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Old 04-01-2013, 12:12 PM   #1 
meinsk
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Location: St. Louis, MO
Sick fish? Not sure what happened...

I've had my betta for about a month now - after a rough start he has been doing great and has been very active and eating well. He has been in a 2.5 gallon non-filtered tank and has thrived in there. On Saturday I moved him to a 5 gallon tank (gave my 2.5 gallon away to a friend who was keeping her betta in a tiny bowl). I have not added the filter (a little afraid of how the whole nitrogen cycle works and don't want to kill my fish).

I also have a new heater for this tank, which keeps the tank slightly warmer - he was at about 78F in his old tank and in this new tank he's at about 80F. Yesterday was a warm day here and his tank got up to 84F, which I think is too hot, so I unplugged his heater to let the temp drop a bit. I plugged it back in once it had dropped to 78F (took about 5 hours) and then it settled back to 80F once it cooled down in the evening.

Everything in the new tank is exactly the same as the old tank, EXCEPT that I added a terra cotta pot as a makeshift betta cave. Before putting it in the tank, I decorated it by using aquarium sealant as glue and rolling it in aquarium gravel to decorate the edges. It dried overnight before I added it to the tank.

This morning when I got up I noticed that he was sitting on the bottom of the tank and not moving much. He has always been very active and comes to the front of the tank to "greet" people when they come to see him. He also would not eat this morning. He was swimming at the surface as if he was looking for food, but didn't seem to be able to see it. Very strange. He typically devours his food the moment it hits the water.

Now he's just sitting on the bottom with his fins clamped. He swims straight up to the top when he needs air, then swims straight back down to the bottom again. I did a 50% water change this morning and added 1 rounded tsp of AQ salt (this really helped him alot when we first had him and he was behaving this way). I don't know what else to do for him. Should I take the pot out? Maybe it's freaking him out. Not sure. Has anyone else had a fish that behaved this way after doing so well?
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:38 PM   #2 
meinsk
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Another thing I should add is that he doesn't seem to poop much - at least not as much as our other betta. There's often very little waste on the bottom of his tank when I change his water (although up until today he's been thriving, so don't know if this is really the problem).

Also, I suppose I should answer the following questions in case that helps...

Housing
What size is your tank? 5 gallons (just moved from a 2.5 gallon tank)
What temperature is your tank? 80F
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes - non-adjustable heater
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Aqueon pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2 pellets in morning, 2 in evening

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? One 50% change and one 100% change weekly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50% once weekly, 100% once weekly
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime water treatment

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 6.5
Hardness: 0
Alkalinity: 120

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? No change in appearance
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Lethargic, fins clamped, sitting on bottom of tank and hardly moving
When did you start noticing the symptoms? This morning
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Added 1 rounded tsp AQ salt to his tank today when I did a 50% water change
Does your fish have any history of being ill? He was quite ill when we got him - exact same behavior as he is currently exhibiting. I treated him with AQ salt and he really perked up; suspected columnaris so also proceeded with one round (4 days) of triple sulfa treatment
How old is your fish (approximately)? Not sure - just got him about a month ago
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Old 04-01-2013, 06:48 PM   #3 
meinsk
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Any suggestions? I just checked on him and he's looking worse .... he seems to breathing hard and his pectoral fins are flapping madly. I'm starting to think he may not last long...
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:13 PM   #4 
Alcemistnv
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It could either be that he's spooked, or that there is an ammonia issue.

Usually when a fish breathes like that it's either breathing heavily, as if you saw something scary, or he's gasping for breath, as if he can't breathe. In a tank with high nitrates/nitrites/ammonia, he will gasp for breathe.

Now, if he's stressed out, he might be exhibiting the same symptoms as you listed.

Was the tank change just done today? Because it's very possible he's just stressed out. But to be safe, I'd test for ammonia.
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:54 PM   #5 
meinsk
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Alcemistnv, thanks for the feedback!! His tank change was on Saturday morning, and Monday morning is when he suddenly seemed to be acting strangely. I did remove the pot and lower the water level a bit so that he can get to the top more easily and has more room to move around the bottom of the tank. I check nitrite/nitrate/ammonia - all 3 levels were at 0.

Perhaps he just needs some time to adjust. Thanks for your feedback!
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:10 PM   #6 
Alcemistnv
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no problem c:
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