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Old 10-31-2011, 12:01 PM   #1 
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Lethargic betta

I somewhat recently Aquired a young male betta, not sure of his age but he's about half the size of my adult male betta. He has difficulty eating the standard betta gold pellets I feed my adult, so I either crush those or I have micro pellets I'll give, but they rapidly decrease the water quality.
Anyways, since I woke up this morning he has been laying on the bottom of his tank. He's breathing, but has little to no fin movement and shows no interest in food. I actually stuck the net in there to get him to move and when he does swim, he swims in a normal horizontal position, no shifting to one side or the other, so I don't think it's a swim bladder issue. I'm not sure if it's just stress, because I did add some new silk plants last night during a water change, they were thoroughly rinsed in boiling water first.
He's in a 2.5 mini bow, heated to about 78-79 degrees, gets a once weekly 100% water change. I know he probably needs more but he doesn't do well wi partials, and that's what I've been doing for my adult male for a year and he seems to do well with it.
Help would be appreciated.
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Old 10-31-2011, 12:09 PM   #2 
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Each fish can be sensitive in their own way.
Is the tank filtered? If so, you will not want to do a 100% water change on him as that will disrupt the good bacteria growing and can cause fluxes in chemistry.
If it's not filtered, you will want to add in another 50% per week along with the 100% as sometimes the ammonia can build up rapidly. If he does not take to partial changes, then you could possibly do 100% every 5 days instead of 7.
If doing only partial changes stresses him out more then cupping him the for 100%, then cup him for the 50% as well and that should help there.

How do you acclimate him when you changed his water last? It's best to float their cup in the tank for roughly 20-30 mins, during which every so often you will want to take out some of the water from the cup and replace it with water from the tank. That way he could slowly adjust to the new chemistry (since it was altered during the 100%) and he won't go into shock.

That is what I am guessing is going on since the temp seems fine. He may just be more prone to getting stressed when there is a change in temp and chemistry easier then your other little guy.
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Old 10-31-2011, 12:53 PM   #3 
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No filter as I know they live in shallow somewhat stagnat water.
I float the cups for about half an hour each time I change the water, put a little new water in about half way through. I have done few partial changes, always floating him in the cup because of the water temp change, I just don't like doing it cuz the water gets so cloudy and he gets pretty stressed during changes, but it's never lasted til the next day.
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Old 10-31-2011, 09:35 PM   #4 
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Join Date: Oct 2011
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If you can get a gentle filter, like a sponge filter, it can actually be a good thing. :) It provides an amazing home for beneficial bacteria that will convert ammonia into nitrates, which are far less toxic, and help you avoid the necessity of 100% water changes (therefore less stress for the fish). It's also good for oxygenating the water. Although bettas do breathe from the surface through their labyrinth organ, they also take air through their gills like a normal fish. :)

I'm not saying a filter is necessary, since it isn't, but they can be helpful. :)

Once or twice a week, try feeding him a bloodworm or two. Most bettas can get their mouths around them and they provide some welcome variety. :)
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:50 AM   #5 
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I have freeze dried bloodworms that ill give to both occasionally, because although I know they're not very high in nutritional value I'm somewhat disgusted by live and frozen ones. :( also, I have a filter with a sponge for the intake, but it's the water going back in that makes me nervous, the Current it will create.
Btw, did another 100% change and he seems to be much better do maybe the plants werent rinsed well enough.
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