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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have had two male betta fish for 2 years each.
Last week they started acting odd, not eating as much, and the really weird thing was that they would face upward in their tanks and sink to the bottom. They have not been able to reach up to the top of their tanks to get food or air.

I need help in deciding what to do. One of my bettas died this morning.

I need to help save the other one. So far I have made sure to keep them on the same food, changed their water in case of disease, lowered the water level so they can reach the top for air, and tried to raise the water temperature (but have no way of knowing what the water temp is currently at). I have also tried feeding them peas as it has worked for their belly issues in the past, but it doesn't seem to have worked now.

Can anyone help me?
Here is an image of what my 2nd betta looks like:







His brother died this morning and I am worried he will die in the next couple days.
 

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I'd get an air stone/pump to help keep him oxygenated. He wasn't living in the same tank as his brother, was he? Male bettas can never live with other bettas, they must be kept solo or with other fish, with a divider, or with one female (but only if you intend to breed them).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
They definitely were not in the same tank. Is there any disease that could be causing this? I am worried it might just be old age but it seems odd that they both started acting similarly at the same time.
 

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It could be SBD (swim bladder disorder).keep feeding him peas, freeze them, thaw them, peel the skin off, and crush them (in that order) before adding to the tank. Add Epsom salt, too. A few questions:

How big is your tank?
What type of water do you use?
Do you have a heater?
Do you have a filter?
How often do you change the tank water, and how much?
What conditioner do you use?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
He's in a large sugar jar with an open cap to allow the nitrogen cycle/air cycle
I use city water but treat it with a conditioner for bettas
I do not have a heater but test the water for warmth everyday, lately it had felt kinda cold
I do not have a filter
I change 2/3 of the water every two weeks
The conditioner is tetra aqua safe which changed about three weeks ago from a betta aqua safe by the same brand. The aqua safe I have now was my only choice because they didn't have the betta specific one.
 

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I must add that you should NEVER feed a fish peas. Their digestive systems cannot process this and it makes the situation worse. Keep the water clean and at 78-80*F. Have something at the surface or lower the water level so he can get to the surface quicker.
1)It's good that you use conditioner, and I suggest you use API Stress Coat
2)You should get a heater and a small sponge filter
3)API Master Test Kit is also something essential so you can test the water parameters. It is likely that this is the cause of the problem.
4)A tank of that size should be cleaned at least twice a week.
 

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Thermometers are like 3 bucks, and heaters are ESSENTIAL. They're tropical fish, they need water around 80F - room temp water is going to be close to 70F...

How many gallons is the jar? That can help determine how often you need to change water...

I would say the long term cold and toxic water led to the death of your first fish. You have a shot at bringing this guy back.

First step, do a 100% water change, and put him in the warmest room in the house, or if you have a space heater, get him near that.
 

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Welcome to the forum. I'm sorry you've been having problems with your fish.

My main concern is that they both became symptomatic at the same time. To me, this indicates that it's possibly a bacterial or environmental problem.

Here are my recommendations, some of which have been posted already.

1) Do a series of four 25% water changes.

Even when the water looks clean, there are wastes and bacteria that cannot be seen. The only way to remove these is by physically removing them. This is done via water changes.

I suggest doing a series of four 25% water changes, waiting 15 minutes (or more) between each. This will be gentler on him than doing full water changes, and will remove toxins, contaminants and bacteria from the tank. This alone may help him feel somewhat better.

Simply remove about 25% of the water. Replace it with new water that is within +/- 2 degrees F of his current water. (Use a thermometer to check.) Be sure to add conditioner to the new water, too..... Wait at least 15 minutes, and repeat. Do this until you've completed four partial water changes.

How large is your jar? If you tell us this, we can make some recommendations regarding your water change schedule.

2) What BRAND of food do you feed him?

Bettas are insectivores, meaning their natural diet consists mostly of insects and high protein foods (especially mosquito larvae). Feeding an occasional piece of pea shouldn't hurt him, but it's not his natural diet. IMO, there are better ways to resolve constipation, bloating and/or buoyancy issues. Therefore, I don't recommend giving him any peas.

What BRAND of food do you feed him? Foods that contain a lot of grains/fillers can cause constipation, bloating or buoyancy issues in some Bettas. On this forum, the two most often recommended foods are:
-- New Life Spectrum Betta pellets, and
-- Omega One Betta Buffet.
These two brands contain quality proteins, and are well tolerated by sensitive Bettas.

3) A thermometer is important.

It's not enough to rely on "feel." There are days when your perception can be pretty far off. Using a thermometer will help you monitor the water temp on a day-to-day basis, or when doing water changes.

You can get a "floating glass thermometer" at Petsmart/Petco for about $3. Or you can get one at Walmart (in the fish section) for about $1.60.

4) Bettas are tropical fish that do best in the range of 77-84F.

Some of us live in regions where heaters aren't necessary, but most of us need heaters to keep our tanks within this range.

If the water temp falls too low, it can affect his metabolism and make him prone to illness. Likewise, temperature fluctuations can cause stress, which may also leave him prone to illness. By having a heater in the tank, the temperature remains more consistent.
 
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