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Old 02-23-2011, 01:11 PM   #1 
jespenguin
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Exclamation Sick Fish???

So I've had my VT Betta since october. He is housed in a 5 gallon heater, filter tank by himself. I tested the water, 0 ammonia/nitrates/nitrites. The tank was fishless cycled. I perform 40% water changes every week. The past couple days I've noticed him laying on his side all the time in the gravel. He usually perks up when I give him food or am by the tank, but Im concerned something is wrong. Does anyone else thing this is fishy, no pun intended, or am I being a nervous nelly?
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:51 PM   #2 
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What kind of testing products are you using...strip or liq reagent?

Do you have live plants, if so, what kind and how many

I ask because with the numbers posted...your tank is not cycled unless you have lots of live actively growing plants...also, what is the pH and water temp

On to the Betta...normally the Betta do not lay on their side at the bottom of the tank unless something is wrong...with that said....this species being domesticated they can do some odd things at times...thats why I said normally...not never or always.....in a 5g filtered tank with your water change schedule of 40% weekly should maintain water quality, however, depending on the cycling stage and I am not sure on that since you are not showing any nitrate, but this could be due to live plants if you have them......you may need to add a 50% water only until you are fully cycled...

He is eating well and responding to you..thats good, I am assuming that filtration is not too strong causing him to tire himself and needing to rest, water temp is okay and he has items in the tank toward the surface to rest on if needed, he not over 2 years old.
Although he is resting on his side he swims normally and is not having any buoyancy issues....correct.....
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:10 PM   #3 
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Oh no, the cycling process I have mastered. Raw shrimp, ammonia spike, nitrite spike, and then nitrates. There are no live plants, the weekly water changes keep my nitrates at 0 in all my tanks. Even when the do appear it's 5 maximum. And I use the API master kit, it fishless cycled for around 6 weeks. And he's been in it for a while now.
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:16 PM   #4 
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I forgot to answer the second half. The water is around 78, and he hangs out on top of the heater that's sucked to the side most of the time.
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:28 PM   #5 
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You want to keep a 5-10ppm nitrate...make sure you shake bottle #2 of the nitrate reagent really good, bang it on the table and shake some more...that reagent can settle and give you skewed reading and shake the test tube really good after reagent #1 is added......nitrate should not be that easily removed in an establish tank....low nitrate is good and needed to maintain the cycle......

Back to the Betta-is he laying on the bottom all the time or is he having any buoyancy problems....
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Old 02-23-2011, 06:07 PM   #6 
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Yes he lays almost all the time, unless I take the lid off or tap the side.
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:46 AM   #7 
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Since he is eating okay, not all that old, responds, water temp if within limits and no buoyancy problems...I would see if making a mid week 50% water only- along with your regular weekly 40% you are already doing would help perk him up..
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:58 PM   #8 
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Will do! I'm also planning on changing his tank around to a planted with sand substrate. Should I hold off on this until he perks back up?
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:49 PM   #9 
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I would wait until he perks up...by doing too much too often you can stress them...give him a rest, slow down a bit..... its only been 6 weeks...right?
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Old 02-24-2011, 04:47 PM   #10 
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No thats how long it took my tank to cycle. He's probably been in there for 2 months or so. But I am going to wait for a while. His tail looks like fine threads on the end now too. Is this from laying on the gravel. I'll try and take a picture and post it.
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