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Old 10-18-2011, 10:11 AM   #1 
kamsmommy
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Unhappy Betta on side

We have had this betta for about a month now and he has never been really active but he has been laying on his side and not eating off and on for about a week. I took a water sample to Petsmart last week and they said his ammonia was really high. We treated with Prime and changed 1/2 the water. He perked up for maybe a day. Then it seemed the tank temperature was fluctuating too much at night with it starting to get cool. Last night we went for another water analysis and they said the ammonia was kind of high again. That is after him not eating and taking the unused food out and the day after a 1/2 tank water change plus he has a filter. We picked up a heater last night and this morning the water was like 88. The heater is supposed to keep it at 78. I've talked to different workers at the pet stores and searched tons of internet pages. I'm at a loss with this little guy.
I do not see anything on his body that matches the different fish diseases.
He is a red half moon betta. His color is very pale but I dont really see spots on him. I'm still trying but I expect to find him dead every time I go home. He just looks pitiful. I haven't tried Epsom salts yet. And I thought it was bad to change out all of the water. I thought you needed to keep some old water at all times.
Could he be old and dying? No way of knowing how old he is.



Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5 Mini bow betta tank
What temperature is your tank? usually 78-82 although at night it dropped and with the heater it got too hot
Does your tank have a filter? yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? just last night
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? betta pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? twice a day but hes not eating

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? i think the first was 2 weeks then 1 time a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? first time or two a 1/3 the last time about 1/2
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? we used the betta conditioner at first now using the Prime

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
-- we did everything was fine except ammonia the last time
Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? pale
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? laying at bottom of tank
When did you start noticing the symptoms? week ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? see all above
Does your fish have any history of being ill? just got him not very active
How old is your fish (approximately)? no idea we have had him about a month
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Old 10-18-2011, 10:59 AM   #2 
earthworm88
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Hi Kamsmommy, welcome to the forum! Sorry to hear your little guy isn't doing so well. For starter, based on what you have described so far, he may have ammonia poisoning. It appears that your water changing schedule is not ideal for that tank size. Really depends on a few things, but my general rule of thumb is for that size, at the very least, I would change 50% water in the middle of the week and a complete 100% water change at end of week. Some may recommend more frequent change and some less dependent on if you have live plants and your water source and waste disposal.

Your original temperature range appeared to be ok. What is the actual temp at night? Have you got a thermometer in the tank to measure this? Unreliable heaters can do more harm than good unfortunately, so he may have gotten some shock there as well.

If you can include photos, that could help greatly. Besides laying on side with no appetite, is he exhibiting other factors like grasping for air? Have you tried to feed him frozen blood worms to see if he is interested in eating? I would for now put him in a 1 Gal QT with Prime conditioner and change his water every other day and try to feed him, remove all uneaten food and waste.

I am sure more experienced posters will come along to give you advice. Hope your little guy perks up soon with clean water.

Cheers!
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Old 10-18-2011, 11:26 AM   #3 
kamsmommy
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That frequent even with a filter?

So it is ok to change out all of the water?


Thanks for the help. Like I said I have been googling a lot of info and some contradicts. It's not for a lack of trying.
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Old 10-18-2011, 01:00 PM   #4 
earthworm88
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Sorry, I must have overlooked the "filter" question. For you to get high ammonia reading, something is definitely not right. Have you tested the water parameters from the water source prior to putting it in the tank? May be your filter isn't doing what it is supposed to do?

I know what you mean about contradicting information on the internet. I guess we have to take away the most common practice tips and then learn and modify based on our own experience as we go.

Hopefully this will bump up your thread to help you get some answers.

Cheers!
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Old 10-18-2011, 01:37 PM   #5 
Zappity
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He probably has ammonia poisoning. Do a 100% water change, it'll really help. I'd do more than just one 1/2 water change a week, not near enough for a tank that size, even with a filter.
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Old 10-18-2011, 08:18 PM   #6 
kamsmommy
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I went and bought an ammonia testing kit. I got new water and put in the recommended amount of Prime the water was still testing at .5. I had to put in six times the amount before the ammonia would register low enough.

Is that normal?

That could be why he has never really thrived here. The ammonia has been too high even with treatment.
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Old 10-20-2011, 09:28 PM   #7 
kamsmommy
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Ok he is still laying on his side and only moving if you disturb him. When he does his swim is erratic.
Last night I got epsom salts and added to his tank. I got an in the tank ammonia sensor and that registered no free ammonia.
Tonight I moved him to a one gallon buck with new water and epsom salts.
He has a silver shine around his face. No other parts of his body.
He's been like this since Sunday.
Any clue?
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:20 AM   #8 
youlovegnats
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Unless he's bloated, there's really no need for Epsom salt.
I'd do a 100% change can get all of the salt out.
It seems like he's suffering from ammonia poisoning- which is due to the lack of water changes. In a 2.5 gal. you'll neet to do one 80% and one 20-40% water change once a week.
As for the filter- all it does is convert ammonia into less toxic forms, but it's still toxic to the fish- this is why we do water changes, as to take out the harmful toxins and replace it with clean water. :)
I hope he gets better soon!

EDIT:: As for the shine of his face, it's probably normal coloring. :) If you could get a picture up that would help.
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:37 AM   #9 
bahamut285
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+1 to YLG. I completely agree. Nothing else to add except to enforce the amount of water changes
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:41 AM   #10 
kamsmommy
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I can't get a photo they all come out blurry.

Do they recover from ammonia poisoning?

Sunday 50% water change
Tuesday 100% water change
Wednesday added epsom
Thursday 100% water change added epsom
Prime in his water every time.

Can they starve them selves? He hasn't eaten anything in I don't know how long. Last night I took a freeze dried blood worm and held it right in front of his mouth and no response.
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