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Old 02-09-2011, 12:16 AM   #1 
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Location: pennsylvania
Seizures? Not eating. Gasping.


I bought my betta fish 10 days ago. I have him in a 1 gallon tank for now (a thank from when I had a guppy two years ago), and am planning to get a 5 gallon as soon as I get my next paycheck (I heard that the rumor that they like to live in tiny claustrophobic spaces is a myth perpetuated by pet stores/fish breeders in order to make the fish seem more accessible and sell more of them). I bought him from a very reputable store in my hometown that many fish enthusiasts trust with everything. He has some plastic plants for now (pass the panty hose test) until I get a bigger thank to get some real ones. The tank has water that was filtered through a brita filter twice, and then had declorinator/new tank stabilizer added. It has an air circulator and I have a heater for it too, set to 74* f. I have done partial water changes every three days of about 25% and I regularly scoop out food debris. I let the tank sit for 24 hours before I introduced the fish.

I have no clue what I am doing wrong. To my knowledge, he has not eaten. I have flakes, pellets, and freeze dried worms. I always end up scooping them out a few hours later. I have tried peas, too.

Yesterday he started acting very strangely. He bolted to the top of the tank with his mouth wide open and began flailing about. You ever seen a fish flailing once out of water on a hard surface? That is what it looked like he was doing, but it was in the water. It looked like he was just gasping. Then he swam to the bottom where it appeared as if he were trying to burrow into the rocks I have on the bottom of the tank. I called the pet store and they said that there might be something wrong with the water. They offered to take a water sample, but I live out of town (made a special trip up to get the fish). While I was on the phone the fish continued to alternate between the flailing up at the top, and the attempted burrowing at the bottom.

Suddenly he sank to the middle of the tank and just sat there without moving. He stayed that way all day. Now, today, he has been hanging out on the rocks and not moving at all. Still has not eaten. One in awhile he will spaz out and then float face down tail up looking at the bottom of the tank, then bend in half and lay sideways on the gravel, then slowly rotate to be laying on the bottom again.

What is going on?? I don't know what to do! I have had bettas before and they have never done this.
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:54 AM   #2 
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Get new water not filtered through a britta filter first. Fish need the minerals you are removing. It's possibly the britta filteration hurting him.
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:17 AM   #3 
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Welcome! Daily 100% water changes should be done in a 1 gallon container. Ammonia accumulates very quickly in a 1 gal and is highly toxic. Do a 100% water change wih unfiltered tap water with dechlorinator immediately. I use Prime by Seachem- 2 drops per gallon. He is probably suffering from ammonia burns, hence the darting around. Just make sure you acclimate him really slowly to the new water- and the new water has about the same temperature with the old. Float him in a cup at the top of the bowl and slowly add a little of the new water to his cup ever 5 minutes or so. Should take at least 30 min to an hour to do so. This will make sure he doesn't go into shock. Also he may be cold. Betta fish should be in water at 78-80F. It's probably ok to put him under a light for warmth unil he goes into your 5 gal, but he willdefinitely need a heater and a thermometer there.
Good luck! And good for you for giving him a 5 gal- he will thank you for it :)
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:05 AM   #4 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Welcome to the forum and sorry your Betta is not well....

You need to make a 50% water change now with your unfiltered tap water and dechlorinator-(he needs the water straight from your Brita filter water and add a little extra dechlorinator) this 50% water change twice today and again tomorrow and see if this won't perk him up...

Just dip half the water out and add the like temp dechlorinated tap water slowly-turn out his light for today.

Don't worry about food right now...once you get his environment straightened out he should start to eat for you

Also, get your water temp up to at least 76-77F
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:10 AM   #5 
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Just did about 75% water change - Oldfishlady said 50% and Elena said a full water change.

I am using just the tap water (which is really hard where I am from), and adding the Seachem, and I turned my heater up to 76*.

Thank you all so much! I will let you know if he does better.

Thank you!
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Old 02-14-2011, 12:06 PM   #6 
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After I did the water change I turned the heater up to 78*, and I bought a different clorine/amonia remover. I had been doing water changes every day, but he still would not eat. I tried everything. I came back from the store yesterday and found my betta dead :(

While doing the water change my betta lost all of his color, and before he died only the blue was coming back.

I don't know what more I could have done.

Thank you for all your help.
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