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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How many gallons is your tank?
5 gallons

Does it have a filter?

Does it have a heater?

What temperature is your tank?
23 C, 73 F

Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Filter only. Looking to get Pawfly air stone bubble diffuser wanted some advice if this is appropriate/would help my betta.

Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind?
No. Only water plants he drapes himself against.

What food brand do you use?
Glofish and Nutrifinmax

Do you feed flakes or pellets?

No, I want to wait a while when he seems healthier to buy them. Should I try adding this to his diet?

How often do you feed your Betta? How much?
Twice a day. We try for a flake at a time. I clean out the extra.

Maintenance: n/a New tank: set up for 4 days
your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change?
What percentage of water did you change?

What is the source of your water?
Tap Water. My city's water is considered "hard" with a ph of ^8 according to google. Are there water testers for tap water? May I have some affordable recommendations?

Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water?
Ordered a vacuum for my tank, will dip out water until then. First water change will happen in 4ish days. I hope to have more info to do it with very little stress for him before a new water change.

What additives do you use other than conditioner? What brand of conditioner?
Nutrafin biological aquarium supplement. Nutrafin Aquaplus water conditioner.

Water Parameters:
Ammonia: 0.25 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 0 ppm
pH: 7.5.
Hardness (GH): haven't tested (recommend test kit please--looking at API freshwater master kit, does it include the test for this?}
Alkalinity (KH): haven't tested (recommend test kit please--looking at API freshwater master kit, does it include the test for this?}

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms?
Morning after his introduction (was acclimated). Heater was unknowingly not on the first night. When I woke up he was at the bottom of his tank and wasn't moving, I had thought he had died. My sister turned on the heater after a panicked google search and an hour later, I saw him in a different spot, then I saw him swim a little. Temp sticker didn't show temperature. Bought a thermometer the next day and set it up. Heat was initially at 27 C and the past two days has stayed at 23 C.

How has your Betta’s appearance changed?
Not sure if it has--Noticed his fins have become wrinkly since yesterday.

How has your Betta’s behavior changed?
Lethargic--does infrequently wades through water using pectoral fins, cannot see gills moving, uninterested in food. no longer interested in following fingers, does not react to water disturbance. Did not startle when touched.

Since installing the soap dish, he does not hide face down in gravel or under his driftwood anymore. I read that perhaps the light is stressing him out and that it might be good to keep his light out for the next couple days. He glass hugs the left corner.

Is your Betta still eating?
I cannot know for sure--hopeful a flake each feed, twice a day. I watch him for a couple min before I clean out extra. When food goes in, he does not try to get it. I've resorted to using tiny tweezers to put it right in front of his face, and then he tries to nip at it, I see him miss. if it's floating away past his eyes from him he will not swim to get it.

Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how?
No medicine yet, unsure if I can. Redirected his filter flow with an unused and new soap dish. Unsure if feeding him a pea is a good idea. Unsure if fasting him is a good idea as he is already so lethargic.

Does your Betta have any history of being ill?
Don't know.

How long have you owned your Betta?
3 days. Petland employee told us after he was bought that he'd been there for probably over a year.

Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased?
If he was, I was ignorant to it. He seemed lively, no discoloration. Fins might have been wrinkly, but he'd been swimming around in his container and I didn't notice anything.

My concerns in detail

He has only been actively swimming across his whole tank twice from what I've seen. The first time I put him in, and the time I put a temp reader bc the heat strip wasn’t working. During that time he showed off his beautiful transparent fins that are bluish green iridescent when he moves, and jumped over the thing and got himself stuck. He was able to unstick himself just a second later--no damage to his fins. I think there could be a chance that he’s being affected and stressed out by temp fluctuations because of my carelessness.

For the past couple days he has been very lethargic, I have a hard time seeing his gills move at all, and he struggles to eat during the 40% percent of times he decides he can try to get food. This is my biggest concern.

He keeps to the top left corner of his tank while his light is on, where he stops moving entirely for what feels like minutes before using his pectoral fins to push himself up and nip at the air. I do not see his gills moving. When he isn’t moving he starts to drift towards the filter, until he is stopped by some long plants I put back there during setup.

We were concerned that the water was moving too much for him, so we bought a soap dish to diffuse the water pressure. It has been 12 hours since then and he doesn’t drift as much/fast. He keeps his nose on the left face instead of the back or corner.

Since his initial exploration of his tank, he has mostly kept to the top. The only exception is when he buries his nose in the gravel until he is almost vertical, and when he hides on top of the gravel directly underneath his driftwood. The prior is concerning to me, as it is my adamant belief that fish are supposed to stay horizontal. He has since stopped this behavior when we introduced the soap dish.

We were also concerned that the light was heating the water too much while it was on, so a paper is atop the LED lights to make it dimmer.

I cannot see any white spots, or bulging scales, or damaged fins on him, etc. so I feel that it is unlikely to be a disease??? Where his fins are longest though, it looks wrinkled as he is not swimming much. The time I saw him swim though, they looked fine. I am not credible in diagnosing anything through sight, as our family has had betta twice before when I was young. One my sister was taking care of, and the other we had given away once we moved. Both had been energetic when we got them.

I got him from Petland where prior he was kept in a container around 15 cm tall and 7 cm wide.

We were told that he had been there for a year or more before we got our hands on him. Ofc, we do not know where Petland got him from. We learned he is a glofish betta when we got home, and that they can live on average 3 years.

My sister believes that it is most probable that he is an elderly fellow and is lethargic because of his age, and he’s reaching the end of his lifespan for his kind. I don’t know how to feel about this but I feel like a fraud if I take comfort in this. I do believe he’s an old boy, though.

Pictures of Araw (today, 2022-06-29)
Water Plant Leaf Botany Petal
Plant Organism Terrestrial plant Twig Tree
Plant Leaf Botany Terrestrial plant Petal

His set up

Right side
Water Light Liquid Fluid Plant

Plant Wood Gas Terrestrial plant Tints and shades

Left Side
Water Plant Flower Botany Organism

Front Side
Water Plant Nature Fish supply Pet supply

Miscellaneous stuff about Araw (This is me being sentimental. there's no more important info abt about his health here i think. read if u want though.)

His name is Araw, meaning day/daylight and sun in Tagalog, the language my parents talk to me in. He is orange and glows under the LED lights. I switch around calling him my son, sun, sunny boy, sonny boy, and Araw to him and in reference to him because I think it's endearing and my family gets a huff out of it. I know it’s corny but idc.

His fins are transparent until you get a really good look at him from different angles/see him swimming. The thin fins right under his pectoral fins are a cool purply blue at the ends. He has 2 dark blue streaks in his tail fins, one at the top and the other at the bottom. The rest are transparent and I saw them glitter green when he investigated the tempreader.

He makes me think that he is a universe where the sun wears the earth as a beautiful and trailing sheer cape.

He drapes himself in silky round leaves like a darling prince while resting. And he is a darling! Even if he doesn’t move as much, he’s trying and I love him for it.

I am so sorry if it was me that made him like this and I hope that he will be better. I refuse to think that it's too much to ask but it might be.

The store has a “refund” on him if “something happens to him” in the next 30 days, but if I end up getting a new betta if/when he passes I will not be refunding Araw. I will be buying a new one from a more reputable shop. Regardless, his tank will be empty for a while after if I have any say about it. Minus some snails maybe.

I do not want an empty tank with snails so any help will be appreciated please.

3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi and welcome to the forum!!! :)

Araw is absolutely stunning! I do love yellow bettas. My most favorite of all of the bettas that I ever owned is the guy in my avatar, a yellow veiltale, and his name was Sunny!!!

Your tank looks beautiful, too!!!! Looks like you have some nice tannins in the tank, too, which help a lot.

My first thought is that he needs his temp to be a little bit higher. Since bettas are tropical, they need a temp of 78 to 80 degrees (25 to 27 C) in order to thrive and be healthy.

It seems like your water parameters are ok for now. GH and KH are not included in the API freshwater master test kit. That is usually sold separately. But you ph level is fine.

If you don't know about the nitrogen cycle, please read about it as soon as possible. If your tank isn't cycled, you will need to do frequent water changes as the ammonia level rises, and then as the nitrite level rises, too.

You will need to test your water parameters often if you are doing a fish in cycle. You will need a really good water conditioner. I don't know if you can get Prime water conditioner in your country, but it is really good. It allows you to overdose with it, and it won't hurt your betta. It will hold the toxicity of low level ammonia and nitritre levels as the tank cycles. I have cycled all of my tanks using Prime, and it's a great product. If you can't get it, then any water conditioner that will dechlorinate the water and remove the bad stuff will do. Again, not sure about the water there...just going by our water here.

He is probably still getting used to his new environment. It is good that you slowed the flow of the filter. They do not like strong current. If it is still too strong, you may need to baffle it further. You could always add some rocks or marbles to the soap dish. Just make sure that you wash them carefully. They will slow the water flow even more.

Bettas do need to be in the dark for a good 14 to 15 hours. They do not like strong light at all, so what you have already done with his light sounds really good! You can turn them out for a couple of days, and see if he responds.

His fins look normal and fine for a long finned betta. If he was in the store for a year, he might be a year and a half old. They can live to 3 years as you stated in your post, or a bit longer with really good care. So he's not a senior citizen yet!

You won't see a ton of movement from his gills/gill plates unless there is a breathing problem. If he were gasping, then that would be time to worry and do an immediate water change.

As for food, I would ask the pet store what they were feeding him. And you might want to try some frozen foods, if you can get it. Frozen daphnia and brine shrimp are good. Flakes can sometimes cause bloat, so daphnia helps prevent that. Frozen blood worms for a treat only. He needs high protein foods with little to no fillers. High protein pellets are good, too.

I hope this helps, and I hope he gives you great joy!!! He really is beautiful!!!! 💓
Hello thank you so much for your info! I raised his temp yesterday and within a couple of hours he began to swim more. I have studied up on the nitrogen cycle at your recommendation and have started the process immediately. I am immensely grateful for that info. I am lucky that I'm in a position that I can do water changes very frequently, and some websites suggest doing that daily. Would this cause too much stress to Araw if I do?

Seachem Prime water conditioner is available in my country!! I searched up on amazon and called my local petstore and it will be faster for me to get it there. Would you also recommend to use bottled bacteria? I saw recommendations on the one from Seachem and also Fritz Aquatics Nitrifying Bacteria.

I've also contacted the store I got him at and found out that it's very likely that the boy has a preference for pellets and not flakes. I think I'll start with the treats on special days once his tank is cycled. I'll look for some high protein pellets when I head back to the store.

Thank you again so much for your help! He's an absolute darling and I'm gonna work on getting his trust once this emergency is done and the ammonia and nitrates are being taken care of by the good bacteria in his tank. Right now I think he sees me as this giant that disturbs his water too much. I think he'd give me a good lecture if I were a fish. Which is fair and totally warranted. Poor boy.

3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am so glad that things are working out for you and the betta! I am glad to help! :giggle:

I don't think that it will disturb him too much to do small, frequent water changes. You could actually use a large cup and just take out the amount that is needed, like 25%, and then add the new back (after warming it, making sure it matches the temp of the tank water). I do this all of the time, and the betta has learned that this is normal so he isn't stressed at all. I have a bucket for the old tank water, and then I have gallon jugs that I have for the new. I put the jugs into a sink of warm water to let the new water heat up. You can use a thermometer to test the temp before adding the new.

You can add the Prime directly to the tank, but it is best if you can add it to the new water first.

When I want to vaccum the gravel, I work around him, too. He just gets out of my way. Sometimes, he gets curious and I have to get him to move along so I can get the water change done, lol!

Since the tank is cycling, you will need to do frequent water changes, and you will have to test his water a lot. It looks like you already have tannins in the tank as his water is tinted brown in the pics. I am guessing that it comes from the drift wood. Tannins are so good for bettas. They provide some slight antibacterial and antifungal properties, and bettas just love the stuff!

As far as bottled bacteria goes, I have only used one type called tetra safe start, and I found that it took just as long to cycle the tank with the bottled bacteria as it did without. But I have read that some people have had some good success with using various brands. I think that the most important thing is that you test the water parameters frequently, change the water when it is needed, and use the Prime to help with the process.

I wish you well, and I hope that he lives a nice, long life. Bettas are so personable and interactive. He is really beautiful, and looking at his pic makes me miss my little guy!!! 💕
Thank you again so much! This is really valuable! I just was wondering how to make them match temps! I will be doing this tomorrow :D

The master kit is coming Wednesday and until then, I'm doing a 30% water change everyday.

Honestly I do love the tinted water in his tank, and I recently bought some almond leaves and bark and casuarina cones to help promote that blackwater environment. The water makes him more glowy and a cohesive colour among his tank palette, so I love that it's beneficial to him.

Now that he's had a lot of his energy back up, his personality is really coming through. He's very curious about everything, and will investigate it all. I thought that my dipping a glass into his jar would make him hide away, but he just swam up and stared at my fingers until I pulled it out of his tank. There are two kids currently staying at my house and they love him. I think he can tell who is who because he shies away from the louder younger one a little and is uninterested in the older one (poor kid). Although it might be because the older kid tempted him with half eaten crackers through his glass and (we) didn't (allow him to) give him any.

Anyways, he is giving so much joy in our house and helps me a lot with issues I'm facing in my projects bc he's a great listener lol ;)

Thank you again so much for your help!!!
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