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Old 11-13-2012, 05:09 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Normal Acclimation Behavior?

What size is your tank? 2 Gallons
What temperature is your tank? 78-82 degrees (I have a strip thermometer and it's showing somewhere in between.
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? No

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Some type of betta pellet given to me by a friend and Aqueon Betta Treat Freeze-dried bloodworms
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day, though he hasn't eaten yet.

How often do you perform a water change? Haven't yet.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? N/A
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? I conditioned water with Tetra AquaSafe PLus

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? No


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? None.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Only stays at surface of tank
When did you start noticing the symptoms? As soon as I got him, two days ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I treated the water with API Bettafix because his fins seemed tattered
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Not sure
How old is your fish (approximately)? No idea


Hello! I'm new to this board and to the world of betta fish. I picked up my little guy, Steve Buscemi at Petco two days ago. As soon as I put him in the tank he stayed near the top. I assumed it was due to acclimation stress so I let him be.

I initially had no heater for the tank, because the tank was a hand me down from a roomate who had recently lost her two year old betta to old age. The first night I did tons of reading about bettas to find that they did indeed need a heater. The next morning I woke up to a freezing room. I immediately ran out and got him a Marina 8W mini heater. He still seemed sluggish and stayed near the top. I've tried feeding him twice now (both pellet and treat) but he isn't interested.

Attached are a few pictures of him. The most worrying to me of course is when he leans up against the side. I thought he was dead yesterday when I got home from work yesterday because he was just floating near the heater. After some coaxing he came out.

Since I put the heater in he does seem a bit happier, and flits around a bit but doesn't seem to want to descend past 3 inches down. Could this be part of the acclimation process? I'm not too worried about the eating, I've read that they often don't eat right away. I just want to make sure he's healthy and happy! Please let me know if I should be concerned and anything else I can do to help him thrive.

His home

When I came home to him near the heater

An example of him leaning against the tank

And just a few for his color:

Thank you so much in advance!
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:43 PM   #2 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Las Vegas
Bettafix has had some red flags, I never used it so please google and see for yourself. I will say that bettas are surface breathers, and like to hang out in the upper water level. Perhaps you might like to check out the water change stickies that are at the top of the main pages. Partial water changes are oh so important, and may perk up your fish.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:02 AM   #3 
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Wow he is a gorgeous marble! The bettafix could be effecting him, anything ending in fix is not recommended because it can mess with their labyrinth (used to breath air). I would do an 100% water change and see if it helps! Make sure his water stays warm and clean!! hope it helps! Do an update soon!! XD

Edit: this happened to my betta and when I did an 100% water change with NO bettafix he was all better in a few days!!!

Last edited by madmonahan; 11-14-2012 at 12:05 AM.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:43 AM   #4 
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Agh, no good! I had done a search and read reviews on BettaFix and it said it was all gravy! As soon as I began to change the water I noticed the funky smell it left in the tank... almost like tea tree oil! That can't be good for a Betta!
Anyway, I just did the 100% water change as suggested and now I'm just waiting on the water temperature to level out before putting him back in. I will let you know how it goes. Thank you!
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:02 AM   #5 
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Bettafix is far from gravy! If you use it, you will notice your betta struggling to breath! Fix has tea tree oil in it that coats the labirynth and pretty much makes it useless. Resulting in eventual suffocation/death.
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:01 PM   #6 
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Helping your beta

Bettafix is just a watered-down version of Melafix, which IS melaleuca (tea tree oil). Both are controversial, but for tattered fins neither are really what you need.

Conservative treatment for most issues involves frequent water changes, plenty of warmth, and aquarium or epsom salts. The basic rule of thumb is that if the issue is on the outside of the betta, use aquarium salt, and if it's inside the betta, use epsom salt.

I would suggest you get a better thermometer -- the strip ones are not very accurate. You can pick up a glass thermometer with a suction cup for mounting inside the tank for $3 or less at most any pet store and WalMart.

You really want to keep the water in his tank at 78-80 degrees, 80 probably being the best target. You will want to get an adjustable submersible heater when you can, as they will allow you much more control over the tank's temp with time. The non-adjustable heaters are really designed just to raise the water temp a few degrees above room temperature, so if you are in a very cold room, the water likely will be too cold.

I'd suggest getting a gallon jug of water for your next water change, and after you add conditioner to it, add a small amount of aquarium salt (like 1/4-1/2 teaspoon per gallon) and shake it up until it dissolves. Then when you add the water to the tank, it will be all mixed up in advance. Aquarium salt can take a while to dissolve, and it's very important to make sure that is done.
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:08 PM   #7 
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is he doing any better? i hope so! :)
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:18 AM   #8 
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Yes, he is much better! He seems so much happier and lively, though he still doesn't really venture to the bottom of the tank yet. I've discovered he loves to sit atop of his heater. A few times I've walked over to see what he was doing because he was staying in one spot, but as soon as I walk over he comes out and greets me. I'm definitely an overly loving mom at this point, I'm pretty sure my mom thinks I'm crazy because I talk to him, haha.

I think I'm going to get some sort of plant to put in there so he can sit near the surface without having to be on top of the heater. Maybe some new friends for him too! Thank you for all of your help!
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:24 AM   #9 
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The only friend he needs is you =D
In a 2 gallon you could get a nerite, its to small for anything else.
No matter how many companions in a tank he has he will still love you the most! So don't stress about him having companions.
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Old 11-16-2012, 05:36 PM   #10 
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Location: Seattle, WA
I have a betta who behaved the same way. He would sit on the heater and swim towards the front when I came near.
I bought him a tall wide leaf plant from Petco and the next day I couldn't find him because he was burried between the leaves... he LOVES that plant!
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