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996 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone! A couple of months ago I got a new rosetail betta, and this week he has started acting a little off; I'm hoping someone with a little more experience than me some insight.

How many gallons is your tank? 5 gallons
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What temperature is your tank? 79
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? Yes, one nerite snail

What food brand do you use? Omega One Buffet, Fluval Bug Bites, Omega One Frozen Carnivore, Gamma Blister frozen daphnia
Do you feed flakes or pellets? Pellets and frozen
Freeze-dried? No
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? 2-3 times a day, approx 4-5 pellets.

your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? Once a week
What percentage of water did you change? 50%
What is the source of your water? Tap
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? I use a syphon, but since my tank is pretty heavily planted there are only a few pieces of substrate empty enough to vacuum
What additives do you use other than conditioner? What brand of conditioner? Imagitarium Ammonia Remover (de-chlorinator), Imagitarium pH-reducer (to match tap pH to tank pH during a water change), Thrive S fertilizer and NilocG root tabs.

Water Parameters:
What are your water parameters? Please give exact numbers. If tested by pet store please get exact numbers. "Fine" or "Safe" won't help us help you. Important: Test your water before the regular water change; not after one.

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: between 5 and 10
pH: 7.4
Hardness (GH): Haven't checked this month, usually hovers around 10 give or take a couple drops.
Alkalinity (KH): Haven't checked this month, but is consistently 3.

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? I noticed this weekend that he was a little slower to come out.

How has your Betta’s appearance changed? He has some damage to his fins. I think I didn't smooth the driftwood enough. I'll be taking it out and sanding it better. I can't see any other change.

How has your Betta’s behavior changed? It started out with him hiding a lot more, and being slower to come to the front of the tank when I come up.

Monday he seemed less interested in food than usual - ate everything, but was slower and I had to put it inside his castle, since he didn't come out to get it.

Yesterday, he ignored the frozen food until I put it right in front of his face; he ate one bite and just swam away.

Today, he only ate one or two pellets for breakfast; and he spit the first one out 3 times before finishing it, which is unusual for him. When I fed him after work, he ate one pellet and then just froze. It was weird, he wasn't moving his fins, he wasn't sinking or floating up, he just was there. After maybe 30 seconds, he started swimming again, but I had to point out the rest of the pellets to him and he only ate one more. I noticed he did that freezing thing a couple more times tonight; but other than that, he seems to be swimming fine. He does not seem to have trouble getting to any level of the aquarium; though he has been hanging out near the top. He doesn't seem to be gasping at all, though

Is your Betta still eating? See above.

Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? I have been doing more frequent water changes for the last two weeks (3 last week, 2 so far this week) because of a big nitrate spike. I was trying to add root tabs and two of the split while I was trying to get them below the substrate. I did a big water change right away, and stupidly thought I'd gotten everything. When I checked the levels of everything the next week my nitrates were really high (over 40). I did 50% water changes 2 or 3 days in a row, to get those under control and have been monitoring the water parameters pretty closely since.

Today I did a 25% water change and added rooibos tea bags. I'm going to the LFS tomorrow to get some IAL.

Does your Betta have any history of being ill? Just the fin rips.

How long have you owned your Betta? 1.5 months

Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? No.

Sorry that was kind of long, and the attached pictures aren't great. I know not eating is a sign something is wrong, but I can't see anything that could be causing it. Please let me know what you think I can do!
Plant Light Purple Window Ornament
World Cloud Terrestrial plant Plant Vegetable
Corn on the cob Organism Terrestrial plant Underwater Marine biology
Purple Ingredient Leaf vegetable Terrestrial plant Vegetable
Purple Violet Art Entertainment Electric blue

1) 25 litres, Espresso the betta,2) 60 litres with 2 blue rams and 6 tetras,3) my cat!
1,026 Posts
You are doing everything great!! Its too difficult for me to figure out whats causing it... i hope someone will be able to help you with your beautiful boy...

204 Posts
First of all I want to emphasize that you're taking great care of this fish. Couple of things to take note of:

1 - Rosetails usually have messed up genetics. Those big fluffy tails come at an evolutionary price.

2 - Your rosetail is fortunate to have a strong-looking body, but even so, holding up those fins is a LOT of work. As he gets older, you'll probably see him getting more and more lethargic. You also may notice him nipping his own fins to get rid of some weight.

3 - There is a decoration in your tank (castle, or ruins maybe?) that looks kind of rough. That might be the culprit for the rough-looking finnage. Consider maybe taking it out. I wouldn't worry too much about this, with your diligent water changes I'm sure he will heal up fine.

4 - The nitrate spike may have exacerbated all of these typical rosetail problems but it sounds like you already have it under control. I'd try to keep him on a tempting frozen food diet until he gets his appetite back. It looks like he already has plenty of places to rest in there so I don't need to recommend that for you.

Hope he's back to his normal self soon!

996 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies @betta4ever! and @mollyyymo! I appreciate it! I will keep you updated on his progress. I left the rooibos tea bags in the tank overnight, and the water is very dark; hopefully all those tannins get to work quickly! This morning he ate one Buffet pellet without spitting it out, but ignored the others. I'm going to try some frozen food tonight and see if he does better on that. I forgot to mention he seems to be flaring a lot more than usual as well.

I was prepared for tail trouble with a Rosetail, which is why I'm not too worried about the damage to his fins. I'm assuming they are rips not bites, but from what I've discovered of his personality, I do think he may end up being a tailbiter. He was tiny when I got him, and I've only had him since the end of November, so he seems pretty young to start getting drastically more lethargic. Also this is similar to what happened to my female betta who died a couple of months ago, so I'm a little extra paranoid.

I did my best to make sure he could have lots of places to rest and the castle side of the tank is almost current free. The Vals do a good job of blocking the current so he uses the leaves to help him get across to most of the different parts of the tank. He's definitely not getting blown around. I did do a trim last night after taking these pictures. A couple of the Vals had gotten too big for the tank and I think he was having trouble getting to the surface except in a couple of places, and I think it was effecting the filter performance as well. I removed two of those plants. There are still plenty of leaves for him though.

I sanded the castle down really well inside and out before putting it in there and did the nylon test; there may be a couple places that I missed, but I think the driftwood is the more likely culprit. I had a bunch of Christmas moss on it until the moss got overrun by hair algae. Since I was going to have moss on in, I didn't sand those parts very well, so I know there are places where it's a bit rough.

996 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Raj seems to be doing a bit better today. He still wasn't really interested in food, but he was out and about, not hiding in his castle, which is an improvement. I did manage to get him to eat one tiny blood worm, a mysis shrimp, and one pellet. It took some coaxing, but he got something in his stomach. I didn't see him flaring at anything or doing that freezing thing, so it seems like we're headed in the right direction. I added an IAL this morning, so hopefully that, combined with all the tea will keep us going in that right direction!

996 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Raj is eating again!

He's still not quite 100% back to his old self, but over the weekend I decided to try some frozen daphnia, just to see if he would take that. He went after them like crazy. I gave him one meal of that on Saturday, then another Sunday afternoon. He took pellets yesterday morning and another meal of frozen daphnia last night. He was eager for his pellets this morning, so I'm hoping we have this thing under control!

I think I must have overfed him at some point. I've noticed since the daphnia that his poop has been pretty long. They are the color of his food though, so I think he's fine other than that. I'll be lowering his meal portions a bit after this!
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