I just got my Betta about a week ago from Walmart. I know they don't treat their fish the best, so I wasn't surprised when my little guy wasn't acting normal. I've kept his bowl clean and I've refreshed his water a bunch of times since I've gotten him. He's swimming erratically in spirals one minute, and then the next, he's laying on his side at the top of the bowl. He hasn't eaten a single thing since I've gotten him, and I've tried three different food sources. I thought he may have Swim Bladder Disease, but I can't even get him to eat a small deshelled pea or even go near it, he actually swims away from it, but backwards. He doesn't have a large tummy either. I don't know what I can do for him, and I'm afraid he's going to die. Help!
When you say bowl how much water does it hold? Is it heated? Are you using a water conditioner? When you say refresh water, what do you mean? Are you taking water out & putting in new? How much water are you changing?
He's in a basic bowl that holds about a liter, no heater, no filter, yes dechlorinator,I've tried flakes, pellets and bloodworms, I'm switching out 100% of the water, but it's all from the same tap and I take him out of his bowl, put him in the cup I got him in with some of the unchanged water from his bowl and wait several hours for the water temps to match up.
What size is your tank? About a Liter
What temperature is your tank? Room temp
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? No
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? I've tried pellets, flakes and bloodworms
How often do you feed your betta fish? He hasn't eaten anything, but I've tried once a day.
How often do you perform a water change? once a week typically, but about 2 or 3 times.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Dechlorinator
Have you tested your water? No. If so, what are the following parameters?
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? It hasn't really.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He's swimming erratically, in spirals and backwards, he's floating on his side a lot and he's not eating.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? A few days ago, the werid swimming, and I noticed the not eating right away, but I thought he wasbeing picky or just not used to his environment
Have you started treating your fish? Yes. If so, how? Changed the water a few times, and tried to feed him a pea
Does your fish have any history of being ill? I have no idea
How old is your fish (approximately)? No Idea
1 liter is a quarter gallon.. that is way too small to keep a betta in. You need to be doing daily 100% water changes in something that small, but that can also be stressful if you're not careful.
Bettas need a minimum of 2 gallons. This will require two weekly water changes - one 50% and one 100% including a through rinsing of the gravel and all decor.
Bettas need a heater. They should be kept a constant temp of 78-80F. They should be kept on an interior wall away from exterior doors, windows and vents. Using lights to heat water is not ok. Keeping a betta at room temp is not okay unless your house is a steady 80F+ (meaning no dips at nights or climbs in the heat of the day). With a 2g you can get a good 25w adjustable like Jager or Marineland Visitherm. You will need to test the heater to make sure it's working fully and will hold a steady temp. You must always use an in tank thermometer (no stick ons) to monitor temp. You must acclimate slowly by setting the heater below water temp then clicking up slowly until it just comes on. Increase 1 degree per hour (wait until it comes up to temp then wait an hour) and no more than 5 degrees per day until you reach around 78-79ish.
What conditioner are you using? How much?
What color is his poop?
Here's how to 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.
The water conditioner I'm using is Tetra BettaSafe, and I only put in two drops of it in the new water(it says to use two drop per liter). He hasn't eaten since I've gotten him, so he hasn't pooped either. Thank you for the tips!!