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Old 11-29-2011, 09:40 PM   #1 
thejapanesezombie
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Exclamation Betta Lethargy & heating issues

Hi there!

I'm brand new to the forums and looking for a bit of help. My crowntail named Aldo is having some lethargy problems and I'm not sure what's going on.

He's young, and pretty active usually but for the past two days he's been chilling at the bottom of the tank. I have a heater, it stays at about 80F usually and I plug and unplug it accordingly so it doesn't get any hotter since it doesn't have an emergency shut off.

I'm not sure if this is a heating issue? Or am I not feeding him enough? I give him 3 floating pellets 6 days a week with one day rest. As for tank changes I do a 50% water change every 3 days and a full water change weekly seeing as he has a temporary 1 gallon tank as I'm shopping around for a 5 gallon.

any help would be great,
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Old 11-30-2011, 07:26 AM   #2 
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Welcome, sorry to hear your little guy is ill.
Is there a way to get a picture of him posted so we can see?

Are there any other signs he is ill? Is he pale, fins clamped, bloated, gasping, can he swim normally when he does swim, etc?

If you don't unplug the heater, what temp will it rise to? Fluctuations in temp can be very harmful... even if it's just a few degrees. If the temp drops quickly then that will cause problems. They are good to 82, up to 84*F (even higher, but it's best not to get them too hot).. I am assuming it's a small heater that is not adjustable?

For a 1 gal you will want to be doing 1 50% and 1 100% water changes per week.. if it's unfiltered. Are you adding in water conditioner each time?

3 pellets is on the low end- it's ideal to feed them 2+ meals a day, with 2-3 pellets per meal if you go with 2x a day, 1-2 if you do 3 or more meals per day.
But that shouldn't be the problem causing his lethargy..

Does he have plants (real or silk) to hide in? Or a cave? Most will love having a cave.. if the tank is pretty bare, he could be feeling stressed and exposed.

Did he start acting this way right after a water change?
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Old 11-30-2011, 07:43 AM   #3 
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Originally Posted by Myates View Post
Welcome, sorry to hear your little guy is ill.
Is there a way to get a picture of him posted so we can see?

Are there any other signs he is ill? Is he pale, fins clamped, bloated, gasping, can he swim normally when he does swim, etc?

If you don't unplug the heater, what temp will it rise to? Fluctuations in temp can be very harmful... even if it's just a few degrees. If the temp drops quickly then that will cause problems. They are good to 82, up to 84*F (even higher, but it's best not to get them too hot).. I am assuming it's a small heater that is not adjustable?

For a 1 gal you will want to be doing 1 50% and 1 100% water changes per week.. if it's unfiltered. Are you adding in water conditioner each time?

3 pellets is on the low end- it's ideal to feed them 2+ meals a day, with 2-3 pellets per meal if you go with 2x a day, 1-2 if you do 3 or more meals per day.
But that shouldn't be the problem causing his lethargy..

Does he have plants (real or silk) to hide in? Or a cave? Most will love having a cave.. if the tank is pretty bare, he could be feeling stressed and exposed.

Did he start acting this way right after a water change?
http://i208.photobucket.com/albums/b...e/IMG_6550.jpg

This is a picture I took of him yesterday. :(

As far as I know he's not showing any other physical signs that he's ill. As in the picture usually when I see him resting his fins are down like that, but not clamped.

If I leave my heater plugged in it goes to about 84, I've always unplugged it after that out of fear that my poor little guy would cook but I'm starting to thing that the temperature fluctuations might be too much, the temperature always falls rather slowly but maybe that might be stressing him out. Do you recommend I keep it plugged in? And yes, you nailed it correctly, it's not adjustable, it's a hydor mini 10W so it's just a bit strong for the 1 gallon tank he's in. (Here in the part of ontario I'm in I'm having a hard time finding any heaters at 7.5W)

That's exactly what I'm doing for water changes, 1 50% water change every 3 days and 1 100% water change after a week. I do add conditioner every time I add water, and I always float Aldo to condition him to the water temperature as well.

Hmn, I will start feeding him twice a day then to make sure he's getting enough nutrition. I didn't realize I was under feeding him :(

He has 1 silk plant he hides in and sleeps in at night, he seems to like it a lot. I would consider getting him some more since he's so skittish/easily spooked. He doesn't act like this right after a water change unless he gets stressed out bad (he'll usually get these horrible white stripes on his face when I try to get him out of the tank with the net) but when that happens and he's too fast for me to catch I leave him alone for another 2 hours so that he calms down.


Do you think this is due to temperature fluctuation? Also sorry my reply is so long I'm trying to make sure I answer every question
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:06 AM   #4 
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Don't be sorry- it's nice that you are concerned and doing all you can to help him.

I would add in another plant or two if you have it around, it would make him feel more secure. Some do okay in bare tanks, others it stresses them out- it all depends on their personalities.

If you still have the cup he came in (if not, Petco/Petsmart will usually give you an empty cup) you can use that to try to collect him rather then a net. You can bribe him up to the top with a piece of food, or wait until he goes up on his own for air and dip the cup in behind him quickly. Usually the suction that it creates will swish him into the cup and you just take it out quickly. Sometimes it can be tricky and may take a few tries- but it's usually less stressful then chasing with a net. A lot of them will get used to the cup over time and will swim up to it when they see it. Just keep it right above the water surface and wait til he is at the top of the water.

Temp going slowly won't harm him, but since it's going up and down that could be stressful. The lower watt non-adjustable heaters are a pain.. they tend to either be too hot or not enough. The Tetra brand is the worse of them.. 1 gals are just hard to heat most of the time because of that (hard to get a stable temp).

How long have you had him?

I want to say it's stress related, other then a new plant or two.. not much you can do. You can't over heat him, nor allow him to get too cold.

As long as he is eating, and does swim here and there.. then I would just keep an eye on him to see if he starts to show any signs of illnesses other then the lethargy.

Unsure if you have a Walmart there, or can order, or how the prices differ.. but this is a pretty cheap 5 gal Hawkeye 5 gal since you are looking for a 5 gal.

Last edited by Myates; 11-30-2011 at 08:08 AM.
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:14 AM   #5 
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Originally Posted by Myates View Post
Don't be sorry- it's nice that you are concerned and doing all you can to help him.

I would add in another plant or two if you have it around, it would make him feel more secure. Some do okay in bare tanks, others it stresses them out- it all depends on their personalities.

If you still have the cup he came in (if not, Petco/Petsmart will usually give you an empty cup) you can use that to try to collect him rather then a net. You can bribe him up to the top with a piece of food, or wait until he goes up on his own for air and dip the cup in behind him quickly. Usually the suction that it creates will swish him into the cup and you just take it out quickly. Sometimes it can be tricky and may take a few tries- but it's usually less stressful then chasing with a net. A lot of them will get used to the cup over time and will swim up to it when they see it. Just keep it right above the water surface and wait til he is at the top of the water.

Temp going slowly won't harm him, but since it's going up and down that could be stressful. The lower watt non-adjustable heaters are a pain.. they tend to either be too hot or not enough. The Tetra brand is the worse of them.. 1 gals are just hard to heat most of the time because of that (hard to get a stable temp).

How long have you had him?

I want to say it's stress related, other then a new plant or two.. not much you can do. You can't over heat him, nor allow him to get too cold.

As long as he is eating, and does swim here and there.. then I would just keep an eye on him to see if he starts to show any signs of illnesses other then the lethargy.

Unsure if you have a Walmart there, or can order, or how the prices differ.. but this is a pretty cheap 5 gal Hawkeye 5 gal since you are looking for a 5 gal.
It sounds like it might be stress related. I've had him for 2 weeks now and he's the first one of my Betta's who's been a stressed out little guy.

I will add a couple more plants for him. I just fed him now since he woke up and I'm home this morning, he seemed to zip pretty fast to grab it and now is swimming around again. I will keep my eye on him.

Also about the 5 gallon tank, I'm currently looking at getting this for him for christmas and have been watching this deal for a while.

Do you know if this tank is any good? I heard the filter is adjustable, this way I can control the flow so it doesn't toss this little guy around.

I can't thank you enough for the help!

Last edited by thejapanesezombie; 11-30-2011 at 08:17 AM.
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:33 AM   #6 
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That's all it may just be.. he needs more things to "do" in there.. which would be exploring between plants, etc.

I like Marineland, they tend to have good, quality stuff. There are a lot of good reviews for that tank- I think anything said negative about it is more cosmetic- the light isn't bright enough, can't put wallpaper easily on the back, etc.

As far as the filter.. the reviews go up and down.. some say in time it gets louder, and the flow decreases on it's own (I'm going to guess that if the flow decreases for them, they aren't cleaning out the filter enough). But I would say it would be a good tank.. it may cost a bit more, but it's got a good look to it, and Marineland is a quality name.
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:38 AM   #7 
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That's all it may just be.. he needs more things to "do" in there.. which would be exploring between plants, etc.

I like Marineland, they tend to have good, quality stuff. There are a lot of good reviews for that tank- I think anything said negative about it is more cosmetic- the light isn't bright enough, can't put wallpaper easily on the back, etc.

As far as the filter.. the reviews go up and down.. some say in time it gets louder, and the flow decreases on it's own (I'm going to guess that if the flow decreases for them, they aren't cleaning out the filter enough). But I would say it would be a good tank.. it may cost a bit more, but it's got a good look to it, and Marineland is a quality name.
Thank you I will be getting this for Aldo as a christmas present! I can deal with cosmetic problems, filter? definitely should be cleaned out, and if over time it gives me problems I will replace it. It'll be less stressful on him to be in a bigger tank where I can give him more plants and hiding places than this small tank anyways.

once again thank you so much!
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:59 AM   #8 
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Welcome! Keep us updated on how he is doing, if he gets worse in any way let us know asap. :) Good luck!
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:10 PM   #9 
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Welcome! Keep us updated on how he is doing, if he gets worse in any way let us know asap. :) Good luck!
will do
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