Hey guys, I joined this forum last year when I got my very first (and so far, only betta). I haven't been back to the forum until I noticed that I have a bit of a problem, and need advice.
Background information about betta:
about two years old (don't know exactly, but I've had him over a year, and he was pretty big when I got him)
10 gallon community tank, cycled, filtered, heated (heater currently off), live plants, perimeters holding within normal except for temperature; tank has been running for over a year.
swimming in circles around plants and other things, sticking his nose into the other fish business (non-aggressive), sleeping inside caves during nap time, comes when called (tap on glass), comes to eat at meal times when called.
flakes once a day (he eats the food the other fish eat, and won't touch his betta food), 1-2 days a week skipped so he's not overfed. I also offer him blood worms and his betta pellets for variety.
Sluggish, not interested in swimming around. Hiding and/or sleeping a lot. Not interested in food, or only grabbing one flake, and then going back to hiding.
Okay, here's the problem. Dodo has been acting very sluggish for the past four or so days. He's not lethargic; he just doesn't want to do anything. He also doesn't feel like eating. He looks fine, though. His fins and scales are normal, and he's not clamping the fins. His color is nice and bright. He's not over or underweight, and doesn't look bloated. When he does move, he's swimming like normal.
The tank temperature keeps going up because it's ridiculously hot here, and the thermometer registers it around 84 degrees. I'm thinking it's going higher, though.
I've been floating ice in a baggie today, and Dodo is swimming around like his usual self with the temperature at around 82 degrees. The problem is that I need a better way of keeping the temperature low. Here's what I've tried or considered so far:
1. Water change to help keep the temperature lower. The result was that the temperature just went back up in less than 12 hours. It even goes up at night.
2. Considered adding a fan. Didn't try that because I don't have one around. Even if I had one around, I have no way of safely adding it to the tank. Some of the fish in the tank are known jumpers, and taking the lid off is too risky. Also, the current from the fan would disrupt the water current too much for most of the fish in the tank. I already have to buffer the filter to keep the current low so the fan created current would most likely be an issue.
3. I read about chillers, but they seem really expensive for such a small tank. Plus, I don't think I have room to add one. I'd rather save that money and upgrade the tank to a bigger one since a bigger one would keep a more consistent water temperature (although, I can't upgrade right now due to space issues, but it's on the to-do list).
4. Floating ice in a baggie seems to work to keep the temperature lower, and Dodo has perked up a lot since the temperature has gone down. The problem is that the ice melts within minutes, and the baggie loses its effect in less than an hour. I'm replacing the ice at the rate of one baggie an hour already. I'm at home now, but if I have to go somewhere, I can't be there to replace the ice so it's not really consistent. Plus, I can't replace it at night, and the temperature goes up at night, too. If the temperature is under 82 degrees in the evening, it does stay around 82 until morning, though.
Any other ideas? Lowering the temperature in the house isn't possible since the A/C (central, not window) has broken and is barely holding the current temperature. The aquarium is not in direct sun light. Moving it to a basement would be nice, but we don't have a basement.
Thanks for reading this, though. Cookies for making it all the way through, and thanks for any advice.