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Old 11-13-2010, 12:46 AM   #1 
jessiepbg
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Recovering Betta?

I got my first Betta in July and he had been doing fine until we got our first good cold snap here. I didn't realize how cold his tank had gotten until I came home and he was on the gravel gasping for air. Thankfully Walmart was still open, and I managed to get him a heater and thermometer that night (2 days ago). He moved up towards the top of his tank and hid behind the filter gasping instead of sitting on the bottom. I woke up the next morning and went to check on him and he was perfectly still, leaning on a plant. I figured he was dead and went to scoop him out and he dove into the gravel so hard I heard him hit the plastic. He stayed like that for most of yesterday. Whenever you got too close to his tank, he'd either wedge himself behind the heater and get stuck or dive into the gravel.

He's looking better today, but he's still sitting behind his filter and every once in a while I see him sitting perfectly still, no gill or fin movement. He hasn't eaten since Wednesday morning. He usually gets a few bloodworms in the morning and at night, and every 7-10 days, I don't feed him for a day. Until Wednesday, he used to come screaming up as soon as he realized I had food. He's got a 1.5 gallon tank with a new filter, small heater, the temp stays around 77 degrees, and I put about a 1/2 teaspoon of aquarium salt in yesterday after a 50% water change on Wednesday when he first started acting sick. Does it sound like he's recovering or is there anything else I can do for him? How long can he go without food before I should be worried about him? Also, it looks like he may have ripped his swimming fin up by his gills when he was diving into things, is there anything I can do to help that repair itself?
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Old 11-15-2010, 12:20 AM   #2 
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Does anyone have any suggestions? He just wedged himself under one of his tank decorations and got stuck. I had to move it off of him. And his gills are starting to look kind of black and inflamed.
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Old 11-15-2010, 02:01 AM   #3 
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The inflamed gills could be from ammonia present in the tank. With such a small tank, you have to be doing very large and very frequent water changes to keep the ammonia levels at a safe level (ideally 0).

If you don't have a water testing kit, I would invest in a good liquid one from API for ammonia at the very least. This will allow you to keep track of the water parameters so you can set up a water changing schedule. Also, I would lose the filter. Your tank is too small to properly maintain a cycle, and it's not really doing anything but aerating the water.

Poor water could lead to skittish behaviour since the ammonia would make your betta feel very uncomfortable. Pristine water conditions, and some aquarium salt if you want (personally I usually just give mine frozen bloodworms since the protein helps heal injured fin tissue) should help heal any tears. One of mine split his tail quite badly, and it was healed within a week simply with good water and good food.
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Old 11-21-2010, 10:58 AM   #4 
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I just now got his tank down to a reasonable ammonia level and he seems so much happier. I used some ammonia clearing tablets, and they brought the level down along with frequent water changes, but they left the water very cloudy. I don't mind leaving it like that while he recovers a little, he probably appreciates the privacy, but in a few days, I'd like to be able to see my betta again without pressing my face to the glass. Is there any kind of tank-clearer you'd recommend, I really only have access to Petsmart and Petco as far as actual pet stores. Also, I found a couple strands of slime when I went to clean out his tank today, I've never seen any on him though, and this is the first time I've seen them in the tank. Is that something I should be worried about?
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Old 11-21-2010, 11:43 AM   #5 
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I apologize for double posting, but I the "edit" option isn't on my post anymore. I got one of those "Betta Bed" resting leaves for him because he's always liked to sit on things in the tank, but the leaf won't stay in the suction cup. Is there any kind of glue that I can use to keep it in the cup that won't be bad to have in the tank? I've heard of people using super glue and hot glue, but I'd hate to poison him or something.
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Old 11-21-2010, 03:35 PM   #6 
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well to get rid of ammonia you shouldn't add anything just change the water....
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Old 11-21-2010, 03:39 PM   #7 
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With my Betta Leaf Hammock, I had to really push the leaf into the suction cup, it was a tight squeeze. I don't know what kind of glue would or wouldn't be safe.

Hope your Betta feels better soon!
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