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What's wrong with my betta?
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haedcase
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Joined: 06 Oct 2011

PostPosted: 2011.10.06(Thu)6:49    Post subject: What's wrong with my betta? Reply with quote

I have been looking all around the internet for an answer, but I'm pretty stumped on this, so I thought I'd finally come here.

I've had my betta just over two weeks now. When I first got him he was active and acted like a normal healthy betta. However earlier this week he started acting more and more lethargic, and now he just floats around at the surface or on the bottom of the tank somewhere. He comes up for air and he eats when I feed him, but then he returns to floating.

When he first started exhibiting the symptoms, I added a small heater to the tank, thinking the water was too cold. The water is kept at a constant 78 degrees now, but I've noticed no change in his behavior. He does keep his fins slightly clamped, but I'm not seeing any other physical symptoms. When I first got him, if I put a mirror next to his tank, he would flare and show off like a betta is supposed to. Then after the symptoms showed up, he would still flare, but only half-heartedly, and would just float in front of the mirror. Now he ignores it entirely.

I'm really at a loss here, so any help would be appreciated. Here's a run-down of the tank:

Size: 2.5 gal
Ammonia: 0
Nitrate: 0
Nitrite: 0
pH: 5.5
Temperature: 78

It's a small tank, so there is a heater but no filter. I've been doing ~30% water changes once a week. It is planted with a couple of live plants and about .5-1 inch worth of gravel. There are no other decorations.

I feed him 2-3 Omega One pellets per day, skipping one day per week. I fed him a small amount of freeze dried brine shrimp for the first time last Sunday, and I haven't again since then.

Thank you!
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diademhill
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Joined: 18 Apr 2007

PostPosted: 2011.10.06(Thu)16:10    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a 2.5 gallon tank with not filter and only 30% water change a week there has to be ammonia present.

Take another sample to test and then do a 60% change and repeat this for three days - then 20 % daily for a week. Then 30% twice a week at least.

When you test do you really shake the bottles first?

What water treatments are you using?
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haedcase
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Joined: 06 Oct 2011

PostPosted: 2011.10.06(Thu)17:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used a strip test and it always came back zero. Today I purchased a Seachem Ammonia Alert thing, and at the moment it also says the ammonia is at a safe level. Although it does say it could take a few days for it to get used to the water, so I'll keep an eye on it.

My water treatment is Top Fin dechlorinator. I will do a water change for now though and increase my changes in the future. Hopefully it will help.
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diademhill
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Joined: 18 Apr 2007

PostPosted: 2011.10.07(Fri)2:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

The strip tests are not reliable.
Your alert will take a few days to work but keep up the changes as no ammonia is the aim.
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haedcase
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Joined: 06 Oct 2011

PostPosted: 2011.10.09(Sun)9:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought I would post back with an update now that it's been a few days. Since I started doing the increased water changes, he has gradually been getting more active, and today he's swimming around like he did when I first got him, so it seems like the ammonia was the problem. I will continue with daily changes for the next week, and then do changes twice a week instead of only once.

Thank you for the help. Smile
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emilykrys
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Joined: 12 Oct 2011

PostPosted: 2011.10.12(Wed)16:08    Post subject: Reply with quote

haedcase wrote:
I thought I would post back with an update now that it's been a few days. Since I started doing the increased water changes, he has gradually been getting more active, and today he's swimming around like he did when I first got him, so it seems like the ammonia was the problem. I will continue with daily changes for the next week, and then do changes twice a week instead of only once.

Thank you for the help. Smile


One thing I use to test too is the pool testers for water tests because sometimes the strips really don't give you a correct reading of pH and all.
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nikelodeon79
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Joined: 08 Nov 2007
Location: Wisconsin, U.S.A.

PostPosted: 2011.11.22(Tue)9:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you do not have a filter, you will need to do 100% water changes in order to keep the ammonia and nitrite levels down.

Alternatively, get a slightly larger tank (5 gallons would be perfect) and a filter with an adjustable flow. I personally like Duetto50s (NOT the "mini" version, as the flow is way too high and you cannot adjust it). I replace the carbon in the Duetto with my own media (you can use tiny ceramic cylinders or Efisubstrat by Eheim), and the filter is pretty much good for life: no need to change media, ever. Just swish it in used tank water every 6 months or so.

The heater is definitely a must with bettas, and I'd raise that temp to 80*F. Bettas really do like it warm.

A few low light plants would also be appreciated by your betta, and they will help with water quality.
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needabiggertank
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Joined: 08 Dec 2011

PostPosted: 2011.12.08(Thu)20:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been keeping bettas for years. I've never used heaters or filters with no problems. Room temp should be fine. If you do 100% water change with prime every couple weeks that should keep him happy. Bettas aren't very active as it is so I wouldn't expect a whole lot of movement all the time. If you think about it the fish stores don't use heaters or any specific treatment except a bowl and a shelf. These guys are very hardy. Hope this helps.
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nikelodeon79
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Location: Wisconsin, U.S.A.

PostPosted: 2011.12.13(Tue)12:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

needabiggertank wrote:
I've been keeping bettas for years. I've never used heaters or filters with no problems. Room temp should be fine. If you do 100% water change with prime every couple weeks that should keep him happy.

The overall aim of this site is to educate on keeping fish in ideal conditions: it's about thriving not surviving. The ideal temp for bettas is 78-82*F... if your house is that warm then I guess that's okay. Most people's homes are not that warm, however, so a heater is a necessity.

Quote:
Bettas aren't very active as it is so I wouldn't expect a whole lot of movement all the time. If you think about it the fish stores don't use heaters or any specific treatment except a bowl and a shelf. These guys are very hardy. Hope this helps

Actually, bettas are quite active in the right conditions. If their water is too cold, they become very sluggish.

Bettas are kept in deplorable conditions in fish stores and in peoples homes, offices, etc. They are hung on walls in tiny little bowls and even kept in cell-phone sized tanks. They CAN survive a lot of abuse... doesn't mean they SHOULD live in those conditions.
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Suzie Q
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Joined: 07 May 2007
Location: Texas

PostPosted: 2012.02.24(Fri)11:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

Old thread, but I have been AFK/MIA...what ever you want to call it Very Happy

needabiggertank wrote:
Room temp should be fine.


Room Temp??? Who's room? Mine (52-66*F during the winter - 68-70* in the summer)... Wine is kept at "room temp" too...again WHO'S ROOM? Above the Bar at most restaurants where the average temp is 76+ F. Red wine should be kept at Cellar Temp (54-68*F) and a Betta should be kept at Tropical Temps (after all they are tropical fish) 78-85*F.

needabiggertank wrote:
If you do 100% water change with prime every couple weeks that should keep him happy.


WTH!!! seriously!!! How often do you flush YOUR toilet? I breed these and show these fish. My show fish are kept in either 32oz mason jars, or Beanie containers. They get 100% daily water changes. My breeders are in Barracks in my 75g, they get 25%+ water changes every week, my spawns are in 10g and after they are a month old, they get 50+% water changes every day to every other day (lots of live plants in my spawn/grow out). I have a Wet Pet at work that is in an unfiltered 1.5g that gets weekly water changes of 100%. I use the 55g (which gets -50% every week) water to wash the gravel out and use it to wipe down the walls of the 1.5g so I don't kill the beneficial bacteria. He also has a Java Fern in there too.
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