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CaptainByMoonlight
03-06-2017, 02:19 AM
WARNING LOOOOONG STORY AHEAD

Michael was purchased from my LFS Pacific Aquarium and Plant on Feb 15th 2017. He was the only CT and was full of 'personality' / Aggression. Out of all the Berta's he displayed himself the most. We got home and he moved right into a 5g tank. https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170306/7f888d12c7ef33170c1db70376c50f97.jpg. Life has been good, weekly 50% water changes, 0 nitrates, 0 nitrites, 6 ph, a semi planted tank... well nice from the point of view of humans.

Michael on the other hand was unhappy, he would frequently flare at his reflection. (Never at the glass but at the black acrylic divider of his tank). I thought it would die down, but within two weeks I saw a pinhole in his fin. After researching I learned it was called a blowout and was caused by excessive flaring.

I had a... wee freak out.

I was sure the reflection was the problem so I quickly drew up a laser cut blueprint of the acrylic divider, hit a sheet of acrylic with 80 grit sandpaper and cut it out.
https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170306/7aceaaf065bd068f5613edfe6c547d42.jpg

We installed the new back and it seemed like this were turning around.
https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170306/55aa7aa5f63974dfec5cc19e48a90644.jpg

An hour later he found the filter intake vent that I cut out and was flaring at the small uncovered area...

CaptainByMoonlight
03-06-2017, 02:21 AM
The next day he ripped his caudal fin and broke a ray...
https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170306/6dcabe86665ae7b442e76c8b2ae5fefb.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170306/929cd380725ac7bb9d762de74de5578d.jpg

Immediately I made several frantic Amazon orders for stress coat, a critter keeper, sponge filter setup, and a few other things.

So I covered his tank with a towel hoping if he couldn't see himself/ anything he wouldn't flare. Then at the store I walked past the rubber made section and found a gem! Aka a plastic translucent tub. I pulled out the drill and made some adjustments, slapped it with some sand paper and bada bing bada boom. A tank!

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170306/49a674c08ea1f4f09cbab5231165c86b.jpg

Michal moved in soon after the tub was sterilized... so far it's been 12h with no flaring... I am a little salty, but relived that his comfort has improved... jk realllllly salty...

Also what do I now put in his old 5g?!?!?

Slaphppy7
03-06-2017, 02:48 AM
I'd put him back into the tank.

He can't stay in an unfiltered container for long, the stress will only make things worse

Maybe I'm missing something here...

CaptainByMoonlight
03-06-2017, 02:50 AM
Added a sponge filter after the last photo was taken. The bucket (2.5g) is a temporary solution until I can get my 10g up and running.

Slaphppy7
03-06-2017, 02:54 AM
Good job.

I still believe I'd give him a bit more time in the tank, perhaps nearly no light for some days

Is there lots of activity outside of the tank that may be a stress factor for him?

CaptainByMoonlight
03-06-2017, 03:02 AM
Not much activity my job keeps me out of the house for most of the day. Your advice on putting him back in the 5g is sound, but I don't think I'd risk him going back in and ripping anything else... well thinking about it now since he is out of the tank at the moment I could take the chance to drain the tank, And hit the black acrylic with some 80 grit sand paper to reduce the reflection...

Although I kind of want to give him a few days in the impromptu hospital bucket to rest in IAL and stress guard...

Slaphppy7
03-06-2017, 03:06 AM
The QT period may heal the fin ripping behavior, but will it make a difference once he's returned to the tank, is the question

After all, the tank IS his ultimate home

I have just a small amount of experience with betta, but I do recall the least amount of stress for mine seemed to do them well

CaptainByMoonlight
03-06-2017, 03:22 AM
I apologize for being difficult, and I agree with you completely, he should be returned to his tank. However the mirror polish on the back of his tank needs to be addressed before I would even think about putting him back in his home. It being maybe not the source but definitely the focus of his aggression. The clarity is such that he sees his reflection and attempts to fight himself off.

This gives me as I see it two options. One, remove or alter the original tank to reduce the reflection on the black acrylic. Two get a new tank set up for him pronto.

On a side note thank you for you help. I appreciate the feedback.

Slaphppy7
03-06-2017, 03:38 AM
No need for apologies, you are not being "difficult" at all.

Is he mirror polish interior or exterior?

CaptainByMoonlight
03-06-2017, 03:41 AM
It's black acrylic shiny as a new penny. He never flared at the glass of the tank, only the black acrylic https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170306/490dfa31c90c51d4ae5fbaef6d5a8764.jpg turned the flow up on the filter since Michael wasn't in there and turned the light on for the picture I'm keeping it off for now

Slaphppy7
03-06-2017, 03:53 AM
I see now what you mean, maybe you could get a moss wall growing back there...?

CaptainByMoonlight
03-06-2017, 04:17 AM
Hrmm, ill definitely look into that, thank you :)