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Old 10-02-2013, 05:40 PM   #1 
jenna
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Newbie: Is Essie okay or is something wrong?

Hello, my name is Jenna and this is my first real attempt to keep a betta fish.
I have what was sold to me from Petco as a Female Crowntail in a one gallon aquarium.
I am not here to debate proper tank size, as this is what I intend to raise her in for now...I am not sure in my ability to keep a larger aquarium and provide her a larger home.
I fully understand the suggestion regarding that.

The problem I am having is that "Essie" is staying at the bottom of her tank. We thought she was dead last night and as I disassembled her tank, she flourished.
The timeline with Essie is that we got her two evenings ago. I was told to use distilled water, so I let the water adjust to room temperature for about 5 hours and floated her in a bag. I then began researching proper acclimation and found that distilled water was a no-no. I set out a bowl of tap water, ran to walmart (the only store open) for Tetra BettaSafe conditioner and two hours later added it to the room temperature tap water when I got home. I let Essie sit in that for an hour and then began to add the tap water/conditioned water at intervals of 15 minutes to her bag, two times. I then put her in the aquarium and she seemed to do well, exploring, going to the top and all corners of her new house. The water temperature was at 80*.

The next day, yesterday, the water temperature was reading as 90* f. I was not home when my mom noticed it. I told her to take the heater out and I went to the Allfish store near my house after work. When I got home, I watched her and noticed when she swam she seemed to float, especially her rear tail end, but she could still swim around. When she would swim closer to the top of the water, she would start to float, back first, slightly. She would, however, still lay at the bottom of the aquarium on the gravel substrate. As I stated earlier, we thought she was dead when I first got home, but as I took the filter out, she fluttered up and looked around. The ph I tested yesterday was at 7.6 with the conditioner in it.

Today, the water is at 78* without the heater. She is still doing the same thing, where she lays at the bottom.

The water parameters are as follows
The water is slightly cloudy, I was planning on doing a 50% water change tomorrow.

Ammonia is .25
Nitrite is 0
Nitrate is about 0, the API Freshwater Master Test Kit results were yellow, but not quite as bright as the 0 mark.

I have given her two pellets in the last two days, neither of which was she interested in. One was the sample that came with the aquarium, the Aqueon Betta Food, and one was a NLS All Purpose Formula.

Please help! I want to watch her be happy and swim! What's wrong with her? Am I doing something wrong? Hold my hand and teach me the ways of the Betta!
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:57 PM   #2 
shannonpwns
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She is probably just adjusting to her new home. And the cloudy water is probably due to what's called "New tank syndrome". Which I believe is when there is no beneficial bacteria in the water, and the ammonia is rising.

In a 1 gallon tank, you should be prepared to be doing at least a 50% water change every other day. The best water conditioner in my opinion is Seachem Prime. Not only does it neutralize chlorine and chloramine, it also neutralized ammonia. My tap water has ammonia in it, so I have to use Prime just to be safe.

As for the ammonia, anything above 0 is toxic and can harm your betta.
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:11 PM   #3 
jenna
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Can I mix water conditioners? Do I acclimate her the same way during each water change? What is the best route for the ammonia? Do I change the water or do I need a chemical? Thank you for the information. I am so new at this, and although there is rumor of these fish being hearty, I don't want her just to survive...I want her to be happy and thrive!
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:18 PM   #4 
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Also will I still need to make changes that often with a filter? Oldfishlady's recommendation is 2x weekly.
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:24 PM   #5 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenna View Post
Can I mix water conditioners? Do I acclimate her the same way during each water change? What is the best route for the ammonia? Do I change the water or do I need a chemical? Thank you for the information. I am so new at this, and although there is rumor of these fish being hearty, I don't want her just to survive...I want her to be happy and thrive!
I wouldn't mix water conditioners. Yes, you acclimate her for 15 minutes everytime you change the water. TIP: Bettas give off an anti-growth hormone that stunts their own growth, so you have to clean the water frequently. For a healthy betta, a temperature of 78* F is good.
Water changes:
Put the betta in a container/bag/plastic cup with water from her tank. Set that aside and remove 50% of the water from the tank. Then condition some tap water and let that sit. If you need to, and I would recommend it, clean any and all decor in the tank. Once the conditioned tap water has sat for around 5-10 minutes, you can pour it into the tank. Wait 1-2 minutes before adding the bag/conatiner/plastic cup that your betta is in. Let her acclimate for 15 minutes. Then gently add her in.

I hope I helped and that your betta will survive AND thrive :)
PM me if you have any more questions.
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:27 PM   #6 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenna View Post
Also will I still need to make changes that often with a filter? Oldfishlady's recommendation is 2x weekly.
In the filter, there is a cartridge. I would change that every 2 weeks. When you do replace the cartridge, rinse it with some water from the tank, not tap water, and add it to the filter. Every 6 months, in my opinion, you should do an all out tank cleaning which involves the filter. You will have to cycle your tank again after that.
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:31 PM   #7 
jenna
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pming :)

Last edited by jenna; 10-02-2013 at 06:32 PM. Reason: not following instructions
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:33 PM   #8 
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It is ok to mix Seachem's Prime and API's Stress Coat ;) They are both highly regarded products, and do enough different things that it's beneficial to use both - especially for a new tank. Prime actually neutralizes ammonia by converting it to an inert compound, however this effect only lasts for 48 hours so you will need to re-dose that often for the first few weeks while your tank is more susceptible to ammonia spikes. It's also nearly impossible to overdose with Prime.
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:36 PM   #9 
jenna
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Now that she is in a tank treated with Tetra's BettaSafe, how do I change the conditioner on her? Should I do a 100% water change with water treated with both Seachem's Prime and API's Stress Coat?
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:48 PM   #10 
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Sorry, you can mix Stress Coat and Prime. I wouldn't mix the BettaSafe, though. Baby is right.
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