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Old 12-11-2011, 10:18 PM   #1 
chicagojo
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changes in behavior - worried over nothing?

My daughter's fish Feathers has been acting a little "off" today. Yesterday we did a 75% water change, using water of equivalent temperature to the tank water and treated with Stress Coat. Today I noticed he has not made a bubble nest since then and he is also spending more time hanging out on the bottom of the tank, both of which are unusual for him. He is able to swim to the top, and has done so several times in the past few hrs as I have been watching him more closely, but he is also frequently at/near the bottom. He has eaten normally today and has pooped today as well. Since his behavior isn't typical for him, though, I can't help but worry. Any thoughts about what might be causing these changes, or am I worried over nothing?

Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5G
What temperature is your tank? 77 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? No
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? pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2x/day (2 pellets a.m., 1 p.m. working up to 2 a.m. & 2 p.m. after SBD a few weeks ago)

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? 2x/week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 75%-75%-75%-100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? API stress coat

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? have not tested

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? No
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? hasn't blown a bubble nest since water change yesterday, hanging out on bottom of tank more
When did you start noticing the symptoms? a few hrs ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? no
Does your fish have any history of being ill? SBD a few weeks ago, was completely resolved
How old is your fish (approximately)? unsure, got him from local pet store 2 months ago.
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:14 AM   #2 
Sakura8
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Have there been any changes in your environment lately? A change in the weather or a change in the temp of his water? Some times bettas seem off for no reason and perk back up in a day or two. If his lethargic behavior continues or if he loses his appetite, definitely post back because this could be a sign of an internal issue.
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Old 12-12-2011, 07:21 AM   #3 
chicagojo
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It has gotten very cold outside here in the past several days (like 20's-30's F) but we've kept the house nice and toasty and his tank is heated. His heater is adjustable so I've been closely watching the temp but it has stayed pretty consistent around 77-78. It's possible the new water from the water change was a degree or two off (my 7 y.o. daughter is in charge of reading the temperature but I double-checked and it was definitely between 76-78). That's all I can think of...oh, any my daughter did rearrange his tank a bit when we did the water change - she thought he might like some variety but maybe that has stressed him out?

This morning he is at the top swimming around like he usually does but still no sign of a bubble nest. I must admit this worries me a little because his predecessor stopped bubble nesting about a week before he died and that was the only change or indication that anything might be wrong but after consulting with our local pet store, they said that was normal so we just pretty much ignored it...and then within a week he was dead.

Thanks and I'll be watching him and will post back if anything changes further.
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Old 12-12-2011, 07:55 AM   #4 
Myates
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I wouldn't take a sign of no bubble nest as illness... they make bubble nests for multiple reasons- territory, wanting to attract a mate, and a weather system in your area. But I can see why you would worry since your other one had stopped prior to passing (I'm sorry to hear). Bubble nests aren't normally a sign of health/happiness (even though we like to believe it is for happiness- it makes us feel better as owners knowing our little ones are happy), but bubble nests have been found in those tiny cups with very ill fish, as well as in puddles left by cow hooves that a betta was found in. It's an instinctual thing for them to make them- but even then a lot of bettas will go weeks without making one.

Sakura gave you the correct info- and it is good to keep an eye when the behavior changes.

For a tank that size, I would recommend 1 50% and 1 100% water change per week since it's not filtered, the substrate needs regular cleaning out- the 100% you would want to rinse out the gravel. Otherwise it looks like all is great in his care. Tell your daughter she is doing a good job in caring for him :)
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:35 AM   #5 
chicagojo
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Thanks - my daughter will be glad to hear this encouragement. She is very proud of her fish and her role in taking care of him. She actually wants to start cupping him herself during the next 100% water change! Makes me a little nervous (she is 7 years old) but she really wants to be able to be independent in caring for him one day.

We actually aren't using any substrate in his tank (originally it was so we could monitor that he was pooping ok after his bout with sbd but it makes maintenance so much easier that I think we're going to stick with a clean-bottom tank) but I am suctioning out any visible waste on a daily basis in between water changes. Does this sound ok?
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:36 AM   #6 
Sakura8
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Sometimes, even though the temp of the house stays stable, the fish seems to be able to sense the changes outside. It may have something to do with the change in air pressure. Some fish, like dojo loaches, are notorious for sensing weather changes. I wouldn't be surprised if your boy perhaps is reacting to a change in the weather. I certainly hope that's all it is. Keep us updated and we'll keep our fingers crossed for you that the weather has just made him moody.
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:58 AM   #7 
chicagojo
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Thankfully he seems to be back to normal today but that is interesting to know that they can sense weather changes like that. His tank is along an exterior wall a couple of feet away from a window - do you think moving it more toward the interior of the house would help, or is it more of an instinctual thing, that they can sense the changes no matter where they are?
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Old 12-12-2011, 11:16 AM   #8 
Sakura8
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It would be interesting to try moving the tank. I really am not sure if it's instinctual or not or if it has to do with some hyper-tuned senses that pick up on barometric pressure changes. But I'm very glad he's back to normal. :)
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Old 12-12-2011, 03:06 PM   #9 
chicagojo
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Ok - quick (and kind of funny) update here - I think I realized why he was hanging out on the bottom so much! It's been very gloomy here the past couple of days so not a lot of natural light in the house so I turned on a lamp over his tank for a few hours yesterday and today so he would get at least some type of light...but today I realized since there is no substrate the light was causing the whole bottom of the tank to become a giant mirror! I think he kept going to the bottom and staying there because he was trying to check out the "other" fish he kept seeing! I figured it out when I turned the light on again today and all of a sudden he was there at the bottom again...whew, glad to have further reason to think he's ok but hope I did not cause him too much stress by introducing this "stranger" to his tank...
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Old 12-12-2011, 07:18 PM   #10 
Sakura8
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I'm glad you figured out why he was hugging the bottom! When I put my betta into my first barebottom tank, he spent a lot of time nose down just staring. I couldn't tell if he was a very vain fish admiring himself or trying to figure out who the stranger was, like your guy probably was doing. You probably didn't add too much stress. Eventually they learn the other fish can't get to them or isn't real and move on.
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