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Old 03-19-2013, 01:47 PM   #1 
Ramla
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Betta is lethargic!

Housing
What size is your tank? 3 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 80
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Wardley Pellets (the no artificial color kind) and Tetra freeze dried pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2 pellets in the morning and three at night, he gets a few bloodworms whenever I do a water change, as a sort of treat

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? 50% once a week and a full change once or twice a month
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50% and 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Tetra BettaSafe and API Stress Coat. Occasionally add a little fertilizer for the live plant, but this usually only happens every two months

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? No

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? His colors have become far less vibrant, and the white parts on his tail have been darkening a little (it doesn't look like fin rot though.) His fins have also been curling within the last week, and he doesn't open them up as much as he used to. This morning he also looked a little bloated.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He's not the aggressive not afraid of anything fish he has been since I got him. He's been sitting at the bottom today, laying there sometimes, his breathing seems a little labored. He also didn't eat this morning.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? The lethargy and not eating was this morning and the fins curling and his color seemed to be diminishing about last week.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I did pretty much a 70% water change today, and siphoned the gravel.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? He was full grown when I got him, so add 3 months onto that, I'd lean more to being on the older side of the spectrum, was pretty big when I got him.



I'm wondering if maybe he is constipated a little, because I noticed after I put the food in and after he didn't eat it right away, that his tummy was the size it usually is after he is fed. So best way to treat that?
I currently am going to fast him, and I have him in a smaller container, which he seems to have perked up a bit already, but I am still worried because this is what happened before my last fish died :/

I'm also wondering if stress could be the culprit? I just had spring break this last week, so he had to ride 4 hours in mason jar to my home and then was in a different tank that I have back home, which had a bit less cover than he is used to. And a 4 hour drive back this weekend to college. So stress from all the moving? If so what is the best way to help reduce this stress until he sort of calms down and realizes its alright?

I am attaching a video of him, it's hard to see him in detail because of the container he is in, but you can tell that he is breathing a bit harder than normal for just sitting there, and the water is a little yellowish, because I had put some rooibis tea in his tank that morning to try and help with his fins. Which can anyone explain exactly what it is in the rooibis tea that is beneficial to bettas? And is there any other benefits for them other than helping with fin growth?
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:02 PM   #2 
Ramla
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Is there a possibility as well that black algae could be causing some harm to my betta? I've pretty much always have had an issue with algal blooms. This stuff originates from my Anubias and basically spreads across the the tank walls and onto my fake plants. I usually wipe off the walls when I do a water change and wipe what I can from the leaves of the plant, but usually can't get all of it off.

I had ghost shrimp that helped with this problem, but Odin decided he really liked to eat them. So any tips on ridding the tank of the algae if it is an issue? And do I possibly need to just remove the plant?
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:47 PM   #3 
Oldfishlady
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Sorry you are having problems, I doubt the algae is causing any problems for him-do you know what kind it is.
I think you are on the right track in thinking this might be stress related-that would be my best guess of what is going on too- Stress and possible chemistry changes with the different waters from one place to the other.

What I would recommend at this point-since you already have him in a small QT with tea. I would keep him like this and make 50% water only every other day with some premixed tea water or place him back in his tank and turn off the filter for the next week-Making only partial water changes leaving him in the tank and see if this will help perk him up.

The trip and all the water changes could have stressed him to the point that it compromised his immune response and he needs time in a low stress environment.

Once he is better-I would cut back on your water changes to 1-2 50% weekly. With active growing live plants you don't need to make any 100% and with a filter you don't need them either. Without the filter and with live plants-I would only make partial water changes at most so that you can leave him in the tank for water changes to lessen stress factor and sudden extreme water chemistry changes.

If he starts to get worse or change in S/S-he might need a full treatment with Epsom salt (Not aquarium salt) tannins with partial water changes while in QT.

The curling of the fin tips could be due to several things that range from genetic to water chemistry-Usually it is just a cosmetic problem.

The rooibis tea tannins can help with stress by darkening the water, however, due to how the tea is processed-it may lack the antibacterial/fungal properties.
If you have any tannins you can make from either IAL or dried Oak leaf-that would be better, but the rooibis tea will help some in a pinch.
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:52 PM   #4 
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Alrighty Thanks a bunches! I shall get on that! And keep an update
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:58 PM   #5 
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Is it also better to keep the light on or off for now? I have it off currently, but want to double check.

And I shall have to stock up on some oak leaves this summer, and keep them on hand. I currently don't have easy access to IAL or oak leaves (winter here, just had a blizzard yesterday XD) And so that's why I wanted to try the rooibis tea since it is readily available

edit:
I am also unsure as to the type of algae, I've been trying to figure that out, but haven't had any luck yet. Though I am considering removing the plant anyways and trying a different type, possibly a floating one to help reduce how much lighting actually is in his tank. May stick the anubias in a turtle tank instead, since it is attached to a lava rock

Last edited by Ramla; 03-19-2013 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:11 PM   #6 
shamu13
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He could be old, stressed, or sick. He looks pretty big, did you get him at a pet store? If so then he might be over a year old..and although bettas can live a few years, the stress of being in a pet store cup unfortunately cuts down the viability of a lot of fish. This would also explain the color loss, since vibrancy is associated with reproductive potential ( that is contingent upon health ofc), if he's old then the natural fading of colors signifies he is no longer at his prime, etc. He doesn't seem to be too bloated. Try keeping him in the hospital tank for now, floating in the bigger tank to maintain a stable temp. Did you cover the mason jar completely? If so, then he probably will be more stressed due to a lack of oxygen. The general way to care for a stressed fish is to have very clean water, easy access to oxygen, heat, and tannins. The rooibos tea provides tannins the way that IAL and oak leaves do. Bettas thrive in such conditions in the wild, so its supposed to help mimic that environment. Try a 100% water change. Also, the pellets that you are feeding aren't that nutritious, try to get some live or frozen daphnia/brine shrimp, NLS or omega one, or maybe try making your own fish food. Good luck!
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:43 PM   #7 
Oldfishlady
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Yes, keep the light off for at least 24h.

If the algae if fast growing in sheets with a foul odor-comes back within 24hr after removing it-It might be Cyanobacteria- (BGA) and this can be harmful to fish-usually not Bettas but it can be since it is not a true algae-but a bacteria. Google pic and see if what you have looks like it.
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:58 PM   #8 
Ramla
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@shamu13
I considered that, but it seems a little sudden and the lethargy just started today, so I am leaning towards stress. I figured he was kind of an old man when I got him, which is why I named him Odin XD But I don't think that is the cause of this.

And I had the mason jar covered, but had drilled holes in the cover so he would have access to oxygen.

@Oldfishlady
Hmmm I'm starting to wonder if that is what it is....if that is the case then I am definitely removing the plant, cause it all starts from there and that is where the largest growth always is. And it usually does come back fairly quick.

It looks similar in density and texture I guess of the pics I found, but it literally is black, or dark green when I wipe it off I guess. And there is no real foul odor from it, it just kind of has that smell of algae.

Here are few older pics of when it first cropped up though, maybe you can confirm it if you have experience in it..
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:13 PM   #9 
Ramla
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Little update
He seems to have perked up a bit, he was swimming near the top when I checked on him and I got him to eat 1 freeze dried bloodworm. But he picked at a pellet and simply spit it out in the end. So I may have to go shopping for new pellets for him. I'll check the pet stores around here otherwise I'll just order some on amazon.

But he is still a little lethargic, still goes to the bottom to rest or rests on the leaves of the fake plant. But still happy to be seeing some improvement :D
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:39 PM   #10 
chicklette
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Ramla, my female betta has also lost her appetite. I was feeding her pellets, but after she refused 3 morning feedings in a row, I noticed that she was more willing to eat the pellets while they sank, so I gave her some flakes. She eats them before she'll eat the pellets. I should tell you that I just got my first beta in September 2012, so I'm new at this too.
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