My son's betta Rock N Roll III is suddenly, as of yesterday, spending quite a lot of time in his hiding place (a mug). He seems generally less active than usual, either hanging out in the mug or resting at the surface much of the time, although he does have bursts of activity where he swims around like normal. He is eating and pooping normally. Part of me wants to think, "Oh, he finally discovered the mug, how cute!" but part of me is worried that since this change was so sudden it's a sign that something is wrong.
Here are some details about RNR III and his environment:
- We got him 2-3 months ago
- He has never been sick
- He is in a 2.5G heated (78 degrees) tank with 2x weekly water changes (50/100; I did a 50% change yesterday morning when I first noticed he was acting strangely).
- We use API stress coat for water conditioner and he eats Hikari BioGold pellets (2 in the morning, 2 at night)
- No tankmates
- Other contents of tank: 2 silk plants, mug, heater (Hydor Theo), thermometer, aquarium jewels. The tank and most contents (except the mug, heater & thermometer) were new when we got RNR III about 2 months ago. The mug, heater & thermometer were recycled from his predecessor, RNR II, who died after a long and somewhat mysterious illness. I cleaned the mug & thermometer with vinegar & hot water and the heater with hot water before using them for RNR III.
About 2 weeks ago we went on vacation and our fish sitters fed him regularly, but didn't siphon out any of the solid waste as instructed and when we returned there was quite a bit of waste in his tank (he doesn't have any substrate so it is easy to see). I did a 100% water change right away and he had seemed fine ever since until yesterday, but that is the one thing I can think of that could maybe be responsible...I don't know, can it take 2 weeks to develop symptoms from ammonia poisoning?
Or, could he have injured himself somehow? There's nothing sharp or jagged in his tank but we do have a few of these "aquarium jewels" which are clear plastic "rocks" about 1/2 inch wide - maybe he somehow hurt himself on one of those?
Anyway, thanks for any thoughts, advice, or ideas about additional things I should be watching out for.
How do his fins look? Are they clenched more than normal? Are the ends white/black/red? Does he have any tears in them? What about his body? Are there any odd colored areas? Is he 'breathing' heavily or quickly? Observe his gills- are there any fungusy patches around there?
These are the things I look at when my bettas change behavior. If you don't see anything, try putting AQ salt in his tank, around a tsp per gallon. (to be changed 100% before you put more in there) If you see something wrong, check back with us.
Sounds like normal activity, some fish have loads of energy, and some leisurely just swim about, with a few resting periods, you have had him 2-3 months, but he could already be about 6-8 months or a year, so he may be gettin on the older side, but if he's eating and reacting otherwise normally, hanging out in a fave spot, in ok, my fishy does it often, and from time to time he gets his "bursts" of energy, then he just takes it easy and hangs out on a plant, or in his cave..just observe it for the next couple days..
So, I have been observing him more closely over the past hour or so and this is what I'm seeing....
- His fins, scales, and overall coloring all look normal. No patchy white spots, no redness, blackness, etc.
- He does seem to be clamping his (lateral?) fins to his sides when he is resting (I feel like normally even when he is just hanging out they are constantly moving) but when he swims it looks like he is able to use them normally.
- I never knew what people were talking about when they said their fish were "darting" but I think maybe that is what he is doing - moving in these sudden bursts, sometimes even running into the wall of the tank (this could be due at least in part to the fact that I was standing there peering at him, which he is not used to)
I have to leave the house soon but will check back when I return for other thoughts. Based on the advice received so far, I guess I'm not sure whether to just watch and wait, try the AQ salt, or if there is something else I should consider based on the above. TIA for guidance!
ETA: oh, I forgot, it also seems like when he is at complete rest his body is kind of curving or flopping to the side. Which is freaking me out a little because that was one of the symptoms of our prior fish's mystery illness...maybe it's just because he is not actively swimming? It is not consistently curving/flopping to one side or the other, seems to randomly change.
Last edited by chicagojo; 08-17-2012 at 10:39 AM.
Reason: more info
So, no white spots, no gold flecks like dust, that is Velvet, and the white spots can be Ich..but if your not seeing those, darting can be parasites, and sideways swimming can be Swim Bladder disease..however, I am not sure, if u can load up a pic, or vid of his swimming it would help to confirm, darting is a symptom of parasites, but not to be confuesed with bursts of energy, if he is swimming out of control, like you said banging into the tank wall, that is not just a normal burst of energy, that is uncontrollable "darting"
if u can load up a pic, or vid of his swimming it would help to confirm, darting is a symptom of parasites, but not to be confuesed with bursts of energy, if he is swimming out of control, like you said banging into the tank wall, that is not just a normal burst of energy, that is uncontrollable "darting"
Well now, of course, he is not swimming like that so I can't capture it on video. Maybe it was just because my face was like an inch or two from his tank and it was freaking him out that caused him to bang into the wall a couple of times?
I am not very experienced but I have had a couple of fish who had SBD before - this does not really seem like that - they would flop over onto their side and really couldn't swim straight at all. He is able to swim normally and he's not totally flopped onto his side, just a little bit.
I will continue watching him throughout the day when we are home and update if there is anything new or different. Thanks!!!