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Old 10-14-2009, 01:22 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Unhappy New Owner! Pale, lethargic, won't eat! HELP!

Hi everybody,

I'm a first time betta owner. My roommate and I bought Ghandi about 5 days ago, he is a blue and pink/red halfmoon betta, very pretty. He hasn't eaten since he's been home though except for one very small pellet the first day and nothing since. He has started to lose a lot of his color as well. Sometimes it comes back, but goes away again. He doesn't move at all, but rather sits at the top of the bowl motionless and barely reacts to anything. Also, these two fin sort of things are hanging down under I guess what one might call his chin area (sorry I don't know the technical terms).

He's in a 1.5 gallon tank, and we conditioned the water and checked the temp before we put him in. Both my roommate and I have never had a betta before, so we don't know what kind of behavior is normal, but our friends who have them haven't had these problems. I'm just worried 'cause he won't eat, is lethargic, and is very pale.

Any help would be great!

- MK

Last edited by marykatesghandi; 10-14-2009 at 01:26 AM.
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Old 10-14-2009, 02:00 AM   #2 
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: SC
For starters, he could have very well came home with you with the problems.
Now, what did you use to condition the water? I prefer Prime water conditioner.
What temp is the water at? It should stay at a steady 78-80 degrees. Fluctuations with the water temp can cause problems. If it is cold where you are, a heater is suggested. Of course, you'd have to upgrade your tank since as far as I know, the smallest heater you can get is for a 2.5 gallon.
Next question would be did you acclimate him before putting him in the tank. Not acclimating can harm and even kill your fish.
I hope this helps, good luck and welcome to the Betta board!
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Old 10-14-2009, 02:08 AM   #3 
Rain Drop
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Victoria, BC
Are you using the correct amount of conditioner?
What's his water temp at? He be could cold (that would explain his lethargy).
Bettas thrive best in about 76-80 and at a constant temp.
Any lower isn't good. If it is lower, then get him a heater. I think a Hydor mini heater would be good for a small tank like that. Just make sure you always monitor the temp with a thermometer.

Also, it's normal for a new betta to not eat for the first little while. It took Kovu a week to start eating. Just keep on trying to give him his food. Take out any uneaten pellets. Oh and 2 in the morning and 2 at night should be best, and fast one day in the week. Bettas also like variety in their diet. You can get bloodworms or brine shrimp for a once a week treat.

Lol, and those are his ventral fins you're talking about. As far as I know every betta has them. I hope this helps you out. I learned a lot from this site and hopefully it'll be good for you too!
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Old 10-14-2009, 04:04 PM   #4 
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Thanks everybody. Today Ghandi is looking a little bit better. He's still not eating anything and is sluggish although he did move a little bit around the bowl when I was watching him, but very slowly.

I did acclimate him to the water, but it is getting very cold here. I tried to take the temperature of the water, but being a college student, I only have an automatic thermometer and it didn't work in the water. I will try to get another and see about that and getting a heater as well. We used Tetra Aqua BettaSafe water conditioner. The food we've been feeding him is Hikari Betta Biogold.
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lethargic, pale, sick

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