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Old 08-29-2012, 02:17 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Aug 2012
What's Wrong With My Betta? Please Help! :(

I got my fish last September for my dorm room and he's been doing great and making bubble nests in his 1gal fish bowl since then, both in my dorm and at home. But 4 days ago I moved into an apartment and he immediately was not happy and developed the symptoms described below. I replaced the water about an hour ago with slightly warmer water and added extra water treatment, but he still looks and acts sick.

What size is your tank? about 1 gallon
What temperature is your tank? I don't know exactly, but normally room temperature.
Does your tank have a filter? no
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? no
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Top Fin Color Enhancing Betta Bits
How often do you feed your betta fish? 4-5 pellets once a day


How often do you perform a water change? once a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Top Fin Betta Water Conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? I have not tested the water because I don't have the means to.

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Used to be bright turquoise, now he is partly brown/reddish, fins are frayed
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Lethargic, floating sideways or just sitting at top or bottom of tank, doing "headstands", not eating for 2 days
When did you start noticing the symptoms? I noticed everything 4 days ago when I moved into my apartment, but thinking back, his fins were fraying up to a week or two ago and I didn't think anything of it. :(
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I replaced all the water today with warmer water and added extra water treatment. (Last water change before that was 4 days ago.)
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? I got him last September, but I don't know how old he was then.

I thought maybe he was acting weird because my apartment is significantly cooler than my dorm room and room back home, where he previously lived. Another possibility is that the water up by my school is harder water (has more minerals) than the water in my hometown. That is why I replaced the water with warmer water and added extra treatment. But, after realizing that his fins are frayed, I worry that he is really sick! Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 08-29-2012, 05:12 PM   #2 
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Location: Toronto
I dont know what is wrong with your betta, but I would highly recommend getting him a heater for his tank. Bettas need a temperature of around 75-80. It would help alot. Also, try upgrading his tank eventually to atleast 2.5 gallons, that's the minimum size tank for a betta.
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Old 08-30-2012, 12:23 AM   #3 
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Your 1 gallon would be sufficient to keep a betta alive (as long it receives proper care and water changes several times per week), but it's kind of tricky to heat, and yes - bettas do need heaters unless you live somewhere tropical.

Check your tank for sharp things - plastic plants are the worst offenders, but sometimes decorations have rough surfaces that can rip fins.

If all's well there, it may be a straight-up case of fin rot. There's some great info in the diseases sticky threads regarding treatments for that. But if he's having issues floating, I would not use the Aquarium salt method - I'd go for epsom salt (see 'swim bladder disease') and treat him with an antibiotic at the same time - the cause of both his buoyancy and fin issues is more than likely bacterial.

Bettas are so forgiving, even of way less than healthy conditions - but they hate sudden change and it can really take a toll on them - that's why so many bettas get sick right after a move/new tank/etc.

Adding warm water won't be helping him - you can't keep it warm without a heater/sufficiently heated room - and the up and down of the temperature is probably worse than leaving it be (assuming the weather's warm where you are right now).

Did you adjust him slowly to the new water? If not, he may be in a little chemistry shock, as well as a bit cold in general, and this too will not be helping.

I would:

- purchase a heater and heat him to no more than 78 right now, also would raise the temp very slowly.

- leave him somewhere dark and quiet a few days, away from household traffic and loud noises.

- treat him with epsom salt according to the directions in the sticky thread. and add some Indian Almond Leaf to the water, if available.

- keep the water very clean with 1/3 tank changes every other day, with pre-conditioned water (with IAL tannins in if possible) and a 100% change once a week.

- purchase some kanaplex or furan-2 just in case it's bacterial (which is sounds like, but I don't like rushing to medicate) - all the same better safe than sorry, etc.

- give him a few days to adjust to the new chemistry, see if the epsom works - if he's still ill in a week and no sign of improvement in fins or otherwise, I'd treat with antibiotic.

That's only what I would probably do, I'm sure there's other suggestions. =)
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:47 PM   #4 
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Thanks for the tips!! I've been doing daily water changes while waiting for the heater and larger tank I ordered to come in the mail, and he's eating and acting like himself again!! I think it must have been the move/new environment that he needed time to adjust to. But his fins are still raggedy and look like the pictures I found when I googled pictures of fin rot, so I think I will go ahead and follow the tips for treating that. He doesn't seem to mind having raggedy fins, but it can't be good for him!
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