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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As of last night I completed a 100% water change for my crowntail male, but I decided that I wanted to switch his tanks, moving him into a square 2 gallon tank previously occupied by minnows (I moved the minnows into his 1 gallon vase). I've had him for about a month and a half now and this is the first time I've switched his tanks since purchasing him, although I usually preform about 2 100% water changes a week with water conditioner. However since placing him in his new tank he's been acting strange, darting around when I come close to the tank, twitching when he swims, and otherwise floating near the surface breathing heavily. He's gone from clamped fins to completely flared out, and my sister said he attempted jumping out of his tank (but it's covered so he simply banged into the top). When I came over to look at him he started vigorously slamming into the sides of his tank, and then he suddenly went limp, floating to the top on his side. I thought he'd killed himself, but I think he may have just knocked himself out because he recovered within a few minutes, back to floating near the surface and gasping. He refused to eat his pellets today, and after placing him in the tank and knocking himself out he temporarily paled in color and gained horizontal stress lines. I honestly have no idea what is wrong with him, but I'm hoping this behavior can be reversed because if it continues or even worsens I'm afraid he'll kill himself...
 

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Is your 2 gallon tank filtered? Heated? 2 100% water changes a week sounds quite stressful for the fish! It sounds like there may be something in the water that isn't agreeing with his body. Do you have water test kits? Was there anything different about the water change you did with this switch?
 

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Did you acclimatise your betta properly to the new tank? That could be why. If you don't acclimatise your betta, it could go into shock and even possibly die.

This is how I acclimatise my bettas (which may or may not be the correct way, but has worked for me):
- Place the betta in a cup/bag with about half of it filled with the tank water your betta was in.
- Float the cup/bag in the new tank for at least 15 minutes.
- Add a little bit of water from the new tank into the cup/bag and allow your betta to get used to the new water. Wait about 10 minutes and repeat this process a few times.
- After cup/bag is full, leave it to sit for about an hour.
- Slowly and carefully release the betta into the new tank (or carefully pour the betta into a net and place him in the tank if you want to avoid any of the old water getting into the new tank).

Another reason could be the new environment and the larger space, which would take some time getting used to. Is it possible that you overlooked the water conditioner/declorinator/treatment? That can cause a betta to behave this way.
 

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My guess is that there is something in the water he doesn't like. Did you clean the tank after you took out the minnows?

Did you acclimate him? iSheree gave good acclimation instructions.

2 100% water changes a week are not stressful for fish. You just have to acclimate a fish every time you do a 100% water change.
 

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Are their any decorations in the tank? Something might be leeching into that water and causing him distress. Take out any decor and smell it, check for bubbling or chipping paint.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you everyone for replying. I unfortunately do not have a heater or filter for his tank, although I am hoping to buy those items soon. I did clean the tank thoroughly before placing him in the tank, with hot tap water and rubbing the sides with my hands. I was just so surprised by his reaction this time around, since ever since getting him I've done 2 100% water changes weekly, nothing different other than his tank. I'm not sure how he is doing now since I slept over at a friend's house last night and have not returned home. Normally I acclimate him by letting the new water slowly seep into the tiny bowl I use to contain him for cleaning (which holds usually just enough of his old tank water to allow him to be submerged). I normally do this acclamation within a minute, I didn't realize it should be much slower. When I get home today, depending on his condition, should I preform a second water change just incase there is something in the water I am unaware of? I just use tap water. I have nothing in his tank currently.
 

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Do you use any kind of water conditioner with your tap water? Sometimes, tap water can contain heavy metals, ammonia, chlorine, and a host of other stuff a fish doesn't like. If that's the case, you might want to pick up some conditioner on the way home, treat some water, then do a change... or maybe pick up some gallons of 'Spring Water' from the store. That's what I use for my small tanks, and it's usually around 60 cents. Do you have a water testing kit? Those are also valuable resources for your tanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes I do use water conditioner, but I do not have a water testing kit. I figured if the conditioner reduces the amonia in the water there was little need to test for the level. I'll post hid current condition in about an hour when I get home.
 

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Agree with the longer acclimation, water conditioner of course. If you've done everything the same (I also do a 100% wc every 2 days, it's hard on the betta but not as hard as leaving him in the ammonia water) then maybe it's the tank itself, as in the open amount of space. What decorations were in the old tank?

My newest guy gets easily stressed. I had him for a week and thought he was fine, and he started with the clamped fins. I had to change his tank location and have to put towel over him because his reflection causes him to go nuts sometimes. And I test my water everyday, so I know levels are fine. Get some decorations and hidey places in there. He may just be one that will like smaller spaces. And definitely get an adjustable heater. F&S sells the Hydor theo 25 watt for less than $20 with shipping (at least till Petco takes them over fully).

Will be waiting to get an update on your guy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sorry I took a bit longer than expected, but when I arrived home today he was behaving the same: twitchy, flinching, darting around, banging into his tank. He even knocked himself out again... I mean ideally I'd like to keep him in the tank if there's no other problem than the tank itself. I guess what I'm asking is can I keep him in there, hoping that eventually he will adjust, or would it be best to put him back in his vase and replace the minnows in the two gallon? I suppose I can add in some pebbles and plastic plants that I have on hand if it would help him...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
In fact now that I look at it his breathing seems less labored, and he only seems to have his spasms whenever I come close to the tank. His vase likely made his view of the outside world a bit distorted, and now that he's in a square tank I probabaly look much clearer to him. Maybe he just gets startled by me when I come over? I'm started to belive he's just stressed now rather than an actual disease
 

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What was in his old tank? Can you post a pic of his new tank? Did he go from glass to acrylic? Definitely if you don't have anything in there decoration wise, put something safe for him in. He may just be freaking out because of the open space. If that doesn't work, maybe a towel over his tank to try to calm him down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm not positive on how to post a picture, I'll try again in a second. He went from glass to plastic, although the cup I bought him in was plastic so I'm not sure if that is what may be ailing him. I decidely did a second water change tonight after taking a look at my minnow tank and finding four of my seven fish dead :(. I had been so focused on Fruitloop (my betta) that I hadn't paid much attention to the minnows, and now all I have left is my largest bluefin killifish, my female mosquito fish and my swamp darter (those that died were my killifish school). I'm fairly convinced it is the tap water because after completing a second water change for both tanks they showed no improvement, and my remaining killifish seemed to worsen. I then took a few scoops of water from my sister's betta tank, knowing the water was safe, and made a temporary tank out of an old tuperwair for Fruitloop, my misquito fish and killifish. The swamp darter I placed in my female betta's tank since he doesn't do much moving around and doesn't attract her attention so easily. That was about 30 minutes ago and the mosquito fish and darter seem completely fine. Fruitloop honestly has shown no improvement and my killifish has been swinging in and out, but right now he appears to be doing better. I'm worried, I don't think he's going to make it and I'm alrwady devastated with the death of my four fish... is there anything I am doing wrong that could have caused this?
 

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What kind of conditioner are you using? There sometimes can be ammonia spikes in tap water depending on your source (well or city, though both can have them it just city has more stuff in it to start with). You might need to get Seachem Prime as it locks ammonia for a while, making it safe for fish. I'm not sure what else can be done at the moment :/ someone else might think of something
 

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You should probably invest in some water test strips. Ammonia is produced by the fish, and even with regular water changes, it is something that needs to be monitored. If I were you, I would get a 2.5 or larger to see if that helps (long, not tall). Because, honestly, it sounds like either he's sick or there's something wrong with that tank or water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I use Aqueon Betta Bowl Plus, but if an ammonia spike was what is the cause of this trouble shouldn't Fruitloop and my killifish have recovered? Not to contradict you or anything, but I have never heard of this before, and there seem to be no other anwers out there... it just doesn't make sense because my sister's betta is fine, and I hoped that by using his water they would recover yet they haven't... I just don't know what else could be causing it.. And by the way thanks again everyone for your help, I know this is pretty tricky :/
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'll see about purchasing a water testing kit and that other conditioner if possible. It's more up to my mom than me unfortunately, and I don't know if she'll be willing to drive me there AND pay :(
 

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The water testing kit usually tests more than just ammonia, and is a good investment. :) Not saying an ammonia spike is the issue. It sounds more like maybe some heavy metals or a chemical that slipped into the water supply. Cheapest way to tell would be to get some bottled spring water from the store. Few gallons, maybe four, and see if that helps. It's usually less than 70 cents a gallon, and is what I use for most small tank water changes.
 
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