I've had this beautiful CT male for about a week now and in the evenings and mornings, I've noticed, he gets very twitchy and freaks the heck out all over the place. Bangs into objects, or just twitches rapidly in place, like he's startled.
Sorry forgot to fill this out first. I've never had to post in this sub-forum before.
What size is your tank? 2.5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 86 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? aeration is included on filter
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? 1 Nerite snail
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? NLS pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? 5 pellets in the morning, 5 pellets at night
How often do you perform a water change? once a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? clamped fins
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? very jumpy and twitchy
When did you start noticing the symptoms? After I dosed some ferts to the plants in his tank
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? I've had him for about a week now.
Flashing is usually indicative of external parasites. However, before trying to treat for that, there are a few issues that need to addressed first, and perhaps that will help him.
First, 86 is pretty high for the temperature. Any reason for the high temp? I would try lowering it gradually over a period of time to 80 and see if he likes it better. 78-80 seems to be the most common temps for bettas.
Second, your water parameters. You wrote 5.0 ppm nitrites- was this a typo? In any case, nitrites should always be zero- even in small quantities they are extremely stressful. Ammonia as well should be at zero- do you have ammonia in your tap? 40 ppm of nitrates is the outer limit of acceptable (20 as a limit is even better), but with only a betta and a nerite, having 40 ppm indicates that water changes should be stepped up. Or overfeeding, but this doesn't seem to be the case. Aim for 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and 20 nitrates always- if ever these numbers go above that, do a water change. If you have ammonia in your tap, then be sure to dose Prime for the full capacity of the tank every 48 hours until you are cycled and the ammonia readings stop.
Try lowering the temp and getting your toxin numbers down- this might be all he needs.
I did a 90% water change and he's acting normally now. (a few hours later)
Also, I got the water down to 80 degrees.
Awesome. Keep up on testing daily to make sure your numbers don't get so high. 5ppm nitrites can be deadly very quickly.
That's a lot of ferts you're using. May I ask why? The normal initial dose for Excel is 5ml per 10 gallons (I assume this was your first dose). So, for 2.5 gal the proper initial dose is 1.25 ml. The proper dose for Iron is 1 ml for 10 gallons, so for you the dose would be .25 ml. Flourish should be be less than 1 ml, also. I did the math for my 10 gallon and I came up with 14 drops as the 10 gallon dose. Not sure for your 2.5.
To calculate amounts smaller than 1 ml, what I did was use my dropper to count how many drops were in 1 ml, then multiply that number by the decimal. For instance, if your dropper gives you 20 drops in 1 ml, and you need .25 of a ml: 20 x .25= 5 drops.
Perhaps your guy was reacting to an overdose of ferts.
Yeah overdosing ferts will just give you lots of algae if continued. And for a 2.5 gallon I would suggest trying to do two 50% water changes in the week instead of once since ammonia can and will build up quickly even if you are testing and finding only 0 (<---that is good though) But doing two water changes will help him and reduce his stress, it will also keep the nitrites and nitrates down to a tolerable level as well which should be 0.