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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Depressed/Stressed Betta or something else?

Hey,

My Betta, Prince Peach, is not well. I got him April 29th, and he's had a very strong and agressive personality for the most part. I got him with a bristlenose, as I was told they'd get along fine, but he bullied and killed (and ate) him. We got another bristlenose a week or two later, and he killed that one too, so he's been on his own since.

Except I got a java fern and moss ball (live) and one of them must have imported some snails. Peach did not like the snail, would always flare at it, etc. We noticed that his tail seemed tattered after a few days, so we thought perhaps he was stressed and nipping at himself, so we removed the snail and did a water change, replaced the filter & carbon, and replaced the stones at the bottom of the tank. His fins seem fine and like they're growing back, though they're clamped and it's hard to tell. He's had little tears in his tail before and they healed within a couple days.

A couple days after that, he stopped eating, had no interest in food. He stopped swimming and playing, and started resting on his leaf hammock near the top of the tank. He barely moves his dorsal fins and when he does, it's slower than usual. He also refuses to flare, when before he was always quick to do so, and hasn't blown any bubbles since he got ill.

This was almost 3 days ago now.

Sometimes he'll swim to the bottom of the tank and just float, and sometimes he'll dart around very fast, rubbing against the leaves, the rocks, the glass, etc. Then he'll go back to the leaf hammock. Sometimes when he swims he also puffs his gills, not really in a flare. It almost looks just like laboured breathing.

His fins are clamped but I can find no sign of physical issue with his body, no weird changes in his scales, etc.

Housing
http://www.amazon.com/Fluval-Spec-Aquarium-2-6-Gallon-Black/dp/B009K0ZKAQ
What size is your tank? 2.6 Gallons
What temperature is your tank? 81.4 F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Circulation pump but no aeration.
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Nutrafin Max flakes are his favourite. I also have Tetra Bloodworms and National Geographic Pellets but he doesn't much care for those. I also have a garlic guard but he hasn't tried that yet.
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice a day with a fasting day each week. I admit I was likely overfeeding but he doesn't look bloated or swollen. I have stones in the bottom of his tank so I'm not sure but the doesn't seem to poop a lot / much.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Once a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 25%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Nutrafin Betta Plus Tap Water Conditioner, Nutrafin Plant Gro, Nutrafin Biological Betta Bowl Cleaner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia:
0.6 (steady since we got him)
Nitrite:
Nitrate:

pH: 7.6 (steady since we got him)
Hardness:
Alkalinity:


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? No
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? See above
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 3 days ago (Around 68 hours)
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I've done a partial water change, warmed the tank from 78 to 81, added 1/2 teaspoon aquarium salt to the aquarium, and draped a towel over the aquarium to block out more light and increase the humidity.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Not since I've gotten him
How old is your fish (approximately)? I got him 6-7 weeks ago

Pictures:
First day I got him
Him healthy | Him Healthy
His tank set up
Him leaning on his log when ill.
Him resting when ill. This is how he's spent most of the last three days.
Him ill He stayed there for several minutes before returning to his leaf.
 

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Welcome to the Forum! :wave:

I am sorry your boy is sick. I do see some areas that where you might help him.

Have you tested your water source? Is it also 0.6ppm? Living in that level of Ammonia for 6-7 weeks will severely weaken any fish's immune system. I woud recommend you buy some Seachem Prime and start using it immediately. Dose two drops per gallon.

You can cycle a tank your size. Follow the instructions in this tutorial and Prince Peach will have a much healthier environment.

http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=555434

Until the tank is cycled you need to be doing two 50% water changes per week if that's what it takes to get Ammonia to 0ppm. Dose Prime every day to keep the Ammonia "locked."

Even though he doesn't have red gills, the other symptoms are indicative of either Ammonia or Nitrite poisoning. Do not do one big water change today; do two 50% water changes to get Ammonia down. If your source water is .6ppm Ammonia you need to get Prime.....yesterday.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Hi Russell,

Thanks for your response. When I test the tap water it's essentially clear on the test, but I just did a 50% water change, and tested the water, and there's not much difference between the before and after. They both show up as slightly yellow, the new one probably 0.2 and the old one 0.5-0.6 on the scale the test has.

I don't suppose it might be the plant food giving a bit of a false reading? That's an amber/yellow in colour and the ammonia test I have is on a scale of clear to yellow?

He's perked up with the water change a little bit, swimming around more normally and less clamped, though still not flaring.

Should I continue with salt if it's an ammonia problem? I ordered the product you recommended (they don't carry it at the local store) but unfortunately it won't arrive until next week.
 

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I see all you have in the tank are javaferns and a moss ball. I actually don't recomment any plant food for these :) they're both slow growers and do very well with no feeding.

i'm really curious about that Betta bowl cleaner...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I see all you have in the tank are javaferns and a moss ball. I actually don't recomment any plant food for these :) they're both slow growers and do very well with no feeding.

i'm really curious about that Betta bowl cleaner...

Oh? The java fern started turning brown before I got the food. Once I started feeding it it turned really green & started growing other little leaves (like over on the left side of the tank).
 

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I don't doubt it at all :)

Plants feed off nitrogen based compounds (which are toxic to fish). Usually this isnt a problem if there's enough plants to absorb all the toxins/nutrients. if there are not enough plants to quickly uptakes the "nutrients", then your fish might get sick...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Last night before I went to bed, he started swimming around more, not going back to rest, etc.

This morning when I woke up he was swimming like normal, and when I put my finger to the glass he gave me a little flare and he ate a blood worm! So I'll be doing water changes much more frequently now, and using more of the conditioner until the prime gets here :) He's doing better than I've seen him in days!

His water is currently 84F as well, so I might keep it warmer for as long as he seems happy and normal.
 
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