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Old 12-22-2009, 03:10 PM   #1 
allsunday
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Not even my betta!

My roommate took off to go home for Christmas and asked me to look after her betta, which she brought up to the living room before leaving. The bowl was practically covered with algae! I took it upon myself to change the water and do a thorough cleaning.

I noticed right off that the fish was very easy to catch and put into the bowl of water I'd set aside, which I thought was very unusual. Shouldn't he be darting about, trying to escape the net? I thought maybe once I'd finished cleaning his tank, he'd be happier and more lively.

Anyway, I must have cleaned, rinsed, and drained the gravel about five times before the water ran clear and not green, I thoroughly cleaned all the fake plants (they were covered in green, green, green), made sure to put some of the old water in the new bowl and cleansed the whole thing of chlorine. I even did a water test to make sure the ph levels and such were normal (they were), and then gave the fish plenty of time floating in his plastic bag to acclimate to the new water.

That was yesterday, and he didn't eat any of the pellets I gave him last night, or any of the pellets I gave him this morning. He just sits there, floating near the top of his bowl, and he has to be compelled to swim. When he does, it looks as if it takes a lot of effort.

I see no visible signs of any disease...he looks pretty normal, though his color isn't as vibrant as it should be. Could the high algae concentration have made him sick? What should I do? I don't want the poor fish to die because of my airhead roommate's neglect!
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Old 12-22-2009, 03:30 PM   #2 
dramaqueen
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Hello and welcome to the forum. I'm glad you took it upon yourself to take care of your roommate's betta. I had something similar happen to me a few years ago. I rescued a betta in the same shape your roommate's is in several years ago. It took a few days before he would eat regularly. I felt that the one I irescued was depressed from the horrible conditions he was kept in. I changed his water completely and added some Bettafix to the water. Mine had also been exposed to cold and he had been knocked to the floor by my cousin's cat. Her 9 year old daughter was the owner of the fish and she refused to take care of it. People should not have pets unless they are willing to take care of them. I think the best you can do is keep the water very clean and keep him warm. Good luck with him and keep us posted on how he's doing.

Last edited by dramaqueen; 12-22-2009 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 12-22-2009, 04:16 PM   #3 
allsunday
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Thanks for the welcome! I really wish my roommate wouldn't keep pets at all, but there's not much I can do about it. I hope the fish is just depressed and will perk up soon.

I noticed that he doesn't have a filter or a heater in his bowl, though. It's a big glass bowl (I'm guessing 2.5 gallons) and it's getting some sunlight at the moment, but that will only last so long. I know there's a spare filter in the "fish care" bin (I don't know if it works), but no heater. I suppose I should test the filter and put it in, but without a heater should I...I don't know, put a space heater nearby to heat the air around the bowl? I have no idea what I'm doing in that regard.
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Old 12-22-2009, 04:55 PM   #4 
dramaqueen
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You don't really need a filter. A heater would be more important IMO.
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Old 12-22-2009, 06:28 PM   #5 
AngelicScars
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I agree with drama, the filter isn't necessary. The heater is important though. If the bowl is 2.5 gallons then a hydor mini heater should work fine. They are about $10-$12.

Good luck!
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:11 PM   #6 
kelly528
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Okay heating the bowl is going to be interesting because

a) You probably don't want to run out and buy a heater for a fish that isn't yours
b) You don't want to cook the poor guy with a space heater!

Is there a thermometer in the fish care bin? You can experiment with the space heater to make sure it is not sending the water temperature over 84. But the kicker is that in order for this to work you have to have the heater on 24/7 which may not be feasible. I would just see what the water temp is and go from there.
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Old 12-24-2009, 12:38 PM   #7 
BakaMandy
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:) Thank you for saving that little guy!

I can think of a few possible reason he might be not be feeling so awesome. It could be that he's just adjusting to the new water conditions because he suddenly went from a very dirty bowl to a very clean one. Even though the clean bowl is better for him, the chemical and temperatures changes in the water are different.

Fish are generally pretty sensitive to changes in the water and when the change in the water is drastic, it's usually recommended to slowly ease them into their new environment. Usually people will put them in a clear plastic up and float them in their tank so that the water temperature can become the same. It's also a good idea to take small amounts of new water and add it to the cup and take out the old water at 5 minute intervals to slowly get them used to their new water.

If possible, you should invest into some aquarium salt and dissolve a tiny bit in a cup (I'd say maybe... 1/4tsp?) of the fish's tank water and then slowly add it to the water. Not only will this salt help protect your fish from diseases, it will help promote better gill function (it's good for fish that have been in poor water conditions) and stimulate the natural production of his slime coat, which will help him relax.

I find an easy way to heat a small tank is to cover the top with plastic wrap and poke a few holes in it to let fresh air through. Next, just place a small desk lamp (that produces heat when it's on) overtop and the light will heat the water up a bit. The plastic wrap will help contain the heat and water so it doesn't just evaporate.

It is a good idea to invest in a thermometer just to keep an eye on the temperature. If the water gets too hot, then just take the lamp away or move it to the side so the light isn't as direct.

Last edited by BakaMandy; 12-24-2009 at 12:42 PM.
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