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Old 03-28-2011, 02:02 PM   #1 
newbie32
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Is my fish sick and/or dying?

I originally posted this in the betta fish care section. I am now reposting here:

I am a new betta owner and new to this forum. My guy's name is king fishy. I have him in a 10 gal with two fake plants, gravel and a castle (like i said, he's the king). he's got a heater and a filter. no air pump. is one needed? i use tap water, but i used aquasafe. i haven't changed his water yet. he hasn't been in there a week. his water looks crystal clear, though it was cloudy when king was in there for the first day or two. i feed him once a day with bettamin tropical medley. i also had two bettabulbs in there, but they started getting moldy and i took them out.

now, i have him in my office. left for the weekend and he wasn't fed. i read that they can go a little bit without food and it's no big deal. please correct me if i am misinformed.

i come into the office, feed him a teeny bit of food. he does swim around, but i found him earlier down on the gravel, in the corner of the tank and kind of laying on his side. i reasearched and i read it could be swimmer's bladder. however, he doesn't float, he's not bloated and he didn't stay in that spot for too long. i have noticed a little strangeness in his behavior. he is currently sitting in his favorite plant, not moving. he looks almost like he is stuck there. before he moved there, he swam around a bit, but spent most of his time on the gravel underneath his favorite plant. he's been kind of a shy fish since i got him, but i just want to make sure he's not sick or i'm some how killing him. last week he was swimming around more than laying around. though, he does dart into his castle when some people come into my office. i think he is scared of people other than me, the office manager and my secretary.

PLEASE HELP!!!! have i done something wrong? can i save him? is he dying?
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Old 03-28-2011, 02:16 PM   #2 
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What is the water temperature? You do not need an air pump. I would change the water 25-50% all of this week. I know this is at work and it is probably a pain (I have a work fish too) but at least start with that and see if he perks up. I would recommend taking a water sample to a petstore near your work to test the water parameters once a week. Your tank isn't cycled I am assuming so if he gets better resume with 2 25-50% water changes for at least 4 more weeks (depending on what the water parameters look like each week). Once the tank cycles you can go with 1 25% water change. Him not eating over the weekend would not cause a problem. My little guy is fine and just going crazy for me to drop the food by the time I get to my desk on Mondays. Hope that helps!

Getting the tanks to cycle can be a massive pain since you don't want to give your fishy ammonia poisoning!

Last edited by iheartmybettas; 03-28-2011 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 03-28-2011, 02:29 PM   #3 
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My thermometer says the tank is 78 degrees. I have a Tetra 5-15 heater. It says it is supposed to keep the water at 78, but often my thermometer says 76. I hope this is warm enough. Originally he was in a gallon bowl with no heater. Then I read I wasn't being very nice to him by doing that. I ran right out and got this big tank. He really seemed to enjoy it. Now he just seems strange. Doing at a lot of laying around, but not quite like how everyone describes this swimmer's bladder stuff.

I'm not sure what my tank being cycled means, so I'll also assume no. The directions said to set it up and let it run for 24 hours before putting my fish in. That's what I did. Wish the directions had explained cycling!!!! Does this mean I did something awful to my fish by putting him in there? I don't want to be cruel to my lil guy. I'm incredibly concerned for his well being.

I have no petstores where I'm at. Crazy, huh? I will go buy a test kit at Wal-Mart when I get the chance. Could it be my water is the problem?

Also, is the food I am giving him ok? I have seen other people posting about all these different kinds of foods and I don't have any of that. When I bought King at Petco, they told me the Bettamin Tropical Flakes was all the food I needed. (Petco is nowhere near me. I got him while on a visit to STL)

And no, my co-workers didn't hurt King. Everyone likes him. : )
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Old 03-28-2011, 02:46 PM   #4 
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I just changed 1/3 of the water. Again, I used tap water and the AquaSafe to get rid of the cholrine. The water change kinda freaked him out. He came out of the castle to see what was going on. Then he just stared at his reflection for a little while and went back into his castle. Now he is out swimming a little bit. Must know I'm typing about him. Is my water the issue? Will changing the water fix things? Seems like a lot of work to change the water everyday, but if I must, I must.
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Old 03-28-2011, 02:54 PM   #5 
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He eats when I feed him. Doesn't seem to have a problem with Flake food at all. He honestly is acting so much better now that I did a partial water change. I'll keep doing this like iheartmybettas advised. Seems to do the trick. THANKS A MILLION! and King Fishy thanks you too!
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Old 03-28-2011, 03:02 PM   #6 
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The temperature is best between 78-80. 76 might be ok but I know everyone on here is going to say try to keep it at 78. I really had no luck with the Tetra heaters staying where they are supposed to. I ended up ordering something from Amazon. It doesn't sound like swim bladder. He might just be getting used to his environment also. I only suggested to do a lot of water changes this week just to be safe.

It is ok that you put the fish in. You will just be doing fish in cycling. Basically any tank over 5 gallons can cycle. I am no expert on it either but basically your tank goes through 3 cycles: ammonia, nitrite and nitrate due to the ammonia released by your fish (as poop, through gills). Ammonia and nitrite are harmful while low amounts of nitrate are good. Good bacteria begins to build up in the gravel and filter media. The water changes you do will ensure your fish doesn't get sick or die from going through the ammonia and nitrite cycles. At the least get the $10 ammonia test stripes from Walmart and test the ammonia twice a week if not more. Amazon has a full test kit online for about $25. I also know that people recommend if you can't test to do 2 50% water changes until cycled. I tended to do a water change every 2 days on my 10 gallons at home when they were cycling but I am a crazy water changer and tester! Once the tank cycles you can decrease to one 25% change per week. If you get live plants you could probably get away with even less.

I feed my females the Bettamin flakes because it is easier to spread the wealth with all 11 of them in the same tank. The best foods are going to be omega one, atisons and new life spectrum in terms of quality of protein in the food. Your flakes are fine but you could get pellets with better protein. Everyone has their own preference. At home I do a little of everything but my work betta has Hikari pellets right now. He feels spoiled but if he only knew what my other ones got he would be mad. Lol!
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Old 03-28-2011, 03:02 PM   #7 
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Hmmm, now I'm told two different things. OY! Anyone else want to chime in? To change the water or not to change the water?

And I will look into this baffle. I know he doesn't like the current at all!
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Old 03-28-2011, 03:06 PM   #8 
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Expert or no expert, your advice has seemed to work thus far. I will continue the water changes this week and then less frequently until this cycling is complete. Thanks for all your help everyone!

Do I need anything special in my tank for live plants? All I have is gravel in there, a castle and two fake plants. I have seen other members' pictures and they have far more going on in their tank than me. Perhaps I should too? Do live plants help the health of bettas? Perhaps this is a better question for a different section of the forum.
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Old 03-28-2011, 03:10 PM   #9 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newbie32 View Post
He eats when I feed him. Doesn't seem to have a problem with Flake food at all. He honestly is acting so much better now that I did a partial water change. I'll keep doing this like iheartmybettas advised. Seems to do the trick. THANKS A MILLION! and King Fishy thanks you too!
That is great! :) It is amazing what just changing some of the water can do.

It is true bettas are hardy but I don't feel like I need to put my fish through extreme conditions and test them to see how hardy they really are. I would rather see it be happy and flourish rather than just exist.
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Old 03-28-2011, 03:16 PM   #10 
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Uh oh. King Fishy is back to laying oddly on the gravel. He's not moving, just laying. Almost like he's taking a nap. He is breathing. I can see his gills moving normally. Or at least what I would think is normal gill movement. I'm back to being concerned. Perhaps he wore himself out when he was attacking his reflection? Maybe he is sick?
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