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7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi again,
Seems I've been in this forum a lot lately, my poor Fighter is certainly living up to his name!
I came home from work about a half hour ago and found him EXTREMELY pale. He's a beautiful blue color and was seriously turning brown, fins almost transparent and very white around the face and gils. He seemed a lot more skittish than usual too, swimming around rapidly instead of his lively but leisurely pace.
A few minutes ago he gasped for air a few times then went frozen and turned up to the surface, horizontal to the water with his mouth at the top. I was CERTAIN he was dead. He's done this a few times before due to seizures I believe were from heat fluctuations, but they weren't performed in the same fashion. He's in the same place he had always been, I fed him about 10 minutes before he "died" and he didn't eat, usually he waits for the food to drop and inhales it.
I was absolutely sure this time he had kicked the bucket but none the less I got his net out since it prodded him back to life the last few times and poked him around. An air bubble escaped from his mouth and he sank down to the bottom of the bowl and miraculously his gils started moving again.
He's gained all color back but is still lying at the bottom gasping. I've been noticing in the past day or so he does tend to jerk or have a spasm occasionally. I'm so heartbroken, I love him so much and just want to help him.

Edit: as I finalized this draft and he had gained all color back he perked up and swam back to the surface, my wonder fish! still seems spazzy - lots of jerking and twitching, but is definitely better than before. he will be going back to live at school in a few days, what can i tell classmates who will be taking care of him if this happens?

He was even paler than this before he "died" like he seriously was brown. This is half his color back, then once he was vibrant again he swam up top.

What size is your tank? A plastic fishbowl, one gallon.
What temperature is your tank? thermometer i got says 75
Does your tank have a filter? no
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? no, i do have a heater though made for bettas
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? a plant from "betta world" zoo med and little treasure chest

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? HBH betta bites pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? two pellets on weekdays, one on weekends. occasional zoo med dial a treat:Mysis, Daphnia, or Blood Worms

How often do you perform a water change? used to be once a month or so - now twice a week due to high ammonia levels that gave him pectoral fin rot
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? betta specific water conditioner, tap water conditioner or stress coat

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? see above, got SUPER pale and brown but has gained all color back gradually
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? see above, skittish and "died" for the third time, lying at the bottom gasping, jerking and twitching
When did you start noticing the symptoms? i noticed today, but he could have had this for a while
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? nothing yet. I feel bad I kept poking him with the net but it's worked before and I wanted to make sure he was actually dead before I chucked him!
Does your fish have any history of being ill? seizures/spasms supposedly due to heat flutuations that stopped when he was moved back to his old place, fin rot from high ammonia levels in fish bowl
How old is your fish (approximately)? 10-12 months

263 Posts
Seems as if your fish is playing "Play Dead" with you!

It might be Phantom Death. This is where the fish seems lifeless but really isn't. This is usually due to lack of oxygen or a unclean tank.

Clean the tank weekly and add conditioner (a good kind like Nutrafin is recommended) to the water. If possible buy a blower or filter for the tank to produce more oxygen.

300 Posts
I wouldn't buy a filter or anything that would make the water move in a 1 gallon bowl.
75 is low for a betta you probably need a heater and I would do 2 50% and 1 100% per week for a 1 gallon.

535 Posts
While correcting the poor water conditions may help it is most likely that the prolonged amount of time living in bad conditions has had a permanent effect on his health. I hope he can recover, but you will definitely have to be very careful with him because his health will most likely never be optimum meaning he will tend to catch diseases more easily.
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