Betta Fish Forum banner
1 - 20 of 31 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone! I am very concerned for my betta Marco. He has just started exhibiting this behavior this week but he is not looking good today. Around a week ago, he began hanging out at the bottom of the tank especially near the three mystery snails in there. He has been terrorizing the snails, so I figured he was just hanging around them to be a jerk. I saw online that moving around the tanks decor could help betta fish feel more comfortable with snails, so I swapped his two biggest decor items a few days ago. I also removed a fourth snail that died (I’m assuming from stress). Since then, he has been almost exclusively at the bottom of the tank. I moved the snails to a new spot and he is still just sitting around the back right corner.

When I take the top off to feed/ look in the tank, he swims right up and excitedly eats. All of his tank parameters (listed below) seem to be good to me. I’m just so confused and concerned.

I’m wondering if he either is just mad that the snails are in there and I should remove them (I was planning on removing the snails if the decor moving didn’t make Marco back off), is being pushed around by the filter now that his decor has been moved, or is sick in some way. Please help!!


Housing:
How many gallons is your tank?

14 gallons.


Does it have a filter?
Yes.

Does it have a heater?
Yes.

What temperature is your tank?
Between 80-81 degrees.


Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
No.

Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind?
Yes, 3 mystery snails that he harasses (I´ve been thinking he might be stressed out about the snails and that´s why he´s upset?).



Food:
What food brand do you use?

Omega One freeze-dried bloodworms and New Life Spectrum betta pellets.


Do you feed flakes or pellets?
He eats pellets and bloodworms.

Freeze-dried?
The bloodworms are freeze-dried


How often do you feed your Betta? How much?
He is on a schedule of pellets and bloodworms every other day (Monday is 2-4 pellets, Tuesday is 2-4 bloodworms and so on). He is not fed on Sunday,


Maintenance:
Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change?

Never, but was planning on doing it soon.


Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water?
I have a substrate vacuum but haven´t used it yet.


What additives do you use?
API tap water conditioner.


Water Parameters:
What are your water parameters?
Please give exact numbers. If tested by pet store please get exact numbers. "Fine" or "Safe" won't help us help you.

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: around 7.4
Hardness (GH): unknown (not sure how)
Alkalinity (KH): unknown (not sure how)


Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms?

A few days ago I noticed he started hanging out at the bottom near the snails, so I assumed he was just terrorizing them. But even as I moved the snails he still stays over there. I can´t tell if he´s just sleeping or maybe upset/ sick.


How has your Betta’s appearance changed?
His appearance has not seemed to change.


How has your Betta’s behavior changed?
Not active unless I go in/ open the tank.


Is your Betta still eating?
Yes, he has his same large appetite and swims to the top to eat.


Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how?
I'm not sure what to do, so I haven't started treating him yet.

Does your Betta have any history of being ill?
Not that I know of.


How long have you owned your Betta? Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased?

Exactly one month.

First three pictures are of him currently. Others are how he used to be.

Water Nature Natural environment Underwater Organism

Plant Organism Aquatic plant Marine invertebrates Terrestrial plant

Water Plant Vertebrate Underwater Organism
Plant Flower Blue Purple Petal

World Window Branch Twig Building
 

· Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
EDIT

After posting just now, I tried to feed him. He swam up to the top and fully ate one pellet. I fed him another and he kept it in his mouth for a while then spit it out. He did not care about any more pellets after that and just sat on a leaf. Then he started sitting on this tower. These pictures are from only minutes ago. I hope this helps!!
Wood Painting Trunk House Art

Organism Terrestrial plant Tints and shades Wood Pattern

World Wood Temple Building Art
 

· Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Hi everyone! I am very concerned for my betta Marco. He has just started exhibiting this behavior this week but he is not looking good today. Around a week ago, he began hanging out at the bottom of the tank especially near the three mystery snails in there. He has been terrorizing the snails, so I figured he was just hanging around them to be a jerk. I saw online that moving around the tanks decor could help betta fish feel more comfortable with snails, so I swapped his two biggest decor items a few days ago. I also removed a fourth snail that died (I’m assuming from stress). Since then, he has been almost exclusively at the bottom of the tank. I moved the snails to a new spot and he is still just sitting around the back right corner.

When I take the top off to feed/ look in the tank, he swims right up and excitedly eats. All of his tank parameters (listed below) seem to be good to me. I’m just so confused and concerned.

I’m wondering if he either is just mad that the snails are in there and I should remove them (I was planning on removing the snails if the decor moving didn’t make Marco back off), is being pushed around by the filter now that his decor has been moved, or is sick in some way. Please help!!


Housing:
How many gallons is your tank?

14 gallons.


Does it have a filter?
Yes.

Does it have a heater?
Yes.

What temperature is your tank?
Between 80-81 degrees.


Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
No.

Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind?
Yes, 3 mystery snails that he harasses (I´ve been thinking he might be stressed out about the snails and that´s why he´s upset?).



Food:
What food brand do you use?

Omega One freeze-dried bloodworms and New Life Spectrum betta pellets.


Do you feed flakes or pellets?
He eats pellets and bloodworms.

Freeze-dried?
The bloodworms are freeze-dried


How often do you feed your Betta? How much?
He is on a schedule of pellets and bloodworms every other day (Monday is 2-4 pellets, Tuesday is 2-4 bloodworms and so on). He is not fed on Sunday,


Maintenance:
Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change?

Never, but was planning on doing it soon.


Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water?
I have a substrate vacuum but haven´t used it yet.


What additives do you use?
API tap water conditioner.


Water Parameters:
What are your water parameters?
Please give exact numbers. If tested by pet store please get exact numbers. "Fine" or "Safe" won't help us help you.

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: around 7.4
Hardness (GH): unknown (not sure how)
Alkalinity (KH): unknown (not sure how)


Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms?

A few days ago I noticed he started hanging out at the bottom near the snails, so I assumed he was just terrorizing them. But even as I moved the snails he still stays over there. I can´t tell if he´s just sleeping or maybe upset/ sick.


How has your Betta’s appearance changed?
His appearance has not seemed to change.


How has your Betta’s behavior changed?
Not active unless I go in/ open the tank.


Is your Betta still eating?
Yes, he has his same large appetite and swims to the top to eat.


Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how?
I'm not sure what to do, so I haven't started treating him yet.

Does your Betta have any history of being ill?
Not that I know of.


How long have you owned your Betta? Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased?

Exactly one month.

First three pictures are of him currently. Others are how he used to be.
I’d say it’s the stress of all his tank mates. They also do carry some bacteria, and sometimes small amounts of bacteria can stress a fish out. It’s un noticeable to the physical eye as well sometimes. He looks fine, but like he’s ready for seclusion. Also, do you add anything to the water for his snails companions? Sometimes hard water is stressful too. By and by, I think he’s only stressed!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I’d say it’s the stress of all his tank mates. They also do carry some bacteria, and sometimes small amounts of bacteria can stress a fish out. It’s un noticeable to the physical eye as well sometimes. He looks fine, but like he’s ready for seclusion. Also, do you add anything to the water for his snails companions? Sometimes hard water is stressful too. By and by, I think he’s only stressed!
Thank you so much for your reply!!! So should I add him to a quarantine tank or just remove the snails? And I didn´t know I had to add anything for the snails!! How do I test the water hardness? And if I remove the snails, should I still add something to the water?
 

· Registered
Pets: 4 dogs, 2 fish tanks, 1 frogs RIP nyxa, our beloved 5th dog
Joined
·
1,426 Posts
Yes it could be the stress of his tank mates to some extent, but he also looks really thin. Your Betta fish looks very soon and skinny. You said he gets two to four pallets every day unless it’s blood worms on ones to two specific days of the week. I say this all respectfully, but this is definitely not enough. I feed my Betta fish around 10 to 12 pellets a day of course I also do a mix of frozen food and flakes whenever I feel like it, but that keeps him at a healthy weight.

The first thing I would do is move them to a smaller fish tank, add a heater filter and lower the water level so it’s easier for him to get to the top of his tank. He said he doesn’t move unless you go up to his tank which makes me think he is extremely lethargic and skinny.
very soon and skinny. You said he gets two to four pallets every day unless it’s blood worms on ones to two specific days of the week. I say this all respectfully, but this is definitely not enough. I feed my Betta fish around 10 to 12 pellets a day of course I also do a mix of frozen food and flakes whenever I feel like it, but that keeps him at a healthy weight.

The first thing I would do is move them to a smaller fish tank, add a heater filter and lower the water level so it’s easier for him to get to the top of his tank. He said he doesn’t move unless you go up to his tank which makes me think he is extremely lethargic and skinny. I need to got to a appointemebg brb

never mind just found out the appointment was tomorrow. The first thing I would do is start feeding him Pure blood worms, not freeze, dried, but frozen thawed. They should help him put on some weight which will make a great difference in my opinion on his behavior.

He is most likely weak, because of not being fed enough. I don’t know how much he would eat at a time, or is the schedule at your on but I would recommend trying to feed them three frozen blood worms every four hours. I see so many people in this world fall into the trap of overfeeding. A lot of you seem to think that because of what the pet store said that you may usually over feed your Betta’.

A lot of the times this is not the case. I wish it wasn’t like this, but there’s just so much miss information floating around.. if if he will eat for blood worms every four hours as well that’s perfectly fine. If he doesn’t want any frozen blood worms, you can try and soak them in garlic juice. I’m not entirely sure if he will fully make it out of this, but I hope you know it’s not just you. Underfeeding your better fish is extremely common on this fish forum and I feel like I see it quite often, which is unfortunate.

If I was to feed my Betta fish 10 to 14 pallets or whatever I decide to feed in 1 feeding that would be considered severely over feeding. If you spread the food out in smaller portions in 4 hour time gaps, it works perfectly fine. I feel like I’m missing something but I think my brain is just a little foggy today. Oh yeah, one more thing, did you cycle your 14 gallon tank for you? Added the Betta fish in? I would also recommend doing a water change every two weeks once he gets better. If the 14 gallon tank isn’t cycled, don’t be afraid to tell. Honesty is the key to saving your Betta fish. He sure looks like he’d be stunning and I hope you update us often. Don’t be afraid to ask more questions. If you don’t want to buy a hospital tank, you can also get a breather box and put him in that and his regular tank. This also works good in my opinion. Thanks again.[/QUOTE]
 

· Registered
Pets: 4 dogs, 2 fish tanks, 1 frogs RIP nyxa, our beloved 5th dog
Joined
·
1,426 Posts
I still feel like I’m missing so,etching but am not sure what.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes it could be the stress of his tank mates to some extent, but he also looks really thin. Your Betta fish looks very soon and skinny. You said he gets two to four pallets every day unless it’s blood worms on ones to two specific days of the week. I say this all respectfully, but this is definitely not enough. I feed my Betta fish around 10 to 12 pellets a day of course I also do a mix of frozen food and flakes whenever I feel like it, but that keeps him at a healthy weight.

The first thing I would do is move them to a smaller fish tank, add a heater filter and lower the water level so it’s easier for him to get to the top of his tank. He said he doesn’t move unless you go up to his tank which makes me think he is extremely lethargic and skinny.
very soon and skinny. You said he gets two to four pallets every day unless it’s blood worms on ones to two specific days of the week. I say this all respectfully, but this is definitely not enough. I feed my Betta fish around 10 to 12 pellets a day of course I also do a mix of frozen food and flakes whenever I feel like it, but that keeps him at a healthy weight.

The first thing I would do is move them to a smaller fish tank, add a heater filter and lower the water level so it’s easier for him to get to the top of his tank. He said he doesn’t move unless you go up to his tank which makes me think he is extremely lethargic and skinny. I need to got to a appointemebg brb

never mind just found out the appointment was tomorrow. The first thing I would do is start feeding him Pure blood worms, not freeze, dried, but frozen thawed. They should help him put on some weight which will make a great difference in my opinion on his behavior.

He is most likely weak, because of not being fed enough. I don’t know how much he would eat at a time, or is the schedule at your on but I would recommend trying to feed them three frozen blood worms every four hours. I see so many people in this world fall into the trap of overfeeding. A lot of you seem to think that because of what the pet store said that you may usually over feed your Betta’.

A lot of the times this is not the case. I wish it wasn’t like this, but there’s just so much miss information floating around.. if if he will eat for blood worms every four hours as well that’s perfectly fine. If he doesn’t want any frozen blood worms, you can try and soak them in garlic juice. I’m not entirely sure if he will fully make it out of this, but I hope you know it’s not just you. Underfeeding your better fish is extremely common on this fish forum and I feel like I see it quite often, which is unfortunate.

If I was to feed my Betta fish 10 to 14 pallets or whatever I decide to feed in 1 feeding that would be considered severely over feeding. If you spread the food out in smaller portions in 4 hour time gaps, it works perfectly fine. I feel like I’m missing something but I think my brain is just a little foggy today. Oh yeah, one more thing, did you cycle your 14 gallon tank for you? Added the Betta fish in? I would also recommend doing a water change every two weeks once he gets better. If the 14 gallon tank isn’t cycled, don’t be afraid to tell. Honesty is the key to saving your Betta fish. He sure looks like he’d be stunning and I hope you update us often. Don’t be afraid to ask more questions. If you don’t want to buy a hospital tank, you can also get a breather box and put him in that and his regular tank. This also works good in my opinion. Thanks again.
[/QUOTE]

Thank you for the advice!! I am going to be putting him in a recovery/ quarantine tank today (with a heater) and will be removing the snails from the main tank ASAP. I´ll also start feeding him more once he´s in the mood to eat. My plan will be 6-8 pellets a day to start out with, 2-4 after work and 4 before I go to bed.

I also DID cycle my tank with gravel and one plant for a week before putting him in. Once he was in, I added 3 more plants and decorations that same night.

My question is with the hospital tank, should I put brand new conditioned water in it or should I fill it with his normal tank water?
 

· Registered
Pets: 4 dogs, 2 fish tanks, 1 frogs RIP nyxa, our beloved 5th dog
Joined
·
1,426 Posts
Thank you for the advice!! I am going to be putting him in a recovery/ quarantine tank today (with a heater) and will be removing the snails from the main tank ASAP. I´ll also start feeding him more once he´s in the mood to eat. My plan will be 6-8 pellets a day to start out with, 2-4 after work and 4 before I go to bed.

I also DID cycle my tank with gravel and one plant for a week before putting him in. Once he was in, I added 3 more plants and decorations that same night.

My question is with the hospital tank, should I put brand new conditioned water in it or should I fill it with his normal tank water?
[/QUOTE]
Is his 14 gallon cycled? If so then put the 14 gallon tank watrper upon the hospital one
 

· Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you for the advice!! I am going to be putting him in a recovery/ quarantine tank today (with a heater) and will be removing the snails from the main tank ASAP. I´ll also start feeding him more once he´s in the mood to eat. My plan will be 6-8 pellets a day to start out with, 2-4 after work and 4 before I go to bed.

I also DID cycle my tank with gravel and one plant for a week before putting him in. Once he was in, I added 3 more plants and decorations that same night.

My question is with the hospital tank, should I put brand new conditioned water in it or should I fill it with his normal tank water?
Is his 14 gallon cycled? If so then put the 14 gallon tank watrper upon the hospital one
[/QUOTE]


It has a filter in it if that is what you´re asking? If not I´m not sure what cycled means.
 

· Registered
Pets: 4 dogs, 2 fish tanks, 1 frogs RIP nyxa, our beloved 5th dog
Joined
·
1,426 Posts
Is his 14 gallon cycled? If so then put the 14 gallon tank watrper upon the hospital one

It has a filter in it if that is what you´re asking? If not I´m not sure what cycled means.
[/QUOTE]
Like the nitrogen cycle? If you aren’t sure what this is I would recommend reading this:

If the tanks not cycled that could be another factor.

2015

Change half the water when either ammonia or nitrite approach 0.50ppm, or weekly, whichever comes first. Add Prime at 2-drops per gallon of tank size every day until cycled.

That’s all you have to do. You can stop reading now. But there’s a lot of information packed into those sentences. So let’s go over it again –- slowly.

Change half the water...

Removing water is most easily done with a siphon, also known as a gravel vacuum. Although a clean, new turkey baster will also work. Suck up as much old food, plant debris and feces as you can conveniently. Replace with water of the same temperature (within a few degrees either way). Add Prime to the tank just before refilling. You don’t have to “age” the water except in special conditions. See pH matching – below.

when either ammonia or nitrite approach 0.50ppm...

You need a water test kit to get these readings. Liquid tests are considered more consistently accurate than test strips, and they are cheaper per test. Most fish-keepers use the API master test kit ( [ame="[URL]http://www.amazon.com/API-Freshwater-Master-Test-Kit/dp/B000255NCI/[/URL]"]


[/ame] Amazon.com: API Freshwater Master Test Kit: Pet Supplies)
which contains the tests you need. Test every day until you learn how fast ammonia builds up in your tank. (ppm is parts per million.)

You also need a filter to cycle a tank. Cycling bacteria need oxygen and water flow. A filter is the best and easiest way to provide both. Do not rinse or replace the filter during the cycle.

Some keepers prefer to change 25% of the water when ammonia approaches 0.25ppm. A 25% water change is more appropriate for tanks larger than 8-gallons.

or weekly, whichever comes first.

A weekly 50% water change with vacuuming is part of recommended tank maintenance. If ammonia and nitrite stay below 0.50ppm the tank goes onto the weekly water-change schedule.

Add Prime at 2-drops per gallon of tank size every day...

This is IMPORTANT: Prime water conditioner (by Seachem) detoxifies ammonia and nitrite in the tank so it will not endanger your fish. This protection goes away within 48 hours, so it is necessary to add more Prime. Seachem recommends 2-drops/gal of tank size with water changes. A further dose of 2-drops/gal every day keeps the protection fresh.

Other water conditioners that detoxify ammonia include API AmmoLock and Kordon Amquel+. Water conditioners must clearly state they detoxify or otherwise deal with ammonia. If you're not sure, check with us before you buy.

until cycled.

The tank is cycled when ammonia reads 0.0ppm, nitrite reads 0.0ppm and nitrate increases slightly between water changes. Afterwards, you only have to add Prime during weekly water changes.

Maintenance

A weekly 50% water change is a good habit to get into. While you’re at it, vacuum the substrate to remove solid waste, rotting food, etc. A weekly partial water change also dilutes nitrate, removes dissolved waste and replaces minerals used up by your fish and plants. Every few weeks, rinse the filter media in the water removed from the tank during the water change -- not in untreated tapwater.

Why cycle?

Fish and other aquatic animals produce ammonia as a by-product of living. Rotting food, plant debris, feces and other organics also produce ammonia. Ammonia is harmful or deadly if allowed to build-up in the tank. Cycling bacteria remove ammonia, providing the healthiest, safest water conditions for your fish. Creating a 'nitrogen cycle' in the tank is how you build bacteria colonies big enough to 'eat' all the ammonia.

The nitrogen cycle can take anywhere from two weeks to two months to complete.

Fish-in? Fishless?


The above instructions are for a “fish-in” cycle which uses the ammonia produced by your fish to feed the cycling bacteria and to grow the bacteria colonies. Since Betta produce so little ammonia (low-bioload), smaller colonies are enough. You need only enough bacteria to eat all the ammonia. In fact, that’s what get with fish-in cycling – just the right amount of bacteria.

“Fishless” cycling means that you provide the ammonia to feed the growing colonies. You can raise very large bacteria colonies using this method. If you’re planning to stock large fish or many fish at once this may be the way to go.

Tank size

Any size tank from 2-gallons on up can be cycled using this method. The smaller 2- and 3- gallon tanks do require extra care and close monitoring, as ammonia can build up pretty fast, sometimes. Test every day, and always be ready to do a 50% water change with Prime if ammonia rises above 0.50ppm.

Bacteria

Two types of bacteria are involved in the “nitrogen cycle.” One kind (Nitrosomonas) oxidizes harmful ammonia and turns it into nitrite. The other (Nitrospira) oxidizes nitrite and turns it into nitrate. After a tank is cycled the weekly water change removes nitrate.

Filter media (sponges, cartridges, pads) and substrate that contain live cycling bacteria can also be used to “seed” the cycle and make it faster. These bacteria quickly grow throughout the tank if you place them in the filter or in the filter flow. Bacteria stick to surfaces; not much lives in the water, so using old tank-water does nothing for the cycle. Be careful to use only seeded media from a clean, healthy tank.

Cycling bacteria is available in bottles from your local pet store. Tetra SafeStart is often used, although there are a few other products containing the bacteria listed above.

pH matching


Betta can tolerate a wide range of pH – from below 7.0 pH to above 8.0 pH – as long as it does not change quickly. If your tapwater pH matches your tank pH within + 0.3 points a 50% water change is no problem. If the pH difference is outside of that range, letting the refill water sit and "age" for 24-hours should bring it into range. Or you can do smaller water changes more often.

This sticky...

...is an open sticky. Questions and comments are encouraged. In order to keep the thread from expanding beyond convenient reading length, some comments, questions and answers may be folded into the body of the sticky and the original post might be deleted. This is for efficiency only and not a reflection on the poster. I'm sure you'll understand.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It has a filter in it if that is what you´re asking? If not I´m not sure what cycled means.
Like the nitrogen cycle? If you aren’t sure what this is I would recommend reading this:

If the tanks not cycled that could be another factor.

2015

Change half the water when either ammonia or nitrite approach 0.50ppm, or weekly, whichever comes first. Add Prime at 2-drops per gallon of tank size every day until cycled.

That’s all you have to do. You can stop reading now. But there’s a lot of information packed into those sentences. So let’s go over it again –- slowly.

Change half the water...

Removing water is most easily done with a siphon, also known as a gravel vacuum. Although a clean, new turkey baster will also work. Suck up as much old food, plant debris and feces as you can conveniently. Replace with water of the same temperature (within a few degrees either way). Add Prime to the tank just before refilling. You don’t have to “age” the water except in special conditions. See pH matching – below.

when either ammonia or nitrite approach 0.50ppm...

You need a water test kit to get these readings. Liquid tests are considered more consistently accurate than test strips, and they are cheaper per test. Most fish-keepers use the API master test kit ( [ame="[URL]http://www.amazon.com/API-Freshwater-Master-Test-Kit/dp/B000255NCI/[/URL]"]


[/ame] Amazon.com: API Freshwater Master Test Kit: Pet Supplies)
which contains the tests you need. Test every day until you learn how fast ammonia builds up in your tank. (ppm is parts per million.)

You also need a filter to cycle a tank. Cycling bacteria need oxygen and water flow. A filter is the best and easiest way to provide both. Do not rinse or replace the filter during the cycle.

Some keepers prefer to change 25% of the water when ammonia approaches 0.25ppm. A 25% water change is more appropriate for tanks larger than 8-gallons.

or weekly, whichever comes first.

A weekly 50% water change with vacuuming is part of recommended tank maintenance. If ammonia and nitrite stay below 0.50ppm the tank goes onto the weekly water-change schedule.

Add Prime at 2-drops per gallon of tank size every day...

This is IMPORTANT: Prime water conditioner (by Seachem) detoxifies ammonia and nitrite in the tank so it will not endanger your fish. This protection goes away within 48 hours, so it is necessary to add more Prime. Seachem recommends 2-drops/gal of tank size with water changes. A further dose of 2-drops/gal every day keeps the protection fresh.

Other water conditioners that detoxify ammonia include API AmmoLock and Kordon Amquel+. Water conditioners must clearly state they detoxify or otherwise deal with ammonia. If you're not sure, check with us before you buy.

until cycled.

The tank is cycled when ammonia reads 0.0ppm, nitrite reads 0.0ppm and nitrate increases slightly between water changes. Afterwards, you only have to add Prime during weekly water changes.

Maintenance

A weekly 50% water change is a good habit to get into. While you’re at it, vacuum the substrate to remove solid waste, rotting food, etc. A weekly partial water change also dilutes nitrate, removes dissolved waste and replaces minerals used up by your fish and plants. Every few weeks, rinse the filter media in the water removed from the tank during the water change -- not in untreated tapwater.

Why cycle?

Fish and other aquatic animals produce ammonia as a by-product of living. Rotting food, plant debris, feces and other organics also produce ammonia. Ammonia is harmful or deadly if allowed to build-up in the tank. Cycling bacteria remove ammonia, providing the healthiest, safest water conditions for your fish. Creating a 'nitrogen cycle' in the tank is how you build bacteria colonies big enough to 'eat' all the ammonia.

The nitrogen cycle can take anywhere from two weeks to two months to complete.

Fish-in? Fishless?

The above instructions are for a “fish-in” cycle which uses the ammonia produced by your fish to feed the cycling bacteria and to grow the bacteria colonies. Since Betta produce so little ammonia (low-bioload), smaller colonies are enough. You need only enough bacteria to eat all the ammonia. In fact, that’s what get with fish-in cycling – just the right amount of bacteria.

“Fishless” cycling means that you provide the ammonia to feed the growing colonies. You can raise very large bacteria colonies using this method. If you’re planning to stock large fish or many fish at once this may be the way to go.

Tank size

Any size tank from 2-gallons on up can be cycled using this method. The smaller 2- and 3- gallon tanks do require extra care and close monitoring, as ammonia can build up pretty fast, sometimes. Test every day, and always be ready to do a 50% water change with Prime if ammonia rises above 0.50ppm.

Bacteria

Two types of bacteria are involved in the “nitrogen cycle.” One kind (Nitrosomonas) oxidizes harmful ammonia and turns it into nitrite. The other (Nitrospira) oxidizes nitrite and turns it into nitrate. After a tank is cycled the weekly water change removes nitrate.

Filter media (sponges, cartridges, pads) and substrate that contain live cycling bacteria can also be used to “seed” the cycle and make it faster. These bacteria quickly grow throughout the tank if you place them in the filter or in the filter flow. Bacteria stick to surfaces; not much lives in the water, so using old tank-water does nothing for the cycle. Be careful to use only seeded media from a clean, healthy tank.

Cycling bacteria is available in bottles from your local pet store. Tetra SafeStart is often used, although there are a few other products containing the bacteria listed above.

pH matching

Betta can tolerate a wide range of pH – from below 7.0 pH to above 8.0 pH – as long as it does not change quickly. If your tapwater pH matches your tank pH within + 0.3 points a 50% water change is no problem. If the pH difference is outside of that range, letting the refill water sit and "age" for 24-hours should bring it into range. Or you can do smaller water changes more often.

This sticky...

...is an open sticky. Questions and comments are encouraged. In order to keep the thread from expanding beyond convenient reading length, some comments, questions and answers may be folded into the body of the sticky and the original post might be deleted. This is for efficiency only and not a reflection on the poster. I'm sure you'll understand.
[/QUOTE]

WOW thank you so much for this information!!! I will start doing this ASAP!! So I think I can use his tank water then since the ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates are all at 0. Thank you so much for the help!!
 

· Administrator
Joined
·
24,632 Posts
For a 14-gallon you can change 25% when Ammonia or Nitrites reach .25 ppm. Forgot the above-linked sticky hadn't been moved. Here's the latest: CYCLING: the two-sentence tutorial Check parameter at least twice per week. Notice that even if Ammonia and Nitrites are 0 ppm you still need a weekly water change. Other than keeping a tank clean, water changes replenish essential trace elements and minerals that fish need. Once your tank is cycled, a one-gallon per week water chance and vacuum should be enough. Always test parameters before a water change.

It is highly doubtful the snails are causing issues unless he constantly flares at them. If he does every once in a while that is normal behavior.
Automotive lighting Rectangle Body jewelry Automotive exterior Automotive design

If the filter is blowing your Betta so much that he doesn't have any calm places to eat or rest, you can place a soap dish under the output.

Frozen Bloodworms are great for adding weight; however, they are fatty and as soon as a Betta has plumped up they are best given only as treats. You can soak pellets in some of the thawed liquid.

You can float an IAL leaf. If the water doesn't tint the color below, boil a couple of leaves and let them steep overnight or until the liquid is black; condition. This "extract" is more concentrated so you won't need as much.
Flower Plant Nature Sunlight Grass

You do not want the water tinted any lighter than this. In addition to having antibacterial and antifungal properties, IAL also has a calming effect.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
For a 14-gallon you can change 25% when Ammonia or Nitrites reach .25 ppm. Forgot the sticky hadn't been moved. Here's the latest: CYCLING: the two-sentence tutorial Check parameter at least twice per week. Notice that even if Ammonia and Nitrites are 0 ppm you still need a weekly water change. Other than keeping a tank clean, water changes replenish essential trace elements and minerals that fish need. Once your tank is cycled, a one-gallon per week water chance and vacuum should be enough. Always test parameters before a water change.

It is highly doubtful the snails are causing issues unless he constantly flares at them. If he does every once in a while that is normal behavior.
View attachment 1051027
If the filter is blowing your Betta so much that he doesn't have any calm places to eat or rest, you can place a soap dish under the output.

Frozen Bloodworms are great for adding weight; however, they are fatty and as soon as a Betta has plumped up they are best given only as treats. You can soak pellets in some of the thawed liquid.

You can float an IAL leaf. If the water doesn't tint the color below, boil a couple of leaves and let them steep overnight or until the liquid is black; condition. This "extract" is more concentrated so you won't need as much.
View attachment 1051028
You do not want the water tinted any lighter than this. In addition to having antibacterial and antifungal properties, IAL also has a calming effect.
Thank you for your reply! I would say it was pretty constant, as soon as he would see them he would get right up to them and almost nip at their antennae. Yesterday, I removed the snails, took out about 1/3 of the water, vacuumed the gravel, and cleaned all the decorations. I also took out a plant that wasn´t looking too great. I put in API stress coat+, stress zyme, and aqua essential. I also hung up some pH and ammonia testers and they are both the same as the last time I tested the water. I also lowered his filter (Aqueon 20 gallon quiet flow) so it is basically level with the water and put a large tower decoration in front of the flow.

He refused to eat yesterday though and is still barely moving. Is there anything I should do right now to help him? Would putting him in a new tank with new water and little to no decoration be better?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
UPDATE
Water Plant Vertebrate Pet supply Fish supply

Water Vertebrate Blue Plant Botany

Plant Water Blue Azure Organism

World Art Glass Electric blue Font


So yesterday we removed about 1/3 of the water from his tank, removed the 3 mystery snails, cleaned the decor, vacuumed the gravel, removed a dying plant, lowered the Aqueon whisper 20 gallon filter so it’s closer to the water, put a tall decoration in front of the filter, and added API stress coat+, stress zyme, and aqua essential.

As of today, Marco is still sitting at the bottom of the tank, but he changed spots over night. I gently scooped him towards the top of the tank with a small soft net to help him get some air and he fought back a bit which I see as a good sign of him possibly feeling a bit stronger!

However, he’s still not looking good and is not showing any interest in eating. I’m just concerned he’s underweight and his lethargy is preventing him from eating, so I’m not sure what to do!!! I’ve offered the freeze dried bloodworms and pellets but he didn’t care about either.

Does anyone have any additional advice as to what to do? I’m not sure if there is anything else I CAN do but I’m here if anyone has any suggestions!! I’ve attached some current pictures of him, his tank, and the water parameters. Thanks!!!
 

· Registered
Pets: 4 dogs, 2 fish tanks, 1 frogs RIP nyxa, our beloved 5th dog
Joined
·
1,426 Posts
UPDATE View attachment 1051069
View attachment 1051067
View attachment 1051070
View attachment 1051068


So yesterday we removed about 1/3 of the water from his tank, removed the 3 mystery snails, cleaned the decor, vacuumed the gravel, removed a dying plant, lowered the Aqueon whisper 20 gallon filter so it’s closer to the water, put a tall decoration in front of the filter, and added API stress coat+, stress zyme, and aqua essential.

As of today, Marco is still sitting at the bottom of the tank, but he changed spots over night. I gently scooped him towards the top of the tank with a small soft net to help him get some air and he fought back a bit which I see as a good sign of him possibly feeling a bit stronger!

However, he’s still not looking good and is not showing any interest in eating. I’m just concerned he’s underweight and his lethargy is preventing him from eating, so I’m not sure what to do!!! I’ve offered the freeze dried bloodworms and pellets but he didn’t care about either.

Does anyone have any additional advice as to what to do? I’m not sure if there is anything else I CAN do but I’m here if anyone has any suggestions!! I’ve attached some current pictures of him, his tank, and the water parameters. Thanks!!!
Try putting and soaking the frozen bloodworms in garlic juice. if he’s at the bottom, try and deliver him it with some tweezers or a pipette. Sometimes lethargic and weak beta dong realize That they’re being offered food.
 

· Registered
Neptune (HMDT), Indigo (VT), Manchester (Galaxy Koi)Bunker (K9)
Joined
·
339 Posts
Oh my he looks so skinny. Have you had a chance to get any frozen bloodworms? They will usually eat those, especially soaked in garlic juice when they won't eat pellets of freeze dried. You may need to break them up if they are too large. I would be patient but persistent. This baby needs some weight ASAP. He is likely too weak to swim much. I don't want to scare you but I have been through inadvertently starving my betta. This forum and a member being very blunt saved him. Sending good thoughts out to you and to Marco.
 

· Administrator
Joined
·
24,632 Posts
You offered him freeze dried, not frozen, Bloodworms, correct?

I just finished rereading your thread and have a few questions:

When did you take the initial readings? Trying to understand why with three snails, there would be no Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates registering if it had been a month with no water change. Also, one of the main causes of clamped fins (which he has) is poor water conditions; usually unacceptable Ammonia levels. Other symptoms are general lethargy and loss of appetite.

I'll be honest, it doesn't look good for your boy. You might be able to turn him around if you can get him to eat. As noted, frozen gives you the greatest chance of success..

And don't worry about putting him in another, smaller container. If tank water has good oxygenation, Bettas do not need to use their labyrinths. They are facultative air breathers and only use their labyrinth when there's not enough oxygen in the water.
 

· Registered
Pets: 4 dogs, 2 fish tanks, 1 frogs RIP nyxa, our beloved 5th dog
Joined
·
1,426 Posts
Oh my he looks so skinny. Have you had a chance to get any frozen bloodworms? They will usually eat those, especially soaked in garlic juice when they won't eat pellets of freeze dried. You may need to break them up if they are too large. I would be patient but persistent. This baby needs some weight ASAP. He is likely too weak to swim much. I don't want to scare you but I have been through inadvertently starving my betta. This forum and a member being very blunt saved him. Sending good thoughts out to you and to Marco.
That’s what I was trying to say…. You summed it up better lo…
You offered him freeze dried, not frozen, Bloodworms, correct?

I just finished rereading your thread and have a few questions:

When did you take the initial readings? Trying to understand why with three snails, there would be no Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates registering if it had been a month with no water change. Also, one of the main causes of clamped fins (which he has) is poor water conditions; usually unacceptable Ammonia levels. Other symptoms are general lethargy and loss of appetite.

I'll be honest, it doesn't look good for your boy. You might be able to turn him around if you can get him to eat. As noted, frozen gives you the greatest chance of success..

And don't worry about putting him in another, smaller container. If tank water has good oxygenation, Bettas do not need to use their labyrinths. They are facultative air breathers and only use their labyrinth when there's not enough oxygen in the water.
I was afraid to say the part about how it doesn’t look great for him, but thanks Russel for saying it. I didn’t relalize they tried freeze dryed and not frozen. Thanks for making a point!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
You offered him freeze dried, not frozen, Bloodworms, correct?

I just finished rereading your thread and have a few questions:

When did you take the initial readings? Trying to understand why with three snails, there would be no Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates registering if it had been a month with no water change. Also, one of the main causes of clamped fins (which he has) is poor water conditions; usually unacceptable Ammonia levels. Other symptoms are general lethargy and loss of appetite.

I'll be honest, it doesn't look good for your boy. You might be able to turn him around if you can get him to eat. As noted, frozen gives you the greatest chance of success..

And don't worry about putting him in another, smaller container. If tank water has good oxygenation, Bettas do not need to use their labyrinths. They are facultative air breathers and only use their labyrinth when there's not enough oxygen in the water.
I did offer him freeze dried bloodworms and pellets and he didn’t want either. What’s weird is I tested everything before putting him in the tank in the first place and after finding the dead snail and both times the ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites were 0. I used the API freshwater master test kit and now have those hanging testers.

Unfortunately, it’s too late tonight to get frozen bloodworms (everything’s closed) but I will be getting them ASAP tomorrow. For now, we have some garlic we’re going to try to juice and soak a freeze dried worm in that. Thank you for the advice I really appreciate it!! I’m going to update the thread tomorrow after trying to feed him the frozen worms.
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top