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Old 11-08-2012, 09:49 AM   #1 
Opioid Slumber
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HELP! New bettas behavior changed drastically & quickly!

We got our first Aquabid betta in the mail yesterday and were so excited. When I picked up the bag he was shipped in, the water felt very cold. It was probably about 60-65 degrees, even though we paid for a heat pack.

Anyway, after we put him in his new tank he was very happy. His colors started coming back within just a few minutes, he unclamped, he was frisky and exploring everything. He seemed to be a very healthy little guy.

Well, after a few hours he started acting lethargic, he began hiding, staying still for long periods of time and his fins started clamping again. Not severely clamped, but definitely clamping some. He hasn't eaten anything yet but we know that's normal for a couple of days after a stressful trip in a tiny, cold, dark box. His colors came back quickly yesterday and haven't faded again. His heater has the water at 78 degrees right now, hopefully it will be up to 80-82 degrees soon. If not, we will slowly add some warmer water to his tank.

Is he still just very stressed out and adjusting to his new tank? Is this behavior normal after a two day trip across the country? We knew that he would be very stressed after his trip. We're just confused because he seemed to be very happy, then after a few hours he started doing all of these things.

This next question may seem stupid, but I don't care as long as our new family member ends up ok. I was wondering... Do some bettas prefer to have their water at the higher end of the normal range, the way different bettas will do better with different size tanks according to their personal preferences? The reason for this question is because after I got him out of the shipping box and discovered he was very cold, I put him in a temporary betta cup with water at 82 degrees. After my fiancee (homegrown terror) got home from work, he plugged up the heater and put warm water in the tank that was also 82-83 degrees. Well, the heater was under the gravel and wasn't working well enough, so his water had gone down to 76 degrees. We moved the heater from under the gravel to just sitting in the water but it's still only about 78 degrees now. Since that is the low end of normal and he didn't start acting different for a while, could the temperature be the problem? It's the only thing that has changed, which is making us wonder if he just prefers his water to be on the higher end of normal. He was doing great when it was at 80-83 degrees! Should we go ahead and slowly add some warmer water to heat the tank faster for him?

Sorry this post is so long. Can someone PLEASE help us??? We are so worried for little Jack Skellington and want him to be happy and healthy!!!

Housing
What size is your tank? 3 gallon tank with driftwood, two big, leafy plants that reach the top and give plenty of cover, one small plant for him to rest closer to the bottom
What temperature is your tank? 78 degrees (the heater is still in the process of warming up the water right now)
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? Aqueon Betta Food pellets, blood worms for treats
How often do you feed your betta fish? a small amount twice daily Maintenance How often do you perform a water change? once a week What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50-75%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? water conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? Unfortunately, we do not have a test kit right now Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment

How has your betta fish's appearance changed? A medium amount of clamping, not extreme clamping. He just looks like he doesn't feel well.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Got him in the mail yesterday and when we put him in his tank he seemed very excited. He was busy exploring for a good while and his colors started coming back after the stressful trip. After a few hours he started hiding, acting very lethargic and staying in the same spot for long periods. He's not moving around except to find a different spot to stay still in.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Several hours after he was put into his new home from his traveling cup.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? We haven't done anything yet because we don't want to jump the gun and give him meds if he doesn't really need them.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? The Aquabid seller reported that he was very healthy, so no illness that we know of.
How old is your fish (approximately)? 3.5 months
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:01 AM   #2 
lelei
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I have never mailordered fishy's as of yet, but I hear the stress of the trip does take a 2 day toll, and they will be back to normal within 48 hrs, but if you notice that he does better with warmer temps, I would def opt for an adjustable heater, so you can get it to 82, as most bettas are quite comfortable in that temp, most of mine are at 78 right now, but I notice in the summer when the tanks were at 81 or 82 they were loving it..and the Plants were too, so if you can add some warmer water as you go, also with some minor adjustments,

I was told, they need gradual adjustment to light and bigger tanks, so to keep em in QT for the first 24 hrs with low light, and then to allow them in the bigger tanks with normal lighting, I hope after feeding, and him getting used to his new home he does well:)
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:03 AM   #3 
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Oh, and to add, I recently got a LPS fish, and just the ride home was so stressful, he slept in a plant for literally 3 hrs didnt even move, face down..I thought he died there..but he is fit as a fiddle..lol..they just need rest..
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:15 AM   #4 
shellieca
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Congrats on your Betta! Bettas will be stressed, some more so than others, with such a drastic change in his environment. 1st I would not adjust the temp any more, it sounds like there have been some big temp swings which is not good for him. If your water temp is currently at 78, I'd leave it alone for a few days, give him time to adjust & then if you want turn your heater up slightly to increase the temp 1 or 2 degrees. My heaters keep the water at 78 & when the lights are on for a while the temp goes up to 80. Bottom line, give him a coupld of days to settle in.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:48 AM   #5 
Opioid Slumber
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Yeah shellieca, I know the temp changes can be stressful for him, so I'll take your advice to just leave it alone for now. We have a 1 gallon tank that we use for QT but I'm going to keep him in the 3 gallon since moving him again would just make it worse. This is the first fish we've gotten through the mail, all of our others came from various local stores. We have 17 (yes, 17!) other bettas and we have taken a lot of time to research them and care for them properly. I really have no idea how much money we've spent on all of these amazing little creatures, but if someone offered me all the money we've spent in one big pile I wouldn't trade them.

Thanks for the advice and comments so far! If anyone has any other advice I would appreciate it. Hopefully he's just adjusting from being so stressed. I'll have homegrown terror put up some pictures of him when he gets home from work. I don't know how to load pics from the phone to the computer!
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:19 PM   #6 
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hey, i just got home from work and i really don't see much, if any, improvement on him :( i'm gonna hook up our glow light. it's blue spectrum, and a lot less bright, so he won't be in an extremely bright environment. i'm really worried about our little guy...
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:28 PM   #7 
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He may have really taken a hit from the water going from the low 60's to the low 80's that fast - that is very, very stressful for a tropical fish. It would have been much better to very slowly acclimate him to a warmer temp. Hopefully he'll pull thru but it really sounds like the quick temp change shocked his system.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:14 PM   #8 
homegrown terror
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendyjo View Post
He may have really taken a hit from the water going from the low 60's to the low 80's that fast - that is very, very stressful for a tropical fish. It would have been much better to very slowly acclimate him to a warmer temp. Hopefully he'll pull thru but it really sounds like the quick temp change shocked his system.
i'm thinking that might be the case...he seems to be getting more active, he's exploring his tank a bit more, just swimming very slowly (he's "cruising" rather than flitting) he keeps coming back to a leaf from his silk plant that's near the surface as a resty spot. Crystal (opioid slumber) warmed him up because she was worried about how cold he was, and tried to remedy it before the cold hurt him any more. we know better now. his tank slowly rose from about 74-76 to 80 over the course of the last 24 hours, so he's had a nice gradual rise to "good betta temperature."
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:38 PM   #9 
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Hopefully he'll adjust well and be good as new.

I know you said you paid for a heat pack - did the shipper include it? If the little guy came from overseas then those packs don't last that long anyhow, but if he didn't even include it then I'd raise some hell with him.
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Old 11-09-2012, 05:56 AM   #10 
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just turned on the light in his tank....after a minute of waking up, he started SWIMMING LIKE A BETTA! it's too soon to unequivocally say he's recovered, but he's exploring, active and completely unclamped. if possible, his black fins have become even blacker, and he looks happy and healthy as you'd expect a betta to be!
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