On Sunday I went to the pet store and bought a 2.5 gallon rectangular tank for my betta fish. I got a paper-like thermometer that sticks to the side to measure temp (got a new thermometer now that goes in tahnk and is glass), a water heater designed for a 2.5 gal tank, some rocks that I washed, a little hidey cave, a fake plant without shark rough edges, and a little treasure chest for kicks, all of which I rinsed well. I filled the tank with tap water and put Topfin Water Conditioner in the tank and let it sit overnight before getting the fish. The water is between 79 and 82 degrees.
I got the fish Monday from petsmart, a beautiful crowntail betta with bright blue, green, and red coloration. I floated the bowl for about an hour and a half to let the temperature of the water acclimate, and after that time, I released the betta into the new tank. I did not think about PH or gradually adding the new tank water to his bowl or anything else in my tap water. He swam around lively and got to know his surroundings.
Monday afternoon the tank with the fish were transported to my dorm. He got a little rattled around in the car ride but he was fine when he got to the dorm, and after the ride, explored more and blew some bubbles before he took a rest in the corner of the tank. He does not clench his fins, he just rests open in the corners, and occasionally moves around the tank blowing bubbles all over the place. On the first morning he ate the freeze-dried bloodworms.
Tuesday, the fish tank is a little cloudy. The fish's coloration is still bright and beautiful and he still blows bubbles occasionally but otherwise he hangs out around the corners of the tank, and near the heater. He isn't showing signs of illness like ich, velvet, parasites, or anything, although Tuesday night his scales under his mouth and along his "chest" turned gold but today they turned a light blue.
However, he is now not eating and I understand that sometimes a betta will not eat for a few days once he is in a new home and he may get depressed due to the move. He isn't clenching his fins together and he isn't laying at the bottom any. Just chilling in the corners. I did not know about cycling the tank before getting a fish
But I am still a little concerned. Today I went to the pet store and got AmQuel+ and NovAqua+, Fish Protector to help him out a little bit, and Proper PH 7.0. I mixed water bottle with the new things and took some of the cloudy water out of his tank, and after letting the bottled water warm up some, I added it to the tank.
He is such a beautiful fish and I don't want to lose him. He perked up a little bit today and is moving all around the tank now, but he is also resting a bit around the tank. I've already set aside three full bottles of the tap water here and a bowl of the water with all of the new conditioners to let it warm up and tomorrow I'm going to take out more cloudy water and add a bottle so that he can acclimate to this water.
Is there ANYTHING else I can do for my lovely betta? He just seemes like hes stressed still because he rests around a lot and isn't eating. Should I be concerned and just let this bacterial cycle ride out with the AmQuel+?
I currently don't have PH readings or any other readings, due to not having access to the pet store. When I went earlier they told me they test water for free so I need to figure out a bus route to get there.
Also, is there such thing as using TOO MUCH AmQuel+ or NovAqua+, or fish protector, or PH 7.0? This tank is only 2.5 gal so I was really guesstimating how much should go in there because the directions are only all for 10 gal.
Please, any help would be appreciated. He's still in good enough condition to save any blunders I have made.
Never use any ph adjuster. Your fish will adjust to the ph of the water. But constantly having to adjust to a changing ph from chemicals will stress him out. I don't know what fish protector is? Is it like a slime coat thing? It probably won't hurt since he's new.
Fresh, clean, water-conditioned water is a fishes best friend. I think amquel and novaqua do the same thing. They're water both conditioners just like the topfin stuff you used at first. You only need one of these. I'd use amquel in case you have ammonia in your tap water to begin with.
So, just use amquel and tap water. I'm not sure how often you need to change a 2.5 gallon's water. Someone will have advice for that. Probably twice a week?
Well, it sounds like you're off to a good start. However there are a couple problems I see with your setup. The first is the freeze-dried blood worms--fish tummies were not designed to digest freeze-dried foods, they are very difficult to digest, and do not give the fish much nutrition. I made the mistake of feeding one of my own bettas freeze dried blood worms, and the fish became so constipated he didn't poop for a week.
I suggest getting a higher quality pellet food such as Omega One betta buffet pellets, Atison's betta pellets, Ken's betta crumbles, and New Life Spectrum. It's good to vary your fish's diet with other brands of pellets and frozen foods since no single pellet can give your fish complete nutrition.
Also, do not mess with the pH. A stable pH is much more important than a perfect pH. Adding this chemical will not help you and the fluctuations it causes in your water chemistry will just stress your fish out more. I suggest simply using tap water with Amquel+ with your water changes.
You should seriously consider getting your own liquid master test kit like this one: http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.co...54&pcatid=4454
This way you can work out how often you need to change your water to keep from poisoning your fish. Until you get one of these tests, I suggest changing out all of the water twice a week. 100% water changes are the only way to remove 100% of poisonous ammonia.
As far as cycling, you must either decide to cycle or keep the tank uncycled. With an uncycled tank you must continue to do 100% water changes, washing everything in the tank out with hot water during every change. If you decide to cycle the tank, I highly suggest putting your fish into a temporary container such as a rubbermaid/sterilite plastic storage bin and then doing a fishless cycle on the tank. This will be much safer for your fish, and you won't have to worry about keeping the ammonia at the perfect level. All you have to do on the 2.5G during a fishless cycle is add ammonia to 4ppm and wait, testing every day, and adding ammonia as needed, you would have to change the water in the plastic bin every few days, but in my experience it's easier to maintain a fish in a bin and a fishless tank than it is to worry about maintaining a .25 ppm reading with the fish-in method.
I suggest researching both methods yourself and determining which you would like to do. However, you can't go through this process without your own test kit.
As far as the Amquel+, if you read carefully it will probably tell you that the notches on the cap of the bottle also serve as units of measure for smaller doses. A little extra dechlorinator shouldn't hurt the fish, but try to be careful--you should definitely avoid large overdosing.
NovAqua+ and AmQuel+ came in the same package, NovAqua+ is a conditioner with Anti-Virus protection and AmQuel+ specifically removes Nitrate, Nitrite, and Ammonia. The Fish Protector stuff is a new product. It has Vitamin B12 and Echinacea. Adds a slime coat, calms fish and eases stress, helps minimize infections, and heals missing scales & bruises. At least, that's what the bottle says. It had good reviews on it. Its more of a just in case thing.
Okay, so I need my own tester kit. However, I'm dry out of money. *college student* And its going to be a little while until I get enough FOR a tester kit, so what I can do is just keep changing out the water? If I do daily morning changes of some of the cloudy water and put in clean water will it be enough to tie me over until I get some money.
Little fish is near the bottom of the tank right now, near the heater. He really likes it near the heater for some reason. But the whole tank stays at a consistant 79-82 degrees.
EDIT: If I already put the PH adjuster in his water earlier, and the water I have prepared for the tank to go in later has the PH adjuster in it... Should I now keep the PH adjuster in the water? Or would it be safest to just use non-adjusted PH water when I next start changing out the water?
EDIT2: I'm so paranoid! >.< Referring to my first Edit, I didn't put that much PH adjuster AT ALL in the water. Barely a scoop and it was mixed in a standard sized water bottle and added to the tank so... Maybe it wouldn't have been effective enough to make the PH fluctuate in the tank, and I should maybe just use the city water with AmQuel+. ALSO! I have absolutely no way to get those foods that you recommended. Unfortunately there aren't any nice fish pet stores in the area and I'm limited on money so I can't order it anywhere right now. The only place that I have access to is the Petsmart down the road from school. >.<
I would stop using the pH adjuster--the store may allow you to return it if you still have the receipt if you say that you are dissatisfied with it. Dechlorinators these days start working fast, within a few minutes. I used to age my water but now I just take it from the faucet, put in dechlorinator and other additives--I use indian almond leaf tea, stir like hell for a minute and start my water changes. By the time I'm done siphoning the tank, the dechlorinator is doing its thing and most of the nitrogen has outgassed from the stirring. As long as you slowly acclimate the fish, this method works fine.
If your money is tight, I highly, highly suggest ordering from the site I posted earlier. If you wanted to buy that same test kit in the store, it would easily cost you at least $10 more. So if you can think of a few items you need, you'll save enough money on each item to more than make up for the shipping.
I would just keep doing 100% changes until you can get a kit--make sure that you get a liquid test kit, since the strip ones are much more expensive per test and are inaccurate.
Most Petsmarts have OmegaOne and Atison's Betta pellets. If you look, you should also find that near the stock tanks they have a freezer where they keep frozen foods. There's a huge market for frozen foods, so if nothing else you'll definitely find those. If you can't find either for some odd reason, then you should simply look at the ingredients list--since bettas are carnivores the first ingredient must be a meat product, the more specific the meat product the better the quality. For instance, fish meal is not as good as whole fish meal, which is not as good as whole salmon meal, which is not as good as whole salmon--although the fish might be halibut or krill or whatever--the best quality foods offer multiple whole meats.
If you must continue to feed your fish the freeze dried blood worms, soak them in tank water for at least 5 minutes to make sure they are fully re-hydrated and break them up into smaller pieces.
As SOON as the money left over from school goes into my bank account I'll get that exact kit. :) I'll return the PH adjuster, I still have the receipt somewhere here... If not, its not far in my garbage. LOL
I'm about to change out some of the water. At least SOME of it. And the little fish will get lively for a little bit after the switch which is always a plus. I can't do a 100% change right now because the fish isn't acclimated to this water. >< The water in the tank is water from Clearwater, FL that he was first put in when I poured him out of his little bowl without acclimating him (such an idiot!) and now I'm having to acclimate him to this water in Tampa slowly so I can't do the 100% change, the poor little fish won't stand a chance. ;-; Unless you think he can make it BETTER with a 100% chance, AmQuel, paired with my Fish Protector stuff... But he's already lethargic around the tank, it is safe to do a 100% switch? Maybe only a 50 or 75% switch?
What I do during water changes is put the fish back into a cup--this can be the cup you bought him in, or a simple solo drinking cup. As long as it's never seen soap it should be fine. When I can, I use this kit: http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+21246+16100&pcatid=16100
since it slowly drips the new water into the old over a long period of time--I do 15 minutes if the water is the same temperature and very close to the same parameters, I do 30 minutes if the parameters are very different or slightly different in temperature.
However, there isn't always a way to keep your fish cup at a lower level than the new water source (which is necessary for using these kits)--in that case, I just let the cup float in the new water, and slowly pour out small amounts of the old water and add small amounts of the new water to the cup over the period of time I discussed before. I usually do this with a pipette, but you can simply pour the water.
Okay, so put the fish into a small cup to keep him safe during the change. Once I get back from dinner and Yoga I'll do a 50% water change and I'll let you know how it goes. I'm very concerned but he's lively right now so I think it'll be okay... I'll let you know how it goes.
I'll be back around here around 7pm EST. I'm watching this forum like a hawk because I want to get him taken care of ASAP. If there is ANYTHING else you recommend I'll be in here a little bit to check, and check, and I'll probably be on my ipod touch mobile watching. >.< I'm that nervous.
Also, my tank is by a window that gets direct sunlight. If I'm not going to cycle the tank, I should move it away from the window, right?
Direct sunlight can have a couple of consequences, one is uneven heating--this could cause temperature fluctuations and I don't recommend keeping any fish tank near a window for this reason. Another is algae--you will get a lot of algae in this kind of setting. Another is that bettas just don't like really bright lights--he should be ok under a bright light as long as he has shade to retreat into, but still, I don't really recommend keeping any tank by the window if you can just as easily move it someplace else.
It's normal for fish to act a little "off" when they're in new surroundings--I wouldn't be too worried since he doesn't seem sick at all. Perhaps just a little stressed.
Just make sure he's not in the cup long enough to get cold, that it has a lid, and won't be knocked over. :)