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Old 11-20-2012, 05:13 AM   #1 
IrisWillow
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Exclamation help: Betta Fish panting, sick :(

Hi, Im a new user and I signed up specifically to ask about my sick betta fish :(

My Betta fish has been looking very healthy lately, but about a couple of weeks ago i noticed he had tear(?) in his back fin, i thought maybe he had cut himself on a castle statue i had in the tank.

Then about three days ago I changed the water, and since then he has been acting very different.

He has been laying at the bottom of his tank, he looks as though he is panting. He wouldn't eat anything.When he goes up for air he darts to the surface and straight back down again.
He started lying to his side at the bottom.

I lowered the water level, to about three inches. Which seemed to help a lot. He is now eating, but I'm not feeding him much just in case.

Then today I realized I completely forgot to test his water when I did change it. Which is something i normally do.
It was very alkaline/ not acidic at all, so i slowly added some neutral water to his tank.

I started to think that maybe there was something in the water, it could have gotten contaminated maybe when i changed it? - I clean his tank in my laundry, but am always very careful.
I've switched him to a small bowl, with completely new water at the same temperature.

Pleas help? Any suggestions? He is still panting and his fins now look very tattered. :(

Additional notes:
-Normally i scoop him out with a deep soup ladel, or another container, but when i changed his water this time I used a net - which i cant recall if i cleaned it or not before use
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:49 AM   #2 
shellieca
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Are you using a water conditioner? What size tank? How long has it been set up? Is it heated? When you tested your water did you also test for ammonia, nitrites & nitrates? What were the results? What exactly was your Ph? Typically there is no need to adjust Ph because fish will adapt to it. It's more important for it to be stable. Also, be careful using a net with a male because that can cause fin damage.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:07 AM   #3 
IrisWillow
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Yep, I'm using a water conditioner,
His/Gatsby's tank is 8L, its been set up for about three/four months and has a filter.
Its only him in his tank, no live plants or anything.

Im using a lamp as a heater and have a thermometer for his tank so I make sure its normally 20-25C.

The ph was about 7.6. The water i use to fill his tank is bottled water from a stefani, which came out at 6.6/7

I have not tested for those, I'm not sure how? Do I purchase a kit from a pet store?

Last edited by IrisWillow; 11-20-2012 at 07:12 AM.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:47 AM   #4 
shellieca
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You don't leave the light on all of the time do you? Does he have silk plants & hidey hole/caves? Plamts with broad leaves or big enough for him to rest on & tall close tomthe surface? A Ph of 7.6 is actually better than the lower Ph. If the ph is too low, low-mid 6's it can cause cycling problems. Fish will adapt to a tap waters Ph. Most recommend the API Freshwater Master test kit or a similar liquid test kit, test strips are not accurate & IME give a lower reading. Plus liquid test kits will last for months, more expensive to start but actually a savings because of the amount of tests you get. Do you fast him? He could be having swim bladder issues, see if he can swim better adpfter he hasn't eaten for a couple of days.
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:19 AM   #5 
IrisWillow
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I turn it off some nights, but i do often leave it on, I'm often worried he will get too cold

He has a tunnel type of thing he can hide in and a small fake plant but it doesn't have large leaves though.

Oh okay, i didnt know that! I was just confused at how the tank ph didnt match the ph of the water source? Do you think the water could have gotten contaminated and he is poisoned by something?

I don't normally fast him no, I did give him a day or two without food when i first saw that he was ill, but i have been giving him one or two worms a day now. It didn't seem to make a lot of difference, but ill try it again!

Okay, I am using a liquid test kit for ph levels atm. I think its by "Science Products"
Im not sure if that's a good brand or not?!

Thank you for your help, Ill try not feeding him and hope that helps. Its so difficult watching him struggle
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:36 AM   #6 
shellieca
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They need to have the day/night cycle the same as us. I suggest getting a heater, preferably an adjustable one but if not able to there are preset heaters that'll work just keep a close eye on the temp. Are you only feeding blood worms? They need a good quality pellet or flake as their staple diet, blood worms are only meant to be fed once or twice a week. What is your normal water change schedule? One of the main reasons for weekly or more frequent water changes is to replenish minerals, Ph, & to remove toxins. With a small volume of water more frequent water changes are needed. Also, have you turned the filter off to see if maybe that is bothering him? Filters on smaller volumes of water can sometimes be more of a problem than a help.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:40 AM   #7 
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IS it possible that you forgot to add water conditioner? Also have you tested the ammonia, nitrate, and nitrate levels? High levels of ammonia and nitrate can cause what you are describing. alkaline water shouldn't affect his behavior like that unless it is extremely high.

Last edited by sainthogan; 11-20-2012 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:45 AM   #8 
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I forgot to mention that high ammonia levels will affect your ph readings, because ammonia is an alkaline and can cause the alkalinity level to rise. So if you are suspecting that he's been poisoned, my guess is that it's ammonia levels. Please find a way to test for ammonia and change his water again.
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