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Old 12-12-2010, 02:27 PM   #1 
bahamut285
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First time Betta owner, please help! :(

Hello Everybody, I am a first time betta owner (I have healthy living goldfish) and I'm not sure what's happening to my poor boy :(

He is a very inquisitive little guy, normally always swimming around looking at things, and just yesterday he built a small bubble nest and his fins and tail were partially flared whenever I came near the tank.

Today however, he seems very tired, didn't move when I fed him and instead of a normal tail-swishing movement to swim, he kind of just jiggles with his fins and tail clamped. He's just sitting by his favourite corner (corner closest to me) and not doing much except for breathing and the occasional wiggle.


Housing

What size is your tank? 2 Gallons
What temperature is your tank? 78F
Does your tank have a filter? it did but my betta hated it (even after I rigged the flow) so I took it out
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, he lives alone

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Pellets that I soften for 5-10 minutes before feeding
How often do you feed your betta fish? 1 pellet twice a day (breakfast and dinner)

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? Once a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50-60%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Water Treatment

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

Ammonia: AmmoniaAlert says <0.02ppm (Safe)
Nitrite: N/A
Nitrate: N/A
pH: N/A
Hardness: N/A
Alkalinity: N/A

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Clamped fins
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Lethargic, when I showed him a mirror for a few seconds, only his gills flare, his tail and fins only half-heartedly
When did you start noticing the symptoms? This morning when I woke up
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I'm not sure what to do, a lot of people suggest salt in other situations so I might try it after some confirmation from experts
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No, I just got him a week ago
How old is your fish (approximately)? No idea, he's about an inch long and his cup at the pet store was the cleanest and he was the most lively


Picture:
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y29...5/DSCN1244.jpg
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Old 12-12-2010, 03:47 PM   #2 
Miharu
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The first thing that really stands out to me is the amount of water changes that you do. In a 2 gallon tank you really need to do 100% water changes 2x a week. Does he look bloated at all? (have a larger then normal tummy?)

The clamped fins really make me think poor water quality! I would give him a complete 100% water change and add some epsom salt (1tsp/gallon) and see if that helps at all.
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Old 12-12-2010, 04:11 PM   #3 
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Hello Miharu, thanks for your reply...

I'll go and do that now, hopefully he'll feel better soon! I'll keep this thread updated ... he doesn't really look bloated, but again I'm not really sure. I'll fast him for today (he's not eating anyway) and see if there is an improvement
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:58 PM   #4 
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Any idea on how long it will take for him to "recover"? I just don't want to over-worry myself.

I've turn off all the lights in the room where his tank is so he can sleep/rest
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Old 12-12-2010, 10:24 PM   #5 
FuulieQ
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I would say a couple of days. Give him some time. :)
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Old 12-12-2010, 10:45 PM   #6 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FuulieQ View Post
I would say a couple of days. Give him some time. :)
Ahh okay, thank you T___T
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:05 PM   #7 
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If you keep goldfish you're probably not used to having to maintain such a small tank since goldies have such large tank requirements. Little tanks like this don't have the benefit of bacteria to break down the ammonia, and there's so little water to dilute it that it's easy to end up with ammonia related issues if you're not super diligent or not very familiar with keeping nano tanks.

I would really change an unfiltered/uncycled/unplanted 2 gallon about every 3 days. 100% changes should really help him bounce back--in uncycled tanks, 100% changes are necessary because if you only do partials, the concentration of ammonia left over after every partial change will increase over time, so your fish will have more and more frequent ammonia exposure. 100% changes are also important because they give you the opportunity to rinse the ammonia residue, uneaten food, and feces out of the gravel frequently.

In the future, you might want to get some live plants like java moss--it will help give you more of an error margin in case an emergency prevents you from doing a water change when you're supposed to.
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Old 12-13-2010, 12:08 AM   #8 
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Hmm, okay I admit I didn't know that smaller tanks were incapable of containing beneficial bacteria, I thought they just colonized wherever the hell they wanted, haha.

So would the plan be: Do 100% water changes until he gets back to health (sorry I haven't named him yet)? Then change how much % every 3 days? Sorry for the questions, but I also have to teach my boyfriend to take care of him for 2 weeks while I'm away after my finals (on the 22nd).
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Old 12-13-2010, 02:05 PM   #9 
Adastra
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It's not that bacteria cannot live in these setups, but such small tanks are unstable and will constantly go through mini-cycles even if they have adequate filtration. Since you don't have your filter running, then the tank cannot cycle or grow bacteria, so you might as well do the 100% water change method.

If the tank is unfiltered and unplanted, I think you should do 100% changes every three days, regardless of his health. Since you have a test kit, you could work out a different routine based on your readings. Maybe two 50% changes and one 100% change a week, or something similar. When trying out new routines, though, you should test to make sure the routine is actually effective, and make sure to include at least one 100% change per week. Live plants are a great help.
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Old 12-13-2010, 03:11 PM   #10 
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Okay, I will do that. Sorry again for the insane panic, I've only had him very shortly and I'd feel horrible beyond anything if he passed away because of something stupid like this, even after I read almost all of the care guides in this forum (some of which are somewhat contradictory).

His fins are still clamped today, but he's jiggling around more (he even made a small bubble nest?).
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