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Old 07-03-2012, 12:33 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Question about betta illnesses

I keep my red, male, half-moon betta in a five gallon hexagonal tank with a heater, filter, 2 water wistaria, 2 Sword Grass, snail, and an alge-eating fish.

Recently, I noticed my betta began to rest more and more. It would barly swim around at all, and when it did, anything that touched it made it "Flench" greatly. So, I did an 80% water change. All better. Swiming, no flenching, no twitching, nothing.

What was wrong?
InfernoHero222 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2012, 01:33 AM   #2 
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Oregon
How long had it been since your last water change? Do you check the "parameters" of your water? (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH levels) Is your tank cycled? aka Have you purposefully cultured the bacteria that "eat" ammonia and nitrites? What is your algae-eating fish?
RainbowSocks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2012, 01:44 AM   #3 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elk Grove, California
Hi InfernoHero and welcome to the forum.

How often do you perform water changes? In theory, it is possible for a 5gal to support that many fish if it is cycled and has regular water changes. But that does depend on what kind of algae-eater you have so it's good RainbowSocks asked. A Chinese or Siamese Algae Eater will get too big for your tank. They need at least 20gal. Common Plecos need at least 30gal, preferably 50gal. Otocinclus stay small enough but they are happiest in groups. My recommendation would be to rehome the algae eater. The snail will do an adequate job of eating algae anyway.

To help prevent any kind of illness, regular water changes are a definite must. Even with just a single betta in a 5gal, I'd recommend 30-50% once a week.

Fish excrete ammonia as part of their waste process but unfortunately ammonia is highly toxic to fish. It can be partially neutralized by "cycling" the tank or cultivating bacteria that eats ammonia and turns it into less toxic nitrites. This in turn cultivates bacteria that eats nitrite and turns it into least toxic nitrate. The other way we neutralize ammonia and the other toxic substances is by water changes.
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