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Old 12-01-2009, 10:15 PM   #1 
embosu
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Whats wrong w/ my betta?

My betta has been acting strange for about 2-3 weeks. He cannot swim to the bottom of the bowl, and randomly swims quickly and wrecklessly around . His appetite is normal, there is no signs of bloating or swelling, and he is not constipated. I have been keeping his bowl water temp. around 75 degrees (F) for the past 3 days in an attempt to improve the situation, but it doesnt seem to have helped at all. Any ideas what is wrong with my betta? What should i try next?
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Old 12-02-2009, 11:21 AM   #2 
kelly528
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Size of bowl?
How often do you clean it and how much water do you replace?
Any previous health problems?
What do you feed him?


Sounds like Swim Bladder Disorder compounded by ammonia poisoning. Bowls (assuming it's a 1 gallon) must be cleaned every 2-3 days to keep toxins like ammonia at safe levels. Prolonged exposure to ammonia and nitrite will cause nervous damage and erratic swiming.

Low temperature = low metabolism = slow digestion. Which contributes to constipation (it could be slight and chronic) which contributes to SBD. Or the SBD could be bacterial.

Keep the temperature up ( you may have to buy a bigger tank so that you can fit a heater), keep it really clean and add some aqiaruim salt for starters. Don't buy him any bettafix, bettarevive, melafix etc.
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Old 12-02-2009, 02:34 PM   #3 
embosu
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Size of bowl? about 1/2 gallon--its pretty small

How often do you clean it and how much water do you replace? I clean the bowl about once a week, and I replace all the water, except the small amount kept for holding the fish during cleaning

Any previous health problems? not that i know of, I have only had the betta for a few months

What do you feed him? 3-4 pellets of "Wardley betta food" daily
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Old 12-02-2009, 02:47 PM   #4 
kelly528
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Say hello to your new best friend: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/b...are-faq-20058/

Basically, he is on his way out as per the reasons stated above. The only fix for this is to swing by petco and pick up a bigger tank. 2.5g will be sufficient but I strongly, strongly strongly recommend spending a few extra bucks for a 5g if you are a novice fishkeeper, lazy, or both.

Although it is easy to be fooled into thinking so, smaller tanks do not = easier. In fact, many experienced fishkeepers enjoy taking on a small tank when they want a challenge! In a larger volume of water all the bad stuff is diluted so you don't have to change the water as much. Furthermore, temperature and pH changes happen a lot more gradually in larger volumes of water.

The All-Glass Mini-Bow 5 is an awesome tank--- I'm suspicious that it was actually designed for bettas lol!

Good luck and welcome to the forum!
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Old 12-02-2009, 02:50 PM   #5 
embosu
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Thanks so much for the suggestions!

I'm a poor college student, so a brand new tank really isn't in my financial future right now--the small fish bowl was a left over from previous pet gold fish about 10 years ago, and it was all I had to work with at the time.
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Old 12-02-2009, 03:24 PM   #6 
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Dude, I had my betta in dorm last year and trust me lol... far easier to maintain a 5g tank once a week than a .5g tank twice a day.

I strongly suggest you prowl craigslist... so many noobs who put a goldfish in a 5g, get frustrated when it dies in a week and sell all the equipment off on CL for a fraction of the price. Happens every day.

If taken care of well, your betta could easily be with you for all 4 years of college... sometimes the live up to 7! But I honestly would not count on your betta being around for much longer in that .5g... the ammonia produced by his waste is in such a high concentration. You may recognize ammonia as a cleaning agent, so obviously your fish cannot survive for too long in this stuff!

Here is a minibow 5 on petco.com for $45 with free shipping... that's like two tanks of gas or two 24 packs of beer! Or the cost of eating out 5 times. Or a new shirt.

The minibow 2.5 is also on sale, but you can get twice the tank for ten bucks more so the 5g is more worth the money. IMO a decent aquarium is well worth the money... when your fish actually has sufficient swimming space they are really relaxing to watch and it's really fun to slowly add decorations to the tank and get it looking really good.

I started with a betta in a 1g dorm room bowl and it has evolved into a really fun, educational, relaxing hobby for me.
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Old 01-05-2010, 03:35 PM   #7 
embosu
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Talking

I just wanted to update you guys on my previously sick betta...

He had been floating at the top, struggling to swim below the surface, and he would sporadically dart around the tank. I was feeding him Wardley betta food pellets, his tank was room temperature (upper 60s farenheit), and the 1/2 gal tank was cleaned weekly.

He has since returned to his healthy self after getting a 2-5 gal heater (one of the flat, black heating pads for in tanks), switching to flake food, and using aquarium salt in the treated water during tank cleanings. After 3 days of the new routine, he did not display any of the previous symptoms.
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Old 01-05-2010, 03:39 PM   #8 
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A 2.5 gallon critter keeper will work as well. I have 4 of mine in them with heaters and I haven't had any problems with them.
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Old 01-05-2010, 03:59 PM   #9 
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I hope you are not using the mini heater in that half gallon. You could easily fry your betta doing that.

I would definitely go with a 2 gallon or larger kritter keeper. They are cheap (around $10) and work great. You can use the heater in it as well. Plus, you can reduce how often you clean it, 100% a week.
I hope that helps!
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Old 01-06-2010, 01:16 AM   #10 
MollyJean
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If you're really on a budget, and you don't have a cat to worry about, Check the local thrift stores. Salvation Army type places. Sometimes you can find large glass bowls or vases. Even tanks. Right now, anything larger then what you have would be better. Or.. you need to start cleaning your bowl every single day.

I'm glad he's doing better, though. Keep him alive long enough to save up for that new fishy home!
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