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Old 01-21-2013, 03:50 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: NY
Exclamation Gill Problems

What size is your tank? 1 gallon
What temperature is your tank? around 76 degrees (He just went from colder to warmer, he never seemed to mind colder water at all)
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? TetraBetta and another store food when he gets picky about what he eats
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice a day

How often do you perform a water change? Once a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? Full change
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Just water conditioning tablets.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? No

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? His gill is sticking straight out, and appears a bit swollen, some odd red color can be seen on his gill. (I can try and get pictures if it is really needed.)

How has your betta fish's behavior changed? It hasn't, he still acts normal.

When did you start noticing the symptoms? A few days after introducing a live plant, and during a move to college.

Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No, because I have no clue what to use.

Does your fish have any history of being ill? Not since I've had him.

How old is your fish (approximately)? No clue, the store I bought him from didn't know.
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:19 PM   #2 
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Your fish is showing signs of ammonia poisoning or other water quality issues.

How are you measuring the tank temp? He will be several degrees below your room temp without a heater. He really needs one. Bettas are tropical fish and should be one stable temp between 78-80F. Temperature swings and low temps weaken their immune system and leave them open to disease.

2 gallons is really minimum to keep bettas healthy long term, and they are also a lot easier to heat because you can just adjustable 25w heaters in them in stead of the preset ones which tend to not work well. Any heater should be used with an in tank thermometer, and should be given a 24hr test run in similar size container with thermometer to assure they will keep a constant (no dips or peaks) appropriate (78-80) temp. Once you are sure they work you must acclimate your boy very slowly no more than a degree pre hour and 5 degrees per day to warmer water. How you do this depends on if you find a preset heater or a good adjustable one.

The food you are feeding is not good because it's mostly wheat, corn and potato. You should try to find a quality pellet whose first two or three ingredients are whole fish, not fish meal or wheat is the worst. He also needs a fast day a week. Depending on what pellet you find depends on how much you should feed. You can get New LIfe Spectrum Betta from Petco and maybe Omega One Betta Buffet from Petsmart.. otherwise depends on what's in your area.

A bowl of this size needs two water changes a week - one 50% and one 100% which should include a rinsing of decor and gravel. You can leave him in during the 50% change, but the 100% change he will need to be removed/cupped and reacclimated after. This is what I wrote in a thread recently:

I would not use conditioning tablets as they take too long to work. Look for a liquid conditioner that says it removes chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals. I like Prime, personally. You dose it at 2 drops per gallon (using drop cap or if it doesn't have one you can use a clear eye dropper that's new and never seen chems).


At this point..

* Find a different conditioner as outlined above, especially suggest Prime as it will help with Ammonia when most won't.
* Find a good pellet
* Go ahead and do a 50% water change now and at least by tomorrow go ahead and do a 100% change. Increase water changes regularly as outlined above.
* Find a heater, use it with a glass in tank thermometer, and ideally upgrade him to something bigger.

Last edited by callistra; 01-21-2013 at 04:34 PM.
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:41 PM   #3 
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Sorry couldn't find this in enough time to edit:

In something this size you need two water changes a week - one 50% and one 100%. In the 50% I would suck through the gravel with a turkey baster to remove poop and half the water. I would refill it with same temp water (use tank thermometer to match running tap water) that already had conditioner added to it. I use 1 gallon water jugs like you can buy at the grocery store - rinse thoroughly before using with hot water but not soap or chems).

For the 100% he'll need to be removed. I would cup in an opaque plastic solo type cup and wrap a towel for heat. Thoroughly rinse the tank, gravel and decor but don't use soap or chems. Refill with same temp water, add conditioner, stir it up a bit then float him in the bowl an hour while slowly adding a couple tablespoons of new water to his cup every 10 minutes. Finally release, keeping as much of the old water in the cup as possible. He shouldn't show any signs of shock this way.
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:45 PM   #4 
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Well, the whole problem is as a full time college student, I can't go anything bigger than a gallon, and can't have a heater. But we do have a heater in our rooms, should I place his tank closer to it?
If I can't find the water conditioner would it be a good idea to use betta water?
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:51 PM   #5 
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You can't keep a betta if you can't keep him warm and keep his ammonia down. He will get sick more easily and he will live a very shortened life. If you're only going to be there maybe another 6 months or whatever, that'd be one thing, but otherwise, I would suggest rehoming him. Sorry.

In the meantime..

I am just wondering why the university will allow you to keep a heater in your room but not in the fish bowl? Is there a university regulation/law with fish bowl size? Because 2 gallons is very easy to fit almost anywhere.

You should not leave him near a heater because it will heat things irregularly which can cause swings and make it even worse. He should be on an interior wall, away from exterior doors, windows and vents.

Now you can.. buy a digital space heater and set it somewhere between 80-84F so your whole room becomes a fish room but I can't imagine the university allowing you to do this but not allowing you to heat the bowl. It's also a lot more expensive and doesn't make a lot of practical sense. It'd also need to always be this one constant set high temp, and you likely would not be very comfortable either.
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:02 PM   #6 
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The heater is already in the dorm room, and the heat is regulated by the college, The temperature in the front of the room and middle is around 80, my desk is in the back.
I got a betta because I know a person at the college who has a 1 gallon tank and has kept her betta like that and healthy for 3 years so far.
I had him at home for like a month and he was very happy and healthy, he was even happier until I got him a live plant, until this happened a few days after, which is why posting here I though he had gill fluke that he might have contracted from the plant.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:55 PM   #7 
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Was this the first time he was moved from home to college? Did he show symptoms after the move?

As a fellow full time student, the student housing I'm in allows up to a 10 gallon tank. Not sure about your situation, but I'd suggest at least a 2.5 gallon bowl (you can get the drum style ones pretty cheap at walmart and such). If there's no explicit rule against a heater, I'd use one too.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:41 AM   #8 
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I noticed the symptoms during the move. This was his first time moving to college. Changed his water and put him towards the center of the room where it is warmer, it's almost 80 in his tank now.

His gill hasn't gotten worse. He actually seems more happier now too, he built me a bubble nest this morning.

I will talk to the college about a bigger bowl. I didn't know that bettas needed bigger bowls until now because all the bettas I had in my life we kept in 1 gallon bowls, and I know a lot of people that keep them in vases. I know that I can't have a heater, because they will say it is a fire hazard.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:52 PM   #9 
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Actually you'd be surprised with colleges. My housing permits up to a 20 gallon tank (although where you'd keep it is beyond me, these dorms are tiny) with heater, filter, the whole shebang. Are you using an actual thermometer to measure the temp of his water, or just guessing?

Another thing it could be is ammonia poisoning. I believe someone already mentioned it; but 1 100% change is simply not often enough. Had similar problems with my fish and he was in a 5 gallon! When in doubt, up your water changes; it usually helps more than you would expect.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:33 PM   #10 
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My dorm allow us up to a 10gal. You shouldn't have to talk to the school about it, it would probably be in the dorms "rules" or whatever. I have a 2.5 gal tank in my windowsill with a heater. We aren't talking about a people heater, we're talking about a heater for the fish tank. For a 2.5 they are usually small and I adjustable, but I would get a thermometer to make sure the temp doesn't get too high. (:

Also, I would take callistras advice and do at least one 50% change and one 100% change a week. When you do the 100% change make sure you wash the decor & gravel.

Hope your little guy gets better!
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