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Old 01-20-2013, 12:41 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Sad-looking Betta

What size is your tank? 5g
What temperature is your tank? 75-77 usually
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? 2 african dwarf frogs, nerite snail

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Betta pellets, occasional bloodworms
How often do you feed your betta fish? Daily

How often do you perform a water change? Weekly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 10%, but upping to 20% and the most recent water change was 20% with the introduction of my betta
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Tetra aquasafe plus, every few water changes some flourish equilibrium for plants & snails; CO2 daily; iron 2x weekly; flourish comprehensive 1x weekly

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 7.6
Hardness: Unsure - we have very soft and mineral-empty water in washington, so I add Flourish Equilibrium for my plants/snail
Alkalinity: Unsure

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? His aesthetic appearance is fie.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He never moves from the bottom of the tank - a couple times I have seen him near the top. He was chilling out in the java moss earlier, but one of my frogs hopped by and now he is laying on his side underneath the "cove" of my driftwood. I know that he is new and is adjusting to his new environment, but I am scared about how much time he spends on the bottom in awkward positions - on his side, face-down, etc. He does not come up for food, but if he is at the top he will eat pellets when I drop them near him. He will eat bloodworms off of tweezers (I feed him one at a time).
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Since I got him.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Unsure.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Unsure, but I have had him for 2 days.

I am scared that he is depressed or sick and that he is going to die soon. :( His fins aren't clamped but he just seems so dejected.
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:31 PM   #2 
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Ok now his fins look clamped. :(
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:38 PM   #3 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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It could be a few things-One being adjustment-especially to a larger tank with water movement. IMO/E the temp is okay, however, some Betta like it a bit warmer. I keep all of mine in the 75-77F range without issue-but since your is new and stressed-that can sometimes compromise the immune response. Plus, IMO the tank is overstocked and this is added stress.

What I would recommend right now-maybe look for at least a 1-2gal unfiltered tank to house him long term and since you have live plants...all the better to add...
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:40 PM   #4 
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I agree with the tank being overstocked. In a 5 gallon you can only have 2 adf's OR a betta, never both. Then add in a need to get the betta his own tank.
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:43 PM   #5 
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Just to add to the above, in a fully cycled tank 50% weekly water change will be needed. If you have thick enough plants you may not have to use a siphon at all, but if you have large patches in your soil/gravel without plants you will want to vacuum at least in those locations. Cycling can take up to two weeks, during which times more frequent water changes will be needed. Your plants will help but will not make up for water changes and careful monitoring. I would never try cycling a tank without a drops kit for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. I would test daily for ammonia, and nitrite and do a 50% change any time either reach as little as .25ppm. You'll see ammonia first, then nitrite. Ammonia should stick at 0 first, followed by nitrite. After a period of 3 weeks - 2 months you should be able to cut back to a once weekly water change.

"75-77 usually" to me indicates your temperature is fluctuating. It's important your betta is at one constant temp of 76-82F, most keep their bettas around 78-80 but some like it a little cooler or a little warmer. Temp fluctuations are hard on them.

You're definitely overstocked.. AFDs need 10g. Since you've only had him 2 days, at this point he's probably just stressed by his tank mates, or getting used to his new tank. You may also have ammonia building up from all of those fish in something so small.

Last edited by callistra; 01-20-2013 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:48 PM   #6 
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I've had many conflicting opinions and information about the stocking of betta tanks, especially in a planted tank since the waste output isn't as much of an issue with plants involved.

I will be visiting my LFS within the hour to discuss the issue with them, and look at prices for bowls since I am kind of impatient for Monday. I wonder what your opinions are on whether I can wait until Monday to grab a bowl?

I'm going to switch out the betta bowl heater with my other heater now.

@Callistra: The tank has been fully cycled. I have never ever ever ever in all of my testing since completing the cycling period (I test frequently using API master liquid test kit) seen any ammonia, nitrites, or nitrates go above 0. It simply has never happened, even as I have tested today. Not to be rude, but I am more intelligent about the nitrogen cycle than you have apparently assumed.

Edit: Er, I seem to have forgotten to mention that this Monday I plan to go home (I live in dorms) to grab my dad's old fishbowl that is about 1.5g. I plan on making it a little planted bowl that is nice to look at but if needed I can transfer my betta to this bowl even though it obviously isnt as great as a 5g. I have a spare heater for the 5g, which is currently being heated by a betta bowl heater. I've got my eye on a small filter as well, which I will be getting regardless of whether or not it becomes Pascal's new home because plants need flow of water.

Last edited by breeglet; 01-20-2013 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:03 PM   #7 
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In the time between when I left for the LFS and now, the new heater raised the temp to 78 and he has started to move around a little bit more and is no longer on his side; his fins are beginning to unclamp. I appreciate everyone's responses very much!

I will continue to watch him for a couple days as I set up my planted bowl. Just now I saw him nip at a couple things floating around the water, but he continues to hide in the wisteria - as long as he doesn't look like he is dying! I'm glad he loves the wisteria though.

Because I have heard many conflicting opinions about stocking ADFs with bettas, both from ADF/betta-experienced owners and those who aren't, I will wait a while before deciding about moving them. That is, if he looks normal and is swimming around within a few days I will probably leave them all alone and leave my bowl uninhabited - unless I decide to pick up the beautiful betta I almost bought instead of Pascal. Hmmmmm............

Edit: Okay NOW he is moving a little more (yay!) but he seems to be back to his previous love affair with the filter intake - which continues on even when unplugged. What's up with that? I'm on my way out to buy pantyhose for the filter so I don't have to worry about his fins. There is a little lid over the filter output, that came with the filter, to disperse the flow I assume, which sounds a lot similar to some baffle solutions used for reducing currents for bettas on non-adjustable filters. For whatever reason he really likes being nestled in the cracks of that intake.

For reference, this is my aquarium: I have the filter in the middle like one of the pictures shows. The intake are just small 2-4 vertical slats that are hardly even 1/4 inch wide.

Last edited by breeglet; 01-20-2013 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 01-20-2013, 05:23 PM   #8 
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I would say if you want to keep the adf's and betta together please buy a 10 gallon. That is better to stock, remember each animal needs 2.5 gallon PER animal so where you are sitting you need about 10 gallons. 2.5 gallons for 2 frogs is 5 gallons for just the frog, 2.5 gallons for the betta means you need 7.5 gallons. 2.5 gallons for the snail makes a total of 10 gallons needed to have your current stock kept together UNLESS you change water daily but even then the overcrowding issue and disease from stress will still be at risk.

Edit: This is also coming from someone who keeps a single adf and betta together in a 5 gallon and you can ONLY keep 1 betta and 1 adf together if your tank is fully cycled and heavily planted, having two plus a snail, I can't imagine even cycled how stressed those poor animals all are.

Last edited by LadyVictorian; 01-20-2013 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:21 PM   #9 
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Alright well I am returning my beloved Butter since he is being a pretty problematic frog in regards to Pascal (the betta). :( No more Cocoa and Butter. I don't have the means in such a restricted dorm environment to keep anything larger than a 5gal. I will see how he is with Butter gone. Water is at a very steady 80 now. I added a water bottle baffle to the filter because I noticed when it was on he was having to ruffle his fins more than when it was off, and the baffle has helped that. He's chillin' at the top now. His fins are kind of clamped again but I think that is mostly Butter's fault, he is much less graceful than Cocoa, who gives Pascal much space to be alone and unbothered. Butter just crashes into everything...

Goodbye Butter... you and Cocoa made such a cute name combo...
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:24 AM   #10 
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Location: Red River, NM
A fully cycled tank has nitrates between 10 and 40. If all are at 0, it's not fully cycled.
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