Amadeus seemed fine this morning, but after I did my daily water change (about 75% of my one-gallon tank), he stopped moving. He has been either sitting on the floor or floating at the top most of the day now, he stirs every so often to take a breath, but otherwise he almost looks dead. I don't know what to do! He has been a super active fish ever since I brought him home, so this behavior is completely unlike him!
Did you make sure and keep the water temp within a couple of degrees from new and old water and did you remember to use dechlorinator...if you are on city water that is....
How is he now, any better......
I did use a water conditioner, however, I think the problem was water temp. Up until yesterday I did not have a heater in the tank, as the water stayed about 80 degrees without one. I usually prep and treat the new water one day in advance, so it sits overnight and matches the temp of the tank. Yesterday, though, I had my water tested and the pH here is through the roof, so I bought a little bottle of pH decreaser, came home, and prepped new water using a tiny amount of that (as directed by the bottle) so I can start trying to lower the pH in his tank. I did not let this water sit out as long, and since it comes out of the tap rather cold, I don't think it had reached room temp when I added it to the tank. I should have watched the thermometer more closely after I added the new water. I think his poor little system was shocked. I went out last night and bought a mini heater (Hydor) because he and I are about to go house-sit for some friends and I know they keep their house colder than my apartment, so I wanted to have the heater on hand in case it was needed. When I got home, he was still very lethargic, and I glanced at the temp, which was about 78, but I decided to try out the heater to see how well it worked, since I had ample time to sit there and carefully monitor it. I let it get up to about 82 before I unplugged it, at which time he was a little more active and swam up to greet me. This morning he seems much better, not quite as active as usual, but I think I've figured out part of the problem is that he likes to sit at the surface and the air pump (I have a UGF with a riser) is too strong so the current at the top makes it hard for him to stay up there. I think he might have just been exhausted from trying to fight that! I've turned the air pump off for now, I'll have to figure out a way to decrease the flow or something...
I don't think the issue was the temperature nearly as much as the pH decreaser. Temps can flucuate a few degrees and not affect a betta. The pH decreaser is what shocked his system. If he was fine before the pH decreaser I wouldn't worry about lowering it. However, can you clarify what you mean by 'through the roof'? Posted via Mobile Device
I agree, pH swing can be deadly, most fish adapt to your source water pH without issues and it is much safer than trying to change the pH with chemicals.
IMO-throw out the pH adjuster and stick with your source water pH it is easier on both you and the Betta especially when you need to make frequent water changes due to tank size
The pH was as high as the test measured (8.0). The reason I added it is that his fins have been looking more and more ragged, and it was suggested that I have the water tested. That was the only reading that was off, everything else was normal, so I thought it was the high pH that was contributing to his fin problems. However, even with the reducer, it's still measuring at an 8.0 today, so I guess it didn't make a difference anyway. He's completely fine now and swimming around like usual.
Ok, after doing a lot more research, it seems like reputable sources agree that allowing him to adjust to the pH is safer than adding the chemicals. I have returned the pH reducer to Petsmart and from now on will just be adding the water conditioner. I'm very glad to have this forum to help out with these kinds of things!
He has been perfectly fine since then and hasn't had any similar problems with the most recent water changes.
Amadeus and I thank you all profusely for drawing my attention to the danger of pH chemicals and probably saving his life in process!