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Old 04-13-2013, 04:25 PM   #1 
Rilly10
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Not sure what else to do for him :(

Sorry if this is kind of a cross-post from my ammonia thread, but I am not sure what to do for my fish. He is lethargic, "breathing quickly" and kind of falling over on the bottom of the tank. I have been doing an in-fish cycle and have been battling ammonia issues. My tap water had a 0.5 ammonia reading.

I have been doing water changes daily and using Prime and Stability. Yesterday I did a 50% water change with bottled spring water (treated) to try to bring the ammonia down.

The other thing that may be an issue is this fish was shipped to me...he went out on Mon and I got him on Weds. The weather was freakishly warm Tues and Weds (and he was shipped with a heat pack) and the freebie Betta I got with him died the next day. He has been off since, but is getting worse. I thought it was ammonia issues, but now wondering if he got to hot in shipping? I acclimated him VERY slowly (over 4 hours). Below is the rest of the info....

Housing
What size is your tank? 4 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 81 degrees
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? Only live plants.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? NLS pellets, but he has not eaten since I got him.
How often do you feed your betta fish? Have been trying once a day (clean up uneaten pellets)

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Daily b/c of ammonia.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50% with treated spring water yesterday.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime and Stability

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? Yes with the API mater drop kit.

Ammonia: API drop test reads at 1 ppm, Seachem ammonia meter says safe
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 20
pH: Btw 7 and 7.5
Hardness: 0
Alkalinity: 40 (if this is the same as KH)?

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? No
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Yes - Lethargic and tilting
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Immediately upon arrival but getting worse.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Trying to get Ammonia down
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Not that I know of.
How old is your fish (approximately)? 3.5 months according to breeder.
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Old 04-13-2013, 04:32 PM   #2 
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I'd try putting him in a smaller tank for now w no lights... In a calm dark place... He may be over stressed ... I'm not sure about the tilting... Hopefully someone can chime in on that
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Old 04-13-2013, 04:41 PM   #3 
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Thanks! I have the lights off now but the room is naturally bright. Maybe I should drape his tank with cloth to darken it more.
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Old 04-13-2013, 04:53 PM   #4 
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Has he been eating?
Can he make it to the surface easily for air?
Does he have any plants or a betta bed near the surface to rest on?
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:03 PM   #5 
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He has plants and a leaf hammock he can rest on. He makes it to the top to breathe fine, but that us all he does. :( He has not eaten since I got him.
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:12 PM   #6 
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He may not like his food... U can try changing it make sure it's high protein... Spectrum life or omega one r very good choices.
The tilting is concerning combined w not eating... I found a very helpful lady on here she really knows her stuff... Littlebluefishlets.. U can ask her maybe or she will know someone who can help.
I don't think it's ammonia I suspect it's a swim bladder issue but I'm not sure.
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:20 PM   #7 
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I have been trying the New Life Spectrum...also tried the Betta Bits that the seller sent, and Zoo Med Pellets :( He doesn't even look at them.
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:23 PM   #8 
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That's not good he's really not feeling well... I'd PM littleblue and ask her if she knows or if she knows someone who can help... For now cover the tank to help w stress
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:25 PM   #9 
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I agree with putting him into a smaller tank, in a darkened location. You can do frequent water changes on it, and keep ammonia levels down, especially since you're using Prime.

Do you have any IAL? If so, that may help. If not, you can use dried oak leaves that have fallen off an oak tree.

I trust the API liquid test kit more than the Seachem ammonia alert. I have an alert, and it NEVER changes color. (I'm thinking about putting it into some ammonia just to see if it changes!) If your ammonia level is 1 ppm, that would be a problem, especially since the bag he was shipped in probably had high ammonia, too. (But I wonder if you have some ammonium, which could contribute to the test kit reading higher. Still, I don't think I'd want to cycle the tank with a fish that was already stressed from being shipped...)

I think clean warm water, a darkened quiet location, and a tannin source (IAL or Oak leaves) are the best things for him right now. You could float a small tank in the larger one, to help keep the temp stable.

Don't worry about his not eating right now. He's been in a plastic bag getting jostled around. Give him a day or two to figure out where he is. Since the seller sent you some food, try that. Even if he doesn't love it, at least he's familiar with it.

Is there a reason you're using spring water, rather than tap water?

Last edited by LittleBlueFishlets; 04-13-2013 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:30 PM   #10 
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Thanks! I will do that now. All I have is a one gallon bowl (plastic) I will put him in there and put his heater in it also. Should I acclimate him slowly to that like when you first get them since it will be all new water?
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