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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All right, so I haven't posted in about a year, since my fish Leo has been very happy, showing all the signs of a healthy fish.
But ever since last Monday evening, he started to become less active. Usually, he follows my finger around, and gets really excited when I come to feed him, but when I tried doing the same thing I did for 1 1/2 years
on Monday, he flipped out, swimming around very fast, then going to hide in his plant. He has been doing this every day since, and I'm starting to get worried since I can't get him to eat. He mostly stays at the bottom of the tank, lying on the rocks, going up only for air and ignoring any food. I'm really worried he is dying- any help would be appreciated.

Also here are some details about his conditions:
He his a 3 gallon tank, filtered and heated, with several fake plants. I've had him here for 1 1/2 years with no sign of illness until now. I do a 100% clean once a week, and I know a lot of people say taking them out to change water can stress them, but he seems to get more stressed when I leave him in and only do a 50% clean, so I usually do a 100%, which hasn't harmed him in the year that I've been doing it. I haven't had a chance to check his water perimeters yet, but I'll by a test kit if I can soon.
Thank you!! :)
 

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Were you wearing gloves at all when you touched the tank? Even if you didn't touch the tank but was very close it?

It is possible that he is dying and there might be nothing you can do to save him, I'm very sorry. Something you can do to help ease his stress is put a towel or blanket over his tank and turn his lights out, leave him like that all day and all night. Darkness calms fish down, they like it a lot so it could help him out.
 

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When was the last water change in relation to the change in behavior....

IME-when you have sudden behavior changes like that-it is usually related to the environment-It can be due to extreme water temp change, stray volt of heater, forgotten or not enough dechlorinater used, improper acclimation with large volume water changes, contamination of some type...to name most common reasons....

Right now what I would recommend-double check the water temp with an independent thermometer and check the heater itself for cracks-especially if you forgot to unplug or didn't allow it to cool off long enough before a water change-a stray volt can cause that type of behavior.....
Make a 50% water change and double dose the dechlorinator-then lower the water level by half and turn off the filter-leave him in the tank for the water change or better yet-place him in a small container that can be floated in the heated tank until we can figure out what is going on.

If you have any tannin-either IAL or Oak leaf..add this to his water and allow them to slowly steep-the darker the water the better at this point.

Don't worry about food right now-best to hold food anyway....

Can you post a pic
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Were you wearing gloves at all when you touched the tank? Even if you didn't touch the tank but was very close it?

It is possible that he is dying and there might be nothing you can do to save him, I'm very sorry. Something you can do to help ease his stress is put a towel or blanket over his tank and turn his lights out, leave him like that all day and all night. Darkness calms fish down, they like it a lot so it could help him out.
No, I never wear gloves when I go near the tank. Tomorrow I'll try the towel over his tank, and I've turned off his light for now- hopefully he'll at least have a calm and non-painful death if he must. Thank you for posting, although it pains me that he might die :-?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
When was the last water change in relation to the change in behavior....

IME-when you have sudden behavior changes like that-it is usually related to the environment-It can be due to extreme water temp change, stray volt of heater, forgotten or not enough dechlorinater used, improper acclimation with large volume water changes, contamination of some type...to name most common reasons....
[/qoute]
All right, so the thing I forgot to mention in my original post is that I just got a new heater- my old was one malfunctioning (not temperature wise, my thermometer stayed the same, but the indicator light was flickering) the new one is the exact same as the old one, but new to the tank. Could this be what has been stressing him out? I have watched my thermometer closely and see no difference in temperature or anything, and when I did the last water change I put in the proper amount of dechlorinater and acclimated him as usual.
The last water change was 2 days before I first started noticing the symptoms, which was also when I put the new heater in.
I'll try to get a picture soon. My camera is full right now so I'll import the pictures then get one of my fish :|
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Okay I hope this works... this picture thing is confusing! In case it doesn't here's the link to it in my album: http://www.bettafish.com/album.php?albumid=5653&pictureid=96529
Anyways, there isn't much to see. He has no physical symptoms (I think his color might be a little less bright than usual but not drastically) and he has just been hanging out on that leaf for the past 6 hours- i've been trying to observe him but I haven't caught him going up for air yet (I'm pretty sure he must have at some point!)
EDIT: He moved! Now he fell off that plant and is back to lying on the gravel under it. Just great. :-?

Oh and just as a comparison- the second picture is him normally, up near the surface swimming happily and brighter colors. Hope this helps!
 

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Whenever something happens just after a water change, it's likely that the issue began with the water change. Since you also added a new heater at the same time, this gives two potential sources of the issue.

I would try two things:

1)) If the original heater is still working, I would go back to using it for a few days. This will allow you to determine if there's something wrong with the new heater.

2) Since he's used to full water changes, I would go ahead and do one now. Add at least 1.5 times the normal amount of conditioner. (Or you can double-dose it, as OFL suggested.) Reacclimate slowly.
This will get remove any toxins or contaminants that are in the water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't really think any thing is wrong with the new heater... I've been keeping a close eye on the temperature and even used an old thermometer to double check the temperature and same result :)
I will go ahead and do a full water change now, and be extra careful! He seems to be doing better this morning, although he spit out the pellet I tried to give him.
I took lilnaugrim's advice and put a cloth over it and turned of his light, and he seems calm now. Thank you all!
 

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Make sure you acclimate well! Do you know how? we can give you instructions for that too ^_^ I'm glad he's calm at least, that usually helps. Sorry about being hopeless earlier >.< He should be just fine though. Definitely listen to OFL and LBF, they know their stuff!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yea, Im pretty sure I know how. I did it when I first brought him home. Just fill a smaller container with the old water and let it float for 1/2 an hour in the new water right? Thanks!
 

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That's getting used to the temperature but you also need to get him used to the water chemistry. That's probably why he had the first episode. Because sometime pH is different and ammonia is definitely different, you need to add 1-3 teaspoons of new water to his small container every 10-15 minutes for 30-45 minutes, 30 at the minimum.

So what you were doing was acclimating him to the water temp but not the different water chemistry which is what you need to do :) glad that we figured it out though, he'll be much happier if you do that!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you all!! I did the water change a few days ago, and Leo is much better already. Not sure what caused it still, but I'm just relieved that he's okay and starting to eat again!
 

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Most likely he was just suffering a little shock from not being acclimated to the chemistry but all's well. How's his tail looking? Glad he's eating.
 
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