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Old 10-12-2011, 07:17 PM   #1 
titusthebetta
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Depressed?

I'm still sort of learning about bettas, and I've had Nero now for a few days and I'm trying to figure out if his behavior is normal or not. What can anyone tell me from this?

Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 78*
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
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? Omega betta pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day, around 4 pellets

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Am going to do twice a week.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? I did a 25% change the first time, but the plan is to do two 50% changes.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Just Tetra Betta Conditioner.

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

Ammonia:
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 7.0-7.5
Hardness: 0
Alkalinity: somewhere between 180-300

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? He seems a little bloated and his fins have been clamped.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He mostly rests at the top of the tank, not moving a lot. Whenever I come over to say hi he swims around a bit but then returns to some spot and not move.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Couple days ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No, but I do have some Aquarium salt that I'm not sure how to use.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? I've had him for four days so I'm just trying to figure out if this is normal or not.
How old is your fish (approximately)? probably less than a year

I guess I'm just trying to figure out if he's constipated or depressed or what. He has a lot of space in his tank that he doesn't use. Like, he literally sticks to the top 2 inches of the tank. I've only seen him explore his tank once. And of course, there's the clamped fins. Is he still getting used to his surroundings? Also, should I add some aquarium salt when I do my next water change?
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Old 10-12-2011, 07:27 PM   #2 
Myates
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Poor fella..

Don't use AQ salt on a bloated betta, it will cause it to get worse. AQ salt adds water to the fish. You want to use Epsom Salt for bloating/constipation. You can buy it at any store with a pharmacy in the pharmacy dept, Walmart sells a good size container of it for under $2. (Make sure there isn't any added dyes or fragrances)
To use it's the same as AQ salt, 1 tsp per gallon, daily 100% water changes. Do it until you see the bloating go down, and continue for 2-3 days after to make sure it is completely gone.

What I recommend you doing first is fasting him for 1-2 days - so no food no matter how much he wiggles and begs. Also from then on you should be feeding him smaller meals throughout the day rather then just one larger one. One large one can create bloating/constipation and even SBD in severe cases. Your 4 pellets a day is fine. For mini pellets, 8-10 a day spread between 2-3 meals, and for the common medium pellets (which I think your brand is) 4-6 a day, spread between 2-3 meals. So say do 2 in the morning, 2 in the evening if that works best for you, etc. That way he gets a meal, but doesn't over do it, and in the evening when they would be hungry again, he gets 2 more. (Evening could be supper time for you, etc, however works best for you.)

But I think that may be the cause of the slight bloating problem. Also to watch out for in the off-chance that it could be internal parasites, look for any poop and see if it is white and stringy. That is a sign of parasites inside of him.

Does he have a fair amount of plants in the tank? (real or fake) If it is rather bare, he may not feel all that secure in there and it will take him longer to get comfortable. Otherwise, it may just be he has a full belly and doesn't feel well enough to be very energetic. Is the filter on the lowest setting or baffled? A stronger filter with a decent current will cause them to stress (clamped fins) and not swim around since it will be harder for them. Sometimes the filters on the smaller tanks are too rough for them. You can go without a filter if you chose, you'd do 1 50% and 1 100% water change per week. Also when doing lower %s of water change, make sure you add in the full dose of conditioner for your tank. (This could also be why he has clamped fins)

Just keep an eye on him and if he worsens in any way, let us know. Wish you the best.

Last edited by Myates; 10-12-2011 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:09 PM   #3 
titusthebetta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myates View Post
But I think that may be the cause of the slight bloating problem. Also to watch out for in the off-chance that it could be internal parasites, look for any poop and see if it is white and stringy. That is a sign of parasites inside of him.

Does he have a fair amount of plants in the tank? (real or fake) If it is rather bare, he may not feel all that secure in there and it will take him longer to get comfortable. Otherwise, it may just be he has a full belly and doesn't feel well enough to be very energetic. Is the filter on the lowest setting or baffled? A stronger filter with a decent current will cause them to stress (clamped fins) and not swim around since it will be harder for them. Sometimes the filters on the smaller tanks are too rough for them. You can go without a filter if you chose, you'd do 1 50% and 1 100% water change per week. Also when doing lower %s of water change, make sure you add in the full dose of conditioner for your tank. (This could also be why he has clamped fins)

Just keep an eye on him and if he worsens in any way, let us know. Wish you the best.
I can't tell about the poop because (unfortunately) I have white sand in the tank. It's sort of hard to tell, but I can try checking the next time I clean the tank.

There's 3 plants in the tank plus a cave that has a few holes for him to explore. His usual hiding spot is behind the heater, though. :/ The filter really doesn't have a strong output. It's a Tom Mini Internal Filter (or something like that) and it hardly causes a current. I'm tempted to take it out in case it is stressing him out.

I should also mention that my Midterm break is this week, and while I'm not going home, I'm visiting a friend for a couple days. Will he be okay alone? I'm leaving Friday afternoon and coming back Monday afternoon. Or would it be better if I left him with some friends?
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Old 10-13-2011, 07:01 AM   #4 
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He should be fine in a few days once he gets accustomed to his new home. Some bettas it takes a long time, sadly just means longer for us to stress. Speaking of stress.. it will be added unnecessary stress to move him to a friend's place for a couple days, then move him back. He needs time to settle in and relax, so imo, would be best if he stayed where he is. (You could have friends look in on him if you wish though)

If he is a bit bloated, the few days of no food will actually be good for him.. so just feed him a tiny bit today and Friday, then he can start his fasting when you leave.
As far as being gone over the weekend, just feed him as you are leaving, and feed him when you return and he should be good. A few days of fasting isn't going to hurt him. Don't do the weekend feeders as those foul the water, allows for over eating and sadly many bettas have perished from them. Also do a water change when you return as well. But your tank sounds fine as far as deco.

I wish you luck
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Old 10-13-2011, 02:39 PM   #5 
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Just a little update. He's looking better today. I haven't fed him since yesterday afternoon, and his stomach doesn't look as bloated. His fins aren't so clamped, either. He's swimming around a lot more. I'm doing a partial water change today and I'm doing a full one tomorrow. I also took out the filter. I don't have any Epsom salt yet but I'm going to try to get some tomorrow.

Hopefully he'll be better for the weekend. And I'm giving my friends a key to my room so they can check in on him.
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Old 10-13-2011, 03:05 PM   #6 
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Good to hear. Don't do the Epsom until you get back so you know he is having daily 100% water changes, that is of course if he is still bloated.
Feed him some tomorrow, don't go over board, but half or 3/4 of what you normally feed him so he won't be as long without food while you are away.
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