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Old 02-08-2011, 03:07 PM   #1 
jesyka325
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Is my betta sick?

I've only had him for a few days (I got him from Wal-mart over the weekend). At first I thought he was just adjusting to a new tank, but I've been doing research and I'm not so sure. I've been feeding him once a day (2-3 specks of food), but I haven't actually seen him eat (the food might have floated to the bottom and be hidden in the rocks). He's fairly active, but he hasn't really gotten used to me yet. When I go to feed him, he'll dive to the bottom. He's started making a bubble nest as well, which other sites say is a healthy sign. But today I noticed that he's been hovering towards the top of the tank and floating upwards. I'm worried that he might have swim bladder disease. How can I be sure and what can I do?
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:11 PM   #2 
kfish
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Please fill this out! What you've described could be a number of issues and this will help other members narrow it down.

Housing
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?

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

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

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?
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Old 02-09-2011, 04:25 PM   #3 
Aluyasha
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Try to fill out the questionare so we can get a better idea of what is going on.
Though it does not really sound like anything bad is wrong with him.
And it is normal for most Bettas to not eat for a few days after first bringing it home. Just give him time, Bettas can go quite a while without food.
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:39 PM   #4 
jesyka325
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Housing
What size is your tank? He is temporarily in a "Penn Plax: Betta Bow-Front Double Tank Kit, 1 Ct" from Wal-Mart, which is about half a gallon. I know this is not big enough, I just needed to get him out of the cup that I got him in. I am living in a college dorm room, so space is limited. Does anyone have any tank recommendations that would work?

What temperature is your tank? About 75 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Unsure
Is your tank heated? No
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? No other creatures

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Aqua Culture Bettas Color Enhancing Diet. But I think I might need to switch. This morning when I fed him, it looked like he was choking and he spit them out right away (I have not had this problem with bettas before and I've used this same food). After that I tried soaking the pellet before I gave it to him.
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day, in the morning 2-3 pellets.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Weekly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? About half
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? None

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? No

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

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Color is the same
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? At first I was concerned because he kept hanging out at the top of the tank, but when I got back from class he was swimming around normally. Are bettas more active during different parts of the day?
When did you start noticing the symptoms? I've only had him for a few days and I think I'm being overly paranoid, I just want to make sure he's healthy (I posted this question on another answer site and the most "useful" comment I got was "Don't buy your fish at Walmart." Well, too late for that, how do I make sure he's healthy now that I have him?)
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Unknown
How old is your fish (approximately)? Unknown

And his name is Claude Monet :)

Hope this helps
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:43 PM   #5 
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Hi! That does help. :) I used that exact tank when I first got my betta, as well. As soon as I got my ammonia test kit I FREAKED OUT because I tested the water and saw that the ammonia was high (I'd been doing like 50% every day for a week... didn't think 100% changes were necessary).

I worked out that in that tank, I needed to do 100% every other day and 50% on the days in between (50% was easy on that thing since you can just pull out that plug on the bottom!).

Also, when you change the water you need to add water conditioner. Prime is a good brand, because it's very cost effective. You only need 2 drops per gallon. When I was using that tank, I bought a 1 gallon jug of spring water from the store and dumped out the water and used the jug to premeasure out my tap water and water conditioner. Also, that way the water adjusted to room temperature.

As far as tank recommendations, depending how much space you have, here are a few good options.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Tetra-Aqua...-Pets/12177653

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Hawkeye-5-...arium/14660258 (this one goes in and out of stock - it's what I bought shortly after reading all the great information on this forum!)

Last edited by kfish; 02-09-2011 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:55 PM   #6 
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Your temp should be at around 78-80 degrees.
And as long he is in that tank he needs more water changes. Like Kfish said, about 100% everyother day and 50% on the other days.
What size tank were you looking for? There is a 5 gallon tall at Fish.com on sale for only $15: http://www.fish.com/item/aquatic-edg...701002/?ref=cj
Or you can always get a critter keeper. They range from about 1-3 gallons and the 3 gallon size is only about $15. It is also big enough to fit an internal filter and a small heater. :)
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:57 PM   #7 
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Thank you for linking that cheaper 5 gallon! I was hoping someone would. I didn't take note of the name of it.
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:03 PM   #8 
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In case you want a more in depth explanation of how to do 100% changes... Sorry if you already know!

Here's how I did it in that tank.

1. Get a clean cup (rinsed with super hot water... rub your hand around in it really fast to make sure there's no residue at all). From this point forward, this is your official fish cup. You will need a fish cup even when you have a big tank! It's great to have. XD If you still have the cup you bought him in, that will work too. They crack really easily, though.

2. There are two ways you can go about getting your fish in his temporary cup while you clean his tank 100%.

Using a net: This is pretty self-explanatory, but it may be hard to catch your fish without hurting him. I did it this way, but I've netted a lot of fish. Dump some water from the tank into the cup first (you can keep the fish in the tank when you do this, of course, just be careful... I never wanted to dump my fish straight from the tank to the cup because the edge is kind of sharp and I was afraid it would hurt him). Then net the fish from his tank, and put him in the cup.

Use the cup: If the cup will fit in the tank, the suction of when you stick the cup in the water will draw your fish straight into the cup with some water. This is the most stress free way for your fish, and you might want to try it this way first.

3. Now that your fish is in his fish cup, put the lid from the Penn Plax tank over the cup so he can't jump out.

4. Take the tank to the sink and wash the crap out of it with hot water. The gravel will scratch the plastic where it rubs against it, so take care.

5. Pour some of your pre-mixed, room temperature adjusted water into the tank from the gallon jug. Make sure you put the drain plug back in. ;)

6. I liked to adjust my fish to his new water by dumping some of the water from the gallon into his cup. After about five minutes, I'd pour him into his tank. He started to love that part! He'd poise on the edge when the cup started to tip and then jump in. It also made it so a minimal amount of the old water made it back into the tank, haha.

When you get a new, bigger tank, that Penn Plax tank will make a great transport tank if you have to take your betta to and from college. That's what I use it for now! It fits perfectly in a hard case lunch cooler stuffed with towels.
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:59 PM   #9 
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Here's a smaller tank that's got a pretty low price.

http://www.petco.com/product/113933/...t=FishFC_Tanks
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:38 PM   #10 
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Thank you so much for your help! I have another question about water. I've been using distilled water from Walmart, but now I'm almost out and I don't have a way to get to Walmart again (dorm living...yay). But the convenience store on campus sells spring water, is it okay to use this?
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