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Old 08-26-2011, 06:18 PM   #1 
zachrus
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My little guy isnt moving much

hello everyone,

im very new to owning a betta and have basically done alot of not so good things in the past 3 weeks trying to care for my betta Oscar. Last week i moved him from his 1 gallon bowl to a 5 gallon tank without knowing anything about the nitrogen cycle that had to happen first. so throughout this week the water has been conciderably cloudy, so every day since sunday i had done a 50% water change to try and help the dirtyness of the water. this morning i went to check on Oscar and saw that he wasnt as lively as he was. he wasnt flaring at me or moving around much but stayed at the bottom of the tank and only came up for air. i have a heater but no thermometer and i check the water frequently and it is very slightly luke warm. im on a tight budget and i just want this little guy to be happy. should i put him back in the 1 gal. with his one plant and back into my warm room or wait until the cycle is finished and see if he perks back up again? Also he isnt eating or reacting when i put a mirror up to his tank.

PS. my theory is that because he only had one plant in the 1 gallon the cycle only took one day nad he wasnt bothered for the rest of the week until his water change

also sorry if this post is in any wrong section

Last edited by zachrus; 08-26-2011 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:48 PM   #2 
zachrus
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ive noticed his fins are very...scrunched up... the only time ive seen this is when i first got him at the fair and he wasnt doing to good yet his environment now is pretty much opposite. its not cold and his tank isnt constantly moving
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:59 PM   #3 
Micho
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Welcome to the forums~ His scrunched up fins is called clamped fins, Bettas will clamp their fins, if they're sick or stressed out.

Did you acclimate your little buddy when you transferred him into the 5 gallon tank? A thermometer is a must, you can't really tell if the water is too hot or too cold for the Betta just by the sense of touch.

Also, did you add water conditioner to the new tank?

Also fill this out so we can assist you better. :>

Housing
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?

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

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?

Last edited by Micho; 08-26-2011 at 07:11 PM.
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:12 PM   #4 
zachrus
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i acclimated him and he seemed fine the first couple of days he was in there. i think i will move him back to the old one gallon with his plant for now until i can get more plants and a thermometer.
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:17 PM   #5 
zachrus
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Housing
What size is your tank? 5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? dont know
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
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? 3 different types of pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? twice a day 3-4 pellets

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? 50% water changes once a day since he was in the tank because of very cloudy water
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? amquel water conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
i have not tested the water
Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? clamped fins.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? very little swimming, staying at bottom of tank
When did you start noticing the symptoms? this morning
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? i will be moving him back to his 1 gallon tank with his one 1 live plant
Does your fish have any history of being ill? not known
How old is your fish (approximately)?i would say aprox. 9 months to a year
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:17 PM   #6 
BabyBoyBlue
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Definitely get a thermometer, the kind with a suction cup.

You eventually should get a tester (most people suggest the API freshwater master test, it's $25-$30... but it's cheaper on the long run, and most people say that it's more accurate then the strip testers).
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:50 PM   #7 
kumi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zachrus View Post
Housing
What size is your tank? 5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? dont know
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
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? 3 different types of pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? twice a day 3-4 pellets

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? 50% water changes once a day since he was in the tank because of very cloudy water
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? amquel water conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
i have not tested the water
Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? clamped fins.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? very little swimming, staying at bottom of tank
When did you start noticing the symptoms? this morning
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? i will be moving him back to his 1 gallon tank with his one 1 live plant
Does your fish have any history of being ill? not known
How old is your fish (approximately)?i would say aprox. 9 months to a year
Hi. You are probably feeding him about twice as much as you should be. Depends somewhat on the size of the pellets, but for MOST brands, 2 per meal is plenty.

With your water changes, the water parameters should be fine. The thermometer is essential and costs, I believe, under $2.00. The ones that go inside the tank are more reliable than the ones that stick on the outside. You could take a sample of your water to the pet store if you go and they will test it for you.

There shouldn't be any reason to need to move him back to the smaller tank--it's OK if you have, but you need to change the water of a 1 gallon very frequently. I'm not sure how often though, 100% every other day maybe?? The fact that he was OK for a week doesn't mean he will be OK without frequent water changes in the long run in a small container.

A 1g won't cycle--there isn't enough surface for the bacteria to adhere to. I don't know what happens in a five gallon w/out a filter in terms of it cycling. Not sure if you have to have the circulation that a filter creates. Once more, I'm sure somebody will clarify.

Let us know how he's doing and if you have any more questions. The only issue I see with what you have been doing is the amount of food and the lack of a thermometer--both easy to solve!

Kumi
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Old 08-27-2011, 12:18 AM   #8 
zachrus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kumi View Post
Hi. You are probably feeding him about twice as much as you should be. Depends somewhat on the size of the pellets, but for MOST brands, 2 per meal is plenty.

With your water changes, the water parameters should be fine. The thermometer is essential and costs, I believe, under $2.00. The ones that go inside the tank are more reliable than the ones that stick on the outside. You could take a sample of your water to the pet store if you go and they will test it for you.

There shouldn't be any reason to need to move him back to the smaller tank--it's OK if you have, but you need to change the water of a 1 gallon very frequently. I'm not sure how often though, 100% every other day maybe?? The fact that he was OK for a week doesn't mean he will be OK without frequent water changes in the long run in a small container.

A 1g won't cycle--there isn't enough surface for the bacteria to adhere to. I don't know what happens in a five gallon w/out a filter in terms of it cycling. Not sure if you have to have the circulation that a filter creates. Once more, I'm sure somebody will clarify.

Let us know how he's doing and if you have any more questions. The only issue I see with what you have been doing is the amount of food and the lack of a thermometer--both easy to solve!

Kumi
wont the plant in his 1g bowl help with keep ammonia build up down? when he was in the bowl i kept it pretty clean the 2 weeks he was in there.

hes starting to go back to normal now hes back in the 1g. Hes off the bottom and is now resting peacfully at the top which is normal for him this time of night.

as for the 5g tank im most likely going to start a cycle once i get some cash to spend and either try and put him back in or buy another betta to put in there.

thanks for all the help everyone! ill update if there is anymore changes
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Old 08-27-2011, 12:27 AM   #9 
kumi
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Yes, the plant will help, but I'm not sure how much. What kind of water changes did you do when he was in the one gallon before?

Kumi
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Old 08-27-2011, 12:52 AM   #10 
flowerslegacy
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Hi Zachrus - welcome to the forum. Your little guy is surely having water parameter issues. Since he perked up once you moved him, that's a good indicator. If you want to keep him in the 5 gal, you'll want to cycle it. If you don't, you'll need to do 2x weekly water changes. One change will be 50%, the other 100%. Some folks may have other opinions, which is fine, just as long as you're doing them consistently. If you choose to cycle, you'll need to get a filter. You'll also need to get a good, liquid, Freshwater Test Kit. A popular one is the Master Test Kit by API. Cycling requires that you watch your water parameters daily and do 50% daily water changes until it cycles. Amquel is a great water conditioner because it detoxifies ammonia and nitrites. I can't quote the detoxification time for Amquel, but Prime (it's main competitor) only detox's for 24-36 hours. If you don't have beneficial bacteria in the tank to consume it within that time frame, you have to do a 50% water change. I'd assume the detox time is the same for Amquel. So while those toxic chemcials are present, you'll need to change 50% of the water every day. Cycling is really for another thread, but this can give you a good idea. In regards to the plant - plants do help assimilate ammonia. However, they need to be in an active growth state. When they're growing, they're eating. In a 1 gal with 1 plant it's not going to help too much. A 1 gal requires daily 100% changes or you'll have ammonia issues. Any ammonia over .50ppm causes permenant gill damage and with one betta in 1 gal it can hit that parameter within 24 hours. Just as @kumi stated, get a thermometer so you know your little friend is at a toasty 80 degrees. Also cut down on the feeding and that will help (a little) with the ammonia. Good luck!
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