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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got my betta 2 weeks ago. His home is in a 3.5 gallon tank with a small heater keeping the tank fairly consistant at 78 degrees Fahrenheit. The tank came with a filter but after a couple days with it on I found the current was way too strong and my betta didn't like to swim around because whenever he got close it would push him around. So I turned it off. I changed about 20% of the water with treated water as instructed about 5 days ago. But lately I've noticed a few things. First, my betta doesn't swim around as much as he did in the first week, he just kinda floats there, usually balanced on a plant, not always right side up sometimes sort of on the side. On occasion he'll swim up and down the tank spastically in the same corner. And finally his fins are splitting a lot. His back fin has at least five splits through it.
I'm really worried about him. Can anyone give me any advice about what may be wrong and what I can do to promote the healing for him and possibly fix the problem?
Thanks! And my betta will thank you too!
 

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Hi krisztiana,

In an unfiltered tank under 5 gallons, you'll want to do larger and more frequent water changes. 20% every 1.5 weeks is not enough, and your symptoms sound like water quality problems. Do you have a test kit to test for ammonia? Any value above 0 for ammonia is toxic to your fish.

I'd recommend you immediately do a couple of large water changes (at least 50%) and see if that helps. Be sure you treat the new water for the whole size of the tank (i.e. if you do a 60% change and you add 2 gallons, still treat the new water for the full 3.5 gallons), and be sure the new water you add is the same temperature as the old.

What kind of water conditioner are you using? Does it say it neutralizes ammonia, or only chlorine/chloramine?

What do you feed your fish and how often? What kind of decorations do you have in your tank?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I used Big Al's water conditioner and I think it said it de-chlorinates and adds natural slime or something that fish may lose in times of stress, as well as it contains aloe vera to promote healing.
I changed half the water this afternoon using the water condition and turned the filter back on until I get a chance to go out a buy a gentler one.
I feed him 2 of the typical betta fish pellets 3x a day.
I have a couple plastic plants which I checked to make sure they weren't sharp and wouldn't tear my betta's fins should he brush up against them and I'm pretty sure they're ok for him. I also have a coral aquarium decoration.
As soon as I get a chance I will consider buying a test kit to test for ammonia.
 

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If the filter current is strong, I think you had the right idea in turning it off. You don't necessarily have to buy a new one - search for how to baffle a filter on this site or Google - it's pretty easy, you can do it with a sponge or a plastic bottle.
 
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