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Old 01-02-2012, 03:53 PM   #1 
happyfish411
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Hard time swimming/won't leave top of water

Hi everyone! I just got a really pretty double tail half moon betta yesterday! When I got home I transferred him from his tiny cup to a 1gal home (I do this as a transition before moving them into a 3 - 5 gal tank). I wanted to move him to his big heated tank today but he's been super lethargic and swims kind of awkwardly in the 1gal. He stays at the top of the water and doesn't move much so I'm scared that putting him in a bigger tank would maybe shock him. And sometimes when he appears to be trying to swim down, it seems like he is struggling.

Should I transfer him to the big tank now and see what happens or should I wait until he starts acting "normal"?

Please help!

Here's his picture:
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Old 01-02-2012, 03:59 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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Welcome to the forum and sorry your new Betta isn't doing well.....

How did you acclimate him, water temp, additives used, has he eaten, filter or live plants....was he acting this way when you first got him or could you tell...sometimes its hard to tell especially if the water level is low in the temporary cup you bought him in-if he came in....
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Old 01-02-2012, 05:50 PM   #3 
happyfish411
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Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
Welcome to the forum and sorry your new Betta isn't doing well.....

How did you acclimate him, water temp, additives used, has he eaten, filter or live plants....was he acting this way when you first got him or could you tell...sometimes its hard to tell especially if the water level is low in the temporary cup you bought him in-if he came in....

I acclimated him to his 1 gal by filling/priming the water and using a ziploc bag and clipping him to the side for 20 min. then letting him go. I feed him pellets (that have been pre-soaked in water to avoid bloating as much as possible) and he eats well.

The reason I'm worried is because I've read about fish who have bigger tails like the double half moon sometimes don't develop good swimming muscles from being in cups so their tails can feel too heavy in bigger tanks. It seems like my betta has a hard time swimming downward especially. I've only had him for a day, so I don't really know what is normal for him and what's not. But any insight is greatly appreciated!!!
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:16 PM   #4 
Oldfishlady
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It is important to acclimate to both the temp and water chemistry to the new tank water by adding small amount of the like temp dechlorinated tank water to the holding container over 10-15min before adding to the tank. This is important for new fish and when you make 100% water changes

With doubletails-they sometimes can have spine problems and other deformities due to the shorter body and this can sometimes cause buoyancy problems and if it is genetic not a lot can be done-but they generally can still live a normal and happy life......

You may need to use Epsom salt (Not aquarium salt) long term in low yet therapeutic dosage-this may or may not help if it is genetic related but it can help to make them a bit more comfy-you may also have to lower the water level if he seem to struggle too much to swim and often the use of filters are not tolerated well.

I do not recommend soaking food-this can cause leaching of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals-they don't swell up inside the body like some think-digestion doesn't work that way-poor quality foods that are high in grains and grain byproducts can cause the tummy to swell due to the gases the byproducts create in the gut-usually a change in foods to a high quality food high in fish/seafood will be better and fed in small frequent meals.

Right now since he is having buoyancy problems I would recommend that you go ahead and start him on a 10 day Epsom salt treatment, tannins and water changes in a QT container covered with plastic veggie wrap to retain heat and humidity for the labyrinth organ, water temp in the 77-78F range

Premix the treatment water in a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water-Add Epsom salt 3tsp/gal and a tannin source if you have one-either IAL or dried Oak leaf-let this steep for 30min and use this Tx water for 25% water changes every 15min for 1 hour today-keeping him in the Qt covered with wrap-floating in the heated tank (attached so it doesn't sink) to maintain temp.

Tomorrow-start 50% daily water changes for 3 days-On day 4 make 100% water change-repeat this schedule for 10-14 days.

Once completed-start 50% water changes with just like temp dechlorinated water to get him ready to go into his tank.

This treatment will help tell you if it is genetic/deformity or not and if you will need to use Epsom salt long term

Keep us posted....

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 01-02-2012 at 06:20 PM.
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