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Old 05-21-2013, 12:35 AM   #1 
Loomaloo
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Unhappy Help! Is he sick?

Hey Everyone,

I got a betta for the first time in December. Ever since I got him he's been really slow. Like he never really swims around much, usually he just floats around the tank. Esecially in the last few months he hasn't been eating much. The pellets I got said I should feed him between 2-5 pellets, twice a day, usually he'll only eat one or two pellets at each feeding. Like I said he doesn't swim much. When he does swim faster (Like when I try to take him out for water changes and tank cleaning etc) he will swim really fast, and he seems fine doing it, I don't notice any change in breathing or anything like that. He looks fine he just doesn't move a lot. Also even in the pet store he has never spread his fins, like on his back etc to make himself look bigger or anything like that. So for my tank i don't have a filter because, the salesperson said betta's can live in unfiltered water if I change his water on a regular basis (Once every two weeks). They also gave me a small clam that's supposed to help regulate the water. So is my betta sick? Am i doing something wrong? Or is he just a very chill betta? He's never been very energetic, not even in the store, is this just his natural demenor? Please help me, I really don't want him to die!
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Old 05-21-2013, 12:41 AM   #2 
ArrowheadShark
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How big is your tank? I'm assuming you don't have a heater in it. Can you tell us anything more on what your betta does? He's eating, which I would think to be a good thing. (five pellets I would think to be a lot, personally. I feel Shark 3-4, but they are itty bitty crumb sized, or I feed him one of the larger pellets and maybe one of the little crumb-ones.)

How do his fins and colorings look? Has his color paled at all? Do his fins looked torn or ragged at all?

I'm not a betta expert, though I am learning. I thought posting some questions would help to get more information for us to look at and try to help you with your betta. Do you have a way to find out his water temperature? It could be he's cold, which I think would make him lethargic. Getting a filter and a small heater should be on your to-get list.

Edit:
Some more questions for you.
-Can you post any pictures of him? getting one from above would be good, too.
-Does his tummy look 'bloated' or anything?
-Anything seeming to cling to his scales, like a growth or anything?
-Has there been any changes in his behavior since you brought him home?
-Do you know what kind of condition he was in when you got him from the petstore?

(this next bit isn't from personal experience, but from the knowledge I've been gaining reading other's stories and whatnot, so if there's another more experienced member, please call me out if my assumption is wrong ;w;) I would think that all bettas are different in how they act; some are more energetic than others. I know Shark, my betta, is very energetic - he's always swimming around and exploring, and rarely are his fins ever clamped. Your betta may just be 'lazy,' but I think it might have to do with his water temp? That's my best guess right now, does anyone else have any input?

Last edited by ArrowheadShark; 05-21-2013 at 12:52 AM. Reason: Adding some more questions
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Old 05-21-2013, 12:51 AM   #3 
NeptunesMom
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The first red flag is the water changes once every two weeks. That's not enough. It all depends on the size of the tank, but even a bigger tank like a 10 g needs to be changed at least once a week. The poor water quality could easily be your problem. Also, as ArrowheadShark mentioned without a heater you will notice lethargy. Betta's are tropical fish, and thus need a heater.

I don't know what the clam is. Could you post a picture of it?
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:02 AM   #4 
ArrowheadShark
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Also, for betta's in the store - I'm assuming your betta in the store was probablly in a cup, right? I know some people are lucky enough to have petstores where they keep them in heated tanks. But if your betta was in the cup, same thing - no heater, poor water quality, lethargic betta.

Neptune had a good point - the water changes should be more frequent. And oops! I forgot to ask about the clam O.o You mean... like, a live clam?

I have a 3 gallon tank for my betta, with a small sponge filter in it. It doesn't make much of any current, which is good since bettas+strongcurrent=bad. I change half of the water in the tank, twice weekly.

Inside the water chemicals can build up - I'm no expert, and am still learning, but the gist of what I understand is that something called ammonia builds up in the tank, and it is deadly to fish. There's also nitrate and nitrite, but the biggest one if ammonia. (And a few others, right? something about PH and I think a couple more?)

When you change the water, you're taking out some of the ammonia build up, and adding in fresh stuff that doesn't have teh ammonia build-up in it.

Too much ammonia can hurt your fish, burning them from what I understand.

Oh! Another thing - what do you do when you do your water changes? Do you do full(100%) changes? What kind of water do you use? Do you use a water conditioner in it? That takes out the chlorine in the water, if you're using tap (which is what you should be using). Distilled is not good.


Did I get that info alright, Neptune? ;-; I'd hate to be spreading wrong info, but I think I got that pretty alright?
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:59 AM   #5 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArrowheadShark View Post
Also, for betta's in the store - I'm assuming your betta in the store was probablly in a cup, right? I know some people are lucky enough to have petstores where they keep them in heated tanks. But if your betta was in the cup, same thing - no heater, poor water quality, lethargic betta.

Neptune had a good point - the water changes should be more frequent. And oops! I forgot to ask about the clam O.o You mean... like, a live clam?

I have a 3 gallon tank for my betta, with a small sponge filter in it. It doesn't make much of any current, which is good since bettas+strongcurrent=bad. I change half of the water in the tank, twice weekly.

Inside the water chemicals can build up - I'm no expert, and am still learning, but the gist of what I understand is that something called ammonia builds up in the tank, and it is deadly to fish. There's also nitrate and nitrite, but the biggest one if ammonia. (And a few others, right? something about PH and I think a couple more?)

When you change the water, you're taking out some of the ammonia build up, and adding in fresh stuff that doesn't have teh ammonia build-up in it.

Too much ammonia can hurt your fish, burning them from what I understand.

Oh! Another thing - what do you do when you do your water changes? Do you do full(100%) changes? What kind of water do you use? Do you use a water conditioner in it? That takes out the chlorine in the water, if you're using tap (which is what you should be using). Distilled is not good.


Did I get that info alright, Neptune? ;-; I'd hate to be spreading wrong info, but I think I got that pretty alright?
It looks good. They can get ammonia burns and ammonia poisoning. They can also get nitrate/nitrite poisoning. The PH is probably okay, but you can get a liquid test to test the ammonia, PH, nitrates and nitrites for about $30. If you only have one fish it'll last you a long time (probably the life of the fish). So it's a good investment.

There are so many reasons why a fish may be lethargic. It is really impossible to diagnose without more information. There is a sticky that lists all the information really needed to at least somewhat diagnose the problem.

ETA: In my opinion a filter isn't 100% necessary (although others would disagree). I do not have filters. It just means you have to keep a closer eye on water parameters.
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