Old Male Betta acting strange - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-12-2010, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Old Male Betta acting strange

Hi guys, I am new to the forum because I have been searching for answers regarding my betta fish and am not finding anything that really pertains to mine. I apologize if this has been asked before but I am new.

So about a year ago, my sister moved far away and could not take her Betta with her so he was left and is now my betta to take care of. He has always been alright, with me changing the water once a week and he was in this VERY small tank (the dual side one bought at walmart) that she had him in since she bought him. She has always used the same food/same tank/same water conditioner etc and I have always used the same things to not stress him out or traumatize him if I did change any of that stuff.

The tank started leaking and THANK GOD we caught it before there was nothing left of the water or Mr Betta. I immediately transferred him to a temporary tank (a coolaid pitcher) and he was left in there for about a day and a half until we got him his new Flourescent Tetra 1.5 Gallon Tank--they said it would be ok for bettas. So after washing it out and the three new plants off and getting the water in and letting is set for a day with the conditioner as usual, I placed him into his new tank...(He has refused to eat while in this temporary container)and is still refusing to eat. I noticed that he now swims at an angle and his body kind of falls over on his side when he does any kind of movement. He is still breathing, swimming (just not as much) but he is not eating and I find him in 1 of 2 places in this new tank 1st place is under his new plant in the corner-the 2nd place which is more frequently now, he is resting at the surface on top of the plant leaves (the plant stops just at the water level) he is still under water but he just sits there..I am scared that something is wrong--first of cuz he is not eating, 2nd because he is lethargic and is ALWAYS sitting on this plant leaf that is just below the surface. I used to have him sitting on top of our fridge, now he is sitting on the counter..I am wondering if his water is too cold or if he possibly has that swim bladder problem.. I think I have traumatized this poor little betta and I dont know what to do to help him!! Please help me help my betta!!!?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-12-2010, 04:39 PM
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The eating problem is not a real problem it's just him getting adjusted(Sp.?) to his habitat.
I'm not sure what it is but it may be SBD.
BTW I love the name Mr. Betta. :)

"Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more, you should never wish to do less."
~Robert E. Lee
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-12-2010, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply..I also think it is SBD, so I am going to go ahead and take the steps that bettatalk.com suggested to treat SBD. Do you think his water temp is too cold and may be the reason why he is sitting at the surface on his (fake) plant leaf? He has never done this before but he only had one small plant in his old tank and wasnt really able to do that in that one. he looks so silly chillin on his rainbow flourescent plant (A black light came with the tank and it is supposed to have a glowing effect but I am afraid to use the light because I dont want to stress him even more..Do you think the light would be ok to use? The tank also came with a heater, I am thinking about using it now to see if that would help the temp..hes been in his new tank since Friday night and is still not eating..so he hasnt eaten since then either..im getting worried..
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-12-2010, 05:43 PM
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Check the water temp. and if it is low turn on the heater in small amounts each day. For example:
Mon. 70 Degrees F
Tues. 72
Wed. 74
Thurs. 78

The light would be Ok but if he gets stress stripes or you physically see him suffering then turn it off. Don't leave it on too long. Can you show us pics?

"Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more, you should never wish to do less."
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-12-2010, 07:49 PM
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yeah show pics
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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I wanted to re-open this thread. Newest update:

Ammonia: When I measured it with the Testing kit—it was DARK green (between 4-8!!) This was before I did a partial water change 2 nights ago.

Ammonia tester used (salicylate or Nessler-reagent based?): ? the kind where you put 8 drops of one in a tube and another 8 drops in another to combine it with the water your testing..

Nitrite: Slightly pink on the tester strip at .5?

Nitrate: Same as Nitrite

Are you testing with dipsticks?: yes

pH: 7

KH: 40

Temperature: Was 74.5 because of the wrong reading of the stupid sticky thermometer but is now 75.8 after turning on his heater for an hour or so and getting a digital thermometer.

Heater: yes but the smallest you can find for 1-3 gallons—cannot keep the temperature stable!

Water change amount/frequency: It turns out I accidentally forgot to change his water one of the every other so his water was about 3 weeks old (no partial changes..had no idea I could do partial changes) I always put him in his temp bowl (.5gallon) with aged water and dechlorinator while I clean his tank and add new water/dechlorinator and then let it sit for 24hours and then I return him to his actual tank (1.5 gallon in size)

Tank size/how long in operation: Currently, 1.5 gal tank with a flourescent light…I got him in one of those small betta divider tanks but the tank was all to him. After I found it to be leaking (and barely caught betta before he had no more room in the water) which this is where it all started because I think he caught something after sitting in his dirty small amount of water for a couple hours maybe while his tank was leaking.) I had no aged water on hand when this happened so I quickly made some with bottled water and put him in a temp tank. My boyfriend went and bought the 1.5 gal tank which I then aged the water, and dechlorinated. I was never told to do Ph testing, nitrite, nitrate, or ammonia testing levels. I researched and found this out on my own. But my tank had already been up for about a month before I found this out.

Filtration: Whisper filter with pump( I have to buy a new one every other month because it constantly just stops flowing…it still sucks up stuff but does not pour out the spout)

Water additives/conditioners/pH adjusters: TopFin or betta conditioner..whichever is easiest at the time.

What, how much and how often are the fish/frogs fed: He used to eat a few pellets a day (not soaked as I did not know to do this). After he stopped eating completely (after the leaking tank mishap) I tried feeding him flakes and he didn’t want those either. For about 3 weeks, I kid you not, he would not eat! I finally researched other types of foods and bought him gel bloodworms that come in the pouch and I have NEVER seen him act so crazy to eat food! He loved them!! And since he was eating them, I kept feeding him those once daily for the first week and then switched to every other day..just a chunk or two that comes out of the packets. Now I have freezed bloodworms and he likes those just as much and still continues to eat now every other day. I choose to feed him every other day because his tummy seems swollen and he does have trouble swimming at times..he continuously lays on his side..at the bottom of the rocks,etc or gets behind the wisper filter and rests on one of the sticky things near the surface.

Unusual findings on the fish/frog: white raised cottony dot right below (or above) his eye. Whitish splattered looking paint under his mouth and gills (like on the bottom of his body) and white gunk on his eyes.

Unusual behavior: laying on bottom of tank or near surface..doesnt move much at all unless tapped on glass, swims sideways..looks sick

Medications/what has been tried or done do far: Nothing because this betta is so old and has never had ANY kind of medication/treatment what so ever. I bought Rid Ich + because I am pretty sure he has velvet (dust on his fins) fins are clamped, lethargy, gills seem to be breathing harder and harder. I also bought maracide (treats the fish, not the water)which I would like to try first..but I don’t know how to introduce it to him or his tank and with the amount of ammonia and temp..there is so much thought that goes into it that I don’t end up doing anything but a good ole water change. I added Nutrafin Cycle to see if it would lower the ammonia but haven’t tested it yet to see if it did.

Summary of potential fish/frog stressors: I wanted to get him out of the filthy tank as soon as possible so I filled up his temp tank (1/2 gal bowl) with tap water and added just under a ½ teaspoon of aquarium salt (aquarisol?) also added his conditioner which removes chlorine, chloramine, and other metals. I did a vacuum of his 1.5 gal tank rocks and filled the rest of his tank up with this pretreated water from petsmart. At that point his tank was disgustingly filthy, stuff floating everywhere…oh forgot to mention the filter went out on me for the 2nd time and did not have money for a new one for atleast a few days. After a day went by of letting his temp tank (1/2 gal) sit, I added betta to it and he kinda freaked out..was swimming everywhere like crazy (nothing I have seen him do before) so after about 10 mins, I checked on him again and he was literally lifeless laying vertically at the bottom of the tank so I freaked and since I hadn’t emptied his old tank to clean it out yet, I just scooped him and put him back into his 1.5 gal tank ( I KNOW, I STRESSED HIM THE HECK OUT by doing this) but I could not just watch him die. But after adding him back to his actual tank, he just layed at the bottom, breathing heavily..now his breathing is ok but he is still just laying around at the bottom. Please help, I have grown immensely attached to “Betta” and have spent a fortune on him this last 2 months (literally) and I am scared to do anything thinking it will put him in shock..He still has the few raised patches and the “paint splatter” under his chin and dusty dots on his fins. His fins are clamped and his entire color is pale…a very faint color from his actual red color. His gills have these red things coming out but I don’t know if this is how he has always been but when I look at him from the front, his head looks huge, maybe swollen..and his belly is pretty full looking.. he didn’t eat for 3 weeks, maybe even longer until I got him the bloodworms, now he eats like a pig. I bought a new filter and installed it for him last night which seems to be working fine..for now. I just need step by step instructions on WHAT TO Do,…exactly with all details..not leaving one thing out..I still have quite a bit of room temperature aged water sitting around (including the huge jug I bought of “pretreated” water) so if I could get him out of the tank completely into clean fresh water (that’s dechlorinated) in his new 1gallon temp tank. I want to medicate him but don’t know how or how much and with his type of water (ammonia being high and temp really low with a PH of 7 and nitrates/nitrites seem average. Should I just mix half of the pretreated store bought water with half of his tank water in the 1 gallon temp tank, add conditioner (how much?) and then add him to the gallon bowl with the meds…do I put him in first and introduce the med slowly/gradually or do I mix it all up and then put him in it? What if the water does match what he is in now?How do I fix this? Hes still surviving and I want to make him better!
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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I am in need to save my betta! When you say 100% water change, does that mean I place betta in a temp tank while I clean his tank and add conditioner to it with the correct temp and then put him back in the tank after I am done? This is what I have always done but I just want to make sure this is correct. Would you recommend I go ahead with the maracide? I have now realized that the color of his coat is now a copper color and am scared this is velvet. Or even ich as he has a cottony white patch just under his eye.

I just tested my tap water and it has an amonia level of 1.
I tested my bottled water and it has a level of 0.
Either way, I think it is safer than the level 4 that I am getting currently in his 1.5 gal tank.

Will this (shifting from amonia levels like that) put him in shock?
Also I noticed my Kh levels are 50 in his tank but 0 in the temp tank i am trying to put him in.
the ph matches in both, the temperatures match in both.
the nitrite and nitrate is slightly different in the temp tank as it is at 0.

I forgot to mention that after giving him the salt dunk, the next day he had a looong string of brown stuff coming out of his anal fin area...is this parasites or him just being "unsconstipated"? i have suspected he may be..

Right now, I just need to know what to do to help him at this point since his ammonia is so high and his ph is so different from the water that i "prepare" for him. "prepare" as in using filtered water with betta conditioner that has aged for 2 or 3 days with the same temp as his tank.

Can I put him in a new tank entirely so I can clean out his big tank and start over with that one? Or will it shock him to go into a clean tank since he has acclimated to this high ammonia one?

Also, I want to get a new heater (the 2-5 gallon one) because it has a set temp of 78 degrees but am scared that because I have a 1.5gallon that it will overheat his acrylic tank...The one i have now is the 1-3 gallon one and it doesnt have a set temp, it just keeps heating and heating and I have to remember to shut it off which is BAD for me since yesterday I forgot to shut it off before I went to work and it was on for 4 hours and his temperature raised from 72-78 until I came home on my lunch break and unplugged it. He was still laying in the same spot but he actually came out to eat and was swimming up top and is now behind his filter (he likes to rest right between the two suction cups) which is close to the top..he just seems depressed..I got a good picture of his spot below his eye and also of his belly area that looks splattered with white paint. He is a red betta but his color is pale, almost looks copperish. The only sprinkled dots I see on him is tiny ones on his fins. I can see a mucous coating on his skin..

The day before, I came home to him having this long brown thing coming from his anal fin area. (Somthing I have never seen after having him for a year now) and since I have suspicions of him having SBD, after adding him to a salt bath--maybe this was him being "unconstipated"...worried me but he still is acting the same, lethargic..

Also, should I medicate him with the maracide or rid ich that I have? Should I go to petsmart for the 3rd time this week and pick up an antibiotic as well? How do I introduce the treatment to him? I would obviously have to move him to his temporary 1 gal glass tank but how should I do that and with his old water? or with part old, part new and then add medication and then add betta? Or add betta first and then introduce the med? This is the part I dont know about! He does not have those sprinkled dots all over his body..just on his fins and mouth area which is why I am stumped as to what this is..???

Newest pic:
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 09:46 PM
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Hi, I stumbled across this and wanted to suggest you repost all of that information under the Betta Fish disease and emergencies forum. You'd get a better and quicker answer from someone there than here. I hope you get the advice you need and your Betta gets better.

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