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Old 02-21-2014, 08:47 PM   #1 
ERae93
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Strange Surface Behavior

Hi Guys,

I'm a new Betta owner and my boy, Mako, a red veil betta, has had a strange change in behavior after I changed the water in his bowl on Monday this week (Feb 17 today Feb 21). A little background, Mako was given to me this past September as a birthday gift. He was always healthy and active and a voracious eater. He often constructed bubble nests even after his frequent bowl cleanings. I'm in college currently and he is in my dorm, so sometimes I may miss cleanings. But he has been fine so far. Recently, however, he has begun aggressively swimming with his mouth at the surface of the water, rapidly, around his bowl with trembling movements. I don't think he has been eating because he usually comes right to the surface when I feed him and there is a lot of food debris left over after his feedings. I try to skim them as often as I can. I don't have a filter. Any light shed on this would be great. I don't know what to do and I'm worried he's not getting better. He was sluggish for a few days, though his activity has increased. But he certainly isn't himself. Thank you for your input.
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:14 PM   #2 
dramaqueen
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Hang on. I'll see if I can get you some help.
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:24 PM   #3 
jaysee
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Did you forget to dechlorinator the water? Happens to all of us at one time or another.

Do you have a test kit?

Any time my fish act weird like that a water change is the first thing I do. I know you just did one but it can't hurt to do another. Water is always the first thing to rule out when a fish is acting weird.
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Old 02-22-2014, 04:20 AM   #4 
Aquatail
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Can you fill this out, please?

Housing
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?

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

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?
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Old 02-22-2014, 04:35 PM   #5 
ERae93
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Can you fill this out, please? (To the best of my knowledge)

Housing: simple glass bowl, plastic plant and bamboo reed (live)
What size is your tank? 1-3 gallons (?!)
What temperature is your tank? about room tempt (no heater, the cut the heat in my dorm recently so it never gets below or above the sixties)
Does your tank have a filter? No filter
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No Aeration
Is your tank heated? No
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Freeze-dried blood worms
How often do you feed your betta fish? 1 daily

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? 1 weekly
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? dechlorinater

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
No

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? It Has not
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He has spastic swimming patterns at the surface of the water with his mouth at the surface, swimming rapidly, not acknowledging if he runs into anything, followed by periods of slow swimming at the middle-bottom of tank
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 2-3 days ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I am changing his diet and will do a water change
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? I would put him at a year
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Old 02-22-2014, 05:06 PM   #6 
sainthogan
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It sounds like he's ill. Two factors are contributing to this, no heat, and not enough water changes.
Betta fish are tropical and need a minimum of 75 to be healthy. They also need lots of clean water, for a tank that size, you should be doing at least 2 water changes a week, more if they are sick.
I would take a flashlight and look for any gold or rust colored "dust" on him, especially near the gills. If you see any, this is Velvet, a parasite that lives in the water. Cold, dirty water compromises your fish's immune system, and the parasite can attach itself.
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:56 PM   #7 
ERae93
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Mako's tank has been cleaned and the water changed out. The temperature is warmer now and he's in with warm water. He's no longer swimming upright. Energy levels are fine but he's still not eating. He has a serious balance problem. Is this a swimming bladder infection?
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:46 PM   #8 
Aquatail
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I really, really recommend getting a heater for him. As for food, do you only feed him bloodworms? Bloodworms are more like treats, not an everyday food.

You said he's having trouble balancing now?
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:55 PM   #9 
ERae93
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I just got him new food designed for Bettas. Yes, his balance is very, very poor. It got increasingly worse within 24 hours.
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Old 02-24-2014, 01:03 AM   #10 
Hallyx
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I would like to know what brand of water conditioner are you using? What brand of food?

Stop feeding him until he straightens up and swims right. When is the last time he defecated? See if you can get a movement by flaring him.

Figure out a way to get his tank warmed up at least in the mid=70s, preferably higher.

Clean (conditioned), warm water and high-quality food are cornerstones of good Betta care.

Last edited by Hallyx; 02-24-2014 at 01:18 AM.
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