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Old 10-30-2009, 12:46 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Both of my fishies are sick!

Hi! I'm new. I wish this wasn't my first post, but unfortunately it is.

Let me give you a little bit of a background on my two betta fish, Titan and Atlantis before I explain their symptoms.

I got Titan and Atlantis (T & A) almost a month ago from a pet store. They are my first betta fish. I didn't know much about bettas when I bought them, and was told by the pet store they would be fine and dandy swimming around in a bowl. So, I put each of them in their own bowl, about 1.5 gallons each. Both of these bowls are rounded. I keep these bowls about 4 feet away from each other also, so T&A don't go crazy looking at each other. I have some tan gravel on the bottom of each and a little plant in each one that they can hide under/in or sit on. I do one 25% water change a week and one full water change a week. When I do this water change, I let the new water sit out for about an hour, treat the water and also add this salt-like substance that cleanses the water. I feed T&A once a day of either 3 pellets or 3 freeze-dried blood worms.

Now, of course after I got them, I started doing my research, and realized that they probably need to be in a bigger home, with a heater and a filter. So, I do have aquariums on the way, but they have not been delivered yet, so for the next week or so, I have to deal with keeping T & A in their bowls.

Their problems:

Titan- Yesterday, I noticed that Titan's belly is starting to swell up. Its not rediculously huge, but how do I tell if it is droopsy (think that's what its called) or if I have just over fed him? Other than that, he seems just fine, happy and curious about everything.

Atlantis- He appears to be going insane. He was a fine, calm and curious little guy about a week ago. Now however, he appears to be doing diagonal laps extremely fast around the bowl, like he is really upset, and then, he will just stop. And be very, very still. If I go tap on the glass, that just drives him even more crazy. When I feed him, sometimes he eats, sometimes he doesn't. He almost seems afraid of the food. He is also flaring up a lot.

So, what am I doing wrong? Do you think things will improve once I get them in their heated aquariums or are they both sick with something?
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:30 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Hi there~

Too me it sounds like Titan is constipated and Atlantis (love the name!) may have ich. You can google those two diseases to find lots of information on them. Hope they get better soon! (Also, soaking pellets and freeze-dried bloodworms for ten minutes in dechlorinated water before feeding is better for bettas.)
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Old 11-02-2009, 01:38 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Canada
HopeInHeart is right, if you're feeding them pellets or freezed dried food, there's a large chance they can get constipated. You MUST pre soak their food in a little dish of water because their food contains a very low moisture content and when they're in a fish's stomach, they expand two to three times their normal size. They're less likely to get constipated if you soak it before you feed them. Also, fasting them once a week will help clean out their system.

As for Atlantis, I wouldn't say it's ich unless we know more. Can you closely inspect him and tell us if you notice any white dots that look like someone sprinkled salt all over your fish?

Otherwise, I think he might just be very spookable. I have a betta like that who chickens out very easily and it really stresses him out. Don't tap on the glass, if he stops, he might just be exhausted and is taking a rest.

Do you have any ornaments in the tank? If not, I suggest investing in a silk plant or a little cave for him to hide in (it helps reduce stress. Betta fish feel comfortable hiding in something. Just make sure it doesn't have any sharp edges that can easily rip your fish's fins!)

Flaring isn't unnatural either. Two of my male bettas always flare at me whenever I come over to say hello, it's normal behavior.

As for the off and on eating... well if he's stressed out, it could contribute to his lack of appetite.
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Old 11-02-2009, 01:57 PM   #4 
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Thanks! I'm going to have to look up ich. I just cleaned their bowls out on Saturday, and Atlantis does seem to be a bit calmer.

Also, I had his bowl right next to the TV. I moved it, since I started wondering if the TV was stressing him out. He still runs around his bowl a lot, but I finally saw some bubble nests at the top this morning.

Both of them have a nice sized plant for them to hide in. They seem to enjoy their plants. If I could find a cute tunnel to put in their bowls I would, but nothing seems to fit quite right.

However, their aquariums are coming so I may just wait and then put some other hiding spaces in.
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