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Old 10-28-2010, 05:18 PM   #1 
ElyseEleanor
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Pablo acting funny... constipated? not eating? lethargic?

I just got my betta last sunday, so three days ago. he's acting funny. when I first got him he seemed happy, like he would swim around a lot and chase my finger when I held it up to the glass and he would flare at himself in the mirror and stuff. I bought him a heater a day after I got him (after reading all about bettas on this site) and put it in the tank and acclimated him to it slowly, and so the tank is a good temp for him. he was acting lethargic last night and would stay in one place not moving for a long time before swimming somewhere else and doing the same thing. Today I fed him this morning and he hasn't eaten any of it, and also, I don't think he's pooped since I got him. I'm not sure why. here's the survey thing:

Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 81 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? no
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

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? I feed him top fin color enhancing betta bits.
How often do you feed your betta fish? I've been feeding him about four pellets twice a day, that's what it says to do on the food container

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? I haven't changed his water yet since I just got him three days ago. I'm going to do it today.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? I haven't.

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? His appearance hasn't changed really, except one little thing that i'm not even positive about. It seems like his side fins used to be spread apart more when he swam, and now they're really small and close together, sort of un-flared, if that makes sense. he's moving them faster and seems to be trying to swim harder right now but he's not making much progress. he keeps floating up to the top but it seems like he's struggling to swim to the bottom.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? see above.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? last night.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)? I just got him three days ago from Petsmart.
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Old 10-28-2010, 05:20 PM   #2 
Lenalee Nilla
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You got him from petsmart, thats your problem.

But really, did you cycle the tank or just plop him in?
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Old 10-28-2010, 05:25 PM   #3 
ElyseEleanor
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I didn't "just plop him in." I conditioned the water first. I didn't cycle the tank. I bought him with no knowledge of how to really take care of a betta fish, then I came on this website and saw everything that I needed to do, so I went out the next day to fix it: I bought him the heater and a place to hide and did everything I could without spending huge amounts of money to make his habitat a good one. I just want to know why he's not pooping and what could be the cause of his behavior.
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Old 10-28-2010, 05:27 PM   #4 
Lenalee Nilla
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Try putting a pea in some hot water for a few seconds, if canned peas are the only kind you have boil it, then shell the pea, and by that i mean take the coat off of it so its just mush, then feed the mush to your betta. He could be constipated.
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Old 10-28-2010, 07:36 PM   #5 
ElyseEleanor
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Update: I changed pablo's water a while ago, putting in the water conditioner, then floating his cup in the tank and gradually adding the new water for a long time until he was fully acclimated. now he's back in his tank and he isn't acting lethargic anymore, but flapping his fins rapidly and sort of "panting." it's sort of worrying me, i don't know what the problem might be. It really seems like he's trying to propel himself forward but he can't do it, and he's just floating backwards instead. I don't know why he's flapping his fins so much. he seems to have a hard time swimming.

I would try the pea thing, except I have no peas and no access to peas since i'm a college student living on campus with no means of transportation. also I would be wary about doing that since i've heard mixed things about it. I'm just going to wait to see if he keeps acting strange. I'll try to feed him again tonight (i'll probably soak his food in water first to make it softer, because I read something about how feeding them dry food is bad since it expands in their stomachs and interferes with their swim bladder, which might be causing his floating problems) and hopefully he eats.
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Old 10-29-2010, 04:19 AM   #6 
ElyseEleanor
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Pablo died... :( I determined that he definitely had swim bladder disease, probably from constipation. So I didn't feed him and was just going to wait a few days without feeding like it says to do, and I looked in his tank and he is just dead. I don't know what happened. :(
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Old 10-29-2010, 12:31 PM   #7 
Lenalee Nilla
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Like i said earlier, you should have given him a pea. Im sorry he died.
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Old 10-29-2010, 01:47 PM   #8 
Adastra
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The pea would not necessarily have saved him. It's likely that he was sick before you got him and that your overfeeding exacerbated the problem. Many times when you first get your fish, they come from the farm a bit stunted and need time to grow into their appropriate adult size in larger, cleaner tanks. Eight pellets a day is a lot of food for a betta, especially a small betta. Next time you should feed half that amount--two pellets twice a day and always soak them in a bit of tank water until they are fully rehydrated before feeding. This will help prevent bloating and constipation as the small, dry pellets swell in the fish's gut as they continue to absorb water as they are digested. Keep in mind that many of the instructions on pet products are intended to make the pet industry more money rather than make life better for your fish.
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Old 10-29-2010, 02:01 PM   #9 
Lenalee Nilla
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Adastra, if his betta was indeed constipated, like my first betta, a pea wouldve made him defecate inside of 24 hours. I dont mean to sound harsh, but if its health was already declining as much as it was then feeding a pea wouldve been the best thing to do for his betta. If the disease was already too far along his betta wouldve died anyway, but if it was constipation the pea couldve saved it. It was a poor understanding of betta care on his part, thats a fact, but his heart was in the right place and he was scared of making his condition worse, just like me when i had my first betta, but i did nothing, just like this guy, and my betta died. He tried his best to make sure the betta was comfortable and happy and well fed, but its that need to take care of something that ended up killing the betta. No one can say for sure what killed his betta, and he was already doing what he thought was right, but instead of going and trying something like the pea, he wanted someone to tell him that he was doing everything he could so that his pride and ego would be soothed. Ive seen it dozens of times before in real life, this is no exception. Sorry for sounding harsh.
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Old 10-29-2010, 03:47 PM   #10 
Adastra
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I don't think the OP was reacting in a particularly callous manner--a lot of people get into this hobby before they realize how much fact-finding is involved. There is a lot of mixed information out there and it can be very difficult to take it all in when you have the pressure of an ailing betta on your hands. Some people say that since bettas are carnivores and cannot digest vegetable matter (which is true, hence why people use it for its value as fiber), that it shouldn't be fed to them because it may cause damage. I don't personally believe this to be true, but in this case I think the OP was erring on the side of caution, still an error, but it still reflects that they did take the time to look at different sources before coming to a decision.

Sometimes when you give people instructions, you have to supply enough background information to sort of prove your own credibility. I try to do this in my posts so that people understand why I think my opinion is valuable over someone else's. Perhaps next time instead of just instructing him to give the fish a pea, explain why peas are suited for this purpose--in this case, it's because the fish cannot digest them, so they serve as a shot of fiber. This helps people in threads like this one make their decisions faster and feel confident in the people who are trying to help them.

Hopefully the OP will take this experience as an opportunity to learn more about betta nutrition and feeding.
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