Sorta worried...Need some help with my fish-parenting
Ok, so, I have one Betta fish. A very pretty blue betta fish named Bruce. I recieved him as part of a secret Santa game, so it was kinda unexpected. Nonetheless, I decided that I would try my best to care for my newly adopted Betta. I've had him for about a month now, and he has been a perfect little fish, always lively and healthy. Anyway, upon re-entry into his tank after I had performed a regular cleaning, he has been acting kinda strange...
Sometimes, he will go into these "spasms" where he will swim rapidly around his tank and sorta squirm around on the bottom of his tank. This isn't an everyday thing, though. However, when I turned his light on, I realized that his filter seemed to be pumping a bit faster than it normally did (at least it seemed like it to me). I looked behind the tank to find that the air tube that led to the filter had come up from behind the dresser that the tank sits on. I put the tube back behind the dresser and the pump slowed back down because the back of the dresser pinched the tuba against the wall. Immediately, Bruce ceased his spasm and resumed swimming around normally. I am wondering if his recovery is temporary, or if I've been lulled into a false sense of security. I am really worried that he has hurt himself on the rocks when he thrashes against them. Like I previously stated, I am 15 and pretty new to the fish-thing. I have read a lot though, and thought that I've been doing a pretty good job until this occurred. I have heard that this may be ick, but he stopped when I turned his filter down. Could the heavier water flow be stressing him out? Is this a more serious illness? If so, how do I treat it? Please, I really want to give my poor fish the best life I can
Some (Possibly) useful info:
-He is in a 1.5 Gallon tank kept heated at:
-approximately 77-78 degrees by a small heater with a
-whisper-brand filter and pump
He eats :
-Betta Min Tropical Medley fish flakes by Tetra
I condition the water with Aquasafe by Tetra after EVERY cleaning/water change.
First off, if it's Ich, you will SEE white fuzzy spots on his body and/or fins. Right now you need to take a good look at him in good light and see if he has any white spots, any fuzzy spots of any color, discoloration or visible parasites. Look at his tail, see if it's frayed or shortened or the tips have turned black or white. These are all outward sighs of illnesses and parasites, and can help track down the problem.
How often do you change his water?
If he's in such a small tank, you don't really NEED a filter as long as you're changing the water often. I would say 2 100% changes a week, with 50% changes between each. And the noise might be bothering him. I would suggest, if you see no signs of illness, removing or turning off the filter for a day or two and seeing how he reacts.
You might want to get some aquarium salt and add a little to his tank, just as a preventative measure.
You probably did not condition him to the tank properly. If the water temperature or water conditions are not relatively the same every time you do a water change, the change in the water can make them go crazy )': I did that once with Shota and it scared me the first time it happened.
To avoid this, float him in a cup so that the water temperature becomes the same.
If you do anything to change the chemical composition of the water like add aquarium salt, black water extract, pH adjusters or change water conditioners, slowly add tiny bits of fresh tank water and put it in the cup (and take out a bit of the old tank water so that the cup doesn't sink) so he gets used to the water conditions at about 3-5 minute intervals.
This process takes roughly 20 minutes depending, but you will avoid those spasm fits.
Thanks so much, MollyJean and BakaMandy! I turned his filter WAAY down and am planning to take it out since it isn't needed for a small tank. He has since quit his spasms. Do I need to keep some kind if bubbles going to oxygenate the water for him? Or do Bettas need water to be constantly moving if they're in a small 1.5 G tank like mine? In any case, thanks to EVERYONE for being a giant help! It looks like I was told wrong by the fish person at Wal-Mart. I was picking some groceries up and asked him about it, and he said that I should change the tank at most once a week. Just in a day he is more calm, he's swimming and exploring his tank again, and is eating like a piranha!
Oh, forgot to say, I shed some "light" on the subject with a small flashlight and found no parasites on Bruce-Thank Jesus!
Last edited by dramaqueen; 01-25-2010 at 10:39 AM.
Well that's great, it sounds like it was just the filter. Betta like calm water, and movement or filter sounds can stress them, but it always depends on the fish. You seem to have one who doesn't like the noise or movement, but knowing that now will make it easier to care for him later! They are hearty fish, though, so don't worry about changing his water twice a week, and doing 50% changes now and then, he'll get use to that after a while. And as Baka said, float your betta in a cup before putting him in new water, so he can adapt to the temperature, and add a little bit of new water to his cup every few mins, so he can adapt to the PH, and he shouldn't have any more fits.
I'm glad he's doing well.. Now we want pictures! O.O
Thanks everyone! I noticed some red places on his fins, which some research revealed could be ammonia burns. It seems that the 2 things I need to do are not use the filter and change the water more frequently. By the By, BettaxFishxCrazy, just out of curiosity, is your 1.5 G. tank made by Tetra with overhead LED lights? It looks like we might have the same tank
I'll post some pics, but AFTER I clean my kid's tank lol
Last edited by dramaqueen; 01-25-2010 at 04:52 PM.
Alrighty! So Bruce C. Wayne is DEFINITELY feeling better thanks to you guys! I took the filter completely out and moved the heater out into the open. He seems to like swimming around the heater, which I assume is normal. Here are some pics-sorry if they're blurry-but not even my sports lens could keep up with Bruce now that he's happy and active again!