Betta fish sick??? Please help - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 01-31-2008, 12:22 AM Thread Starter
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Betta fish sick??? Please help

I have a half moon betta
1. 1 gallon bowl
2. freshwater
3. its been set up for about 1 1/2 months
4. half moon betta
5. has umbrella plants
6. temp is about 72 degress
7. no filter
8. no CO2 unit?
9. it recieves some indirect natural light
10. 100% water change on Monday
11. change water once a week
12. fed one bloodworm per day
13. no lighting
14. My betta used to be active and happy. Now all he seems to do is sleep. He buries his head in the glass stones at the bottom of the bowl. Only gets up to drink air and eat, then just sinks to the bottom. Is he dying?? We've only had him for a month and a half. We have 2 other bettas in similar conditions and they seem happy.
15. What are your water parameters? (have no idea)
16. no test kit
17. my fish was active and happy at the pet store

Please help!! We've searched everywhere and can't get an answer. =(
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post #2 of 4 Old 01-31-2008, 01:45 AM
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Get yourself a covered bucket, clean and free of any detergents or contaminants. 3 - 6 gallons can usually be found at hardware stores for a few bucks. Rinse bucket completely, then fill with tap water. Use methylene blue and fungus eliminator, dosed according to the instructions per gallon, mix well, let sit about 10 minutes, then mix again. Use this water to do 100% changes in his bowl every day for 7 - 10 days. If you can warm up his temp to at least 78 that would help a lot.
There are a number of causes for this to happen in an otherwise healthy fish, and poor water quality is a prime cause, along with cold temperatures. 72 is a bit lower than most bettas can handle, it weakens the immune system and makes them prone to bacterial and fungal issues. Bettas do best at about 80 - 82 degrees, and in a small heated tank where temp can be controlled. They need decorations and caves to hide in, play in, and just protect as their territory. Bettas get bored, they need attention, just like any other pet. Rub your finger in slow small circles once he's feeling better, and watch how he learns to come to you when you "call him".
You mentioned you are feeding only bloodworms... this can cause health issues also. First of all, bettas need more nutrition than bloodworms alone can provide. Secondly, bloodworms (both frozen and freeze dried) are very dirty, and tend to pollute the water quickly. This leads to waste build up, poor water quality, etc, in spite of the weekly change. Try a betta pellet food instead, mixed with treats of brine shrimp (frozen or live doesn't matter) and daphnia, and live blackworms if you can find them available. If you're not sure what the blackworms are, let me know and I'll post a link for you, with picture. If feeding a frozen food, be sure to thaw it in a cup of room temp water for at least 15 minutes before giving it to your fish. If the food is too cold it can put their body into shock as they injest it, as it causes their body temp to drop drastically.
This should help bring your betta back to life quickly, but I strongly suggest investing in a small 2.5 - 7 gallon aquarium, something large enough to hold a heater, and small filter with very gentle low current.

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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post #3 of 4 Old 01-31-2008, 01:50 AM
A one gallon bowl is not the best for bettas. You've probably heard this many times. And you'll probably hear it again in this thread. There is alot of credence in that. My betta males are kept in 5g tanks, heated to about 78 degrees F, tanks have bunches of elodea, a floating plant, and are filtered with sponge filters. What light they recieve is from other tanks or worklights above the bank of tanks. 50% water changes once a week. No gravel in the tanks.

My suggestion, a larger living quarters, floating plants, a lttle more food, and a little heat.
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post #4 of 4 Old 02-02-2008, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks BettaBaby and Fishy for your prompt replies. I'll take into consideration your recommendations for my own 2 fish. =)

Sadly someone convinced my brother, the owner of the halfmoon, that it was a "normal" phase the fish was going thru and he refused to do anything about it. Well the fish died today :( He was the sweetest betta we have.

Thanks again for caring enough to post.

~Black Lotus
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