Betta Fish Forum banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I'm hoping that someone here can help me out since I'm new to caring for a Betta. I've filled in the form and attached some photos below. A little bit of background, I acquired this betta male (his name is Zed) from someone who had him for a couple of years. Zed came with his tank and all his food, and I've attempted to maintain the same schedule as the previous owner. I acquired Zed about a month ago (early May 2021), and the first month Zed was active throughout his tank. The past week, Zed has been lethargic, looks like he's breathing heavily, and today a brown streak appeared on his side.

How many gallons is your tank?
3.5 (Top Fin Enchant)

Does it have a filter?
Yes, a Top Fin EF-S Element filter.

Does it have a heater?
Yes, an Aqueon heater.

What temperature is your tank?

25 C or 77 F

Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?

Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind?
No, Zed does not have tank mates; however, the start of Zed's lethargy coincides with setting up a new tank next to his for a second betta. The second tank is identical, and the other betta (Gerard) is not showing any unusual behavior.

What food brand do you use?

I use Fluval Bug Bites, Omega One super color flakes, and Aqueon betta food (pellets). These all came with Zed and were his food before I adopted him. I also have Nutrafin basix blood worms that I acquired separately.

Do you feed flakes or pellets?

I alternate between the different foods. I tried the blood worms with Zed earlier on, but he didn't seem to like them.


Just the blood worms, but as mentioned, Zed didn't like them.

How often do you feed your Betta? How much?

I feed Zed twice a day (once in the morning and once at night). Each feeding is 2 to 3 pellets or a couple of flakes. Previously Zed would gobble these up, and even hunt for pieces that fell to the substrate.

your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change?

Once a week

What percentage of water did you change?

About 20%

What is the source of your water?

I use tap water since that's what the previous owner said he used. I actually boil the water for about 20 minutes in advance and let the water cool. I was concerned about the chlorine content and read online that boiling can help drive off the chlorine.

Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water?

I vacuum the substrate.

What additives do you use other than conditioner? What brand of conditioner?

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.

These numbers are from using an API freshwater master test kit, and I conducted the test this morning before the water change.

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 5 ppm
pH: 7.0

I don't have a test for hardness and alkalinity in the test kit. The data from the city's drinking water website indicates a total hardness of 30 ppm.

Hardness (GH):
Alkalinity (KH):

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms?
Around May 31 (a week ago)

How has your Betta’s appearance changed?

His colour seems a bit faded. He was always a white betta, but he didn't seem as vibrant. Over the past couple of days, he seems to be breathing more heavily. Today a brown streak appeared on one side of his abdomen.

How has your Betta’s behavior changed?

He spends more time laying on the substrate than venturing up higher in the tank. When he comes to the surface it's in quick darts and then he falls back to the substrate. When he's on the substrate, he'll sometimes pitch up and down or flap one of this fins. He doesn't investigate his past hiding places. Zed just sits out in the open.

Is your Betta still eating?

Sporadically it seems. Some feedings he will eat, other times no.

Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how?

From reading other sites, I have started him on bettafix since June 2. I've continued with the normal water changes.
I've also placed a barrier between Zed's tank and Gerard's tank because I thought that may be Gerard was stressing Zed. The barrier prevents them from seeing each other.

Does your Betta have any history of being ill?

No, according to the previous owner, Zed was quite hardy.

How long have you owned your Betta?

I acquired Zed at the start of May from his previous owner that had him for two years.

Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased?


Here are some pictures from today (June 5 showing the brown streak), and from May 31.


Any advice would be really helpful. Like I said, I'm a novice when it comes to bettas.

2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I'm sad to report that Zed passed away soon after I posted this. If anyone can let me know what I should have done, that would be helpful.

Super Moderator
22,487 Posts
Condolences for Zed's death. I would imagine it's not using water conditioner did him in. It's not just Chlorine that's in tap water. It's also heavy metals and other elements. Get a bottle of SeaChem Prime; two drops per gallon in Gerard's tank.

So sorry your introduction to the Forum had to be in this section.
1 - 3 of 3 Posts