Betta Fish Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! I'm new to owning bettas and have only had my betta, Sir Rulean, for less than a week. I did a 50% water change on Wednesday and he has been doing great. However, for the past couple days, he has been swimming more frantically. I don't know if it is because I have classes Monday through Thursday, so he's not used to me being there the entire day. I always make sure I talk to him and spend time with him when I'm not in class. Today, he also seems to be breathing a bit heavily.

He's also building a bubble nest, which I know is a good sign, but I'm still a bit worried.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,727 Posts
Can you tell me a bit more about your set up?

What is your tank size?
Do you have a filter?
Is your tank heated?
What is the temperature of your tank?
How often are you planning to do water changes?
What food are you feeding them?

You should also test your water. If you cannot buy the API freshwater master test kit then I suggest that you bring your water to a pet store and have it tested. Petco and Petsmart do this for free. Make sure you ask for EXACT numbers. They will most likely give you the "everything is fine" answer but ask them for the exact numbers. Also ask to look at the test strip yourself.

Also just so you know, bubble nests mean nothing. Bettas make them for all sorts of reasons - because they are bored, because they are stressed, because they are marking their territory, because they are ready to breed, because they just want to. Even very sick bettas will make bubble nests. Some bettas will also never make them. Basically bubble nests are nothing but cute. You should not use them to evaluate the health of your fish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I currently have a 1 gallon tank (I plan on upgrading. This one was a gift from my mom).
I don't have a filter. The tank came with one, but the current was way too strong so I decided to go without. I only let it run when I put new water in and Rulean is out of the tank.
The tank stays at a temperature of about 78-80 degrees. I only use the heater when the temperature reading gets to around 76.
Since I have no filter, I plan on doing 25% water changes every 3 or four days.
Currently, he eats Aqueon Betta Food pellets.

I changed about 50% of the water yesterday and he seems to be breathing much easier now! He still does some goofy swimming, but only when I get near the tank.
I got the water tested after I first got the tank set up, but didn't get exact numbers. I will definitely be making a trip to the pet store this weekend to pick up some other food options and to get the water re-tested. Thank you for the bubble nest advice also!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,727 Posts
If you aren't going to run a filter then you have to do an 100% water change every other day.

He is probably suffering from minor ammonia poisoning since you are not keeping up with water changes.

Make sure you are acclimating him every time do you a water change.

100% water changes are not stressful as long as you acclimate him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Add some salt: 1 Teaspoon (not Tablespoon) of salt per gallon of aquarium water. I've read that it calms them down and they need the electrolytes. I also use salt for mine.
And I noticed they love having plants around. Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,727 Posts
AQ salt is for sterilizing wounds. Epsom Salt is for relieving excess fluids. So in this case none are needed. You can add some Stresscoat or some IAL (indian almond leaf) or Rooibos Tea (decaf only).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,727 Posts
Use IAL is the preferred choice but I know that can be tough to find depending where you are. For me they are super easy to find (just have to take the subway to chinatown) but others may have more issues. Rooibos tea is sold at most grocery stores in tea bags and that also works really well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,544 Posts
Is there a specific brand of Rooibos tea that you can recommend that may be available nationally? Like Celestial Seasonings or something. I buy my IAL from eBay, but I don't like to buy too much at once, it might go stale before I use it.

I never thought of getting it in Chinatown, we have one In Philly too. I'm going to ask some Vietnamese friends of mine if they have ever heard of it & where to get it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,727 Posts
I just recommend one that is decaf and doesn't have any additional flavors.

Yeah, the chinatown here in NYC has a great LFS which is the one I mostly go to when I need things like meds or IAL or snails or plants.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,793 Posts
The correct dose for salt is one tablespoon per 5 gallons. Says so right on the box. Aquarium salt does a lot more than just sterilize wounds. In this case it may help with his breathing problem and with the almost certainly high nitrite exposure. If he has ammonia poisoning issue (he likely does with the small tank and wc schedule)research doing a methylene blue bath which is highly effective. None the less a little salt would likely be beneficial in this case. For a 1g just add a pinch and do the water change schedule Vivian recommended until you can upsize his tank.

Used properly aq salt can.

1. Aid in the control of many parasitic and pathogen populations including Ich and velvet.

2. Enhance the fish ability to produce a good protective slime coat. Very helpful if the fish is recovering from a bacterial infection, injury, torn or bitten fins and often fin rot.

3. Prevent intake of lethal nitrates during nitrogen cycling of a new tank.

4. Prevent intake of stressful high nitrates in existing cycled aquariums.

5. Lessen the fish stress levels by aiding the gill function. Fish kidneys are designed to excrete water absorbed through the skin and gills. This is a major and important job. By adding aquarium salt the fish kidneys do less work because the amount of water absorbed into the blood via the gills is reduced.

6. Adds needed electrolytes to the water.

7. At high concentrations like 1-3 tsp per gallon, aq salt can keep nets and gravel vacs from spreading pathogens tank to tank. I keep a separate bucket at high salinity for any equipment that is shared in the fish room.

The concentration of the salt is based on intent. As a general rule of thumb start with 1 tablespoon per 5-7 gallons of aquarium water. This is a safe dose for all fish and plants including salt sensitive corys. Some betta keepers only use aquarium salt as a general tonic or preventative. Others use it at higher concentrations to treat for existing parasites but remember it is not a cure all and can be combined with other things like methylene blue or antibiotics outside of the aquarium in a fish bath to treat stubborn or difficult pathogens.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top