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Old 12-14-2011, 10:15 PM   #1 
funkyou
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Perhaps they're both sick...?

I may as well start at the beginning..

I found a 3 compartment tank at the op shop (each holds about 2 litres) so I thought I'd get some bettas.

I bought 1 red and blue veil tail and one grey-blue crown tail.

At the start the veil tail was petrified of the crown tail (which was constantly flaring at him) - he kept swimming towards the crown tail, getting flared at, and trying to swim away looking really scared. His colours faded right out. I did some research and ended up putting a piece of black plastic in the crown tail's tank so there was only a small section at one side where they could see each other, and then cut off a strip now and then to gradually acclimatise them to each other. The veil tail got his colours back immediately and started flaring back at the crown tail (he's now a bigger flarer than the crown tail).

Recently I woke up and they'd both made bubble nests, so I figured they were really happy :) Then two days later I noticed the crown tail is really bloated just on the bit where the two long bottom fins come out. I took out the black plastic and he tried to flare at the veil tail but couldn't fully extend. My aquarium salts had finally arrived in the mail that day so I put some in. The next day he could flare properly again, but he's still swollen (and he isn't as active as he used to be before I noticed he was bloated). I didn't feed him for a day, but fed him the next - should I not feed him at all until the swelling goes down? His scales aren't sticking out btw... Oh, and I ended up taking the black plastic out because my mum thought maybe there was something going into the water from it that was making him sick.

Then today I did a full tank clean out of my betta tank (as well as my danio, white cloud and sucking catfish tank), keeping half of the water they were originally in, and adding the new water (using water conditioner, aquarium salts, ph neutraliser block and water ager, which I'd mixed up the other day). I put them back in and now the veil tail looks like there's a little bit of floaty white stuff attached to him. He's still acting normal, but could there be something wrong? The tank's at 67 degrees (I'm saving up to get them a heat mat). I'm waiting for the ph kit to arrive but I'm hoping the neutraliser block will keep things okay in the meantime. By the way, I change about half of their water twice a week, but this is the first time I've done the whole tank clean-out since I got them (wanted to get rid of all the waste on the bottom of the tank - also waiting for a vacuum to arrive in the mail to make this job easier). The crown tail is looking a bit pale since the water change, but he isn't any more bloated. They will both eat if they're not distracted by one another.

I've attached a pic of the bloated crown tail, but not one of the veil tail because his problem can't really be seen in pictures.

Can anyone help?

I can go and buy medicine on Monday, but until then I'm stranded in a small country town :(
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Old 12-15-2011, 12:12 AM   #2 
funkyou
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I just microwaved a pea, peeled it, mushed it a bit and gave it to the crown tail (had to give half to the veil tail coz he got jealous) and they both ate a bit of it and then just sat there looking surprised *lol* I heard giving them a soft peeled pea can help with constipation (if that's what he's got). Is there a certain amount of time I should leave it in there? I don't want it to go off...
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Old 12-15-2011, 12:20 AM   #3 
Sakura8
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Hi funkyou and welcome to the forum.

Sounds like your boy is possibly constipated. Have you seen him poop? If not, I recommend fasting him for at least a day. Also, for constipation, what you want is epsom salt. You can get this at any drug store or pharmacy. If you can, put your crowntail into a separate container that holds at least a gallon. Predissolve 2 tsps of epsom salt in a small bit of tank water and then pour it into the container.

How big is the divided tank your boys are in? You may want to upgrade to a slightly bigger tank just so you can heat it with a good adjustable heater. Bettas are tropical fish and need waters of at least 78-80 degrees.

Hope this helps. Keep us updated. :)
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Old 12-15-2011, 07:00 AM   #4 
funkyou
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Hi Sakura8, thanks for welcoming me and answering my post

I haven't seen him poop, but since I did the water change there is two tiny bits in the bottom of his tank that could be either food or poop (I always feed my fish after a water change, kind-of like a treat to say 'I know you hated that whole process, so here's a reward' ), but none in the bottom of the other betta's tank. I fasted him for one day, and then fed him the next, but should I fast him for two days now? I'm feeding them Tetra 'BettaMin' Tropical Medley with colour enhancers (red flakes and freeze dried brine shrimp), and only the tiniest pinch per day - but how do I know if I'm over-feeding? I expect it would be a lot easier to know with pellets... I've also heard to fast them one day a week to prevent constipation, so I'll be doing that

Each compartment of the tank is about 19cm high (meaning it's filled to about 17cm), and 11cm square. Photos are attached (and yes, I know the tank's pretty bare - I'm planning on getting some stones for the bottom and a bunch of silk plants of varying sizes, but that all takes time and money).

I'd like to keep them in the current tank, which is why I want to get a heat mat (made to size) with a rheostat/thermostat. I'm planning on going with this option because it will heat the whole tank rather than having to get a separate heater for each compartment (which would cost an awful lot). My veil tail seems extremely happy - swimming all over the place and showing off - in the space that he's got (and the crown tail used to as well, til he got sick), so I'd like to keep them in this tank.

I will go pick up some epsom salts tomorrow - I hope that it works and that he gets better soon.... Is there any reason I can't just add the epsom salts to the tank he's already in though..??

I think maybe the problem I was talking about might be that I disturbed his slimy coating when I got him out with the net perhaps? I was fairly gentle, but if that's the reason, maybe I'll just use a cup from now on (that's how I put them back into the tank again - they swam straight into the cup and I simply transferred them back into the tank).

Gosh. I've had these fish for about a month and still can't think of names for them! *hangs head* Makes it really hard to talk about them on here!

Thanks for your help, and I'm looking forward to hearing some other peoples' opinions as well
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:35 AM   #5 
Myates
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Pretty fish.. I would fast before trying anything, Epsom Salt if it doesn't work- but you will have to do daily 100% water changes with the Epsom.. (1 tsp per gallon)..

Your CT may be over stressed.. what you are using it looks like is what breeders will use or show casers- but not an ideal home for a betta long term.

Constant view of another is fine as long as they have hiding spots and plants breaking up lines of sight here and there. At least a hiding spot and multiple plants so they can "get away" and relax from the other betta often. But being confined in half a gallon, no hiding places, no mental stimulation and they only see each other is very stressful for them. I know they sell these things, but it's a money trap- they want your money at the expense of the health and mental well-being of these poor fish. Even a 1 gallon bowl for each would be more beneficial. You say you are getting rocks and a bunch of silk plants- but for a half gallon size, the more you add in, the less space the fish themselves have. They need some room to swim and move around, keep their muscles and strength up.
You can keep them in there.. but I would highly recommend moving the CT to the far side so they are not so close to each other while in a small space.

Water changes for that size are 2 50% and 1 100% per week.

Bubble nests are created for territory, breeding and even a weather system moving through- it's instinct, not an actual sign of happiness. They created them to tell the other "my turf".

"Tiniest pinch per day" may actually be under feeding these guys- small, multiple meals a day is idea, removing all uneaten food immediately after feeding. 4-6 pellets per day, 2 small pinches of flakes per day is more idea. One feeding per day you will either pretty much over feed or under feed. Always idea to feed small and multiple times.

Not trying to harp, small tanks can be okay at times.. just have to look at other factors as well. Such as heating (a heating mat may over heat, and when turned off the temp in the water may drop too suddenly causing them to go into shock and pass), and feeling secure. Normally I don't say anything when someone uses half a gallon as a tank, but I am wary when they are that close to another in such a small space is all.

Good luck to you.
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Old 12-15-2011, 04:42 PM   #6 
funkyou
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Hi Myates

Just fed my VT, and the CT was looking really hungry too - swimming towards the other betta's food frantically - and then he pooped (first time I've actually witnessed them do it)! So I gave him a little bit as well (less than I usually do, just in case). Hope I haven't done the wrong thing...?

Okay, I'll move the CT to the next compartment. I was thinking of doing that if they didn't get used to each other anyway. But then I was wondering what I could put in the middle compartment that wouldn't need a filter either? I thought maybe 5 endlers guppies, but I expect I'll get yelled at for that as well! Any opinions/ideas?

I got told 100% water changes were really bad for fish because it means that none of their bacteria is left behind, which is bad for them. ..... ???


I feed them probably about a seventh/an eighth of what I feed my zebra danio, blue danio, lonfin albino danio, white cloud, albino white bloud and sucking catfish each day. And they are FAT! I try to feed them less but feel guilty coz they look so hungry when they go for the food, but I don't want them to get sick so I don't up the ante. I thought that pinch would be about the right size. And if constipation occurs I thought it'd be more likely to be from over-feeding than under-feeding... How can I prevent constipation in the future?

I'm planning on having the mat on 24 hours a day, and adjusting the thermostat for day and night.

Thanks for your advice
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Old 12-15-2011, 06:14 PM   #7 
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Less then half a gallon, unfiltered for guppies is not a good idea.. no room to swim, no filter for aeration, etc etc.

When you don't have a filter, and all you have is a very small water compartment, 100%s are needed- as the ammonia and nitrates, all the deadly invisible stuff, will build up rather quickly. Not to mention, is a must to remove waste and debris off the bottom. The bacteria that you was hearing about is the beneficial bacteria that are in the filter medias, and in the substrate such as gravel.

You also don't want to be changing the temp of the water- they need constant temps, as fluctuation can cause them to go into shock.
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:48 AM   #8 
funkyou
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Is there ANYTHING I can put in the middle compartment that doesn't need a filter then? My boyfriend has 2 goldfish in a tank (that he got out of a pond) and only has the filter running for an hour at most 5 days per week, and the water goes pretty gross after a while (he simply won't let the filter run any more coz he's scared the landlord will notice the electricity bill going up or something) but I'm kinda sick of goldfish (and think it's cruel as well), so I don't want to do that...

Could I get any other fish and change their water every time I change the betta's, and maybe use an air-stone with a hand pump to aerate the water a bit every day so they have enough oxygen?

When you do 100% water changes does that mean you have to use your hand or a net to move the fish so that there's no water with them?

Does that mean that if I make up my new tank water, that ammonia and nitrates have already built up by the time I'm ready to do the water change 2-5 days later? That's a bit of a worry....

Sorry I'm asking so many questions, but most questions I've tried to find the answers to via google I haven't been able to find the answers to, and it seems more likely that I'll get them answered here than anywhere else!
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:30 AM   #9 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkyou View Post
Is there ANYTHING I can put in the middle compartment that doesn't need a filter then?
Not anything that would live for long, comfortably- a little less then half a gallon is too small for any fish.. bettas you can get away with as long as the proper water changes are being made, even then you may not be getting their full potential and they may be stressed.

My boyfriend has 2 goldfish in a tank (that he got out of a pond) and only has the filter running for an hour at most 5 days per week, and the water goes pretty gross after a while (he simply won't let the filter run any more coz he's scared the landlord will notice the electricity bill going up or something) but I'm kinda sick of goldfish (and think it's cruel as well), so I don't want to do that...
Comet/koi goldfish will easily get a 12-18" in length, need 30+ gallons for one, 10+ additional gallons for any more you add into the tank. They require extra filtering, most of the times you would need 2 filters going at the same time and even then regular water changes as they produce great amount of ammonia. Turning the filter on and off you are not doing them any good, but rather slowly poisoning them.. in a sense. Good bacteria you need will grow, but when you turn off the filter, shortly after it all dies and then once you turn the filter back on, all the dead bacteria is then pushed into the tank. Also they are cold water fish and require certain temps, and sometimes that will cause aeration to be higher/lower.. unless he has a bubbler, he needs to use the filter to give them the proper oxygen to breathe.
Highly recommended to get a 50+ gallon for 2 goldfish- I'm assuming koi or comets as they are most common in ponds- with 2 filters and regular weekly water changes. Did he steal them out of someone's pond? If they are koi, those are pretty expensive and unless properly cared for, they won't live the 20+ years that is their life span..


Could I get any other fish and change their water every time I change the betta's, and maybe use an air-stone with a hand pump to aerate the water a bit every day so they have enough oxygen?
Nope- the size alone, the frequent water changes.. there are no other fish that could possibly thrive in that environment. If you are wanting another fish, an ideal set up would be a 10 gal, with one male betta and a couple other small peaceful fish (if the betta will allow it). You have to remember, these are living creatures like dogs and cats.. they aren't decorations. They need the proper environment and care to live healthy and happy. They may not have fur- but they aren't any less of an animal, just a different species.

When you do 100% water changes does that mean you have to use your hand or a net to move the fish so that there's no water with them?
Net or a cup, remove them from the container, place them into a cup/bowl that has water in it from the container they were just in.. empty the "tank" they were just in, rinse it out with hot water, fill it back up with water, making sure the temp is correct, add in water conditioner, float the bettas in their cup for 15-20 minutes while every so often removing water from the cup and adding in water from the tank- then release them.
Important to make sure they acclimate to both temp and chemistry when doing water changes.


Does that mean that if I make up my new tank water, that ammonia and nitrates have already built up by the time I'm ready to do the water change 2-5 days later? That's a bit of a worry....
Yup- every time they use their gills (which isn't as much as normal fish, but they still do), every time they go to the bathroom, and any uneaten food left on the bottom is adding up the ammonia and such. Why such frequent water changes are needed in something that small (2 50% and 1 100% per week).

Sorry I'm asking so many questions, but most questions I've tried to find the answers to via google I haven't been able to find the answers to, and it seems more likely that I'll get them answered here than anywhere else!
Yep.. there are some good sites out there to check out. The forums here you will get answers, Nippyfish.net is relatively good too on the basic cares of bettas. For other fish info/questions you can check out the Tropical Fish Keeping forum that is the mother site to this one.

Don't be afraid to ask, that is how we all learn :)

Last edited by Myates; 12-16-2011 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 12-16-2011, 09:30 AM   #10 
Sakura8
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Looks like Myates has got you covered. Thanks, Maytes. :) Funkyou, you're in good hands here. By the way, how are the boys doing? Have you been able to fast them?
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