I'm new here and actually am seeking information to help my two year old's Betta fish. I have had it for several months now and for the last couple weeks he seems to be getting progressively worse and I am not sure what to do. I think I may not be properly taking care of him, I am doing what they told me at the pet store, but I have a feeling they gave me bad information. First, let me tell you what's wrong and then I'll tell you how we've been taking care of him up till now. He hasn't been eating for about a week. He has been lethargic and the first thing I noticed besides that is that it looks like something is wrong with it's mounth like it is deformed or like something took a bite out of it. So, I thought, in my naivity, he hurt his mouth, he can't eat, now what do I do. Now, his fins look like they are dissolving and one has gotten redder than before. In the limited research I've done this afternoon, it sounds like fin rot, but I didn't see anything about it affecting his mouth, so I am not sure if that's what is going on. My nephew suggested maybe I over chlorinated him, I don't know. So, he is in a 3 gallon tank, no filter. They told me at the store not to get a filter becasue it stresses Bettas, so I didn't. There is no heater, again, they didn't tell me I needed one. We have been changing his water about once a week, but we have been doing a complete water change, again, as the store told me to do. He was eating Betta pellets. The water conditioner we got last had a mistake in the measuring cup and we think we have been putting too much in and then we didn't let it sit long enough before adding the fish back. We were netting him, putting him in a small bowl, cleaning the tank and putting him back.
So, I guess first, is there anything I can do to save him, any medications, where do I get them. And, second, should we be taking care of him differently. I'm sorry I'm so clueless, but I really want to save him if I can. Can anyone give me some advice?
I would generally go buy a new betta of the same type and color and put the old betta to sleep as it seems that your betta is sick and it would be best that your two year-old doesn't have to see it suffer and die. :-(
This is great link on the proper care for bettas. I know there are medications that you can use but I'm not sure what those are. There are plenty of knowledgeable betta keepers here that will be able to advise on meds.
Alright....here's a few suggestions.
1) Get a heater. Bettas need a stable temperature of 78-80 degrees to thrive, so a heater is a must. I have found the Visi-Therm deluxe and stealth models are VERY good heaters. You will also need a thermometer because you will need to set and monitor the temperature of the water when you set the heater up. Setting the heater at the right temperature on the dial does not guarantee that the water will be the same temperature and you really need to play with it a bit to get it right. For example, I have had heaters set to 82 degrees to keep the temperature at 78. It doesn't really matter what setting it's on, just that the water temperature is stable and correct.
2) I'd up water changes to twice a week in an uncycled (no benificial bacteria that neutralize ammonia and nitrate) tank, and when you try to remove him from the tank use a cup and gently scoop him out instead of a net. Nets can damage his fins, making him susceptable to fin rot. Make sure you dechlorinate the water properly before use.
3) It sounds like he already has fin rot, in which case you will need to treat it. Once you get the temperature up he will be able to heal, but most likely the bacteria on his fins will also thrive in the higher temperature. I have had excellent luck using Fungus Clear by Jungle Labs for fin rot, so that is what I would recommend to you. Just follow the directions on the packet and you should be good to go.
4) Feeding a varied diet will also help your betta to heal. A good pellet should be the staple diet, but you can supplement with frozen foods such as bloodworms, brineshrimp, and daphnia several times a week. You should also give him a fast day to clear out his digestive tract and avoid overfeeding and constipation.
5) The mouth thing really has me at a loss. Maybe he injured himself? I'd just treat the fin rot, and if by chance his mouth is also infected, the meds should take care of that as well.
6) I'd also suggest that you read up about the "aquarium cycle" or "nitrogen cycle" to give you an idea of what actually goes on in your tank. Even if you do not wish to cycle the tank (I wouldn't recommend it with a sick fish) an understanding of this concept will help you to avoid common water quality problems. You should also get a good liquid test kit for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. Regularly testing levels will ensure that your water change schedule is good (you don't ever want levels of ammonia or nitrate, and nitrates should stay below 40 ppm, the lower the better).
7) As for the lethargic behavior, this should likely perk up once you get a heater. Once he starts feeling better he should eat again as well. If he is really stubborn, try getting him to eat some bloodworms or other frozen food to avoid starvation. Just remember that these are not a complete diet and you will want to get him eating the pellets again as well as soon as possible.
Hope this helps, and feel free to ask any more questions if I have left anything out ;-).
If you don't have a cure a;; med i would atr least salt him because thats how they behave when they're dying.It can't hurt to try.Maybe someone will post medicinal levles.Theres no ref here uder betta care.I used 1 ts / g. everyday on many bettas and they had long lives.
I've been planning on getting a heater, and I'm definitely going to buy one once I get my paycheck. But I didn't know about the brine shrimp, or the fast day. I've had fish before, but it's been a long time and when I had them I was a kid, so my mom took care of most of it. I do know how to test aquarium water, though, and my mother is an aquarium enthusiast, so I can always go to her for advice.
Other than the swallowing thing, Bianco seems fine. He's really energetic, and he loves to swim around in the fronds of his plastic plant. (I want a real one, but mom suggested waiting until the tank has had time to regulate and settle before introducing a live plant.)
I want to do everything I can to keep Bianco as healthy as possible. He's really a beautiful fish, almost pure white with inquisitive black eyes and incredibly elegant fins. It's almost like watching an angelfish swimming around. ^.^
Hello and welcome to FishForum.Bettas can be very picky eaters and he may not like the brand of pellets you have been giving him. I would try a different brand. A lot of us here feed ours Hikari betta bio gold. Also, its pretty normal for a new betta to not eat for the first few days. He may eat when he becomes more used to his new home. Hope this helps.
He get's his first water change tomorrow. Oy.
Fortunately, he's a pretty mellow fish. It was a long, bumpy drive from the pet store where I got him and it didn't seem to phase him. He ate three pellets that night. He didn't start spitting them out until this morning.
I got him a heater today, but I need a surge bar with a longer cord before I can hook it up.
Keep trying the pellets. If thats all he's offered he should start eating it.
I will. First off I'm going to give him some time to get comfortable in his new home. He's only been here 24 hours, after all. ^.^
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