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Old 11-10-2022, 11:08 PM   #1
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Does Anyone Know What Could Be Wrong With My Betta?

I went into PetSmart today and noticed a beautiful betta that wasnít looking too well. I ended up getting him at a discounted price and bought a small tank to see if I could help him out at all. I notice that he has a lot of energy and will swim around but he just seems very disoriented. He swims sideways or straight up and down. He likes to hangout towards the top of the water and hides behind his filter. Iím assuming heís on his way out but I thought it would be worth a try to get him out of that small cup. If anyone knows what this could be or how I could fix it, please let me know.

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Old 11-11-2022, 12:57 AM   #2
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As much as I admire the reason for taking the little fella on, I think it might end in tears.

First off, what is he living in now...what size aquarium, water chemistry, was the aquarium cycled before you added him?

In relation to the fish....it can take time for a new fish to settle into new surroundings, after a few days he might stop the unusual swimming movements

His current water chemistry, aquarium size and some photos of the fish and the aquarium are important to see first and foremost please
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Old 11-11-2022, 08:05 AM   #3
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Hi and welcome to the forum

Have you kept fish before?

We need a video of the fish doing its thing so we can have any chance at identifying the issue.

We need the water quality (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH). If there was a water quality issue at the shop, that can cause problems to the fish's balance. Clean water can sometimes fix it.

It's nice you care about fish but in future, as much as you feel sorry for sick fish at shops, don't buy them because they usually die and you end up out of pocket and heart broken.
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Old 11-11-2022, 10:44 AM   #4
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As the old saying goes, "don't buy a sick (damaged, impaired) creature out of pity, it will only end in heartbreak". Hypocrite that I am, I quote this having done it myself, and I assure you it often ends badly. Still, it's hard to resist wanting to help some small creature, isn't it? So good for you for trying to give him a better life or at least make him comfortable.

As mentioned above, the disorientation can take a few days to work out because of going from a tiny environment to a much larger one. That's definitely what the hiding behind the filter thing is about; every betta I've ever had did this for anywhere from 1-7 days at the beginning.

As well as the above suggestions, something else occurs to me. Do you have any plants in the tank, or decor? It's possible that he's seeing too many reflected surfaces and is confused by bombarding light and other fish (himself reflected - no matter how much distraction we put in there, they will always find a way to catch sight of themselves and see it as a challenge). This would include the bottom. By that I mean, having substrate (gravel pref, or sand). Fish see differently than us, and it's possible he's living in a hall of mirrors.

Even though it's a small tank, a plant or two will help establish anchoring space and provide a place to hide. Silk or living plants are best for bettas, as plastic can shred their fins.

Bettas also appreciate the Betta Log, which serves as a safe hiding spot, bedroom, etc. Last year I had to evacuate due to a hurricane and took my lone betta in his own 1 gallon travel tank. That's pretty small, but it accommodated his log and favorite plant (the same color as himself, blue - he LOVED that plant for the camouflage). He did just fine with his security items.

Bettas have big personalities and excellent brains. He is capable of recognizing and becoming attached to you. So on top of everything else you read here, it is possible to help him by bonding - getting close and talking to your new friend.
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Old 11-11-2022, 02:28 PM   #5
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Hang in there. He may surprise you yet. I am assuming you placed him in a tank with new conditioned water. If you havenít already, get some real or artificial plants. Also, Iíve found disoriented fish do better with dim lighting.
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