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Old 06-18-2011, 06:57 PM   #1 
KKBella
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Betta Male Lethargic after being quite active for months

We've had our Betta male since March. Within a week of getting him, we got him a proper 3 gallon tank with heater, thermometer, airaetor, bio wheel, and charcoal filter. His water is always pretty close to 78-80. I change his water (about 2/3 tank) every week to week and a half and I add the water conditioner to tap water.

About a week and a half ago he started being a lot more lethargic than normal. Sleeping during the day, laying on the bottom of the tank. I started doing water changes a bit more frequently and have tried turning on the tank light during the day more often. I usually leave it off all the time and the tank is not in a super bright room, so I thought maybe he wasn't getting enough light, but he'll still sleep with the light on.

Could I be feeding him too much? I feed him 2x/day usually 4 tiny round pellets that say to feed 3x/day and the other feeding either a few dried bloodworms or a small clump of freeze dried brine shrimp. He's still hungry and wants to eat all his food.

His fins seem fine. The one thing I haven't replaced in his tank is the charcoal filter which says you can replace it monthly, but the store we got the tank from doesn't carry them.

Any suggestions or ideas what might be going on?
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Old 06-18-2011, 07:31 PM   #2 
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Welcome to the forum....

It sounds like a water quality issue and a tiny bit of overfeeding......is he bloated, scales sticking up, pooping and he still is begging for food........

He is in a 3gal, filtered, no live plants, dechlorinator, 78-80F, 2/3 water change once a week to one & half weeks..but have increased since becoming lethargic....water changes could be increased on a regular basis to at least 50% twice a week...1-50% and 1-50% with substrate vacuum...good that you increased the water changes...
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Old 06-18-2011, 11:11 PM   #3 
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Thanks for the suggestions- I will try changing the water 2x/week. I'll also get some new filters online. They're the Marineland Rite Size Z filters, which I haven't changed and only now does it look like I should change it. I don't have a vacuum. I just stir the gravel with a stick and catch the poop/leftover food in a net when I change the water. There's always a bit of leftover debris in the water after I change it. Is that ok?

I don't think he's bloated, but my husband thinks he might be a bit. He's always so excited for meal time, that I feel bad if I skip a feeding, even though I know they can go for a few days without food.

He also thinks he's showing more white on his fins than when we first got him. He's mostly blue and his tiny side fins have a little white at the base and his bottom front skinny fins have white tips. Could that be some type of fin rot?
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Old 06-19-2011, 12:16 AM   #4 
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fin rot is generally dark, clear or clear/white can be fin regrowth, however if it's fuzzy or looks like cotton then it can be something else. If you had a picture that would really help.

I know what you're saying about feeling bad for skipping a meal. I swear my boy knows how to whimper.
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Old 06-19-2011, 12:56 AM   #5 
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Originally Posted by KKBella View Post
I don't have a vacuum. I just stir the gravel with a stick and catch the poop/leftover food in a net when I change the water. There's always a bit of leftover debris in the water after I change it. Is that ok?
How do you change the water? Do you use the scoop-it-out method? If so, I really suggest getting a gravel vacuum because it can be used to siphon water out for water changes. It'll save your back, at least a little. If you don't want one more piece of equipment to store, then you might consider a turkey baster (much smaller to store). Stir the gravel with your stick and then suck up the poo/leftover food with the turkey baster.

The key to successfully fasting a betta is to not look at him. That way they can't pull the "feed me" look on you as they wiggle their fins and look excited.
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Old 06-19-2011, 12:58 AM   #6 
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I know what you're saying about feeling bad for skipping a meal. I swear my boy knows how to whimper.
I bet if you put your ear up close to the glass, you can hear him. And darn if the ventral fins don't make him look like a dog begging with his paws up.
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:44 PM   #7 
KKBella
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Silverfang- my pic doesn't really show the white tips. Thanks for the clarifications on fin problems.

Sacura- Thanks for the suggestion for the gravel vacuum. I'm going to order it with the filter replacements. I've been just scooping it out with the little container he came in. This sounds much easier.

He's been doing better this week. I think the lighting and water change is helping.
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Old 06-22-2011, 12:08 AM   #8 
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I'm glad to hear he's doing better. I hope he continues to recover quickly. And you'll love the gravel vacuum.
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