Originally Posted by sl1284
I do not know what is wrong with my betta fish. He has been sitting in the same spot in his bowl for about 2 or 3 days now. He won't eat and he goes up to the surface of the water about every 5 minutes to breathe or do something like that, I think. His water is slightly cloudy, I changed it about 2 weeks ago. Also, about 3 days ago, I put a pineapple like the one from Spongebob in his bowl because I heard bettas like sheltered areas, but I thought this may be causing the weird behavior so I took it out last night. I really don't want him to die; please help!!
Sorry to hear about your little guy.. I can pretty much tell right off what is going on. But filling out what the others posted will help in seeing other things that will need to be changed.
When you say bowl I am going to assume it's a 1 gal.. most likely not filtered or heated. Most likely not the decoration.. as just in the first 4 sentences I could tell what it was..
Sounds as if your guy is having problems due to water quality and possible lack of proper heat.
For anything under 5 gallons and unfiltered you will want to do 1 50% and
1 100% water changes per week
with like-temp water (use a thermometer to check the temp). Dosing each time with water conditioner. Cup him both times while doing the water changes, even the 50% as to not put him in shock with temp differences. Float him in the cup in the bowl for roughly 15 mins, taking a bit of water from the cup and adding in water from the tank a couple of times during that time to acclimate him to both temp and chemistry. Especially the first couple of changes you will want to acclimate him to the chemistry, as it will be greatly different from what he is in now.
You have to keep in mind, the deadliest of water conditions are invisible.. so the bowl may look clean, but after a couple of days, it's not.
The temp of the water should be no less then 76, 78-80 being preferred, 82 being the highest.. they are tropical fish, just like most of the other fish you see in the fish section in the tanks.. these fish require the same treatment (they don't need aeration though). They have the needs and requirements as other fish- they are only sold in small cups for their safety and as it's easier to sell them like that then use up a whole tank for 1 fish. So a heater is needed with them. You can get a heater for a 1 gallon, but you will have to monitor it carefully- anything less then a gallon I would recommend upgrading.
The Spongebob house is fine.. bettas do best with plenty of silk/live plants and a cave to hide in.. bare tanks are just stressful and you aren't going to see a betta's true personality with minimal stimulation. You'd be surprised at just how much life they have in them, and the interactions they have with their owners when they have their needs met. Even to the point they will eat off your fingers and some will let you "pet" them...
So for now, best to do a 100% water change and start up on the regular 2x weekly water change schedule.. feed twice daily 4-6 pellets total per day, with frozen foods mixed in if possible. Add in the house or silk plants to allow him to feel more secure and have some mental stimulation going on, don't forget the water conditioner and keeping the tank warm and he should improve greatly with all of that.
Originally Posted by Bim0513
I had the same problem with my first fish Bronco (in picture) I fed him one day, changed his water the same day and he got lethargic. He was having issues it seemed like swimming but he still ate, so I figured swim bladder infection. I bought him some anti-biotics and that didnt work, but he adventually lost color and started only hanging out at the top of the water. So he flip flopped, and im not sure why. I noticed some white on his face so I got him an anti-fungal but that failed as well, and just a few days ago he passed, but he was sick since later September. I hope your fish doesnt have whatever it is Bronco had, but if you notice any of these symptoms id return the Spongebob thing cause all this happened not long after I bought him a tunnel from the petstore.
It sounded as if possibly you didn't acclimate him properly to the water temp/chemistry after the change.. why he became lethargic- or that the temp was too low (you would of saw immediate issues if it was the decoration).. you gave him anti-biotics when wasn't sick and he had a reaction to them (if not done exactly right, with the proper water changes.. sometimes they can do more harm then good- not to mention for SBD (swim bladder) you would want to use something such as Epsom Salt- anti biotics have no role in SBD). The white was probably slime coating that he was making excess of to ward off the anti-biotics (they can create excess if something isn't right with their water/toxins), which would explain why it failed... I'm sorry you lost your little guy, but sometimes trying too hard and doing too much can cause more harm then good :(
Always float their cup in the tank for 15-20 mins, removing some of the water from the cup and adding in some from the tank a couple times during the time period.. that will pretty much eliminate the risk for shock from temp/chemistry. If it happens again with a new fish, if all of a sudden lethargic right after a water change, scoop him up into a cup, rechange the water in his tank, add in water conditioner, make sure the water is the proper temp, float him and acclimate him properly.. that should help reverse the shock- but a lot of times, there isn't much you can do. :(