Hi, I just bought a betta fish about to weeks ago. This is the first fish I've had since I was a very young child, back when my mom took care of anything fish-related. So I don't really know if what I am doing is okay...
Well today I changed Doomlord's water because it was becoming the color of his fish flakes, which he hates and refuses to eat apparently. I used soap to remove any build up on his castle or plants, and rinsed them thoroughly. I also rinsed his gravel. I'm afraid, however, this being the second time I've changed his water, that I may have traumatized him while trying to get him out of his tank and into a cup? :(
I started trying to just scoop him with the cup, then my hands, then as a last resort (since I've heard they can hurt a betta's fins), I used a mesh net my family actually uses for cooking xD
I ended up just dumping him in and he spazzed for a bit.
I'm worried I may have hurt him :(
A few hours later, I found him swirling around in the top of the water, and I was terrified he was dead! It was strange though, his head was at the top, but the rest of him was just limp. I unplugged his filter and he swirled slower, but didn't move. Then I poked him and he sped away.
But he's still staying at the top of the water... Is he just stressed? Will I find a dead companion when I wake up? What can I do? Normally he loves sleeping in his castle at the bottom of the tank. I'm so worried he might have swim bladder disease or something!
Your hands? You should buy a fishnet, using your hands is horrible. For one thing, who knows what toxics are on them, hand soup, germs, ect. It really isn't smart to scare him like that either. How would you like it is you saw two large things invading your home, trying to lift you out? Plus, you said he poked him? If it is shock, or he is really upset, or scared, unhappy, poking him will only make it worse.
It sounded to me like is really unhappy, leaving him alone is the best thing you can do. Put him in a quiet room, turn off all the lights, and let him relax.
We need you to fill out the sticky at the top of this section so we can help you! Hopefully he won't die.
A few issues I can see already: Changing his water twice in two weeks in not nearly enough! His water should be clear at all times! A little algae happens but thats natural and ok. Depending on the size of your tank you should be do at least two full changes a week for a small one, or more. If your tank is 1 gal or less you need to change the water basically every 48 hours or ammonia can build up and hurt your fish. Always use water conditioner to remove chloramine and chlorine and such.
Bettas need water between 74 - 82 degrees, so they made need a heater. They also need a pellet food, higher percentage of protein the better. Flake food is not great for them and makes the water very messy.
Do you have aquarium salt, epsom salt, or any medications?
I recommend changing his water again...to get the soap scum out of the water. Put him in the cup you got him in, then rinse your entire tank with scalding water. Let it cool off a bit then pour room temperature water, in. Float your betta's temporary cup in it for a few minutes, then release him.
Don't forget conditioner and such! I hope he gets well soon
Alright so his tank is 1 gallon. I didn't know I had to change it so often, the lady at the pet store and the instructions said every 2 weeks since it has a filter, and I thought I was doing it too early to be honest. However, I did make a baffle out of a water bottle to keep the current from hurting his swimming.
Temperature is usually around 70*F. I know it's a bit cold, but he doesn't seem to mind.
Filter- Yes. Air stone- No. Heater- No.
Doomlord has no tank mates, but my sister also has a betta fish with the same tank and setup (which is fine, by the way, and she has NEVER changed the water. Her water even looks very clear of any debris!), and sometimes we put our tanks next to each other to let them flare and have some fun. They never hurt themselves. I have also occasionally put a mirror in front of his cage, hoping to make him think he wins the fights and build his self-esteem. He seems to enjoy it.
I feed my betta Tetra brand Bettamin fish flakes. He refused to eat the pellets, which sat at the bottom of the tank and rotted. I usually feed him twice a day, he looks like he has a bit of a belly anyway.
When I change his water (1x per week), I change it all and add API brand Tap water conditioner to "remove chlorine and break the chloramine bond."
I have never tested my water.
Doomlord has always been a bit lazy, but he LOVES the bottom of the tank. He's red and blue, but now his blue may be looking a bit black... (Or that could be me, because I am incredibly paranoid and read all about tail rot and biting and such).
I know that leaving soap is bad... But I know that isn't it because the other time I also used soap and he was fine. There should not be any soap scum whatsoever because I rinse EVERYTHING (tank items, utensils for cleaning) with water so scalding that I must use gloves. There's no way I could have possibly left soap scum. I try to treat my Doomlord as well as I can.
Also, any suggestions on food? I know he hates his food. But pellets just sink and I don't know where to find that fancy food. I have been to 2 different pet stores and 3 other regular stores.