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Old 10-28-2010, 01:19 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Unhappy HELP!! Betta Acting weird and we don't know what to do!!!!

My boyfriend and I have had Bart for almost 2 years now. I went to change his water today (I try to do this once every week), but today when I was washing his bowl and rocks I noticed that Bart was acting funny in the container I put him, like I always do when I clean his bowl. Bart was tilting to one side of the container and had one of his fins pressed up against his body. He was basically lifeless. So I hurried up and filled his bowl back up with temperate water so he doesn't get shocked from the water change. I put him back in his bowl and he was swimming around to get air and then he just stopped and sunk like a rock to the bottom and has been there ever since. He's never done this before. He occasionally comes back up for air, using both his fins and then sinks back to the bottom and rests on his side. We don't know what to do, or what's happening to our Bart. Can anyone help us out? Thanks.

BTW: We have him in an unfiltered regular 1 gallon glass bowl, but every time I change the water I put 7 drops of Aqua Safe by Tetra conditioning treatment (makes tap water safe for fish).
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Old 10-28-2010, 02:19 PM   #2 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Northern Virginia
Right off the bat, you are unfortunately not changing the water enough. One gallon containers are so small that they really should have 100% water changes every other day. This sounds ridiculous, but fish constantly excrete ammonia through their gills as they breathe. This is sort of like the fish's means of urination. This ammonia quickly builds up and is very toxic--ammonia is often what you smell when you spray glass cleaner and other cleaning products. It's corrosive and very unpleasant. It is likely what is making your betta sick. Bettas are hardy fish compared to a lot of species on the market, but eventually all this ammonia exposure was bound to catch up to him and you are probably seeing the results of his organs being overworked and his gills being damaged for two years, and his immune system is going downhill.

Filling out this form will help us pinpoint any other possible causes for his problems and solutions for them:

For now, though, definitely get on board with doing frequent 100% water changes. If you can find it, methylene blue can be helpful to fish suffering from ammonia poisoning and it will help prevent him from catching a secondary infection while in this vulnerable state.

Last edited by Adastra; 10-28-2010 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 10-28-2010, 02:21 PM   #3 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
What is the water temp?
I would make another water change to rule out the water as the problem/cause of the behavior change-something could have fell in the tank, something on your hands or in the air...etc......
Make sure and add the dechlorinator and that the water temp within a couple of degrees from new and old water
It can be easy to forget the dechlorinator with one little distraction in our busy life........
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Old 10-28-2010, 04:02 PM   #4 
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Adastra: Thank-you very much. We had some thought that the cloudy water (which was definitely his secretions) was causing this. And now I know what that smell is, ammonia. So besides doing the water changes, is there anything else that we can do for Bart and when he gets better is there anything we can do for him to stop this from happening? ALSO, now Bart is upright instead of tilting, but he's still staying on the bottom not moving at all.

OFL: I usually change his water with cooler than luke warm water, but not cold to where Bart goes into some sort of shock. I try to keep it at the same temperature he came out of before I cleaned his bowl. And I make sure to put the Aqua Safe drops in there before I put him in there. But that's another thing, I'm not sure this stuff is really working cause his bowl seems to get sort of smokey looking instantly. I don't know if that's my imagination or what?

But thanks guys for helping me out!
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Old 10-28-2010, 04:17 PM   #5 
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What size is your tank? Gallon glass blow, that I got from Hobby Lobby.
What temperature is your tank? Between slightly chilled and luke warm.
Does your tank have a filter? No.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No. I'm not sure if tank gravel counts that I got from Pet Smart a while back?
Is your tank heated? No.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None.

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Wardley Betta Food pellets. It helps maintain clean water.
How often do you feed your betta fish? In the morning and at nite before bed.


How often do you perform a water change? Once every week.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? I clean the bowl with Dawn dish detergent and add 7 drops of Aqua Safe to the clean water.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: Haven't tested
Nitrite: Haven't tested
Nitrate: Haven't tested
pH: Haven't tested
Hardness: Haven't tested
Alkalinity: Haven't tested

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? No.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Yes. He's less playful. He just sits at the bottom of the bowl, until he needs air and then sinks back down.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Today after I changed his water in the bowl.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? We've created a blank environment with cardboard so he doesn't find things around him as other fish.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? None, we've had him for almost 2 years. He just now started acting like this.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Not sure, he's more than likely older than we've had him. We bought him from Wal-Marts and he was the only one there and in the crappiest green algae ridden container. Obviously no one took care of him.
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Old 10-28-2010, 06:59 PM   #6 
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Location: Surrey in the uk

Correct me if i am wrong, but did you say you used detergent when u clean the bowl? If so that is a big problem, u should never use soap, detergent etc anywhere near a fish or any of its stuff. That is probably why your fish is sick. I am sure somone will be along later who has more knowledge than me and may be able to give you some advice on how to help your fish.
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Old 10-28-2010, 10:24 PM   #7 
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No over-cleaning the bowl!!! I used to clean mine out with vinegar during water changes, made my fish sick! Soap is really bad too. If you must, just rinse it in really hot tap water. And you need to do a water change once every 2 days. I would try to get a heater too if I were you. It will at least make him feel better.
Good luck with your fish, hope he gets better! :)
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