I have had a perfectly happy little betta until today & have no idea what is wrong. I got home from work today to a tank with noticeably yellow water and a very unhappy betta all clamped up & hiding & when he does swim he has jerky movement instead of his usual casual glide. He is in a 5 gal filtered tank which had a partial water change only yesterday. I don't think there was a problem with the water because none of my other betta have been affected & they all had water changes yesterday as well. The only thing i have done differently was to add an anubias to the tank 5 days ago. The plant was purchased from my LFS and is anchored to a piece of wood. Could it be the plant or the wood that is causing a problem? I am waiting on my water test kit to arrive so i have been unable to test the water (i have been doing twice weekly 50% water changes; one water only & one with a gravel vacuum to make sure i keep any nasties under control). I have taken him out of the tank and will remove the plant & do a 100% water change tomorrow before i put him back in. This is very weird. Any idea what could be the cause?
Did you remember to add conditioner to his water change? I did all of my water changes one day & noticed one of my males acting off, the only thing i could think was maybe i forgot to add conditioner to his new water, added the Prime & he perked back up. The yellow water could be tannins from the wood.
Thank you for your response shellieca . Yep i definitely added the conditioner. He is still unhappy in the bowl i put him into last night bowl & that had fresh conditioned water in it so i don't really know what to do with him
Hmmm. Did you re-arrange his tank when you did the water change? One of my males HATES his tank to be Re-arranged & will pout like you wouldn't believe. Personally I'd leave him in the 5g until you decide you need to treat with meds & even then depending on the meds I'd leave him be. I know mine don't like being moved so I do it as little as possible.
Nope didn't touch a thing, just scooped half the water out & replaced it. I've put him back in the 5 gal but he really isn't happy. No external signs of illness. He was happy as yesterday morning zooming around exploring. By yesterday arvo he was very unhappy just sitting in the one spot all clamped up so i have no idea what meds i could even try
It sounds like the wood leached tannins (and possibly other stuff) into the water. Tannins will lower the pH, which is bettas usually don't mind. But the wood may have been leaching other substances, which made him sick.
Since you have a filtered tank, you could:
a) Do a series of 50% water changes on the 5 gal tank, so you don't destroy the beneficial bacteria in the tank. Do two 50% water changes per day, for two days. (Ie: Two 50% water changes today. Two 50% water changes tomorrow.) This should remove enough of any toxins that it will be OK for your fish.
b) If your fish seems very ill, or you're very concerned: Set up a small quarantine tank, with brand new water. (Add conditioner.) Move him to this tank, acclimating slowly so that he isn't shocked by the new water. Keep him in this tank until you've done the series of partial water changes on the larger tank. (See above.)
Thank you all for your help. He has a new symptom this afternoon. His anal fin seems to have twisted up and turned into a dreadlock. I also found a piece of broken fin on the bottom of the tank. He has beautiful long fins with no sign of fin rot. There also seems to be a lot of white floating particles in the water & it smells very fishy despite two 50% water changes with gravel vac in 24 hrs. The last time i did a gravel vac was last weekend and all those white particles were not in the tank then. I have been doing 2 50% changes per week for about a month now so I'm at a loss. All i can put it down to is that there is a problem with the anubias ??? ( i have taken the plant out of the tank)