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Old 11-08-2010, 10:17 AM   #1 
Perdue
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Location: moses lake, WA
girlfriends betta

ok so i was visiting my girlfriend this weekend. she has her betta in a pretty small critter carrier type thing and i know its way to small and all but its all she can fit in her dorm room. but besides that, its always been lively and flaring and all but this weekend we noticed it just laying on the bottom and not moving for long periods of time. so we changed the water and made it a little warmer cuz i thought it just might be cold. but now its laying at the bottom and somtimes when you spook it it will move and float there either pointed upwards or downwards and sometime he starts like twitching and spazzing out then goes down to the bottom again.. what could this be? she loves her little betta and we dont know whats wrong with him...
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:14 AM   #2 
LikeDiscoSuperfly
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It will help us out if you awnser these questions, or what you can, real quick.

Housing
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change?
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?

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

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:22 AM   #3 
Perdue
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Housing
What size is your tank? small critter carrier.. less than a gallon??
What temperature is your tank? avg. 76
Does your tank have a filter? no
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? no
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? once a day

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? 100% atleast once a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? water conditioner

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

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

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? no
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? yes, rests at bottom.. floats pointed upwards or downwards.. twitches and spazzes out
When did you start noticing the symptoms? saturday
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? no
Does your fish have any history of being ill? no
How old is your fish (approximately)? no clue.. bought from pet shop about a month ago
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Old 11-08-2010, 12:58 PM   #4 
Adastra
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A container of less than a gallon needs to be 100% changed every day or at most every other day. Period.

I'm going to give you a bit of tough love, here. I apologize if I come off as rude, and I hope that if I do that you don't take it personally and keep in mind that I'm only saying this out of concern for the animal.

If your girlfriend cannot keep this animal in proper conditions, then she simply should not have it. Containers of less than a gallon are simply not large enough to support vertebrate animals for a number of reasons. In the case of a betta, this has mostly to do with water quality, temperature, and environmental enrichment. In a .5G container, the water quality deteriorates so quickly that you're going to constantly be subjecting the fish to large water changes--this is not only stressful to the animal, but it's extremely impractical for the owner. What if she has an emergency and can't change the water? What if she forgets? It's far too prone to user error, so I never recommend this setup.

Temperature-wise, the container is far too small to be heated safely. I'm well aware of the fact that in dorms the students have very little control over the thermostat. Even if you manage to keep the water pristine, extreme temperatures and temperature fluctuations are not good for your betta.

Just about every animal has the need to feel secure and express their natural behaviors. Bettas are no exception. In a container this size, there's no space for the betta to explore and defend his territory or hide when he's feeling vulnerable. There's nothing new to keep him from getting bored. Over time fish that are confined in this way often develop self-destructive neurotic behavior, which often involves tail biting or glass surfing--both behaviors cause injuries which can easily become infected. Many bettas in these conditions also become obese due to lack of space to exercise, which is a major cause of death among bettas.

In conclusion, your girlfriend needs to find a way to make it work, or she needs to do the right thing and give the betta to someone who can take care of it properly. The reason he is the way he is is probably due to both poor water quality and inconsistent/extreme temperatures. I'm guessing it's one of two possible things, one is constipation related swim bladder disorder caused by low temperatures--cold temperatures slow down the fish's entire metabolism, causing digestion to slow. Food gets trapped in the gut, causing discomfort, bloating, and swim bladder problems that can make the fish float or sink uncontrollably. The other possibility is that this is the beginning of organ failure in the form of dropsy. An extreme nose-up or nose-down position is generally not a good sign, and can point to dropsy. The fish continues to take on fluid that builds up under the scales, causing them to stick out like a pine cone. It can also cause uncontrollable sinking or floating.

The best thing to do is to step up the water changes to every day and see if the fish improves. If the fish seems bloated, stop feeding him and try to get your hands on some epsom salt (magnesium sulfate)--it can be found at your local pharmacy or grocery store. Get a larger container (such as a $3 rubbermaid/sterilite bin from walmart) and a heater, or at the very least, move him to a place that has the most consistent temperature.
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Old 11-08-2010, 02:08 PM   #5 
Perdue
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yup, knew that was coming...
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Old 11-08-2010, 02:21 PM   #6 
LikeDiscoSuperfly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perdue View Post
yup, knew that was coming...
No offence, but that comes off as rude. If you already knew what you were going to be told, why did you feel the need to ask?
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Old 11-08-2010, 02:51 PM   #7 
Perdue
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k sorry
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Old 11-08-2010, 09:52 PM   #8 
TaylorW
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I hope no one hurt your feelings, we are all just very concerned about the fish's well being.... So please try to convince your girl friend to get him a bigger container so he can get better! :)
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:04 PM   #9 
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I keep my fish in a dorm, so it can be done... a 2.5 gallon tank is only a foot long and 6 inches wide. A 2 gallon would be a bit smaller. Both can easily sit on a desktop while still providing a healthy environment for the fish! :)

I wouldn't go less than 2 gallons for a dorm because you can't heat less than that easily, and my dorm's temperature fluctuates a lot. In 2 to 2.5 gallons you only have to change the water once every 2-3 days! So it would be much less work on your girlfriend water-change-wise.

If she wants to get a bigger critter keeper instead of a tank, she can use the tool on this website to figure out how many gallons it holds. Just enter the container's measurements, and presto! Changed into gallons :P You can also use it to stock tanks too! :)

http://aqadvisor.com/

Good luck with the fish and PLEASE beg your girlfriend to get her fishy a bigger home! :)
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Old 11-09-2010, 11:23 AM   #10 
Alex09
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Go to petco get a large kritter keeper or a small glass tank and a heater. You would be surprised - a 2-4 gal tank doesn't take up much more space than a textbook would. My sterio takes up just as much space as my 10 gal.
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