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Old 11-29-2010, 05:58 PM   #1 
Juneii
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Lethargic Betta Fish

Housing
What size is your tank? 2 gallon drum bowl
What temperature is your tank? 72 degrees Fahrenheit
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? Betta Bites and freezedried bloodworms
How often do you feed your betta fish? 3 pellets in the morning, 2 bloodworms at night

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? 2 times a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50%-100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? water conditioner (stress coat)

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 change in color or appearance
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? lethargic, bottom of the bowl or floating at the top
When did you start noticing the symptoms? just a few days ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? water change with aquarium salt
Does your fish have any history of being ill? ich that was treated within a week
How old is your fish (approximately)? 8-9 months
_____

Now before everyone jumps down my throat for not having the betta in a 10 gallon filtered and heated tank I have taken care of him for well over a month now in the bowl and he was very active and healthy. He was a birthday present for my boyfriend and I just gave him his betta this weekend on Saturday. Kepler was perfectly fine that day and explored everything, but according to my boyfriend he started slowing down yesterday and now won't/can't eat anything today. First his right pectoral fin won't move as much as the left and now the left pectoral fin is slowing down as well. My boyfriend sent me some photos of Kepler but all was very fuzzy, from what I could see, his fins aren't as spread out as much as they used to and he looks very sluggish.

What are you opinions and suggestions? and no, getting a larger tank or a filter is not a possibility at this moment and does not seem to be the culprit of his symptoms.

Thank you!

ETA: before Kepler was given to my boyfriend his water temperature was around the same and sometimes lower (my dorm/home was really cold) and he fared just fine in the cooler water and was active and happy as far as I could tell.

Last edited by Juneii; 11-29-2010 at 06:03 PM.
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Old 11-29-2010, 06:05 PM   #2 
TaylorW
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It's fine to keep a betta in 2 gallons, don't worry! But I would say that the low temperatures could be making him lethargic... Are you able to invest in a small heater? Bettas do best at temperatures 76 degrees F or above... My betta acts very sluggish when the temperature drops below that.

Some bettas are just sensitive to the cold, which might be why his fins are clamped.
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Old 11-29-2010, 06:11 PM   #3 
Juneii
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we have a heater for him, he seemed to have done fine with 70 degrees before I got him a heater. He has a little mug/cup in his bowl that he rarely goes into but apparently he has been hiding in there quite often now.
right now he's lying a bit tilted on the bottom, could it be a swim bladder problem?

(and thank you for the quick reply!)
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Old 11-29-2010, 06:14 PM   #4 
Malvolti
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Like Taylor said, low temps can cause a betta to get sluggish. Also a sudden change in water can cause a bit of shock (Different pH, chemical contents etc.). Travel can also stress a Betta out.

I also see that he is fed bloodworms daily, try limiting the bloodworms to twice a week.

Another possibility which may sound a little silly but in my experience can happen, he may miss you. Betta are smart little guys and have been know to become attatched to their owners. You've been taking care for him for over a month and suddenly disappeared.

Just have your boyfriend watch him closely for a few days for physical signs of disease. If he doesn't show signs of getting better try daily water changes and a little aquarium salt.
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Old 11-29-2010, 06:18 PM   #5 
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Hmm, if he's tilted funny it could be something else, but I would try to warm him up first and see if how he acts... If he still acts odd with the water warm then you'll know for sure that he's sick.

Warmer tank water boosts the immune system and metabolism, keeping a betta without a heater is like keeping a snake or lizard without one. They'll do ok, but he'd be better off in the long run :)

My betta acts terrible when he gets cold, so I'd warm up the tank to rule out that as a possible problem :)
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Old 11-29-2010, 06:38 PM   #6 
Juneii
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It might be the excess travelling, I kept Kepler in my dorm and drove him about an hour to my home and then another 20 minutes to my boyfriend. I know my betta Neptune was a bit freaked out yesterday when I brought him back to my dorm (I couldn't leave him in my dorm, gets freezing cold here) and was sulky and lethargic for the rest of the day. He's back to normal now.

I wonder if he does know if I am gone, he and Neptune liked each other when their bowls were side by side. They didn't flare and usually look at one another from time to time.

Problem is, the water is warm. There might be something else... I'm not sure, he isn't showing any physical differences apart from slight fin clamping and being lethargic..
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Old 11-29-2010, 06:47 PM   #7 
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I may be wrong, I just started Betta keeping recently, but it sounds exactly like what I just went through with my fishy. It turned out to be a combo of high ammonia levels and low temperatures. I'd get an ammonia-specific test and see if you're running a little high. Maybe do extra water changes to bring that back down. I had some luck doing 3 50% water changes over 3 days and added some ammonia remover. I'd also see if you could bring the temp up to at least 76 degrees or so.
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Old 11-29-2010, 06:51 PM   #8 
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I thought that might be the case but since we couldn't go and get ammonia test kits right now I had my boyfriend do a 75% water change in hopes that would dilute the amount of ammonia present in the tank. Kepler is still acting the same though and is still lying at the bottom. The temperature should be up around 75 degrees right now..
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Old 11-29-2010, 07:50 PM   #9 
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Ah, no, where did my edit button go? It was just here... Sorry for the double post.

Apparently the pictures were too blurry to show but Kepler is slightly bloated. I am not sure if it is dropsy or just constipation. From the top photos it doesn't look like he bloated sideways but more downwards.

Here are photos from the side that boyfriend just sent me from an actual camera:




I am sick with worry :(
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Old 11-29-2010, 09:04 PM   #10 
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Aww, try not to get upset!! :( Try fasting him for a few days to help the bloat, and if that doesn't work, try epsom salts.... I am not sure of the proper dosage for the baths or the leave in treatments, so hopefully someone more experienced than me can pop in and help you out!!
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