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Old 06-20-2010, 11:25 AM   #1 
Plummedy
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Is my Betta ill?

I purchased my first Betta (and first fish, ever) yesterday, before doing any research, and think he may be sick after reading more about them. I attached some pictures to illustrate what I'm talking about -- he's very pale in the body, the back of his tail/fin is tattered, and has these dark stripes on one side. He's eating fine and swimming around, so perhaps it's nothing.

I bought him at PetSmart where they have dozens stacked in little tiny tubs swimming in their own junk.

NOTE: Ignore the tank, after doing some reading I went and bought a 5 gallon with a filter, heater, things to put in it.






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Old 06-20-2010, 01:49 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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If he is acting fine and eating, I would keep the water really clean with daily 50% water changes for a week and then 3 times a week thereafter to maintain quality water for fish and fin health in a filtered 5g.
If the fins start to look worse after a few days or he has a change in behavior or stops eating, you can do a natural treatment with aquarium salt 1tsp/gal along with 100% daily water changes for 10 days, but I would wait and watch him for awhile, the nice new environment with clean water and his own immunity will kick in.

And welcome to the wonderful world of Betta keeping, you picked out a beautiful one.....
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Old 06-21-2010, 02:35 PM   #3 
Plummedy
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Okay thanks, I'll work on it! He is looking more colorful already and looks happier.

Another question --

I purchased a filter for 5-10 gallon tanks, but it was very large and took up a ton of room in the tank and created a pretty significant current that my Betta didn't seem to like. So I went and got another that took up less space inside, but creates an even bigger current that he really doesn't seem to enjoy! He swims around most when the water is still.

Do I really need to run the filter 24/7? If I run it for maybe an hour a day, should that be enough to clean the tank?
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Old 06-21-2010, 02:55 PM   #4 
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no it needs to be on 24/7
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Old 06-21-2010, 02:55 PM   #5 
Plummedy
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Do you have a reason or suggestion?
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Old 06-21-2010, 02:58 PM   #6 
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no umm i would pick the one that doesnt make a huge current
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Old 06-21-2010, 03:30 PM   #7 
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The filter needs to be on all the time. A filter doesn't 'clean' a fish tank. When you start the filter, a bacteria starts to grow in it that converts fish waste to ammonia. Growing those bacteria is what we call cycling. If you turn the filter off for longer then 10 hours the bacteria will die and when you turn it back on you'll be dumping ammonia into your tank. Ammonia is deadly to fish. What the bacteria in the filter does is convert ammonia (fish poo and pee) into nitrite and then nitrate. Nitrate isn't as harmful in small concentrations but if you let it build up it can harm your fish too. That's why you have to do weekly water changes even with a filter in your tank. You have to dilute the nitrates and fresh water just makes a fish feel all happy. Mine do a dance as I'm dumping the new water in. :)

You can make a baffle for your filter using half a plastic water bottle. Do a search on our forum for Filter Baffle. It will lessen the flow of water for your fishy and still allow you to use a filter.

Oldfishlady's recommendations for water changes are what you should do. He IS pretty! Good luck! :D
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:34 AM   #8 
Plummedy
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Ah okay I see. I made my own baffle and it worked great, thanks!
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:06 PM   #9 
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Good to hear you're trying to do the best you can for your new friend. You should research the nitrogen cycle--that is, the colonization of a filtered tank by special bacteria that convert ammonia into nitrite, and then nitrate. It will make your life a lot easier once the tank has undergone this process.

I highly suggest temporarily removing your fish to another container, such as a sterilite or rubbermaid bin (they are cheap and safe to heat, and make excellent hospital containers if your fish should become ill), and doing a fishless cycle. Cycling the tank without your fish in it is safer for the fish and will yield a much more stable bacterial colony.

I only wish other people were as devoted to caring for their bettas as you are--best of luck, and keep learning about your betta. :)
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:47 PM   #10 
Oldfishlady
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adastra View Post
I highly suggest temporarily removing your fish to another container, such as a sterilite or rubbermaid bin (they are cheap and safe to heat, and make excellent hospital containers if your fish should become ill), and doing a fishless cycle. Cycling the tank without your fish in it is safer for the fish and will yield a much more stable bacterial colony. . :)
The fish will still create ammonia and will need water changes regardless of what you put them in and the cycling process be it fish-in or fishless will only maintain to the bioload and the excess will die off.
Cycling with the fish can be safe as long as you are dedicated to the needed water changes and since you already have the fish IMO/E I would keep it in its current tank during cycling if you are willing and able to make the needed water changes and keep the ammonia level 0.25ppm and less.
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