My poor Sir Reginald is having some problems again, and I just want to make sure they aren't and don't become anything serious. Other than a couple of tail biting incidents shortly after I got him in February, he's been healthy and happy. Winter here may finally be ending, which means my apartment is heating up because of increased sunlight (crazy Wisconsin weather). I had to unplug his old heater a couple times because his water was getting too warm, so I decided to get him a new, programmed heater.
I picked up a Tetra Submersible heater for 2-15 gallon tanks, changed out the heaters, and have been keeping a close eye on it to make sure it works as advertised. I did rinse the new one well with tap and treated water before putting it in. After being afraid of it for a while, Reg got brave and checked it out. Everything seemed fine.
Two days later, I came home from work and noticed he was just hanging out on the bottom of his tank (he's usually very active and will swim up to say hi and beg for food). He did swim up when I fed him, so I just kept a close eye on him. This morning, I was pretty sure he was dead because he was on the bottom of the tank, not moving, and ignored me completely. Tank temperatures were fine. I moved him into a hospital tank to check him out. No fin problems, doesn't look bloated or anything, but he's still just hanging out on the bottom of the tank with his fins clamped to his body more than usual. He did swim up for some food, but went right back to the bottom.
The current plan is to clean his tank well and put the old heater back in to see if his behavior changes. Anything else I should look into?
What size is your tank? 1.75 gallon
What temperature is your tank? New heater: 78 degrees F, old heater: between 78-82 degrees F
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, new heater is a Tetra submersible set to keep the temperature stable
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? TetraBetta plus mini pellets: two or three per feeding, depending on size...or Aqueon pellets: 3 per feeding. He gets occasional
How often do you feed your betta fish? twice a day, with Sunday as a fasting day
How often do you perform a water change? Twice a week, more if needed
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Tetra BettaSafe
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
I've only been able to get test strips, which I know aren't as accurate, but better a general idea than no idea. Numbers are taken from the Jungle Quick Dip test strips.
pH:more alkaline, between 7.2 and 7.8
Hardness: Hard 150
Alkalinity: between 120-180
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Appearance is the same other than a white patch under his head. It isn't fuzzy, it just looks like he's lost color there. Didn't realize that had changed so much until I was comparing pictures today, although I think that's been a more gradual change.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? More lethargic, hanging out on the bottom of the tank more.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Yesterday, two days after putting in the new water heater.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No treatment yet, but he's in a hospital tank while I check out his tank. (Test strips put the water still in normal parameters). He is showing the same behaviors in the hospital tank.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? He's a chronic tail biter, but his tail has grown back and he has been doing very well.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Purchased full grown in February.
In happier days