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Old 10-06-2010, 11:49 AM   #1 
BettaHector
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What Happened to My Betta?

Hi All,

I brought a beautiful betta (orange) home from a wedding 2-1/2 months ago and he made me a betta fan. He's (Hector) been doing fabulously -- until now. He's been really active, eats every time i feed him and seemed very happy: without a heater (I'm in CA) and in the gallon vase i got at the wedding (can't believe they give fish at weddings!).

With the cooler weather pending, i bought a heater and a plastic plant, cleaned the vase (yes, i hadn't before (!) but he was fine and the water remained clear so the aquarium owner said not to worry) and put him back in at 71 degrees to not shock him (the top is too small to float him so the aquarium owner said to do it this way). Hector is NOT happy; he's not active, just sits at the bottom or floats at the top. He seemed to be doing better yesterday and ate 2 pellets last nite -- but that didn't seem to agree with him as he then sat on the bottom again. And today's the same. i haven't wanted to change anything (increase heat) because he was doing so well in room temp. Nothing has changed but the new water, heater and plant: what do i do to save Hector?! I've read the Betta Care which says ~76 degrees but also read elsewhere that 71-72 is best; confused and concerned!

Thanks!
Hector's Mom
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Old 10-06-2010, 12:02 PM   #2 
BettaHector
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BTW, i did treat the water with PRIME. Aquarium owner says he's in shock and just to wait, but he didn't go into shock when i kept him in a bowl at room temp while getting his "new home" ready. Just don't want to do anything else that might make him worse.
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Old 10-06-2010, 12:08 PM   #3 
cballas
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Hello!

He def needs warmer water to thrive & swim like a champ, plus eat better.
If you can get him a 2.5 or 5 gallon Critter Keeper (about $8-$10 @ Walmart), the heater, depending what type, is safe for use in it, and it will require less water changes.
You'll need a tap water conditioner to remove toxins in the water, about $5 & @ petco/petsmart.
He'll adapt back to the warmer water, and appreciate it. :)
Also, soak the pellets in tank water for a few minutes before feeding to reduce "upset fish tummy".
I have a 3 gallon tank, and change a gallon every week...but it also has a filter.
Bigger tanks mean less changes & more stable temps.

Good luck :)
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Old 10-06-2010, 12:24 PM   #4 
vaygirl
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I imagine the shock was from cleaning the vase, not the heater. He was kept in the same dirty water for months and then dropped him into new clean water without any kind of adaptation. Water may LOOK clean to us but fish constantly excrete ammonia from their gills. Think of it as the fish version of urine. They also defecate in the water. This makes more ammonia. You can't see it but it's there.

Bettas are strong, strong fish (in general). They can survive living in their own waste for a while but it takes a toll on them. Add in the abrupt change of completely different water and he's probably shocked.

I agree with cballas, a Critter Keeper is a much better home and they're CHEAP. The bigger the better because the smaller they are, the more you should be doing water changes (less then a gallon: every day the water needs to be changed). And that can be a major pain if you're busy. :)
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Old 10-06-2010, 12:26 PM   #5 
binumee
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Hi Hector's Mom,
Pl. dont make ur betta scary in ur tank with lot of settings like that - make it a simple settings etc.,
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:31 PM   #6 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by binumee View Post
Hi Hector's Mom,
Pl. dont make ur betta scary in ur tank with lot of settings like that - make it a simple settings etc.,
Bettas actually like to have lots of plants and little bits of driftwood etc. to swim around in. They come from rice paddies, ditches and slow-moving streams, and in a bare tank they tend to panic because there's nothing to hide in if they get stressed.

Personally, I would get at least a 2.5 gallon tank and just throw in some java fern/anubias/java moss. I have those plants in my tanks and they get only natural light, an inconsistent fert dose and some excel, and they throw off new leaves every couple of days or so. Plus, real plants soak up nitrates and ammonia, and driftwood provides tannins, and lowers the pH which in turn converts ammonia into its less harmful form of ammonium.

You will definitely need a heater, since in such a small tank without one, the temperature will swing wildly. This can really compromise your betta's health. Plus since betta breathe air from the surface of the water, a vase is a really poor design because of the amount of surface area it has. So a tank is usually much better. It's good to find one that is longer than it is high if possible
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:22 AM   #7 
BettaHector
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Thanks all; Hector is doing much better tho i haven't yet upgraded his tank. And now i need to redo his water so hoping he doesn't return to shock! Will upgrade his tank asap. Thanks!
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