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Old 01-26-2012, 09:12 PM   #1 
AngesRadieux
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New Betta Acting Strangely

I acclimated my new betta to a 5.5 gallon, heated tank. At first he seemed fine. Then he was darting around like crazy. There were some reflective decorations in his tank, which I didn't think would cause problems because I've used them with other bettas. However, they have now been removed in case they were stressing him. Now, the darting has stopped and he's just sitting at the bottom of the tank. :/ He may be feeling insecure because his tank's pretty bare right now... But given my recent luck with fish, I'm starting to get worried.

Do you think I should be concerned or do you think he's just adjusting to his new tank?
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:09 AM   #2 
BETTACHKALOVE
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Oh so sorry i was so happy that you decided to get another betta and you are having a problem.

I am wondering if you disinfect the tank after Severus. I think if he still acting like you described. I would try to do 100% water changes. And put him in another container/tank. If you didn't disinfect the tank i think you need to do it. Because if Severus died he did had some kind of infection even though it was poison from the heater.

Did he develop any other symptoms though?


Don't give up things happen. I know a lot of people who had 2 -3 bettas died in a row but then finally another one is doing great. It not only you. You do your best. And I think if you love fish you should not give up. You do a big favor to betta rescuing them from the store.

Last edited by BETTACHKALOVE; 01-27-2012 at 08:18 AM.
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:37 AM   #3 
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He's still darting a bit, but he's stopped lying at the bottom. Now, I only notice darting when he's startled. I did thoroughly clean the tank and change the substrate after Severus died. His fins aren't clamped or anything. Maybe it's more linked to insecurity than sickness?
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:02 PM   #4 
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You saying at first he seemed fine.
So how long he was fine? When did you bought him and when he get lethargic?
I saw his pictures that you post when you bought him and he was perfectly fine. So i think if he was fine and then all of a sudden changed there is something wrong. Also i think symptoms can come gradually.
You saying he is not at the bottom any more, but is he normally active or he still a little lethargic?
I think if he is lethargic you need to try to change his water and put him in another container. See if water changes will make him better. Keep him in that container and disinfect the tank.

Sometimes the bacteria can still be present in the tank from sick fish. And even if you wash it with very hot water will not help. You need to disinfect the tank with clorax 1 to 10. 1 -clorax and 10 water . Let it sit at least 30 min . Then air dry it.
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:21 PM   #5 
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We need some more info....

Tank size 5.5gal, water temp, filter, live plants, additives used, how much and how often are the water changes, appetite, any tank mates....the darting...is he also flashing or rubbing himself on objects and did the darting start after a water change and since he is new...how did you acclimate him to the tank....right now I would make a 50% water change using double dose of the dechlorinator-be sure the replacement water is within a few degrees of the tank water.....

Can you post a pic....
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Old 01-27-2012, 02:49 PM   #6 
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He wasn't lethargic in the store. I noticed the darting maybe ten minutes or so after putting him in the tank. He was banging into a bunch of things so he could have been rubbing against them. I moved him to a 2.5 gallon bowl so I could bring him home for the weekend. It is heated and last I checked it was ~77-78. I read a sticky about external parasites and the description of symptoms seemed to fit so I bought malachite green and started treating him with that.

I can't really tell if this behavior has changed since he was in the store. I mean, he wasn't darting around his cup, but he didn't dart or anything when I cupped him, either. I think the behavior started because I finally had enough room to move around.

Right now, I wouldn't call him lethargic. He's swimming around and still darting (or is flashing the right word?). His fins are a bit torn now, but that's because he jumped out of his cup when I took the lid off and was about to move him into the bowl. Other than that, his appearance hasn't changed at all. I have to go to work in a little while, but I can try to get some pictures of him later. Though, I don't know how useful they'll be for diagnosing since all I have is the camera on my phone.

I also have aquarium salt and epsom salt. I thought about adding some aquarium salt for his fins, but I wasn't sure if it would have some sort of reaction with the malachite green, so I decided against that.
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Old 01-27-2012, 03:08 PM   #7 
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Usually when a fish is acting that way after being placed in new water is can either be-forgotten dechlorinater, not enough used, not shaken well enough or expired, improper acclimation to the chemistry or high levels of heavy metals in the source water-when its not related to extreme temp changes...

I would make a 50% water change using double dose dechlorinator, lower the water level and turn off the light-double check the dechlorinator and make sure it is not expired, shake it really good-the double dose should take care of chloramine if you have that in the source water along with chlorine-some dechlorinating products require double dose when you have both....depending on the brand you are using it may or may not take care of heavy metals too-if he wasn't acclimated properly to the new chemistry-sometimes they don't recovery....

Good luck and keep us posted....
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Old 01-27-2012, 03:17 PM   #8 
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I used a double does of API stress coat+. It's not expired. :/ I acclimated him by floating him to get him used to the temperature. Then I dumped out some of the water from his cup and added some tank water to his cup. I added him to the tank when the water in his cup was almost entirely water from the tank.

Should I do a water change now or wait to see if the malachite green helps? And if I change the water, should I just change all of it to remove the malachite green or should I keep the malachite green in the water? If I should keep the medicine in the water, should I do a 100% change to make it easier to dose the water?

On the bright side, aside from a bit of fin damage he seems to have completely gotten over jumping out of his cup. Do you think I should add aquarium salt for his fins?

Edit: He seems to have calmed down a bit. I haven't noticed any darting in the past 10 minutes, so it's happening much less frequently than it was before. But, I'm not going to get too optimistic about it just yet because knowing my luck I'll come back from work and he'll be back to going completely nuts.

Last edited by AngesRadieux; 01-27-2012 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 01-27-2012, 03:32 PM   #9 
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It sounds like you properly acclimated him....so hopefully its not an osmotic shock issue....

While I am not critical of people that used harsh chemical and medication, I personally don't use them or advocate their use....with that said-I would not recommend mixing too many products with an already compromised fish and I would at least dose the tank with more dechlorinator at this point-water changes are up to you-personally I would make 50% so not stress the Betta anymore than needed.....

Hopefully someone will be along that can assist you with the medication...you might try PM'ing Sakura another moderator that can assist you with the use of that product....

Good luck....
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:58 PM   #10 
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He doesn't seem to be darting anymore. Though, he could just be doing it when I'm not looking. He seems to be behaving like a normal betta to me. He's still not eating, but I just got him last night so he might just still need some time to adjust. I'm cautiously optimistic.
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