So I just bought Guido this passed Sunday from a local pet store and an nice 5gal tank with filter and heater and some fun little decorations. The first day and a half he was a normal happy fish seeming to enjoy his newfound swimming space. I noticed the other day though that he has been staying at the top of the tank and when he tries to swim he back end just floats him right back up to the top where he sits fairly motionless fins clamped for the day and night. He has also stopped eating altogether. I feed him dried bloodworms and he loved them until this all started now wont touch anything. He just got here and I don't want to lose him so soon. Any help?
What size is your tank? 5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 75 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Dried blood worms
How often do you feed your betta fish? once a day around 5:30- 6:00 pm
How often do you perform a water change? Haven't yet I just got him on sunday 3-20-11
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? with past fish i have done about 25%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?
Water Parameters: Haven't gotten the chance to test it yet.
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? His appearance isn't really different
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He is lethargic and stays at the top. His back end floats him back to the top when he tries to swim around and his fins are kept tight to his body
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Monday night tuesday morning
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I don't know where to begin treating him
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Not that I know of, he's new.
How old is your fish (approximately)? No clue
It sounds like he's having a problem with his swim bladder. Does he look bloated? Are his scales sticking out like a pinecone? If yes to either of these questions, I'd add epsom salt to his tank. I believe the dosage is 1tsp per gallon, but you should check. You could also bump his temperature up a little, if possible. Freeze dried bloodworms aren't a great diet staple for bettas. They're sort of like potato chips to us: yummy, but not a meal. His main food should be a pellet or flakes. Have you seen him poop at all, and if so, was it brown or white and stringy?
You should be doing about 50% water change a week. Bloodworms are a treat. Like crazykat said they are basically like betta potato chips. I suggest a pellet with at least 40% protein and first two ingredients seafood based. Do not get Hikari Bio-Gold, they recently changed their formula.
Also, 75 degrees is too cold. Turn it up to at least 76, preferably 78-80.
Sorry to hear that, especially when he was so new/young. Maybe he had some sort of problem or was already sick from the pet store. Don't give up though. Clean your tank out/change the water and get a new buddy when you feel its right.
Before you get another fish, please look into proper care as per this forum's usual suggestions:
Your tank size is great.
The temp should be 76-82'. 75 isnt the worst Ive heard, but it isnt great. Its best to raise it. When your fish is cold, its metabolism slows and they bloat, much like your passed fish.
In a filtered 5 gallon you need to do 50% change at least once a week. I'd purchase a liquid testing kit (API Is good, and strips are not accurate!) and monitor that tank to see if its over .25ppms ammonia- when it is, do a 25% change. You can eventually cycle that tank, too.
Bettas cannot and should not eat freeze dried anything as a staple diet. Its like us eating chips everyday. Purchase betta pellets (most types are fine, Tetra, wardly, Omega One, aqueon, and hikari are well liked) and feed them those instead. Feed 3 pellets daily for big pellets. Do so not all at once.
When putting a new betta in a tank, you must first acclimate them, too. You take the cup or bag they come from and slowly fill it with new, conditioned tank water while being bobbed in the new tank's water. Do so for at least 20minutes, putting new water in about every 5 minutes. This prevents shock, which can kill them. Do not let the old, nasty water, especially from the store water, to get in there.
Buying aquarium salt is also a good idea..
Im sorry for your loss. Hopefully next time things will go better. Make sure that you clean the tank very well before adding a new fish. Never use soap!! Scalding water works fine, just not on the heater..