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Old 01-09-2011, 09:31 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Is Houdini just playing dead?

What size is your tank? 1gal.
What temperature is your tank? Not sure. The air in my apartment is kept fairly warm and the light in his tank helps.
Does your tank have a filter? No.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No.
Is your tank heated? Other than the light, no.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None.

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Betta Pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once pellet twice a day. Once in the morning, once at night.

How often do you perform a water change? Every week.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100% once a week, and 25% during the week.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? I condintion the water before putting it in the tank with Jungle Start Right Complete Water Conditioner.

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


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? See Below
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? See Below
When did you start noticing the symptoms? First day upon purchase.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? See Below
Does your fish have any history of being ill? See Below
How old is your fish (approximately)? Bought him Wednesday from a local pet store.

My bf took me to a local pet store in our town Wednesday morning so I could check out their fish. I saw this white/clear double tail betta and immediately wanted him. I came back later that day to pick him up. He seemed to be fine in the store, but its hard to tell in the cups they keep them in. When we got home, and I was preparing his new house, I noticed that he was lying on his side at the surface quite a lot. Once I put him in his new tank, and I got a better look at him, I noticed his abdomen (area just behind his head) was a little swollen, and the rest of his body was really skinny. I just thought that he was being under fed.

He had a lot of trouble swimming beyond the surface of the water. He couldn't swim down, and if he managed to, he'd float right back up. I got him to eat a pellet or two and kept a good watch on him before calling it a night. Next day, it was like a miracle. His body looked proportioned and he was having no trouble going to the bottom of his tank. He even took a liking to hide away from me, which gave him the name Houdini. Its been about two or three days since I first brought him home and it seems like he's having some trouble again. He's eating regularly and his color (kind of hard to tell with a white/clear betta) is good, but if he stops to float, he starts to tip on his side just a little. He's not having any trouble swimming, but I was wondering if this was a problem at all.

My other betta, a blue and red Crowntail my bf named Swimmy, seems to have taken quite a liking to him, as their tanks are beside each other. I'd hate to lose just a beautiful fish.

If anyone can offer any suggestions, they would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:56 AM   #2 
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Well, first of all, you really should get a bigger tank, like this one . If you can't get that, then you need to do 100% water changes every day. Why? Because fish constantly excreet a harmful substance called ammonia. This substance is very harmful in large amounts. It can accumulate very fast in 1 gallon, so you have to do 100% changes every day.
On to your problem, he's probably bloated. Don't feed him for a couple days, then you can feed him.
Also, you should step up the feeding to 2 pellets twice a day, once you've fasted your betta. You do need a heater and a thermometer. What tank do you have?
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:08 AM   #3 
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it could be swimbladderdisorder or constipatiom
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:10 AM   #4 
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I was thinking it had something to do with his swim bladder. Thanks.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:19 AM   #5 
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Location: Mississauga, Canada
I would agree it is most likely swim bladder. Your description says he's bloated and floating on the surface which is classic for this problem.

For a treatment the best general course of actions is to do daily water changes, get a tank heater and thermometer (Petco sells one by Hydor which is good for smaller tanks), wrap the top in cling wrap if you don't have a hood (Bettas need 78 degrees and humid air above the tank), and you can try some epsom salt.

Most people around here agree that Bettas are happier in at least 2 gallons but they can be fine in a one gallon as long as you are doing at least two water changes a week. Like fishman said you'll want to feed him 4 pellets per day, 2 twice a day is fine. Fasting for a day may help with the bloating. A heater and thermometer is something you'll definitely want to invest in. Even if your apartment is warm enough a heater will maintain the water temp incase for some reason it drops suddenly.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:28 AM   #6 
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Unfortunately, I don't have the room for bigger tanks. My mom doesn't much care for fish and would prefer if I keep them in my room, which is lacking in any extra space.

Both tanks that I have have hoods with lights in them. As for a heater, I'm low on money, but will invest in one as soon as possible.

Thank you for the help.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:28 AM   #7 
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Yeah Malvolti is right
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