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Old 02-28-2012, 07:02 AM   #1 
flickaroo
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Jaju's acting funny

I may be jumping to conclusions but Jaju's acting a bit strangely. Usually he comes right up for food, but he was in a deep sleep at the bottom of the tank, almost on his side (even though he's always slept in funny positions) so now I'm worried.

Housing
What size is your tank? 1.5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 73ish F if the new thermometer is right (he's never had a heated tank before though and has always been fine and active)
Does your tank have a filter? No (moves the water too much for him)
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? No
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? No

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Hikari Betta-Bio-Gold
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Once a week usually
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Water conditioner

Haven't tested the water.

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
He looks paler and almost greyish around his mouth. Not cottony or anything, just greyish, though it looks better in some lights than others... so i'm not confident at my ability to pick out symptoms based off of appearance...

How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
Hanging out at the bottom of the tank, sometimes almost on his side (though he is known for being in funny positions) He didn't come up for food like he usually does, though I do think he ate a pellet or two when I went to get my computer. When he's not at the bottom, he's just completely still, lingering around the top, and doesn't seem to care about food or interacting like usual. Though I see his eye move so I know he notices me.

When did you start noticing the symptoms? This morning, though I thought he was acting more lethargic last night.

Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
No, I'm worried to start treatment ignorantly and making it worse. I do have Quick-cure on hand and am going to see if someone can drive me to petco to get aquarium salts if need be.

Does your fish have any history of being ill?
No, except for occasionally getting fat. He still looks a little round, but not horribly so.

How old is your fish (approximately)?
1.5 - 2 years



I don't think he looks too different, mostly just acting funny. He's under his light in this picture.

Last edited by flickaroo; 02-28-2012 at 07:18 AM. Reason: picture and temperature
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:18 AM   #2 
earthworm88
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I would say trust your own instinct, if you think he is acting strange, then he probably is, because you know him best From what you have described, if he is not acting like his normal self, then something must be off. I know they have their moments where they may not be as active and some may even be temperamental, but not interested in food or interacting with you in their usual way would definitely raise a red flag.

The general guideline for your tank size should be at least 50% wc midweek on top of the 100% wc that you already do. I personally would do 2 100% a week. 73 is on the cold side unfortunately, you may want to get a heater and raise it slowly to 78 or so. They won't exhibit any symptoms from the lower temp immediately, but I think overtime, it takes a toll on their immunity and overall health. If you can, try to increase the frequency of feeding time per day, to at least twice a day.

Is that white stuff you mentioned shown on the photo, or is that just visual effect from the light near his eye/mouth? He sure is a "beefy" boy, just like my Lapis. I would say for now, try to do a full change of his water (may be something got into his water) to see if he perks up. Also, take a closer look or photo of this grayish patch you see around his mouth. Just keep an eye on him since you are not able to definitively diagnose him with specific condition. I am sure someone will be along to give you more suggestions/advice.

Good luck and keep us posted!
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:37 AM   #3 
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After looking at some old pictures of him I think appearance wise I'm just paranoid. He's always seemed to have a whitish belly and greyish mouth. I'll do a full tank change when I get back from class. Should I get him a new tank that's a bit eAsier to clean if this is something that will require daily cleaning? I'll only have a chance to go to petco this afternoon.

What kind of heater is best and how would I make sure to adjust it slowly? Since his tank is only 1.5 gallons I worry about consistency and too much change

I also worry he's not eating enough last weekend since I noticed leftovers at the botom but I don't know if that was him ignoring food or my roommate putting too many at once

Thanks and sorry I'm just worried about him. How long do they usually live? Petco says 2 years but they also take crappy care of their fish
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:34 AM   #4 
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The bigger the tank, the less water change you need to do. But this rule generally applies to tanks 5 gal or less. If you get a larger tank, equipped with filter and heater, then you can try to cycle the tank and that will also reduce the frequency and amount of water change.

I know a lot of people recommend Hydor brand heater among others. Just make sure it is the adjustable kind. If you decide to upgrade the tank, then the wattage needs to be appropriate for that size tank. May be a good idea to go to Habitat section to ask for recommendation. I live in a different part of the world where the brands and choice of heaters are limited and all made in China! A good heater should not have any fluctuation. For example, I have a 25W heater that I had to put into a hospital tank that is only .5 gal, and the temp is always exactly. When you first get the heater, I would recommend testing it first in a bucket/tank of water without the fish. This way you can be sure it's not a lemon and that the temp is accurate and the gauge and temperature corresponds to each other. If you current temp is 73, I would probably set the temp let's say at 75 and leave it for the day, and the next day increase it by another 2 degree until you reach 78/79. I don't think delaying another couple days is going to harm the fish, but increasing it too quickly may put them into shock.

If you are feeding pellets, you should only drop one pellet in at a time, and usually right in front of him, let him finish before you drop in another one. This way you know how much he eats and none is left to cloud up the water. Each feeding should be 2-3 pellets, twice a day. If I am home, my bettas get their meals 4 times a day, only a pellet each time.

It's absolutely normal to be worried. This also shows you care about your betta It's hard to say, I think I have heard from 2 years to 5 years, I guess it will all depend on their genetics and overall care.

Good luck!
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:46 AM   #5 
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He seems to have perked up since this morning, he's interested in food when I dropped one in, and when I came back from class I noticed he had a long, stringy, big(ish, I don't know how big it usually is) poop that's hanging off him. He's hanging out vertically in his corner again (which while sounds strange, is normal for him).

So maybe he was just constipated? I changed his food from the crappy Tetrabetta brand to Hikari... last week or the week before, I think (weeks get mixed up in my brain). I also just bought a higher quality New Life Spectrum betta food (also in hopes my mom's fish will eat it) but it won't be here until Thursday. Though should I be cautious to change food twice in a short period?

When I was thinking over it too, I think it's been a while since I gave him new rocks (though I clean them each time I clean the tank). Should I replace them, or will that be too much change for him at the moment?

I'm hopefully going to get a heater for him today too (someone said lower temps can cause constipation too). And some aquarium salts since I don't have them on hand. I also heard frozen daphina helps constipation, should I try and find that?

Anything else you think I should get, just in case?

(sorry for so many questions! I'm just so paranoid now, I spent my two morning classes crying because I've been so worried about him ._. )
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Old 02-28-2012, 01:04 PM   #6 
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At least you are certain now he had a bowel movement. What color was the poo, similar to his food color? NLS betta food is supposed to be excellent (again, I don't get to buy that brand here). Not to worry about changing food, sometimes they can be picky and be on hunger strike for a day or two, but they will usually give in and start to eat like piglet again. Some bettas don't like to have their routine or environment change too much, others like to have different lay out and interesting things happening, I guess they are just like us

I don't quite agree with the lower temp causing constipation, logically that in colder water, their metabolism drops and they will eat less. Great, always good to have Aquarium salt on hand, as well as Epsom salt (plain unscented kind). He does not look constipated to me at all. But I am a bit concerned about this vertical hanging of his. Besides this, is he able to swim easily and freely when he wants to? A varied diet is good for them, such as frozen bloodworms or brine shrimp etc.

Don't worry, you seem to be a good care taker and really care for your betta. All they need is warmth, clean water and good food, and you seem to be able to provide all three Just watch him closely for now and see if other signs are manifesting. Good luck!!
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Old 02-28-2012, 03:10 PM   #7 
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I've noticed my boys (And girls) will sometimes act a little off before they have a major uh.. movement. In my experience it's not usually very long, and a often a bit of warm water helps. I'd suggest keeping an eye on him now if he's acting normal.
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:29 PM   #8 
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Yeah, his poo was the same color. Not white or anything. A bit stringy, in that it was like a single string of poo with a clump at the end.

Ever since I got him he's always had that funny sleeping habit -- he'll take naps in the corner of tanks, moving upright so he's rather vertical. (I can try to get a picture, but of course he's not doing it whenever i have my camera ready). It's been normal for him since day one though. There's sometimes when he's turning around, especially when trying to lock on to a food pellet, where he swims a bit awkwardly, as in he doesn't exactly turn on a dime, but again that's been since day one. I've never figured out what it was. I was worried for a while when first getting him, and varied up his food, fasted him, but he's just always been that way. He still moves around and interacts with things and has no trouble moving in general.

Yes I just ordered him the brine shrimp he likes -- the old one he wouldn't eat but my local stores didn't stock his favourite brand, but I found it recently on Amazon, so yay!

He has perked up since this morning, and his behavior over all is more normal. I still think he's hanging out at the bottom a tad more than usual, but not to the extent he was this morning. I'm keeping an eye on things.

I went to get a heater, but found all the ones at my petsmart were non-adjustable, nor did they have the recommended brand. I just looked on amazon and found the Elite Heater, which from the reviews looks good especially for my tank size. What do you think? Is that the right one to get?
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:01 PM   #9 
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I agree with Silverfang. My oldest does that too, giving you the impression that while they are pooping, they are in a stealth mode = they don't to see you and think you can't see them! lol If looks could talk, mine says "lady, give me some privacy here, scoot!" but this usually lasts for just a few minutes only. Whereas my youngest is the total opposite here.

ok. If you can, perhaps take a video of this swimming and hanging pattern of his, just so that we can see if that's just the variant of the norm for them.

Haven't used that brand myself, but the reviews look pretty good. If you would like more suggestions or recommendation, start a new thread in the habitat section and see what other brands the members recommend.

Keep us posted, and good luck!
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