours later that he seemed to be very immobile. I tapped on the side gently and he hardly reacted. It was getting late so I was assuming he was sleeping. But now it is the next day he is more active, but he keeps on staying in the corner of the tank to where I cannot see him. Not even in one of the places he has to hide.

      I made sure to put half of his old water in the tank, and the rest of it I made sure was treated before putting it in the tank. He has been eating, but it usually takes him a few minutes to notice the food's there.

      Anyone might know what could be going on? Thanks in advanced!

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 5 months ago from USA

      Hi Anaston. You mention a "waterfall" filter, by which I assume you mean a hang-on-back filter. I'm wondering if the current in the tank is pushing your Betta into a corner. That can happen easily in a small tank with a filter. He can certainly swim against the current, but it does take energy and if he is getting tired he may just hang out wherever the current takes him, or in a place where the current is weakest.

    • Anaston 5 months ago

      Yes, that is what I meant. And it is quite a gentle filter, so I wouldn't have assumed it was the problem. I removed the filter for a few hours and he didn't show any difference. I put it back in along with some food, he went up to the food and close to the filter and he didn't show any signs of it bothering him. Though I did go to town for a bit and when I got home he was back to his normal self. Get got excited when I came back and did his normal little wiggle when I get near his tank. (I keep his tank right next to my computer desk so I am here alot) So I do not know what has happened.. Maybe he was just adjusting to the new tank? He has started to make a bubble nest like he usually does every now and then.

    • Theresa 5 months ago

      Hi,

      I am a little confused as what to do with our little betta Luke. He is in a 2.6 gallon fish tank with filtration, plants, etc. and seems happy for the most part. His tank is cleaned often for the most part but recently got a little cloudy and we were unable to change it. Where the problem started is when my son went to feed him the other night, he jumped out and hit his wall, so my son scooped him up and put him back in the water right away. I guess shortly thereafter he showed signs of what is apparently stress....bulging eyes, he was not moving much. He has looks worse over these past few days, with a whitish mouth, loss of coloring and his fins look just a little off. He even swims a little funny on occasion....like kind of sideways or has his mouth open like he is gulping water. Or he is straight up and down. After reading all sorts of information on the internet, I am certainly overwhelmed and confused to what is wrong. "Popeye"....fungus, bacterial infection, stress....all with different treatments. I changed his water because a clean environment is crucial was recommended Bettafix, but after reading reviews decided this was not a good option for him. Then was going to get an erythromycin formula from the pet store but was advised to just get Stress Coat....that seemed like the safest option. What do you think could be going on? The pet store said to always pick up a fish with wet hands because it caused a lot of stress to him....could he possibly have an infection now too? I just don't want to treat him with anything that will harm him but then I again I don't want to just leave him suffer and not help him out either. I would appreciate your input before it's too late. Thanks in advance for any advice.

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 5 months ago from USA

      @Anaston: I'm glad he came around. Making bubble nests is good!

      @Theresa: Sorry for the delayed reply! The leap out of the tank, or picking him up and putting him back in, may have caused an injury and/or resulting infection. Clean water is the right path, and and you may try dosing his tank with a little aquarium salt. I only use chemicals and medicines as a last resort, but you can try it if he doesn't come around. I hope he gets better, but unfortunately sometimes this kind of injury is tough for them to recover from. Crossing fingers for you and Luke the Betta.

    • Destiny 5 months ago

      Hi, I just got a betta named Zora, and I'm a bit worried about him because he is doing a lot of glass surfing. He's in a 5-gallon tank with a few live plants and decorations. He is also making bubble nests. He seems to be pretty active, but he mainly stays on one wall of the tank. I'm worried because I didn't do anything to the water before I put him in. He has only been in there for a few days now. Could be just be doing the surfing because it is a new environment?

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 5 months ago from USA

      Hi Destiny. It could be the new environment. It could also be any other number of factors, including any current in the tank. The bubble nests are a good sign. I'd give him a few days and see if he calms down.

      Depending on your water source, you may not need to do anything to it at all. (I don't). If you have water from a municipal source you'll want to use conditioner to make it safer for Betta.

    • Lina Bottoms profile image

      Lina Bottoms 4 months ago

      I just bought a female betta. Placed her in community tank with tetras and blue gourami . Gourami is chasing her , put grourami in floating holding tank for tonight . Don't know if I should let him out will he kill the betta . Not sure what to do. . Would really love some advice .

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 4 months ago from USA

      I've had problems with gourami and Betta before. The only solution is to move the Betta into her own tank. The aggression isn't likely to subside and yes the Betta will eventually die from stress if you leave them together. Get her her own tank ASAP.

    • Jamie Jam 4 months ago

      Why does my fish keep circling around in the back of the tank? The tank is 1 gallon, this is the first fish I have ever taken care of. I'm afraid that he does like his surroundings or the tank. :/ I could use some advice.

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 4 months ago from USA

      Hi Jamie. A 1-gallon tank is much too small. Upgrade to a 5-gallon or larger and his behavior will likely improve.

    • Jamie Jones 4 months ago

      I just got a male betta a few days ago. Last night I woke up and didn't notice that his tank light was off, I turned it back on and he began to swim really fast. Then all of a sudden he just stopped. He had white spots on him. Should I be worried?

    • Katie 4 months ago

      I just got a fish about 3 days ago and Glug seems fine until today. He keeps glass surfing, I'm afraid that he's unhappy. He glass surfs and after some rounds of surfing he comes up to the water to get some air I guess? What do I do? I have been having those really scary moments in my body because I get so worried about him. Please help. I only have a one gallon tank with a normal light at the top that changes colours with some rocks and fake corals at the bottom of the tank. Should the light be on at night? Thanks for the advice if you answer.

    • Jamie Jam 4 months ago

      I may get a bigger tank but I might not because they are very expensive and I can't really afford a bigger tank. His face is a bit grey and he keeps darting to places and then coming back to this one wall. Should I be worried? Please help I am very worried about my poor betta.

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 4 months ago from USA

      @Jamie Jones: You may have just startled him when you turned the light on. Keep an eye on the "white spots". They could be ich, which is a protozoan parasite infestation. You can treat by raising the water temp and dosing the tank with aquarium salt (NOT marine salt).

      @Katie and Jamie Jam: Your fish are stressed because they are in tiny tanks. If you can't upgrade them to a better living situation (5 gallon or bigger), you can do your best to make sure the tank water is super clean, they have a hiding place they can swim into and there is little or no current to push them around the tank. Hopefully that will help.

      @Katie: You can turn the light off at night. Betta needs sleep too. :-)

    • JennyB 4 months ago

      I have a dumbo and a twin tail half moon betta, each in their own one gallon tank. I know you say it's too small, but where I live I wouldn't be able to fit two bigger tanks. My dumbo has always had issues with it's fin. At first it had a little nitch because of the plant I had in the tank. I tried various plants and have settled on a live one with wide leaves for him to sit on and hide under. Then the little guppy I put in the tank with him got bigger than I expected and started nipping at dumbo's fins. So they are now separated. Then his fin continued to deterate and I noticed the little black spots on his fin

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 4 months ago from USA

      Hi JennyB. I'm not sure what I can say here. You are aware that the tanks are too small. The fin rot is due to poor water conditions, which happen much more frequently in small tanks. Then you added another fish, which would make water conditions worse and stress levels higher. A live plant in a one-gallon tank will also likely do more harm than good for water conditions.

      The answer is to keep your Betta in larger tanks where they can have better conditions. Otherwise, its like keeping a dog in a closet and wondering why he is always sick. And, do not add any tankmates unless they are in a tank 10 gallons or preferably bigger.

      You can try your best to keep the water clean, but there is no magic answer. Good luck!

    • Cassie 4 months ago

      Hi Eric! I just wanted to ask you one question. Why is my bettas face grey? Thanks for the advise.

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 4 months ago from USA

      Hi Cassie. Betta faces turn gray or white when they are stressed. Sometimes their coloration could be lighter as well, but when a dark-colored fish's face turns lighter it usually means something is stressing him out. You have to figure out what that is (small tank, poor water conditions, tankmates, etc). Good luck!

    • julie 4 months ago

      I have 1 beta and a 1.5 gallon tank is that big enough

    • Kaede 4 months ago

      I'm not sure exactly how to clean my fish's tank and I don't want to mess up and kill my fish

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 4 months ago from USA

      @julie: Nope, not in my opinion. 5 gallons minimum. If you must use a tank as small as 1.5 gallons you must be extremely diligent with tank maintenance and cleaning.

    • David 4 months ago

      I have a 2.5 gallon tank. I think the filter may be too powerful or that we do not have the water level high enough? Whenever we put food in the current catches it and throws it straight to the bottom so it's tough to tell if he's actually eating it as I cant sit and watch him for hours on end and I've noticed when he does, he eats it and then spits it out. We've tried flake food but I've never seen him nibble at it. While the betta does swim around the entire tank he seems to stay near the filter itself wether at the top or bottom. I'm not sure if this is current related or lack of a hiding spot. We have a few decor in the tank but nothing he can actually go inside of. Any help is appreciated, I want to be able to show my son, who we got it for, a bubble nest!!!

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 4 months ago from USA

      Hi David. It sounds like you already know a couple of things that could be the issues. If Betta seems otherwise healthy you can make small changes and see how he reacts. Small tanks like that are hard to manage. Maybe consider a hiding spot? As for the food, he will eat if he is hungry. Avoid feeding multiple times per day or large feedings if he is not eating it. It will only foul the water. Good luck!

    • David 4 months ago

      Thanks Eric. I have one quick follow up question. Do bubble nests only form in a clump? Or will they form them along the top along the glass. I've just noticed bubbles all along the top of the water against the glass on 3 out of 4 sides.

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 4 months ago from USA

      @David. Bubbles nests are built as a structure, like clumps of bubbles as you say. The bubbles along the glass may just be from Betta breathing at the surface. Betta are anabantids, which means they can take gulps of air from the surface if need be. This can result in little bubbles scattered around the surface, and they often float over and stick to the glass.

    • Joe 4 months ago

      Hi! My male betta had ich and I put him in a 10 gallon tank with 2 fish, 5 neon tetras, 2 zebra fish, and a female betta. He's trying to get the female bettas attention but he still has his spots. You can see them but you have to look pretty closely. I'm not sure if he's happy or if he's still sad/stressed. He used to have a grey face until I put him into the 10 gallon tank. Please help I'm a bit worried.

    • Monique 4 months ago

      Hi i am extremely worried i was cleaning my fish bowl and when i went to put my betta(Maven) back in he fell out of the cup and into the sink i immediately picked him up using a paper towel and put him back in the bowl he immediately sank to the bottom and stayed there for about 10 mins without moving an inch just breathing really slowly. He has started swimming again but im afraid he might have been hurt. So i was wondering what signs should i look for or do you think he's ok? Any advice you can give will be greatly appreciated thank you so much in advance.

      Monique

    • Marcus 4 months ago

      Why does my female betta have white streaks on the side of her face? Answer fast please.

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 4 months ago from USA

      @ Joe. If your Betta has ich why in the world would you put him in with other fish? Get him outta there and treat him in his own tank! Warmer water and aquarium salt should get the job done. Watch for signs the parasites have moved to the other fish, which they likely have. If so, you will have to treat your 10-gallon tank as well.

      @ Monique: Your Betta may be fine but watch for things like torn scales and then resulting infections. He was likely very stressed from the ordeal so hopefully he has recovered by now.

      @Marcus: Your female Betta may be stressed. Is there any reason she would be?

    • Joe 4 months ago

      How would I know if the parasites have moved onto the other fish or not? My fish seem to be perfectly fine, it's just my betta....?

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 4 months ago from USA

      @Joe: Watch for the same signs you saw in your Betta. Ich will show up as little granules or dots on the fish. These are the protozoan parasites that cling to the fish, and they can spread from fish to fish. That is why when you have an infected fish you need to keep it quarantined if possible. By moving an infected fish into a community tank you likely infected the entire tank.

      Just keep an eye out. If one of your community fish appear to have the parasites it will be wise to treat the entire tank. Elevate the water temp by 5 degrees, dose the tank with aquarium salt and perform a couple of partial water changes over about a week period. It should help. Use over-the-counter medicines as a last resort. Good luck, and I hope your Betta recovers.

    • Joe 3 months ago

      Wow a lot of words and a lot of responsibility! Anyways, thank you for answering and for all of your help! One of my friends said that a sign of a betta fish having ich is when their fins/tails start falling. ( only a few specs ) If you know what I mean.

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 3 months ago from USA

      Hi Joe. I don' t know about the find and tails falling. That could be a sign of something else entirely. If you are worried about ich watch for the tiny specs appearing of the body of the fish. Those are the parasites.

    • Carol 3 months ago

      I just got a betta and put him in a 3 gallon round tank. It came with the regular filtration system (a tube in the middle of it for the air tube to go down). He seemed really stressed about the bubbles, so I cut it off and wala! He's a happy camper now. My concern is that I have a heater in the tank (our house stays cool), and am worried about how the water will heat up with nothing to move the water. Is there another way to filtrate or move the water around that won't stress him? Or is it okay just to leave the water still? Ty!

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 3 months ago from USA

      Hi Carol. This is one of the conundrums that go along with such a small tank. You are smart to use a heater, and smart to turn off the bubbler, but now how do you circulate the water? You could get rid of the central tube altogether (so there is more room) and see if you can find a nano filter for the tank. Then again you'd have to be sure you found one capable of low water flow so Betta isn't getting pushed around. It's hard in a tank that small, which is why I always recommend 5 gallons and bigger. Good luck!

    • Bella 3 months ago

      Hii!! I just bought my first little betta, Sir Winston. I am looking to find a little cave for him that isn't rough around the edges. However, I'm having a hard time finding something for him. I did see a small chinchilla dust bath that was small, cute, and smooth inside and out. Do you know if that's something that would be suitable? There's only one hole to go in and out.

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 3 months ago from USA

      Hi Bella. In my opinion, it is never wise to put a product in a fish thank that isn't designed to go in fish tanks. You can try figuring out what the bin is made from and see if it is aquarium safe. Consider not just the plastic it is molded from, but also any paint. However, with a little research you ought to be able to find more than a few suitable caves for a Betta tank. Good luck!

    • Liv 3 months ago

      i am terrified for my two betta fish. i have them each in a seperate 1.5 gallon tank. they are showing signs of their water being too cold. i am a teen though- my mom wont allow me to get a water heater. one of them is very bloated, and the other just hides in her shell (its tank decor) all day. im very concerned. how can i convince her to allow me to give them better living conditions? i have not taken the temperature of the water, i dont have a thermometer to do so. crossing my fingers.

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 3 months ago from USA

      Hi Liv. Unfortunately, I don't know what to say except maybe have her read up a little about Betta care and she will see the need for bigger tanks. Good luck!

    • Alex 2 months ago

      Hi, I,ve got my betta in a 10g tank with a heater at 80* and filter. I do weekly water changes of about 75% and clean all his ornaments, add aquarium salt/declorinator. he has hiding spots and gravel. I've had him a couple of months now and he recently has been laying on the bottom of the tank only coming up for air. I've had to feed him in a cup because i cant get his attention by tapping on the glass. he seems healthy and his fins are fine, what do you think could be wrong?

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 2 months ago from USA

      Hi Alex. Your tank cleaning schedule is a little excessive. In a tank with a filter you don't need to do such a huge water change. Cut down to 25% every-other week and only clean the decorations once a month or so. Don't use the salt unless you see signs of infection - if you use it regularly it won't be as effective when you need it.

      Are you saying you transfer him into a cup to feed him? If so you need to stop this. It will stress him out every day. Leave him in the tank. He'll find the food if he wants it. Feed once a day, as much as he'll eat in a few minutes.

      Hope this helps and Betta gets better. Good luck!

    • Jasmine 2 months ago

      Hi. I got my betta a few days ago and have him in a 3.5 gallon tank with the filter that came with the tank and a heater. I also have a cave and some artificial soft feeling plants, nothing too scratchy. I only added the filter 2 days ago and today I notice my fish spending his time near the surface wedged between the tank wall and filter. Why is he going there? Why won't he use his cave or the plants to feel safe? The filter came with the tank so it wouldn't be too strong would it? He doesn't appear to be getting pushed around by it. I'm so worried. Is the filter stressing him out as it seems a little loud?

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 2 months ago from USA

      Hi Jasmine. It's really hard to say why your Betta does what he does. The filters that come with those little tanks aren't always the best quality, so I wouldn't assume the filter isn't the problem. You could try it with the filter off for a while and see if he swims around a little more. If the filter is the issue, you'll have to do full water changes to keep the tank clean, which is not ideal. That's why it's always better to go with a 5-gallon tank or bigger. You have many more options for heat and filtration. Good luck and I hope you get it sorted out!

    • Rachel 2 months ago

      Hi, I got my betta a few days ago and he is in a 5 gallon tank with a filter, heater, 3 stocks of live plants and a little cave thing to hide in. He is very active but I have noticed that he often swims up against the glass (though he does come away from it and swims around the tank occasionally) and back and forth. When I got him from the store, I realized after that he has a bit of a shredded tail and a tiny bit of it is a darker color than his regular blue. Is this a sign of anything and how should I approach it? His water is very clean and fresh. Please let me know :)

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 2 months ago from USA

      Hi Rachel. It sounds like you are on the right track with Betta. The only thing that I might wonder about is if his filter is too strong for the little tank. Glass surfing is typically a sign of stress, so it could be that or he may just be adjusting to his new tank . Continue with good tank management practices and see if he calms down. Good luck!

    • Talia 2 months ago

      Hi good day. I just changed my aquarium today and added a filter. My betta seemed fine also he was swimming and exploring the environs. I just fed him a few small pieces of chicken liver which he loved the 1st time I tried him with it but this time for some reason now after eating he's just at the bottom of the tank lazing around. Is this bad or I'm I just over reacting?

      PS: I only give him this as a treat once a week. Today is the second time

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 8 weeks ago from USA

      Hi Talia. It's probably nothing, and Betta are known to be a little lazy sometimes. However, if you can correlate lethargic or odd behavior with a certain type of food it is a good idea to discontinue feeding that food.

      I personally would stick to good Betta pellets or flake food, possibly with an occasional blood worm treat, but I know people do feed chicken and beef liver. Again, I would not and never have. Even the possibility of it fouling the water if Betta didn't eat is all is a big concern. I'd stay away.

      If you must continue with the liver treats, just monitor what is going on and stop if it seems to be resulting in a bad reaction. Good luck!

    • Sandra 8 weeks ago

      My betta is circling one side of the tank and has changed color,except for his tail. I think that he doesn't like drops of water coming from the pump because they are kind of like a fast current , but I'm not sure. He also looks a bit thin. What should I do to help my betts?

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 7 weeks ago from USA

      Hi Sandra. What do you mean he "changed color"? If his face or jaw is gray or white he is stressed. It could be the current for sure, so try shutting off the filter and see if he improves. You may need to switch to a lower flow filter system.

    • Wilson 7 weeks ago

      Hi. Betta fish about 6 months old. 80 degree, 10 gallon, filtered tank. Good mix of hiding spots, plants, and open swim space. Add 10% de-chlorinated water every week and a half. 50% water change every 4-5 weeks, along with gravel clean as needed. My buddy started laying on the bottom of the tank and I thought he was just sleeping. Now he switches between that and floating at the top. Rarely likes to hide is his cave anymore, and just recently started not eating his food/eating way less than he usually does. I feed him about 3-5 fish flakes twice a day (once in morning and once in evening before I turn off his light). I'm so sad! He used to swim up and down the tank and seemed so active. Very worried about the little guy, help!

    • Wilson 7 weeks ago

      Also, dip test strip says everything looks normal. Water is a little on the hard side but it has always been like that.

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 7 weeks ago from USA

      Hi Wilson. Unfortunately, sometimes we can do everything right and Betta will still become ill. Just like humans, some live long lives and others get sick and pass on far too soon. So much depends on factors beyond our control.

      All I can suggest is cutting back on his feeding a little if he's not eating all the food. Hopefully he will snap out of it and become more active again. Or, he may remain lethargic and live a long time. Only time will tell. Good luck!

    • Linda 6 weeks ago

      Hi,

      I have a betta that I rescued just to keep him from dying when he was abandoned in an apartment, and now I've gotten attached. I've had him since May with no problems. I've had bettas in the past, tried breeding them once, with no luck. Back then, because I fell into the myth about them being more comfortable in small spaces, I had them in large bottles (4 males and 6 females), and since my house was usually cold, I'm sure so was the water, but they lived for years. Anyway, this guy was in a 1.5 gallon glass container, which was a bit heavy for dumping and cleaning once a week, so I bought a small filter, making sure the water flow was slow and the plants were blocking it so he didn't have a current in there. He has been thriving, always having a bubble nest going, flaring up at me when I take pictures, and aggressively attacking his food pellets. He was kind of plain and unattractive when I got him, but has grown his fins and his colors have gotten brighter.

      Anyway, the temp in my house is usually no lower than 65 because my son has an African Grey. A few weeks ago, after being gone for the first weekend it got cold, I came home to find my house warm, and the my son had taken the bird to his house, so I turned the heat down to 60 and went to bed. The next morning, my betta was hiding in his little car and didn't want to come out. I panicked and started researching about water temperature. Well, he came out, and was acting normal, and eating and all was fine. But because of what I had read, I purchased a small heater. At first, all I could find that was small enough was the kind that raise the temp 10 degrees, so I ordered a thermometer also. Meanwhile, the fish was fine. The thermometer came broken, so I only used the heater at night when I knew the room would be cool. I found him hanging near the top in the morning, and since I read that they go to the bottom to try and get warm, I thought he might be at the top, trying to cool off. Otherwise he was still fine. I did this for a week or so. Then I found a small heater with a thermostat that kept the water at 78 degrees. After a couple days, my fish got kind of lethargic. He is staying on the bottom mostly, only occasionally coming up to the top, and he won't eat, or flare or make bubbles. I did about a 30% water change, just to make sure that wasn't the issue, tho the water has been clear, and he was ok for a month while I was away during the summer. I feel like the warm water wasn't good for him, so I took out the heater yesterday. He is still the same, tho maybe moving a tad bit more. He goes from the corner behind the plants or another decoration, to hanging in his little car, and once in a while hanging at the top, near the plastic grass.

      Could this have been from the warm water? Or a delayed reaction to the changing water temps the week before? What can I do for him? I actually read a couple sources that said boil a pea for 20 seconds, peel it an put it in the water (I know, sounds crazy, but I did it), he hasn't gotten worse, but he's not getting better. Any suggestions?

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 6 weeks ago from USA

      Hi Linda. Did you use an aquarium thermometer to measure the water temp? I'm wondering if it got too warm for him somehow. In any event, temps in the 60s are way too cool for a Betta, so it seems you do need some methods of heating the water. But please use a separate thermometer to measure the temp, and don't rely on the thermostat of the heater.

      You mentioned you did a water change, but not how often you typically do them. I am also thinking you may want to bump up your water change schedule a little, as warmer water also impacts the bacterial colony in your tank. Do you test your water? Look for in increase in ammonia with the warmer water.

      Your betta sounds like he's been through a lot, so maybe he is just struggling to keep up with the changes. Good luck!

    • Belle 4 weeks ago

      I had a betta fish it was doing well and everything seemed to be fine. But I came home and found it had swam into a shell and died. Could it have gotten stuck, or was it something else?

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 4 weeks ago from USA

      Hi Belle. Sorry about the loss of your betta. Fish do sometimes get stuck in odd places, but this alone should not have killed it. Of course I can' t know for sure, but I would guess it died of some other cause.

    • Elysa 3 weeks ago

      my betta fish likes to sit on the bottom of his tank and he rests is that normal i have been freaking out about it

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 3 weeks ago from USA

      Hi Elysa. Bettas are sometimes lazy so this in itself is nothing to worry about. Watch for other signs of stress or illness though.

    • Nicole 3 weeks ago

      First time owners of a Betta. We have a 1.7 gallon hexagonal tank with a heater and thermometer. We tested the pH of the water (7.0) and prepared the water with a conditioner (recommend by pet store). We have a live moss mound and a soft artificial plant. We originally had a air pump in the tank but he did not seem to like that movement so we removed that fairly quick. He seems to be skittish and glass surfs. He has been in the tank now for about 12 hours ...Will he settle down? After reading all of your articles today...We plan to get him a bigger tank. Will he be OK with out a filter or water pump until next week (tomorrow is Christmas)? Suggestions appreciated!!

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 3 weeks ago from USA

      Hi Nicole. He will probably be fine until next week, but I would do a partial water change between now and then. It's very smart to upgrade his tank and that alone may take care of the glass surfing. Let him settle down after you move him over and take it from there. Good luck!

    • alex winnie 3 weeks ago

      why is my betta fish on its side and whenever it trys to swim to the bottom it rises back up to the top

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 3 weeks ago from USA

      Hi Alex. It sounds like he could be having swim bladder issues. This is often caused by overfeeding. Skip a couple of days of feeding. Then feed only once per day, only what he'll eat in a few minutes. You can add a fast day in once a week as well. Hopefully he will improve. Good luck!

    • Bella 3 weeks ago

      Thank you for such an informative article. I currently have a concern about my betta as his fins are rather torn,

      I believe this is from the strong water current caused by the filtration system. I don't want the tank to be unfiltered but I don't want to stress out my fish either. Should I just run it every other day?

      Is there a way to weaken the current?

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 3 weeks ago from USA

      Hi Bella. I would not run your filter on alternate days. Instead, look for a low-flow filter. You could also consider under-filtering your tank, which means you'd choose a filter rated lower than the size of your tank. This is not ideal but better than no filter at all. You can then add a live plant or two if you have room, and as long as you keep up with cleaning this should help with water conditions. Good luck!

    • Ashleigh 2 weeks ago

      I have some questions about bettas, about a week ago my mother in - law gave us her beta that she's had for several months. We've always fed him once a day and change his water bowl weekly. He has even doing fine here up until now. He'll stay resting at the very top of the water and won't eat anything. He would always be enthusiastic when he seen me with food and would come right to where I was dropping the pellets. He's also swimming a lot less, but still will occasionally and he's been doing this thing where it almost looks like he's having a seizure. I would just like to know what is going on with him, it just doesn't seem normal. Please and thanks in advance.

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 2 weeks ago from USA

      Hi Ashleigh. It's impossible to say what could be wrong with him just based on that description. He could be fine, or he could be aging, or he could have an illness that has yet to reveal itself. Continue to keep his tank water clean and watch for any signs of infection. If you are convinced he is sick you can dose his tank with aquarium salt as a precaution. Try not to add too much food if he isn't eating, but do try to feed him at least every other day until he starts eating again. Otherwise, I'd just keep an eye on him. Good luck!

    • Aidan 2 weeks ago

      its a great website

      very informational

      and thats what I needed

      thank you

    • Sarah 2 weeks ago

      My betta wasn't fine, but I changed his water and cleaned his tank and now he says literally not swimming around at all he bury some his face into the marbles at the bottom and doesn't even move unless I touch him with something , and his fins aren't loose like they used to be. They're stuck together and look not so good. I'm worried about my little guy...if you know the answer please help. I'm really worried

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 2 weeks ago from USA

      @Sarah: I'm sorry your Betta is feeling bad. It certainly sounds like he is ill or stressed, and the tank cleaning probably made him a little more stressed. Make sure you are following best practices for Betta care, such as proper tank size and conditions, not overfeeding, avoiding detergents or foreign chemicals in the tank (including chlorine from tap water), etc. If he appears to have fin rot or another malady you can dose his tank with aquarium salt for a couple of days, then do another water change. Do your best to keep his tank clean, and hopefully he will recover. Good luck!

    • Ablivya 3 days ago

      Why is my Beta sitting at the bottom of his tank?

    • EricDockett profile image
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      Eric Dockett 2 days ago from USA

      @Ablivya: It's impossible for me to say without more info. Unless he is exhibiting signs of illness it may be no issue at all. Sometimes Bettas are just lazy.

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