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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm new to this forum and also new to Betta fish keeping so would really appreciate some help at the moment!

I recently bought my first betta fish home, I've had him for just over a week now. He is kept in a 40l tank with filter and heater (78degrees). He has no tankmates, it's just him on his own. For the last week or so he has seemed quite happy and I've not had any concerns. This morning I did a 15% water change, treated the new water to remove chlorine and chloramines as I've been told to do. But ever since I cleaned his tank this morning he has been acting strangely.

He appears quite lethargic for long periods of time, sitting on his decorations and sitting inside his little cave, but then all of a sudden he goes very erratic and begins darting very quickly and almost knocking into decorations and plants in the tank, rubbing himself against any objects. I don't know if I'm overreacting, but this is odd behaviour compared to how he has been in the last week, I just want to keep him happy and healthy!!

Any advice/tips would be much appreciated, thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
As a quick update, I have used the API freshwater testing kit and tested both my tap water and tank water, here are the results:
-TAP WATER: Ammonia: 0.25ppm, Nitrite: 0ppm, Nitrate: 20-40ppm
-TANK WATER: Ammonia: 0.25 ppm, Nitrite: 0.50ppm, Nitrate: 20-40ppm
 

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The fact that your tap water has measurable ammonia and nitrates could be contributing to his odd behavior. There is not much you can do about the nitrates except do regular testing to make sure the amount doesn't get too high.

What water conditioner are you using? I highly suggest using Seachem Prime, if you aren't using it already. This is the best water conditioner out there for many reasons. It would be particularly helpful in your case because it will bind to and detoxify free ammonia for 24-48 hours. You can regularly dose your aquarium with Seachem Prime to keep ammonia in its non-toxic form for your fish. Since your tap water already has ammonia in it, I would recommend using Seachem Prime every 24 hours in your aquarium.

Thankfully, Seachem Prime is not very expensive and it goes a long way because it is so concentrated. You only need to use 1 drop per gallon!
 

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Are you matching the new water temp. A fast temperature change can make them act lethargic and erratic too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Christinamac, I am using King British Safe Guard dechlorinator, thanks for the tip, I will order some Seachem prime online and see if that makes a difference!

Witchipoo, I didn't use a thermometer, although I used the warm tap when filling the bucket with clean water and tested it by hand, I suppose it's not very accurate, I may go buy a thermometer too!

Thanks for the advice, it's really helpful!
 

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it could very well be the temperature difference. My guy did the same thing....come to find out the thermometer was broken. It took him awhile to shake it off...but shake it off he did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the advice guys, I guess it was the temperature change. Got home from work today and little Bowie is as alert and active as ever, glad he is back to normal! Well now I know to be more vigilant with temperature when changing the water next week!
 
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