So Im new here, figure Ill give a brief bit of history of my Fishie Friend first.
I purchased my betta back in Novemeber or early December. He is blueish purple with red fins. I named him River Phoenix because he reminded me of a beautiful mythical Phoenix but one that well... lived in water... Also for the late Actor- some what of a joke in hopes that my fish, unlike the actor, would not face an early death due to stupidity on my behalf.
Anyway, I currently have him in what I assume is about a 1- 1.5galon bowl atm and have been doing 100% water changes about every 5-7 days. My problem is that once I put him back into the fresh water he tends to float around very uncomfortably. I worry Im doing something wrong and that one of these times I'll end up killing him. His sluggish and sad little swim act usually lasts for the first day and afterward he is fine.
Ive read many different methods of changing tank and everyone seems to tell me something different. Should I be doing %100 water changes, or would 50% be better? Also if I do 50% water changes, do I need to use the water conditioner or would that make the PH levels too high?
I just hate seeing him so blah when I dump him back into the water! Any help or advice would be appreciated. :)
Welcome to the forum, Razillyn. Well, I'm definitely not an expert, but I can tell you what I've learned. I used to keep bettas in little bowls, but now it's quite different. Bettas need a few basic things to be healthy & happy: warm, clean water, place(s) to hide & good food. Then you can build on top of that.
Bettas are tropical fishies, so warm water is very important - especially if your house is cooler (like mine). The average good water temp is 78-82 degrees. I have 3 gallon kritter keepers with adjustable heaters that keep the temp at about 79-80. A lot of people have little Hydor mini heaters for smaller bowls like yours. They're inexpensive.
Clean water is also very important. For a bowl the size you have, you need to change the water 100% - frequently. Many people recommend every other day - and use the water conditioner everytime.
When you change the water, try to be consistent with the temperature. The thermometer will really come in handy here. Plopping a fish in a much different water temp is a real shock to they're little bodies - especially if your water is on the cool side. Warm water = active fish. (On a side note, more space also = more active fish.)
Oh, and give River P a good place to hide if you haven't already.
Hopefully the more experienced experts on here will also comment with advice for you. Good luck!
Do you acclimate the fish? By this I mean, do you get the container he's in and float that in the bowl water until the temp in the bowl and the temp in the container are the same? what is the temp of the new water? is it ice cold, or room temp?
If you just dump him right in, It could be temperature shock. Even a few degrees can send their little bodies into shock as these animals are cold-blooded. Bettas do best in water temps of 76-82F. Out of that range and you can have problems.
Where did you get the idea that conditioner messes with the ph? Its shouldn't do that. You ALWAYS use water conditioner...
i like to call myself an expert. just kidding. but in the past few days, ive learned soooo much about these little fish i wouldnt even thought about it at all when i bought Leon. my fish is exactly the invert of yours in colors, he has a reddish body with beautiful blue/purple fins. anyways, my fish does the same thing. honestly, i think its just the change in habitats that makes him like that. think about it, if you had to move from your house to a smaller house, back to your original house, dont you think youd be a bit weary. anyways, dragonfair did give you some very good advice. i just actually got myself a heater/thermo, well i will be getting it soon. look on amazon, they have a very nice small heater for 9 bucks with free shipping. but yeah i have a 2.5g or close to it and i do 100 percent water changes like every 3 days. i hear that 25-50 water changes are better, but i feel its too much work to do that in a 2.5g tank, its much easier to just dump it all out and replace it. but yeah definately give him plants to hide in, they really enjoy that. as for the water, it seems to be the most important to these fish. keep it from 75-80 degrees and keep it clean with water conditioner. also dont put jaggedy rocks on the bottom like i did, it will rip their fins. as for the food, feed them pellets, and leave them in there until their eaten. my fish doesnt like flake food. but yeah, if hes moving from warm water to cold or vise versa, they will tend to just sit there id imagine. but if he stays at the top and doesnt move at all, hes got swimmers bloat or whatever they call it. if this happens, thaw a frozen pea and split it in 4 halves. feed that to him once a week until it goes away. but whats happening to your fish is normal. anyways i hope i helped a little bit more, good luck.
Thanks guys- Ive been taking pretty good care of him imo so far. Hes equipped with a small heater and thermometer already- I try to keep him warm but im finding it to be difficult to do in these colder months. About the water conditioner, I didnt mean to sound like I didnt use it lol, just that if I was to change 50% would make things any different because of what was already in the previous water.
A few times in the past I had not let him acclimate, which I had assumed was probably what I did wrong. Today- however, I let him sit in cup inside of the new water for a while before reintroducing him but hes back to floating rather lifelessly at the top as JSC has described.
Swimmers bloat tho? Also I read somewhere that the peas thing was a myth and not really a good thing to do.
hes probably temperature shocked from what ive read. for the peas thing, yes it is a bad thing to do unless you know they got swimmers bloat. but if hes swimmin around after the first few minutes you dump him in, he should be just fine. i thought peas was a good thing to feed to help indigestion but i guess not. my fish loved the pea i gave him, but i only gave him half luckily before i found out its bad unless they got swimmers bloat. but dont worry about your fish if hes swimming. i thought i cared about my pets, but when i read what you write, wow. keep up the good work!
In such a small tank, I would be doing 100% changes almost daily. I have a 7 gallon that won't cycle properly because of my pH, and it gets ammonia readings of .25 after three days. I can imagine how much ammonia is building up in such a small bowl after that time.
If you don't have one already, I would strongly recommend purchasing either or both, an ammonia and a nitrite test kit. That way you can test your water and set up a water changing schedule based on any fluctuations in your water chemistry.