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Hi there. I am hoping to get some help with one of my Bettas. Back in November my 2 kids were given a Red Betta and a Blue Betta as gifts. They started out their life in our care in 2 separate 2 gallon bowls with some gravel, plastic plants and decoration. From the beginning Red Fish thrived, was happy in the bowl, almost doubled in size has gorgeous long fins and made bubble nests. Blue Fish struggled and lost weight, started losing chunks of fin.

So... after doing some reading online we decided to move them to separate 5 gallon tanks. (We talked to the pet store, followed all the directions, etc.) Red Fish thrived in the new tank just like in the bowl. Blue Fish perked up for about a month, grew back some fin and then stopped eating pellets completely. We tried several brands. The only thing he now eats is Dried Blood Worms and not very much. He developed yellow spots. We moved him back to a small bowl and treated him with drops for a week, completely cleaned his aquarium and returned him to it. We were told the small tanks might not be warm enough on the counter with lights only so we added small heaters to both tanks.

Red Fish continues to thrive no matter what changes we make and Blue Fish constantly looks like he is dying. His tank get a yellow fuzz in it and gets murky and cloudy almost immediately after water changes, cleaning and most recently after a complete change and thorough scrub. His fins are starting to stiffen and they are very ragged. He is thin and does not eat much. As far as I can tell, both fish are in almost identical environments and one is thriving and one is barely hanging on. It makes us feel sad and frustrated. Taking care of these fish has been way more expensive and time consuming than I could have imagined but we've grown to enjoy them and I want to help Blue Fish. Is there anything else I can try?
 

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Fill this out so we can better help you. :)

By the by: I would try to get him back on pellets ASAP because bloodworms don't have all the nutritional value that bettas need.
 

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Fill this out so we can better help you. :)

By the by: I would try to get him back on pellets ASAP because bloodworms don't have all the nutritional value that bettas need.
Do you have any tricks to do this? We have tried all the brands available to us and he just spits them out and lets them sink to the bottom, which of course makes the tank conditions worse and need more cleaning. He just keeps getting thinner and more sickly. We give him the BW out sympathy because it is the only thing he will eat, but even that is like a portion of one worm every other day or so.
 

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I've heard soaking the pellets in garlic can get them to eat the pellets.
 

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Fill this out so we can better help you. :)

By the by: I would try to get him back on pellets ASAP because bloodworms don't have all the nutritional value that bettas need.
Do you have any tricks to do this? We have tried all the brands available to us and he just spits them out and lets them sink to the bottom, which of course makes the tank conditions worse and need more cleaning. he just keeps getting thinner and more sickly. We give him the BW out sympathy because it is the only thing he will eat, but even that is like a portion of one worm every other day or so.
 

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Hmmm. I see no mention of a heater or water temp. Betta are tropical fish and need water temps above 76F (25C) to thrive. Blue Fish's poor appetite could be attributed to cold (to them) water. The first thing I would try is getting them both a heater and a thermometer (because the thermostats that come on heaters aren't always reliable). Slowly bring the temps up to 78F (25C).

And also, welcome to the forum!!
 

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Hmmm. I see no mention of a heater or water temp. Betta are tropical fish and need water temps above 76F (25C) to thrive. Blue Fish's poor appetite could be attributed to cold (to them) water. The first thing I would try is getting them both a heater and a thermometer (because the thermostats that come on heaters aren't always reliable). Slowly bring the temps up to 78F (25C).

And also, welcome to the forum!!
We do have heaters. The thermometer is a little hard to read but it ranges between 75-80F. I also have wondered if it is too warm because he did perk up in the week he was in the bowl with no heater but he was also being treated with drops at that time.
 

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We do have heaters. The thermometer is a little hard to read but it ranges between 75-80F. I also have wondered if it is too warm because he did perk up in the week he was in the bowl with no heater but he was also being treated with drops at that time.
That is quite a large range some of which is uncomfortable for a betta. I would get a better thermometer. The floating glass ones from a local pet store should do. Those temp strips are very unreliable. They will look something like this:


Do you by chance have a reading for the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
That is quite a large range some of which is uncomfortable for a betta. I would get a better thermometer. The floating glass ones from a local pet store should do. Those temp strips are very unreliable. They will look something like this:


Do you by chance have a reading for the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate?
Heading to a pet store today and will pick up a better thermometer (we have the strips now) and will also look for a chemistry test kit. Our heaters do not have thermostat, just the disks that sit under the gravel.
 

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The API Freshwater Master test kit is the best available. It's going to have ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH tests. Just be sure to follow the directions closely.

For a heater, I would look at a new one, too. I have one of those disks in with a betta in a 1 gal quarantine tank right now, and it's not keeping the water warm enough. Heaters that aren't adjustable will only heat a few degrees above ambient temp. But once you get a better thermometer we'll be able to see the exact temp and whether or not those pads are doing their jobs.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
What are these drops?
I don't remember what they were called but an aquarium store sold them to me when the fish started first losing bits of fin. They told me to use another round of them a few months later when it developed yellow spots. Both rounds of whatever they were seemed to help for a time but the fish continues to decline.
 

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When you are at the store today, try to look through the medication section and see if anything looks familiar. Unfortunately many pet store employees don't understand the intricacies of proper fishkeeping, and we need to know what kind of drops those were to make sure they didn't do more harm than good.
 

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welcome to the forum btw

The API master test kit for freshwater is around 20-40 dollars. It usually hovers around 30 something in the stores by me.

If you can get a picture of bluefish that would be really helpful. The yellow spots you said he developed doesn't sound really fun. Without a picture on our end, look up velvet disease in bettas, try to compare pictures between the disease and your fish maybe? Loosing chunks of fin could be a few things. A picture is worth 1000 words though in many cases. Some bettas have irridescent coloring though which could look like velvet if you haven't experienced it before.

Before you panic though and start treating for something your fish may or may not have really try to get a picture if you can. (and filling out the information on the sticky post will expedite the help you will receive. It just puts the information in a format people are used to reading and can see problem areas faster.) Many people have pasted the sticky information in their thread then changed the text color to type in the information right into the form.

Some fish are more prone to being sick. It sounds like poor bluefish might just be more delicate then redfish but everyone here will try to help get things sorted out.

Did the drops make the water blue and is the container shaped like a little fish?
 

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How often do you change the water, and what percent? :)

If you want to tempt your sick fish to eat, I suggest leaving a bucket of water outside and letting mosquitoes lay eggs in it. When they hatch into squigglies, you have a ready-made supply of nutritious live food that should tempt even the most sickly betta. The only difficulty is weaning them back onto pellets when the weather gets too cold for mosquitoes.
 
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