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Old 03-12-2013, 01:59 AM   #1 
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Please help! Whats wrong??

I just got a male betta fish about month ago and i noticed today that one fin is longer then the other. It wasn't like that before, he's been digging into the rocks alot and curling into a ball. I did a 1/2 water change 2 days ago. I thought that everything was going good cause he was getting lighter and producing bubbles which i read means that he's happy and healthy. It looks like he's been shedding tail, there are blue stands just floating in the water. I've been feed him omega 1 betta pellets for the last two weeks 4 pellets in the morning i was told to only feed him once a day. I keep him in a marina betta aquarium kit. PLEASE HELP!
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Old 03-12-2013, 02:23 AM   #2 
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So he is in one of those 1/2 gallon marina tanks, right? If he's digging into the gravel as you say, he might have some external parasites he's trying to rid himself of. I would do a 100% IMMEDIATELY. Any tank smaller than 5 gallons should have 1 50% and 1 100% water change weekly, and in something as small as a 1/2 gallon kit you should double that to 2 50% and 2 100% changes a week.
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Old 03-12-2013, 03:18 AM   #3 
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Yes he is and Thank you! I looked over Sky and noticed he had white spots so i think it's Ick. I'll start treating him immediately. Do you have any tips?

Last edited by Fishyfishy852; 03-12-2013 at 03:20 AM.
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Old 03-12-2013, 03:46 AM   #4 
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Number one tip is a bigger tank. It'll be easier to keep clean/water changes, and he'll be less likely to get opportunistic infections like Ich.

You can usually find the plain glass aquariums (sometimes called terrariums) for close to a dollar a gallon (10 gals are usually 12-13 dollars), even when not on sale. You can get them at Petco, Petsmart, and often even WalMart. They don't come with a lid, but you can use the OFL method of plastic wrap secured over the top of the tank in place of the hood. I do all my tanks that way, and it works really well, just make sure you leave a section uncovered for *some* air movement.

With the bigger tank, you can cycle, which will make your fish much healthier, and your life easier. :)

As for cycling...on this forum most people will tell you not to use "cycle in a bottle" products, some because of not using chemicals, others because they say they don't work, still others because they say that it's impossible for the bacteria to live in the bottle. Other forums have people who say that certain brands are great. I know a lot of them *do not work*. But, I've got five tanks, divided in various ways (3 20 gals and a 30 gal) and I've used the API Quick Start, and it's done a great job. It's been several months, and my cycles have all been stable, and I test frequently.
Prime also makes a cycle starting product, but I haven't tried it.
One note about the bacteria in a bottle, once it's opened, you need to use it ASAP, like, within 48 hours, otherwise the bacteria dies and you're not actually adding anything useful to your tank.

When you do the cycle in a bottle, let your tank set up for a week or so, or until you get a 0.25 ammonia reading (when you'd normally do a water change) and *THEN* add the cycle in a bottle. This gives the bacteria something to live off of, and within 24 hours my readings have all been good. Ammonia should be at 0, your nitrite should be low but with some reading, and your nitrates should be going up. Within a week, your ammonia and nitrites will be 0, and your nitrate will be 40+.

I hope that helps!! :)
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:54 AM   #5 
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To add on to Blue Fish's suggestion, you really need a heater for your betta on top of the tank upgrade. An adjustable heater is always the best to go with, just be sure NOT to buy any of the Tetra heaters from Wal-Mart or the Top Fin - from what I've heard they're horrible. For now since you have the 1/2 gallon, I would VERY highly suggest you buy a mini-heater for the tank. Get a floating thermometer as well. Bettas need a constant temperature of 78 degrees as they are tropic. :) The low temperature and the fluctuations coupled with the water quality are most likely what lowered his immune system and allowed him to get sick in the first place.
Also, DO NOT use Bettafix or Melafix as medicines for your betta, regardless of what a pet store employee might tell you. These medicines contain tea tree oil which can coat the labyrinth organ in these fish and cause suffocation.
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:40 PM   #6 
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Bettas need to be kept in 2 gallons minimum. In these twice weekly water changes of 50% and 100% are needed. Bettas kept in 1 gallon containers live an average of about 2 years compared to double that+ in larger containers. The 1 gallon would need 3 weekly water changes of 50%, 50% and 100%, and even then they will be subjected to ammonia. A half gallon will need alternating 50% and 100% changes daily and it should only be a very temporary home.

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. The temp must be stable and not be dipping or jumping around. In a 2 gallon you can get an adjustable 25w 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.

Flakes aren't good nutritional value, and especially with something this small they muck up the water quickly causing excess ammonia. 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.
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