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Hi all, this is my first post, I bought a Betta fish yesterday for my daughter and I am so worried that he doesn't seem well.

Against my better judgement I believed the guy in the shop who told me that if I use API quick start that it would be ok to put Sam in the aquarium straight away. So I used the requisite amount of water conditioner and API warmed the water to 24, floated him in his bag for an hour then popped him in.

H was fine last night, active and curious but this morning he looks really sad. He wont eat his food, is huddled in the top corner of the tank, his face looks as if it has turned white/silver, he keeps opening his mouth and his gills seem to be working hard. I feel terrible, I don't know how to help the little guy, I suspect the water quality but dont know what to do to put it right. I just realised that I should have bought test strips for the water, im in a panic, and am gonna go get some as soon as the shop opens. Its a 15l heated, filterd (as gentle as I can get it) tank.

Any advice greatly appreciated

thankyou x
 

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API quickstart in not the best option for your betta because it doesn't already cycle the water from my understanding it only adds bacteria.And as for your fish I don't know what's wrong with it so please wait for an expert.I hope your betta feels better!
 

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It sounds like he was shocked by the quick introduction to the new water.

You did well by letting him adjust to the temperature -- but the actual water chemistry and parameters between your home water and the store's water can be very different. For example, pH can vary a lot, etc.

At this point, he's already in the new tank, so there isn't much you can do. For future reference though, anytime you change the water or tank, it's best to do a full acclimation process.

Here's a sample process for when a fish is put into a new tank (or if you ever need to remove him to change the water or clean out his tank):
  1. Note the temperature of the water. (Use a thermometer.)
  2. Using a plastic cup, scoop him, along with some of his water, into the cup.
  3. Clean out the tank. Refill with water at the SAME temp. (Within +/- 2 degrees F, or 1 degree C.)
  4. Be sure to add the correct amount of water conditioner.
  5. Float his cup in the tank for about 15 min. (Longer is OK.)
  6. Add a SMALL amount of NEW water to the cup. (Several tablespoons, or about 1.5 ounces.)
  7. Let his cup float for about 10 min. (Longer is OK.)
  8. Repeat the above two steps, until about an hour has passed. (Longer is OK.)
  9. If the cup starts to fill too much, remove a SMALL amount of water from the cup. Discard it.
  10. Gently release him into the tank.

And here's a sample process for when you do your weekly partial water changes:
  1. Note the temperature of the water. (Use a thermometer.)
  2. Fill a 1 gallon container with one gallon of water at the SAME temp. (Within +/- 2 degrees F, or 1 degree C.)
  3. Be sure to add the correct amount of water conditioner.
  4. Remove 50% of the water from the tank.
  5. Over the course of about 30 minutes (or longer), slowly add the new water.
    You can do this in stages. For example, add back about 25% of the water. Wait about 20-30 minutes, then add back the remaining 25%.

What brand of water conditioner are you using? As long as it's one that at least neutralizes/removes chlorine and chloramines, it should be fine.

As for eating, many bettas won't eat at first when they're introduced to a new home. This especially is the case if yours has been shocked by a change in water parameters.

There isn't much you can do right now, except give him some time. If you can leave him a darkened room, that can help calm him. If the room can't be darkened, you can drape a towel or sheet around the tank.

Offer him food. If he doesn't eat it, remove it so that it doesn't pollute the water, and try again later.

Hopefully, the water chemistry wasn't too different, and he'll recover soon.
 
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