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Old 07-08-2013, 04:00 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Reaction to change to conditioned tap water..? Or depressed betta?

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-I was given this female betta two weeks ago by a friend that thought she could keep two females together in a 2gal tank because she was told they get along at the pet store. A heads up should have been that the guy wasn't keeping any together there. Sigh. The bigger girl in the tank ripped her fins to bits. I said I'd take her off her hands when my friend asked what to do and named her Penelope. Right now I'm keeping her in my temporary tank that I usually use for isolation and what not. I'm about to start cycling her new tank (2.5 gal with filter, light, heater, etc) I just bought.
Tank size: Small (remember its temporary); 1 gallon.
Temperature: 75-76'F
Not filtered or heated.
No tank mates.
Food type: Hikari brand tiny pellet food. Supplemented sometimes with freeze dried bloodworms.
Feeding schedule: 1x daily. One fasting day a week.
Water change: Every other day 50% change. 100% once a week.
Additives: Aquarium salt and water conditioner is added to tap water.
-Water Parameters:
Have not checked because I change the water all the time and the nitrogen cycle restarts every week when I do a 100% water change.
-Symptoms and Treatment:
Appearance: Colors are noticeably more dull. Fins regrowing though.
Behavior: Clenched fins. Listless behavior. She will sometimes float at the top or corner of tank without moving much as well as laying on large stones at the bottom. At the sight of my other bettas she no longer flares; she either stares at the other without reaction or swims of, very out of character. She is no longer as active or responsive.
Noticed symptoms: 4 days ago.
Attempted treatment: Frequent water change. Fasted in case of constipation. Offered more stimulation using a mirror or lining up the tank to other bettas.
History: No history of illness.
Age: I'm going to guess six months or less. She's very small.

Now that all the info is up there, here's some more. Penelope was very active prior to this and would flare up at the sight of herself or other fish every time. Now her fins are clenched and she takes notice of nothing. She sticks her nose in the corner of the tank and lays on the bottom a lot. For some reason I think this behavior began when I started phasing her on to conditioned tap water..? Is this possible? She was on just spring water before. I don't like the conditioned tap water. It seems to leave a greasy film on the surface and the water looks more cloudy. Have any of you experienced this?

I just did a full water change (using 75% spring water and 25% conditioned tap) and she's swimming more but still with clenched fins. During the water change I also removed some dead looking plant debris.. I wonder if that didn't help her health either, I just noticed it. I really hope I didn't do something to make her sick and that this isn't some sort of depression because I hate to see this behavior.

What do you guys think? Is she ill because of something I'm doing? And is there anything you'd recommend for me to do as well or a product to try?

I'll attach a picture of her comparing when I first got her a couple weeks ago to now. Her fins are growing back but I think she looks way worse now than she did right after they were ripped off..
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BettaEnamored is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2013, 09:58 AM   #2 
Join Date: Jul 2013
her fins are difently better.
lovefordebbie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2013, 11:13 AM   #3 
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Red River, NM
She looks like she's clamping her fins. That could be an indication of an illness or stress. And yes, it is possible that the change in the water parameters are affecting her as well.
How often are you changing the water? Too frequent water changes can cause illness or stress as well.
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Old 07-08-2013, 01:06 PM   #4 
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: Massachusetts, U.S.
From what you've described, I think its more likely then not, a stress reaction. She's been through a lot of changes and trauma recently. I'd give her a little time to relax. Warm clean water and somewhere to feel safe will probably do wonders for her.

I'd try to get her some heat, though. Nice warm water will definitely help. My preference is to keep all my Bettas at a steady 80 degrees.

Last edited by LittleDeer; 07-08-2013 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:13 PM   #5 
Join Date: Jun 2013
I agree it is stress. All of the changes in such a short time can make a fish unhappy. The 75 temp alone could cause a warm water fish to clamp and given the healing is occurring, it seems unlikely this is any sort of major disease. Ample hiding spots or new territory may help, but the temp bump is probably the single biggest thing. The fading coloration also suggests this is temperature related as loss of color without darkening is very common when water is too cold. Checking ammonia is important too because if ammonia builds to toxic levels before you change the water, then you need to increase changing intervals because it is otherwise toxic.
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