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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I haven't owned a betta a for a while and got a white Vailtail betta with black speckles on his face along with some fake plants, a 1.8 gallon tank, filter and heater not to mention Top Fin water conditioner and Aquedon betta food from petco yesterday. I'm afraid he might have paratises and that his little home might not be in good shape for him. when I put him in his tank he seemed fine, just bumping the sides of the tank a little (I assume because the sides are a little reflective and to get a feel of how much room he has) but he pooped white earlier and keeps hiding in the corner of his tank where the water filter tube and a plant is occasionally. I'm pretty sure he does that because he wants to sleep but I'm just so nervous that he might be sick. He doesn't have anything appear to be wrong with him, but that might be because he's so light colored. He's a bit of a light pastel yellow color so it's hard to tell if the white on his gills are just his markings. Also the tank is a little merky and I'm not sure if it's because it's a new tank and all or if it's making him sick. Right now he seems to be just hanging out near the top of the tank next to the heater for a little while going up for air sometimes and I'm freaking out a little bit.
 

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Really great questions from the sticky--to help us figure out how to help:
Housing
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Housing
What size is your tank? 1.8 Gallons
What temperature is your tank? 74 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Aquadon Betta Food
How often do you feed your betta fish? 6 pellets a day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Once a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 15%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Top Fin Betta Water Conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? No

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? No
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Slightly lethargic
When did you start noticing the symptoms? A few hours ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? over 4 months
 

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OK--I'm not a long time betta keeper but I have had aquariums for a very long time. I suggest going to the pet store and getting two things:
A water conditioner called Prime
a small package of Aquarium salt

You also might need a different heater. You want to get your water temperature up --around 78 would be perfect. 74 is too cold.

Do a water change with new water made according to the directions on the Prime container. If the store doesn't carry prime you can get a different brand. Look for something that removes chlorine, chloramines, ammonia and nitrites. Depending on your store you may need to get separate products to remove the chlorine and chloramines, to lock up the ammonia and to bring bown the nitrites. Just follow the instructions carefully as you condition your new water.

Add a small amount of the aquarium salt to the water --a tsp does 5 gals so you will be using about a third of a tsp, I think.

Change out the old water with this new conditioned water and get the temp up and I think you will have a much happier fish.

I suggest repeating these water changes--maybe 50% every day for a week or so. Let us know how your baby is doing?

Do the more experienced folks have suggestions?
 

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Good advice above. If the water is murky change out 50% (at least) - with conditioned water as something is not right when water goes murky. Do this asap as it might mean there is ammonia in the tank which could well burn him.

Another good product is Tetra safe start. Use it with prime. (or Amquel which have heard works the same as prime?)Use the prime at double dose daily. I do one regular dose in the am and then another regular dose at night -until the tank cycles.
 

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Just be careful with Amquel--if you overdose to lock up ammonia it can also lock up all the breathable oxygen in the water. I made this mistake once and it took me a while to figure out why there was a general freakout rushing around in the tank--the poor critters couldn't breath! Just read the instructions and follow them and things will be well.
 

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Ive always read and been told 1 tsp per gallon, but either should work so long as some water is in there. Be careful heating anything under 2 gallons, water heat can change quickly and cause shock in the fish, so just keep monitoring it.

Honestly, in this small of a tank I doubt it is cycled. Cup your fish (don't net him, its stressful), save the water in that cup so you can re-acclimate him, then dump the rest of the tank. Add 100% new water and make sure its conditioned and from the same source. Slowly re-acclimate him into the water, you can let the old water get in.

My guess here is ammonia build up due to not enough water changes. A common mistake for new betta owners. Don't believe the pet stores BS about them living in 1/2 gallon bowls. He's also probably cold (again, more store bs about them living without heat. 78-82 will be ideal for him)

You also should look into seachem prime. Its what I use and it is great.

Would you consider upgrading to a 5 gallon tank? It is much easier to keep. Only requires 50% water changes weekly. If not, you need start doing 50% water changes every other day.
 
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