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Old 01-10-2012, 10:43 AM   #1 
aejh143
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Exclamation I Didn't Acclimate...

I went to the pet store to get my 3 yr old son a betta fish and asked the guy as many questions as I could think of. I tried to find a care sheet but they had one for all the other fish, not the Betta.
I thought I knew what I was doing, so I brought him home (my son named him Griff) and I put the correct amount of drops in the water and plopped him right in. He ate yesterday and swam very little, but today he is hiding and staying on the bottom of the bowl. He doesn't even react to a mirror. He did swim a little, but it was very twitchy and not normal looking.

Now that I read more and more on the internet, I should have acclimated him. I'm so upset the pet store guy didn't tell me this!! He made it sound so easy. He also told me I could go grocery shopping and it would be fine! (it was about 50 degrees yesterday so not hot, but still!!)

I'm worried now, I'd hate for my son to come home to me having killed his new fish Griff. Is there anything I can do today to make this right?

Thank you so much.
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:47 AM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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Welcome to the forum and sorry you are having problems....

What is the temp of the tank, tank size, filter, type of additives and do you have a heater.

Right now-check the temp and try to maintain a somewhat stable temp in the 76-80F range and go ahead and make a 25% water change with like temp dechlorinated water-Dose the dechlorinator for the full volume of the tank and try to keep the replacement water within a few degrees of the tank water too-unless the tank is really cold-then use replacement water that is about 5 degrees warmer to start...

Keep us posted....
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:51 AM   #3 
aejh143
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Hi Oldfishlady, thank you so much for your fast reply.

The tank is just a gallon fish bowl. I don't have a thermometer that's working in the water. I can go buy one and anything else I might need right now.
I do not have a filter, and no I didn't do a heater. In fact, the pet store guy said I didn't need a thing but the bowl. *sigh*
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:52 AM   #4 
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I meant to ask what kind of thermometer to get as well, my digital ones aren't working.
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:02 AM   #5 
Gen2387
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For a thermometer, they sell aquarium thermometers at the petstore. You just have to ask, usually they all sell them and they're about 2$ or 3$. Bettas are tropical fish so as OldFishLady said they do better in water between 76 and 80. It's difficult to heat safely a 1 gallon fish tank and bettas do better in bigger tanks. General rule is 2.5 gallon. But if you can't upgrade tanks right now, the important thing is that you keep up with the frequent water changes in the 1 gallon. Someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think with a 1 gallon unfiltered you need to do 100% water change a couple of times a week because ammonia levels go up very fast in a small tank.
You can get your water tested at the local petstore (they usually do it for free) to measure ammonia levels, pH, water hardness, etc.

Good luck!
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:02 AM   #6 
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As far as thermometers, they have ones that suction to the side of the tank - pretty cheap $3-4 at the pet stores. for a gallon bowl, a 10W heater (also sold at the pet store) should warm the water a few degrees higher than the surrounding room temp.
Just keep in mind that the employees at larger (and some smaller) pet stores don't have good knowledge about fish, especially bettas. You came to a good place to get better advice for betta keeping. Welcome to the forum!
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:11 AM   #7 
Oldfishlady
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Thermometer-most aquarium section will have the glass type and then go look in the house wears dept too for a cheap digital one too...these are great for quick checks.....

Your 1gal unfiltered tank will be fine-provided that you make the needed water changes and you can safely heat them IME.....
I use the preset 50w type heaters made by Tetra I get a walmart for under $15.00 and they work fine for my small tank....however, they only heat the tank about 5-8 degree higher than the room temp-so you may need to keep the Betta in the warmest part of the house.

Water changes on a 1gal unfiltered tank-twice weekly...1-50% and 1-100% should maintain water quality-provided that you don't overfeed and remove uneaten food within a reasonable time.....
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:53 AM   #8 
aejh143
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Ok water is at 70 degrees. All the chlorine and other chemicals, as well as softness are "safe" according to the strip test they did. I did buy a small heater. I will try that now and see if that works.

The girl at the pet store said this to me. "You shocked him. He'll either make it or he won't. Sorry." And that was the extent of my talk with her. I think I've found the right place for info seeing as I won't get any there. (she did make sure to add, when I asked about the temperature: my husband is 6'2" (not sure how that's relevant) and keeps our house like an icebox. And my betta fish is in a glass martini bowl. He's fine.) Wow.

I've attached 2 photos also just for some help if I need it. The first one shows how he's hiding there at the bottom. If I move the plant or the bowl, he frantically swims to the top, then allows himself to sink right back down to the bottom. Also, if you see something up with his fins or color, please tell me. I will be researching diligently from here on out but until I learn more....
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:59 AM   #9 
Oldfishlady
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He doesn't look good...while sudden chemistry change can cause osmotic shock...too low temp for too long can really compromise them-making things worse....I would go ahead and make a 50% water change with dechlorinated water that is about 5-8 degrees warmer and try to get that temp up to at least 74F and then slowly get it up to 76-77F.....good luck....stuff happens and if he doesn't make it...don't give up....it get easier.....
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Old 01-10-2012, 12:00 PM   #10 
mjoy79
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Hopefully he'll perk up with some warmer water :). Yikes about the employee's martini glass for her betta in a cold house. Its unfortunate that the people who should be pretty knowledgeable (pet store employees) are in fact, not.

Let us know how he does. Hope he gets better!
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