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Old 10-02-2010, 11:25 PM   #1 
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What's going on? How much rest does a betta need?


What size is your tank? 1 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 78
Does your tank have a filter? yes. Without baffle.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Tropical Food. Switching to Betta flakes tomorrow.
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day, fast on Monday


How often do you perform a water change? 1 a week... will be twice a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? about 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? None

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? No
If so, what are the following parameters?


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Maybe. In this photo, there is white around his pectorals I've not noticed before.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He is less active and lying down more/ leaning against his heater, lying on is gravel, or leaning on his filter. Right now he is on the gravel. He just "scooted" across the floor and swam up, though he returned to the floor. He seems a bit pale.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Today
Have you started treating your fish? No.
If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No. He has been very active and eating readily until today. He did eat this morning.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I bought him last Saturday.

He seems healthy to my untrained eye. His fins are flared and nothing seems too out of the ordinary except he is resting much more often and for longer periods. I just came back and saw him lying down like this. I put my finger to the glass and got only a slight reaction. He did not move. His pectorals are usually twirling rapidly and they were not moving at all. He has been swimming a bit as I have written this, but still rests frequently. Just yesterday he was blowing bubbles and hopping. I did change his water last night with the exact same spring water I used before. It was a 100% change. I also brought home a compromised betta yesterday, but they have not come into contact and have not been in the same room. I did, however, use Horatio's net to get the other betta into his vase and then used that net (after rinsing) to clean up after Horatio's meal. (I wasn't thinking). He is swimming normally again, but I'd rather be safe than sorry with my dear Horatio. How often do these fish "rest"? Perhaps he is just more relaxed after being here a week? I overfed him? I'm crazy?

Thank you so much for you time and help! This little guy means a lot to me.
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Old 10-03-2010, 03:02 PM   #2 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Northern Virginia
He definitely looks bloated, probably due to overfeeding. Try to get a quality betta pellet instead of flakes--flakes are very airy and often don't have a lot of valuable nutrition. They are also easy to overfeed with. I recommend OmegaOne Betta Buffet Pellets, Atison's Betta Pellets, Ken's Betta Crumbles, and New Life Spectrum. Just like other pet foods, not all fish foods are created equal--you want a pellet that has whole meat as the first ingredient such as whole salmon, krill, halibut, squid, shrimp, etc. Make sure you take a peek at the ingredients before you buy. You should pre-soak any dry food you give to your betta in a little tank water until it is saturated. If you think about it, fish weren't designed to eat dry, bready air-filled foods--so it's comparable to us eating uncooked rice. The pellet/flake expands in the stomach as it takes on moisture, causing bloating and discomfort. For the moment, do not feed him until you see his bloating go down, or until you see him poop. Try to make note of how the poop looks--abnormal poop can be a symptom of internal parasites.

I really suggest you ditch the bottled spring water--it can be very inconsistent and it will become expensive very quickly. The best thing for your fish is the water from your own tap plus a dechlorinating product like Seachem Prime (my personal favorite) or Amquel+. Your tap water has minerals in it which help buffer pH (keep it from fluctuating) and promote your fish's well-being. The fact that your tap water is temperature adjustable makes it a lot easier to match the temperature of your heated fish tank so your fish doesn't suffer from temperature shock during water changes. Using tap water and a dechlorinator like Prime (which is concentrated, so you get the most product for your money and the bottle lasts longer than other brands) will be much easier and much more economical than bottled water.

In a one gallon tank, I typically recommend doing 100% water changes every other day. Please understand that fish constantly excrete a toxic substance called ammonia through their gills--it's kind of like their form of urine. This ammonia quickly builds up and can cause serious health problems or death. In nature, ammonia is converted into less harmful substances by specialized bacteria, it is consumed by plants, and diluted across much larger bodies of water. Since none of these components are at work in your tank, you have to compensate for this with frequent 100% water changes.

In the future, I suggest you upgrade to a larger tank--I usually recommend at least 2 gallons since that is what most quality heaters are designed for. Keep in mind that your fish may be with you for the next 5-7 years if you treat him right, so how you choose to house him will make a significant impact on your daily lifestyle for a long time to come. In a larger, filtered tank, maintenance is much less imposing on your schedule--the prospect of weekly partial changes instead of frequent 100% changes convinces many betta keepers to invest just a little more into a larger, filtered betta tank. :)

Last edited by Adastra; 10-03-2010 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 10-03-2010, 04:51 PM   #3 
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Thank you! As a zoology student, I approve of your explanation! :) I'm definitely pushing for 7 years! I'll accept your recommendations for food and water (the Spring water is already adding up even though I buy it at the dollar store!). I'm saving up for a bigger tank that isn't crap (from walmart). Thank you for helping me improve his life!
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