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Old 01-28-2012, 05:30 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Jan 2012
My new betta doesn't look well. What can I do to help him survive?

First of all, apologies for the long post.
I haven't had much luck with betta fish so far. I bought my first and he died 4 days later! This fish had a grey body with blue fins and I've been reading that grey may have meant he was sick to begin with. Is this true? The first day he was swimming around his tank and ate a few pellets (Betta Bio-gold). The next few days he was really sluggish and either sat in his plant near the surface or on the bottom of the tank before finally dying.

His tank was a 5 gallon, it was heated to 26 degrees Celsius (78 degrees Fahrenheit). He had three silk plants, one real plant, a filter, pebbles and a dinosaur fishtank ornament. All of which were washed in tap water only before setting the tank up.The pebbles were rinsed multiple times. His tank was run for a week before putting him in and when it was set up I added aqua one water conditioner. Just before he was put in I added Nutrafin cycle in the recommended amount. Someone suggested that I didn't give him enough time to acclimatise before putting him in the tank. I only floated him for 10-15 mins while adding a bit of water before putting him in.

Anyway, I cleaned out that tank and replaced the water incase it was something he could pass on to future fish. I set up the tank as before but this time tested the PH. It was initially 7.6 so I used API PH down to lower it to 7.2. When I was at the aquarium shop I asked what I could add to the water to give this fish a better chance. They suggested API stress coat which I purchased and put in the tank. My new fish was allowed to sit in his bag in the water for 40 mins. (I opened the bag to give him air and clipped it to the side of the tank. The PH of the water in his bag was 7.4.

When I put this fish in the tank, he was even less active than the first. He didn't even bother exploring his tank. I'm wondering if the shop had a whole tank of infected fish. What do you think?

This morning, the PH read between 7.4 and 7.6 so I added more PH down to the water. My fish is just sitting quietly in the corner. What can I do for him?

What size is your tank? 5 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 26 (78 degrees farenheit)
Does your tank have a filter? yes
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? none

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Bio Betta gold
How often do you feed your betta fish? he's only been here overnight. Have attempted to feed him twice so far. Will feed him twice a day.


How often do you perform a water change? Haven't yet
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? N/A
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? will be stress coat plus and nutrafin cycle.

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

pH: fluctuating between 7.2-7.6

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? he's lethargic- just sitting in the bottom corner of the tank
When did you start noticing the symptoms? As soon as I put him in his tank
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 01-28-2012, 06:54 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Sounds like it's an acclimation issue if he's ok until you add and immediately does that. At this point, all you can really do is give him time and hope he pulls through.

When acclimating you might want to pick up a solo plastic cup. Float him in the tank and add a few tablespoons full of the fresh water every 20 minutes several times over before adding him. The acclimation process could take a few hours this way but it will be gentle and assure no shock.

7.6 is an acceptable ph for the water. I would not mess with trying to change it as the swings will be much harder on him than the ph itself.
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Old 01-28-2012, 07:11 PM   #3 
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Thank you. He seems to be swimming around a little bit more- just to the surface and back again. I hope he'll be ok. I will get a cup for any future fish and I will leave the PH alone as per your suggestion. It seems there is a lot more to fish keeping than I thought!
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