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Old 06-08-2010, 05:11 PM   #1 
gch9958
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Question America is acting strange & not eating or swimming

I have had America for a about week now and he has recently started acting strange. He used to be eager to eat but now all he does is lay on top of his plastic plant right at the surface of the water. I have not seen him eat for about 2 or 3 days. He will not eat even if I put the food right above his mouth while he is laying on the plant. I keep thinking he is dead because he makes no movement when I come close to him and when I gently thump the side of his tank to see if he is alive he sometimes swims spastically around the tank like he is having a seizure and other times he just opens his mouth and blows a bubble or moves only a tiny bit. He is in a 1/2 gallon tank and I have done a 1/2 water change since he started acting sick. I have attached a picture of him laying on the plant from above and from the side and one of him before he started acting strange.

Is America sick? What can I do to help him? He used to have a good personality. I fell in love with him when I saw him at PetSmart the day before Memorial Day because he is red, white, & blue like the American flag (hence his name) & I am a strong supporter of the troops. I do not want to lose him when I have only had him such a short time. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:33 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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Sorry you are having problems...
How much and how often are your water changes, what if any additives are you using and what is the water temp, any filtration?

IMO-in a half gallon tank without filtration they need at least 50-100% water changes every-day to every-other day, any uneaten food needs to be removed after feeding, water temp maintained in the 78-80F range.
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:44 PM   #3 
gch9958
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I have only had him for a week and I did a 50% water change using bottled water 2 days ago. I am not using any additives and there is no filtration. I cannot find a thermometer to measure the water temperature at this time. There is a small amount of uneaten food at the bottom of the tank where I tried to feed him but he would not eat.
I previously had a betta in the same tank and he thrived with few water changes.
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Old 06-08-2010, 06:22 PM   #4 
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Bottled water is not regulated and often it can be filtered water from a tap that contains chlorine and chloramine, it is best to use dechlorinaor to be safe.
Also, due to the filtration process of bottled water it is often missing the needed minerals the fish needs for good health.
Can you not use your tap water for some reason, you can use a 50/50 mix along with a dechlorinator.
Ammonia can build up pretty fast in a half gallon bowl especially with uneaten food left in it.
IMO/E-for a healthy thriving fish a half gallon needs frequent large water changes to prevent health issues.
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Old 06-08-2010, 07:22 PM   #5 
gch9958
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I usually use our well water instead of our tap water because it is city water and has lots of chlorine in it. I have never used dechlorinator in any of the tanks I have had because I always used well water and the fish have always been fine. I didn't have any well water at the time I changed the water because I did it in a hurry hoping it would help America feel better. Would a complete water change using well water make America any better? Do you think the water is the problem?
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Old 06-08-2010, 08:27 PM   #6 
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Well water, tap water, and bottled water can have wildly-varying pHs, among other things. I'd pick the well water, since it won't need to be treated, and stick with it. He should have more water changes, as oldfishlady said. Don't leave uneaten food to rot, or it'll foul the water even more. Make sure the water temperature is in the high 70sF. You can get a Tetra 50W heater that's tiny and cheap probably at Walmart or other similar stores, Petco, etc.

Try soaking his food in some garlic juice. That might tempt him to eat something. You can also add a few drops of juice to his tank as a general tonic. And..you might try a salt treatment? Search on this site for circumstances/instructions on how to do that.

Clean water, stable water parameters, warmth, good food, hiding places are the first things to make sure your fish is healthy, IMO.
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Old 06-09-2010, 10:02 AM   #7 
Oldfishlady
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If you have well water you don't need any additives IMO, I have well water and don't need dechloranator, but with bottled water you do.
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Old 06-09-2010, 10:20 AM   #8 
gch9958
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I lost him sometime during the night. I just wish I knew what happened to him. He was a good friend when he was himself.
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Old 06-09-2010, 10:26 AM   #9 
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Sorry for your loss....
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Old 06-09-2010, 04:05 PM   #10 
mfskarphedin
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I'm sorry... :(
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