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Old 08-19-2013, 08:59 AM   #11 
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I used Discuss buffer to lower the hardness of the water (because the PH wouldn't budge as we have very high GH/KH) and PH Neutraliser to lower the PH, in a 25% water change. It came down and has been steady ever since.

I did a 100% water change yesterday, same PH, AQ salt, Seachem Stress Guard and Prime, and acclimated him over 4 hours.

I just watched him come up to the surface for some fresh air (I do have an airstone in there). He looked like he kind of shot to the surface with all his might and then almost sank back down to the bottom. This isn't the first time I thought it looked like swimming was an effort for him.

His tank:


Only silk plants and nothing sharp in there. He already likes to sit in the plants, it's quite cute :)
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:29 AM   #12 
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Sorry to double post. I just took these photos of him.





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Old 08-19-2013, 06:36 PM   #13 
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Well, if he's having trouble swimming to the surface, maybe you should lower the water levels so he doesn't have to swim that far to get to the surface. Also, I've heard of some sort of betta hammock that you can get for him (or make one, I guess) so he can lay there and be able to breathe at the top. I'm sorry for not having more experience with situations like this, but this is all I can suggest.
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Old 08-22-2013, 08:32 AM   #14 
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Beautiful tank!

Does it look like he's sinking tail first? and propping himself up on objects in the tank to keep himself from falling sideways? If so it could be that his swimbladder is failing. The swimbladder fills with air and enables the fish to rise and sink, and balance upright in the water without leaning over sideways. It's common that their swimbladder can stop working as they get older. How old is he?

I would just watch closely, and if it looks like he's having trouble getting to the top to get air then he needs you to lower his water. I've had a few bettas whose swimbladders stopped working as they got older, and they lived another few months in very shallow water and did fine. I just had to do more water changes. So, just keep a close eye on him to see if this is the case.
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Old 09-04-2013, 03:54 AM   #15 
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Thank you both so much for your help :)

Happy has had the NLS small fish food for a week and he is already swimming around a lot more, even when I haven't fed him. He still rests a lot, but every day he swims a little more.

Hopefully he keeps improving :)
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:44 AM   #16 
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Glad he's doing better, and I like his name :)
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