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Old 01-15-2023, 06:53 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2023
Posts: 25
Hi, I'm Doug and I Have a Betta Named Zeke

I'm not sure how often I'll post here - I'm not active in a lot of communities to begin with. But my name is Doug, and I've kind of been thrown into the deep end in maintaining an aquarium.

I inherited a Betta from my aunt who didn't feel like she was giving the guy the care he needed. It started off as fishsitting, but there was an undercurrent of "keep him, please" from the start.

He's a beautiful fish - a very striking color of blue - and he's also very shy. Loves hiding behind stuff. Owning a Betta has been a scary and interesting experience so far. He's had a lot of behaviors I've never seen in a fish so far. I wanna do the best I can to be a good fish dad, so I'll probably only be posting with any problems I might have along the way.

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Old 01-15-2023, 05:52 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2022
Location: Perth in Western Australia
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Hi Doug and welcome to the forum

Have you had fish before?
Do you know about water changes and the filter cycle?
Can you provide us with some info about the tank and filter?
Maybe post a picture of the whole aquarium so we can check it out.

If the fish lives in a dark quiet room, they tend to become shy and hide a lot. The best place for a fish tank is in the loungeroom or somewhere a lot of people move around. Then the fish get used to having people (or animals) around them and they spend more time out in the open.

The other reason fish hide is if the water quality is not good. You can test the water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH with test kits available from pet shops or online. Or you can take a glass full of tank water to a pet shop and ask them to test it for you. Some shops charge a small fee top water testing and this is to cover the cost of the test kits.

If the fish ever looks unwell, see below for some basic first aid for them.

If you have any questions about the fish, feel free to ask. Ask questions early because the sooner you identify fish health issues, the more chance of successfully treating them.


Test the water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH.

Wipe the inside of the glass down with a clean fish sponge. This removes the biofilm on the glass and the biofilm will contain lots of harmful bacteria, fungus, protozoans and various other microscopic life forms.

Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate every day for a week or until the problem is identified. The water changes and gravel cleaning will reduce the number of disease organisms in the water and provide a cleaner environment for the fish to recover in. It also removes a lot of the gunk and this means any medication can work on treating the fish instead of being wasted killing the pathogens in the gunk.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added to the tank.

Clean the filter if it hasn't been done in the last 2 weeks. However, if the filter is less than 6 weeks old, do not clean it. Wash the filter materials/ media in a bucket of tank water and re-use the media. Tip the bucket of dirty water on the garden/ lawn. Cleaning the filter means less gunk and cleaner water with fewer pathogens so any medication (if needed) will work more effectively on the fish.

Increase surface turbulence/ aeration to maximise the dissolved oxygen in the water.
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Old 01-15-2023, 06:46 PM   #3
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Thank you. I actually just got him transferred to a new tank today. I'm a bit more experienced in what to look for this time around. His old tank had very hard water, as a result of the tap water I used. I tried to treat it, but it was still in the red. This time I got much, much softer water with a combination of softened tap water and distilled water that I used to lower the kH and pH. He's already looking more active.

Unfortunately I live in a camper alone, and I'm not very active. I have him set up on my dining table, but I'm not sure it's ever going to be all that lively in here. But the new tank I gave him does have much more engaging bits and bobs for him to enjoy. I have a betta log in there now, and I intend to look into more Betta toys in the future. Potentially some Betta-friendly aquatic life now that I have him in a more spacious 10-gallon tank.

I put out for a nice 10-gallon tank. It has simulated underwater daylight and moonlight options (it seemed like he wasn't a huge fan of the lights in the old tank), and the filter is stronger, but it has a splash guard that keeps the flow from being too aggressive. I remember hearing that Bettas aren't a fan of strong currents. It also has a Bio-Wheel, which sounds like it will do good work for maintaining the tank's ecosystem.

I have a picture of it, but it was before I transferred him over. He's still adjusting now.


He was taking up tailbiting before - or it seemed to be as much, considering how quickly and unevenly his tail was shredded. It may have been a combination of the water quality and the lack of stimulation in the tank. It's why I took drastic measures to improve his conditions.
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