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Scratching Betta
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Joined: 13 Apr 2005
Location: Cookeville, TN

PostPosted: 2005.04.19(Tue)22:30    Post subject: Scratching Betta Reply with quote

I am keeping a male Betta in a 1 gallon tank by himself for the moment. (I'm contemplating moving him, but he's been happy here for the moment.) Anyway, as I said, he's been doing fine, but just in the last day I noticed that he seems to be scratching himself. There is a fake plant in the tank with the "roots" sticking up--not under the gravel. It seems that my Betta's new favorite hobby has been to swim under these roots. He almost looks like he's playing limbo. Sometimes he'll get halfway and just stop and lay there, almost like he's stuck, but he always pushes through. He doesn't do this behavior all the time, but I have just seen him start to do it in the past day. Anyway, I'm wondering if this is just my Betta coming up with ways to entertain himself or if this is scratching that could be indicative of something sort of illness. Early signs of ick? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
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Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: 2005.04.20(Wed)8:21    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it really scratching or does he just wedge himself under the roots? Scratching is associated with ick, but my bettas often display the same behavior (hiding under fake plants/roots for minutes on end) and they've never had ick before. Scratching is usually more of an erratic swimming, where the fish actually rubs itself against a rock or the gravel.

If your fish does seem to be scratching and not just hiding, be on the lookout for small glittery spots. This is the ick parasite. If this does appear, do small (maybe 1/6 of the tank) water changes over the next couple days. Add some medication if the ick becomes worse or covers your betta completely. If you have a heater, turn the tank temperature up to around 80 degrees and leave the tank lights off during treatment. Also, I'd recommend adding some aquarium salt (not sea salt) to the tank to minimize stress to your fish.

Byez! Very Happy
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Joined: 30 Apr 2005

PostPosted: 2005.04.30(Sat)16:47    Post subject: Betta behavior... Reply with quote

Bettas do tend to dig. I use marbles as decorations for his bowl and he will dig in them and stay there almost like he's stuck, although I belive that's normal behavior for a betta since all my past bettas hav done that. You have nothing to worry about unless you see him rubbing his side against the wall of the tank as he swims. What you are seeing is normal betta behavior. If you notice white spots of any kind, then you hav a problem
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