Betta Fish Forum banner
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! My boyfriend and I are brand new, first-time Betta owners based in the UK and looking for some urgent help! We're feeling very worried:(

Just a note before I begin, we are completely new to keeping fish of any kind and are doing our best! We are willing to take on any advice and try to fix this situation any way possible so please be kind:)

We've owned Fleck, our lovely male dragon scale crowntail Betta for about a month and a half without issue. He lives in a 22litre glass tank with decor (hides, fake rocks, short and tall fake plants and leaves) though it isn't over crowded - plenty of space for swimming! We ended up cycling the tank for three weeks before we got him as we had a few issues getting water perameters right but after three water tests at the aquatics centre, all was perfect! We took him home, acclimatised him and he has lived pretty happily on tropical fish flakes, supplimented with blood worms.

In the last few days we noticed him hiding a lot. It was yesterday however that we actually realised there was a problem. He is hiding almost constantly. When he does come out, he swims normally for a second and then will dart to the surface or into a piece of decor and hide again in a panic. He has also been 'resting' a lot on objects. It has gotten worse though as he has been resting on his side on the gravel and under his decor for very long periods of time. Yesterday was the first time we saw him stop eating too.

On the back of the tank there was a submersible filter and a 50watt submersible heater set to 25c. We treat the water with Aquasafe and started the tank with a bacteria starter when we got it, which we add a small amount of during water changes too. We do a 15-20% water change once a week. The Ph of our tap water seems to change a lot so we also have Ph UP on hand in case it's a bit low. I check his tank water regularly with an API test kit and it's always been between 7 and 7.2.

Here's where we think things went wrong! We were sold a stick on thermometer for the outside of the tank. I now realise how useless and innacurate it is after doing research of my own - we have been kicking oursleves about it! We think the heater broke and has been barely warming the tank and unfortunately it's pretty cold here. We just didn't realise the readings were wrong:( Sadly, all shops were shut (it was late) and despite local Facebook pleas for a second hand heater, we couldn't get one until morning. We had the heating on in the room all night to try help but woke up at 6am and headed for the first open pet store and got a new 25watt heater. We also got the water tested again just in case but were told everything was perfect. We wanted 2 digital thermometers as well as we were told this is best for taking temps as you can cross reference them but they were out of stock, so we bought a temporary submersible thermometer (like a traditional one). We will order the digital ones.

We put the heater in early this morning. It seemed to take a while to get the water to a consitent temperature but thankfully it's sitting at 26c now! I am hoping this is the problem fixed... but Fleck is still not looking well:( He is lethargic and just sits at the bottom and won't eat still.

I know we should have picked up on the problem sooner but unfortunately we are still on a learning curve but will do anything to save our little fish! He's our first pet together and we had a very emotional night worrying about him.

If there is anything anyone can think of that might still be causing him to behave strangely or any tips/advice you could give us to chirp him up again, we would be SO grateful! We are hoping this post is only a backup and he'll be feeling brighter by morning.

:thankyou:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,343 Posts
First let me welcome you to the forum. Second there is never such a thing as a stupid question. The only stupid question is the one you don't ask. Now you have a 22 Liter tank. (is it filtered?) You have said that it is heated to 26 C. So to me that means your tank is heated to 78.8 degrees. ( this is a very good temp. ) There are many reasons for your bettas behavior. Your feeding tropical fish flakes which is the wrong type of food to be feeding a betta. You are supplementing with blood worms. (are they frozen or freeze dried?) The flake food you are feeding is not meant for betta. Betta are carnivore's and need whole fish by products your Tropical flakes are vegetable and plant based with a lot of fillers. Wheat flower and such. Switch to a whole food like New Life spectrum, Omega One, Bug bites if you read the labels on each of these they will show you that the product in the can is whole food (fish, shrimp, byproducts. everything your betta needs to stay healthy. As for the blood worms if they are frozen it is the same as Live food. and they give all the nutrients your betta needs also. Another whole food would be Nutra Fin for betta.

Your heat in the tank is great but have you been checking the water parameters. Betta require pristine water conditions, and this is easy to maintain by doing water changes on a regular basis. Change 25% of the tank water once a week if the tank is cycled. However you said you had the tank set up for Three weeks and the water parameters were right. By that ( what is alright? ) Your ammonia should be at 0 PPM Nitrite should be 0 PPM Nitrate should be 5-20 PPM if you hafe a planted tank if you don't have live plants than this reading should be 0 PPM. When you introduced your betta to this tank have you checked the water parameters since adding your betta. You see if you do what we call a fish less cycle you would have to add small amounts of ammonia so the cycle starts and Beneficial Bacteria builds up in the filter. that's when with the readings above are achieved the tank is cycled. If you didn't add ammonia to the tank in those first three weeks. You did add ammonia since you added your betta. (Remember betta poop and pee. this is putting ammonia into the tank.) Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrates build up very quickly and would cause what you are seeing. This is why testing daily when adding even one fish to a tank is important to make sure the parameters stay at 0 PPM.

I would recommend doing water changes every other day of 25% until you are sure the parameters are 0 PPM Ammonia 0 PPM Nitrite and as I said above if you have live plants in the tank the parameters for this would be 5-20 PPM.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,926 Posts
Hi, welcome to the forum! It's so great that you are learning about how to best take care of your betta. Don't feel to bad about not knowing that the heater wasn't working properly it happens to the best of us, heck just this week it took me nearly 24 hours to notice that I'd forgotten to plug back in one of my betta's heaters. His behavior is what tipped me off that there was a problem.

If you would please fill out the form found here https://www.bettafish.com/99-betta-...-out-form-so-we-can-best-help-your-betta.html it will help us make sure that the water temperature is what is making your boy feel bad.
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top