Not feeding your fish for a 3-4 days can help. Sometimes this condition can be caused by overfeeding and treating with unscented Epsom salt helps. Please see Fish diseases 1 and 2 under the fish emergency section. Swim bladder disease and it's treatment is listed there. Peas are supposed to tear up the bettas digestive system so I'd forget about that.
Well I did three things last night, the tiny bite of pea (and I see now not to do that again! that makes total sense), I also emptied half of the water and replaced it with room temperature bottled water with conditioner in it and made sure it was the same temperature, then I put his little tank under a lamp and kept it on all night with a towel draped over it and the tank to warm him up. So I'm not sure what worked, but today he's able to stay at the bottom!! But no I don't really see any poop in the tank, so I wll pick up the stuff you mentioned - daphnia? - and see if that helps. Problem is I'm not near any pet stores at all on this contract, the only option is a Walmart. Hope it has the right stuff. I did actually see a nice tank with a filter and lights, so I might pick that up too so he has more space. And thanks for the tip about the vacuum, I was wondering how to keep the tank clean without changing all the water! I've never had this problem before with my other bettas, they were healthy and lived for years in this same tiny tank. But in the "old days" you were instructed to feed them only 2-3 times a week, so I've been wondering if feeding daily isn't the problem.
As for food, I started him with the pellets I used for the others but he would put them in his mouth and spit them out, hated them. So I got the flakes BettaMin which he seemed to like at first, at least he ate them. Now I'm wondering if I should go back to what I used to feed my first one, it was frozen briny shrimp I think, does that sound familiar?
Thanks for your help, and if you have any more good tips, please let me know!
Some bettas are just very hardy and can withstand alot, while some are less so. My husband used to keep a betta and goldfish together in an unheated tank when he was a boy, and the betta lived for years. Not that this is a good idea, and I seriously doubt the betta was what what you would call happy- but he survived.
Personally, I feed mine once a day. Some pellets are bigger than others and are hard for some to bettas to eat, so they spit them out. If you want want to try pellets again, Omega One and New Life Spectrum are small and healthy. It's frozen brine shrimp, and those are great for bettas, but not for feeding everyday. The best thing to do is get a healthy pellet for a staple food (Omega or NLS) and vary their diet with frozen food such as brine shrimp, bloodworms and/or daphnia. Also, if your betta is one of the few that doesn't like pellets, Omega One also makes betta flakes- they are much healthier than the Tetra which has a lot fillers.
You said you used conditioned bottled water- did you mean the water that is sold specifically for bettas, or bottled water for people that you added conditioner to? Regular bottled water should not be used because it lacks the essential minerals that tap has.
That's great that he's doing better! Get him the bigger tank and heater, and he'll love you forever.
I hear some of you say that you have a fish with your betta. The one time I did that they gradually ate each other! What's a good companion for him?
Yes I used bottled people water. I'm currently living in an area that has a tremendous amount of chlorine in the tap water so twice he's reacted to new water, even after I add the conditioner, so I've switched to the bottled on those two occassions. (I can't even drink the water, it makes me sick.) I wonder what a good alternative to tap would be? Fortunately my new contract starts in two weeks and I'll be in Flagstaff for three months, but as it is also high desert I wonder if the water is any better?
Last edited by sbgrn; 04-29-2013 at 10:24 PM.
Well, I am about an hour and a half south of Flag in the mountains so I would imagine our water to be somewhat similar. It's hard as a rock- benefit: you never have to worry about pH fluctuations. What sucks: if you get ammonia readings then your ammonia ratio is always higher than ammonium (the non-toxic form) because of the high pH. And I get calcium deposits that have to be cleaned from the water line. It's great water for keeping snails, though. :) I keep my fish in my tap water, however, and they do fine.
I believe chlorine in tap water is converted to ammonia by water conditioners. You can try using a conditioner such as Prime by Seachem- it detoxes ammonia (turns it into the non toxic ammonium form) for 48 hours. It's awesome stuff- 2 drops for one gallon, so very economical. Prime should take care of high chlorine content in tap water. My tap water has .25 ammonia in it, so before I had a cycled tank I had to dose Prime every 48 hours- it kept my fish safe.
Oh, companions- if want a companion you need at least a 5 gallon tank, and that would be with just a snail. To have other fish with him, you'd need at least a 10 gallon. Some bettas ignore snails (mine does), and some like to torment them by biting their antennae off. It all depends on the betta. For fish, the most fail-proof (though again, some bettas will attack anything) are peaceful bottom dwellers, like corys.
Thank you! All great information. One last question, the conditioner I got is BettaSafe by Tetra and it says it "works in seconds" yet you say you retreat every 48 hours, or you wait 48 hours before using the water?
Last edited by sbgrn; 04-30-2013 at 06:08 PM.
All conditioners remove chlorine and chloramine instantly, making tap water safe for fish. Used to be that people had to 'age' their water first, but no longer. This is what the Tetra bottle refers to. However, some tap water has ammonia in it, and high concentrations of chlorine and chloramine are converted to ammonia by conditioners in the removal process.
The 48 hours refers specifically to Prime's ability to detox ammonia and render any present in the tap water as harmless to fish. I know some other conditioners can detox ammonia as well, such as Amquel Plus, but most do not. I am not familiar with BettaSafe, but it would say on the bottle if it did detox ammonia.
So, for example, Prime instantly renders the water safe- no chlorine. But it will only render the ammonia safe for 48 hours. If 48 hours passes, and for whatever reason ammonia remains present in the tank, you can redose the tank with Prime without having to do a water change. Not that it's a good excuse to skip a water change, but if you have ammonia present in your tap like I do and your tank's ammonia readings are the same as your tap's, then I just added more Prime because a water change wouldn't have made a difference.