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10 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My betta has been acting sick, and I think it's getting worse, but I'm having a hell of a time figuring out what's wrong with him.

Any thoughts and advice are welcomed, I'm afraid he's got some kind of disease and I don't know how to treat him.

What size is your tank? 1 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 76-78 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? yes, but I removed it when this started, about a week ago.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? yes, as of Monday
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Hikari Betta Bio Gold
How often do you feed your betta fish? Every day except Sat and Sunday (He lives at work)

How often do you perform a water change? Once a week (I am increasing this to 2 times a week, based on advice from this forum)
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 25-50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Water conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? Don't have a test kit.


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Here's the problem. He's a black betta, so it's really hard to tell how, if at all his appearance has changed. When I shine a light on him he's always had a green and reddish tint to his scales.

I'm not positive if he's gotten more red when I shine a flashlight on him. At first I thought he might have velvet, but I honestly can't tell. There's a chance his stomach is bloated, but again, it's so difficult to see.

How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He's always been a pretty lethargic fish, but I think that was due to his water being a bit cold. (I got the heater Monday.) He used to eat three pellets a day, in the morning. He suddenly stopped eating last week, but when I put in the heater, he did eat three pellets. Yesterday he only ate one, and today he may have eaten one, but I'm not entirely sure, because I didn't see him do it.

The biggest behavior change besides the eating is that I haven't seen him move from the top corner of his tank (right by the heater) in about two days. His little fins go, but that's about the extent of his movement. When I tried to get a better look at him with a flashlight, it seemed to really stress him out, he swam all over the tank like a maniac, but he ended up right back in that spot.

When did you start noticing the symptoms? Last week. He was floating near the top of the tank and stopped eating.

Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? The changes I've made were to add a heater, since it was suggested this might be because he was cold. He's had warm water for 3 days now. Maybe I'm being impatient, and if that's the case, I'll be glad. I'm just worried that this might be something that needs to be treated. I also have been keeping the tank light off, as I was worried that might be stressing him out.

Does your fish have any history of being ill? None that I'm aware of

How old is your fish (approximately)? I bought him 6 months ago

2 Posts
I think he's just lonely. A good tank mate would be a mystery snail. The same thing happened with my betta, and I bought her a snail, and now she's a healthy, thriving fish. (she has also had two sets of babies)

2,358 Posts
My best guess would be ammonia poisoning. In an uncycled tank, especially a small one, doing 100% water changes at least once per week are really essential. It goes something like this, and I'll use simple numbers just for simplicity's sake (these are not realistic numbers mind you but the concept is the same). Suppose you have 1ppm ammonia in your tank by the end of the week. You then change out 50% of the water so that you now have half the ammonia, or .5 ppm. Now, in the next week your betta produces another 1 ppm of ammonia, bringing the tank up to 1.5 ppm (the new 1ppm plus the .5ppm from last week). You again change out 50% of the water, but now the overall concentration is at .75ppm. If you continue the cycle you will get 1.75 ppm by the next week, and another 50% water change will bring it down to only .875ppm. As you can see, the ammonia level after your water change has been performed is gradually rising, even though you are performing regular maintenance.

So, something to keep in mind for the future. Uncycled tanks are absolutely fine, they just need to be handed differently than cycled tanks, where bacteria are doing the work of eliminating harmful ammonia and water changes are mainly to rid the tank of excess nitrate (the byproduct of these bacteria). In this case partial water changes are recommended, but in uncycled tanks you must do 100% changes on a regular basis (how often depends on your tank setup).

Hope this helped!

148 Posts
I agree more water changed and testing the water ph ...also maby the fish is constipated try feeding one pellet every other day. Water temp is also very important80'
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