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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, i'm hoping you can give me some advice as it seems my fish may be at the end. I bought him Saturday with a 2.5 gallon tank, a filter, a heater,and an aerator. Filled the tank, added in some instant water conditioner and let it run for about a half hour and placed him in there. He seemed fine for Saturday night and Sunday, however monday he became very lethargic. Online several resources suggested i should be doing a partial water change to help with ammonia, so I did a 50% change Monday night.
He still has not eaten anything and now he is lying at the bottom of his tank on his side, is there anything I can do? Should I do another water change or will that stress him out to the point of death? I'm new to aquariums so I have very limited knowledge
 

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Please do fill out the form and try to give us some clear pictures of your betta and his tank.

I will say this, the clumps of bubbles were probably his first attempt at building a bubble nest.
 

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@ original poster. Has anyone even tried to help you?
Could you please fill out the form and post some pics.
Mods, could one of you seperate these two threads? It's confusing and I think the OP might have given up!
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
OP Here

I'm OP, hopinh this confusion gets cleared up. As requested, here is the filled out form


Housing:
How many gallons is your tank? 2.5
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater?yes
What temperature is your tank?78F
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?Yes, bubble wand that he swims in, seems to enjoy
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind?no


Food:
What food brand do you use?Still figuring out what he likes, pellets or flakes
Do you feed flakes or pellets?so far he has only touched flakes
Freeze-dried?n/a
How often do you feed your Betta? How much?originally we were trying 2 times a day and he wasn't eating. I left the food at the bottom for a day or so before i realized that was really bad. Suctioned all of it out that I could. Tried a single pellet and a few flakes today, only ate one flake

Maintenance:
Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change?Bought on Saturday (uncycled), 50%change on Monday, 30% on Tuesday, thinking another 30% tomorrow?
What percentage of water did you change?see above
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? i took a cup and removed water
What additives do you use? So far only tetra bettasafe, picked up some Seachem Prime conditioner that i plan on using here on out

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: 5ppm
Nitrite:n/a
Nitrate:n/a
pH:I test roughly 7.8? Maybe slightly higher? (i'm mildy colorblind)
Hardness (GH):n/a
Alkalinity (KH):n/a

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms?Monday it started a little, so i changed water. tuesday very lethargic and laying sideways. Totally hidden his morning but seems much more active as the day goes on! Still kinda laying low about 50% of the time
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? head got darker, but that apparently is normal as they age?
How has your Betta’s behavior changed?see above
Is your Betta still eating?hasn't started
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how?no
Does your Betta have any history of being ill?wouldn't know, he's new
How long have you owned your Betta? Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased?seemed vivid and healthy when purchased on saturday



https://imgur.com/a/LXuTp <-pictures of fish and tank
I apologize, it says the cell phone pictures are too large to upload?

I have since removed the purple plant as i read it could tear his fins. This picture was taken Monday, and the water is currently much clearer given the water change.
 

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Bettas may not eat, and may not be active for a few days after the stress of being purchased and moved to a new tank. He doesn't look clamped (can't tell about his top fin). I'd reccomend covering the tank with a towel, or another way to keep it dark, and he might calm down. Keep feeding with flakes, and once he seems to calm down try to switch to pellets, as flames lack in important nutrients. What kind of pellets do you have? The best brands are Northfin, New Life Spectrum, and Omega One.

WackyFishCurl, I don't think that it is anything to worry about unless your betta starts acting strange. However, we can't tell without pictures. Could you make a new thread (it's quite confusing with two people asking for help on the same thread) and post photos?

EDIT: Op, I should add that bettas can have something like an 'adrenaline rush' when they first enter their new tank, and swim around a lot. Then, some bettas may appear less active for a few days, as they are stressed.
 

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@Hockeyman74
5ppm ammonia is fatally toxic, and your fish is essentially choking to death on his own waste. Prime and water changes are the only way to manage it until your tank matures enough to develop a proper nitrogen cycle, which could take month). There should be a sticky around somewhere explaining the process (sorry for not linking, but I'm on my phone, guh).


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Discussion Starter #9
I believe i mistyped, it was .5 not 5. The kit I have says that is on the low end of the spectrum, plus I intend to change water again tomorrow. Several fish stores have recommend not to change daily as it may stress him out too much, rather just do it tomorrow to keep with the cycle?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I left the light and bubbles off yesterday and he was really lethargic, to the point where I thought he was dead. Left them on today and he seems more active, although somewhat scared of me? When i leave the room he is swimming around but as soon as i come near the tank he hides pretty far inside the ship or in the weeds. The pellets are just the tetrafood ones that came with the kit. I did not know about that adrenaline rush, that very well could be it. If it was ammonia poisoning would there be loss of color?
 

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Ah, okay. .5 is still toxic; basically, any non-zero number of ammonia is toxic.

Daily water changes are stressful but so is ammonia poisoning. Using Prime daily or every other day will help to reduce the toxicity of the ammonia. It will still show up on the kit, it just won't be as harmful to your fish.

Note that when people talk about "the cycle" in an aquarium they're not talking about an active husbandry practice, but rather the natural bacterial ecology of the tank. I think this confuses a lot of new aquarists (it did for me!). All tanks will eventually cycle on their own. The issue is that an uncycled tank is toxic for fish. If you put a fish in an uncycled tank, then you need to work extra hard with water changes and so on until the tank cycles itself and becomes less immediately deadly, if that makes sense?


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You'll need to siphon water from the bottom of the tank. Ammonia is heavier than water and sits at the bottom. So when you test from the surface it skews the reading.
I would do 50% water changes every other day, vacuuming from the bottom and add 2 drops of seachem prime per gallon on non water change days until the cycle stabilizes. Leave your betta in while you do it. Less stressful for him and fewer chances of accidents happening.
 

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One of my fish was very active when we first put her in the tank, got clamped and lethargic the next day, and then got active again. It was a few days after that before she ate.
 

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You'll need to siphon water from the bottom of the tank. Ammonia is heavier than water and sits at the bottom. So when you test from the surface it skews the reading.
I would do 50% water changes every other day, vacuuming from the bottom and add 2 drops of seachem prime per gallon on non water change days until the cycle stabilizes. Leave your betta in while you do it. Less stressful for him and fewer chances of accidents happening.
Thanks I am going to follow this advice

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Discussion Starter #17
YES! sorry all for not replying, got super busy with exams and didn't feel the need to reply since my betta is doing great. I think as a new owner, i typically overreacted to his adjustment stage. he is very active and healthy now, still going to use Prime and keep up with partial changes 2 times a week. Thanks again for all your help!!
 
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