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Old 03-02-2013, 09:36 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Mar 2013
PLEASE HELP me with my sick? Baby betta

I bought the fish on Tuesday. He/She is about 1 inch long. I kept it in a glass bowl like thing temporarily (about 1 or 2 gallons). it wouldn't eat those baby hikari pellets, but I put in 3 or so a couple times a day. I moved the baby to a 10 gallon aquarium 2 days ago with no heater or filter yet. I cleaned and added some gravel from my goldfish tank. The baby stayed at the top a lot in the corners, so i put my goldfishes bubbler in there for a night. yesterday I bought a bubbler splitter thing so both tanks could have bubbler, then I added a mini heater to the fish tank which should keep it at 78 degrees. The baby hasn't eaten from what I've seen. The heater heats the tank and it feels warm sometimes (like 78), but other times it feels the same as the goldfish tank (72-74). I just realized this so now the temperature might be messing the baby up too.

I put some conditioner in the water, and the water should be fine. *i don't have test strips but I know my tap water is fine from testing it previously. I just don't know the exact numbers, PLEASE NO RESPONSES THAT DONT ACTUALLY HELP ME. I'm sick of people replying asking for useless info. *I provided it all in the description.

Now he's just sitting at the bottom corner, still hungry, sad and sick probably, and his breathing seems strange. Hes laying on the rocks, so I can see him bob when he breaths in and out and it seems like big breaths. Can someone please tell me if there's a way to save him? *Edit: he swam a little all of a sudden to another spot to lay on the rocks.

What can I do to keep a baby alive next time?

Last edited by Czi; 03-02-2013 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:21 PM   #2 
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Lots of keeping changes needed.. I'm just going to give a run through of everything that should be done for a betta of this age, because you haven't actually included all necessary info.

When you first get your fish you need a careful acclimation period of at least an hour. I suggest using Prime in the new water to alleviate ammonia/ph issues in the dirty cup. You float the cup in the new tank water for an hour, while adding a couple tablespoons of new water to the cup every 10 minutes. If the cup gets too full, empty some of the water out (not into the new tank) and continue. Really you can keep this up for 2 or 3 hours and it wouldn't be a bad idea. Then and only then add him to the tank, and let as little of the old cup water into the tank as possible.

First off, you should not use a heater without an in tank thermometer to monitor temperature. Also if you just plugged the heater in and let it go without acclimating your fish then you've not shocked your fish and only time will let you know if he/she will recover..

Since your betta is breathing heavy and spending time laying on the gravel, I would not leave him/her in something so deep. You can keep him/her in the 10g, but reduce the water level way down so there's only maybe 2-3 inches of water.

Conditioner is not optional.. it should be liquid and say it removes chlorine, chloramines, and heavy metals - all three.

Bettas need to be kept in 2 gallons minimum. Normally for an adult betta, twice weekly water changes of 50% and 100% are needed. For one this young, I would do be doing 50% every other day and 100% weekly.

For the 10g and no filter I would do a 50% change at the end of week one, another 50% change in the middle of week two and a 100% change by the end of the second week - I would own a drops kit for ammonia and start testing at end of the first week to make sure no ammonia ever shows up, and if it does this still isn't enough water changes. This is as if the tank were full.. with just a couple of inches of water you have a gallon or two in there so you need to make changes as above.

The 50% changes the betta can be kept in the bowl and use a turkey baster to remove half the water and as much of the debris as possible. For the 100% you need to remove him - scoop him out with a plastic solo type cup and set aside while you thoroughly rinse the bowl and gravel to remove the debris. Then he should be acclimated to the new water by floating for an hour while you slowly add a couple tablespoons of new water to the cup every 10 minutes. When you release him, try to let as little of the old cup water back into the tank as possible. All water changes should use same temp water, matched to running tap using the in tank thermometer and the water needs to be premixed with conditioner before adding it to the betta tank. If you don't already have anything, you can use gallon water jugs from the grocery store - rinsed thoroughly in hot water but no chems.

Bettas are tropical fish and must be kept at a temp between 76-82, with 78-80 being ideal. However, for a baby betta, they need higher temps in the 80-82 range. The temp must be stable and not be dipping or jumping around. You also need to rely on an in tank thermometer to monitor temps. In a 2 gallon you can get an adjustable 25w heater. In a 10g you need a 50w heater. Any new heater should be tested for 24 hours in similar size container with in tank thermometer to make sure it will hold a constant appropriate temp between 78-80F. Then the betta must be acclimated to higher temp either by floating in a cup inside the main already fully heated tank for an hour, or by adjusting the heater to increase the temperature of the tank no more than a degree per hour and 5 degrees per day.

You should look for a good quality pellets whose first two or three ingredients are whole fish, not fish meal or wheat. He should be fed two small meals a day (how many depends on the pellet you pick up) and one fast day a week. Unless you find New Life Spectrum Grow forumla (the best imho) they will probably be too large and you must crush them up smaller. Remember their stomach is about the size of their eye, so their meals shouldn't be any bigger than that - and when done their stomach's should be gently round, but the roundness should go away before the next feeding.
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