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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi there,
Thanks in advance for the help!
I have a question about my betta fish. He is 2 years old and has been fairly healthy until the last week.
Basically, for the last week he’s just sitting at the bottom of his tank and doesn’t move much. He has eaten a little bit I think (maybe 1-2 pellets the entire last week), but mostly he just sits there and moves occasionally to swim to a different part of the tank floor. He has no obvious infection (ie, no spots, no rotting fins, or bulging eyes). His water also seems relatively normal (0.1 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 10 nitrate). He’s in a 5 gallon tank that is filtered and heated

does anyone have any idea what could be wrong with him? Thanks so much!!


Housing:
How many gallons is your tank? 5
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What temperature is your tank? 80
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? No

Food:
What food brand do you use? Aqueon
Do you feed flakes or pellets? Pellets
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? 4 pellets once a day


Maintenance:
Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? Every 2 weeks
What percentage of water did you change? 50%
What is the source of your water? Tap
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? Vacuum
What additives do you use? What brand of conditioner? Prime and stability

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. Important: Test your water before the regular water change; not after one.
Ammonia: 0.1
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 10
pH: 7.5
Hardness (GH):
Alkalinity (KH):

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? 1 week
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? No
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? Yes, not moving much
Is your Betta still eating? Not much
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? Tried changing water, and adding bettafix in case of infection
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? No
How long have you owned your Betta? 2 years
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? No

sorry for lack of picture: Hes hiding behind a pagoda so i can’t get a photo of him.
 

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A photo may reveal a different problem so please attach one when you are able- but at two years old, he sounds like he may just be starting to feel his age. Most bettas are already about six months when sold, and the average lifespan is about three to five years with good care (This average does seem to be going down in recent years, but it's all anecdotal evidence so far), so your boy is around two and a half which is definitely on the "mature" side of life.

The fact that you noticed his behavior changing suddenly may suggest another cause like an illness, but it's also possible the other old-age related changes were so slow you didn't notice until he started acting more tired.


It sounds like you're taking good care of him, my only comment in that regard would be to change his water every week instead of every two weeks (Even better would be changing 25% twice a week instead of half at once). This will help make sure his water is always clean & healthy for him, which he will appreciate as he's getting older and may not have as strong of an immune system as he used to.

Other than that my main suggestion is to consider either adding a frozen food to his diet like bloodworms or brine shrimp- frozen, not freeze-dried, foods pack a lot of nutrition and may help him perk up- or switching his main food to a better brand to support his overall health.

Aqueon is not the worst food, but it does have a lot of plant ingredients which bettas have a hard time digesting. So if you have the budget to switch, I'd suggest looking for a food that has fish/seafood or insects as the first ingredient, and as few plants as possible. Some good brands are Omega One, New Life Spectrum, Northfin, or Bug Bites- most pet stores should have at least one.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
He finally came out of hiding so I could take a picture. Thanks for all the help, I really appreciate it!! That is an Indian almond leaf in the background
1018141
 

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Discussion Starter #7
And thanks so much Rana!! I just bought some food from the brands you recommended!
Also I just offered him blood worms and he ate 2
 

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Glad to help!

In your picture he looks pretty good, his fins are a little bit short/ragged like he might have bitten them- or it could just be the angle they were laying in that shot. I wouldn't worry about that, since just clean water is the best treatment for any minor fin condition anyway, just mentioning it.

It's hard to be sure of the size in your photo, but his stomach does look a little bit full to me for having not eaten much recently, have you noticed it looking any bigger than his usual? If it's not a new change, he's probably just a chunky boy. And if the pic was taken just after he ate, ignore this completely!

But if the size is recent and was before he ate, he might have some constipation which could explain his lowered activity levels recently, and lack of interest in food. I'd just keep an eye on him for now, and maybe encourage him to poop by having him flare at a mirror for a few minutes.

I would only start to think there might be an actual problem if you see changes like his stomach getting bigger or his poop turning white/pale, or if he gets so lethargic he doesn't respond much to anything. I don't think it's very likely so I don't want you to worry, but it is possible which is why I'm mentioning it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks so much rana! I appreciate all the advice! The picture is from like 10 minutes after he ate
I tried yesterday to give him some boiled peas because I was also worried he might he constipated, but he really didn’t want to eat it... he actually swam over to check it out and then swam away without touching them. I don’t know if you have any advice for making him eat peas in case he’s constipated?
 

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Frozen Daphnia are better than peas for constipation. Daphnia would be my choice.

Nothing against peas; I used them successfully for years with my Betta. They only only need a piece about the size of the head of a pin. You might be able to put it in some garlic juice to entice.
 

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Glad to hear he had just eaten before the picture, that explains the belly! Keep an eye on him just in case of course, but I wouldn't be worried. :)

I agree with RtST about daphnia over peas, if nothing else they are meaty so bettas are more likely to want to eat them. I've only actually tried to get a betta to eat a pea once, and he wasn't having any of it.

And if you do offer peas (now or in the future) make sure you're only giving the soft inside part and not the shell.
 
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