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Old 10-03-2012, 03:00 PM   #1 
eclipse
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Exclamation Swim bladder? Ammonia?

This is my first attempt at owning a Betta, and unfortunately it seems to be going very wrong.
Set up my tank a couple of weeks ago, with a heater & filter, added some live plants & a light and waited for the the numbers to be just right.
Finally I picked out a tenacious little red crowntail male at Petco, and brought him home. Gave him a couple of hours to get used to the water and at first he just sat there. Eventually he started swimming around, but never dipped too far past the surface.
I figured he was just settling in and fed him some bloodworms labeled "betta food" from the pet store. A couple of days passed and he was floating in the corners, only really doing any activity to chase after food. I've been doing daily partial water changes to keep ammonia lvls down. I decided yesterday to skip the water change and food, in case it was a swim bladder issue and this morning I woke up to find him attached to the filter intake.
I thought he was dead for sure, but when I unplugged the filter he swam away. Filter is currently off, heater is still on keeping tank at around 80 degrees.
Did a 50% water change and added some Kosher Salt, and he thrashed around a bit, actually hitting the side of the glass.
He's still on the surface, hiding behind the filter, slightly sideways, gills look like hes struggling to breathe.
When I get close to the tank he seems to look at me, like he's asking for help, and I don't know what to do at this point. Is there any hope?
My roommate's betta is sitting in less than a half gallon plastic bowl and is perfectly healthy, with no filter or heater and here my poor guy is half dead. Doesn't seem fair.
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:05 PM   #2 
eclipse
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Housing
What size is your tank? 10g
What temperature is your tank? 78-80
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Freeze dried blood worms
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day, 3 worms

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? Daily
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 20 %
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Aquaon water conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
Don't have a test kit at home
Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Brightened up a beit the second day, then gradually becoming brownish
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? More lethargic
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Well, he's been only on the top since I got him about 5ish days ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? 50% water change, salt
Does your fish have any history of being ill? I've only had him for a few days
How old is your fish (approximately)? He was pretty small, so relatively young I'm guessing.

Last edited by eclipse; 10-03-2012 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:08 PM   #3 
Fredsterbit
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What's the size of your tank? Are you able to measure the water parameters? Is he swimming sideways or something? When you can, measure the parameters. Petco should be able to do that for you if you're unable to get a kit yourself. Also, how much salt did you put in the water? A large amount of salt makes the gills work harder, so for now I would suggest doing a complete water change to remove the salt. Is there anything strange about his body? If the intake of the filter seems to be causing problems, I suggest you get a sponge filter. Indian Almond Leaves help bettas relax and low light. Are you using a bright light for your tank? Have any plants?
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:23 PM   #4 
eclipse
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The tank is a ten gallon. I'm going to leave for petco in a bit, and bring some water with me. I put in a little less than a table spoon, which is under the recommended.
He swims straight for a while, then seems to get tired quickly and swim slightly sideways, before just floating in a tilted position and breathing. I'm not sure, but it looks like there might be slight swelling near the end of his body.
I have wisteria & some kind of sword, and the light is a bit bright and I leave it on for several hours for the plants, I got it specifically for plant growth. Could that be stressing him?
I'm also almost completely broke until Friday. >.<
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:56 PM   #5 
eclipse
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So, he died when I was at the store. Amonia was at 0. Not sure if I want to do this again.
The woman at the petstore asked me why I had him in such a big tank with a filter, and that her Betta did great with dirty water in gallon bowls.
Really upset. I try to give him the right things, and he dies anyways.
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:04 PM   #6 
Fredsterbit
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Don't give up

Don't get discouraged! And don't listen to the pet store person. My first fish died in two weeks... It seems to me as if that betta was sick from the start. It happens even to the best of us. Don't give up on this hobby.. I find it quite rewarding, and my condolences... I know it is sad... :(
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:42 PM   #7 
eclipse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fredsterbit View Post
Don't get discouraged! And don't listen to the pet store person. My first fish died in two weeks... It seems to me as if that betta was sick from the start. It happens even to the best of us. Don't give up on this hobby.. I find it quite rewarding, and my condolences... I know it is sad... :(
Thanks for the encouragement. =] I feel a little better today.
I kind of think he might have been having an issue from the start. =[ He never really explored the bottom of the tank. Kept floating up.
I think I'm going to work on getting my plants nice and big for a few weeks before trying again.
How should I go about disinfecting my tank without ruining the good bacteria? Any other good tips for me? I want to get this right in the future.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:47 PM   #8 
Fredsterbit
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Since I assume that you removed the fish immediately, there shouldn't be the need for disinfecting. How do you take care of your plants? How many plants do you have? Keep testing the water. I also suggest you look into fishless cycling, so your tank is cycled before you add your fish.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:14 PM   #9 
eclipse
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I have 5 small stems of wisteria and 6 swords of some type. I just leave the light on for several hours and trim off any dying leaves.
Is there a trick to it?
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:18 PM   #10 
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I use Flourish Comprehensive as a fertilizer as well as an Iron supplement and Excel from the same company (Flourish). I don't really think the excel is necessary though, it's co2 in a bottle I think. Anyways I just started using the iron and the excel so it may take a while for me to see the difference. The comprehensive I have been using for about 3 weeks now. I think it works.
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