I have a red betta fish in a 2.5 gallon tank. I actually bought him at a 99-cent store (I know, I know. I bought him in order to get him OUT of the 99-cent store!) about 6 months ago, and transferred him to the glass tank about 2 months ago when the weather started to get really cold. He has a heater and the water temp has been pretty constant. I also have a blue betta that I bought at the same time in another tank right beside him, same living conditions. Whatever one gets, the other gets.
Lately, the red one (his name is Peanut Butter) Has not been himself. He has been alternately staying by the top of the tank or down on the bottom. He wasn't eating, but he ate some yesterday, and now he's not eating again. The Ph in the tank is 6.6 and I'm trying to bring it up, but to no avail.
I'm really trying to save him, but I don't know what's wrong or what else I should be doing. The blue fish (his name is Jelly) is doing fine.
Help! What's going on? Can we save Peanut Butter? ANY advice would be GREATLY appreciated by me AND my 9-year-old daughter who loves him very much!
Wow.....you got me there. I'm still pretty new at this. I didn't know anything about ammonia/nitrate/nitrite levels or even how to test for them. As for the tank, it most likely need a water change, but I'm afraid to stress him out. He's still with us, but now he's just sitting on the bottom of the tank, and I still can't get the PH up.
Ok when was the last time you changed the water and how much? And do you use a water conditioner to remove the harmful chemicals in the tap water before adding it to the tank?
If you haven't done a water change for a while, do a big one on both tanks immediately. Get an API freshwater master test kit to test your water for what FuulieQ listed. Don't bother buying those dip strips, they're not very accurate. The kit can be a little pricey and I'm not sure where you're located but I've found it at Walmart before for $15 or $16.
The test will also let you know when your tanks have cycled (read about the Nitrogen Cycle either here on the forum or google it). Once they have cycled you only need to do some weekly maintenance to keep your fish healthy and happy.
Good luck and keep us posted. We'll help as much as we can to save PB & J (cute names by the way).
The water hasn't been changed in quite a while, but I do always remove the chlorine before I add water to the tank.
I'm in NYC, so the water test kit should be pretty easy to find. I have a Petland right near my house so I'll call them first.
My only hope right now is that I can fix this mess before I lose poor Peanut Butter. Jelly is doing fine so far, but I'll make sure he stays that way. My daughter named them. I was thinking of naming them Abercrombie & Fish, but she disagreed with me. After all, they're HER fish.
Is there a less stressful way to change the water? I've only ever done a partial water change.
Thank you so much for your help, everyone. I'll let you know how it's going. PB is still with us for the time being, but he's just sitting on the bottom of the tank. Send your good thoughts in his direction!
OK, I bought the test kit and tested the water in the tank. The ammonia level is between 0.25 and 0.5 ppm, which I now Know is not good. I did a partial water change but I don't think it helped much. Would it be insane for me to put him back in the little tank I brought him home in, just so I could clean his tank out? Would that stress him too much? Every time I go over to the tank I pray he's still with us. I can't stand seeing him just sitting on the bottom like that.
I won't be able to get anything to treat the water with until I get out of work tomorrow (stupid Petland doesn't open until 10!) Is there anything I can do in the interim?
You should prolly. do more of a water change with that much ammonia. Until your tank is cycled, you'll want to change out somewhere between 40-50% every other day to keep ammonia down.
Did you get the API kit? If yes, list your readings for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and ph. Test your tap water for ph to see where it reads. The worst thing for the fishies are big swings up or down with ph. If you change out water more frequently, your ph should stabilize somewhat because it will be close to your tap water ph unless you have something in the tank that would lower or raise it considerably. You don't want anything in there like a coral or something that would really only do well in a saltwater tank.
Pick up some aquarium salt when you go to the petstore. Add a little to the conditioned water each time you do a water change (assuming you only have the bettas and no other fish in the tanks that might be sensitive to it). The AQ salt helps with their electrolytes and is a pretty good preventative for them.
Keep the tank temp. between 76-80 degrees.
Finally, are there any other signs of illness? Is he bloated? Any raised scales? Any fuzziness or white patches on his body? Are his eyes clear (not cloudy)?
there's a method to his madness........I just don't know what it is.
Peanut Butter has not taken to draping himself over the top of the suction cup that holds the thermometer o the side of the tank. This puts him at the very top of the tank. I've nudged him a few times (I know I shouldn't, but I thought he had left us). Each time I did he'd swim away, but a few minutes later he was back on top of the thermometer again.