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Old 08-30-2015, 03:33 PM   #1 
Scottacus
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Sad Betta - Need Help :(

So I've been a pretty bad betta parent these past couple months and haven't changed my Betta (Neptune)'s water.

I just changed it out, added anti-chlorine chemical and have fed him. He's been very sad recently and just lays on the bottom of the tank, floating side to side and generally being depressed. I want to help him recover as quickly as possible but have a few questions before I jump in.

1. I want to add some aquarium salt and a general fungicide to the tank to make sure opportunistic diseases don't take hold. If I've never had these in his aquarium for his 2+years of existence, will it shock him? Is it ok to start adding these things?

2. I want to start vacuuming his 2 GAL tank, is there a recommended vacuum for this size of tank?

3. Anything else I can do to help him? I'd love suggestions.

A little background on Neptune: 2 Gallon tank home, water isn't changed super regularly, once a month at best usually a bit longer :( Eats pellet food. Has a live plant in the tank. Small water heater. Small water filter. Was generally happy until about a month ago.
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Old 08-30-2015, 03:42 PM   #2 
Laki
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Yikes. Well thank you on behalf of Neptune for coming to your senses and committing to his care after this long.

Unfortunately, because he was in sub-par conditions for so long he is probably in shock about the whole water change thing. They kind of acclimatize to the s****y conditions presented to them, the only thing letting him survive this long was the fact that his evolutionary labyrinth organ was designed for this type of habitat, albeit short term.

Salt and fungicide are not necessary unless you see actual fuzzy growth or white rice-like spots on his scales and fins. Honestly, the best thing you can do for him is let him adjust. Normally when you do such a drastic water change you would drip acclimate him back for a half hour or so to prevent the shock. He might have ammonia burns on his gills and clean warm water is the best thing (that I am aware of). Can you describe his gill movement? And do you have pictures?

ETA petsmart sells gravel vacs for like 10$ with a nice pump.
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Old 08-30-2015, 03:52 PM   #3 
Scottacus
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Thanks for the response. Here's Neptune today:

- Album on Imgur

I don't really know how to describe his gill movement... Slow I guess? I don't see much :(
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Old 08-30-2015, 04:00 PM   #4 
Betta44
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My Bettas love bloodworms. You can buy them frozen and just thaw a few for him. I feed mine 3 twice a week (substituting for pellets). A good diet will help him recover faster.

Also, please interact with him. Bettas are smart and get bored easily. There are some good threads on this website with Betta enrichment ideas.

And, keep up the regular water changes with a good conditioner. That will help a lot.

Good luck! I'm glad you are taking positive steps to help Neptune.
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Old 08-30-2015, 04:08 PM   #5 
Scottacus
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Thank you for the feedback! I'll be sure to check out the Betta enrichment area. I already have some ideas for spicing up his living situation :)

For water conditioner, should I use "Prime" by seachem? Right now I just have Erase-CL and it doesn't seem as comprehensive.
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Old 08-30-2015, 04:40 PM   #6 
Betta44
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Yes, I use Prime (Seacham) in all 3 of my Betta tanks. :)
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Old 08-30-2015, 04:45 PM   #7 
Betta44
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I should also add that I just talked to someone at my local fish store (just sells fish and has a really good reputation in our area) and she recommended a 25% water change every week in my 5.5 gallon tanks and vacuuming every other week. I've read on a few Betta care websites that it's a good idea to only vacuum part of the gravel so that you don't disturb all the good bacteria at one time. Again, the fish store said to vacuum 1/3 to 1/2 of the gravel, every other week.
I hope this info. is helpful in establish a good cleaning routine for your tank.

I do know in smaller tanks, it's essential to change the more of the water. The fish store told me that you can change up to 50% of the tank water once a week and be ok. But, everything I've read says avoid a 100% change because it would shock your fish.

I'm newer to this hobby so by no means an expert- but this is what I have found in my own research.

Good luck- keep us posted on how Neptune is doing.
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Old 08-30-2015, 05:04 PM   #8 
BubblesTheBlueBetta
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You could add more plants, bettas love plants. And aquarium salt wouldn't hurt. It could help protect against disease. I'm not sure what else could help. If I come up with anything I'll make sure to tell you.
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Old 08-31-2015, 05:51 AM   #9 
Laki
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Salt is typically used when treating mild external problems like fin rot, fin melt (which it looks like Neptune may have but will be able to confirm with a better picture of him swimming or flaring) and sometimes other things, though less effective. Aquarium salt is not recommended to be used for longer than a 10 day period in the amount of 1 tsp. per gallon dissolved in a conditioned separate tank/container. Some people use aq salt all the time in smaller doses but that's just not necessary as betta are freshwater fish and take no benefit from that.

Has he perked up since you last posted? He looks lazy but I could not identify ammonia burns on his gills. His lethargy seems to come out of general health, maybe from the water change. If you could provide something for him to lean on up by the water surface he would be better off because then he can just gulp his air fro there. I buy silk plants from the dollar store, be careful of metal stems though!

How is his eating and behaviour today?

I should add that I agree with betta44's advice on water changes. 25% per week on a CYCLED tank is all you need to do once a week. Until your tank cycles (which could take up to 4 weeks) you need to test your water and do daily 25% changes to keep ammonia down. Without at least an ammonia test kit you will not know how poison your water is, I got the API ammonia test for 8$ at petsmart and it enables you to keep an eye on good water. It might be that Neptune's tank is undergoing an ammonia spike, but we will not know unless you test it. I vacuum my gravel every water change, the BB is on every surface in the tank and most of it is in the filter anyway so if you vac the gravel you will remove poop and waste which will keep detritus worms and planaria at bay!

Whatever water conditioner you're using is fine. A good conditioner should remove chlorine and chloramines from the tap water and yours is advertised as doing that.. I think the major selling point for Prime is that it does something to ammonia? I have never used it. There's no need to throw out or stop using the one you have but if you want you can pick up the Prime for when your current bottle runs out.

Last edited by Laki; 08-31-2015 at 05:56 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 09:49 PM   #10 
Betta44
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Hi. Checking in to see how Neptune is doing? I hope he's improving. Please keep us posted. Thanks.
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