Hi, I'm new to this forum so please bare with me,
I just got my betta, Gavin, about 2 days ago. This is him, and this is his tank.
This is my first betta that I'm taking care of on my own, and I really just want him to be healthy and happy. I've only had 1 betta before, and it was in a small vase we kept for show out in the open. Which basically means I brely know a thing about keeping my fishy alive. Of course, I've done research. But I have a few questions that go unanswered.
As you can see in the picture of the tank (yes with the decoratives, i did the pantyhose check.) he's just chilling on the bridge. He's been doing that ever since I brought him home. Of course, it was a bumpy ride home, but he seemed overjoyed to be out of that prison cell of a cup he was in at the pet store.
He has a heater and a thermometer, a filter (which i should probably baffle). the water temperature is at about 77f. He reacts to me whenever I put my hand in front of the glass, he usually swims away. He never flares. My grandpa was checking out Gavin the other day and tapped the glass, hard, multiple times. He might be traumatized from that. But..
He hasn't eaten a thing. I feed him (aqueon) tropical fish flakes, because thats what came with my 2.5 g minibow. The flakes just float to the bottom and get put up in the filter. I haven't noticed any poop. I'm with him a lot to make sure he is okay, and I haven't seen any poop. Any fish flakes that are just floaing at the top ill scoop them out, otherwise they get ground in the gravel. It might be from him still getting used to his new environment, but I just want him to be okay. My dad said if he still isn't eating by Sunday (12/30) then we'll go get him some pellets. Before i got the heater, he was the same. I knew i needed a heater, but i thought it would perk him up like everybody else's fish did.
First, give him a little bit of time to adjust to his new home. Many of them take a few days to start eating. How did you acclimate him?
Get him either some Omega One or New Life Spectrum pellets. They are arguably two of the most nutritious pellets out there. Flakes really aren't that great for bettas.
Also, I'd get him at least one taller plant that will reach the surface (so he has somewhere to rest). I recommend silk, but any plastic one that passes the pantyhose test will do.
Also, how quickly did you increase the temperature?
1. I poured some of the water out of his little cup i got him in at the petstore (i kept some in to get him used to the clean water change) And then i kind of just gently poured him into his new tank.
2. I'll look for those!
3. The green plant is pretty tall, but since its in the back, the filter blocks it from reaching the surface. He nudges his little self in between the two and sleeps Yes, i checked the decorations and they pass.
4. I didn't have a heater the first day I got him, so it fluctuated pretty frequently. I wrapped my jacket around the tank to keep some heat in. When I put the heater in (it's automatic, it keeps the tank at around 76-78f) it warmed it up, but i changed the room temperature to about 72 since it is quite cold outside to keep the tank a bit warmer than what it was.
It sounds like you acclimated him too quickly. Ideally, when acclimating, you should slowly add water from the tank into his cup over the course of an hour before adding him to the tank. You should also float the cup to make sure the temperature stabilizes.
How quickly did the heater heat the tank up?
He may be in shock. You water may have had a different pH than the water in the cup and he wasn't acclimated slowly enough. He will likely recover with time, but may develop a disease from the stress. The best thing you can do is keep the water warm and clean. 78-80 degrees is best.
Thanks for the tips. The water heated up pretty slowly over about 5 minutes.
His water that he was in when i got him was kinda yellowish with a few poop droppings, so he might be in shock... I'll keep an eye out. Thanks!
The water they come in is pretty much always disgusting :/
5 minutes is too quick for a 4 degree temperature change... I wouldn't change it more than 1 degree in an hour, and some people say only one or two degrees in 24 hours. However, at this point, I would just keep his water clean and warm. Hopefully he will perk up and will not experience any more negative affects.
When doing water changes, you'll need to add conditioned water that is about the same temp as his current water, no more than one or two degrees off. For 100% water changes, you will need to re-acclimate him as I described above. However, with the filter, 100% changes are really not necessary. I would get a gravel vacuum, though, to get any poo and uneaten food out of the gravel during water changes.
For your lack of acclimation and the temp fluctuates and lack of heater acclimation, it's a very good bet he's in shock - multiple times now. Bettas that get shocked just need time to come out of it. Most will be okay with time.
What conditioner are you using?
Also the filter may be stressing him. The current of those small minibows is very strong. In fact I've seen far too many bettas get sucked into the intake tube.. You might try remove it for a day or two and see how he reacts. He may need time away from it to recover or it just plain may be too much for him. Every betta is different. IF you do get to the point where you want to leave it in I highly suggest putting a prefilter sponge on it. There are various kinds you can get. This one one of them: http://www.amazon.com/Pre-Filter-Spo.../dp/B004K9A15G
For a tank that size, unfiltered/cycled 2 water changes a week are needed - one 50% and one 100%.
If you choose to use the filter to cycle it you need to invest in a good drops kit for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. A lot of people use this kit: http://www.amazon.com/API-Freshwater...aster+test+kit Test daily for ammonia and nitrites. Any time you see ammonia or nitrites get to .25ppm you do a water change. In addition to this you do a weekly 50%+ water change. At first you will see an ammonia spike. After that ammonia will go to zero and you will see a nitrite spike. Eventually you will start seeing some nitrates and then eventually both ammonia and nitrites will be zero and you will be left with only nitrates. Those can be removed by weekly water changes. Cycling will take up to 2 months. http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=47838
Also be aware that with something that small it is very very hard if not next to impossible to maintain the bb supply necessary to keep your cycle going, so you may never be able to reach a point where all ammonia and nitrites go away. You may always need to do two large weekly water changes to keep ammonia down. A lot of people will tell you not to even bother trying to cycle anything less than 5 gallons, but you can try.
This is how you do large water changes without shocking:
To do a water change, use a little cup like a plastic solo cup - this cup must be only for him and have never been used with soap or other chems. Scoop him up in this cup (keep him in the cup about 1/4 full of water - it doesn't need to be much because he won't be in it for long) and leave him in the cup while you change his water. To do the 50% use a turkey baster - dedicated only to him that has never seen soap or chems - and drag it through the gravel and try to suck as much of the poop out as possible, in addition to 50% of the water. Use a thermometer under the running tap to get it to be the same temp as the water that is normally in his tank. When the thermometer says the flowing tap is the right temp, fill back up his tank. At this point, add the conditioner (dose for how much water you change - if you change half the water you add half gallon worth of conditioner, If you do a 100% water change dose for the full gallon change). Float his plastic cup with him in it in the new water. Slowly add a couple tablespoons of the new water into his cup every 10 minutes for at least an hour. Finally, dump him in gently but try to get as little of the old cup water back into the tank as possible. When you do the weekly 100% you will do mostly the same thing except empty his tank fully and rinse everything in it very well under warm water but never use soaps or chemicals. Once it's fully cleaned/rinsed you can refill it and repeat the cup/acclimate phase.
Just wanted to check, did you use dechlorinator? There is usually a sample in with mini kits.
The other possibility I could think of is if he is being bothered by the water movement from the filter. Some bettas really do not like water movement.
I still suggest you pick up a good pellet, Omega one and NLS are the best ones I've found. And make sure you have conditioner/dechlorinator. Some people prefer API stress coat, and some people prefer Seachem Prime. Both are good.
Prime is especially good for anyone with ammonia in their tap water. Stress coat is good for anytime a fish may get sick... Since I have some ammonia in my tap water, I actually use both Prime and Stress Coat for my sick fish, or just Prime if not...