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Old 08-13-2010, 09:59 AM   #1 
lovemybetta1978
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Sick Fish/Thoughts on Aquarium Salt

I have a male betta who is just under a year old. I have not been the best at cleaning the tank, but he never seemed to have any trouble until about a month ago. I just got married and moved in with my husband, and since the move, my fish seems to be a little distressed. His color isn't as vibrant as it once was, he has lost his appetite, and he is lethargic. From reading the posts here, I realize his water has been too cold, so we have taken care of that. We just got a new 5 gallon tank, complete with filter and heater. We also bought some bloodworms for him to eat, but he just plays with them. He is blowing bubbles, but he swims only in short spurts. He mostly just hangs out in the corner. Do these symptoms sound like anything familiar? His water is clean and has been treated, and it tested okay on all parameters. Also, do you think a dose of aquarium salt would help? I'm somewhat of a novice, so any suggestions would be appreciated.

Here are the answers to the questions suggested by the administrator.
Housing
What size is your tank? 5 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 80 degrees F
Does your tank have a filter? yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Top Fin Color Enhancing Betta Bits and Freeze Dried Bloodworms
How often do you feed your betta fish? once a day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? not often enough...he has fresh water as of Tuesday night
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? not sure
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? StressZyme, Stress Coat, Prime

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

I threw away my test strip, so I don't have the numbers...but they were all in the "okay" ranges.

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Color changed, fins not fanned
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Lethargic
When did you start noticing the symptoms? About a month ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? Just under a year old
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Old 08-13-2010, 11:58 AM   #2 
1fish2fish
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How is the flow on your filter? If its too strong it could be pushing him around and stressing him out.

I would get the API Freshwater Master Test kit. The strips are not accurate at all. The API is a little on the pricey side but for $30 you get all the tests you need and they'll last you a long time.

You don't need to be adding all those additives to the water. Just stick with the Prime and you'll be ok. I don't think that is what is causing your troubles but its always best to try to add the lowest amount of chemical additives into the tank as possible.

Since he doesn't have any physical ailments (sores, torn fins, etc) adding aquarium salt won't do too much to help so I would hold off on that. Try keeping the light off on his tank and keep the tank covered with a towel so he's not as stressed. Start doing water changes every week. A 5 gallon needs 50% of the water changed every week. I suggest you check out the sticky on Cycling in the Betta Habitats Section.
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Old 08-13-2010, 04:10 PM   #3 
lovemybetta1978
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Thanks for the suggestions. I will give those a try. I don't think the flow on the filter is too strong; I can barely see it moving. He does seem a little more active since the tank is warmer, so I'm hoping that will encourage him to eat again. Someone suggested putting a female in the tank with him, but I'm afraid that I will end up with a bunch of baby bettas that I'm unprepared to care for!
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Old 08-13-2010, 04:14 PM   #4 
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Definitely don't do that. Male and female bettas should never be put together except for the purpose of spawning, after which the female should be quickly removed. Bettas are notorious for killing or seriously injuring their mates during spawning.

Give him a couple days and see if he perks up. Since you just moved him to a new tank and a new environment he might just need time to adjust before he's ready to eat again.
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Old 08-13-2010, 04:15 PM   #5 
Sarada
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Adding a female would only add stress making him more sick. Male and female bettas can not live together.
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Old 08-13-2010, 07:15 PM   #6 
lovemybetta1978
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Oh goodness! I'm glad I didn't do that! Thanks so much for all your help.
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