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Old 08-09-2011, 04:46 PM   #1 
harrypotter
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Very lethargic betta - please help!

I really need some help! For the past two days my betta has been laying at the bottom of his tank, coming up only for air and for food, although today I found uneaten food in his tank (he is a complete pig and eats everything so somethings is definitely wrong)

Housing
What size is your tank? - 2 gallon
What temperature is your tank? - 74 degrees. I bought a heater last night because I thought the cold water (temp sat at 70 degrees before heater) would be affecting him but I can't get the heater to go any higher than 74
Does your tank have a filter? - No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? - No
Is your tank heated? - Yes, just bought one
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? - He's alone

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? - pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? - he gets 3-5 pellets once a day, Monday to Friday (I give him the weekends to digest)

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? - Betta Plus Tap Water Conditoner

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

Ammonia: n/a
Nitrite: n/a
Nitrate:
pH: 6.7
Hardness: n/a
Alkalinity: n/a

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? - His physical appearance has not changed
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? - He swims in short bursts but mostly sits at the bottom of the tank, coming up only to breathe and when there is food.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? - Sunday
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? - I don't know what's wrong with him so I haven't treated him yet. I thought maybe he's constipated so I thought I would try giving him a bit of a cooked, peeled pea to see if that helps.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No, but I've only had him for a month.
How old is your fish (approximately)? The pet store said he was 6 - 9 months and I got him a month ago so the oldest he should be is ten months.
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Old 08-09-2011, 05:53 PM   #2 
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Welcome to the forum and sorry your Betta is not well....

Part of the problem may be temp related and water quality related......I would start making some daily 50% water changes with like temp dechlorinated water for a couple of days and keep the temp at least 74-76F if that is as high as you can get it...and see if that will perk him up....

Then get on a regular schedule of twice weekly on a 2gal unfiltered tank...1-50% and 1-100% to maintain water quality.....

Generally a healthy Betta will be fine in the mid-upper 70F range and it can help with longevity too.....every Betta can be different in the tolerance to water temp.......

Once he start to feel better he should start to eat again....I would hold food for 2 days then offer a good quality varied diet fed in small frequent meals and if you have access to mosquito larva-offering a rinsed larva on occasion would be enjoyed......

Love to see some pics.....
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Old 08-09-2011, 06:08 PM   #3 
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thanks for the reply!

i'm going to buy some kits so i can test my water and make sure there aren't chemicals in there that are harming him. i've had him over a month now so i thought if the water was bothering him, he'd get sick right away but maybe not.

maybe my water conditioner isn't good enough? i buy it at walmart, it's betta plus water conditoner but if there is a better suggestion out there, i'd love to hear it.

i just put the heater in last night and it raised the water 4 degrees so i'm hoping within another few hours, it'll go up again so it's at about 78 for him. i thought he might be too cold but he's lived in this water for a month and has seemed fine which led me to believe he might be constipated.

this is malfoy! http://i56.tinypic.com/aaisz4.jpg
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Old 08-09-2011, 06:21 PM   #4 
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What other symptom is he having besides being lethargic and poor appetite.....

Along with water quality issues and cooler water 70F over a period of time can catch up with them and compromise the immune response....usually improved water quality and temp along with a couple of days-generally they will respond well.....

Prime by Seachem is a good dechlorinator.....you don't have to use Betta specific products.....
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Old 08-09-2011, 06:38 PM   #5 
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that's pretty much it. he just sits at the bottom of the tank and will only come up for air or if there is food, but today i had to take food out because it was just sitting there over a few hours and he normally always eats everything in sight.

i'll have to check out prime by seachem, the stuff i'm using may not be conditoning the water good enough and he may be suffering from that. thanks so much for your help, i'm really worried i'm going to check on him one of these times and he'll be dead. i shed quite a few tears over this already, lol.
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:11 PM   #6 
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Be sure and dose the dechlorinator for the full volume of the tank even with the partial water changes and check the label to make sure you are using enough for chloramine...some products direct to use double dose when you have both chlorine and chloramine in the source water....

I would make a 50% water only change with like temp dechlorinated water today and tomorrow and see if that will perk him up...a lot of times that is all it takes.....

Keep us posted.....
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Old 08-10-2011, 03:53 PM   #7 
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I tested the levels of the water and the ammonia was VERY high. I went and bought something that is supposed to eliminate it, yet when I tested the water after 12 hours, there wasn't that much of a significant change. I'm VERY worried about my betta!
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Old 08-10-2011, 04:20 PM   #8 
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What kind of water test product are you using and have you tested the source water for ammonia..what is the ammonia number-results...also-some dchlorinators especially the type that also cover ammonia....they change the ammonia to ammonium that is harmless to the fish....but the test kit can't tell the difference....the fish behavior will usually tell you...

In a filtered/cycled tank-once the beneficial bacteria kick in they will get rid of the ammonium just like they do with ammonia....

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 08-10-2011 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 08-10-2011, 05:16 PM   #9 
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I'm at work so I don't have the results with me right now. His tank is only 2 gallon but do you think he needs a filter? Perhaps I should be buying him a bigger tank that has a filter.
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Old 08-10-2011, 05:30 PM   #10 
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Filters are optional.....but to establish the nitrogen cycle you need a filter of some type....the 2gal unfiltered is fine.....adding live stem plants would be better IMO than a filter......its never a bad idea to get a bigger tank however....lol.....
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