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Old 10-02-2010, 08:27 PM   #1 
Rolling21
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Betta floats tail down facing surface

Hi all, I have had my Betta just over 2 days and have started noticing some problems.

I have a decent sized tank, it's not small at all, and it is kept at 27 degrees Celsius.

I have been feeding it 3-4 Betta food pellets twice a day and I am yet to do any water changes but I added a small amount of water conditioner initially.

The fish was highly active, and still looks the same but this morning I noticed he stays perfectly verticle with his mouth at the surface, then floats straight down and hits the bottom. Occasionally he has a swim around but this is mostly just repeated. It seems he just can't keep his tail horizontal or keep at the surface

Any help would be much appreciated!
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Old 10-02-2010, 08:54 PM   #2 
jeanclaudeasher
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I have only had one betta that has had a similar if not identical problem. He got himself stuck to the filter intake (a problem that I quickly fixed) and a few hours later he was swimming vertical 95% of the time. Other than the swimming issues he looked and ate normally, I placed him into the small betta cup that I purchased him in for a few weeks and tried him again in the larger tank and he was back to normal. My local petstore said that he probably had some internal bruising or injuries from being stuck to the filter.

Another problem that your betta could have could possibly be swim bladder disease although I believe that fish typically float on their side if they have this problem. It might also possibly be due to stress.

Hope this helps, just a few things that came to mind
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Old 10-02-2010, 09:01 PM   #3 
Rolling21
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Thanks for the quick reply!

He can swim normally in quick bursts, but then goes up vertically and falls down again, sometimes he doesn't make it to the surface. I guess it could be from a physical injury, but there aren't many things in the tank. I'm not sure how he can be stressed either though, seemed very happy yesterday.

I did add some large shiny rocks into the tank yesterday, they were pond/garden decoration rocks. I made sure I thoroughly washed them. I'm really not sure what else it could be. I have had my hand in the tank a couple of times and used a sponge to clean the side once.
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Old 10-02-2010, 09:33 PM   #4 
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I have looked more closely and it seems the fish's elaborate colours in it's tail have faded a bit in only one day, could it possibly be fin rot?
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Old 10-02-2010, 10:44 PM   #5 
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Fading of colors is one of the signs of stress, you said that you have only had him for a couple of days and it could take a few more before he is really comfortable in his new home. On the off chance that it is stress related you could keep the room relatively dark or cover the aquarium with a towel. This helps relief stress. How many gallons does your aquarium hold?
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Old 10-02-2010, 10:51 PM   #6 
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Well, he's dead. I can't believe it.

He swam up and on one of his falls fell awkwardly into the plant and got stuck. When I got him out he was gone.

I'm not sure how many gallons it holds, but it's about 30cm long and 20cm high. I'm a bit shocked and sad, I wish I knew what I had done wrong.

It was all new equipment, tank, pebbles, plant, heater. Maybe something wasn't cleaned properly.

Anyway, thanks for your help, jeanclaudeasher. I think i'm just going to put some plants, bubbles and a light in my tank now and enjoy that. I don't want to go through losing a fish again.
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Old 10-02-2010, 10:59 PM   #7 
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Fish that have fin rot typically will show redness and inflammation around the edges of the fins. The fins will also be torn, with ragged edges that usually disintegrate over time.
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Old 10-02-2010, 11:01 PM   #8 
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I am so very sorry to hear that you lost him =(
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Old 10-03-2010, 06:25 PM   #9 
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If you only had him for two or three days, it's possible that he may have been doomed before you even got him. ): Sometimes it just happens. The only thing I can really see is that 3-4 pellets once a day would be better if in the future you get another fish, but that's no reason for the change in behavior like that.. I don't think it was something that you personally did.
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Old 12-05-2010, 01:29 AM   #10 
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Well, it seems I have this same problem with mine. I'm pretty sure it happened when I was transferring him from his regular tank to the temporary one while I cleaned his. He doesn't like the little net and squirms and wiggles and jumps and I'm afraid I squished him against the tank side instead of forming the barrier and trap that I intended. Well, he doesn't do that now. He can't. I can pretty much see where the injury is. It's like a broken back. He can't fan his tail OR move that end at all. He is mainly dragging in by using the upper half of his body and his front fins to manuever which is why it is so hard to get to the surface. I put a plant and a beta hammock that he can rest on and stay at the surface all the time. He can only swim in one direction, which corresponds to the bend in his back. I thought I was going to lose him. I kept changing his water, he also seems to like the water temp best at 82 degrees, so I tried to keep it constant except at night when we slept it maybe went down a degree or two. The first day, I kept physically scooping him to the top to breathe until he wasn't just laying on his side anymore. He still lays on his side, but his color is a lot better. I put stresszyme and stress coat in the tank THEN I just kept talking to him. He'd stare at me and I'd stare at him. It's been 3 months now so I guess he's going to be that way.
NOW, here's my question.... IF it had been worse, and truthfully - I don't know that he's not in pain except his color doesn't seem to indicate stress - but IF it had been worse and he looked miserable and off color or even bleeding === how in the heck to you humanely euthanize a fish!?
ANYWAY, if I understand correctly, they only live a few years and he's about two and a half now. I just don't want him to be miserable, but so far his color is good, he seems ok to sit on top of the plant or beta hammock and sometimes he gets inside his decoration barrels and hides, he even makes some bubble nests, but not many because he can't make the bubbles big enough or make enough without exhausting himself. Mainly he sits in the plant and tries to spit bubbles to the side of the tank. When I come up he gets to the front of the tank and we sit and stare at each other and I talk to him. His eyes move around a lot, but I can see him looking at me, which initially creeped me out. Guppies don't acknowledge you.
So... any answers to humanely euthanizing a fish?
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