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Old 03-13-2013, 12:08 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Betta freaked out - now he's exhausted?

I'm going to repost this here because I haven't gotten a response on my other thread in the betta care section and I am starting to worry.

About 45 minutes ago I did my betta's second 100% WC and...let's just say it didn't go as well as the first one did. The first time around I didn't have any problem at all, but this time around he flipped out. I did the exact same thing as the first time (animals like routine, so I'm assuming fish do as well?) I easily scooped him out of the bowl using the cup he came in and he just chilled in the cup while I washed out his bowl, and then rinsed the rocks and plant really well. I re-filled the bowl with water and put the rocks and plant in (in the same spot, because I noticed that's where he likes to sleep.) And then, of course, carefully put him back in by fully submerging the cup at an angle so that he could just swim out. Well, he darted out of that cup, to say the least. He frantically swam around, darting this way and that, and started trying to dig up the rocks? He tried to shove his head under the rocks, dug the plant up from the rocks, and then - I kid you not - stood on his head, fin and gills flared, on the bottom of the bowl for about 15-20 seconds. With his head down, at a vertical angle. Then, he swam to the top to get a gulp of air, and did it two or three more times. When he was done with that, he was still swimming around like a mad man, weaving in and out of plant, and now he's clearly exhausted and stressed floating at the top of the bowl breathing heavily. I covered his bowl 3/4 of the way with a towel (so he has light, but he feels secure under the towel) and he's just been chilling at the top of the bowl for the past 20 minutes. I took the towel off to check on him a few minutes ago and he didn't really swim around or anything. He's not breathing quite as hard but his fins are kind of droopy like he's exhausted (which, I can't blame him.)

...what on earth happened? I tried looking up his behavior and found...nothing! I'm worried about him now, and really disappointed because he was doing so well this morning - he seemed to really be "settling in."

I checked on him again just now and he's just kind floating in his plant, near the top of the bowl like a bump on a log. What can I do for him?

Also, I got him this past Sunday and I know that he has not eaten since then.
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:16 PM   #2 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
Did you match the temperature of the new water to what he is was in previously, using a thermometer?

Did you put in water conditioner (Prime, ect.)?

Did you acclimate him back into the tank, or just plop him back in?
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:20 PM   #3 
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Yep, temperature is the same and I don't have to use primer for our water. We have well water that has a pretty neutral PH - I had it checked and they said that there wasn't anything in there that could hurt/effect him. I do 50% water changes for him every day (he has a heater but no filter) so I don't think it's the water.

I very slowly submerged the cup into the bowl at at angle so that he could swim out slowly and he bolted out. The first time I did this he was fine and he seemed happy to have his water changed.
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:41 PM   #4 
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I would still use some water conditioner, even with well water. It will neutralize ANY heavy metals in the water, and promote his slime coat ... natural water is probably totally 100% fine, but I guarantee the LFS didn't test for heavy metals. They probably only tested for ammonia, nitrite, pH, etc.
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:57 PM   #5 
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Location: SoFla
When you say "wash", did you use any kind of soaps?
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:00 PM   #6 
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Water changes should be done like this.. you shocked him:

The 50% changes the betta can be kept in the bowl and use a turkey baster to remove half the water and as much of the debris as possible. For the 100% you need to remove him - scoop him out with a plastic solo type cup and set aside while you thoroughly rinse the bowl and gravel to remove the debris. Then he should be acclimated to the new water by floating for an hour while you slowly add a couple tablespoons of new water to the cup every 10 minutes. When you release him, try to let as little of the old cup water back into the tank as possible. All water changes should use same temp water, matched to running tap using the in tank thermometer and the water needs to be premixed with conditioner before adding it to the betta tank. If you don't already have anything, you can use gallon water jugs from the grocery store - rinsed thoroughly in hot water but no chems.

You still need conditioner.
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