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I have had Jimi for 4 months and he has been very happy until I put him in soft water (also noticed something green had grown on a sea shell that was in the tank.) My betta, Jimi (Hendrix), has moved around with me a lot. Maybe something betta fish don't like. I bought him in Nevada... took him to Los Angeles, CA with me, and lived there for a few months. LA was awarded "Best water in the country." So Jimi should have been happy with the water there. He went to Orange County, and back to Nevada. He's probably been to 3 different counties. The water I use for his tank now is soft water, filtered with a water softener. I don't think he likes his water being changed so much. He has been hiding daily and gets very jumpy or skid-dish when the tank shakes from a dresser drawer closing or being moved. He hasn't been eating either. Just hiding. I must seem like an idiot, but I haven't really put in the time to learn about my betta before getting him.

Should I put him in distilled water? I have been using water conditioner for him since day one.
 

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Chances are it's not the fact that the water is soft that is upsetting Jimi but something else in the water. It may have heavy metals or other substances in it. You would do best to use conditioned tap water as DQ suggests but use a conditioner like Seachem Prime that detoxifies heavy metals.

Since he's moved around so much, he's also probably reacting with some stress to several changes in his water. If he stays in the water he has now, he should become accustomed to it. If his behavior doesn't change after a month or he gets worse, post a thread in the Diseases section for immediate help.
 

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Also check into the water softener. Softeners usually "soften" hard water by replacing the hard mineral salts (calcium, magnesium, etc) with other salts like sodium and these can be as bad or worse for fish. It is wise never to use water run through a home water softener for fish.

Collecting rainwater would be ideal. Just make sure it is not roof runoff. A large tub in the middle of the garden to collect rain is fine.

Byron.
 
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