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Old 10-12-2011, 08:32 PM   #1 
Filly
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Help! Betta with Lethargic behavior?

Im new to the forum and betta fish, so Im not sure how to help my poor little guy! His name is Kai and I picked him up on Monday from pet smart where he was actively flaring at everyone around him. He didn't look sick or lethargic at all. I brought him home, and placed him in a cycled, heated and sparingly planted tank (has two real plants one fake). I spent around 2 hours acclimating him to his new enviorment slowly. This morning when I woke up for work (around 5am) he was laying behind his heater. I came home at 10am and he was still in the same spot. Now at 9:22pm he's still there? I know he's not dead, he occasionally lifts his head to breathe and will move if I tilt the heater forward. He also has not eaten at all. And so far he has had a good appetite. I do have another betta fish (Marvin, a Veiltail purchased 3 weeks ago) and he is fine. Kai started this behavior when I placed a box between his and Marvin's tank because Marvin wouldn't stop nipping at his tail everytime Kai would look at him. Im not sure what is wrong with him, but I had another betta before Marvin and Kai who exibited the same behavior and then passed shortly after.

Any help would be appreciated!


Housing
What size is your tank? 1 gallon
What temperature is your tank? Around 75
Does your tank have a filter? No. It was too strong :[
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Nope
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? Aqueon Pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice a day two pellets each time.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Twice a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50% one time and 100% the next
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Aqueon water conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
Never had it tested, but I have a private well. I do know that it has high Iron levels?

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

Symptoms and Treatment

How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
His coloring is the same. Keeps his fins clamped though.

How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
He went from being active and flaring at everything (including me... lol) to lethargic. He just lays behind his heater unmoving. He will move if I move his heater. Usually just to find some other spot. He also has stopped eating.

When did you start noticing the symptoms?
This morning.

Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
No

Does your fish have any history of being ill?
Not that I know of, I just purchased him on Monday!

How old is your fish?
Best guess? 1 year


I WILL HAVE PICTURES UP AS SOON AS I FIND MY CAMERA!
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Old 10-12-2011, 11:18 PM   #2 
Banicks
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Welcome Filly,

It sounds like he may still be adjusting to his new surroundings. It isn't uncommon for Betta's to spend upwards of a week or more getting used to a new tank or changes in their environment.

If he is eating that is good, staying next to the heater all the time may indicate he is a little bit cold.

Give it some time and he may perk up and become more active :) If after a week there is no change, definitely let us know!
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Old 10-13-2011, 07:32 AM   #3 
Myates
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+1 ^ Have to agree that he is still adjusting. Welcome to the forums =)

(Also on a side note.. a 1 gal unfiltered isn't cycled. Need a filter and a few weeks to cycle a tank, and normally that is for larger tanks, not smaller. Only saying this for in case in the future something went wrong.. if you say your tank is cycled we may not look at ammonia/nitrate/ite poisoning as a concern.)
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Old 10-13-2011, 02:54 PM   #4 
tf1265
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Put more plants in. "Sparsely planted" isn't good for bettas, heavily planted is. He's probably terrified - they don't like being in the "open" or being in constant view, which could be why he's hiding behind his heater. Get him a cave or something to hide in and fill that thing up with plants! In a 1 gallon live plants are tough, but get him some more fake ones.

That being said, 1 gallon is pretty small for a betta. Not the worst, but definitely not ideal.

I've had some bettas who immediately take to the extra space after living in a tiny pet store cup, and i've had others who take up to a week to get used to it. But MORE PLANTS!! Go to the dollar store and just get fake stems to fill it up, especially now when he's scared and adjusting.
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Old 10-13-2011, 04:04 PM   #5 
Myates
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tf1265 View Post
Put more plants in. "Sparsely planted" isn't good for bettas, heavily planted is. He's probably terrified - they don't like being in the "open" or being in constant view, which could be why he's hiding behind his heater. Get him a cave or something to hide in and fill that thing up with plants! In a 1 gallon live plants are tough, but get him some more fake ones.

That being said, 1 gallon is pretty small for a betta. Not the worst, but definitely not ideal.

I've had some bettas who immediately take to the extra space after living in a tiny pet store cup, and i've had others who take up to a week to get used to it. But MORE PLANTS!! Go to the dollar store and just get fake stems to fill it up, especially now when he's scared and adjusting.
Yes and no.. she has 3 plants, and one that will grow in time.. yes bettas prefer medium to heavily planted.. but in a 1 gal there is limited space and she would want a cave for him since males love a cave of sorts. You don't want to make it too crowded to lessen the room he has to swim.

As for in the open and constant view... 99% of people who have bettas and my own experience.. they love to come out and swim and greet you. They love to be seen and dance for you when you come near. They aren't bashful or shy.. well, most aren't, but some are just like that naturally depending upon their personality. So she does want open space enough for him to come out and dance and flare and swim about.

Be careful getting the fake plants and stems that are used for crafting, if that is what you mean, as they usually have wire inside of the plastic stems and even though it is covered by the plastic, it still corrodes and seeps into the water, which in turn will kill the fish.
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Old 10-13-2011, 05:58 PM   #6 
tf1265
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Whoops, I guess I wasn't super clear on some things. I agree, my bettas love to come greet me. However if I'm not standing next to the tank, I've found most bettas get very pale and stressed out if they are out in full light very exposed without a couple different places to retreat without actually "hiding," hence I recommended more plants. There are of course many factors that can affect this.

I also forgot I was talking about a 1 gallon. I might not have a great idea of how small that actually is, so with the already limited swimming space you're right, it's silly to take so much of it away.

I guess what I meant to say is...make sure the plants are heavy enough that they can be used for shielding, not just decoration, and make sure at least one of them is tall enough to hit or come near the surface. At the beginning, your betta will be stressed out and nervous, so provide some extra cover that can be removed once he's more comfortable. This is where I think the fake dollar store plants come in handy - they're cheap, and easy to remove after a few weeks when your live plants are more rooted and your betta is more comfortable.
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Old 10-13-2011, 06:08 PM   #7 
Myates
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Hehe my bettas are constantly out swimming and doing things when I'm not near. Once in a while they will take a nap, but normally, they are all over the place and never pale. But I do agree, they do need places to hide by either a fair amount of plants and a cave.
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