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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My betta, Betta, has been acting odd for about a month now, but has recently gotten worse. He sits at the bottom of the tank in different spots, and doesn't swim around anymore. I recently noticed some brown spots on the underside of his head. Once I saw those, I immediately got Maracyn and Maracyn 2, and he will be getting the 4th treatment of both this evening. He seems to be moving around to different spots more often than he has in the past week, but I've noticed that the back end of his body is curving up when he's sitting on the bottom. He's still very interested in food, but he can't quite figure out where the pellets are anymore. If he doesn't find them right away, he goes immediately back to where he was on the bottom. I don't know if the maracyn treatments are helping or not, or if I need to do something else. I can't find anything on the internet that exactly covers all of his symptoms.

He lives in a 10 gallon tank by himself with a temp of 78 degrees and there is a filter. I add about 1-2 gallons of Ice Mountain (the brand of bottled water) every week, and have been doing this for a year and a half without any other problems. Thanks for any information and help you may be able to give.

 

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Welcome to the forum....sorry you are having problems....a few questions....

In the 10gal filtered tank-how much and how often are the water changes...you posted that you add water but not take any out....type of additives used, brand, how much etc....any live plants, has he ever been sick and if so, how treated and have you tested the water, if so, what kind of product and what are the numbers for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH....can you post a pic.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Within a week, about 1-2 gallons evaporates, so I've been simply adding water. I don't add anything to the water, just using Ice Mountain bottled water from the store. There are no live plants, just fake ones. He hasn't been sick before, this is the first time. I have not tested the water, I don't know how to nor have the money to spend on a testing kit. I'm a college student in the dorms with my fish. I've been trying to get a picture, but when he does sit when you can see the brown spots on him, he moves when I get near the tank with a camera. I'll continue trying to get a pic, and if I do, I'll definitely post it.

Thanks for replying!
 

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In a 10 gallon filtered, you should be doing 25-50% water changes (that is, taking out 25-50% of the water and replacing it with clean water) every week. You could get dechlorinator such as the Nutrafin brand or Prime and use that for your water so you arent buying bottled water. :) His sickness is likely due to poor water quality.
 

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ouch! no water changes? And when was last time you changed carbon in your filter?
You probably have lots of toxic buildup. You lucky he is still alive. You need to do major water change!
Oh and don't do complete cleanup or you will kill good bacteria. Maybe 25% every day for few days would be a good start and see if he improves. After that I would suggest 50% once a week. (you actually need to take some old water out first before you start refilling)
 

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Over time the build up of dissolved organics, nitrate and most likely pH changes as well....its starting to become toxic in the tank......

Since you don't have a testing kit (and I understand-no worries) I would start by making 10% daily water changes for 3 days-then 20% daily for 3 days-then 40% for 3 days-then 50% for 2 days...on day 3 and day 6 vacuum half the tank without moving anything and vacuum all areas that can be reached without moving anything with the second 50%...

I would invest in a product called Prime...this is a dechlorinator to add to all the fresh water you add to the tank...I would also use your tap water and not the bottled water....

Make sure the water temp is within a couple of degrees between new and old water to prevent temp shock problems and always use the dechlorinator with any new water added to the tank.....

Filter media-give this a rinse/swish in old tank water with one of the 30% and 50% water changes and then 1-2 times a month thereafter

Leave the Betta in the tank with all the water changes.....

It is important to make small changes to start so you don't cause any sudden changes in the chemistry that can kill the Betta...

Once you get all this done-I would start making regular weekly 50% water changes with vacuum to maintain water quality and to avoid build up of DOC and nitrate......
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you all for replying. I change the carbon filter monthly. I don't understand how changing the water (or "lack" of it) would cause an issue after a year and a half. I may not be personally taking the water out, but the air does, which is why I have just been adding the water. It has always been crystal clear except when the tank first cycled. I'll try to pick up some water conditioner that was mentioned and do water changes, but I don't think it's the cause of the problem. He doesn't have fin rot either, which is what I always understood was caused by poor water quality.
 

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I would invest in one...until then...the stir and dip method will work....you will need water changing supplies too....a 2.5gal bucket that has never had anything in it except water...label it "Fish only" and a plastic cup, dechlorinator, wooden spoon or chop stick...anything will work to give the substrate a stir to bring the debris up in the water column, algae scrubber, thermometer....keep all these thing in the bucket for your weekly water changes once you get the tank cleaned up......

Stir and dip method-give the tank a slight stir and dip out the water-replace with like temp dechlorinated water....

Remember to wash your hands before and after and unplug both the filter and heater before cleaning/water changes....
 

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Well you were lucky there was nothing wrong for that long. Water evaporates, but chemicals in the water do not, they just keep building up.
It's like if you wouldn't change oil in your car. It will still run for a while until one day......
I would suggest to take a sample to your local LPS and have it tested for everything. water doesn't change the colour if there is high level of ammonia. That's why there are aquarium water tests. If you have perfect bio system set up with right amount of live plants you would be probably ok.
Oh I almost forgot .... you need to take out carbon from your filter if you are using any medication.
 

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I'll give you the quick and dirty rundown on aquarium chemistry...

Fish constantly excrete ammonia from their gills and their poo creates ammonia. This ammonia is broken down by bacteria in your filter. It takes the extremely toxic ammonia and creates also extremely toxic nitrite. The nitrite is broken down into less toxic nitrate. The only way nitrate leaves you fish's water is through water changes. You're good at less then 20ppm but really should aim for 5-10ppm.

You've never done a single water change, so I can't imagine what your nitrate would be. It does not evaporate out of the water, so what is leaving your tank through the air has no effect on the levels of toxins in his water. It's a little bit like using your toilet for a year and half and never flushing.

So start slow with the water changes and take OFL's advice. In terms of being fine for a year and a half, these fish can be very hardy, but in the end his liver and other systems are being incredibly taxed by the chemicals being left in his tank. Also, you can't see them, so the water would look clear but still be toxic. Follow Oldfishlady's advice and good luck!
 

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I'll give you the quick and dirty rundown on aquarium chemistry...

Fish constantly excrete ammonia from their gills and their poo creates ammonia. This ammonia is broken down by bacteria in your filter. It takes the extremely toxic ammonia and creates also extremely toxic nitrite. The nitrite is broken down into less toxic nitrate. The only way nitrate leaves you fish's water is through water changes. You're good at less then 20ppm but really should aim for 5-10ppm.

You've never done a single water change, so I can't imagine what your nitrate would be. It does not evaporate out of the water, so what is leaving your tank through the air has no effect on the levels of toxins in his water. It's a little bit like using your toilet for a year and half and never flushing.

So start slow with the water changes and take OFL's advice. In terms of being fine for a year and a half, these fish can be very hardy, but in the end his liver and other systems are being incredibly taxed by the chemicals being left in his tank. Also, you can't see them, so the water would look clear but still be toxic. Follow Oldfishlady's advice and good luck!
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Poor fish, I hope they make it! Definitely follow Oldfishlady's advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I will definitely give that a try tomorrow. Do I leave my betta in the tank when I'm stirring things up? and I'm assuming the dechlorinator is the Prime you spoke of earlier?
 

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I will definitely give that a try tomorrow. Do I leave my betta in the tank when I'm stirring things up? and I'm assuming the dechlorinator is the Prime you spoke of earlier?
I would definitely remove him. You don't want to expose any of the fish to the toxins and debris that will be swirling around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for all the help, and he has been in different water several times this year. He was in fresh water over Thanksgiving and Christmas when I was home from school, and then the tank I keep here at school was also cleaned before he moved back to school with me both times. I feel like a horrible person for hurting him so much :-(
 

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Thanks for all the help, and he has been in different water several times this year. He was in fresh water over Thanksgiving and Christmas when I was home from school, and then the tank I keep here at school was also cleaned before he moved back to school with me both times. I feel like a horrible person for hurting him so much :-(
Don't worry! Luckily now you now and won't make the mistake again.

Just as long as you do the 50% weekly water changes.
 
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