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Old 12-28-2012, 02:55 PM   #1 
Belle791
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Sick fish?

Hello, everyone! I am becoming rather concerned about my betta. This is my 2nd betta, the 1st died almost a year ago due to my accidentally putting too much of the water conditioner stuff in his bowl. (At least that's what we've concluded.) Anyway, I've had my 2nd fish, Kylie, since May. She's been fine for most of the time that I've had her. Just a regular energetic little fish. She would dash up for her food and swim in happy little circles and play under her plant. About 2 months ago, my brother's betta fish, Kyle, died (not sure what the cause was) and not long after that, my Kylie started acting weird. She no longer eats or swims around. She just lays in extremely odd positions on the bottom of the bowl. My mom thinks she might just be 'hibernating' because our house has gotten a bit colder in the winter months. I'm not too sure. It used to be that if I moved the bowl(to change the water or anything) she'd jerk 'awake' and start swimming almost frantically. Now she just swims about half an inch up from where she was, then goes back to the bottom of the bowl. She doesn't even fight the fish net I use to transfer her to a clean temporary bowl while I'm cleaning her normal one.

Is it actually possible that she's trying to 'hibernate' or is she sick? What can I do?
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:03 PM   #2 
Irishdancer
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If the water is cold, she needs a heater. 78 degrees F is an ideal temperature for a Betta, and since they are cold-blooded, keeping fish at a good temperature is very important.
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:15 PM   #3 
callistra
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More info is needed to make sure we're not missing anything: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=49233

Her extreme lethargy is not a good sign. Bettas do not hibernate.
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:51 PM   #4 
Belle791
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Housing
What size is your tank? I think it's a 1 gal glass bowl
What temperature is your tank? room temperature 76-77*F
Does your tank have a filter? no
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? it sits on the mantle above the floor furnace in our living room
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Hikari Cichlid mini pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? 1x day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? every week or two (per instructions on the betta starter kit from the local pet store I got her from)
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 75-100% I rotate amounts 1 week I do 75% the next I do 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? A betta water conditioner that my mom bought for my brother's betta.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
I have not. I don't have any kind of equipment to do so.

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? hasn't changed
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? she acts all 'dead' and sluggish
When did you start noticing the symptoms? a couple months ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I've changed her water a little more frequently.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? no
How old is your fish (approximately)? I got her in May of 2012. Not sure how old she was before that.
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:51 PM   #5 
AyalaCookiejar
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I don't think it's possible to use too much water conditioner.

How often did you do water changes before she started acting strange? It could be something with the water quality. Also, you really do need a heater. They often slow down when their water is too cold. I know it is very cold in my house ATM and my bettas would freeze without their heaters.

Edit: we posted at the same time. Do you have a thermometer or is 76-77 your room temp? It should be at least 78 degrees. You also need AT LEAST one 50% change and one 100% change a week, if not two 50% changes and a 100%. Ammonia builds up fast in just one gallon of water.

You should also switch to Betta pellets. Omega One and New Life Spectrum are good nutritious brands.

Last edited by AyalaCookiejar; 12-28-2012 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:04 PM   #6 
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You can overdose on water conditioner but you'd have to overdose a lot. Some can even be used up to 5x dose safely, others are less forgiving.

It is very important that you not place your fish around air vents in your house. It will cause the temperature of his bowl to fluctuate wildly and the fluctuations are very hard on your fish. This is not an adequate way to keep him warm, and in worst case scenarios the constant temp fluctuations could kill him. Move him to an inside wall away from windows, doors and air vents. If there is a particular room in your house that is warmer than others that's fine to keep him there. The temp of his bowl will be about 4 degrees above room temp, so for this reason you must use a heater unless your house is kept a constant 80F+. You need an in tank thermometer like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Marina-Floatin...na+thermometer to see what his temp really is. And you really do need a heater for him.


Unfrotunetly for a tank that size the only ones available are small low wattage preset heaters that are supposed to bring the temp to a setting and then automatically switch off. The problem with them is there are unreliable and tend to fail and/or overheat the bowl. This is why it's really important to use a thermometer with them and watch them carefully. You also need to give it a test run for 24 hours in water that your betta is not in so that you can make sure it's working correctly and will hold a temp and not overheat. Once you find it's working, you can use it with your betta but you must acclimate him very slowly to the new temp by floating him in a cup of his cooler water in the larger bowl with the warm water for about an hour. That way he heats up slowly.

However, 2 gallons is minimum to keep a betta for a long time and even then two water changes a week are needed - one 50% and one 100%. The 100% should include a thorough rinsing of the gravel and all ornaments in the bowl. With something your size, ideally 3 water changes should be used - 50 50 100, and two at 50% and 100% are absolute minimum. Even then your boy will constantly be exposed to low levels of ammonia eating away at his immune system. With this 2 gallons you can use a good adjustable 25w heater. You also need to test this heater first. To acclimate him to this heater you can use your thermometer to see what the temp is currently in the bowl, then set the heater a few degrees below what the thermometer says. Slowly click it up until it just comes on. From there you can click it up 1 degree every hour up to 5 times, then give him a break. The water should not be raised more than 5 degrees a day. After than you can continue to click it up one degree an hour until it finally reaches about 78-79.

Your pellets aren't good for your betta for a variety of reasons. I suggest you get him either Omega One Betta Buffet pellets or New Life Spectrum Betta - Omega One feed 3-4 split up twice a day. NLS feed 5-8 split up into two or even three feedings. No matter what you feed, make sure you give him one fast day a week with no food.

What does his poop look like?

-----------
You need to:

* Increase water changes
* Get him away from the furance vents
* Get him a proper heater
* Ideally get him a larger tank and good adjustable heater
* Get him new proper food

If this doesn't help in a few days then he may need meds.

Here is how to do large water changes without shocking him:

Quote:
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.

Last edited by callistra; 12-28-2012 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:27 PM   #7 
AyalaCookiejar
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I may add that many people have used the 25watt Hydor Theo in one gallons rather successfully, but it is important that you make sure it doesn't heat it up too quickly. A heater is usually always a problem in a one gallon, but I agree that it would be better than placing the tank by a heater. My Hydor keeps the tank temp the same whether its in 5 gallons or 2.5 gallons.
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:05 PM   #8 
Belle791
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Thanks guys. I'm not sure in the difference between betta pellets and what I have. It says it can be used for bettas and was all they had for them at the store we have around here. The 76-77 was the room temperature. I didn't have a thermometer I could stick in her bowl.

I really wish I had thought to ask for help sooner. Not even 2 hours after my original post, I went to change her water and try to help her and realized she was dead. :( So, my mom made me send her off via the porcelain express. (Not sure how you all send your deceased fishies off, but that's our usual route.) I'm gonna wait until it warms up again around here to get a new fish - also that will give me a chance to gather all the things I obviously need.

We've never had problems with keeping a betta fish alive before and never had any special equipment or anything. We had one for about 5 years when we were kids. That thing was tough. My baby brother(at the time) was in his toddler walker thing and pulled the bowl off the stand and actually ended up dumping the fish out and sitting on it. Mom went to send it off to sea, and it started flopping around. We'd only had it like 5 or 6 months at that time, and it still lived almost 5 more years.
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Old 12-29-2012, 12:53 AM   #9 
callistra
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So sorry for your loss :(

Well.. some bettas are tougher than others.. you might have gotten really luck with the one you had as a kid.. or.. well it's a common technique with parents with young kids.. to replace the pet with an identical one so the kids don't have to experience death too early..
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:05 PM   #10 
Belle791
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Thanks. Our 'Winky' when we were kids was definitely the same one. My parents weren't the kind to replace the fish without telling us. We had to learn the hard facts about life and death at a very young age. Actually, that betta killed my goldfish just days after we got them. The guy at the pet store said to put them in the same bowl and they'd be fine - of course they weren't. I learned recently that it's because my goldfish was so much smaller than the betta. It was just maybe an inch long and so about 3 or 4 times smaller than Winky.
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