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Old 02-15-2012, 06:47 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Feb 2012
HELP---SICK Friend

Posted earlier but no one has replied my friend "Mr. Fish" is sick! Need help, I have had him for almost 3 years and don't want to lose him. He does not swim to the top of his bowl anymore, just sits on the bottom. Must admit I know nothing about betta fish but have managed to keep this guy alive for 3 years. When my cousing got married they had betta fish in containers as centerpieces at their reception and they sent one home with me. He has lived in a bowl with glass rocks in the bottom, I change his water when it looks dirty. I have been adding epson salt to his water for the last two days and changing water 100% both days will continue doing this hoping it helps but would APPRECIATE a response to my CRY for HELP! Here is what I posted earlier:Housing
What size is your tank?2 gal bowl
What temperature is your tank?was very cold now at 78
Does your tank have a filter?no
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?no
Is your tank heated?no
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?none

What type of food do you feed your betta fish?wardley betta food
How often do you feed your betta fish?2 pellets every other day


How often do you perform a water change?every two weeks
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?95%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?none

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?never tested


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?over the weekend
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?read on a thread to add epson salt
Does your fish have any history of being ill?no
How old is your fish (approximately)? 2/23/12 will b his 3rd year with me

Mr. Fish just sits on the bottom and can't seem to get to the surface of the bowl like he used to. Started adding epson salt to his water...fill a gallon jug (jug dedicated to mr. fish) with well water, let sit for 24 hours with 1-2 tsp epson salt, then change 100% of the water. I've done the for the last two days. He still hangs out at the bottom of the tank.
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Old 02-15-2012, 06:56 PM   #2 
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Tank should be cleaned once a week and... YOU MUST ADD DECHLORINATOR when adding new water!! My roommate just lost her Betta to similar symptoms, after forgetting to treat the water after a water change. I would guess that the untreated water is what's doing it to him.
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Old 02-16-2012, 05:46 AM   #3 
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Does it make a difference that we are on well water and not a city water system. Ive had my betta fish for 3 years and have never added any chemicals to the water. Let me know, thanks.
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Old 02-16-2012, 06:43 AM   #4 
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I'm on well water, too, and I still use water conditioner. If nothing else, adding it will eliminate one possible cause for his symptoms. If he perks up, you'll know what happened and if he doesn't it's one less possibility to consider. Either way, it can't hurt.
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:17 AM   #5 
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picture of Mr. Fish, he just floats on the bottom of bowl today is the
4th day I have changed his water and added epson salt to water (let water stand for 24 hours with epson salt added before change)
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:50 AM   #6 
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Location: Boston, MA
There are several issues that could be the cause, so I'll just list them all.

  • You should use a water conditioner, even on well water, get one that will detoxify heavy metals, it will say so on the bottle. Well water can also contain Ammonia, Nitrite, and/or Nitrates all of which are toxic to fish. You can take a sample of your tap water to a pet store to have it tested for free on those three substances. If you have any of the three, you'll need a conditioner that will detoxify it along with the heavy metals.
  • Betta's are tropical fish and as such require a heater, they should be kept at a minimum of 74 degrees F, but 78-79 is ideal. Unless your house is 74+ degrees year round, a heater is required. Outside of their comfort zone will stress the fish and lower their lifespan.
  • 2 gallons is extremely small, even for a Betta. 5g is a better minimum. In a 2g you will have to do at a minimum 100% change weekly even if it looks clean, you can't see ammonia which is what fish produce as a waste. A 2 gallon is too small to maintain a cycle (beneficial bacteria that break down ammonia into a less harmful substance, Nitrate). Ammonia poisoning can lead to symptoms you are describing, and will decrease the lifespan of the Betta.
  • And finally, the lifespan of a Betta on average is 3-5 years and they are typically 6 months to 1 year old when bought in a store. So this, combined with the above, may also mean he's just at the end of his time
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Old 02-16-2012, 09:09 AM   #7 
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thanks for the response, I will keep replacing the water for 10 more days, if it is the end of his life cycle I don't plan on replacing him. I am surprised he lasted this long! After reading the forum I realized I have done notihing right just dumb luck that he has lived 3 years with me.....I didn't realize he was a tropical fish until my cousin came to visit and told me....I was probably freezing the poor guy! Wish he had told me this when I agreed to take his home from the wedding.
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Old 02-16-2012, 04:46 PM   #8 
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Location: Rapid City, South Dakota
Everyone else is taking care of you and I'm not an expert, but I just want to say two things. In a 2 gallon you should do two water changes a week, one 50% and 1 100%. Also, I think a 2 gallon is fine for a betta as long as you keep it clean enough. I have two bettas, one in a 2.5 gallon and one in a 1 gallon. A 1 gallon is not ideal and we are going to upgrade him sometime this summer probably, but they're both very happy. A lot of people think that a 2 gallon is fine too. Your fish will hopefully get better now that you know how to take care of him. :)
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Old 02-16-2012, 05:25 PM   #9 
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Thanks for the response, he has started swimming around some but still sits on the bottom of the bowl. Hopefully he will perk up and I will be able to enjoy his company for several more years
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