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Old 04-07-2013, 12:58 PM   #1 
ShaylaDenielle
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Concerned About Bettas Health

I just got a new Betta fish about four weeks ago. He was looking happy and fine until I changed his water on Wednesday April 3rd. Now he's staying near the bottom of his little tank, there is a weird skin/ film across the top of the water, and a really funky musty smell emanating from his tank. So strong I can smell it when I walk into the kitchen where I have him kept.

I have submitted some pictures, although I don't know if you can really see the film across the top very well.

If any one has any advise or may know the issue I am all ears. My poor little guy doesn't look too happy any more :(
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:27 PM   #2 
LittleBlueFishlets
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I suggest doing a water change. Below is one method for doing this:
  1. Note the temperature of the water.
  2. Using a plastic cup, scoop him, along with some of his water, into the cup.
  3. Clean out the tank completely.
  4. Do NOT add the gravel or decorations for now. Leave them out, as they may be the cause of the problem. So it should just be a bare tank.
  5. Refill the tank with water at the SAME temp. Be sure to add the correct amount of water conditioner.
  6. Float his cup in the tank for about 15 min.
  7. Add a SMALL amount of NEW water to the cup. (Several tablespoons, or about 1.5 ounces.)
  8. Let his cup float for about 10 min.
  9. Remove a SMALL amount of water from the cup. Discard it.
  10. Repeat steps 5-7, until about an hour has passed.
  11. Remove as much water from the cup as you can (without stressing him out), so that you don't add contaminants back into the tank.
  12. Gently release him into the tank.

Then, take the gravel and decorations, and put them into a pitcher of water. Soak them overnight, and see if the contamination is coming from them. If it is, try to determine what's causing the problem.

Also, your tank looks really small. Is it a 0.5 gal? If so, you may want to consider upgrading him to a larger home. Ammonia and toxins build up quickly in small tanks. With a 0.5 gal tank, you pretty much would have to change the water daily to keep it clean.

Last edited by LittleBlueFishlets; 04-07-2013 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 04-07-2013, 06:34 PM   #3 
ShaylaDenielle
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Thanks for the tips. I will try this tonight.

Yeah it is a .5 gallon tank. The pet store I bought him from said they're really basic fish and you don't have to do much with them. So I bought a Betta Kit that came with this little tank, some food and water conditioner. I can see once again, this particular pet store has no idea what they're talking about. I'll be sure to upgrade his tank to maybe a 2 gallon.

Thanks again!
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Old 04-07-2013, 06:43 PM   #4 
Cliffy
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Definitely see if you can get your money back and invest in a 5 gallon. They are easier to maintain and they aren't as expensive as you would think. They even sell 10 gallons for $15 at my local fish store. Cleaning the tank is less of a hassle, too. He will thrive more in a bigger tank, as well. I'm sure after googling a lot of your questions or roaming around these forums, you will learn a lot more than any pet store employee will ever know. :P
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Old 04-07-2013, 06:54 PM   #5 
Alcemistnv
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the smell you smell is the ammonia in the tank, and that's why the water looks that way. Bettas can die from too much ammonia, so it's best to do tank changes about 3 times a week.

And as Cliffy said, see if you can get a bigger tank. It's more work to do, but not AS many water changes (abou 1 less a week if you get a 5 gal)
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:57 PM   #6 
ShaylaDenielle
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Dumb question, but how do I clean the tank completely? Can I use dishsoap to clean it out if I rinse it really well?
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:06 PM   #7 
Cliffy
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Never ever use soap! Soaps leave residue that is very toxic to your fish.

Use warm water. I would take your buddy and cup him in a container and put him to the side while you clean the tank out. Dump the water and rinse the gravel and plant with warm water separately. Since we don't know what's exactly causing the contamination, like LittleBlueFishlets said, don't readd them. Just the water. Make sure the water is ideally 78-82F before putting him in. The only way of knowing this is getting a thermometer for your tank.

Do you have water conditioner? It helps kill anything harmful that is in tap water. Again, since it's a .50 gal, make sure you clean his water (100% change) every day to keep him healthy. You will need to do this until you decide to get a bigger tank for him.

Last edited by Cliffy; 04-07-2013 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:31 PM   #8 
ShaylaDenielle
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I am planning on getting him a better enclosure. Bigger tank, thermometer, heater.. I would have originally set him up properly had I been given the correct advice :( I'm so angry at that pet store. Not the first time I got bad advice from them. Thought different specie, maybe they would know :[

Any who, I currently have a meat thermometer I am using to gage the temp. Should work temporarily till I can get a better one. I do have water conditioner. I'll be sure to change his water every day till I can get a proper set up for him.

Thanks for a the help guys! I should have known better than to take their advice. I feel so bad for the little guy :( I am sending a nasty email to the store head quarters informing them their staff arent trained properly nore are they giving people proper care instructions for animals...
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:08 AM   #9 
Taeanna
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaylaDenielle View Post
I am planning on getting him a better enclosure. Bigger tank, thermometer, heater.. I would have originally set him up properly had I been given the correct advice :( I'm so angry at that pet store. Not the first time I got bad advice from them. Thought different specie, maybe they would know :[

Any who, I currently have a meat thermometer I am using to gage the temp. Should work temporarily till I can get a better one. I do have water conditioner. I'll be sure to change his water every day till I can get a proper set up for him.

Thanks for a the help guys! I should have known better than to take their advice. I feel so bad for the little guy :( I am sending a nasty email to the store head quarters informing them their staff arent trained properly nore are they giving people proper care instructions for animals...
The same happened to me and many other owners. The important part is that you are prepared to look after him. He is lucky to have you over all the other people that are not.
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:15 AM   #10 
Cliffy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaylaDenielle View Post
I am planning on getting him a better enclosure. Bigger tank, thermometer, heater.. I would have originally set him up properly had I been given the correct advice :( I'm so angry at that pet store. Not the first time I got bad advice from them. Thought different specie, maybe they would know :[

Any who, I currently have a meat thermometer I am using to gage the temp. Should work temporarily till I can get a better one. I do have water conditioner. I'll be sure to change his water every day till I can get a proper set up for him.

Thanks for a the help guys! I should have known better than to take their advice. I feel so bad for the little guy :( I am sending a nasty email to the store head quarters informing them their staff arent trained properly nore are they giving people proper care instructions for animals...
Don't feel so bad about it. They are only trying to sell their products in the most convenient way. Like Taeanna said, your betta is better off with you than no one at all or anyone else that doesn't know the proper care. :)
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