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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently purchased a betta it was beautiful, playful and vibrant. I made sure to feed it consistently and clean it's tank once a week (though I must admit due to projects and other worries I may have put it off once or twice). Lately my betta (iris) has been sluggish and lazy either hanging out at the bottom of the tank or staying near the top not really swimming around at all. It seems to lack an appetite and will eat maybe two small dried food pellets per day, it's color has been off and it's fins are clumped and slightly ragged. To be honest I am 18 and still in high school without a job, I can't afford any expensive fish medication. I really want to heal my betta and keep it alive. Please help.
 

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Housing
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?

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

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I know it's horrible and I'm Saving money for a much larger one but I got my tank without researching and I got 1 gallon tank. I clean it approximately once a week. No filter or aeration, no other tank mates or heater. I feed it aqueon betta food or nutrafin betta food flakes , I change all the water every change and I add nutrafin betta plus water conditioner. I have not tested or recorded the temperature of my water . (Check the attached photo to see how the appearance has changed left is before and right is now) but it has lost color and fins began clumping and what appears to be shredding. He has gotten sluggish and tends to just float on surface or stay on bottom of tank. I noticed it at the middle of last week and I purchased my fish 3 months ago and he does not have any previous illness record.
 

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Ok, for a 1 gallon tank you should be changing the water at least 3 times a week. Betta fish are tropical and need a minimum of 76 degrees F (some will say 78. So you need a heater - that needs to be an immediate investment, even before the bigger tank. Just a tidbit of info - a bigger tank needs less cleanings, so when you do get a bigger one, go for a 5 gallon or larger.
Take a flashlight and look for any gold or rust colored "dust" or coating. If he has what I suspect he has based on what say about his tank and his behavior, he may have Velvet. Velvet is a parasite that lives on fish. It starts around the gills first and moves to the rest of the body. It thrives in dirty, cold water - so if you are not cleaning it enough and it's too cold, he's most likely going to get Velvet.
 

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What's the air temperature in the room?

Water temp usually runs a few degrees cooler than the room temperature. So if you tell us that, we can get an idea of what the water temp is.

When was the last time you did a water change?
 

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OK, your water temp is fine. (Don't forget to answer sainthogan's question about the gold or rust colored "dust.")

I would try the easiest and cheapest solution first, which is to increase your water changes. Doing this will remove wastes, toxins and bacteria from the tank.

Once a week, do your regular 100% water change. In addition, do two 50% water changes during the week.

Here's one way to do these 50% water changes. I do this all the time, and it doesn't take long....

1) Fill a 1 gallon jug or container with tap water.
Add your water conditioner.
Let it sit out overnight so that it's the same temperature as your tank water.

2) Remove 50% of the water from the tank.
You can use a plastic cup to do this.
If you can get a turkey baster ($1 from Dollar Tree), use it to suck up any waste or debris that's on the bottom of the tank.

3) Using your jug of conditioned water, refill 25% of the water.
Go do homework (or play a video game) for at least 15 minutes. :) (Longer than 15 minutes is OK.)

4) Refill the other 25% of the water.

5) Keep the rest of the water in the jug. Use it to do the next water change.

Also, I would change to a higher protein food. New Life Spectrum Betta pellets and Omega One Betta Buffet pellets are the two most frequently recommended foods on this forum. I would try one of those, if you have money to get one.

Another cheap alternative is mosquito larvae. Look underneath the pots of outdoor plants, or wherever there's water, and try to find some mosquito larvae. This is what Bettas eat in their natural habitat. If you can find a few, feed them to him.
 
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