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Old 11-30-2013, 07:43 AM   #1 
WaterWolf100
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Water Change

So I'm a college student and I live in a dorm. I have had a betta fish, Dinozzo, for almost a year now. A few days ago I came home for Thanksgving and I brought home my big tank so Dinozzo could be set up there until after Christmas.

I had my parents leave out 3 gallons of water for about 48 hours (he has a 3 gal, heated, filtered tank) and after I rinsed out his rock I put the water in, conditioned it with stress coat and aquarium salt, let it heat up for a while and put Dinozzo back in.

Ever since though, he hasn't been the same. At school he had been recovering from poor water quality (my own fault) and was just getting back to health. Now he will just sit at the bottom of the tank all day. He won't eat anything (which is unusual for him). He normally swims right up to the top of the tank when I have food for him.

Could this have anything to do with the new water? At school I have city water, and at home it's unsoftened well water. Is his behavior expected from this and what can I do to make him better. He has been doing so well and I hate to see all our progress be wasted.
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Old 11-30-2013, 08:15 AM   #2 
Hallyx
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Sometimes there is a large difference in pH and hardness between city-water and well-water. Some fish are sensitive to this change. It may take several days for him to get used to his new water.

Stop using salt. It makes the hardness/pH worse. Prime is a better water conditioner for well-water because it chelates (captures) heavy metals.

What temperature are you maintaining? What are you feeding him? Is your tank cycled?

Last edited by Hallyx; 11-30-2013 at 08:20 AM.
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Old 11-30-2013, 12:59 PM   #3 
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So his behavior is one that can be expected for this change?

I was told on this site to use a little aquarium salt to help stimulate his fin regrowth (they were very torn from a plant that he used to have). I will give the Prime a chance as well. I will also test the pH in the water. Thanks for the tips!
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Old 11-30-2013, 01:52 PM   #4 
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Did you slowly adjust him to the new water at your parents house or just dump him in? He might be in a bit of shock from the new water.

+1 to Hally, stop using the salt. If his fins are showing signs of regrowth then quit using it.
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Old 11-30-2013, 07:05 PM   #5 
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Salt should only be used to treat visible infection, and stopped as soon as the infection is cured. If no infection is seen, then just clean, warm water and high-quality food is the best treatment for tears and nips and for minor injuries.
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Old 11-30-2013, 09:58 PM   #6 
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All righty--the salt will be stopped.

Would this shock from the new water be causing him to not eat? He normally eats tropical medley flakes (I've tried both pellets and freeze dried blood worms and he spits them both out), but not he isn't eating anything and this has been going on since late Tuesday night. If so, what can I do to get him to eat?

I feel so terrible that I've done this to him. He has been doing so well, for a while it seemed like a daily struggle. He had been doing so well, and all our progress is lost. :(

He is my first ever fish, so I've been learning as I go, but I still make mistakes along the way. I try my hardest to do well by him though.
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Old 12-01-2013, 03:59 AM   #7 
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You certainly have the right attitude, and you are learning quickly. Remember when you first brought him home? Was he shy and skittish and didn't eat? It's like he's just been shipped to you. And, yes, in a way, it's a little like starting over.

Be calm, be patient. He'll come around. Remember, he and you are going to go through this again when you go back to school. Pay attention to him now, so you can ,make that trip easier on both of you.
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:04 AM   #8 
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When I first brought him home, it took about a day for him to eat, if I remember correctly. It has now been 5 days without him eating. He was up at the top of the tank today and I put food right above his head, but he didn't even acknowledge it.

Several other websites said that Bettas can go 2 weeks without food. Is this true? I'm just worried that he will starve to death before he gets used to his new water. His energy is perking up ever so slightly. Sometimes he will rapidly dart to the top of the tank and glup for air and then hang around there for a while.

I'm guessing these are all signs of the shock from the water? His temperature is fine but I have not checked the nitrates, ammonia, or pH of the water yet. I forgot my pH test strips at home. He survived all summer here with the water conditions so I'm guessing they aren't too terrible.

I have some water from his tank at school left in the crtter keeper I brought him home in. Would putting some of that in his tank help at all do you think? Since it is something that he is used to?
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Old 12-02-2013, 04:11 AM   #9 
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Using his old tankwater might have helped a little in the beginning of his transition. I don't think it would do any good now.

Don't worry about the pH test strips. Strips only give an approximate reading. Not much to make a decision on. Besides, there's not much you can do about pH besides...well, here's an idea. See if you can get some Rooibos tea bags (with no flavoring) at the store. This will bring his pH down a little. It'll make the water lightly tea-colored, caused by the tannins that may lower the pH. It's also good for fin issues. You might like some, yourself.

They can go weeks without food; not saying that's good for them. Do you have anything like frozen bloodworms? How about fresh garlic? Squeeze some garlic juice and soak a few pellets in it. Betta love garlic.
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:03 AM   #10 
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I have some blood worms and have tried to feed them to him multiple times, but he refuses to eat them. He will usually take a bite and spit them out. I've never tried the garlic before though.

After I left to go back to school, my parents asked if I wanted them to take some of the water out of the tank and replace it with softer water. At my house, being on well water, the kitchen tap is not softened at all, but the water in the bathroom is. I don't know the exact contents of the minerals in the water, but there might be a lot of nitrates in the unsoftened tap water, or high ammonia. I've never tested it before. I'll find out how he reacted to that later on today.

Thank you so much for all of you tips by the way. It's been very hard to isolate the problem and finding a way to fix it.
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