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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

My blue female betta, Blueberry, has been very pale and just recently started shooting up and down, apparently breathing at the surface. She's got the stress stripes. We just did a 50%-75% change yesterday when we came back from vacation and noticed the change in her color. We're not sure what the issue is! We did leave one of those yellow, fish shaped dissolvable food things in there with her for the three days we were gone, but besides that, not much else has changed.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Karsten

We bought strips to test her water parameters. My fiance said her nitrate and nitrite levels were maybe 20-40ppm and .5-1ppm respectively.
 

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Hello,

My blue female betta, Blueberry, has been very pale and just recently started shooting up and down, apparently breathing at the surface. She's got the stress stripes. We just did a 50%-75% change yesterday when we came back from vacation and noticed the change in her color. We're not sure what the issue is! We did leave one of those yellow, fish shaped dissolvable food things in there with her for the three days we were gone, but besides that, not much else has changed.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Karsten


We bought strips to test her water parameters. My fiance said her nitrate and nitrite levels were maybe 20-40ppm and .5-1ppm respectively.
Do another BIG water change with conditioned water of the proper temperature and take the dissolvable vacation feeder out asap.

Then- n order to allow other members to help you as best they can, please answer as many of the following questions as you can when requesting advice.

Please copy the portion of this post below into your post, answer the questions you can, and put N/A beside the questions you cannot answer.

Thank you,
The BettaFish.com Team

Quote:
Housing
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?

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

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

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Sorry, not sure why I can't find the edit post, but here are the answers to those questions.

Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5gal
What temperature is your tank? 73-75F
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? It is now.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Aqueon
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2x a day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? 2x monthly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50-75%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Tetra Water Conditioner

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

Ammonia:
Nitrite: .5-1 ppm
Nitrate: 20-40ppm
pH:6.5-7
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Betta has gone from rich blue to pale around the head and midbody.

How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Seems sluggish and disinterested in food. Used to eat like a pig! Now she shoots up to the surface to breath every minute or so.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Yesterday. We went on vacation and came back to her being pale. We did a water change and she seemed to change back to regular blue after maybe 15 minutes. Just noticed her pale again today a few hours ago with the gasping and frequent trips to the surface.

Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Another 50-75% water change with a little extra conditioner in case we're not getting all the chlorine. Also put in the heater. Her thermometer had somehow broken and frozen on a good temperature.

Does your fish have any history of being ill? No.

How old is your fish (approximately)? 1yr

http://imgur.com/kgoAgsu
 

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Okay for now definitely do a 50-75% water change and double check the temperature. Do you have a meat thermometer you could use to check the temp? Or can you go to the store and buy a new thermometer (24 hour walmart?)?

Edit: In an unfiltered tank you really need to be most concerned with monitoring the ammonia level. However, your nitrite levels are too high as well. You need to do water changes twice a week- 50% and 100% in a 2.5 gallon unfiltered tank. Twice a month is not enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Luckily, we had bought a new fish thermometer tonight before we noticed her breathing issues. In the course of the water change, the water's temperature is up to 82F now. MY fiance is paranoid about the strength of the heater, but I was under the impression that with bettas it was better to be on the warm end of the spectrum than the cold end.
 

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Luckily, we had bought a new fish thermometer tonight before we noticed her breathing issues. In the course of the water change, the water's temperature is up to 82F now. MY fiance is paranoid about the strength of the heater, but I was under the impression that with bettas it was better to be on the warm end of the spectrum than the cold end.
Raising the temperature too fast can shock the fish. Bettas like 80 degree water, but don't like a rapid rise from 74 to 82. It is best to raise it gradually over a day or two. I would drop the heater down to 80 at least so you don't over heat him.
 

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So how is he doing today? Any improvement?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
She's still a little pale and surfacing and sinking. Her color seems to change a bit, getting a little better, getting a little worse, but there seems to be no real change since yesterday. I used another testing stick today and it looks like her water quality, as far as nitrate is still around 20-40ppm, so I guess I'll try and change the water again. I'm wondering if there's too much gunk in the bottom of the tank, so I'll try and move her to a cup or something during the day with some clean water.
 

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She's still a little pale and surfacing and sinking. Her color seems to change a bit, getting a little better, getting a little worse, but there seems to be no real change since yesterday. I used another testing stick today and it looks like her water quality, as far as nitrate is still around 20-40ppm, so I guess I'll try and change the water again. I'm wondering if there's too much gunk in the bottom of the tank, so I'll try and move her to a cup or something during the day with some clean water.
Yes I would do a 100% water change every day for the next several days then. You don't have a filter so no worries about ruining the cycle. Do you have gravel in there? You might have to dump the bad water, add fresh, swirl the gravel around really good to stir up all the mulm, dump, and repeat a few times if the tank has a lot of gunk built up. In unfiltered tanks small stones or glass pebbles are sometimes easier to wash than gravel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
We do have gravel in there. I'll tell my fiance to do a complete tank clean tonight. Haha she's paranoid about track cleaning rituals. But that sounds like a plan. In her plastic water change bucket she seems happier. She's not breathing normally but is swimming for fun and to visit me rather than just up to the surface for air. I hope we haven't done any permanent damage!!! She's really the sweetest fish.
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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Blueberry is still pale looking, although that seems to fluctuate by the minute. I'm not sure if I scared her or what, but when I came into the room after being out all day she seemed to stripe up then settled back down on the ground of the plastic bucket that's her temporary tank. Now she's swimming around, breathing about 3-4x a minute at the surface. My other betta doesn't do that that frequently so I guess things still aren't back to normal for her.

Would Prime be of any use to her? I picked up some tonight.
 

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Blueberry is still pale looking, although that seems to fluctuate by the minute. I'm not sure if I scared her or what, but when I came into the room after being out all day she seemed to stripe up then settled back down on the ground of the plastic bucket that's her temporary tank. Now she's swimming around, breathing about 3-4x a minute at the surface. My other betta doesn't do that that frequently so I guess things still aren't back to normal for her.

Would Prime be of any use to her? I picked up some tonight.
2 drops per gallon would not hurt. Have you done the 100% water change?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, in a tragic end to this story, I left the lid off her emergency tank this morning and we found Blueberry behind the bookshelf after being gone for about 5 hours. We put her in some clean water, but it does not look good and I feel absolutely terrible.
 

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Oh no. I am so sorry to hear that :cry:
 

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So did he live? It's clear you were really trying to save him. The lack of lid was an understandable oversight.
 

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I am so sorry.
 
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