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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

My 6 year old son just got a new little betta tank and fish from my mom as a Christmas present. I've never owned a fish tank before. I've been researching non-stop for a week, and I still have no idea what I am doing, and our fish looks so sad.

I tried to fill out the form as best I could, sorry it turned out so long. Joey just looks so sad and I feel so helpless. I'd really appreciate if someone could confirm/adjust my plan of action and hold my hand a little bit. Thanks everyone!

Housing:
How many gallons is your tank? 0.7
Does it have a filter? Sort of... there is a part in the bottom where debris is supposed to fall through and get washed out when you add water. Here is the tank.
Does it have a heater? Yes, I bought one 2 days ago - aqueon submersible 7.5 w
What temperature is your tank? the store guy said the heater should keep the tank at 78F
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?

cobalt betta minis

Do you feed flakes or pellets?

pellets

Freeze-dried?

not yet, though we bought blood worms

How often do you feed your Betta? How much?

My sister in law said they need to eat once every 2 days 6 - 8 pellets (her fish lived for 2 years like this). That's what I did the first time, but I thought that his belly got too big. Then I did my research and decided to feed him 2 times a day 2-3 pellets each time. That seemed to work well, until yesterday.

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

every other day or so

What percentage of water did you change?

It's been all over the place. The first couple of times I added about 1.5 cup of treated and aged water, which I guess is about 15%. Then I started worrying about white fuzz on the marbles on the floor, and the fish was sleeping a lot on the floor, so I decided to give the floor a good cleaning. I didn't want to shock the fish with 100% change, so I carefully transferred the water and fish to another bowl and washed his aquarium and marbles really well with hot water, then put the old water + fish back. After that I've added another 1.5 cups every day or every other day.

Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water?

I suck out the poop with a straw when I see it, and the one time I cleaned the tank as described. Usually I just add water to the top and it is supposed to clean itself through an overflow.

What additives do you use?

betta basics

Water Parameters:

I have no idea, sorry

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms?

We started getting worried on dec 29th, which was 4 days ago

How has your Betta’s appearance changed?

Fins are tight, and today (Jan 2) a few small white spots on side fins and head. I think he is also more pale than he was, but it's hard to tell. He is a red crowntail with white body, at least that's how they all looked like at the store. I think his fins got a bit more pale close to the body and the body is whiter than before.

How has your Betta’s behavior changed?

When we brought him home he was mostly active, curious and hungry. Then progressively he started sleeping more and more, first at the top corner of his tank and sometimes at the bottom. He also started darting through his fake plant, I wasn't sure if he was exploring or feeling itchy - but I didn't see any spots at that point. Then he got really sleepy and his body looked whiter than before, and he was sleeping on the floor a lot. We didn't have a heater at the point, so I thought maybe he was cold (our room temp is 21 C, which is 69.8 F). We raised our temp to 23 C (73.4 F) and the next day he looked at lot better - more active and more pink, and stayed at the top of the tank. He was still darting through the plant sometimes, or digging into his marbles so we went to the store and got him a heater and a anubias nano. I thought that a live plant would be better for fins since he was darting so much, and that he can sleep on the leaves. My mom also brought a bit of something that looks like cabomba. Oh, and we also got a betta cave. So we put all that in the tank (rinsed first), and the fish was really curious, seemed to like everything. He was checking everything out, went through the plants and in the cave, looked like he was liking it. Then the next morning we woke up and he was pale and hiding in one corner, fins tight, and refused to eat.

Is your Betta still eating? No

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

I read about aquarium salt being good for them, so I put some in his tank (diluted first). I also took out the cabomba, because I thought maybe it's prickly and stressing him out. We also moved him to a quiet place in the house (we have 4 boys, so a lot of noise and house shaking LOL), and turned off his light.

Today since I found the white spots I am researching how to treat ich. I am planning to use the 2 bowl method (i.e. transfer the fish to a new bowl every day and clean/prep the old bowl for next day), I have 2 set up already. He now has the recommended dosage of salt in his tank, so the bowl I am readying for tonight has double and the one for tomorrow has triple the dosage. I am going to maintain the triple dosage after that. Each bowl has 1 L of water, 1/4 tsp of water conditioner and one has 1/2 tsp of salt, the other has 3/4 tsp.

Does your Betta have any history of being ill? No

How long have you owned your Betta? Just over a week

Was he or she a rescue? They were kept in tiny little glass jars on the shelf at the store. They all looked sad, so maybe he can be considered a rescue?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Update:

It looks like aq salt is working. He perked up a bit and came out of hiding a few times. He took a pellet into his mouth, but spat it out again.

I just moved him to the hospital jar with 1/2 tsp of aq salt. He seems happy - swimming all around, exploring. Then again, I thought he was happy when we got him a plant, and found him totally stressed the next morning. We'll see how he looks tomorrow.
 
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