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Old 11-02-2010, 04:48 AM   #1 
AmyLou21
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Thumbs down Hikaru is acting strange again!!!

Hey folks! I recently posted a thread regarding my male CT betta - he was acting very lethargic, not swimming staying at the bottom etc! A couple of very nice ppl offereed advice and I eventually came to the conclusion that his tank was too cool - so I upped the temp and all was fine! (This was over a week ago)

However, I came home yesterday and my poor fish is acting out of sorts again :( he is staying at the bottom of the tank, doesn't really swim a lot but every now and then he will dart about the tank, running into the sides/gravel etc (he does this especially when I walk by the tank). Also his gills seem to be working overtime and he is gasping with his mouth - he is still going to the surface for air occasionally. Also I tried to give him so frereze dried blood worms yesterday and he took one in his mouth but then spat it out...I am fasting him for today!

I went to the pet shop yesterday as I though he may have had velvet (because he kept banging into things) but the pet shop man said that actual biological disease is rare and that it is probably due to poisoning/poor water condition. So I was planning on doing a 100% water change today - I also bought some salt as I've heard it can help keep bettas healthy.

Anyway here's my info...

Housing
What size is your tank? 13 litres (~ 3.5 US gallons)
What temperature is your tank? 30 deg C ( ~ 86 deg C)
Does your tank have a filter? yes - and undergravel filter that runs off of an airpump/airstone
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? airstone which drives the filter
Is your tank heated? yes - 25 watt adjustable
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? TetraBetta flakes, freeze dried blood worms, boiled peas
How often do you feed your betta fish? flakes - small pinch once per day for 3 days out of 7, worms - 1 or 2 worms once per day for 2 days out of 7, pea - quarter of a boiled frozen pea once a day for 1 day out of 7, one day = fasting

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? every 2-3 days
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 20-30%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? TapSafe (dechlorinator) everytime, filter start once per month, have recently bought some salt which i am going to add to the tank

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia:
Nitrite: 2 ppm
Nitrate: 0 ppm
pH: 7.4
Hardness: N/A (don't have a test for this)
Alkalinity: N/A

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? it hasn't really
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? he is lethargic, will stay at the bottom of the tank for long periods occasionally coming to the surface for air, every now and then he will dart about the tank, crashing into the sides and headbutt the gravel - he darts about especially when someone walks past his tank
When did you start noticing the symptoms? yesterday
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? did a 10% water change yesterday, am going to do a 100% change today including rinsing the gravel, plants and ornaments, and will add salt when I refill the tank
Does your fish have any history of being ill? he was lethargic when I first brought him home but he perked up once I raised the temp in his tank
How old is your fish (approximately)? no idea sorry!

Any help would be much appreciated! I'm hoping that the 100% change will help as I know the ammonia is too high so maybe that is why he is acting under the weather!

Thanks so much you guys! xx
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Old 11-02-2010, 04:50 AM   #2 
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Hi sorry have just realised a mistake with my parameters...

Ammonia is at 2 ppm
Nitrite is at 0 ppm
Nitrate is at 0 ppm

Sorry ppl! x
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Old 11-02-2010, 09:41 AM   #3 
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Ammonia 2ppm is not good-get to the water change and get it down to at least 0.25ppm and then you need to find out why you are having ammonia spike-

I would first check your source water for ammonia and rule that out as a cause-then increase your regular water changes to 50% twice a week-with under gravel filters (UGF) you need to vacuum them well at least weekly to keep them functioning correctly-
Watch how much you feed and remove any left overs
Adding live plants can help
Also, on your water treatment product-make sure it covers-chlorine, chloramine, heavy metals
Your temp also needs to come down a bit-try and keep it in the 76-80F range
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Old 11-03-2010, 06:47 AM   #4 
AmyLou21
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Hi again!

Ok so I performed a 100% water change yesterday - Hikaru is still acting out of sorts. I tested the water again today, results are...

Ammonia: 0.25 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 0ppm
and the ammonia of my source water is 0 ppm

Am going to do another water change tomorrow (25%) and have removed all leftover food. Have also checked my TapSafe and it does cover chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals. Am also slowly turning them temp down.

Am hoping this will all help him - it worries me that he is hiding in the bottom corner all the time. But when I get up to walk across the room or come in the room he totally freaks out and starts darting all around the tank - he did is so bad earlier that he flipped out of the water (good job I have a lid)...then he will just go and hide in the corner again. Could poor water quality be causing this?

Also, I turned the airpump off for the UGF earlier and he starting swimming around much more! Do you think it could be causing him stress???

Thanks so much again for any advice!
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:12 AM   #5 
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Also, just wondering, would a sponge filter driven by air pump be better than the undergravel?

Thanks :)
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:43 AM   #6 
Oldfishlady
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Yes, poor water quality can cause these type of behavior-stay on top of the daily water changes and once you turn off the UGF the good bacteria will start to die in about 6-8 hours without good oxygenated water flow...you need to either turn if off and increase percent and number of water changes or leave it on 24/7 or you may see spikes

....personally, I don't think Betta need filters and often they can be part of fin issues, however, without filtration more water changes are needed to maintain water quality unless you add lots of live stem and floating plants.

Sponge filters are great and will work better if you want to add rooted live plants to the tank-but if the UGF is causing stress the sponge may cause stress as well...some Bettas are more sensitive to water movement than other and some just need more time to adjust.
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Old 11-03-2010, 08:07 AM   #7 
AmyLou21
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Hi again and thanks for reply

Ok well I'm thinking that will do a DAILY water change of about 15-20%.

I would rather have a filter if possible to assist in keeping water quality good and clear - but obviously not if it is stressing him. I don't have any live plants and my tank doesn't have a light (it's one of those goldfish starter kits!) so I don't know if the plants would be ok without it?

I've heard that sponge filters are better for biological filtration in comparison to UGF - would this therefore help with water quality? Maybe he will adjust in time!

Thanks again! :)
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Old 11-03-2010, 08:23 AM   #8 
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As long as the UGF is cared for properly they are great and do a good job and so is the sponge filter...any filter for that matter-they all need proper care to work right....

Yes, you will need a light for the plants to grow and thrive, however, indirect sunlight will work too-but can cause problems if you get too much sunlight.
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