Hi there! I'm hoping that someone can give me some input, because this is my first betta fish.
I bought a blue betta fish for my daughter back around August. He's always been very animated and will usually swim over to us when we approach the tank. He eats quite a bit, and I probably feed him more that I ought, but the tank doesn't get grungy really quickly, so I guess he's eating most of what I give him.
The past few days, however, I've noticed that he seems on the quiet side. He's much less active than is normal for him. I cleaned the tank this morning because it was looking a little nasty thinking maybe that was the problem. I rinsed the gravel very well, rinsed out the tank and replaced the water (I use dechlorinated all the time). I guess the tank is a one-gallon tank, if that's any help.
He's still not quite himself, and I need some input into what may be the problem. We really love him and I want him to be happy and healthy.
What are your water parameters? I would recommend not cleaning out the whole tank. Just do partial water changes thrice a week. What food do you feed it? How often do you feed it? What is usually your tank maintenance schedule?
I usually clean the tank out when I see the water is looking a little cloudy. I started out doing a partial water replacement, but I have gravel in the bottom and I found that when I put the clean water in, clouds of crud came up from the gravel, so I started rinsing the gravel each time I freshened the water. I keep a jug of dechlorinated water on hand (we also have hermit crabs) so it's room temperature.
As for what I feed him, I got a sample of Betta fish flakes with the tank setup. He gets a pinch in the morning and then (I probably shouldn't do this, right?) a pinch at night because he always gets very animated when he sees us approach the tank.
This routine has been in place since we got him.
He just doesn't seem himself lately. He doesn't seem to be eating as much and he's just kind of hanging around in the tank of sitting on the bottom. Sometimes he'll swim around a little and then stop.
Can I help him? Is it too late? We are a bunch of insane animal lovers in this house and I can't stand the thought that there may be something wrong.
I hope this info is helpful to you and that I can help him out somehow.
I think that Lupin has found the problem, or at least part of it when it comes to cleaning the tank.
Do you have your water parameters on hand? We'll need amonia, nitrite, nitrate and ph would be useful too. Use a liquid test kit to determine these vales. The strips are very unreliable.
Do you have a heater and a filter? If not I would recommend you getting one. Bettas are tropical fish and unless your room temperature is in the high end of the 70a, he is going to need a heater. The filter is required to help keep his water clearer and to aid the cycling process/keeping the tank cycled.
For a long term solution, you may want to upgrade to a minimum of 5 gallons tank for your betta so that he was room to swim. The bigger the tank, the more stable it is so there are less likely to be problems with water parameters as well.
Hope this helps, and hope that he recovers quickly. :)
This is more complicated than I thought. I know absolutely nothing about the water in the tank except that it's dechlorinated. And...... (ugh) I don't have a filter... Until I can upgrade his tank is there anything I can do for him? Is it possible that the room is too cold? Should I move him to a warmer room?
I really want him to stay with us. He's too nice to end up in fishy heaven.
He will need a temperature of between 74 and 80 to be comfortable. You didn't mention if you had a heater? If you do what temperature is it at? What is your room temperature? Without knowing this we cannot advise you on whether the water is too cold.
I'd STRONGLY recommend getting a liquid test kit that tests for amonia, nitrite, nitrate and ph. Buying a master kit, most of which test for all 4 is the best way and most economical. It's very important to be able to monitor these parameters.
From now on do small (perhaps 20%, never 100%) changes 3 times a week and don't rinse the gravel out. This will only kill whatever beneficial bacteria there is in the tank. Use a gravel vac instead, or until you have one, stir the gravel up so that the water is full of waste floating about before you remove some of the water so that some of the waste is removed with the water.
Thank you so much for your time and input. I'll move him until I can get a heater and a better setup.
I wish that pet shops would give you more than just a fish in a bag when you get these guys. I guess they're seen as "disposable" pets. When one dies, get another. Unfortunately, responsible pet owners don't always have the information they need to maintain these animals. Well meaning people like me don't always know what they're getting themselves into.
That's how we ended up with hermit crabs. But that's a long story.
Thanks again for your time. I'll let you know how he's doing. :)
Noticed your betta wasn't doing too good.
Well, I'll give you a few tips.
1. heater is mandatory. 78- 80 F is what makes him most comfortable. (BUT DO NOT PUT A FULL FLEDGE HEATER IN YOUR 1 GALLON! THAT IS ONLY FOR 5 + GALLONS. BUY A MICRO HEATER FOR YOU 1 GALLON TILL YOU UPGRADE)
2. I keep my betta in a 5 gallon. Decent sized tank, lots of room to swim about.
3. Test once a week your water parameters and post them on your topic. and learn what parameters are safe and which is not.
4. FILTER IS NEEDED to clean toxins. but try a filter that doesn't make water fall into the tank, for that creates a current which may cause depression for the betta and eventually death.
5. ROutine is good, i do the same. but feed him once pinch daily. maybe a SMALL SMALL TINY little bit before bedtime. bettas are EATERS and will eat mass amounts- whatever you give them, they eat. they can eat themselves to death.