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Old 01-21-2012, 07:00 PM   #1 
IX3you224
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Free Falling & strange behavior....

Hi everyone,
New member here and need some help! Almost a month ago I bought a new baby betta fish . He is in a 1 gallon tank with heater (water temp around 74 degrees ). For the first few weeks he was very happy and always swimming around his tank. Yesterday though I noticed that he was laying on top on his rock, just not acting like himself. When I put my finger up the to tank he swam around very fast, went to the top, took a breath, then free fell back to the bottom on his tank. Along with this weird behavior he seems to be breathing heavily and it looks like he is strugling while swimming. Today I changed his water and added BettaSafe but he still seems to be very lazy. I fell in love with him the day I saw him at the pet store, and I am very worried about him . I could use all the help I could get.

P.S I do have a 15 gallon tank ( with heater, filter, and light ) that I was planning on moving him to once he got older, but should I move him into it sooner. Is this tank to small.

Thanks!

Last edited by IX3you224; 01-21-2012 at 07:05 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 01-21-2012, 07:20 PM   #2 
Pataflafla
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How often were you changing the water in his 1 gallon? Minimum should probably be 1 50% and 1 100% weekly.

Also, temp should be in the 76-80 range and be constant.
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Old 01-21-2012, 07:32 PM   #3 
IX3you224
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I change his water usually atleast once, maybe twice a week, at 100% of the water. Since he is a baby the food I am giving him ( First Bites ) seems to get the water cloudy. But I will admit, this heater probally is'nt the best. It is made to heat a round bowl tank, and this tank is a rectangular plastic tank. The thermometer on the side on the tank reads 79, but I don't believe that is fully correct.
Should I move him to the 15 gallon tank with its higher grade heater?
Thanks
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Old 01-21-2012, 07:38 PM   #4 
Laki
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Don't stress him out with a sudden move to a mansion.. Not yet. Does he show any signs of bloat? stripes on his body? clamped fins? struggling to swim?
Maybe to keep him warmer, put him in a cup (like the ones they're sold in) and float him in the larger tank. See how he reacts to that.
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Old 01-21-2012, 07:41 PM   #5 
dormfish
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Ah ha! I wonder if it could be malnutrition. I'm not saying you don't feed him enough, but all animals (even fish) have unique nutritional needs. First Bites is usually meant for newborn fry. It's meant to help organ development and growth. I would try switching him over to Betta flakes, freeze dried (or live) brine shrimp. Betta food.

Also, It may be useful to fill this out, so we can help you out even better.

Housing
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change?
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?

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

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

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:10 PM   #6 
IX3you224
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I'm not to sure about switching him over to "big boy food" yet.. Even though I got him a month ago, he is really tiny still.. ( truthfully not even sure if he is even a boy yet ).. But he was a little piglet when I first got him, but not so much anymore.. I just want to make sure I do everything possible to make him happy and healthy.

As to curling up and fin problems.. not really. He just lays on his rock, or slips off his rock ( usually butt first ) and falls to the bottom.
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:31 PM   #7 
Pataflafla
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Try feeding him either flakes or crushed pellets to see if he's willing to give it a shot. Pellet is less messy and tends to cause less bloating issues.

He's at a point where he doesn't need baby food, so it's best to stop feeding baby food. He can handle adult food if he's being sold at a store.

What you want to look for in a food is high protein that doesn't have anything like wheat or soy as some of the first ingredients. I use the Topfin brand of pellet food, but it doesn't have to be betta specific so long as the protein is high and there's a relatively good quality ingredients list.

Blood worms and krill, whether frozen or freeze dried, make good meal replacements and treats that most bettas adore.
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:19 PM   #8 
earthworm88
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Hello, welcome to the forum!

From the description you gave so far, sounds like he may have buoyancy/swim bladder dysfunction. If your tank is tall-ish, try to lower the water level to allow him to get to the top easier. If there is a cave or pot in the tank, leave an air bubble in there for ease of breathing too.

If you can include some photos so that we can determine his "age" a bit. As recommended above, I would suggest getting a regular high protein pellets and just cut it into pieces to make it easier for him to eat.

Cheers!
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Old 01-22-2012, 06:33 AM   #9 
IX3you224
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Housing
What size is your tank? 1 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 74?
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 but not the right size
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? no

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? first bites
How often do you feed your betta fish? twice a day

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? twice a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? BettaSafe

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

Ammonia: n/a
Nitrite: n/a
Nitrate: n/a
pH: n/a
Hardness: n/a
Alkalinity: n/a

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? appearance has not changed
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? he is lazy
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 3 days ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? no
Does your fish have any history of being ill? no he is just a baby
How old is your fish (approximately)? probally only a month
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Old 01-22-2012, 06:38 AM   #10 
IX3you224
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I hope that picture works for you guys! He is really small on the left side of the plant.

Any suggestions for food? I do not care how much it costs.. I just want to make sure Tiny gets better. I do work right next to a Petco so I will definitly be going there today right after work. Is the TopFin brand sold there.

Thanks for all your help so far everyone.
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