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Old 12-23-2012, 04:21 PM   #1 
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New fish lethargic and not eating

Please help me! On Wednesday, I bought a beautiful ct female, she is blue with orange fins. I have been doing two 50% water changes a week, and removing un eaten food. She is not eating, and is fairly lethargic. How can I fix this?


Housing
What size is your tank? Less than 1 gallon
What temperature is your tank?
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

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?Pellets and freeze dried blood worms
How often do you feed your betta fish? A little bit, twice a day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change?Twice a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?Nutrafin aqua plus to make the water safe.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?I have not tested my water

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?No change, stress bars.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?Lethargy, no appetite.
When did you start noticing the symptoms?The day after I bought her
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No, I have not.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Not that I know
How old is your fish (approximately)? Fairly young, she is small.
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Old 12-23-2012, 05:08 PM   #2 
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Please help!
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Old 12-23-2012, 05:31 PM   #3 
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You should probably be doing water changes every other day with a tank that small. Also buy a thermometer to see how warm the water is.
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Old 12-23-2012, 05:33 PM   #4 
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First off you need to get a larger container. Half gallons, while yes they are sold and marketed towards bettas, are completely inappropriate to keep them in except for short term or hospital tanks. You need to invest in at least a 2 gallon container, but 5 gallon would make keeping her water clean a lot easier.

Unless your house is always 80f+ she's freezing and you need a heater. You also need an in tank thermometer to monitor the temperature because heaters tend to not run very accurate. I don't know of any heater that will work in a half gallon, so that's another reason to get a larger tank. Depending on the size you get depending the size of heater. Ideally you want a good adjustable one like a Jager, Aqueon Pro or Marineland Visitherm. 25w would be okay for 2.5g up until about 5g and at 5g you can get a 50w heater. Cheaper preset heaters have a tendency towards overheating, failing and frying fish. You want the temperature finally come around 78-79 but you need to adjust her to it slowly. Put the thermometer in the tank and set the heater below what the temp is reading. Slowly click it up until it just comes on. From there you can raise the temp a degree or two per hour and no more than 5 degrees per day until she is finally warm enough.

With the size you have you need to be alternating 50% and 100% every other day. Some would even say and I have said in the past to do 100% daily, but after some more testing I think this would do.

Blood worms are like candy and should only be fed once a week and even then only one or two at a time. She also needs one fast day a week. In between she should be getting a couple small meals of pellets. What brand are you using? For most size pellets (things like Aqueon, Hikari, Omega One etc) 3-4 a day split up is good for most fish. For smaller pellets like New Life Spectrum Betta you can feed 5-8 split up.

Since you're using small container and not a large cycled tank I suggest switching to Prime or NovAqua Plus for your conditioner because it will render ammonia harmless in ways that most won't.

Right now I would do a 100% water change with room temp water and make sure you add conditioner to the amount according to the bottle. When you do water change cup her in something that has never touched soap and you only use for her - I use plastic solo cups for mine. Make sure the water you change is room temperature by using a thermometer in the tap or in the future you can mix it up ahead of time in buckets or gallon water jugs (again nothing that has touched soap and will only be used for your fish) and letting it sit overnight in the same room she's in. Acclimate her slowly anyway by adding a couple tablespoons of water every 10 minutes for at least an hour, and then you can pour your betta in the cup back into the tank, poring as little of the older water from the cup in as possible.

In the future when you use a heater you will need to stick a thermometer in the tap and make sure the tap is running the right temp before you put it in the tank because it will take too long for the heater to warm up cold water and her temps will fluctuate too much. Float in the tank after the change and acclimate slowly using the tablespoon method. For a 2 gallon you need two weekly water changes of 50% and 100%. The 100% should include rinsing gravel and ornaments too. In a 5 gallon you only need one 100% change a week.

Last edited by callistra; 12-23-2012 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 12-23-2012, 05:48 PM   #5 
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Thanks Callistra! That was very detailed. I have her in such a small tank because she is in quarentine, all my others are in at least 5 gallons and heated. I have had very good experienced with nutrafin, and I am not even sure if I can find the other brands in Canada. I will get her in to my larger tank once she is done quarentine, and in the mean time will buy a small heater for the quarentine tank. And just because I am a new user doesn't mean I am new to fish lol
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Old 12-23-2012, 06:01 PM   #6 
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Ah I see. There's nothing wrong with the conditioner. It's just the others will turn ammonia into a harmless form and that's a rare thing for conditioners to do. That's what makes it more ideal for smaller uncycled tanks.

sorry if that was a lot of info.. I try to be detailed lol. You just never know what people do and don't have experience with.
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