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Old 12-25-2012, 06:04 PM   #1 
Sparrowhawk
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Betta lying at bottom of tank. Worried!

I'm sure this has been covered in different threads before (I pretty much exhausted the search function trying to find an answer before posting) but I just couldn't find an answer that applies exactly to this situation...

Yesterday, my partner and I were given two bettas for Christmas by his family. I know, it's terrible. I'm pretty sure they weren't doing it carelessly, knowing how much we care about Falkor, but still...

Anyway. One of them is doing fine, after being put in a temporary home until we do an emergency shop today for a new tank he's become active, has coloured up a little more, so I'm confident he'll be okay.

The other, however, is not doing much except lying at the bottom of the tank. I put him in the only spare tank I had, with my spare heater, because he looked the most in need of the two for heat and comfort. The poor little guy just doesn't want to do anything except lie there. He did colour up dramatically with one night in clean, warm water, but he's not interested in food and won't budge from where he's lying unless he needs air, or doesn't like something that's placed in front of the area he's lying in. Then he'll just turn around, swim a little way, and just keep lying there.



Housing
What size is your tank? 10L (2.2 gallons)
What temperature is your tank? 79 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? No
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? Hikari Betta Bio-Gold and Tetra Freeze Dried Blood Worms
How often do you feed your betta fish? I have tried twice in the 24 hours since we got him, but he isn't interested in eating

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? I have not yet in this tank, he has only been in it for 14 or so hours, but will be the same routine as Falkor's - 50%/week + 100%/week if not heavily planted, 2x50% weekly if heavily planted
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? Oops, covered that in the above question
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime + IAL + ferts for plants

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 7.5
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? He has coloured up, which is positive, not a worry.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? It hasn't changed, but in the day we've had him he's been lying at the bottom of his vase, and then tank when we set it up. Uninterested in food, lethargic.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Immediately after being given him.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I have put him in a reasonably sized, heated tank, much better than where he was in a cold, tiny vase (ugh) and keeping his water clean.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Unsure, we only just got him.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Again, unsure, but he looks younger than the other betta we were given.


Any help is very much appreciated. Despite not planning to grow our fishy family just yet, I really don't want to lose this little guy, the poor thing should have a chance to live happily.

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Old 12-25-2012, 06:35 PM   #2 
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I can't help you, just wanted to say that I hope that he's just getting used to his new home, and brightens up asap! Goodluck with him!
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Old 12-25-2012, 06:45 PM   #3 
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Thank you for the well wishes! Much appreciated!

I also just realised I totally hit the wrong button when specifying the capacity of the tank in gallons, but the liter figure is correct. Oops.
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Old 12-25-2012, 06:51 PM   #4 
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It's hard to say since you just got him but it is possible that he is still suffering the effects of his petshop experience. Normally, i test the ammonia in all the cups from bettas I buy from petco and I have seen the readings so high it's actually OFF the API ammonia chart! The guy in my avatar had an 8.0 and the one in my siggy was the one that was off the chart. He was colorless and his fins were almost all gone.

Do you see anything physically wrong with him like a fuzzy patch, white spots? Also, take a flashlight anad shine it on him. Does he have anything that looks like he was sprinkled with gold dust?

Sometimes it takes them a while to get used to their new home and its not uncommon for them to not eat for a few days. Does he have any decor in the tank? He might feel safer with something in the tank
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Old 12-25-2012, 07:00 PM   #5 
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Thank you for the advice!

I shone a flashlight at both the new boys, no signs of fuzzy patches, white spots or gold dusting. The one who seems to be doing better has some stringy stuff hanging off one of his ventrals and his dorsal, I'm currently trying to find information on that, but the super-depressed one has no other signs of illness at all. He's got some decor/plants I took from Falkor's tank until I can go shopping in a couple of hours -- a skull with a java fern growing out of it, and also a small pot with anubias nana in it, but he'll be getting a ton more decor, and a couple of plants hopefully when I do the emergency shop today, along with a hidey-hole.

The pet shop experience is just crazy. The ammonia levels you mentioned don't seem to be the case in stores here, at most places they have them in those tiny "betta barracks" but the water is filtered, though how clean it is is probably dubious. I'm unsure about the place these guys were bought from as I've never been there, but apparently they were handled rather cruelly by the employee, which I'm guessing is at least part of the source of the stress...

Again, thank you for the comment!
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Old 12-25-2012, 08:29 PM   #6 
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You could try covering up the back and sides of his tank with a towel. If he's stressed, then darkened conditions may help calm him. (You probably want to leave the front open, so you can keep an eye on him though.)

Also, don't put Falkor's stuff back into his (Falkor's) tank until it's well-cleaned and you know the new guy is OK. If it turns out the newbie has an illness, you don't want to introduce it into Falkor's tank....

As mentioned, don't worry if he doesn't eat for a couple of days. Once he's feeling better, his appetite should start to come back. Two of mine wouldn't eat for awhile when I got them. (The third is a little piggy. LOL)
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Old 12-25-2012, 08:36 PM   #7 
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Thanks for the tip about darkening the tank! I hadn't thought about doing that, only keeping the lights in my room off until evening, so I'll definitely put something around that tank now.

I won't be putting the stuff back into Falkor's tank, especially in case the new guy is ill. Falkor's been tail biting so I'm switching things up with his surroundings to try and interest him more, so the plants can stay with Mr Newbie.

He has raised himself to an inch or so off the bottom of the tank, sometimes going back down to the very bottom.

Would you recommend lowering the water level, or is the larger volume of water more important?
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Old 12-25-2012, 08:40 PM   #8 
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Hm.. Based on your water conditions, it's either that he's just getting used to his new home, or that he's weak from the pet store's bad care. Lowering the water level will help, you don't want him wasting his energy just to get some air. Let him regenerate his energy, he should just be acclimating. Keep the area dark and the surface air moist; it's good for his labyrinth.
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Old 12-25-2012, 08:43 PM   #9 
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Oh! I should probably add the shopping list for today and see if anyone has any ideas on anything I should add to it. Forgive me if it's irrelevant, I'm only including it in case there's something I've missed...

* Tank (for the guy in temporary housing)
* Plants - only floating for now
* Driftwood for attaching plants to in future
* Decorations
* Themometers for the new boys
* Heater for the one boy who doesn't yet have one
* Terracotta pots for hidey-holes
* Fishing line for attaching plants to driftwood/decor when I get some
* Lighting for new tanks
* Siphons for each of the new boys in case of illness in either one
* Nets for the same reason as the siphons
* AQ salt
* Stress Coat (I currently use Prime but have heard wonderful things about Stress Coat for ill/injured fish)
* Epsom Salts

I've also heard of medications called something like Fungus Clear and Parasite Clear - anyone got any information on these? I'd trawl through the forum again, but am now in a bit of a hurry before doing this big shop. If these products are harmful I'd rather not look into them, but if they're good I'd like to keep some on standby...
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Old 12-25-2012, 08:44 PM   #10 
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Okay, thank you! I'll lower the water level now.
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