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Discussion Starter #1
So it's been less than a week. Almost a week. Since I placed my two boys in together in a divided 10g filled with about 8g of water. I have not done any water changes yet since I planned to do one weekly 50% and one weekly 100%. And it's only been... four, five days? I didn't really get around to the 50 as I planned because of business issues.

They were active and happy for the first couple of days, but starting two-three days ago, they've started getting lethargic. More and more. Now they are just not moving. Just to make sure they weren't dead (because I was absolutely dead fearful they were) I stirred up the water a little gently with a stick, and they kind of dashed to a different spot and hid there, each guy behind a plant on his respective side. What is going on with them? Are they contracting a disease, anything?

Housing
What size is your tank? 10 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 80 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? There are two bettas (divided tank)

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Omega One betta buffet flakes
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day 2-3 small flakes, sometimes less over the span of twice a day if I can remember to get it done

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Haven't yet because I just introduced them, planning to do a weekly 50% and 100% because the norm for one is a weekly fifty but there are two of them
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? see above
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime water conditioner, a tiny pinch of AQ salt

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

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

On this, I know I need to check my levels, but my test strips aren't reading- the colored bits aren't changing at all which is weird and I know my levels don't look like that (???) and I haven't had the time to go search for/buy a master test kit (do they have them at petsmart? I looked and I never saw them). I'm really sorry if this was what was causing all the trouble.

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Nada
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Lethargic, both of them
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 2-3 days ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Nope
Does your fish have any history of being ill? One of them had two (separate) attacks of fin rot in the past, the other was bought exactly one week ago in top condition from a new strain just came in from Petsmart so no illnesses
How old is your fish (approximately)? Petsmart fish, I don't know? I've had one for a week, the other since end of last October (so a little over three months)

Another note: Both were flaring at each other a lot through the divider during the first few days, so I put a huge glass jar (distorting the view with the curvy glass) filled with gravel and water in by the divider on one side and the rest of the space I filled up with plants and gravel heaped up around the divider. They still managed to find an open space and flare at each other but they weren't doing it like crazy like before. But they're still flaring- until like two days ago when they got lethargic and just started sitting on the plants next to the divider. Next to each other. (???)

My current theory is that they're too stressed from being in next to each other, since both are pretty aggressive. I could put one guy in my spare 2.5 and the other guy could stay in the 10, which is heated (though no filter), but my dilemma is that the 2.5 gallon doesn't have a heater. My only other tanks are two empty 1-gals which are also not heated and also not an option. I don't think I could switch up my third male and one of the guys in the 10 since the third one is even worse than the others, not really worse in aggressiveness but worse because he stresses out so quickly and easily.

One last thing- tonight they refused to eat. They ate fine last few nights, but not tonight. A little hesitant with the eating, though, when they were still eating.

What should I do?
 

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I genuinely think they are too stressed. I don't know anything about divider tanks, but the guys might be tired and frustrated of having each other in their perceived territory.
 

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Maybe the stress is causing them to release ammonia? Lethargy is a symptom of ammonia poisoning I'm pretty sure (although what isn't it a symptom of, amiright). Trying getting them in new containers with new water.
 

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Your heat is good, however a tank that size really needs some type of filtration. Filtration will help to eventually get the tank cycled. As it is now without any water changes at all I suspect that part of the problem is ammonia build up. You are feeding flake food which is very hard to control when feeding and a good part of it probably went to the bottom of the tank and is decomposing. This in itself will lead to ammonia buildup and foul the water in general. It doesn't take long either a couple of days with the excess food in the tank will do it.
You also mention that they are refusing to eat at all now, so much more is dropping straight to the bottom.

If it were a small tank of say three gallons you could get away without a filter and do PWC and FWCs religiously. But to do a FWC every week is going to be alot of hassle for you and the fish.

My advice, --start all over, clean the tank out, get a filter on there, an Aquaclear 20 would be a great Choice. Do DAILY water changes of about 30-35% or so once the filter is in. You will need to get yourself a water test kit to keep up with how the tank is cycling. The test strips are junk and will not give you an accurate reading. Highly trusted and suggested is the API Freshwater test kit. Once you get it cycled you need only do a WC of about 50% once a week.

Trash the flakes, as they are not good to feed bettas. Bettas tend to gulp air along with the flakes. Many members here use NLS Betta pellets or OmegaOne. If your bettas are on the smaller side I would suggest NLS.
Pellets are overall easier to feed and you can control portions better as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've gotten a filter, a tetra whisper 10i that's been going for a while now since I didn't have the time to get back to this thread. Is it a good filter, and is it too small for my tank? I've heard good stuff about the Whispers, which is why I decided to buy one.

I'm planning to read up on cycling, which sounds like a great idea. I'll clean the tank out 100% and then just start over like you said, I think it seems the best option.

Also- my local Petsmart doesn't seem to sell any good quality pellet foods. There is OO flakes, but the rest is top fin junk and Aqueon. I don't really know what else to feed them.
 
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