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Old 02-12-2011, 12:39 PM   #1 
NightxFury
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Unhappy Is he depressed?

I'm a college student and my roommate and I got each other betta fish for Christmas (since we're only allowed to keep fish in the dorms). While my fish (Trublion) has been doing just fine, she's had two fish die on her in the course of the two months we've been back on campus.

Yesterday I picked out two new fish (I was only supposed to get one but their conditions in the pet store looked abysmal and they were both quite beautiful) and brought them home. One is in a 2 gallon bowl and the other is in a 1 gallon vase.

The one in the bowl seems to be doing pretty well, he's still a little mopey but he's swimming around and flaring at some of his surroundings while he gets a feel for them. I think he has cotton mouth, so I've been treating him for that. He's already responding to feeding cues!

The other one, however, is my problem. The one kept in the vase seems to have fin rot or some other serious tearing in his fins. The lady at the store suggested he had just been flaring too much at his neighbors and worn them out. I've been treating his water and everything and plan to do regular water changes (100% every other day) along with the rest of the fish. There used to be a plastic plant in his vase but I took it out so he wouldn't get snagged on it.

Unlike my other two fish, he doesn't respond to the feeding cues. Which is okay, I guess, I haven't even had him for 24 hours yet. I think he ate a pellet I left in there last night, but so far he hasn't eaten since. He seems afraid of any movement around his vase and he stays at the bottom of the bowl except for when he swims up to get air.

I'm worried he's depressed and going to starve, and also wondering if something is wrong with the vase (seeing as it's identical to the one Trublion is in, but has had two fish in it die now). I was considering putting him in a smaller bowl so when I feed him he'll be more likely to see the food and it'll be easier to fish it out if he doesn't eat it. But I'm worried that will just stress him more. Any suggestions? I'd really like my roommate NOT to have yet another fish die on her...

I'm also a little lacking on betta information, I'm not sure what type he is or really any of the information you guys usually supply on here. Sorry! I do know that I feed him Hikari Betta Bio-Gold pellets, however. And also that our room is a little too chilly for bettas preferences; I plan on buying some type of heaters for them when I get the funds for them and bigger bowls.
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Old 02-12-2011, 12:57 PM   #2 
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Sometimes vases can be a problem, because if the neck is very long, the betta can have a hard time getting air. But bowls are also problematic because bettas can be jumpers, and are known to jump out of bowls. I would recommend tanks (absolutely no less than 1 gallon, preferably 2 gallons or more) with lids.

What temp is your room? Get heaters and thermometers as soon as you possibly can. Water that is too cold can cause lethargy and long-term lowered immunity. This could be part of your problem

What do you use to condition?

It is not uncommon for new bettas to ignore their food for a few days. It takes some of them time to adjust to their new surroundings and until they are more used to things, they aren't interested in eating.

You may also try another brand of food; sometimes they can be picky. It's also nice to supplement with treats like frozen or freeze dried blood worms and brine shrimp, but again, these are only treats; their staple should be a quality pellet.

So get the heaters/thermometers, bigger tanks, and if he still isn't eating try some different brands of pellets. Hopefully this will help your problem!
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Old 02-12-2011, 01:03 PM   #3 
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I'm not sure what our room temp is right now (our thermostat says things like 1-5 on it, with 5 being the hottest). But I know their water felt cold while I was changing it yesterday. There's a light right underneath the bowl that heats the above shelf, and I think that got to the not-so-depressed one's bowl yesterday because he was chilling near the rocks where, I imagine, all the warmth was coming from.

The other two fish seem to be fine with their current conditions. Trublion's been in the vase for quite a while now and is one of the happiest, most active betta fish I've ever seen. But I guess it's not really fair to hold them all to his standards.

Obviously, living in a dorm, we only have so much space. But the one bowl I bought seems to be a pretty good size, so hopefully I'll be able to get them bigger bowls and heaters soon. My budget is pretty poor though, so it'll have to wait.

I've also heard about the blood worms, so I'll check those out! Thanks for your help.
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Old 02-12-2011, 01:48 PM   #4 
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Some people on a budget use christmas lights wrapped around the base for heat.
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Old 02-12-2011, 01:50 PM   #5 
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For serious? And that's worked out pretty well for them? I can easily snag some Christmas lights from home. That won't set off the betta though, will it?
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Old 02-12-2011, 02:00 PM   #6 
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You could place the bowl on a heating pad to heat it temporarily until you have the means to get an actual heater. Just make sure you get thermometers (you can get them for like two bucks) just to make sure the temperature is staying even and is not getting too hot.
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Old 02-12-2011, 02:02 PM   #7 
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Roommate has a heating pad! Hopefully that will help. For the moment I've just moved him to the place where the bowl used to be so he can hopefully get some heat from the lamp. Here's a picture of him:

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Old 02-12-2011, 08:18 PM   #8 
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Good luck. It's really great that you are so concerned with providing a healthy home for your pets. The heater I have in my 5 gal was less than $20. It's a preset, (so not ideal but adequate) and I did buy a $2 thermometer that sticks on the outside of the tank. The heater keeps the temp steady at 74 degrees. I'd like it to be higher, but the adjustables I've seen are quite expensive...
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