My betta has been laying on the bottom of the tank for a few days now and this time when i came home, I found him sucked up against the filter :( i nudged him with the net and he swam away, thankfully, but then he just went and layed on the gravel not moving. It's been hot lately and my filter generates a bit of heat so I've been turning it off to let the water cool but the water still went up to around 87 degrees. My betta, Matcha Custard, lives in a 2.5 gallon tank with 3 neon tetras with a bit of aquarium salt, no heater yet because of the hot weather, a filter, and 3 fake plants. He also has a torn back fin with the tear all the way to the base of the tail. I've been giving him betta fix and feeding him pellets. I've had him for about 3 weeks. I'm very worried about him and I hope someone could give me advice.
You're tank is overstocked. For a 2.5 gallon, it's only suitable for 1 betta. The neons are active fish and need more space as well as I believe a shoal of 6 or more to feel comfy (I could be wrong on shoal size).
It's also not good to turn the filter on and off. It's either always on or always off. Anything in between allows for ammonia build up, which is rushed back into the tank when you turn the filter back on.
Upgrade your tank to 10 gallons if you want to keep everyone or rehome either your betta or the neons.
As far as caring for your betta's current condition:
IT's very likely he has ammonia burns and poisoning. Have you changed out any water a all in the three weeks you've had him? If not, this is your problem.a 2.5 gallon with filter housing only 1 betta should be changed out at least once a week 50% or more.
For now, get him in a separate container and just use clean water using your regular water conditioner each time. Change out all of his water every day until he shows improvement. As a warning, he might be too far gone if it is poisoning and he may pass away. Still give him the shot since bettas can be quite hardy.
Ammonia poisoning is serious, so it's best to reduce ammonia every chance you get for your aquarium. The only effectve ways for a 2.5 gallon are water changes and a constantly running filter (This is after good bacteria have made their home on the filter media to help balance out the tank's levels of ammonia, nitrItes, and nitrAtes).
*** Ammonia Poisoning symptoms:
Red/purple gills, gasping, inflamed gills, laying on bottom of tank, lethargy, red streaking on fins or body, decreased appetite
Also, for your tank to be running at 87 degrees, it may be in your best interest to move it to a cooler location. I don't believe your home is at 89 degrees or above, so it might be tank placement. If it's in front of a window, move it away from that to somewhere with an insulated wall.
Last edited by Pataflafla; 05-23-2012 at 02:50 AM.
Thank you for your help!
The whole time I've had my betta, I've been changing about 40% of the water every other day and always dechlorinized it. he usually only acts like this around 4pm til the next morning. In the morning, he's always active, but his fins are still slightly clamped. He doesn't seem to be showing any other symptoms other than lethargy and laying on the bottom of the tank and his appetite is still good. He also has some signs of ich so I'm wondering if i should add salt or worry about that later. Again, thank you for your help.
He's probably feeling stressed by the neons then. Bettas tend to like quite and calm tankmates. Active ones can harass them and cause lethargy.
Since you're doing those water changes, he might be feeling a little stressed from that too. A bigger tank would be nicer, but if you don't want to get one that's up to you. Just be sure to keep up with the maintenance on your tank and keep an eye on him. Might have to separate them anyway if he's being harassed or bothered too much.
If you are able to fit a taller plant in the tank, try it. It might make him feel more secure and give him somewhere to hide in an area he's comfortable with. Bettas like middle to top of the tank, so it's easiest to decorate there.
Actually, the neons leave him alone. They're usually near the back of the tank and don't bother my betta at all. My betta also never bothers them and hasn't even attacked or flared at them, even when i first introduced them.
I would buy a bigger tank, but I currently have no job and can't afford to buy a bigger tank. I'll change the water every 2 days to try to reduce the stress.
If you need to move your betta to a different tank to help him recover, you don't have to spend a lot. Many folks (myself included) use the plastic storage containers you can get at K-mart, Wal-mart or even the 99cent store. A two gallon shoebox size works great as a small tank, and you can put gravel and lay a fake plant sideways for hiding places. Cheap and effective.