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Betta won't stop pacing!!

FishFinatic77

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So, I got a betta almost three weeks ago, and for the first few days he seemed very happy, exploring his tank. Then, he started pacing back and forth at the back of the tank, and sometimes at the side closest to the window.
I thought maybe he saw his reflection, so I taped some paper over the side by the window. He stopped pacing on that side, only going there occasionally now, but still kept pacing at the back.
I then thought maybe he was bored because I didn't have many plants in his tank. So, I went out and bought a whole bunch of live plants and made him a little jungle. I thought that would make him stop, but he is still doing it.
He never flares, except for when I put a mirror in front of the tank, and he eats like normal.
He greets me every time I walk into the room, and looks nice and healthy.
His tank is 5 gallons, is at a consistant 80 degrees, and is fully cycled.
Why is he still pacing? Would adding a snail tank mate help? I would rather not get a snail if I don't have to, but I will if nothing else works.
Does anyone have any ideas on why he could be pacing and how I can make him stop?
Thanks!
 

Colin_T

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Pacing back and forth is stereotypical behaviour associated with boredom and insufficient mental stimulation.

Putting the animals into a bigger enclosure usually helps.

Feeding them in different areas and at different times of the day can help. And making them look for or hunt for their food can help, (not that easy to do with fish).

Adding companions can help with some species but others can turn agro and kill anyone put in their tank/ enclosure.

Make sure there isn't too much water flow in the tank that is pushing him against one side.
 
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FishFinatic77

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Thank you for your reply. Would feeding some sort of food that sinks to the bottom be a good idea? Maybe I could get some frozen brine shrimp or something?
The filter is at its lowest setting, and he has no problem swimming, so I don't think it could be that.
Should I try adding a snail and see if it helps?
Thanks!
 

Colin_T

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Don't feed Bettas sinking foods.

You can try feeding live or frozen (but defrosted) brineshrimp, bloodworms, daphnia or prawn/ shrimp.

You can grow daphnia in a container of green water outside under a tree. Mosquito larvae will also appear in buckets of water left outside under trees and these can be scooped out with a fine mesh net, rinsed under a tap and fed to him.

Adding snails probably won't make difference to him but it might take his mind of things for a bit.
 
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FishFinatic77

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Doesn't frozen food sink though? Sorry if this sounds stupid, but I have never used frozen food before.
 

Colin_T

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Sorry I should have been more precise in my previous post. Don't feed Bettas dry foods that sink.

Yes frozen food does sink so you should only offer a little bit at a time. You can break a small amount of frozen food off and wiggle it in the water for a few seconds then lift it out. Some of the food will come off in the water and you let the fish eat that before offering more.

Alternatively, put a small amount of frozen food in a bowl and let it defrost. Then use a pr of tweezers or your fingers and pick a small amount up and offer it to the fish. Let him eat it, then offer more.

After feeding, remove any uneaten food so it doesn't cause water quality issues.
 
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FishFinatic77

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Ok, thanks! I will see if I can get him some frozen food. Do you have any you recommend other than bloodworms?
 

Colin_T

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My preferred choice of frozen food for fish, is shrimp/ prawn, which you can buy from a supermarket or bait shop.

For live food I use live daphnia, mozzie larvae, brineshrimp and aphids as the main source, but I also use whatever is available.
 

Deanasue

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Read up on making a brine shrimp hatchery from a water bottle. Very simple to do. I feed my bettas live baby brine shrimp and they have fun hunting them down.
 
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FishFinatic77

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Thank you Deanasue, but I honestly don't know if I would be able to feed a live animal to my fish. I just can't bing myself to end a life, even a small one. Do you know of any other way I could entertain him?
 

Deanasue

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The shrimp look like salt in the tank. You can’t tell what they are. That’s the only way I can do it. Lol!
 
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