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Old 04-03-2011, 10:57 PM   #1 
LinxuSx
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Betta acting super lethargic

Hey all,

This is my first betta (aqua steve) and he has always been really active and happy from what I can tell.

I feed him twice a day with HBH Betta ColorBright, and I change the water about once a week, using Tap Water through a Britta Filter and Top Find Water Conditioner...

His tank is a 2.5 gallon tank, with rocks, fake plants, a filter (but no heater).

Anyways, I just changed the water today for the third time since I got him, and I noticed how lethargic he was acting. When I put him in a temporary tank, he sank to the bottom and was hardly moving. He was breathing heavily, and laying on his side at the bottom. Every few minutes he would freak out and appear to try to jump out of the top of the water.

He did the same thing when I put him in the cleaned tank too.

I just found out that you are supposed to use a heater with them, so I mixed in some warmer water and brought up the temperature of the tank a bit.

Symptoms include: heavy breathing, laying on side in awkward positions at the bottom, and random sporadic freak outs, where he looks like hes trying to jump out of the tank. He also just started floating at the top of the water, and appears to be eating the top of the water (maybe gasping for air?)

I will run to the pet store tomorrow and pick up a heater, and a water tester, but what can I do to keep him alive over night / what is wrong with him?

He does not appear to be bloated, but I'm not fully sure what a bloated fish looks like.

Any help is appreciated.

Last edited by LinxuSx; 04-03-2011 at 11:01 PM.
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:09 PM   #2 
Canuck Fins
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Lethargic often means your fish is cold. Get a heater and an inexpensive thermometer you can hang on the inside of your tank to monitor your temperature. The happy zone is about 76* to 82* consistently.

Also with a 2.5 gallon tank, once a week water changes give ammonia levels a lot of time to build up. In a smaller tank like that, twice a week water changes are going to be better for your fishy.

Good luck! :)
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:11 PM   #3 
CrowntailxKing
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Well, first off, a bloated fish just looks chubbier and rounder on the sides. Does he seem to look any bigger with a rounder belly? You could lower the water level in the tank, that way he doesnt have to swim so far to get air and also so that it will be harder for him to jump out.
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:12 PM   #4 
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Yikes, that sounds really really bad. The experts will respond on emergency care. I would add that in addition to the heater, get a thermometer as well. I use the inexpensive sticky one that adheres to the outside of the tank. It may not be precise, but it gives me a good idea what the temp range is in the tank. Heaters can be expensive. I use the automatic one with no manual adjustment and it keeps my tank at approx. 76-77 degrees and my fish is doing fine with the consistent temp.
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:15 PM   #5 
LinxuSx
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Thank you all for the quick replies. I will definitely swing by the pet store tomorrow morning when they open.

Any tips on how to keep him alive over night?

Also he is now just hanging out at the top of the water, kind of careless of staying upright, with his mouth half in / half out of the water. I noticed too that there is a small white spot on his gills, that I don't remember being there before... Not sure if that helps with anything
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:18 PM   #6 
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Location: Canada, eh?
Are the spots moving around?

If not, probably ich... which can be cured w/ ich cure picked up from the pet-store, and cleaner water.
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:31 PM   #7 
LinxuSx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Betta Slave View Post
Are the spots moving around?

If not, probably ich... which can be cured w/ ich cure picked up from the pet-store, and cleaner water.
It is just 1 small spot, and it is sticking out just a tiny bit (not just a discoloration). It's only on the right side (half way between his face and gills).

Quote:
White cottony growths that are larger than ich are fungus. This can be treated with a medicine such as Maracyn or Rid Fungus.
Does anyone have a picture of this? It might be that...
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:43 PM   #8 
LinxuSx
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Also, here's this if it helps..

Housing

What size is your tank? 2.5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? room temperature. Just added warm water to bring it up (no thermometer)
Does your tank have a filter? yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? yes
Is your tank heated? no
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? just some rocks, two plastic plants, and a barrel

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Betta ColorBright
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice a day (I think i've been feeding him too much)

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? Once a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Water Treatment

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? No

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? He has a small 3D dot on his right gill. It looks to be about 0.5 mm^3 in dimensions, and might be a fungus? Not sure...
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He is not moving around anymore, is gasping for breath at the surface, and is floating around in non-upright positions. He is also breathing heavily.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Today
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Yes, I put warmer water in his fish bowl.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? Maybe a month or two.
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Old 04-04-2011, 12:44 PM   #9 
LinxuSx
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To update, I went to Petsmart this morning and got the water tested and picked up a Thermometer.

His water is at about 77 - 78F right now.

It tested positive for Ammonia, but the lady said it was nothing too high. She gave me some acquarium salt and an Ammonia reducer. I put the recommended amount of the reducer, about two pinches of the salt, and a little more water conditioner, but he is still acting sick. He is hanging out by the surface and still breathing heavily. Every couple of minutes he will freak out at the surface of the water and swim around really fast, almost as if hes attacking the surface...

Any ideas? I want Aqua Steve to make it and live!
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Old 04-04-2011, 01:20 PM   #10 
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Usually when a fish is trying to get out like that it can be a sign that something is wrong with the water or a parasite......the heavy breathing can be a sign of gill problems related to toxic substance or parasites...my first thought when I first read this....chlorine/chloramine or some other toxic substance in the water...check the expiration date on your dechlorinater and make sure to shake well before use...some of the dechlorinator require that you use double dose (check the label) if you have chloramine in the water along with chlorine......if this was a sudden change in behavior especially after a water change it could be the dechlorinator or lack of.....

pH swings, something toxic on your hands, in the air that fell in the tank, etc.... can also cause this type of behavior

Best treatment is to make another water change and use extra dechlorinator, turn off the light and filter.....

Watch the white areas on his gills for changes...hopefully this problem is related to external parasites since they can usually recover without issues.....
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