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Old 04-30-2011, 11:11 AM   #1 
Columbine
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can't swim, lethargic

about a week ago I noticed my little guy wasn't swimming around the tank like he normally does. He just sits at the bottom. I can't see any other physical symptoms except he's thinner and duller. This morning, I noticed he can't seem to stay upright like his equillibrium is off.

any advice is welcome. I'm pretty concerned.
thank you!

Housing
What size is your tank? 10 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 86 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? yes
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? betta flakes
How often do you feed your betta fish? pinch 1/day

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? once a month
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100% (or add water when it gets low)
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? stress coat conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia:n/a
Nitrite:n/a/a/a
Nitrate:n/a
pH:n/a
Hardness:n/a
Alkalinity:n/a

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? yes, thinner & duller
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? yes, stays on bottom & can't seem to keep his equillibrium--not eating now
When did you start noticing the symptoms? week ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? don't know how
Does your fish have any history of being ill? no
How old is your fish (approximately)? I've had him for 15 mos
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Old 04-30-2011, 11:35 AM   #2 
Here Fishy Fishy Fishy
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Columbine,

Okay, first of all...

If you have a small plastic container (like the betta came from the store in), place your fish in it with a small amount of fresh, conditoned water, brought up to tank temperature. The idea here is that we want to make it easier for your fish to get to the surface for air while he is ill. If you have too, just cover him enough so he can reach up and breath.

While your fish is in this QT container with such a small amount of water, you'll want to change it frequently - every few hours - to keep it clean and safe.

Next, you'll want to slowly bring the temperture of the tank down... bettas do best at about 76F... plus, the cooler water tempertures will slow down the breeding of any bacteria he may be fighting off. Do it slowly, over a couple of days... you do not want to put your betta into thermal shock.

As your fish starts to perk up, slowly increase the amount of water in his QT (but keep up with the water changes).

Do a 50% water change in the tank now. Before your fish goes back into his tank, do another 50% water change.

Going forward, I would do 25% water changes w/ gravel cleaning each week; and a 50% once a month. Infrequent water changes/cleanings can lead to illness in fish.

Also, check the expiration date on your food. Even if it is in date, if it's more than 3 months old, it has lost it's nutritional value. Use the old food for plant fertilizer, and get your buddy fresh food.

I hope your buddy feels better soon... although I must tell you, the loss of equalibrium is not a good sign. With treatment, he may pull out of it. These little bettas are tough little fish... Good luck to him and you. :)
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Old 04-30-2011, 11:36 AM   #3 
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How frustrating! Sometimes it takes a while for problems to show up if their living conditions are okay but not good for them.

There are a few things I think might be contributing to your fish's problems. For starters, you aren't changing the water enough. I assume since you are doing 100% changes, that you do not have a cycled tank. Changing it once a month isn't going to be enough because ammonia will build up. I don't have a 10G but I think once a month isn't often enough, esp when you are feeding flakes. Flakes aren't a very nutritious food and tend to foul up the water because they sink/harder to remove uneaten.

Try switching your fish over to pellets. Two to three pellets twice a day. I saw a huge increase in my fish's activity when I changed him. (The pet store gave me flakes to start. I got rid of them after a week.) It'll be a lot easier to consistently feed the same amount.

I'd also reduce your tank temperature. 86* is at the high end. Somewhere around 80 to 82* would be much easier for your fish.

Good luck! :)
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Old 04-30-2011, 11:39 AM   #4 
Here Fishy Fishy Fishy
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If you notice any other symptoms, please feel free to update. I check in later to see how things are going.
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Old 04-30-2011, 11:51 AM   #5 
Columbine
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thank you so much for the advice. I will try your suggestions and post updates as I can.
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Old 04-30-2011, 07:28 PM   #6 
Columbine
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well, I was following your advice, but, unfortunately Romy died today.

thank you again for all your help. I guess he was pretty sick. Like you said, the equillibrium loss wasn't a good sign.

I'll miss him.
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Old 04-30-2011, 08:22 PM   #7 
Here Fishy Fishy Fishy
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I'm so sorry for your loss. :(

You were trying to help him; sometimes, that's all we can do.
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Old 04-30-2011, 08:37 PM   #8 
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Sorry you lost him. It's always hard to say goodbye.
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Old 05-01-2011, 12:11 AM   #9 
The Bear
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I'm sorry for your loss.

My little guy went out last week, exhibiting the same things that yours had.

Bummer
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