My betta, Arrunus, has been acting this way for a few months now, and I was wondering what is wrong and how to fix it. He lays on his side when he is not moving, and when he swims, he usually stays on the bottom. He hides for hours on end, and we hardly ever see him come up for air. I know he does, since he is still alive, but he is really starting to worry me! He has a hard time coming to the surface to get air. I have a filter in there, and he is not staying close to the filter. I have him in a 1 1/2 gallon tank, and he is the only fish in the tank.
Honestly, this is my third betta, the other two I had were when I was little, and I did not know to do any research then. I did not know to do any research this time either. I have pretty much been doing what the pet store tells me I should do, so any tips would be helpful.
There was one guy who told me, because we found out that we did not need the filter in the tank, that he had gotten used to the oxygen level in the tank how it was, and that we should put it back in. That made him a little better for a while, but then it was almost like he got worse than better!
Sorry you are having problems...need a few questions answered so we can help you...
How much and how often are the water changes and when was the last one, what kind if any additives are you using..like salt, dechlorinator etc.....Do you have any water pram numbers for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH and water temp....
Honestly, I did not know that I was even supposed to check that stuff--nitrite, nitrate, ammonia, pH and water temperature for bettas. At least, the pet store people did not tell me that it was necessary. So no, I don't on that last. I have never used any additives in the water. I never thought I needed one. I was using distilled water since I got him, and I just found out that distilled water is probably the worst kind to use. I just cleaned out his bowl yesterday and replaced the distilled water with spring water, which I was told was better for them. Usually, when I changed the water, I changed two-thirds of it and kept one-third of the old water so I would not ruin the environment. I found out from this site that that was not really right either! It seems like everything that I was told about them was not even true! Plus, I was told that you only need to change the water every three weeks at first, and then later I was told that we should have been changing it every two weeks, so that is what I switched to. Now that I have come to this site, that is completely wrong also!
Could you help?
Also, we did some research and came to the conclusion that he has a bloated swim bladder. We gave him part of a cooked pea without the skin a few days ago, and he actually came out from under his hiding place yesterday, and not to just come up for air! He stayed out for a while, but he did not swim around at all. He did sit out on the bottom and he was not lopsided or anything.
I am really worried, because sometimes I have looked in on him, and he looks dead, and then he moves, which is a big relief.
A 1.5 gallon tank needs to be changed 100% twice a week. I don't think you need to test the water for all that stuff unless you have a cycled tank. My fish are all in tanks ranging from 1 to 2.5 gallons and the only thing I test for is ammonia. Also, tap water is perfectly fine to use as long as it has water conditioner in it.
So true you don't need to have all those costly test with just one fish and especially if you clean frequently enough or don't use filtration on the tank...sorry..
Anyway...get a good dechlorinator and use your tap...even the spring water can have chlorine in it...no regulation on bottled water so it can be from someones tab too........Increase your water changes...fresh clean dechlorinated water is a wonderful medication for fish..IMO/E
You will find lots of different opinions on Betta care and most of them are correct...you have to find the one that works best for you, your fish and your source water....
Thank you all very much. I intend to start doing research and testing the water. I feel pretty stupid for not doing that before!
Well, actually, I have two betta fish. Each is in a 1.5 to 2 gallon tank. One tank does not have an air rock in it, and the other one--Arrunus's--does. Aldibale does not have any of these problems, and I have been feeding and caring for him the same way that I have been for Arrunus. Could this happen for him too? I want to prevent that, if I can.
Thanks for all your help. And that's okay Oldfishlady. You don't live at my house, there is no way that you could have known all of the details without me telling you, or with pictures. I'm just glad that it was something simple and that I could help him get better. I have not seen very much improvement yet, but I am hoping.
By the way, how many times a day should I feed them? I have gotten different opinions about this, but I just wanted to know from knowledgeable people, which you guys are! :)
For adult Bettas I feed mine once a day 6 days a week with one day of fast or no food. I make my own food and feed lots of live foods but I also have over 100 bettas and it is easier for me and don't buy any of the betta foods, however, most of them are a really good staple diet and you can add in some treats for them like bloodworms 1-2 times a week and mosquito larva, guppy fry are really enjoyed by Betta.
Sometimes what you are seeing in your fish can be age related and not much you can do but keep them comfy. Anytime I see a change in behavior I make a 50% water change.....
On my 3g-2g tanks I make twice weekly 50% water changes and I don't use any filtration in my smaller tanks, in my 1g and less I make daily 100% water changes...I also keep lots of plants in with my betta to help water quality between water changes, I am a naturalist so I don't use any chemicals and I have well water so I don't even need dechlorinator so that makes my water changes easier...lol.......
If you do decide to get the water testing supplies get the API master kit that test for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH...it is cheaper in the long run and last for a long time and fairly accurate for a hobbyist test product. If you plan on being in this hobby for along time they are worth it and you can learn so much.......