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Old 06-02-2011, 06:27 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: San Francisco
Exclamation Newly bought betta and looks sick already :(

First post! :)

What size is your tank? 1/2 Gallon
What temperature is your tank? 69.5 F
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? No
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Hikari Betta Bio-Gold
How often do you feed your betta fish? Not eating!


How often do you perform a water change? Did water change on 5/29, thinking about doing water change today 6/2
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? N/A
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Added water conditioner and pH down

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

Ammonia: N/A
Nitrite: N/A
Nitrate: N/A
pH: 7.2
Hardness: N/A
Alkalinity: N/A

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Grey spots on head
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Sluggish, only comes up for air, tilts sideways, not eating
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Tuesday night 5/31
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? N/A
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Just bought him this past weekend!
How old is your fish (approximately)? N/A

I just bought 2 male betta's this past Sunday (MDW) with my boyfriend, did the water conditioning and waited to transfer them both the night after. Mine (blue one) seems to be doing perfectly fine (eating like a pig, actively swimming) but my boyfriend's isn't doing so well on the other hand. He hasn't eaten since Tuesday night, he swims to the top and stares at the food and spits it back out and he kind of just leans on the tank floor. We housed both of them both in separate 1/2 gallon tanks, usually I'm the one with dying fishes, what could be wrong with his and what can i buy to treat him? He looks like he's dying!

Picture here :

Last edited by BlooeyPatooey; 06-02-2011 at 06:30 AM.
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:33 AM   #2 
Twilight Storm
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Location: Midwest, USA
Welcome to the forum. :)

I am not an expert but the things I see that might be wrong is he is freezing and might be reacting to the acid from the PH down?

They really do best in 76-78 up to low to mid 80 oF water from what I have read in so many posts here.
I love this little heater, and it keeps the water at about 80 in a half gallon bowl, but still use a thermometer in case it is defective in some way:
The above heater is a preset heater so is not adjustable. This may or may not be an issue if you need to get the water above 78-80 degrees. I could not find a heater that would be ok in a quarantine bowl that was a half gallon other then that. (zoomed round pad heater tried to cook my fish. I caught it when it was in the 90's and still rising so don't buy that one!)

I don't use PH up and PH down, I know there are posts here about the chemicals though. Betta's seem really sensitive to them. PH down is the acid one I think and he might be reacting to that? Personally my fish are in 8.0 PH water and are fine. If the store you got him from is by your house he was most likely acclimated to the higher PH water near you. Keep in mind though it's up to you to use it, I am not saying you should stop, I am not familiar with personally using the product. I do know it's easy to burn them with it though. If you guys used a bunch of it to even out his PH I personally would get him in fresh water.

If you change anything until someone more expert then me can help getting his water temp up to 78-80 probably would be best.

Good luck and best wishes to your family and your new fish :)

Hikari is pretty awful food now btw, they changed the recipe so wheat is the first ingredient. A higher protein food would be healthier for them in the long run. New Life Spectrum makes good foods. I use Aqueon Betta food and New life spectrum betta formula and my guys like it.

Last edited by Twilight Storm; 06-02-2011 at 08:39 AM. Reason: forgot
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:07 PM   #3 
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Hi. Trying to change PH is more difficult that it seems and the swings are usually more of a problem for the fish than the particular level. My rule is to not try to keep fish that I would have to change the PH for, but the experienced Betta keepers here all agree that Bettas can accept a wide range as long as it's consistent.

.5 gallons is pretty small and you will have to do frequent water changes. If you go to the Betta Care section, there are a couple of "stickies" that give the run down on basic care.

Betta's are from Thailand where it is quite warm. They are only room temperature fish in places with comparable weather! Both fish will need heaters. Hagen Elite Mini 25 watt is an adjustable one. Don't know if they will work in .5 gallon bowl however. After you read the sections on basic care, you might decide to upgrade to something larger. Your Bettas will have fewer health issues and you will have less work and less stress if you do. Fish stores tend to be warm from all of the heated tanks, so a lot of times even employees who mean well don't realize how poorly Bettas do at the average household temperature! Do be careful to raise the temperature very slowly. One person here was told that she should do it over several days--I'm not sure.

In the meantime, do try changing sick fishy's water--it will have A LOT of ammonia in it by now. Actually, I would change the water for both fish. You're just lucky that yours is still doing well! He's probably stronger. Use the conditioner to remove chlorine, etc. And follow the directions for slowly acclimating them to their new water. (If they came in a cup, you can put them back in their cups with some of their old water. Try to get the new water the same temp and condition it. Then add some of the new water to their cups ever 10 minutes of so.)

Let us know how he's doing!

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Old 06-02-2011, 07:06 PM   #4 
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Location: Idaho
I have harder water and I use pH down for things such as fish I am trying to breed etc but for my just pet fish they are fine in the harder water, I would do as suggested and buy him a heater, I would also up the water changes to two per week on 50% and one 100% and see if that perks him up.
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Old 06-03-2011, 07:40 PM   #5 
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Thanks for the help/responses!

Changed both their waters yesterday (6/2), friend gave me a dosage of bettafix and now I'm just waiting for the results... He still isn't eating and hasn't eaten since Tuesday... I'm looking around craigslist for bigger tanks, I want to upgrade soon!

Also have a question about blood worms/brine shrimp... Thinking about buying a bag to feed it to them as treats but they come in such a big bag! How do i keep them alive?
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Old 06-03-2011, 08:49 PM   #6 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elk Grove, California
Generally, fish adapt to PH variations. 7.2 shouldn't be an issue; mine is 7.5 here in the central valley of CA.
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:49 PM   #7 
Arashi Takamine
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Location: Cerulean City.
Don't worry so much about eating as getting him back to speed. A stressed and lethargic betta will not touch anything for a long time. They can go up to a week without food. When he's hungry he will nom. A heater or a warm place like placing them under a desk lamp and check the temp. My mom prefers to check the water with an unused meat thermomitor because it gives a more accurate reading on the temp in the actual water then the in tank thermomitor.

Once they warm up a bit they may feel a lot better. Try to pick up an ammonia test kit. Don't use a PH down anymore. It's not too good for them.

Be very careful with bettafix. It could harm their Labyrinth organ. You don't need a big gigantic tank to upgrade them. You can find a clear cookie jar in any gallon size at a pottery place. You could also check thrift stores.
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:51 AM   #8 
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Problem after problem, they never seem to stop. Just discovered what seems to be a hole on the upper fin of my fish... What could this possibly be? And how can I fix this?

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Old 06-04-2011, 12:54 AM   #9 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elk Grove, California
Well, most of his fins look really healthy so perhaps he tore it. However . . . pinholes in the middle of otherwise healthy fins can also be a sign of beginning fin rot so keep an eye on it and if he develops any more holes or the edges of his fins start to look ragged, start a salt treatment ASAP.
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:59 AM   #10 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elk Grove, California
I don't have any experience with live bloodworms as no place around here or online that I've found sells them. I'd suggest googling about that. If you want to feed live foods, it might be easier to culture mosquito larvae. They'll keep themselves alive until you feed them. The only thing is with mosquito larvae is to feed them before they become full-grown mosquitos. West Nile and all that.

.5 gallons is a little small for a full-time home but good for now as a quarantine/hospital tank. You don't need anything very big, maybe about 3 gallons. Just remember that the smaller the tank, the more often you have to change the water. Otherwise, a betta can be perfectly happy in a small 3g tank.
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