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Old 04-22-2011, 04:13 PM   #1 
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Question Please help, lethargic and not eating betta

Hi everyone,

I have only had my betta a week..He is a male crowntail. He is living in a 10 gallon tank with plastic plants, rocks, gravel, ornaments for hiding and a real plant. There isn't a filter, but he has a heater the temperature is constantly at 78 degrees. I have ordered a light off the internet, but at the moment he just has daylight/normal light in the room and dark over night. I washed the tank and everything else in really hot water before anything. The water stood for 24 hours and was heated to proper temperature and had a tiny bit of aquarium salt and the right amount of water conditioner in it, before I put him in. He was super perky right up until yesterday, swam around a lot and would come right up to the top when you put food in, or up to your fingers if you went to pull out a bit of plant. He would eat straight away, although with the pellets just seemed to eat and then spit it out several times, but i figured thats because they are too big for him and he just took something from the edges. He also had a few dried bloodworms a day. I would only leave the food in there for a minute or so and then take any leftover out. So yeah, he seemed very happy, swum about lots, eating, resting in the plant, flaring if i held a mirror up.

But as of yesterday he doesnt seem happy. He just hangs out at the top of the tank, just floating there. And even if I drop food in front of him he just ignores it. He will move a little bit, does change positions, but always just by the surface. The tank did develop a thin clear film over the top, but it is easy broken when he goes to the surface, and I looked online and it seems common, I used kitchen paper on the surface of the water and it got rid of it, but my fish didn't even move while I was doing that. He looks all kind of clamped together, his tail isnt really spread out anymore, but I cannot see any damage or rot or wounds or fungus, he just seems lethargic and doesnt want to eat.

Does anyone have any ideas what is wrong and what I could do?

Thankyou for taking the time to read this, and I hope I can do something and he will be OK.
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Old 04-22-2011, 04:19 PM   #2 
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Welcome to the forum and sorry you are having problems....since you have only had him for a week...I would start by making a 50% water change for the next couple of days and see if this will perk him up.....even in a 10g unfiltered...without the proper light for the live plant and along with the waste and decomp going on...I suspect water quality issue.......

Can you post a pic.....

Make sure the water temp is within a couple of degrees between new and old water with the water change and use a little extra dechlrinator with the fresh like temp water....I would hold the food for the 2 days of water changes as well.......

What kind of live plant?

Good luck and keep us posted......
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Old 04-22-2011, 04:30 PM   #3 
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Thanks, I will try that, and will try to take a picture of him to put up on here too, though not sure how my camera will cope. I will also try to find on the internet what type of plant it is. I did consult the lady in the pet store about what type of plant was suitable and got the one she suggested, but perhaps not having the light yet is an issue... I wanted a live plant to provide more oxygen and something soft to rest on, but maybe I should just take it out? I fished out any loose bits of it so they wouldn't decompose and it doesn't look like it is unhealthy at all..

I will try changing the water and taking a picture and let you know.
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Old 04-22-2011, 06:44 PM   #4 
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OK so I have left some more water to warm up. Took a picture of him, will attach it here. He is actually quite a lot darker than this, but the camera distorted the colours. His tail is raggedy but that is just the shape it is, when its spread out you can see its meant to be like that.

Any ideas? He is still only at the surface, never swims down, and seems to be going backwards quite a bit...
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Old 04-22-2011, 08:04 PM   #5 
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There is a sticky at the top of this forum. If you could copy that list of questions and fill it out, it would give us a lot more information to help you.

Were you adding aquarium salt to treat for something specific? Your fish tank does not need salt on a regular basis.
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Old 04-22-2011, 08:16 PM   #6 
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Hi, I just read through all the questions and think I already answered all of them in my description, except that I haven't cycled/changed the water yet, havent had it a week yet... I have some water waiting to warm up. I added aquarium salt because read that it was a good thing when setting up a tank at the beginning, I only used one teaspoon full in a 10 gallon tank though so don't think that would be too much of a problem.
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Old 04-22-2011, 08:19 PM   #7 
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Oh sorry, I forgot a couple.

He has access to the air, the tank just has a mesh lid over it. I have not tested the pH or anything in the tank though, I can go and get a test tomorrow if you think that could be a possible cause. I did use the water conditioner that was meant to make tap water safe for bettas though.
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Old 04-22-2011, 08:19 PM   #8 
Neil D
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Feed him only 1 bloodworm a week. And 3 pellets a day at most. Maybe he's lethargic from being overfed. They can and will eat themselves to death.
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Old 04-22-2011, 08:21 PM   #9 
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OK...the lady in the pet store told me to feed about 4 a day. He hasn't had more a few. He doesnt eat the whole pellets though..he takes them in and munches but they seem too big he spits them back out several times and eventually leaves it..I do not know if he gets any nutrition from that?
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Old 04-22-2011, 10:10 PM   #10 
Arashi Takamine
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It's probably high alkelinity. He looks near to an exact when my own crowntail began to act lethargic a few days after bringing him home. The alkelinity being high could cause him to become lethargic. Try doing a 75% waterchange and getting smaller pellets. After doing a 75% percent change my own betta was back to his old self within a few minutes. Try turning the heater up as well. My tanks despite the heaters being pre-set to 78 are kept at a constant 81.
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