Betta Fish Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I just bought a betta fish about to weeks ago. This is the first fish I've had since I was a very young child, back when my mom took care of anything fish-related. So I don't really know if what I am doing is okay...

Well today I changed Doomlord's water because it was becoming the color of his fish flakes, which he hates and refuses to eat apparently. I used soap to remove any build up on his castle or plants, and rinsed them thoroughly. I also rinsed his gravel. I'm afraid, however, this being the second time I've changed his water, that I may have traumatized him while trying to get him out of his tank and into a cup? :(
I started trying to just scoop him with the cup, then my hands, then as a last resort (since I've heard they can hurt a betta's fins), I used a mesh net my family actually uses for cooking xD
I ended up just dumping him in and he spazzed for a bit.
I'm worried I may have hurt him :(
A few hours later, I found him swirling around in the top of the water, and I was terrified he was dead! It was strange though, his head was at the top, but the rest of him was just limp. I unplugged his filter and he swirled slower, but didn't move. Then I poked him and he sped away.
But he's still staying at the top of the water... Is he just stressed? Will I find a dead companion when I wake up? What can I do? Normally he loves sleeping in his castle at the bottom of the tank. I'm so worried he might have swim bladder disease or something!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,477 Posts
NEVER use soap to clean anything fish related. You normally should just clean it with a FISH-ONLY and SOAP-FREE sponge and use the tank water or fresh water.

Using stuff that you normally cook with may also contain soap residue if not rinsed effectively.

He may have also gotten temperature shock. How big is his tank? What is the temperature at? Do you use conditioner?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Your hands? You should buy a fishnet, using your hands is horrible. For one thing, who knows what toxics are on them, hand soup, germs, ect. It really isn't smart to scare him like that either. How would you like it is you saw two large things invading your home, trying to lift you out? Plus, you said he poked him? If it is shock, or he is really upset, or scared, unhappy, poking him will only make it worse.

It sounded to me like is really unhappy, leaving him alone is the best thing you can do. Put him in a quiet room, turn off all the lights, and let him relax.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,213 Posts
Hi and welcome to the forum.

We need you to fill out the sticky at the top of this section so we can help you! Hopefully he won't die.

A few issues I can see already: Changing his water twice in two weeks in not nearly enough! His water should be clear at all times! A little algae happens but thats natural and ok. Depending on the size of your tank you should be do at least two full changes a week for a small one, or more. If your tank is 1 gal or less you need to change the water basically every 48 hours or ammonia can build up and hurt your fish. Always use water conditioner to remove chloramine and chlorine and such.

Bettas need water between 74 - 82 degrees, so they made need a heater. They also need a pellet food, higher percentage of protein the better. Flake food is not great for them and makes the water very messy.

Do you have aquarium salt, epsom salt, or any medications?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,477 Posts
I recommend changing his water again...to get the soap scum out of the water. Put him in the cup you got him in, then rinse your entire tank with scalding water. Let it cool off a bit then pour room temperature water, in. Float your betta's temporary cup in it for a few minutes, then release him.

Don't forget conditioner and such! I hope he gets well soon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Alright so his tank is 1 gallon. I didn't know I had to change it so often, the lady at the pet store and the instructions said every 2 weeks since it has a filter, and I thought I was doing it too early to be honest. However, I did make a baffle out of a water bottle to keep the current from hurting his swimming.
Temperature is usually around 70*F. I know it's a bit cold, but he doesn't seem to mind.
Filter- Yes. Air stone- No. Heater- No.
Doomlord has no tank mates, but my sister also has a betta fish with the same tank and setup (which is fine, by the way, and she has NEVER changed the water. Her water even looks very clear of any debris!), and sometimes we put our tanks next to each other to let them flare and have some fun. They never hurt themselves. I have also occasionally put a mirror in front of his cage, hoping to make him think he wins the fights and build his self-esteem. He seems to enjoy it.
I feed my betta Tetra brand Bettamin fish flakes. He refused to eat the pellets, which sat at the bottom of the tank and rotted. I usually feed him twice a day, he looks like he has a bit of a belly anyway.
When I change his water (1x per week), I change it all and add API brand Tap water conditioner to "remove chlorine and break the chloramine bond."
I have never tested my water.

Doomlord has always been a bit lazy, but he LOVES the bottom of the tank. He's red and blue, but now his blue may be looking a bit black... (Or that could be me, because I am incredibly paranoid and read all about tail rot and biting and such).

I know that leaving soap is bad... But I know that isn't it because the other time I also used soap and he was fine. There should not be any soap scum whatsoever because I rinse EVERYTHING (tank items, utensils for cleaning) with water so scalding that I must use gloves. There's no way I could have possibly left soap scum. I try to treat my Doomlord as well as I can.

Also, any suggestions on food? I know he hates his food. But pellets just sink and I don't know where to find that fancy food. I have been to 2 different pet stores and 3 other regular stores.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
369 Posts
OK you NEED to get a heater for your tank, 70 degrees is far too cold. That is what's probably causing the stress. The temperature should be 78-80, not 70.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,781 Posts
Hi Doomlord, welcome to the forum.

First, never believe anything they tell you in the pet stores. Honestly. They are, for the most part, just employees who work with fish, not genuine fish keepers. In a small tank like your 1 gallon, I would recommend changing the water every other day or, if this is more feasible, 1 50% and 1 100% a week.

Just because the water is clean, like in your sister's tank, doesn't necessarily mean it's healthy for the betta. Fish excrete ammonia as part of their waste process. The problem is ammonia is highly toxic to them so it's important for us, their owners, to change the water often to remove the ammonia. We can't see it but it's there. I'm glad your sister's fish is doing well, though. Must be a hardy fellow. :)

I also know heating 1 gallons can be hard but if it is at all possible, you will probably want to find a heater. If you can, upgrading to even a 2 gallon tank so you can heat it would be good. If you can't, and I understand that sometimes it's just not possible, try to keep Doomlord in the warmest part of your room/house. If he is kept warm, his immune system will be stronger and he will stay healthier.

You mentioned Doomlord has a bit of a belly? It sounds like he might be bloated, which is a little concerning to me. Don't feed him for a day, no matter how much he begs. Also, is he pooping? I know it's a gross question but if he isn't, that might explain why he is looking a little fat.

As for food . . . hmm. How does he act when you feed him pellets? Does he spit them out several times like he is trying to eat them but can't? Or does he flat out ignore them?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Now he's just floating on his side strangely and lethargically. I ran to the neighbor's and got some epsom salt, put a tsp. in his tank. Is that okay?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,781 Posts
Yes, since he is bloated, the epsom will help. I'll be honest, this isn't looking so good, Doomlord. :( It's never good when they start floating on their side. Try wrapping a towel around his tank to make it dark and warm. I really hope he pulls through for you. I'll keep my fingers crossed for him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,213 Posts
If he does make it, or even if he doesn't but you decide you want to try again since you've learned a lot, a great floating pellet that is quality nutrition is called New Life Spectrum, they sell it at petco and petsmart.

It floats for a minute and eventually sinks, but my bettas always get it. Once he's healthy, start making the switch to a pellet. Once he gets hungry enough, he'll eat it :] and then you wont have messy flake water. Bettas can go for...I believe it is about two weeks max without eating. A lot of times sick bettas don't eat until they feel better. I don't think anyone mentioned that yet. So if Doomlord (ps sweet name for him) isn't eating, that's normal for a sick fish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,164 Posts
I'd lower his water level so he can reach the surface eaiser to breathe. Doubletails are prone to swimbladder because of the their shorter bodies. You have to be a bit more vigilant about over feeding them.

Doomlord is beautiful. I hope he pulls through.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top