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Old 03-18-2012, 04:22 PM   #1 
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Trying to be proactive

This is not a disease or emergency yet, but they say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure...and it's hard not to be sensitive about our little "Betta."

10 gallon
Gravel bottom, live plants and some ornaments (see picture). Recently added some mopani wood that was boiled several times the day we got it and is still leaking quite a bit of tannin.
Heated, 80 degrees
No aeration
Only one tankmate, a recently-added bristlenose pleco. They seem to mostly ignore each other.

Rotation of Bio-Gold pellets, some generic betta pellets, freeze-dried bloodworms, freeze-dried shrimp, and frozen peas
Once a day, 3-4 pellets

We had been on a bi-weekly water change schedule, but in response to his behavior we just did one a week apart, and most recently a 33% change just 2 days after his 50%.
Usually the water change is 50%.
We have not added anything except water conditioner until recently (see below)

Water Parameters
Tested earlier this week
Ammonia: 0
Nitrites: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 7.6
Hardness: unknown
Alkalinity: unknown

Symptoms and Treatment
His fins appear to be more worn than usual, but primarily he seems very listless and routinely sits at the bottom of the tank. His breathing appears heavier than normal as well. He is eating fine and reacts to our presence, but it takes more prodding than usual and he certainly does not have the same energy he used to. The situation is not dire but I've read about some similar situations that go south from here...

We first noticed the symptoms about two weeks ago, which seems to have coincided with the introduction of the pleco and mopani wood. I did not quarantine the pleco so there is a lesson I learned there. In terms of treatment I just started giving him a little bit (1/8 teaspoon each) of melafix and stress coat. We are going to do 33% water changes every few days now. He is probably about 1 year old and has had some melafix to treat small tears in his fins, but has otherwise been healthy.

Is there anything else I can do besides what I'm doing now? Thank you so much for your time.

The pictures show the setup, him sitting on the bottom of the tank (which he is now doing most of the time), and a close-up.
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:06 PM   #2 
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aww poor little guy. He is so cute. How is he doing? I hope someone comes along to give you advice because Im not an expert yet
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Old 03-18-2012, 10:57 PM   #3 
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Thanks for the kind words, Karebear. He's about the same, looks sad and tends to rest a lot. One thing I'm wondering, could that be a stress stripe behind his eye? You can see it in the last picture, and I can't remember if it's normal or not.
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Old 03-19-2012, 12:06 AM   #4 
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It could possibly be. Have you tried taking out the pleco and the wood and see if he perks up... since you said that he got like that around the same time you added those things
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Old 03-19-2012, 12:09 AM   #5 
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Location: Central Texas
Having the pleco in there may be stressing him out. I would try removing the pleco for a few days and see how he does.
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Old 03-19-2012, 12:27 AM   #6 
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your betta

how frequently do u vaccum ur gravel as it can act as a big culture medium for bacteria to grow (good and bad), at this point i would suggest quarantine him to a smaller tnk with his log(after disinfecting) and fake plants and use some broad spectrum antibiotic like maracyn plus, sudden ph change from the wood likely made him compromised
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:29 PM   #7 
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Thanks for all the advice, everyone. This forum is truly amazing for us people with the betta bug.

He seemed to be more active this morning so I am going to take it one day at a time with him. I think moving him to a separate tank is a great suggestion so I'll keep that in mind.

With regards to the gravel vacuum, we do that every water change. How aggressively should we be moving around rocks and kicking up waste? I was really rummaging through the substrate yesterday and surprised how much stuff kicked up.
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Old 03-19-2012, 03:30 PM   #8 
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I think it depends on if your tank is cycled or not. I have been told to do 1/2 the tank one week and the other half the next week as not to kill off all the bacteria in the substrate if its cycled.
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