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Old 03-28-2011, 07:03 PM   #1 
Grey Theory
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New betta completely inactive- help?

Between myself and my friends, we have six bettas, each in their own, separate tanks in our two rooms (we live in college dorms). Two days ago, we bought three of these bettas, and used the same procedures (and, in two cases, the same rock) between the three new tanks that we purchased. All three of our fish were lively in the store, and were only slightly calmer in their cups/bags as their tanks were settling. Twenty-four hours later, we all put these fish into their tanks, and they all seemed to enjoy the new space- all except one.

This male is in a 2.5 gallon tank (distilled water) with three silk plants and a large bell decoration that he can hide under. There is no light on over his tank, but there is enough light in the room (it's rather bright, really) to make up for it. His temperature's fine, and the other betta in the room is acting normally... but he's just sitting at the bottom of the tank, pretty much perfectly still. I thought he was confused or slightly stressed... but this has gone on for more than a day, now, and his owner's worried.

Help?
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:24 PM   #2 
LolaQuigs
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What exactly is the temperature? Does he have a heater? Did you condition the water? This may or may not be related, but just a suggestion...unless your tap water is absolutely horrendous, I would use it rather than distilled water; distillation takes a lot of the nutrients out of the water.

It is possible that he's just adjusting; some bettas get stressed from the move and take a couple days to settle in. But more info on temperature and what additives you put in the water would be helpful. Also, if you have a picture, that would be great.
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:52 PM   #3 
Miakemi
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Thanks for posting for me Grey Theory. I'm the owner of the betta in question. I decided to join to see if I could help with answers.

I used Top Fin water conditioner the night I set up the tank. The water is at 74 degrees right now. It was colder when I first got him in there (around 65 degrees), but I didn't have a heater here and was planning on my dad sending me the heater that I have at home.

He also isn't eating, but I can't tell if that's from him being picky or disinterest in food. He goes up and takes in the food but then spits it out and lets it fall to the tank floor a moment later.

I'm going to Petsmart to get some other type of food, so I'll buy a water test kit and see if there's anything wrong there.
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:14 PM   #4 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miakemi View Post
Thanks for posting for me Grey Theory. I'm the owner of the betta in question. I decided to join to see if I could help with answers.

I used Top Fin water conditioner the night I set up the tank. The water is at 74 degrees right now. It was colder when I first got him in there (around 65 degrees), but I didn't have a heater here and was planning on my dad sending me the heater that I have at home.

He also isn't eating, but I can't tell if that's from him being picky or disinterest in food. He goes up and takes in the food but then spits it out and lets it fall to the tank floor a moment later.

I'm going to Petsmart to get some other type of food, so I'll buy a water test kit and see if there's anything wrong there.
Sorry for the double post. I couldn't find the edit button. I got a test kit. It's one of the test strips, so it might be slightly inaccurate, but I thought it would be better than not knowing.

pH: 5.5 ( I didn't know it was this low...)
Alkalinity: low to moderate
Hardness: soft
Nitrite: Between 0 and .5
Nitrate: I couldn't tell with this one... It's between 0 and 20 but probably closer to 10.

I also bought a small LED light and some aquarium salt if either of those would help.

Last edited by Miakemi; 03-28-2011 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:32 PM   #5 
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That temperature was HORRENDOUS. That's like you or I living in the arctic sans a coat. Your issue, mainly, is his temperature, from before, which probably affected him, and now- 74' is about 2-3 degrees too cool. Yes, the others may be fairing well, but theyre not doing as* well as they could, I can assure you. The one in question may have been slightly less strong as the others, which you wouldnt have probably noticed, but now its showing.

Your tank has cycled? What? You have a filter, etc? And you managed all this in distilled water? Are you certain? Nitrates and nitrites usually, in those amounts, do not co-exist. Regardless, please do a water change (now) of around 25% with slightly warmer than the tank's temp (by a degree, use the thermometer) and make sure you use the dechlorinator. If its the same type as I have, you'll use a single drop for the half gallon.

What kind of test is that,btw? Strips are laughably inaccurate, and will be so bad as to say, in a tank that has not been changed in weeks, that ammonia is at 0. Theyre crap. Did you get ammonia tests? Those are good to have. In a 2.5 gallon, you should be changing the water out 50% twice a week with a filter minimum, or 50% every other day or two with a 100% sometime during the week.

Proper acclimation is key with bettas, too- have you been doing this correctly? Bobbing the fish in the old water, then adding a bit of new, conditioned water in every 5 minutes for at least 15? Not doing so will cause some bettas, especially new ones, to go into shock. Again, the others may not have, but he might be weaker than they.

Can you get us pictures, btw? That will help.

Also, stop using the distilled water. That might be why your water's ph is weird...that or the test is crap. 5.5 is so low that I daresay it isnt liveable- 6 is low, you know?
Test your water (tap, dechlorinated) and post those results for us. I can pretty much attest that your tap is going to be better. And cheaper, too.

Good luck- hope things work out well for you. Dont worry about food for now, btw- lets get him well first. He can easily go 10 days without. No harm no foul.
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:34 PM   #6 
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Oh, and keep the lights off. Rather, keep a towel or shirt over the fish's tank to allow him to relax, since your room is bright. Make sure he can get air,still, though.

I wouldnt use the AQ salt yet- though its probably the best thing you can have ;)
Do you have decaf green tea, btw? if you do, let us know. <3
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:10 PM   #7 
Miakemi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PewPewPew View Post
That temperature was HORRENDOUS. That's like you or I living in the arctic sans a coat. Your issue, mainly, is his temperature, from before, which probably affected him, and now- 74' is about 2-3 degrees too cool. Yes, the others may be fairing well, but theyre not doing as* well as they could, I can assure you. The one in question may have been slightly less strong as the others, which you wouldnt have probably noticed, but now its showing.

Your tank has cycled? What? You have a filter, etc? And you managed all this in distilled water? Are you certain? Nitrates and nitrites usually, in those amounts, do not co-exist. Regardless, please do a water change (now) of around 25% with slightly warmer than the tank's temp (by a degree, use the thermometer) and make sure you use the dechlorinator. If its the same type as I have, you'll use a single drop for the half gallon.

What kind of test is that,btw? Strips are laughably inaccurate, and will be so bad as to say, in a tank that has not been changed in weeks, that ammonia is at 0. Theyre crap. Did you get ammonia tests? Those are good to have. In a 2.5 gallon, you should be changing the water out 50% twice a week with a filter minimum, or 50% every other day or two with a 100% sometime during the week.

Proper acclimation is key with bettas, too- have you been doing this correctly? Bobbing the fish in the old water, then adding a bit of new, conditioned water in every 5 minutes for at least 15? Not doing so will cause some bettas, especially new ones, to go into shock. Again, the others may not have, but he might be weaker than they.

Can you get us pictures, btw? That will help.

Also, stop using the distilled water. That might be why your water's ph is weird...that or the test is crap. 5.5 is so low that I daresay it isnt liveable- 6 is low, you know?
Test your water (tap, dechlorinated) and post those results for us. I can pretty much attest that your tap is going to be better. And cheaper, too.

Good luck- hope things work out well for you. Dont worry about food for now, btw- lets get him well first. He can easily go 10 days without. No harm no foul.
Here's a picture of the set-up: http://i1092.photobucket.com/albums/...i/IMG_1784.jpg - ironically, he's being somewhat active here.

and a picture of my fish: http://i1092.photobucket.com/albums/...i/IMG_1776.jpg

For cycling, unfortunately it hasn't. I didn't know much about cycling until I started reading last night. I don't have a filter at the moment (I'm expecting to receive one I already had at home in the mail within the next day along with a heater). The only reason I don't know the ammonia is the test I bought advertised that it could test ammonia, but apparently it can't. :/ I wish I had bought a better test. Now I feel really unprepared.

I have a gallon of tap water that I prepared with dechlorinator last night when he started acting inactive. Would that work? As for acclimation, I floated him in the tank to get the temperature right, but I didn't add much of the new water with his old water. I feel stupid now...
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:31 PM   #8 
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First of all I think that you're water is a little too chilly, he would definitely benefit from having a heater, 80 degrees is really the optimal temperature for a betta, 76 degrees is the minimum. When a betta is in water that is too cold it will cause them to be inactive and will lower their immune system making them more susceptible to disease.

He is probably also stressed from moving into a new tank and a new situation, some bettas take longer settle in than others. Offer him food, he will eat when he's ready, but remember to remove any uneaten food after about 15 minutes.

Do daily 15-25% water changes, adding some stress coat won't hurt. You can also add some aquarium salt (1 tsp/gallon) to ward off any potential infections. Soaking his food in garlic guard or garlic juice with no preservatives before feeding it to him with help give a boost to his immune system if you can get him to eat it.
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:36 PM   #9 
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Nice tank, its cute. Put something atop it to keep heat in, though. Youll need to when you get that heater, too.

He doesnt look too bad, I know hes lethargic, but physically he's better than most from what I can see.

Okay. The fact that youre reading Nitrates and nitrties without a filter and in an uncycled tank is ALARMING. That doesnt happen. If it was a filtered, cycling tank, then wooo! But...not now. (boooo.)
When you can, pick up a liquid ammonia test kit. Dont bother with master kits. That size tank is hard to cycle and you'd need a filter, so you dont need one. API (blue box) sells a great one, and its a good price. Im a broke college kid, Im saying this from experience c;
Is the water room temp? If so, yeah, add it. Im going to suggest a water change, 50%, right now. I said 25% before, but I feel now that the whole uncycled thing calls for a higher one.

What to do:
~ Get your little guy into his cup, with the old tank water.
~ There's two of you, right? One of you hold him in your lap and relax. This will keep him warm <3
~Remove 50% ( a decent few inches) of the tank water. If you have a siphon/gravel vacuum, use it.
~Once that is removed, get the water that you had sitting and add some of it. Check to see what the temp is. If its the same as the old tank water, yay <3 Im assuming its around room temp/the same temp since its unheated.
~ This water is treated, yes? Good. You dont, when its been treated, need to let it sit. It takes a few seconds to neutralize.
~ Add the water back slowly, dont mess up your decor, it looks nice!
~ Steal back your boy from your friend's lap, ha. Place his cup into the tank and allow it to float. Add a little (like a spoonfull's worth) of new, treated water into the cup every 5 minutes for about 15 minutes.
**Dont let the cup sink or get too full he cant breathe!
~ After that 15 minutes, take the cup out and empty as much of the old, icky cup water as you can. Gently put the betta back in, avoiding getting the old water back in.

Let him chill for a bit. Lights off, tank dark.

I dont think your not adding water wouldve messed him up too badly. You didnt know, no worries. You know now. <3
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:26 PM   #10 
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Thank you for all of your advice. I'll be sure to update you in a few days when I can tell if he's improved. :)
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