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Old 08-13-2014, 02:35 AM   #1 
finn17
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Location: Canada
Can't figure this out

My betta has been a little lethargic these days.. I don't know what's got into him. He still greets me when he sees me, and still has an appetite. But he's been hanging out at the bottom of the tank or not moving in one spot and occasionally coming up for air. I noticed that he's making sounds and a bubble or two comes out of his mouth every time he takes a breath. Oh, and he's been breathing a little faster too. Gaah this is worrying me.

Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? A steady 82 F
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? Nothing

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? HBH Betta Pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice a day, 2-3 pellets each time

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? 2 50% and 1 100% every week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? ^
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? N/A

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

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? N/A
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Breathing harder, lethargic (hangs out at the bottom of the tank, occasionally comes up for air, making sounds when taking a breath)
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 2 days ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? N/A
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? 9 months since I've had him
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Old 08-16-2014, 03:24 PM   #2 
MiriamandMoonlight
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It could be something about water, could you test it? Also, it is stressful for him to have you change so much of the water.
In a 2.5 gallon, one weekly 100% is plenty. It could also be that he doesn't have enough hiding places, does he have plants & caves? Does he have gravel for good bacteria to keep him healthy?
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Old 08-16-2014, 04:49 PM   #3 
hrutan
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Actually, 100% once a week won't be enough...the owner's water change schedule looks pretty good...

+1 about testing the water though. Maybe you had a sudden fluctuation of water quality from the tap water.
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Old 08-16-2014, 05:29 PM   #4 
VivianKJean
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+1 to hrutan on the water changes.
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Old 08-17-2014, 12:59 AM   #5 
LittleBlueFishlets
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I would do a large (at least 50%) water change. Use 2x the normal amount of water conditioner.

As hrutan suggested, there could be something going on with the water. For example, some municipalities add extra chlorine/disinfectant during the warmer summer months, etc. Using twice the normal amount of conditioner can help neutralize it, if that's what happened.

Also, if you have an adjustable heater, try lowering the temp to about 80F. He may prefer a slightly lower temp.

I agree with hrutan on your water change schedule, too. One 100% and one 50% are the guidelines suggested by OFL. Your water change schedule exceeds that.

If you have a testing kit, it may help determine what's going on. But there's a good chance that whatever it is isn't easily testable. For example, warmer water can cause bacteria to grow faster. But a regular water testing kit won't determine the presence of bacteria. Etc.
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Old 08-17-2014, 03:04 AM   #6 
Veloran
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What brand of water conditioner do you use, do you know if it neutralizes chloramines as well and do you know if your municipality uses chloramine to disinfect the water?
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:07 AM   #7 
finn17
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Ahhh I just re-read the sticky and it does say 1 50% and 1 100% WC a week. I'm OCD about the water being clean/clear so I've always done 2 50% and 1 100% WC a week and he was completely fine. I'll start following the OFL's WC schedule though. I have 3 silk plants as well a lantern from Petsmart as his hideout. He likes to swim back and forth a lot so I don't put too many things in the tank. He has had a gravel-less tank since April. I use the Tetra water conditioner, and his temperature is at 80 F now, the 82 F was from the burst of hot weather a few days ago.

Last edited by finn17; 08-17-2014 at 04:12 AM.
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:09 AM   #8 
finn17
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Jem doesn't seem as lethargic now.. it really could've been the water that day

Last edited by finn17; 08-17-2014 at 04:20 AM.
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Old 08-17-2014, 09:53 AM   #9 
VivianKJean
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Your old water change schedule was perfectly fine. I used to do that amount of water changes before my tanks were cycled. It's good you are OCD about water changes.
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Old 08-17-2014, 02:20 PM   #10 
LittleBlueFishlets
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Glad to hear he's doing better now. It sounds like there was something unusual in the water or it may have been a bit too warm for him that day. If it happens again, I would start by:
a) Doing a large (50% or more) water change, using 2x the regular amount of conditioner
b) Making sure the water temp is around 79-80F.

If those two things don't help, there might be something else going on.
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