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Old 03-16-2013, 11:38 PM   #1 
Singinghobbit
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Gravel causing health problems?

My three month old betta has been eating only one pellet (if at all) since Thursday night. Today she stayed in her faux plant most of the day. I can't see any outward signs of disease, fin rot, Ect.

She's in a 1 gal tank, and I had just changd her water Wednesday, the day before she started acting like this. Water was treatd as always. I dit her taknr on a large heating Pad that keeps it a consistent 72-74 degrees. She's now in a quarantine .5 gal tank. She's slightly more active, but still not interested in food.

She's had gravel in her tank for two weeks.... And I remember the last time I used gravel, when she was a fry, she became pale and not herself. Could gravel be the problem?
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:43 AM   #2 
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If she is the only critter in the 1 gal, there's no point moving her to a smaller QT tank. It just makes it harder to care for her as a 0.5 gallon is bother harder to heat safely, and requires more water changes.

I suspect the issue could be the temperature. 72-74 is way too cold for a betta. Try getting a real heater and moving the temperature up to 78-82. That's their ideal range. :) Make sure you keep up with one 50% and one 100% change per week. :)
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:37 AM   #3 
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I'd keep her in her 1 gallon tank and go buy a heater. Bettas like temperatures in the 78-80 degree range.
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:41 AM   #4 
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I think I heard that some gravel can change the Ph of the tank, I believe it's the coral-type? I am not at all sure of this, so I'd definitely do some research before taking my word for it, but it's possibly an avenue to check into?

I'm sorry your girl is feeling icky. :( I hope she's better soon!
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:48 PM   #5 
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I increased the temp to 76 degrees. She's a little more active, and her color is good. She showed no interest in her pellets this morning, and has never liked blood worms. Just now when I put the pellet bottle over the tank, she swam up to is as she usually does, but for the second time this weekend spat the pellet back out (I only do one pellet at a time. If she doesn't see it come out, she won't eat it.) No gravel today.

Her belly is maybe SLIGHTLY lighter in color than normal. Should I be worried?
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:53 PM   #6 
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I think the real issue may be the temperature, 76 is still on the lower side. I wouldn't worry too much about the coloring on her belly. Coral does alter the pH by making it more basic, which is good in most cases. How big is she and what brand pellet are you feeding her? If she's spitting it out it could be because the pellet is too big.
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Old 03-17-2013, 04:24 PM   #7 
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its not even a coral based. Its just "PetCo Aquarium Gravel for Freshwater and Salt tanks." The first time I put this stuff in, she got kind of weird like this, it just didn't last that long. Her tank is usually in the mid 70's, so why she got so weird all of a sudden is beyond me. Unless she caught my cold! LOL.
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Old 03-17-2013, 04:29 PM   #8 
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Just because tank temperature has been the same for awhile doesn't mean the fish will get sick or start acting strange right away. How are you cleaning the tank with the gravel? Sometimes gunk gets stuck between the gravel :)

Last edited by DoctorWhoLuver; 03-17-2013 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 03-17-2013, 04:30 PM   #9 
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A betta can put up with too cold water, in the same way that they can put up with too dirty water, for quite a while. Unfortunately, it compromises their immune systems, so they are more likely to become ill. They have the strength to fight off the illness *or* the effects of the cold water, not both at once.
Try gently raising the temperature as high as 80F. :)
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:09 PM   #10 
Singinghobbit
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I'll look into a heat. Thankfully, when I cam echo me tonight she's blown a bubble nest, so I'm taking that as a good sign.

You guys bring me to another question: what is the best way to clean the gravel? I'd read that you should not replace the entire amount all at once, for fear of disrupting any microorganisms.
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