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Old 12-02-2012, 12:51 PM   #1 
ktlelia
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New girl getting stressed or sick?

Problem:
I just got a new VT female 2 days ago. She was acting healthy and fine when I got her, brought her home, and in the tank. Last night she suddenly started clamping her fins. Today, she is now laying about on the bottom behind her cup.
She does swims around if I check up on her, but she doesn't swim well, or at least how she was the first day. My last check up on her, she swam up to greet me, then swam a bit at the top, then stopped moving all together and floated a bit, then swam back to the bottom behind her cup.
I assumed right away it's the temp getting to her perhaps, and she's too cold- however the temp has been the same since I brought her home and it's odd how she's acting now.

I need some guidance on how to handle this, considering I've honestly never had a sick betta before. I cannot tell if she's sick or just stressed.

Information:
Tank: 10 gallon/ Split with another female. heated/baffled-filtered/awesome.
Water: Clean, tested, and 100% perfectly fine.
Temp: It's been crazy cold in my area, and my heater in the girl's tank has been sitting at 71 F to 73 F rather than the normal 78 F or higher.
(I do have another heater for 2-10 gallon- if the temp may be the issue can I add it to this tank, or is that dangerous to have more than one heater in a tank?)

- There are no physical markings or damages on this girl.

-The other girl isn't acting weird at all. She seems happy and healthy and not reacting to the lower than normal temperature.

- I have an extra backup tank, holds about 4-5 gallons I think, with that extra heater of mine. Should I just move her to that and see if she recovers?

- If she's just stressed, should I even try moving her into this hospital tank, or just let her be and clam herself down? I don't want to move her and end up killing her by stressing her out even more.

Thankies for your help, and hopefully you have enough info.
(I would take a picture of her, but she is hiding/laying behind a large black coffee cup.)
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:11 PM   #2 
AyalaCookiejar
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I would move her to the backup (QT) tank. The reason being, she could have had something when you bought her and is just experiencing symptoms now, and it could spread to your other betta.

Any time you buy a new fish, you should QT them for a few weeks before adding them in with the other fish for that reason: they could be sick. Of course, it could just be stress, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

Unfortunately, I cannot tell you what it is, but I helped someone yesterday who had the exact same problem as you, and it ended up being ick. Both the new fish and the fish already in the tank ended up getting it.

If she was at room temperature at the store where you bought her, it most likely isn't a temperature issue, but raising the temp to 78 would help you find out for sure. Most fish will not be extremely affected in cooler temperatures. Stress is caused by sudden temp changes. How did you adjust her to the new tank?

Watch her very closely for any other symptoms. You do not want to treat her for anything unless you are sure she has something.

Last edited by AyalaCookiejar; 12-02-2012 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:25 PM   #3 
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No advice, but your situation sounds just like mine -- and I just read another thread where someone's new fish is behaving similarly.

I brought a new fish home on Thursday. He's eating OK. But other than that, he's spent today either hiding or lying on a leaf near the surface. And he looks like a wilted lettuce leaf. However, his water temp is 79F.

I'm wondering if the newbies just need to adjust to the new water and maybe also the water temperature and the new food? This might be why your other girl isn't being affected -- she's already used to all of that.

Like Ayala suggested though, you may want to quarantine her in a separate tank, just in case she does have something contagious.
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:31 PM   #4 
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If they aren't properly acclimated to the water it can stress them out.
I don't think it's the temperature that's the problem unless you just dumped the new fish in the tank without floating it or at least letting it sit and adjust to room temp, but sudden PH changes can be bad for them. If the PH at the pet store differs from the PH of your tap water and he wasn't acclimated correctly it could have shocked him.

In my own experiences, bettas don't usually act that way when getting used to a new tank. As long as they are acclimated to the new water correctly, they are usually curious about their new surroundings and interested in checking everything out. Of course, every betta is different. Some exhibit strange behaviors that you may come to find out is very common for your individual fish, but I don't think lethargy is one of them.

My newest betta flared at just about everything for a few days. He used his first few days to "claim his territory" before he actually started exploring everything.
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:47 PM   #5 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AyalaCookiejar View Post
If they aren't properly acclimated to the water it can stress them out.....
(Well, you already know about what the petstore did to my guy, and I'm sure that stressed him out, but anyway....)

So is there anything we can do to help them now? Or do we just keep them in warm, clean water, and wait it out?
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:57 PM   #6 
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Yes, and he was likely stressed before that because of the small cup, the quality of the water and also because (assuming they keep all the cups next to each other of the shelf) there were a lot of other bettas in his "territory".

I would say that since lethargy is a very common symptoms of a lot of things, there's no way to pinpoint what the problem is, so yes (Unless you have a test kit, then you can rule out the possibility of ammonia/nitrite/nitrate spikes). Warm, clean water is what they need.

Make sure the tanks are decorated enough so they have plenty of hiding places and try covering the tank with a towel or just turning out the light and keep them in the dark. If they are stressed, the dark will help them feel safer. Try not to bother them too much (I know this is hard), but check on them often enough to look for any other symptoms or signs of them getting better.
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:20 AM   #7 
ktlelia
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Sorry for the late reply, I work overnights and I had to head off to bed after I saw no replies for a while. I did move her to this separate tank because in my gut I feel like it wasn't a temp issue but rather a sickness. I'm going to keep an eye on my other girl just in case anything spread or whatnot.
I did not rush her into moving her around. I had her warm up and wait in the bag to match the water temps. I was stupid to assume she was healthy and I did not qaurentine her like I should have. I've been super lucky with bettas in my life and I should have known better.
Update on "rosemary" the new girl, she's in a warmer separate tank and is showing no changes of what I've noticed before I left for work.
Thank you so much for your help guys.
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:24 AM   #8 
ktlelia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AyalaCookiejar View Post
If they aren't properly acclimated to the water it can stress them out.
I don't think it's the temperature that's the problem unless you just dumped the new fish in the tank without floating it or at least letting it sit and adjust to room temp, but sudden PH changes can be bad for them. If the PH at the pet store differs from the PH of your tap water and he wasn't acclimated correctly it could have shocked him.

In my own experiences, bettas don't usually act that way when getting used to a new tank. As long as they are acclimated to the new water correctly, they are usually curious about their new surroundings and interested in checking everything out. Of course, every betta is different. Some exhibit strange behaviors that you may come to find out is very common for your individual fish, but I don't think lethargy is one of them.

My newest betta flared at just about everything for a few days. He used his first few days to "claim his territory" before he actually started exploring everything.
Rosemary was very excited and fine when I put her into her tank after I floated her. She explored a lot and was favoring certain plants. Then suddenly she was just "eh" and started acting like this the next day.
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:09 AM   #9 
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this could also be pre bloat. is she losing balance?
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:52 AM   #10 
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Quote:
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this could also be pre bloat. is she losing balance?
No bloating, no swelling, and no signs of the losing balance as far as I can tell when she does move around. It's just clamped fins and laying on the bottom a lot. But thank you for bringing that up- I'll def look to see any signs of bloat happening just in case.
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