Fish's age is unknown. I bought him last Friday from a pet store. Have him in a 3.5 gallon aquarium. The aquarium is brand new purchased at the same time as the betta. It did have a filter. An hour after turning on the filter the water looked cloudy. The water was treated with a conditioner. I didn't think much about the cloudy water as it was slight and I thought maybe I just didn't rinse the gravel as well as I thought I had or maybe there was too much air in the water? We set up the tank with a natural looking black small gravel with a few large smooth white stones in the bottom for decoration. We also put in a little betta cave and a silk fake plant and a smooth plastic one. We also put in a little statue/decoration. I bought a heater for him yesterday and turned it up to 80 degrees. He really seemed to like the heater and stayed close to it but not touching it. The heater is working well and maintaining it at 79 to 80 degrees. No air stone. So he was really enjoying his heater last night. I've had the aquarium and the betta (haven't even had a chance to settle on a name for him) for five and half days and I came home this evening to find that the filter has gone insane. It's spouting foamy bubbles everywhere and the water is cloudy, cloudy. It may have just been too much air in the water (I know water looks milky when there's too much air too fast) but obviously this filter wasn't working how it was supposed to be working. The filter bit may have nothing to do with it but the betta's fins are clamped. I scooped him into his little cup that I brought him home in and scooped all but maybe a half inch of the water from the tank. I refilled the tank, let it heat, and conditioned the water. Both of his fins are clamped. He's able to get one of the fins unclamped but it seems like it takes him a great effort, he moves it a few strokes and then brings it back to the side and stays that way for quite a while. Also he appears to have gray-ish patches that are visible around the fin area. He is lethargic and hasn't eaten since yesterday morning. I shone a flashlight on him and only on one side around the side fin does it appear slightly golden. He is not darting or rubbing however. Is this something fungal or could it just be stress? Am I over reacting or being paranoid?
Hi Nat and welcome to the forum. When you set up the filter, did you rinse all the filter cartridges in warm water first, especially the carbon cartridge? If not rinsed, new carbon cartridges will cloud the water a lot. Did you rinse the gravel until the water ran clear before putting in the tank? That's usually another source of cloudy water.
Can you describe the filter, like what brand etc? It might help us know how to fix the filter so it stops bubbling like nuts. I do think the filter and the cloudy water are playing a part in your guy's behavior. One thing you can do is get him out and put him in the cup he came in from the pet store (if you still have it) or another similar size container with some clean, dechlorinated water. Float that in his tank so he stays warm. If his behavior changes while he's out of that environment, I would definitely say the filter is to blame and take it back if you can.
As for possible fungus, that's harder to tell. Can you get pictures of the gray patches on his fins?
Thank you so much for the reply!!! I am getting really worried and I'm stuck at work until 5 so I can't do anything until then! The filter came with the aquarium and is made by Top Finn. I rinsed everything in warm water before placing it in the tank. The filter was fine (just the water a little cloudy) until I got home yesterday when it decided to go nuts. I figured that the cloudy water was due to it being a new set up as the filter was acting fine and ran great all weekend even with a baffle around it and was working really well up until yesterday. I yanked it out of the tank immediately and haven't put it back in since. I did a 95% water change and conditioned the water. I wish that I could get a picture but as of this morning he's gone all dark in color and you can't even see the grey patches anymore. This morning he moved around the tank a little and seemed to be able to unclamp his fins a bit but appeared to be having problems unsticking them/moving them. Before I left for work he was laying on the bottom of the tank and was very, very dark in color and his colors were very dull looking. Any ideas at all???????????????????
Gagh, that doesn't sound good at all. I would definitely return the whole setup and tell them there is something in the filter that made your betta sick. Since Top Fin is Petsmart's own house brand, I'm not sure how good of quality it is. All I can suggest filter-wise is checking to see if anything is clogging it to cause it to bubble. But even so, even if it was clogged, it shouldn't have caused your guy to get sick like that. I hope he pulls through. It's good you got the filter out and did a water change, maybe the fresh water will revive him during the day. *hopeful*
And offhand, I would say your guy doesn't have a fungus. The gray patches could have been anything from his natural coloring to ammonia burns from the pet store, to missing scales if he hurt himself (most likely on that darn filter).
My husband is all in favor of returning it, he is ticked. The problem is that I threw the receipt away by accident. I had no idea that Top Fin is PetSmart's own brand so if I bring in the receipt for the Top Fin heater I bought (that seems to be working great) and return the tank in the box (I still have that - go figure) then I would think they would take it back. I think that I am going to purchase another aquarium, get it set up and then box up this one and return it. Fungal was just the closest thing that I could find that it fit - it certainly wasn't white and cottony though. The last time I had fish was maybe 17 years ago and they were goldfish and never did get sick like this. He's actually looking worse this morning. I'm hoping he's looking better tonight when I get home. This is so frustrating.
I would definitely try returning it. They SHOULD be able to look up your receipt for you. I returned a tank once and forgot the receipt at home and they got into the computer and looked the transaction number up. If they won't do that, maybe they can give you store credit.
Sadly, pet store bettas are often sick when we bring them home because of the really lousy store care they receive. It's frustrating because a lot of new owners get discouraged when their bettas get sicking; they think it's their fault and they're horrible owners but it isn't always so.
I really hope he's perked up when you get home, I hope the clean water helps.
Thank you so much. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to respond it's been crazy around here. Unfortunately when we got home with all of our emergency supplies (bottled perfectly conditioned betta water, a little bowl to move him to until we could get our new tank set up and ready for him, emergency medicine, etc...) he was gone. We exchanged the 3.5 gallon for a 10 gallon and we're planning to doctor him back to health and give him a couple of compatible tank mates. It is disappointing and sad. I think the thing that upsets me the most is that he was perfectly fine until the filter went beserk. We went ahead and set up the 10 gallon anyway and let it run 24 hours. It's overfiltered (it came with a free Aqueon - hope I spelled that right - filter suitable for a 20 gallon tank). My husband was really wanting an active tank anyway so we got a few platties. Guess what - one wasn't acting right from the minute we got home with him in the bag. I checked the PH level and it was running high - about 7.4 but everything I read about platties was that they prefer a PH of 7.5. One of the platties died this morning. The other platty seems to be doing OK so far. I'm going to have to find somewhere else to buy fish. I still want a betta but I've decided to get this tank going first and then once I get my sewing/craft room cleaned out and fixed up I am going to try to find a nice 5 gallon and get another betta. They are just so calm and peaceful. He was definitely helping my stress level just watching him. Thanks so much again for all of your help and your supportive words.
Ah, Nat, I'm so sorry you lost him. That stupid filter, I think it's to blame. But now you have a great medicine chest all set up for your fish and for your new betta when you get him. And I'm sorry about your platies. But I have 7.4-8.8 pH and one of my platies is giving birth right now. Perhaps the one who died was sick to begin with. With the care they give them at Petsmart, I wouldn't be surprised. Keep an eye on your remaining platies, hopefully they will settle in. And I'm learning that new platies are notorious for not eating for a few days so if yours do that, don't worry.
Aqueon is a good filter so it should work great and overfiltering is always better than underfiltering. In fact, the filters I have for my 2 10gs are also for 20g.
I will look forward to reading your posts when you get your next betta, Nat.
My sole surviving platty seems to be doing all right just lonely. We waited 24 hours after we got him before feeding - he ate like a pig. So, we're going to get him a friend or two this afternoon. Thanks again and I'll be sure to visit back once I have another betta.