Female betta lying at the bottom of the tank, still has an appetite
I've had my 2 betta fish for about four months now, I call them walmart rescue fish because I saved them from the shelves of the store. About two weeks ago, they made their way into their new tank, a ten gallon tank, with nitrate and ammonia reducing sand, heater set to 79 degrees F, 3 stalks of live bamboo, assorted decrotive fake plants, and filtered. Both adjusted to the change very well, because before that they were in a 1 1/2 gallon vase with the bamboo naturally filtering the small amount of water.
(the bamboo love the nitrogen and ammonia components of the fish tanks and the chemicals act as fertilizer for the plants and remove it from the water.)
About two days ago, the smaller of my two female bettas seemed to slow down a little bit and seems to be breathing sort of hard. She also seems to have something like fin rot, but there isn't the usual degeneration of all fins, only her tail fin, and it hasn't gotten any worse in the last few days. She seems to only do any swimming if it is to get food or air and it takes her some effort to get to the top of the tank, shes also hanging out by a plant that is the same color she is, so I don't know if that has anything to do with it. My other betta is acting just fine, and shows no evidence of any disease, and both are still eating normally. The larger one even goes to see what's going on with the smaller one and seems to try to get her to swim. Any ideas what could be going on?
Wait, you're housing them TOGETHER? separate them immediately! Female bettas should only live together in groups of 4 or more.
Separate her immediately. She might just be stressed. Just because they look like they're getting along, doesn't mean anything. It can and will happen eventually.
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What size is your tank?
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Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
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What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?
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Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
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The smaller one is probably actually being bullied by the bigger one. You might think the bigger one's helping instead of hurting. As Teeney said, you need at least 4 females together. Females are just as aggressive as males but can live together with rules. BTW, is your bamboo called "Lucky Bamboo"? If it is, the leaves aren't submersible. Only the stem is. So be careful with that.
sound like the two are getting along fine, if it's been over 4 months
There was another forum member, a few months ago said they had 1 male and 2 females together. They said they'd lived together for 1 year. We told them to separate them, and they refused. Ironically, a few days later they killed each other.
When I first put them together, they did fight, and I know what the signs of fighting look like along with the difference between fin rot and fin rips as well as fin nips/bites. Generally, the two fish mind their own business, and don't really come into contact. The one laying at the bottom of the tank is the more aggressive one and did more of the chasing and fin biting. The tank is also large (10 gallons for just the two of them) enough and has plenty of hiding places with all the different plants. I've seen plenty of aggression in bettas as this is no where near my first tank or community tank. If everyone could rule out aggression, as seperating them atm is not possible. I just moved and don't have any other sort of tank cycled or even any other sort of tank. I do 25% water changes twice per week, with conditioner and a small amount of aquarium salt. She still comes up to the top whenever I come up to the tank for food and my other betta does not fight with her for food. They seem to know that there will be plenty to go around. Neither one have distened stomachs, no ich, if it were fin rot they would both have evidence of it, neither one has swim bladder issues, and her fins are not clamped as i have seen previously with chemical issues in the water. In my past tanks, if one fish has had an issue, they have all had issues, the bettas just seem to be the hardiest.
And as to my larger betta helping the smaller one up to the top, the larger one occasionally goes down the bottom where my smaller one is sitting and will wait there for her, and as soon as the smaller one goes to swim up to the surface, the larger one just swims a little below her, waits for her to get some air and then goes about her stuff. Its actually quite cute.
i just really want to help my poor girl