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Old 01-24-2011, 08:56 AM   #1 
Elena
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New betta, clamped fins

Hi all,
I am not new to this site, although I have not posted in more than one year, and have been keeping bettas for about five years. I got a new betta for my 2.5 gal tank I keep in my office. The tank was cycled and had a major water change this past Thursday. Fish was added after the water change. I also added a new plant with a rock/silicone base. Thursday and Friday were uneventful. Betta ate and was very active and exploring the tank. This morning when I got back he was sitting at the top not moving much with extremely clamped fins, discolored and with stress lines. He did not eat. I immediately did a 2 gal water change and he perked up right away, alghogh he is still not eating. For fear that something leaked out of the new plant base I took it out. I do not have a test kit at work (stupid I know) but ammonia shouldn't rise to toxic levels after only four days in a 2.5 gal, right? What went wrong? And will his fins stay clamped? He lools terrible, albeit swimming around as best he can now. The plan is to do smaller ( 40-50%) water changes the next few days and keep fingers crossed. Water will be tested daily starting tomorrow too. Any recommendations?
Thanks a lot for any help and suggestions.

Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5 gal
What temperature is your tank? 77
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
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? Hikari pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2x2-3 pellets per day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Weekly- did a major one on Thursday ( 80%)
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? usually 50-60%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? prime conditioner 2-3 drops/ gal. Salt 1 tsp per 2.5 gal of new water.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? Not tested

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:


How has your betta fish's appearance changed? - clamped fins, discoloration, stress lines
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? - listless at first, perked up after water change

When did you start noticing the symptoms? This morning

Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? - 80% water change

Does your fish have any history of being ill?- no

How old is your fish (approximately)? -Maybe 6-8 months? Not sure.
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:42 AM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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In a 2.5gal tank the ammonia can raise in about 3-4 days...all depending on how much you feed and if uneaten food is left in the tank and nitrogen cycle stage...it can also spike related to a change out of the filter media or over cleaning in general-also major cleaning on an aged tank can sometimes cause pH issues and sometimes you won't see the problem for a day or so...not a lot you can do about it once it was done....sorry...

On 2.5gal with a filter twice weekly 50% water changes will usually maintain water quality

I would start making some daily 50% water only water changes for a few days-hold food and keep the light off and see if this won't perk him up and get him to unclamp his fins and start eating again....sometimes they need more time to recover
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:38 PM   #3 
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Thank you so much for your reply! I will change 50% of the water for the remainder of the week. It may be ammonia, however it's weird since I am positive there was NO food left in the tank. I feed one pellet at a time and wait until the fish eats it before I drop another one in. I hope he pulls through, he sure looks pretty messed up. I've never seen anything like it in any of my bettas.
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:16 PM   #4 
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It may not have been uneaten food-but the normal ammonia output from the Betta itself...however, it may not have been ammonia...it could have been pH and/or nitrate related....especially in tanks that are mature or have been neglected a little and then get major cleaning/water changes-the sudden change in either pH or nitrate can cause problems for the fish and sometimes death follows in 24-48h or sooner.....

Sometimes it can be simple too...either not enough dechlorinator used or forgotten and even expired or not shaken well enough....stuff like this can happen to anyone......
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Old 01-24-2011, 06:39 PM   #5 
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Wow, I didn't know I had to shake the bottle of conditioner... Duh! I'm surprised this hasn't happened before now. Hope I didn't kill him. He used to be gorgeous... poor Poe. I will post an update tomorrow morning after water testing and 50% change.
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Old 01-24-2011, 06:44 PM   #6 
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So I forgot to ask, I stopped by Petco to replenish my salt supply and talked to their fish specialist to ask if they experienced anything like this- since Poe came from a tank (he was in there with HUGE eel-looking fish- don't remember what they're called- can you believe it?) She suggested I could also try several drops of Bettafix, but I am worried this may stress him even further. Thoughts?
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Old 01-25-2011, 03:55 PM   #7 
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Update: did 50% water change this morning with regular dose of salt and half the dose of bettafix. Left for meeting and came back around 3:30 pm to find that Poe had somewhat relaxed his fins!! He is still clamped pretty badly but at least he doesn't look like he is going to die the next hour. A little bit of color also came back so I am hopeful. Guess it's a waiting game now... I added a little bit more bettafix and will keep up the water changes.
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Old 01-25-2011, 04:02 PM   #8 
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Wow! It sounds like he will recover. I wonder what went wrong with the poor guy? It sounds odd. Keep up with the water changes, treating the water before putting it in of course. Also keep putting in a little salt, and don't use the full dose of Bettafix. I use it, but only a few drops at a time. I never had any problems with it, but a lot of people on this site hate it and say it's horrible for the bettas.
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Old 01-25-2011, 05:02 PM   #9 
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Good to hear he is improving, however, be careful mixing treatments...mixing medications and treatment and using wrong dosages can be toxic and deadly especially with an already compromised fish......
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:01 AM   #10 
Elena
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Update: he is doing even better today!! Did another 60% water change with less salt and no bettafix. Also replaced crappy heater with hydor mini 25w to actually get to 78F. Will return the crappy Tetra mini- doesn't go above 76-77. He may have been cold. He is very active and the stress lines are gone. Still not eating the pellets though- although he is interested. He tries to swallow it seems and then spits it out repeatedly. Wonder if I should try blood worms. He has not eaten since Friday :(
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