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Why Is Stressed Betta Fish A Concern?

stressed betta fish

Stress in betta fish can be your betta fish’s worst enemy. Stressed betta fish is single-handedly responsible for your betta fish’s ill health or death. Stressed betta fish have many symptoms, and it can be the root cause of significant betta-killing diseases like bacterial and fungal infections, dropsy or fin rot, etc.

Betta fish, also known as the Japanese fighting fish, are built to naturally survive in the worst water conditions. Nevertheless, like humans, with breeding evolution, betta fish has evolved, and it is hardly found in the wild. They are bred by fish keepers and need a specific habitat to survive long. In confinement, betta can live up to 3 to 5 years.

In the wild, betta fish lives for not more than 1-2 years. The reason behind this is stressed betta fish. In their natural habitat, the water conditions, diet availability, and temperature requirements are poor and inappropriate, which causes a stressed betta fish. In this post today, we are going to learn more about stressed betta fish and how to prevent it.

What Is Stress In Betta?

Like humans, when a betta fish is under stress, its body releases the stress hormone cortisol, which has significant negative impacts on your tiny little betta fish. Every fish is stressed about something, but when it gets out of hand, we should be worried. Your aim should be to keep this stress minimal.

Like humans, stress causes depression and inactiveness in your betta. It can be due to low water temperature, the addition of a new tank member, poor nutrition, boredom, etc. All these factors you need to keep at the optimal level to prevent stressed betta fish.

When your betta fish are regularly exposed to harsh circumstances, they can exhibit mental and physiological signs. Stressed bettas will not act ordinarily, and they will show signs that make them appear tired or sick. Regrettably, betta fish are often misinterpreted, making them vulnerable to unintended mistreatment.

Stressed Betta Fish Symptoms:

Stressed betta fish has so many different yet common symptoms. Sometimes, fish keepers get confused about whether their betta is just sleeping, playing, or is it showing signs of stress. Betta is usually stressed when bought. It will eventually adjust to the habitat slowly through acclimation.

But it is when the pressure is prolonged that one needs to worry. Some symptoms of stressed betta fish are:

  • Loss in vibrancy: Your betta fish, is primarily a bright-colored fish available in every color possible. Nevertheless, when a betta fish faces a change in its habitat or some insufficient water parameter, it will change its colors. It will portray a loss in its shimmering, dazzling, and flashy colors. This is one of the most common symptoms in a stressed betta fish.
  • Loss of Appetite: Like humans, stressed betta fish deny food. They do not feel like eating and will spit it out or not have the food at all.
  • Stripes: Another visible bright lights symptom of stressed betta fish is stripes on your beautiful betta fish body. If the betta’s color has dimmed, the strips become pretty obvious. This is more frequent in female bettas, although it can also be found in males.
  • Drowsiness: The betta will appear to be exhausted and inactive. It will linger around the aquarium’s base, showing no desire to swim or interact with aquarium toys. Your betta may also seem still at the surface of the container and have fast gill movement, indicating that they are having trouble breathing.
  • Other Symptoms: This may include clamped fins, abnormal fishing or swimming patterns, and frequently hiding behind the tank object. These symptoms require you to observe your betta more carefully in short time intervals.

Stressed Betta Fish Causes:

Stressed Betta Fish signs

There are various reasons why your betta can be stressed. Betta fish are susceptible to changes and can tress over small or minute changes in water or their habitat.

Tank Size

Firstly, keeping your betta in a bowl is the primary cause of its stress. Betta needs a tank since they are territorial and like to swim freely in open spaces. Small tanks may also trigger stressed betta fish. The optimum level of tank size for a betta is 3-5 gallons.

Poor Water Conditions

The water condition heavily influences the growth and life of your betta fish. Bettas are tropical fish that demand a filter to keep the water fresh and house a population of helpful bacteria that helps transform fish waste into nutrients. As a result, no filter will produce an unfavorable environment in the tank, which will cause betta stress.

It is vital to clean the tank properly once a week, using 25% of the tank water. Temperatures in the tank should be between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. To maintain this temperature, a heater must be installed. Betta fish can become anxious if the water temperature changes. A proper air pump must also be installed to ensure good oxygen supply to your betta.

Tank Mates

A betta fish can rapidly grow agitated if kept with unsuitable tank mates. Male bettas should be avoided and kept in the same tank as other males. They have a very territorial mentality and will fight until they die or are seriously injured. Fin snippers, hostile and violent fish, should not be kept with bettas because they are equally aggressive.

Lack Of Tank Objects

No tank objects can lead to severe boredom in your betta fish. They will find nothing interesting in your tank and soon stress out in boredom. Install proper plantation; toys like rings, bubbles, and logs in your tank.

Stressed Betta Fish Treatment

The treatment options are more prevention options. Ensure you have a healthy water condition and provide healthy nutrition to your betta. They are omnivores and require sufficient meat protein. Provide them with variety in diet and do not overfeed them, or they will have swim bladder disease.

If you think your fish has an infection due to stress, we recommend immediately shifting it to another tank and consulting a professional. Therefore, your betta will recover and live a long healthy life with proper tank parameters.

You can also try adding some stress reducer products for betta fish. For instance, adding bubble makers, enough hiding space like logs, and toys can help him manage his stress. You can also add stress coat products, which aim at removing harmful compounds, chlorine, and other heavy metals to maintain the balance of water.

Happy vs. Stressed Betta Fish

BasisHappy Betta FishStressed Betta Fish
Colors Bright colors and a shimmering body is an indications of a happy betta.Faded colors and a lifeless body characterize stressed betta fish.
Swimming patternsYour betta will enjoy its swim and will swim effortlessly when happy.It will feel sluggish and not like swimming if betta is stressed.
HidingWhen betta is happy, it will not frequently hide behind leaves, filters, or other tank objects. Stressed betta fish will choose to hide behind tank objects as a defense mechanism.
MealsHappy betta fish will eat sufficiently whatever you give. Stressed betta fish will either avoid eating or spit everything it consumes.

FAQs on Stressed Betta Fish

How can I tell if my betta fish is stressed?

The common symptoms of stressed betta fish include clamped fins, fading colors, and irregular swimming patterns.

How do you calm a stressed betta fish?

Changing the water frequently, maintaining proper tank conditions, installing aquarium toys, and a good diet will help your stressed betta fish.

Why is my new betta fish hiding behind the filter?

If your betta is lurking beside the filters even though it has lots of other hideaways, the water composition in the tank may be poor. The filter unit produces cleaner water, presumably why your fish is lingering.

Why is my betta fish stressed after a water change?

This might be because the water has changed. Betta fish is sensitive to such fluctuations in its habitat. To avoid such stress, it is advised to acclimate betta before introducing it to new water.

Final Thoughts:

Finally, if you nurture your betta well and provide him with the attention he requires, the possibilities of him becoming anxious are slim. If you see a stressed betta fish, take action right away. First, locate the issue, study its behavior, search for possible infection symptoms, and assist it. Your betta will live long lives if you do this.