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Old 06-04-2012, 04:42 PM   #1 
Conductor71
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Unhappy betta in a cloudy Fluval Chi (5 g)

Hi,

I must admit that even though I know better, I put the fish in a new tank without knowing much about cycling. He seemed pretty happy his first evening in the Chi. He was previously in a 3 gallon Tetra with faux plants. I decided to take the plunge and bought two live plants for the Chi upgrade. My concern is that he is becoming a bit lethargic and hanging out at the bottom though he is still social and eating.

Here are his current habitat:

Chi 5 gallon aquarium
1/4 former tank water 3/4 treated tap water
1/2 teaspsoon of salt to "treat" some ragged fins
Aqueon dechlorinator and Hagen treatment (came with Chi but no dosing instruction- decided one teaspoon per Internet findings)
Petco substrate
two live plants
heater (76 degrees - was 80)

At first everything looked perfect; crystal clear water, curious and happy fish.Was bummed to find cloudy water in the morning. I did not have a water test kit but did do a 25% water change. He started hugging the bottom even more. :(

So off to buy a water test kit. Results:

Ammonia 0.5
Nitrate 10
Nitrite 0.5
Water hardness 120
Alkilinity 0.7
PH 6.4

I can't tell where I am at in cycllng and want to do everything I can to save the little guy? Any ideas or suggestions appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 06-04-2012, 05:08 PM   #2 
Anna27
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That usually indicates that the tank is cycling, and if its a white cloudiness its a bacterial bloom. When I went through this I did a 50% water change everyday or every other day until my water results were good. It took mine about 2 weeks to get back to normal (I am no expert though so hopefully someone with more experience will chime in) This is just based off my own personal experience.
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Old 06-04-2012, 05:37 PM   #3 
Anitax3x
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1)Is that aquarium salt or regular salt? They are VERY different so he would respond badly to table salt.

2) what type of plants are they? Some plants at Petco/Petsmart are not true aquatic plants and just sit in the tank and rot.

3) Can we see pictures of his setup, the betta and the plants? That makes it easier to diagnose the problem. He may be a little lethargic but is he eating? I would put him in qt with no gravel and just a heater, so you can see if he is actually eating/pooping well. Does he have any odd things about him that you could tell us?
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:12 PM   #4 
Conductor71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anitax3x View Post
1)Is that aquarium salt or regular salt? They are VERY different so he would respond badly to table salt.

2) what type of plants are they? Some plants at Petco/Petsmart are not true aquatic plants and just sit in the tank and rot.

3) Can we see pictures of his setup, the betta and the plants? That makes it easier to diagnose the problem. He may be a little lethargic but is he eating? I would put him in qt with no gravel and just a heater, so you can see if he is actually eating/pooping well. Does he have any odd things about him that you could tell us?
Oh, no. Definitely not table salt; it is aquarium salt and I put in a scant teaspoon.

Hmmm...should have paid attention to species names. I just asked for good "starter" plants. I can describe them or take pictures. My concern is that the larger one is yellowing big time and I transplanted it within an hour of purchase. I wondered if that might be problematic?

He responded very well when first in the tank and started a bubble nest. He slept in a plant. At this time oddly enough water was clear. The next morning the water was cloudy and he was just hanging out in the back corner at the bottom. He has a robust appetite and comes round to greet me or to check out why I might have my hand in the tank but just seems to spend less time swimming than he does in the bottom corner of the tank. He comes up for air sometimes, more than before, but not excessively.

The one plant does seem to be dying; it is turning yellow. I bought a back up (diff species) when getting water kit today. Should I replace the older plant?

I will try to upload a few pics in within the next hour.

Thanks so much!
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:33 PM   #5 
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okay! I would take the plant out, and do like a 50% water change. Also I could be wrong but I believe you can use aq salt with bettas for 10 days or less, usually to treat fin rot. Otherwise they don't need it. You could try switching to epsom salt he may be a bit bloated affecting his swim bladder. The epsom salt helps him have a BM.


But it seems odd, do you have a thermometer? maybe the heater isnt working as well, you could try raising the temp up to 78-80. And see how that works before trying the epsom salt.

usually when bettas are too cold they do that. Or maybe the filter in the chi is too powerful for him.

I'm just throwing out there what it could be, but for sure I would take the yellowing plant out ,raise the temp on the heater, and do a 50% water change (acclimate him accordingly ).
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:33 PM   #6 
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Great advice! I too wondered about the water temp change. He is is a deeper tank and is resting over the heater (under gravel), so that may be part of it.

One thing I noticed is that leftover food is just floating around on top of tank; it is not sinking. This seems odd? I know that it might be caught in the current from the filter but shouldn't it get sucked away? I only feed him 2 small pinches a day, so there is not a lot of excess.

Do I continue with the 50% water exchange until ammonia is at 0? Should I wait to put new plant? It seems I should do it now so it is part of cycling process? P

Thank you both.
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:59 AM   #7 
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You should get an adjustable heater bc the under gravel ones don't always work. And I would do Epsom salt because he isn't eating. If you are feeding him flakes try using pellets bc flakes make fish constipated. You can fast him fora day or two and keep him in warmer water. He doesnt seem to be in trouble just needs some tlc. It can be stressfull moving bettas into new tanks. They are such picky fish! LOL
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:29 AM   #8 
Conductor71
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Hi,

I wanted to thank you both for the quick response. Little "Glub" (my toddler son named him) is doing better. He has a nice size bubble nest in the back of the tank.
He is swimming around and curious as he was before the tank change. I did put in the better heater and he likes it at 80 degrees.

I tried the epsom salts. He is not eating as much as usual, but he is eating. He def does not like bloodworms or those pellets. I have a few more questions.

How soon do I check water quality after a 50% water change?
My Nitrate and Nitrate levels spiked yesterday, ammonia still 0.5 today Nitrogens both a bit lower and ammonia up to 1.0. All other variables remain fairly constant.
The tank is now like 97% clear.

pH is 6.4
Alkilinity is 120

According to water guide with Kit (Mardel) the ammonia at 1.0 is okay. Should I still be swapping out 50% daily?

I am eager to add a Mystery Snail to the tank. How long should I give the betta to acclimate himself before I add a tank mate?

This forum rocks! Think of the poor fish that perished at my hand because the Internet was not widely available. :P
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:46 AM   #9 
Anna27
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I do a 50% water change daily until the ammonia is at 0. I usually check the water parameters before doing the water change to see how things are moving along and to make sure my ammonia is at 0. Once your water is stable and things are looking good ( my tank is a 2 gallon) I usually do a partial water change about every 3 days and a full water change once a week or so. Before adding anything else to the tank make sure your water parameters are stable for a few days or so. Mystery Snails are fun, ive got one, he was the size of a nickel when I got him and now he bigger than a quarter!
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:02 AM   #10 
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Don't add a snail until it is completely cycled then wait two weeks to let it become more stable. Snails poop more then bettas, especially bigger ones because they eat a whole lot, so just wait. Make sure to quarantine the snails for a week or so, maybe you can setup the 3 gallon for tgem to be in?

If you post a picture of the plants I should be able to tell you if they are aquatic or not. Most petstores make plants seem they are okay underwater.
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