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Old 02-17-2013, 10:39 PM   #1 
YaffeAgape
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Location: La Verne, CA
Exclamation Please help! my baby isn't acting normal

Housing
What size is your tank? 3 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 80 Fahrenheit
Does your tank have a filter? Yes, one that came with the tank
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? I am not sure what that is so I am guessing no.
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? 1 ghost shrimp

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Aqueon betta color enhancing pellets and freeze dried blood worms
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2/3 pellets per day and 1 blood worm per day
Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? I have done 2 50% changes the past 4 days
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50% lately
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Aqueon water conditioner, less than a table spoon of salt disolved in the conditioned water, and melafix before I found out it wasn't recommended

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

Ammonia: .25 ppm
Nitrite: 3ppm
Nitrate: 15ppm
pH: N/A
Hardness: N/A
Alkalinity: N/A

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? He has red in front of his gils and a litte behind, very tips of fins look like they are withering away. One of his swimming fins look like some is missing.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He doesn't dance for me anymore, he used to wiggle so much when he'd see me...Now he barely looks at me. I hope he isn't mad because that one water change when he scratched his head. I was a little rough because I panicked when I saw the nitrite level and left him in the tank when I did a 50% change and he hit his head on a rock.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? He was acting different since after the water change where I was rough, he had a scratch on his head and the day after his fin tips looked slightly black and withered at the end.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Aquarium salt yesterday and the day before and a little bit of melafix before I found out it was bad =(
Does your fish have any history of being ill? I'm not sure, he's my first real betta and I just got him. I'm so sad and scared, I didn't even know how cycling until I had him in his tank.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I am not sure, his fins are kinda long, maybe 5 months to a year?

I don't know what else I should do, he's my first real betta and I wanted to take great care of him and make him happy. But I found out I made so many mistakes, putting him in an uncycled tank, and being rough with water changes. He was SO happy before he hit his head and was dancing all the time, brilliant colors and made his first bubble nest. I just want him happy again =(
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:51 PM   #2 
callistra
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He has ammonia and/or nitrite poisoning and fin rot due to poor water conditions.

You should be testing daily for ammonia and nitrite using a reliable drops kit and doing an extra 50% change any time you see traces of either. The regular 50% change should include a siphon to clean the water. If you have a few plants, siphon around the plants and don't disturb them. You will see ammonia spike first, then you will see some nitrites. Ammonia will eventually fall and stay at 0 even after a full week of no water changes, and then nitrites. At this point the weekly 50% change with siphon should keep nitrates <20ppm. Cycling can take up to 2 months.

Right now you need to do 4 50% water changes to get nitrites that high under control. I would do 2 this hour, wait a few hours and do another couple.

You shouldn't use a sick fish to cycle a tank though. I would forget about cycling the tank at this time and increase his water changes to 50% every other day and as close to 100% weekly as possible without disturbing the gravel (siphon is necessary but don't rinse or remove the gravel). Then add aquarium salt at 1 tsp per gallon predissolved. Only add it back with a water change and only as much as water you change. Do this for 10 days and hopefully he will be well and you can continue cycling as outlined above.
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:57 PM   #3 
YaffeAgape
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Thank you so much, I'll try that. I hope he gets better. I didn't know I had to change the water so often, that explains why the results barely changed before and after my past 2 50% water changes
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:02 PM   #4 
callistra
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While the tank is cycling you will have to do it more often, but once things settle in it will be easier to keep him healthy. Good luck!
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:48 AM   #5 
YaffeAgape
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I just did 2 50% water changes just now with the aquarium salt. I found out my nitrites before were beyond what my test could handle(max is 5ppm). Now my Nitrites are 2ppm and ammonia was .45 now its .40(My results I wrote earlier were off). My little Lee is already swimming around more!
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:21 AM   #6 
Luimeril
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you don't need to cycle his tank. from what i hear, it's really hard to cycle a tank smaller than 5 gallons, anyways. none of mine are in cycled tanks. :V
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Old 02-18-2013, 05:58 PM   #7 
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Those are still super toxic levels. You need to keep doing water changes until you get 0 for both.

Since he has a filter he might as well try to cycle it. At the very least it will cut down on the need for changes. However without cycling the filter should be removed and twice weekly changes of 50% and 100% would be needed.
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