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Old 01-31-2013, 09:07 AM   #1 
Kelticatheo
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PLEASE PLEASE HELP lethargic betta, heavy breathing and not eating...!!

Please excuse my lack of coherency because I'm panicking so much. My baby Curiosity (red VT) had been acting strange lately. He came home from the store last August. He used to be a super happy and energetic Betta but since the beginning of the month he seemed less exicted about everything. He was eating at that time, though with less eagerness. I had to guide him toward the direction of the food, and flared less at his reflection.

I do 30% water change every other day. He lives in a approximately 2L bowl. For last two days he seemed very sluggish and lethargic, sleeping all day on the bottom of the tank. If I encourage him to eat, he would eat the pallets but barely. I thought it would be best to leave him to sleep tight. He seemed to breathe 'faster' than usual but not intensely.

This morning I found him lying on the floor, breathing heavily (i think). I tap the bowl but he wouldnt rise up. His colors turned pale. Until yesterday he was sitting upright and sleeping. Right now he is leaning sideways. He would sit in the corner and not move, occasionally flapping the fins...

I worried if it is nitrite poisoning, so I did a 100% water change right away. He is back in his tank now. Sitting, still. Is there anything else I can do for him?
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:08 AM   #2 
Sena Hansler
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Actually, it would be ammonia poisoning.

2L = 0.264172 gallons.

That is not even half a gallon.

With a "under half a gallon" you will need to do an every day water change, 100%, to ensure the ammonia stays down. Though he has been with you for a few months now, now he is unable to fight off the dangerous amounts of ammonia building up...

I would also suggest maybe making it easier on yourself, and find at least a 1 gallon bowl (or 1.5 even better :)) which then you can also find yourself a heater that will get the temperature to 78 F degrees. Since you are in Toronto, we both know it can get mighty cold outside Unless you heat your house to 32 degrees celsius, the fish won't be warm enough... Plus not to mention the dangerous temperature fluctuations!

Have you been adding tap water conditioner as well? How much is he fed, and what is he fed?
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:39 AM   #3 
Kelticatheo
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I'm thinking of upgrading the tank size as well. Now that I now how scary ammonia poisoning is, I just want to fly to the petstore right now :(

His tank temperature has been stable. It usually resides at around 80-82F. I use one drop from Prime to condition the water. He eats 2-3 pallets of Hikari Betta Gold and 2 very small pallet I've received from the petstore as a sample (divded AM and PM). They told me it was new Canadian betta food high in proteins, and offered some when Curiosity was treating finrot. I forgot the brand name, but Curiosity like them very much. Past few days, he wasn't moving nor eating eagerly. Hence I tried fasting him for a day, then gave 3 pallets or 2. I couldnt feed him today since he wont surface.

He is still there lying on the ground panting... I dont know what to do anymore. Is there any chance of improvement when ammonia poisoning reaches this point...? My heart is breaking. He is my family member :'(
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:17 AM   #4 
Sena Hansler
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Right now, he needs the best care possible. That means making sure the temperature does not fluctuate more than a degree, and keeping that water clean and pristine every single day. If you can find some, get indian almond leaves, or dried oak leaves. Rinse lightly, and add to the bowl. (or new tank).

Also, see if you can get stress coat.
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:41 AM   #5 
Kelticatheo
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Stress Coat. What exactly is that? Is it a water conditioner that I should use instead of Prime? Is that one better? Can one tank have mixed water with different conditioners?

He occasionally tries to swim up and breathe a few times on the surface and comes back down. It looks like he is having difficulty swiming (or any movement of any sort), so I lowered his water level a bit. Hope that would not affect his temperature by too much.
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:46 AM   #6 
Sena Hansler
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Stress Coat is a conditioner so you don't have to use it with another conditioner. A lot of people on here use it.. It helps a lot when a fish is sick (though I am not too sure why or how since I don't use it).
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:51 AM   #7 
Kelticatheo
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I see. Thank you very much for your help. I'll have a visit to the pet store.... And report back when anything changes!
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:58 AM   #8 
Sena Hansler
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That's good. Right now if you can find a simple 1 gallon container for a quarantine. Dollar store, kijiji, etc... Can be a clear tub or a small tank. Then do a daily water change, 100%, reacclimating him every time.
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