QUICK help needed! Betta on bottom
I left a window open in the fish room day before yesterday, and my tanks went down to 70 degrees (this was from 79 degrees) overnight. Now I have a female betta lying on the substrate, breathing is labored, and when she moves, its just to get to the surface for a gulp of air. She acts as if its a swim bladder problem, as she floats up or down without much control. Not eating either. She could be constipated, as I haven't seen her poop. Also am wondering if the temperature drop helped to bring this on. She's now at a steady 79 again.
I have a 5 gallon Tupperware that is only 6" high. Can I put her in there with a heater? So she can reach the surface more easily? She will go to the top of the tank and lay in the floating fake plants to be near the surface, but then eventually goes to the bottom again. Nothing else out of the ordinary observed. I don't want to feed her for a couple of days, right? And then only part of a pea? Any help would be appreciated.
55 gallon community tank
Nitrates 5-10 (right in between)
stress related here, the temp could of brought it on or it could be the notoriously bad genetics of livebears. moving her around will only cause more stress. I wouldn't move her unless you see others starting to nip at her
Swim bladder issues usually manifest as sinking or floating (not both), with an inability to maintain a level position in the tank (ex. rotating forward). The fact that the fish is resting on the bottom indicates that it is stressed, that much is for certain. Fish with swim bladder issues have a hard time maintaining their position in the water (it's what the swim bladder does). If the betta is going to the surface for air, is it sinking back to the bottom or is it just going back to the bottom. A fish with a sinking problem with struggle hard to get to the surface.
She was doing both--kind of sinking to the bottom, or drifting to the top aimlessly. She was still getting air from the top up until about an hour or so ago, and now I can't find her. She didn't look bad at all, and was able to stay straight with a little more effort than another fish would, and now she is nowhere to be found. She has to be on the bottom somewhere, but I've looked everywhere to no avail. I have a very bad feeling.
I'm not so experienced with Betta, but if mine were having similar issues, I'd try lowering the water level in the tank a bit to make it easier for her to reach the surface, and possibly putting a broad-leaved plant (or soft decoration) into the tank for her to 'rest' on. Both will help her get to the surface more easily. . .but if she's in a community, this might not be possible. Moving a fish is always stressful for them (often you, too), and something I avoid. Unless you think she's really having problems getting to the top, I'd be more inclined to leave her where she's comfortable, than add to her stress by moving her into another tank/container. . .
If you do think that her issues may be somewhat caused by constipation due to stress, which can happen, don't feed her peas. Its a conversational thing, but it seems that daphnia is the preferred thing to use with these fish if digestion issues arise.
I'm not so experienced with Betta. . . I really hope your little girl comes through okay *worries*
Was she showing any symptoms before the temp drop? Unless the drop was very rapid, like from 79 to 70 within an hour, it shouldn't have been enough to shock her into this so I think whatever is ailing her was brewing before the temp drop.
Since she is in a pretty big 55gal, I would isolate her. Float her in the tupperware in the 55gal so she can stay warm. In her weakened state, she's easy prey if her sorority sisters decide to be bullies.
Hoping for the best.
My thank button has vanished, but thanks for your WAY more experienced Betta input, Sakura! <3
I hope she's okay. . .
No problem, Chesh. You're doing fine. :)
Thank you Chesh, and everyone else who has replied. We looked for her again today, to no avail. She did have a tall anubia to rest on as well as floating plastic plants, and she was using them before she disappeared. I know she's probably not still alive, and now I'm also afraid of the water being contaminated. I'm really afraid now that the Columnaris has come back. If it has, I'm through. I can't take any more of this.
I'm so sorry, Rocky. . . it is always terribly upsetting to lose a pet, and I know how attached you are to your little Betta babies. . . there are so many things that it might have been that have nothing to do with Columnaris, so so so many. I'll keep my fingers crossed that this is one of those random and very sad things. I don't want to see you give up! *HUGS*
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