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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to the forum. I only joined a few days ago when I introduced Triton. I have had Triton for a little over a week now and he has been acting fine until two days ago. In my introduction, I mentioned that he liked to swim up and down one side of his tank periodically. I thought he was just playing or getting exercise. Now he has been swimming up and down that one side of his tank for close to 48 hours. He used to respond to me when I walked over to the tank, but he doesn't always anymore. He just continues to swim up and down the one side with some jerky twists put in. He stops to eat and that is all. After he is done eating, he goes right back to swimming up and down that one side. The swimming is very fast most of the time with jerky movements. I'm afraid that he is going to hurt himself because sometimes it looks like he runs into the gravel. I had a video of his behavior, but I couldn't figure out how to upload it to this post. He used to swim around and look at everything in his tank. Now he acts like he could care less about anything else around him. I don't know what to do. Can someone please help me.

Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 78
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Omega One Betta Buffet Pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice a day (3 to 4 pellets ewach feeding)

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Three times a week
What percentage of water do you change when you perform a water change? 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Betta Safe, Safe Start, and Easy Balance

Water Parameters
Have you tested your water? Yes
If so, what are the following parameters?
Ammonia: 0.25
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 20
pH: 6.4
Hardness: 25
Alkalinity: 40

(I am currently using the strips to test for Hardness and Alkalinity. I will be getting the API test soon. This is an uncycled aquarium and I am trying to get the ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates to 0.)

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? His appearance hasn't changed
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He ignores everything else in his tank and just swims up and down one side constantly. He barely reacts when I come over to the tank now.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Two days ago
 

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Honestly with a tank that small and since you're on top of water changes 3x a week, I wouldn't bother cycling if I were you. Cycles can be quite unstable in that size of a tank. Some people have success with it, but with your frequent changes you'll probably just get it eventually on the tank's own. Plus the Safe Start contains some ammonia in the bottle, so adding it with every water change is going to make sure that there is ammonia present (not good).

It's generally a good idea to have the minimum amount of additives for your tank. I would quit the safe start and easy balance. The easy balance can mess with the pH levels in your tank and make them unstable. With frequent water changes, your tap's consistent pH (I'm assuming it's consistent) will be the level your betta will get used to.

In terms of his behavior, it's probably stress. One week in a new place is stressful enough, plus you're adding ammonia and BB and a pH chemical with every water change, then two days later taking half of it out. You might want to look into getting some prime. It's a great water conditioner that also binds with ammonia to make it non toxic. Great for cycling and for small tanks that can't reasonably be cleaned before ammonia shows up. His symptoms may also be related to ammonia poisoning.

It's also possible he has external parasites. Does he look like he's rubbing when he hits the gravel? Have you checked the diseases thread sticky describing external parasites? If his symptoms match those, start with the conservative treatment of bringing the temperature up to 85F if you can.

Sorry I tend to ramble...here's the long story short: Start with less additives and just keep up the water changes. Switch to prime as your water conditioner if you can. Putting the temp up a couple of degrees won't hurt either.

Good luck [=
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the reply. I will stop with the Safe Start and the Easy Balance. I had read in one of the threads that stated that cycles could be unstable in small tanks, but I thought I was helping him with the Safe Start. I was using the Easy Balance because when I first set up my tank, I had a pH of 7. Over the course of the week, my pH was falling to 6.4. I was afraid with out a little help stabilizing it, the water would become too acidic. The alkalinity of the water is very low and I knew that Easy Balance was suppose to help with that as well. I will do another water change to try to eliminate the chemicals and I will not add them anymore. I will look into replacing the Betta Safe with Prime.

He is not rubbing himself against the gravel or any of the decorations. He just sometimes turns too late is almost the best way to describe it. I have looked at him and studied his fins, scales, everything for the past couple of days and there are no signs of diseases. (no fin rot, no white specks, nothing that looks rust colored) I read in one of the threads that he could be reacting to his reflection, but I have tried putting black construction paper on three of the sides and he still continued to do. I'm not sure if he is reacting to his reflection.

I will definitely stop the extra additives and see if this helps. Thinking back, he started this two days ago when I did a water change and I accidentally put in too much of the Safe Start. I didn't know that it had ammonia in it.

Concerning the water temperature, I have a Tetra heater that is rated for tanks 2 to 15 gallons, but it is not adjustable. It keeps the water around 78. I'm not sure how to raise the temperature.
 

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You'll have to get an adjustable heater :< I have lots of those unadjustable heaters for small tanks and they do good on stability but I always have a spare adjustable just in case I have to raise temps in a tank. They're not the cheapest things but it'll be good to have on hand if you can afford it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you. I will look into getting an adjustable heater when I am able to afford one, so I can have it in case I need it.
 

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The safe start has ammonia in it to continue feeding the BB. Like Kithy said, if you can, get an adjustable heater. They're really handy, especially if your betta does get sick. Plus it wouldn't hurt to have a spare.

It's very possible he's just racing his reflection. Construction paper can help and so can placing decorations along the walls so he has to break away. Live plants are great for that.

In terms of pH, 7 is fine. The water will naturally become acidic as time goes on. I'm not sure why that is, but it will have to do with low alkalinity (but that gets better with time). Bettas do prefer acidic water anyway, so I would leave it alone. And the benefit of acidic water as well is that there is less toxic free ammonia and more of the non toxic form. It's not a reason to reduce water changes, but I really wouldn't worry about your pH. Especially since your tank can't hold more than a single fish.

Generally speaking fresh clean water changes make everything better. [=
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you again Wiggyl. I'm not great at keeping plants alive, so Triton has silk plants. I will try moving one to the side and see if it helps. The construction paper didn't seem to help much. It did at first, but as the house got lighter as the sun came up, the intended paper didn't help anymore.
 

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Outside light can be tricky. My tank is in a bathroom and has a hood light, which causes a lot of reflection. I can reduce the glare by turning on a light directly above a tank.

If you think about how glass windows turn into mirrors late at night when it's dark out and you have the lights on, that's what is happening in my tank. Yours may be different, but just think about how you would be seeing the light if you were in that glass box and try to change things accordingly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I will play around with various things and see what I can find that hopefully works. I'm going to try and get the Prime tomorrow and see if I can find something to help with the possible reflection. His behavior doesn't change when his tank light is out, but there are lights on in the room.

As for the pH of the water, I used one of my strip tests to test my water straight out of the tap and was a little surprised. Straight out of tap, nitrates were 20, nitrites 0, pH 6.2, alkalinity 20, hardness was between 25 and 75. I guess there wasn't really a whole lot of change in my pH and alkalinity in my tank.

He is still swimming up and down that one side of his tank and when he ate tonight, he didn't try to swim after some of the pieces he had spit out. He usually tries to get every little piece. Tomorrow I am going to let him fast and see if that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Update: Got the Prime today and performed a 50% water change. Added the Prime, but nothing else and changed out his filter. How long does the Prime take to work? I am still getting a reading of ammonia in my tank. It is less that .25 ppm now, but not quite 0. I have rearranged some of the stuff in his tank to try and block his view of that one side, but he is still trying to get to that one side of his tank. His up and down swimming path is just interrupted. Going to try and get a taller decoration for that one side of his tank.

He is beginning to lose a little bit of color on his tail as well. There is a small area at the end of his tail that is grey and transparent. I'm not sure if this is from stress or what could be causing this. I have added a couple of pictures. These were the best I could get because he wasn't staying still very long.
 

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You will still read ammonia. Prime just converts it to its non toxic form for 24-48hrs

That looks like rot on his tail. It would be beneficial to do 100% changes daily til that's taken care of. It's probably partly due to ammonia levels that the tail got like that. Keep using prime as your conditioner and it won't harm him now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you. I definitely will make sure I change his 100% of his water everyday and see if he gets any better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm sorry if I keep bothering everybody, but I'm at a loss. I think Triton has given up. He isn't eating anymore and I he keeps going into the outflow for the filter. I'm not sure why he is doing this. He was going between the baffle and the filter, but now he has started going into the outflow. I don't know why he is going into the filter. Can someone please help me? I don't want to lose him.
 

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Is he getting sucked into the filter? If that's the case the current is too strong for him and you will need to baffle it (some people put a sponge over the intake). I don't know why he would go to the outflow unless he still isn't satisfied with his water parameters (as that is fresh water).

It's hard but sometimes we notice that something is wrong because it shows an outward appearance and generally it is too late ]= I myself have lost a couple of my endlers in the last couple of days to an unknown cause that only appears a few hours before death.

Keep up the daily water changes, make sure he is warm, and be sure to acclimate him slowly when putting him in the new water. Keeping him in the dark will help too as he can get some more sleep. You are doing everything right, so just keep going with that and hopefully he will pull through.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have his light off today. The filter was baffled using a water bottle. I followed the directions on one of the threads here as well as a Youtube video and adapted it to go with my filter, as my filter lays on the top of the aquarium and isn't outside of the tank. He was getting between the baffle and the out flow and just hanging out there.

Now he is going into the filter. He is not getting sucked in. He is swimming in on purpose. I took out the filter after I had to get him out of the outflow. I just read a thread the someone had placed a sponge filter that was cut to fit the outflow and rubber banded it to the filter. I have done that now that I saw that thread because without the filter, his tank was heating unevenly. He shouldn't be able to get in the filter now. He is just lounging around on leaves of one of his plants. One of his eyes is reflecting light now, as well. I'm not sure what that means. I'm not sure how old he is, but I've got him from PetCo on April 24 of this year.
 

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Sorry for your loss ]= you were working really hard for him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you. I don't know if it was something I did, or if it was going to happen anyway. I had a feeling it was coming because of his behavior yesterday (getting into the filter numerous times), but I was still hoping he would pull through. Do you know what would have caused his one eye to reflect light? The eye didn't appear to be cloudy.
 

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I'm not sure. My gut tells me it's aging (people's eyes change as they age). It's possible it was parasites though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
It could be he was old. I'm not sure how old he was when I got him. I have heard that pet stores may not receive them until they are no longer being used to breed (as long as a year or two old), so I guess that could be it. My neighbor showed up a couple of hours ago with a new male veiltail for me. I cleaned the tank thoroughly (without soap or chemicals) and set the tank back up. I am acclimating him to his water now.
 
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