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Old 04-10-2013, 08:30 AM   #1 
rose27
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Exclamation S.O.S. new owner, sick fish, help please!

i just bought my beta from the store yesterday, and he looked like a strong specimen there. however, when i dropped him in his new home, he sank to the bottom immediately and hung out there on his side for a few minutes, looking like he couldn't breathe very well. After i tapped on the glass, he jumped up and darted around, then started to swim around his new home. i put a few food flakes in there, and he had a good appetite. however, as he was swimming around, i noticed his equilibrium was off. he can't seem to swim or float straight- it's always at an angle. he also seems to be mostly be using his little side fins to swim- not his big ones. he seemed active for a little while, but then he swam back down to the bottom and leaned on his side against the glass. when i woke up this morning he was in the same spot, and there were so many bubbles at the top of my tank that they were coming out of the feeding hole. his breathing still looks labored. i managed to startle him to get him to move, and he darted all the way to the top to take a breath, but very soon came back down to lay on his side. i am very worried about him, and i don't know what to do. i have about a 1.5 gallon tank with an air filter. i used tap water (slightly colder than room temperature, but it feels warmer today). i put between 1/4-1/2 a teaspoon of water cleanser stuff (came with kit) in the water before i put him in. that's all i have. i don't have much money to buy some new supplies right away, so i need to know exactly what he needs in order to help him. maybe he'll just get better? but i hope there is something i can do before it gets serious- i'll feel so awful if i kill him!
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:57 AM   #2 
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:35 AM   #3 
Stone
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Well I am going to say this right off,I am not saying this to be mean but it needs to be said, if you can't afford the things you need to properly take care of him, and have no clue what those things are maybe you should not have bought the fish in the first place, that being said,1.he needs a heater 2. sounds like you did not float him in the new tank to let him get used to the new temp let alone add some of the tank water to the bag/cup to let him adjust to the diffrent ph and water chemistry. 3. sounds like he might have a swim bladder issue which can be treated with epsom salt at 1 tsp per gallon make sure its fully dissolved before putting the fish in it, and fast him. treat him for 2-3 days but no more than 10

without a heater he will most likely be a sickly fish and not very active he is a tropical fish not a cold water fish like a goldfish, you will need to do a lot of water changes with a tank the size he is in which means you will need more water conditioner or you will need to age the water for at least 24 hours sitting in a bucket I would suggest 48 hours you will need to do at least 1 50% water change a week and one 100% water change per week, you will need a way to see what the temp of the water, he will need to be fed 2 times a day and I would fast him one day a week I would suggest looking through this forum and seeing what you need to take care of him and good luck
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:16 AM   #4 
ao
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rose27 View Post
i just bought my beta from the store yesterday, and he looked like a strong specimen there. however, when i dropped him in his new home, he sank to the bottom immediately and hung out there on his side for a few minutes, looking like he couldn't breathe very well. After i tapped on the glass, he jumped up and darted around, then started to swim around his new home. i put a few food flakes in there, and he had a good appetite. however, as he was swimming around, i noticed his equilibrium was off. he can't seem to swim or float straight- it's always at an angle. he also seems to be mostly be using his little side fins to swim- not his big ones. he seemed active for a little while, but then he swam back down to the bottom and leaned on his side against the glass. when i woke up this morning he was in the same spot, and there were so many bubbles at the top of my tank that they were coming out of the feeding hole. his breathing still looks labored. i managed to startle him to get him to move, and he darted all the way to the top to take a breath, but very soon came back down to lay on his side. i am very worried about him, and i don't know what to do. i have about a 1.5 gallon tank with an air filter. i used tap water (slightly colder than room temperature, but it feels warmer today). i put between 1/4-1/2 a teaspoon of water cleanser stuff (came with kit) in the water before i put him in. that's all i have. i don't have much money to buy some new supplies right away, so i need to know exactly what he needs in order to help him. maybe he'll just get better? but i hope there is something i can do before it gets serious- i'll feel so awful if i kill him!
Oh dear, poor fishie. Good things the weather is warming up in the northern hemisphere~

Many of us started off being misinformed or accidentally putting our fish in less than ideal environments ^_^ but the fact that you bought him gives his life hope.

Betta fish do need a heater to lead a healthy life. Heaters are not very expensive if you get it online.
This one is only $11 shipped http://www.truaqua.com/nano-heaters.html.

you will need a thermometer to monitor the tank temperature.
for a long term investment I would recommend a 25w adjustable heater, which doesn't go for much more than the thermostat one I linked you to.

Usually lack of equilibrium in betta fish is attributed to bad digestion and constipation problems which, most of the time, can be cured by heat alone.

do make sure you change all of the water everyweek. you can scoop him out in a cup. make sure to keep the cup covered when changing the tank, bettas do jump.

You don't want the cold water coming out of the tap, you can adjust hot and cold this water to make water of the same temperature the fish was in. if the new water is too hot or cold the fish may go into temperature shock.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:20 PM   #5 
HeroicPoison
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What size of tank is ur betta in?
i find a lot of the time they have lived in their little cups for so long they go into shock if put into too big of and environment right away. i find they adjust much better if u let them leave their cup or bag on their own instead of dumping them in. Its so many changes for the new little guys ... filters, space, stuff to look at... that they can freak out. for the first day after i get mine i leave the light off till they have had some time to explore their new home :)
Also if it is a constipation issue and heating doesnt work alone u can add 1 tsp of plain no scented regular epsom salt per gallon of water. Dissolve it in a cup before adding to ur tank, any undissolved pieces can burn ur fish. Epsom salt is a laxative and works very well to fix this
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:13 PM   #6 
LittleBlueFishlets
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Welcome to the forum. I can't see your picture, but based on your description, it sounds like your fish was shocked by being put into the new tank too quickly, and from being put into water that was too cold.

1) Bettas are tropical fish. They need water temps around 76-84F, with 79F being considered ideal. For most of us, that means using a heater. You can get a heater for a small tank. (For example: Petsmart has a Marina Betta Heater for $11.99.) You'll also need a thermometer. I recommend a Floating Glass Thermometer. ($2.99 at Petsmart. About $1.70 at Walmart.)

2) Addition of water conditioner is always required whenever you add new water to the tank. Conditioners neutralize/remove harmful substances from tap water. It sounds like this is what you added -- but 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sounds like a lot. Is this what the directions said to do? Fortunately, it's better to add too much conditioner than not enough, so don't worry about this right now. Before your next water change, just check that it's the correct amount to add for your tank size.

3) A 1.5 gal tank is fine, but you'll need to do frequent water changes to keep ammonia and toxins from building up. I recommend doing at LEAST one 100% and one 50% water change each week.

4) Whenever introducing a fish into a tank - whether it's a new fish, or you're changing his water - you need to "acclimate" him. There are many ways to do a water change and acclimate (reintroduce) your fish back into the tank. Here is one variation:
  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. Refill with water at the SAME temp. Be sure to add the correct amount of water conditioner.
  4. Float his cup in the tank for about 15 min.
  5. Add a SMALL amount of NEW water to the cup. (Several tablespoons, or about 1.5 ounces.)
  6. Let his cup float for about 10 min.
  7. If the cup starts to fill too much, remove a SMALL amount of water from the cup. Discard it.
  8. Repeat steps 5-7, until about an hour has passed.
  9. Gently release him into the tank.

5) Flakes are messy to feed. Leftover bits of food can cause pollution in the tank, and cause health problems. So I prefer feeding pellets, as I can count them out. Also, look at the ingredients on the bottle. If there are a lot of grains (wheat, corn, soybean, etc), this can contribute to bloating, constipation and buoyancy problems. Look for a pellet food that contains fish as the first few ingredients, and doesn't have a lot of grains. On this forum, the two more frequently recommended foods are: New Life Spectrum pellets (available at Petco), and Omega One Betta Buffet pellets (available at Petco and Petsmart). They cost about $3.99 for a bottle, but the bottle will last a REALLY long time.

6) If your guy is still having buoyancy issues, I would fast him for a day. Then, I would switch his food over to either the New Life Spectrum pellets or Omega One Betta Buffet pellets that I mentioned in the bullet point above.

Good luck with him!

Last edited by LittleBlueFishlets; 04-10-2013 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 04-11-2013, 05:14 AM   #7 
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How did you acclimate him into the tank? Did you literally just plop him in there or did you slowly add water from the tank into his cup?
What you want to do is float him in the tank in his cup and ever 10 or so minutes add in a little water from the tank so that he gradually gets used to the tempature.

Also in a 1.5G tank, I would ditch the airstone and filter as the current provided may be too strong for the betta. You would then do 2 water changes a week - one 50% of water only and another 100% where you clean out the gravel as well to remove any uneatten food anad poop that will pollute the water.

Heater - pretty much mandatory for a betta. Most heaters will be too tall to fit into the smaller tanks but Hagen Elite 25 watt and Deeb Blue's heat stick's are not very tall at all. There are also some heating pads but those either dont work or fry the fish.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hagen-Marina...item589ba04999

I have one of these in my 3G and for being a preset heater - it works pretty well. MUCH better then any Tetra heater
http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Deep-Blu...item4ac02c03cd
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Old 04-11-2013, 04:14 PM   #8 
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No airstones!

Bettas need still water to survive. They breathe from the surface of the water. If you have an air stone it puts too much surface agitation in the tank and your fish will have trouble breathing.
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Old 04-11-2013, 04:32 PM   #9 
Perseusmom
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I hope all the information above didnt scare you off that is a lot to absorb all at once.

How is he doing today ? Since Bettas are a tropical fish they do need warm water of at least 76 degrees with 78-82 even better. They need to be warm to be active and also when you change the water it should be close to the same temp as the water he is in to prevent shock. Here is the link to some more important information about Bettas you should read http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=49160 Please do come back and ask questions and let us know how he is doing and welcome to the forum.
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Old 04-11-2013, 04:35 PM   #10 
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Bettas don't need "still" water to survive. There can be some current in the tank, just not too much. Many standard filters and air stones produce a current that is too intense for bettas. I would only worry about it if you notice your betta avoiding the current from the outflows or struggling to swim. If you do notice these issues there are many ways of decreasing the current from a filter, including baffling and simply placing some plants in front of the outflow. However, with an air stone I would suggest removing it as it is not necessary for bettas (they breath air from the surface).
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