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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

We have a female beta in a 2.5 gallon tank with a filter and a heater that keeps it between 73 and 76 degrees, usually. She was doing really well for about 4 months or so, swimming around/coming out to eat, etc., and then she started to show signs of stress--she was darting around, wedging herself into places, and there was a red line between her eyes. Also her gills seemed a bit red (though not intensely) and you could definitely see them working.

We went to the fish store and they recommended switching to a smaller filter (the one we had was actually too big for our tank) and cleaning the gravel, since we had never done that. It was possible that even though we were doing regular water changes, since we weren't cleaning the gravel, there was too much ammonia in the water.

So, we cleaned the gravel, did a water change, and set up the new filter. She was doing really well after that for about a week--she was coming out to eat again, was attentive, swimming about normally. The only thing that stayed was the red between her eyes. Today though she started darting and hiding again, and her gill movement seems back to looking a bit labored. She doesn't seem to have any visible symptoms except for the slightly pumping gills and the red line, so I don't know if she actually has a sickness or if it's just stress. If it is stress, what else can we do to make the conditions right?

The only other thing I've noticed since setting up the new filter and cleaning the gravel that wasn't there before is that now there are tons of teeny tiny bubbles all throughout the tank--it seems like they're rising from the bottom and they collect underneath the fixtures in the tank and you can see them collecting on the surface of the water if you look from below. They're super small though--like the size of the head of a pin. Could that be the problem, and where are those coming from? We always treat the new tap water we add with dechlorinator.

If anyone has any input, it would be greatly appreciated!!
Thanks!
 

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How often are you cleaning the gravel? And doing water changes? Just the once since finding out that she might have ammonia burns is not near enough if I'm reading and understanding correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your response.

We've only cleaned the gravel and changed the water once since setting up the new filter, but that was about a week ago. Before we were doing water changes about once every 2 weeks. Is it possible the tank needs a water change and gravel clean already?

Since our tank is fairly small, cleaning the gravel usually necessitates swapping out quite a bit of water, and I figured it wouldn't be good to change too much water too often. Is a water change every 2 weeks enough or too much? How often should we clean the gravel?
 

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My five gallon gets the gravel vacuumed once a week, or when levels get too high if it happens before that, and a 25% water change. Get a syphon and that will make cleaning the gravel easier. Seachem prime will help with ammonia build up.
 

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You should do a WC every week, I do mine every week it's a 2.5 gallon. I do about 75%. Also, your tank needs to be a little warmer, 78-80 is ideal. Do you have a picture of the tank? What is your feeding schedule?
 

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You really need to know more about your water quality, especially about ammonia. Considering your water change schedule, I wouldn't be surprised if he were suffering from ammonia. Your water conditioner should specifically say that it detoxifies ammonia. Prime (by Seachem) is most often used by members here because it detoxifies ammonia. A few drops every day will protect the fish.

With daily Prime, a twice weekly 50% water change is appropriate for an uncycled 2.5g Betta tank.

But, a 2.5g tank should be cycled. That's the best and easiest way to protect your livestock from ammonia.
CYCLING: the two-sentence tutorial
 
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